Trick or treating may be the primetime event. But Denver sure rolls out the orange carpet, with all types of family-friendly spooktacular events leading up to Halloween and throughout the month of October. With thrills ranging from one to 10 — or, better yet, pumpkin patches to zombies — there’s Halloween fun to be had for all. Here’s how Denverites get in the Halloween spirit.
1. Halloween Events at Denver Zoo
Kids costumed as lions, tigers and bears are adorable. But bring them to the zoo and snap photos of your costumed animals looking at real animals, and the cute factor goes off the charts. Denver Zoo goes all out for Halloween with special events. Throughout the month of October, on Friday and Saturday nights, “Enchanted Hollows” includes an eerie, decorated trail, plus jack-o’-lantern sculptures, pumpkin carving demonstrations and animal meet-and-greets. Then, closer to Halloween, the zoo holds four nights of “Boo at the Zoo” which includes trick-or-treat stations.
Dates: Enchanted Hollows happens on Friday and Saturday nights in October. The dates for Boo at the Zoo are: Oct 20, 21, 27 and 28.
Location: The Denver Zoo, 2300 Steele St. Denver, CO 80205
More information: To learn more about Enchanted Hollows, Boo at the Zoo and to buy tickets, visit denverzoo.org
Insider tip: The latest loveable creature born at the Denver Zoo is a rare, buggy-eyed aye-aye, a member of the lemur family.
2. Pumpkin Nights
Need a muse for your pumpkin carving? Find more than 3,000 jack-o’-lanterns at this extravaganza showcasing local artists who carve real and artificial pumpkins for the event. Dare we say the carvings are totally gord-geous? You’ll strike Instagram gold at this pumpkin land, which includes eight different themed exhibits (think: themes like Pumpkin Pirates Cove, Monster Mash and Pumpkin Reef). Plus, pick up some tips at the pumpkin carving demonstrations led by professional artists.
Dates: Nightly Oct. 17 to Nov. 4, however it’s not open on Oct. 31.
Location: Adams County Fairgrounds, located at 9755 Henderson Road in Brighton, CO 80601
More information: pumpkinnights.com
Insider tip: Limited tickets are sold on-site, so it’s best to purchase tickets online and in advance.
3. Broadway Halloween Parade
No need to wait around until the holiday season for a good parade. An epic Halloween procession plays out in south Denver, complete with a marching band, floats and costumed participants. The parade runs for nearly a mile along Broadway between 5th and Alameda, with viewing areas on both sides of the street. Attendees are encouraged to come in costume.
Dates: 6 p.m. Oct. 20
Location: The parade travels down Broadway from 5th Ave. to Alameda Ave.
More information: broadwayhalloweenparade.com
Insider tip: Because parking is limited, it’s a good idea to use alternative transportation, like the Light Rail. The Alameda Light Rail station is close to the parade route.
4. Pumpkin Festival
Sure, you could get a pumpkin from the grocery store. But it’s so much more fun to hunt for one in a pumpkin patch. Do just that during the Pumpkin Festival at Chatfield Farms. In addition to choosing a pumpkin even Charlie Brown would approve of, your kids can enjoy pony rides, horse-drawn hayrides, mini mazes, face painting, photo booths and carnival games.
Dates: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 12-14
Location: Denver Botanic Gardens, Chatfield Farms, located at 8500 W. Deer Creek Canyon Road, Littleton, CO 80128
More information: botanicgardens.org/events/special-events/pumpkin-festival
Insider tip: Bring a wagon to help haul your pumpkins.
5. Halloween Parade and Party at Union Station
Denver’s historic, renovated Union Station (a train depot) transforms into Boonion Station. Costumed kids can trick-or-treat at merchant shops, and there’s a costume parade along with mini train rides, face painting and a costume contest.
Dates: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 25
Location: Union Station, 1701 Wynkoop St., Denver, CO. 80202
More information: unionstationindenver.com
Insider tip: Start planning a themed costume for your family! The costume contest has a group category.
6. Trick or Treat Train in Golden
Golden is best known for its mining past, being the gateway to the Rocky Mountains, not to mention spectacular fall colors. Add in an event that combines train rides on a steam engine and trick-or-treating? You’ve got Halloween perfection. The Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden transforms into the “Railroad Halloween Town” with conductors and engineers in full costume, silly graves, face painting and trick-or-treating.
Dates: Oct. 27 and Oct. 28
Location: Colorado Railroad Museum, located at 17155 W. 44th Ave., Golden, CO 80403
More information: coloradorailroadmuseum.org
Insider tip: A professional photographer will be on site, so you can get family portraits taken in front of the pumpkin patch cart.
7. Zombie Crawl (best for pre-teens and teens, since it could be scary for little kids!)
Something your real estate agent probably forgot to mention? Zombies lumber down the 16th Street Mall in downtown Denver for an annual fall tradition. If your family loves “The Walking Dead,” you’ll definitely want to partake in this event, or at least watch from a sidewalk cafe along the mall. But consider yourself warned: These aren’t cartoon-ish zombies. Instead, picture intricate blood-splattered costumes and bodies carrying heads — en masse. Thousands of gather in Skyline Park, where there are makeup booths and costume contests before the procession of the undead. You’ll know you’re getting close when you hear Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” playing.
Date: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Oct. 6
Location: Skyline Park, 1600 Arapahoe St. Denver, CO. 80202
More information: denverzombiecrawl.com
Insider tip: Teach your teens the moves to Thriller. There’s a group dance at the event.
To learn more about things to do in the Mile High City, check out Eave’s free Insider’s Guide to Denver, written by our neighborhood experts!