by Don Preziosi
The month of ghouls and goblins
once again kicks off with Four Mile Historic Park’s annual Pumpkin Harvest Festival Sat.-Sun., Oct. 1-2, from
WHO IS THAT MASKED MAN?? Costume-loving creatures large and small will find innumerable excuses to pull on – or pull off – a different persona, as the thoroughly American love affair with Halloween breaks into full swing this month. Photo by Paul Kashmann
Four Mile House, Denver’s oldest standing structure, as the Booth family
prepares for the harvest. Grab a costume from the vintage collection on hand,
and take an “old-timey” photo in front of the Four Mile House. Claim your spot
in the pie-eating contest or win something yummy in an old-fashioned cakewalk.
If you’re seeking
Halloween decor, find the perfect pumpkin in the Four Mile patch or create your
very own scarecrow. For simple fun, kick up your heels to old time music, enjoy
period games or create a craft. Be sure to visit the mountain men and Native
American encampments and climb aboard a horse-drawn wagon for a leisurely ride.
Admission to the Harvest
Festival is free; expect minimal charges for some activities. For
information, call 720-865-0800 or visit fourmilepark.org.
The 6th annual Halloween
Trunk Show, hosted by Sam Robinson (remember Manorisms on S. Pearl
St.?) is a treasure trove of home decor items just perfect to create a
Halloween/autumn motif for your own wardrobe or your family hacienda.
This year’s event returns
to Leo’s Automotive, 1563 S. Pearl St., Sat., Oct. 8,
noon to 6p.m. A dozen vendors including Pome, Pearl Clothing, Sticks and
Things, and Ms. Robinson herself will proffer a wide variety of hand-crafted delights, vintage finds, botanicals and
The Montessori School
of Washington Park, 320 Sherman St., welcomes you to their annual Harvest
Festival and Fall Open House, Sat., Oct. 15, 10a.m.-1p.m. While parents
of preschoolers are encouraged to tour the school and learn about its program,
the focus here is on fun for the entire family.
Celebrate the changing
season with a hunt through the pumpkin patch, face painting, an inflatable
bounce house, games, crafts and something tasty to eat.
For information, call
303-722-7708 or visit mswp.org.
While most folks visit
Denver Botanic Gardens, 1007 York St., to bask in the beauty of things vibrant
and alive, longtime residents are aware that the Gardens’ site was once part of
the City Cemetery. How appropriate, then, that DBG will celebrate Dia de
los Muertos – The Day of the Dead – Sat., Oct. 29, 5-8p.m.
On this day in Mexico,
families make altars and give offerings of food, candles, incense, yellow marigolds (cempazuchitl) and, most importantly, a
photo of the departed soul.
On Dia de los Muertos,
you’ll enjoy live entertainment, artists, a complimentary face-painting
and photo booth, and dancers, plus sugar skull-making and papel picado-making
(holiday decoration) areas.
Admission to this special
event is $8/adults; $7/adult members, students and seniors; $6/children and
$5/member children. Anyone arriving in costume with a painted skeleton face
receives $1 off.
Those of you willing to
venture a bit to the southwest will find more fun awaits at the Denver
Botanic Gardens at Chatfield, 8500 Deer Creek Canyon Rd. Every weekend through
Halloween night, families can challenge a giant eight-acre Corn Maze,
with the theme Native Roots/ Modern Form, a tribute to the Allan Houser
exhibit currently showcased throughout the York St. Gardens.
Wend your way through the
curling pathways of Native American-style artwork, view the design from two
15-foot- tall illuminated overlook bridges, and watch younger children wander
with delight through a special free mini-maze designed just for them.
The giant Corn Maze
is open Fri., 4-9p.m.; Sat., noon-9p.m.; and Sun., noon-6p.m. Cost is $10 for
adults; $8 for adult members, students and seniors (65+); $6 for children ages
3-12; and $4 for child members.
IT'S A SPOOKTACULAR HALLOWEEN on Old South Pearl Street! Join in the old-fashioned frolic, Sun., Oct. 30, 9a.m.-1p.m.
The Chatfield Gardens
will also host the annual Pumpkin Festival on Sat.-Sun., Oct. 8-9,
9a.m.-5p.m. each day.
Don’t forget to bring your
wagon to the sprawling 10-acre patch. Pumpkin prices vary by size, with the
average cost about $6. Purchase your pumpkin, take it to the free Pumpkin
Daycare, and then spend relaxed time to enjoy the festival.
Kids will find tons of fun
in the Children’s Activity Tent, featuring arts and crafts, pumpkin decorating,
pumpkin bowling and monster hand building. Outside the tent, kids can ride free
amusement rides, explore Fairyland with the Harvest Faerie, get their faces
painted, ride a pony or even take a ride on the Barrel Train.
admission is $6 for adults; $5 adult members, students and seniors (65+); $4
children ages 3-12; and $3 for child members. Children ages 3-12 who arrive in
costume get in free.
For information about any
Denver Botanic Gardens event, call 720-865-3585 or visit botanicgardens.org.
