Good news! It’s officially October. Complete justification for grabbing a few bags of the Halloween candy that’s been on display since August. And after you’ve acquired your sweet stash—which, no doubt, will go untouched until the 31st—use our suggestions below to plan an entire month of monstrously good fun. Venture to places like the Denver Zoo or stay close to home; Stepping Stone and the south Metro area offer plenty to enjoy this time of year.
Pumpkin Festival at Chatfield Farms Oct. 7-9, 9am-5pm
Selecting the perfect future jack-o’-lantern from a 10-acre pumpkin patch is one of many activities to enjoy at the annual Pumpkin Festival at Chatfield Farms. (If you don’t know, Chatfield Farms is the Denver Botanic Gardens’ 75-acre native plant refuge and working farm, not far from Stepping Stone.) Make a day of it with hay rides, face painting, games, antique tractor exhibits, arts and crafts booths, food, live music, and more. Get lost in the corn maze next door for an extra fee. Complimentary daycare for little pumpkins. Ticket prices range from free (2 and under) to $8. Learn more.
Fall Festival at Stepping Stone Saturday, October 22, 10am-1pm
Autumn inspires another of Stepping Stone’s many community events. The Fall Festival is a feast for the eyes when the Lantern House parking lot fills up with pumpkins. Each family in attendance may take home their favorite orange orb. Warm up with a latte or hot cocoa (also complimentary) served from The Espresso Affair’s copper cart.
Boo at the Zoo Oct. 22-23 and Oct. 29-30, 9am-5pm
For two weekends, the Denver Zoo gets (just a tad) spooky, offering 20 trick-or-treat stations, creepy crawly animal demonstrations, and oodles of family-friendly entertainment. Come in costume and enjoy not only the Halloween festivities, but visits with the zoo’s 4,000+ animals and ogle at the countless towering trees in their finest autumn glory. All activities are included in the price of admission ($12-17; free for ages 2 and under). Learn more.
Trek or Treat Off the Street Oct. 29 10am- 4pm
Snow in Denver on Halloween is legendary. If you’d like to avoid that scenario, get a jump on the holiday, or simply collect twice during the season, try the safe, indoor version at Trek or Treat Off the Street. Held at CU South Denver, this event features booths stocked with candy and spooky toys, as well as a variety of activities including creepy-crawly crafts, live animals, a bounce house, and more for the entire family. $5 includes museum admission; free to museum annual pass holders. Learn more.
Trick or Treat on Mainstreet, Oct. 31 3:30pm -8:00 p.m.
Nothing brings a community together more than…candy! And costumes and flash mobs like last year’s, which was set to “Thriller.” Set off on a quest for sweets in O’Brien Park and on Mainstreet, where booths manned by local businesses reward trick-or-treaters. Bring your trick-or-treat bag and camera. This annual event is free and hosted by the Cherry Creek Valley Rotary Club. Learn more.