Whether your kids are ready for a scare or just want to play dress up, Halloween is a magical time to enjoy with little ones. From costume parades and trick-or-treating to crafts and spooky attractions, here are nine kid-friendly ways to celebrate. After all, you didn’t spend all that time on a costume for nothing!
Spook level: Halloween isn’t even haunted yet
This local farm promises a full day of good old-fashioned fall fun. Visit animals in a petting zoo, explore the corn maze, and don’t forget to take a hay ride out to the pumpkin patch, where your ideal jack-o-lantern-to-be awaits.
Saturdays and Sundays in October, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Mile High Farms, 11 Cavanaugh Road, Bennett; ticket prices vary
Kids can get crafty making skeletons, spiders, and ghosts before they visit more than 10 different treat houses, filled with goodies. Costumes are encouraged at this classic festival—but kids as young as a few months old are welcome, so please keep your scary masks at home.
Friday to Sunday, October 23–25, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Children’s Museum of Denver, 2121 Children’s Museum Dr.; ticket prices vary
For two weekends, the zoo offers more than penguins and elephants—though they’ll be performing too. In addition to attending animals shows and pumpkin-carving demos, your little munchkins can show off their costumes at more than 25 treat stations throughout the zoo.
Saturday and Sunday, October 24–25; Saturday and Sunday, October 31 and November 1, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Denver Zoo, 2300 Steele St.; $12–$17
While festive tunes like “Monster Mash” set the mood, kids can meet Elsa and other special guests or watch a magic show performed by Cody Landstrom. Then little Draculas and Darth Vaders can strut their stuff at a costume parade—they might even win a gift card to Milk Box Ice Creamery.
Thursday, October 29, 4 to 7 p.m.; Union Station, 1701 Wynkoop St.; free
This is not your average candy hunt—costumed conductors will take you and your kids on a locomotive journey through all the treat-filled stops of the Railroad Halloween town. Plus, even the littlest kids can enjoy the haunts at the Olde Railroaders’ silly graveyard.
Saturday, October 31, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Colorado Railroad Museum, 17155 W. 44th Ave., Golden; ticket prices vary
Spook level: Just a couple skeletons
Your kids might have seen shadow puppets before, but they’ve never seen a show like this. They’ll love watching the Silhouettes, a shadow theatre group previously featured on America’s Got Talented, perform the adventurous tale of a shadow named Spook.
Friday and Saturday, October 23–24, 7 to 9 p.m.; Sunday, October 25, 1 to 3 p.m.; Shadowlight Theatre, 5525 W. 56th Ave., #300, Arvada; $28
At this colorful cultural celebration, children will enjoy making their own calaveras or getting their faces painted to look like one. Then, they’ll be captivated by a collection of folk tales performed by local nonprofit Spellbinders.
Sunday, November 1, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Denver Botanic Gardens, 1001 York St.; ticket prices vary
Spook level: Goosebumps
This maze isn’t haunted, but it’s still pretty scary if you’re afraid of the dark! Using only a glow stick, the bravest little explorers can find their way through this 8-acre labyrinth. Note: No Halloween costumes or masks are allowed.
Thursdays October 22 and 29, 7 to 10 p.m; Friday and Saturday, October 23–24 and 30–31, 7 to 11 p.m.; Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms, 8500 W. Deer Creek Canyon Rd., Littleton; $8–$13 (kids 2 and under are free)
If your kid is more Wednesday Addams than Pollyanna, this might be her idea of story time. At the library, listen as storyteller Patrick McWilliams shares tales filled with supernatural suspense. Then head to the museum for an after-hours exploration of the park by lantern light.
Friday, October 30, 4 to 8 p.m.; Summit County Library, 37 Peak One Dr., Frisco; Historic Park Museum, 120 Main St., Frisco; free