South Denver’s historic
South High School, 1700 E. Louisiana Ave., welcomes
families to the 5th annual Trick Or Treat Street, Thur., Oct. 27,
Kids ages 6 and younger
(with adult supervision) will find a welcoming netherworld of costumed
creatures and appropriate amusements where the school gymnasium usually stands.
A good time is guaranteed
all comers, as well as plenty of treats. Please bring your own goodie bag.
Admission for Trick Or Treat Street is $3. No one will be admitted after
6:45p.m. For information, call 720-423-6000.
Wee trick or treaters
in the neighborhood around Wash Perk coffee house, 853 E. Ohio Ave., will enjoy the 3rd annual Halloween Safe Route,
Sat., Oct. 29, 3-5p.m. The evening’s festivities begin at Wash Perk, where
kids will make their own treat bags, then go to clearly identifiable homes
(look for the bright orange pumpkin sheet on the front doors) on Clarkson and
Washington streets. The event culminates with cupcakes for the kids and treats
for the grownups at Lloyd & Maxwell Wine and Spirits (appropriate, eh?),
614 E. Kentucky Ave.
For information, call Wash
Perk at 720-542-9202.
There may come a time
during the witching season when you need to be in top form to elude the
otherworldly spectres swirling about. A good tune-up for Halloween night
comes on Fri., Oct. 21, when the Scream Scram 5K run/walk returns to
Washington Park for the 12th consecutive year.
Dress up your little
monsters and the family dog and head to the park. This year’s Scram is
sponsored by the Microsoft Store, and will benefit the 9,100 children served by
the Boys & Girls Club of Metro Denver.
While not required,
participants are encouraged to run or walk in costume. Prizes will be awarded
to top finishers, as well as Best Costume, Best Family Costumes, Best Group
(4+), Best Child, Best Pet and Best Team (must be registered as a Scream Team.)
Little ones will find the
100-meter Spooky Sneak just their speed, with every paid finisher receiving
treats and awards.
Arrive by 5:15p.m and
stroll the orange carpet, where you’ll be judged for costume prizes. After the
race, the fun continues on Trick-or-Treat Street with goodie
bags, refreshments and – of course – candy for the kids.
Advance registration costs
$30 for adults, $20 for kids (under 12) and seniors (over 60). A Scream Team
(up to 10 people) costs $250. Registration fees are
higher on race day.
For information, call
303-892-9200 or visit bgcmd.org/events/scream-scram.
The Historic Molly
Brown House Museum, 1340 Pennsylvania St., will conjure up images of spirits
long passed, when Victorian Horrors brings you a selection of
wicked writing by long-dead authors. Legendary storytellers like Edgar
Allan Poe, H. G. Wells and others will weave wondrous tales of the macabre in
the flickering candlelight.
takes place Fri.-Sat., Oct. 14, 15, 21 & 22, with performances running
every 15 minutes from 6-9p.m. Cost is $15 for members, seniors and students.
Nonmember adults pay $18.
To celebrate the harvest
season in high style, join Mrs. Brown and her staff for a Halloween Full
Tea, Sat., Oct. 29, with seatings at 11a.m. and 1p.m. Cost for this
90-minute event is $20 per person, and includes a tour of the museum.
For information and
reservations, call 303-832-4092 or visit mollybrown.org.
If you still haven’t
plucked your family’s punkin’ by this point, you’ll be pleased to know that Trinity
Fellowship Church and the Episcopal Church of St. Peter and St. Mary are hosting
the Great Pumpkin Giveaway, on Sat., Oct. 22, 10a.m.-2p.m.
Your family is welcome to
come and select an orange orb of your choice (one per family) and enjoy a mug
of apple cider, all at no charge, in the courtyard of the Episcopal Church of
St. Peter and St. Mary, 126 W. 2nd Ave. For information, call 303-722-8781.
History Colorado will
present a trio of events this month sure to get you in the mood for the season.Denver’s First Cemetery: A Haunted Tour, will take you back to when
Cheesman Park and its environs were the site of the City Cemetery.
On Sat., Oct. 22,
6-8p.m., you’ll learn that the modern uses of Cheesman Park, Congress Park and
the Denver Botanic Gardens fit nicely with ancient lore. Mother Nature’s
flora and fauna not only protect one from the apparitions of the night, but enable one to see and speak with them.
for the tour cost $20 for members of the Colorado Historical Society, and $25
to the lavish Grant-Humphreys Mansion, 770 Pennsylvania St., on Mon., Oct. 24,
5-9p.m., as Colorado’s premier historian, Dr. Tom Noel, hosts Capitol Hill
This annual fundraiser
blends refreshments and tall tales by storytellers including Mark Twain, Mary
Elitch, Edgar Allan Poe, Elizabeth Byers, J.J. and “Unsinkable” Margaret Brown,
Alferd Packer, Mattie Silks and other exhumed eccentrics. Libations and light
food are included.
