Boulder gets so spirited every October.
By day, wander through pumpkin patches, hop on wagon rides, pick your own gourds and try to make it through corn mazes. By night, the cornfields crank up the creepy factor, with scary hayrides, haunted houses and spooky, outdoor labyrinths in the dark. You’ll find zombie paintball hunts and more, especially if you’re brave enough to break out of the Boulder bubble for the bigger haunted houses in the Denver area, like 13th Floor and City of the Dead & Asylum.
Denver is also home to other exciting events, like Zombie Prom at Union Station, the Denver Witches’ Ball, the Alice in Wonderland Halloween Tea Party, Pumpkin Nights Denver (a “pumpkin city,” pirate’s cove and more fantastical lands built using more than 3,000 hand-carved real and synthetic pumpkins), Glow at the Gardens and the Great Gatsby Zombie Ball.
The Shining Ball at the (supposedly) haunted Stanley Hotel in nearby Estes Park is considered one of the state’s top Halloween bases. The Stanley also hosts murder mystery dinners (sold out), a masquerade ball (sold out), a Devotchka Halloween Black Tie Ball on Nov. 1 and various ghost tours.
But if you’re looking to make the month extra entertaining by staying closer to Boulder, here are a few of our favorite, local Halloween highlights for 2019.
Munchkin Masquerade: The best door to trick-or-treat at isn’t on a house. It’s the entrance of the Pearl Street Mall in downtown Boulder. Thousands of goblins, superheroes and animals flock to the pedestrian mall every Halloween for the biggest family-friendly Halloween event of the year: Downtown Boulder’s Munchkin Masquerade.
This year, it runs 3-6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 31. The child-friendly event is not a parade, although it feels like an unofficial one, as the nearby streets shut down and people march along the mall, stopping at the decorated doors of more than 100 local businesses that participate. Workers in costume stand in the doorways passing out candy. Some offer free activities like face painting, coloring or haunted houses.
Read more about the Munchkin Masquerade here.
Halloween Parade and Trick or Treat Street: Longmont does Halloween with its annual Halloween Parade on Saturday, Sept. 26. Dress up the kids and wander through downtown, trick-or-treating at the participating shops. Join the parade at 10 a.m. if you want. Anyone is invited to walk (or ride in a wagon or stroller) and be a part of the show.
Also in Longmont, check out the Spooky Village at the Peaks on the same day for free, family-friendly events, such as hayrides, craft stations, face painting, train rides, a carousel, trick-or-treating, live entertainment and portrait stations.
Adults might enjoy Longmont’s Haunt in the ‘Mont event that day, a “business crawl” with free treats, drinks, samples and coupons.
Halloween Carnival: Boulder does Halloween at the South Boulder Recreation Center, 1360 Gillaspie Drive, with its annual Halloween carnival from 3-5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25. It’s a community-wide, family-friendly event. Kids older than 3 cost $5, but that includes a ton of carnival activities, such as a bouncy castle, games, crafts, face painting, snacks and more.
MonsterDash: All the spooky ghosts and goblins make you feel like running? Sunday, Oct. 27, is the MonsterDash race at the Louisville Community Park, 955 Bella Vista Drive. This year’s theme is Frankenstein. Come dressed like the famous monster, if you dare. The event begins with an expo at 1 p.m. A 10K run begins at 3 p.m., followed by a 5K fun run and then various kids’ races for shorter lengths. After all the action, head to a local bar for food, an awards ceremony, costume contest, pie-eating contest and trick-or-treating for kids.
Banjo Billy’s Ghost Tours: Throughout the month, you can celebrate Halloween by going on a ghost tour with Banjo Billy’s bus. You’ll visit Boulder’s best haunts, from the supposedly haunted Hotel Boulderado to the Boulder Creek. Banjo Billy does ghost story tours Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons in October. You can also book private ghost tours. Get more info and buy your tickets online, but move fast; these events usually sell out. Banjo Billy also runs Denver ghost tours.
Sleepy Hollow: A Halloween Circus Tale: Broomfield’s Iluminar Aerial brings the Halloween spirit to the sky with its Halloween circus show. Watch dancers and aerialists bring the classic Headless Horseman tale to new life with this family-friendly show. It runs 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25, and 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26. Get tickets online.
Exotica Erotica: For adults, Boulder’s Exotica Erotica party has had various incarnations over the years, but it claims to be Colorado’s longest-running masquerade ball. It’s back again this year at The Riverside, 1724 Broadway. The event, Oct. 26, includes dancing, live DJs, live entertainment, burlesque, aerialists, kink and fetish stations, a “sensual lounge,” a costume contest and more. This adults-only, “hedonistic” Halloween party event starts at 9 p.m. Naughty costumes are welcome and encouraged.
Bella Morte: Longmont is home to one of the most exciting Halloween shows, Bella Morte, put on by Vertical Fusion at the Dickens Opera House. Catch two shows, one at 5 p.m. and a more risque version, complete with a costume contest and after-party, starting at 8 p.m. The artistic, athletic and sexy pole and aerial show aims to be “a celebration of beautiful death and what is to be found when there is no yesterday and no tomorrow.”
Fall Harvest at the Ranch: Want to celebrate Halloween with a little more pumpkin and a little less monster? Head to the Harvest. The event is all about fall from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12. You’ll find fall-themed activities, like games, crafts and music.
Creepy Walk in the Woods: Head north to the foothills of Loveland for an outdoor walk like no other. Join the Creepy Walk in the Woods through the open space near the Devil’s Backbone. The adult-only walk along Savage Road has supernatural walks six nights a year this fall.