Halloween in Boulder…for the rest of us

After a beautiful September, October is here, and that means…HALLOWEEN is near!

For some, Halloween evokes thoughts of sexy costumes, debauchery-filled late night parties and super scary “haunted” activities. If, however, you have small children, as I do, the aforementioned notions are probably laughable, and you likely have no intention of being out after dark, even if “dark” begins at 6pm. For that crowd, here are some family-friendly Halloween activities that you might want to check out. The list isn’t exhaustive, but it should give you a good start:


WHEN: Sat & Sun, October 18 – 19, 9am-5pm
WHERE: Butterfly Pavilion, 6252 W. 104th Ave., Westminster
Come meet the Butterfly Pavilion’s creepiest crawliest friends while your kids scream around this safe, educational trick or treat street. This event, including games, costumes and candy, will have you bug out, just in time for Halloween. Check the Pavilion’s website for pricing. https://www.butterflies.org/calendar/bug-boo-0  

Kappa Halloween House

WHEN: Sunday, October 19, noon-4pm
WHERE: 1134 University Ave, Boulder
This is a great thing to do with younger kids! It is a safe, warm and very friendly Halloween event that the whole family can enjoy, plus another chance to wear costume if kids want. The CU KappaKappa Gamma girls open their huge and beautiful home up for all the little ones to spend some time trick-or-treating from room to room, doing crafts in their big dining rooms, playing games in their living room, reading Halloween stories and more! There is an entrance fee that is donated to their local charity, BoulderReads! You can spend a couple hours doing everything. Bring the family, a group of your kids’ friends and have a blast. Parking lot behind the sorority house is available. Cost is $6 per child.
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Halloween Carnival

When: Friday, October 24, 3-5pm
Where: South Boulder Recreation Center, 1360 Gillaspie Drive, Boulder
What: Bring your kiddos ages 3-8 to the gym at the South Boulder Recreation Center. Charge is $5 per child, which includes games, prizes, face painting, and more!  https://bouldercolorado.gov/parks-rec/halloween-carnival

Boo at the Denver Zoo    unnamed

When:  Saturday and Sunday October 25 & 26 from 9am-5pm
Where: The Denver Zoo, 2300 Steele Street, Denver
What: The Denver Zoo will have over 25 trick or treat stations, entertainment and special exhibits. Ride the merry go round or zoo train in costume! Regular zoo admission costs apply. I’ve done this with my son the past two years, and it’s great, but get there early before it gets too crowded with tiny tigers, superheroes and princesses.  http://www.denverzoo.org/events/boo-zoo


Trick or Treat Train

When:  Saturday and Sunday, October 25 – 26
Where: Colorado Railroad Museum17155 W. 44th Ave., Golden
What: According to the museum website: The Railroad Halloween Town is a safe place to enjoy Halloween. Catch a ride behind the historic locomotive in vintage passenger cars hosted by conductors and engineers in full costume. The Trick or Treat Train departs every 30 minutes between 10:00AM and 4:00PM. Visit all the Town’s special stops to fill your treat bags and tickle your funny bones. Try a visit to our “not so spooky” haunted railcar or the Olde Railroaders silly graveyard. And, get a great picture of your costume as you pause in front of our Pumpkin Patch. Museum members and kids under 2 are free. $5 for children, $15 for adults, $30 for families and $10 for seniors (over 60).  http://coloradorailroadmuseum.org/events/special-events/trick-or-treat-train/

Trick or Treat Street

When:  Friday – Sunday, October 24 – 26
Where:  Children’s Museum of Denver, 2121 Children’s Museum Dr., Denver
What: 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.      http://www.mychildsmuseum.org/events/trick-or-treat-street.aspx

  Munchkin Masquerade    

When: Friday, October 31, 3-6pm
Where: Pearl Street pedestrian mall
What: Dress up your little ones and bring them down to the Pearl Street Mall, where local businesses will be offering goodies unnamedat trick-or-treat stations. This is a tradition in our family, and my son loves it. You get to see all of your friends and neighbors and show
off your costumes without having to edge too close to bedtime or worry about crossing lots of streets. And it’s free!  http://www.boulderdowntown.com/events/munchkin-masquerade

(This photo is from last year’s Munchkin Masquerade. The little dalmatian on the left belongs to me. I’ll get better pictures this year.)

Wondering where to buy costumes for all of these fun events?

If you’re like me, you really don’t relish spending loads of cash on an ensemble your child will wear only once (or maybe more than once, but only for a week). Thrift stores are the best for used costumes, or articles of clothing you can compile to create your own goulish look, but Boulder also boasts some noteworthy costume shops. Some places to check out in our area:

Savers – 695 S. Broadway, Boulder www.savers.com Savers has a great selection of costumes, costume accessories, and various clothing items that can be turned into costumes at the fraction of the price of some of the larger costume distributors.

Childish Things – 3183 Walnut Street, Boulder http://www.childishthingsconsign.com/ Childish Things is a consignment shop mostly for children’s items, but occasionally has maternity and mom clothes as well. The selection of costumes varies, so go soon if you want your pick!

Once Upon a Child – 700 Ken Pratt, Longmont http://www.onceuponachild.com/ Once Upon a Child has a great selection of kids’ clothing and often costumes as well. And always lots of fairy wings!

Theatrical Costumes, Etc. – 669 S. Broadway, Boulder http://theatricalcostumesetc.com/ Theatrical Costumes, Etc (as well as their Annex across the parking lot) has a lot of great costumes and accessories. They can be a bit pricey, but if they carry the outfit or item you have your heart set on, it may be worth it. I often find it to be a great place for accessories to really make the outfit I put together from clothing pieces I found at Savers.

Halloween Costume Depot 2798 Arapahoe Ave, Boulder. Description: This perennial treasure trove of Halloween costumes is a great place to go if you just want one-stop shopping and don’t mind paying a little more for it. Great selection.

I don’t have any personal experience with Candy’s or the Ritz, but their window displays are always fun and appealing, and their websites show lots of interesting possibilities:

Candy’s Vintage Clothing and Costumes – 2512 Broadway, Boulder http://candysboulder.com/

The Ritz Costumes – 959 Walnut Street, Boulder http://www.theritzcostumes.com/The_Ritz/Welcome.html

And, of course, if you just want regular retail costumes, Target and Old Navy are great and affordable places to find the standards.

Target – 2800 Pearl Street, Boulder/ 400 Marshall Road, Superior/ 551 S. Hover Road, Longmont www.target.com

Old Navy – Flatiron Crossing Mall www.oldnavy.com    


Article by Michelle Kalinski

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