Cost for this memorable
and macabre evening is $45 for Historical Society members and $55 for
OLD SOUTH GAYLORD STREET HALLOWEEN SAFE STREET has delighted youngsters with delectable treats for nearly three decades. Gaylord Street businesses will display all sorts of holiday hoopla; the 1000 block of South Gaylord will be closed to traffic on Halloween, 4-7p.m.
what Halloween would be complete without a walk through an active graveyard?
History Colorado’s 23rd annual Halloween Cemetery Crawl visits Fairmount
Cemetery, 430 S. Quebec St., Sat., Oct. 29, 1-4p.m.
Voltaire called history “a
trick we play on the dead.” Tom “Dr. Colorado” Noel, City Auditor Dennis
Gallagher, and a cast of all-star CU-Denver students explore that idea with a
walking tour of Colorado’s biggest boneyard. Students portray occupants from
mayors to madams, including Polly Pry, John Wesley Iliff, Helen and May
Bonfils, and Jennie Rogers. Walk, or ride the tour with the Model A Ford Club
of Colorado’s tombstone taxi service (weather permitting).
Tickets cost $25 for
members and $30 for nonmembers. All of the above History Colorado tours require
advance registration. To reserve a space, call 303-866-4686.
The writings of Edgar
Allan Poe take the spotlight when the Byers-Evans House Museum, 1310 Bannock
St., presents An Evening with Edgar Allan Poe, Fri.-Sun., Oct. 14-Nov.
The two-time winner of Westword’s
“Best of Denver,” An Evening with Edgar Allan Poe is presented by the
Byers-Evans House Theatre Company. Stories include The Masque of the Red
Death, The Black Cat, The Cask of Amontillado, The Tell-Tale
Heart, and many others.
The play shows Fri.-Sat.,
at 7:30p.m., with Sun. matinees at 2:30p.m. A special
Halloween performance will be held on Mon., Oct. 31, at 7:30p.m. Tickets are
$16. For reservations, call 303-620-4933.
For a different, more
lighthearted spin on Halloween, head north of City Park to the Denver Zoo’s
27th annual Boo At The Zoo.
This year’s event begins
with an After Dark Boo At The Zoo, Fri., Oct. 28, 6-9p.m. Join
the Zoo’s nocturnal creatures during this special Boo! Kids will find
trick-or-treat stations throughout the Zoo, as well as creepy crawly animal
demonstrations and exciting family-friendly entertainment.
The fun continues on
Sat.-Sun., Oct. 29-30, 9a.m.-5p.m., when Boo At The Zoo returns for its
traditional daytime run. The weekend will be filled with tricks, treats,
entertainment and fun against a backdrop of the Zoo’s brilliant fall foliage.
Admission to the Friday
night After Dark Boo At The Zoo is $15 for adults and $10 for ages 3-12.
Member adults pay $10, with child members paying $5. Advance purchase is
required as this event sells out quickly. Admission to the weekend Boo At
The Zoo is included in the regular zoo fee. For information, call
303-376-4800 or visit denverzoo.org.
The merchants of Old South
Pearl Street will once again welcome revelers to show off their costumes and
haul in some booty at A Spooktacular Halloween, Sun., Oct. 30,
9a.m.-1p.m., in the 1500 block of Old South Pearl Street.
Costumed celebrants will
gather up holiday treats and join in old-fashioned games (think
bobbing-for-apples). Prizes will be awarded in a variety of best costume
categories for kids and dogs alike.
If you think your
festooned pooch is worthy of recognition, register Fido or Fidette at The Whole
Cat & Dogs, Too, 1540 S. Pearl St., by 11a.m. Judging for the Dog Costume
Contest will take place in front of the shop at 11:30a.m. While not every dog
can be declared The Best, there will be treats and goodie bags for all.
Children wishing to enter
in the Kids Costume Contest judging should meet at the north end of the 1500
block at noon, where they will parade to Cameron Church, 1600 S. Pearl St.
Judges will award prizes for best Homemade, Halloween Theme, Person, Thing and
The Kids Costume Contest is sponsored by the Platt Park People’s
Association (3PA). Participants are requested to bring a canned food
donation for the Cameron Church food bank. For information, call Nicole Jarman,
of Denver’s longest running fright night traditions returns on Halloween night
as the Old South Gaylord Street Halloween Safe Street returns for its
28th year. The 1000 block of S. Gaylord St. will be closed to traffic
from 4-7p.m. to allow children and parents safe passage to the dozens of
trick-or-treat stations lining both sides of the street.
Merchants will fill the
kids’ treat bags with all manner of appropriate edibles and nonedibles, while
local restaurants and festival food trucks stand at the ready to sate your
family’s thirst and hunger with more substantial sustenance.
Included in the fun this
year will be the inaugural Howl-a-ween Dog Costume Contest and Parade.
Participants will gather at L’il Angel Pet Boutique, 1014 S. Gaylord St., at
3p.m., and strut the block for all to see. A variety of prizes will be awarded
for creative costumery.
more information, call the South Gaylord Event Hotline, 303-575-1130.