Get ready for a spectacularly spooky October in Denver. Explore an eight-acre corn maze. Hear tales of Victorian horror. Take the kids trick or treating at the Denver Zoo or the Children’s Museum of Denver. Amble through Downtown Denver with thousands of the undead in a parade of zombies.

 

MSNBC.com recently noted that Denver is the No. 2 city for Halloween activities in a nation-wide study from Shindigz.com, here are ten reasons why:

 

Boo At The Zoo

Oct. 29-30

The 27th annual Boo At The Zoo offers more than 25 trick-or-treat stations, creepy crawly animal demonstrations and exciting family-friendly entertainment under the canopy of the beautiful fall foliage of the Denver Zoo. Activities free with zoo admission. 

NEW THIS YEAR: Join Denver Zoo’s nocturnal creatures during a special night time additional of Boo At The Zoo, Friday, Oct. 28, 6-9 p.m.

 

Elitch Gardens: Fright Fest

Weekends, Sept. 25-Oct. 31

Once the sun goes down, Elitch Gardens Theme & Amusement Park is transformed from a theme park to a scream park as haunted houses come alive and ghost, ghouls and zombies take over. Free with regular admission, this popular event is a great way to get into the Halloween spirit!

 

Día de los Muertos at Denver Botanic Gardens

Oct. 29

Denver Botanic Gardens celebrates Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), a festival of “welcome" for the souls of the dead. This celebration will feature live entertainment, artists and dancers. Attendees will enjoy a “Sugar Skull” making area, an area where they can create “Papel Picado”, and more. Complimentary face painting stations and a complimentary photo booth will also be on hand.

 

Denver Zombie Crawl

Oct. 22

Be a part of undead history this year, when Denver holds the largest Zombie gathering in history at Skyline Park. Put on your best zombie makeup and outfit and join this “afternoon of the living dead.” This is an ALL AGES and FREE event which attracted more than 7,000 “zombies” in 2010. The organizers do however ask that participants bring a non-perishable food item to donate to the Food Bank of the Rockies.

 

Stanley Hotel

Year-Round

See why the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park inspired Stephen King to write The Shining! King stayed at this historic hotel in the mid-1970s, and ended up writing one of the great horror masterpieces of all time. “When we arrived, they were just getting ready to close for the season, and we found ourselves the only guests in the place – with all those long, empty corridors,” he recalled. “By the time I went to bed that night, I had the whole book in my mind.” On the Stanley’s Ghost & History Tour, experience it for yourself. See room #217, where the creation of The Shining began, hear stories of ghost sightings in the hotel’s most haunted rooms, and take a tour through the underground tunnel!

 

The Colorado Symphony’s Halloween Spooktacular

Oct. 30

Thrill to a program of spooky classics and chilling favorites at the Colorado Symphony’s annual Halloween concert at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Join the orchestra members in costume for a chance to win some ghoulicious door prizes.

 

Victorian Horrors at The Molly Brown House Museum

Oct. 14-15 & Oct. 21-22

Be spooked for the first time, or return and be spooked again by a fresh selection of wicked writings of long-dead authors. Classic stories are brought to life in the dim, flickering candlelight as Edgar Allan Poe, HG Wells and others haunt you with their tales of the macabre. Bring someone to hold on to!

 

Pumpkin Festival

Oct. 9-10

Don’t miss the annual Pumpkin Fest, where you can search for the perfect pumpkin in the Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield’s 10-acre pumpkin patch. The weekend will be filled with exciting children’s activities and vendors selling handcrafted gifts. While you’re there, get lost at this year’s Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield’s eight-acre Corn Maze, one of the most attended corn mazes in the country. This year’s theme is Native Roots | Modern Form, a tribute to the Allan Houser exhibit currently showcased throughout the Gardens on York Street. Wind through Native American-style artwork, view the design from two 15-foot tall illuminated bridges that overlook the giant Corn Maze, and watch younger children find their way through a special free mini-maze designed just for them. (The Corn Maze is open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through Oct. 31).  

 

Trick or Treat Street

October 29-31

It’s the sweetest time of year, so don your favorite costume and head to the Children’s Museum of Denver for a trick-or-treating adventure bursting with fun! Parade from one Treat House to the next collecting goodies, craft classic Halloween creatures, brave your chances at the Monster Carnival and stroll through Pumpkin Hill. Activities included with Museum admission.

 

Scream Scram 5K in Washington Park

Oct. 21

Halloween is all about candy, but it can also be about staying fit, thanks to the annual Scream Scram 5K Run/Walk. Put on your costume and your sneakers and hit the pavement. At the finish, hang out at Trick or Treat Street for yummy food, award presentations and prize drawings for best costumes and top finishers.