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35 family-friendly events in Denver this week

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As Halloween draws closer, don’t miss Glow at the Gardens, Pumpkin Nights, Cirque Italia and more. See our event calendar for full listings.

Glow at the Gardens at the Denver Botanic Gardens
Oct 17  –  25
Glow at the Gardens lights up the night with hundreds of carved, glowing jack-o’-lanterns. Luminaria-lined pathways wind through the Gardens to reveal larger-than-life pumpkin displays. Seasonal food and beverages are available for purchase.

Pumpkin Nights
Oct 17 – Nov 4
Pumpkin Nights will launch its interactive Halloween experience unlike anything else in Denver for the first time! Taking place at the Adams County Fair and Regional Park Complex, Pumpkin Nights invites visitors or “Pumpkinheads” to journey into the world of Pumpkin Nights with dazzling, multi-sensory Halloween displays and eight Pumpkin Lands created with over 3,000 hand-carved pumpkins and funkins.

Free Day at Mizel Museum
Oct 18, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
The Mizel Museum, an educational, nonprofit organization, is Denver’s only museum that addresses today’s social justice issues through the lens of Jewish history and values. We encourage people of all ages and backgrounds to celebrate diversity and equality and to combat discrimination and hatred. Our programs, events and exhibits address these and other social issues and encourage positive change in our communities.

World Okapi Day at Denver Zoo
Oct 18, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Celebrate animals and learn more about ecosystems and the environment with Denver Zoo. *Included in regular admission

Cirque Italia at Town Center at Aurora
Oct 18 – Oct 21
Aquatic Spectacular offers two hours of high-end entertainment. Beautiful aerialists dazzle and shimmer on a chandelier high above the ground, but they aren’t the only ones that will draw your eyes toward the sky. You can expect to see contortion in a bubble, a Venetian aerial duo, and even someone hula hooping while in the air. Don’t worry about getting your eyes checked, you aren’t seeing double; there are TWO lasermen. Duo jugglers, duo roller-skaters, the always breathtaking wheel of death………the list goes on and on.

Piff the Magic Dragon at Comedy Works South at the Landmark
Oct 19 – 28
Think Larry David in a dragon suit performing jaw-dropping magic tricks, with the World’s First Magic Performing Chihuahua (Mr Piffles), that’s Piff the Magic Dragon! With over 40 million YouTube hits to his name, Piff has performed to fans all over the world. He stole the show on Penn & Teller: Fool Us and became the breakout star of season 10 of NBC’s America’s Got Talent. *All Ages Family Shows on Saturday & Sunday 3:00pm.

Enchanted Hollows at Denver Zoo
Oct 19 – 20
An eerie nighttime experience designed for families with children 8 and over that brings Halloween story and lore to life. Enchanted Hollows features Woodland Hollow, an immersive night walk, Jack-o-lantern sculptures and spooky décor; seasonal foods, beer, wine and cocktails; animal meet-and greets and demonstrations; and trick or treat candy stations (Oct. 26 and 27 only).

Boo at the Zoo at Denver Zoo
Oct 20 – 21
The 34rd annual Boo At The Zoo, presented by Your Hometown Toyota Stores, offers creepy crawly animal demonstrations, trick-or-treat stations and exciting, family-friendly entertainment under the canopy of the beautiful fall foliage of Denver Zoo. Boo at the Zoo is included in the price of regular Zoo admission, or covered under membership, as applicable.

Indoor Trick-or-Treating at Butterfly Pavilion
Oct 20– 21
Come dressed in your best costumes to trick-or-treat through exhibits and enjoy free candy, prizes and crafts. This special, family-friendly event is included with General Admission. Free for members.

Inside the Orchestra’s Tiny Tots Performances at McNichols Civic Center Building, Denver Arts & Venues
Oct 20, 9:30 – 11:45 am
Tiny Tots gets children truly inside the orchestra by seating the audience on the floor and surrounding them with a 30+ piece orchestra, modern dancers, opera singer, and teaching artists. Designed for children six and under, this 45-minute program gives young ones the chance to interact with the music and learn about the instruments in the process. Tiny Tots audiences receive an up-close-and-personal performance in a casual, fun environment. The experience is one-of-a-kind!

“Boo” Brew Run with Front Range Brewing Company
Oct 20, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Wear your best costume, bring your kids and 4-legged buddies and join this social run/walk benefiting the Humane Society of Boulder Valley. Enjoy brews, delicious food, fun games and a big costume contest.

Repticon Denver
Oct 20, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Repticon Denver is a reptile event featuring vendors offering reptile pets, supplies, feeders, cages, and merchandise as well as live animal seminars and frequent free raffles for coveted prizes. Exciting, educational, family-oriented fun for everyone!

Trick or Treat Train at Colorado Railroad Museum
Oct 20 – 28
The Railroad Halloween Town is a safe place to enjoy Trick or Treating. Catch a ride behind a historic Denver & Rio Grande Steam Locomotive in vintage passenger cars hosted by conductors and engineers in full costume. Visit all of the special stops to fill your treat bags and tickle your funny bones including the “not so spooky” Haunted Railcar and the Olde Railroaders Silly Graveyard. Enjoy local food, kettle corn, shaved ice and even get your face painted. Finally, get a great picture of your costume as you pose in front of our Pumpkin Patch cart.

World Singing Day
Oct 20, 10:45 am – 1:00 pm
Come out for a free Jeff and Paige concert followed by a Kid Parade then a Singalong for all ages.  We couldn’t be more excited for our 1st World Singing Day. This is a global movement that got its start (and still keeps its roots) right here in Boulder. For all ages and singing abilities.

Halloween Harvest Festival
Oct 20, 12:00 – 8:00 pm
Mark your calendars for Westminster’s new and improved Halloween Harvest Festival! This family-friendly event is bigger and better than ever because this year, it will now be combined with another one of Westminster’s signature events—the annual Westy Fest that is usually held each August. Bring the whole family to kick off the fall season with free carnival games, trick-or-treating, a hot-air balloon glow, live musical performances by local bands, a beer garden, food trucks, arts and crafts, jumping castles, local vendors, a bonfire and a barbeque competition. You can even pick out the perfect pumpkin at the pumpkin patch!

HSBC USA Women’s Sevens Series at Infinity Park Event Center
Oct 20 –  21
Rugby is Speed. Non-stop action. Physicality. See the best of the best on display at HSBC USA World Rugby Women’s 7s Series at Infinity Park at Glendale October 20-21, 2018 when 12 international teams compete for qualification to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

Denver Nuggets vs. Phoenix Suns at Pepsi Center
Oct 20, 7:00 – 10:00 pm
The Denver Nuggets face off against the Phoenix Suns.

Monster Bash Halloween Party at Curtis Hotel
Oct 20, 8:00 – 11:00 pm
Ghouls, superheroes & princesses unite: The Curtis – a DoubleTree by Hilton & Pop Culture Classroom are hosting Denver’s most spooktacular event of the Halloween season, the all-ages Monster Bash Halloween Partyon Saturday, Oct. 20th.  The Halloween party will feature video game stations, dancing to DJ There’s an Ape for That, special appearances by favorite movie monsters & spooky characters, a silent movie and more. Guests can enjoy “dino trick or treating,” with the chance to win free Denver Comic Con and Pop Culture Classroom items.

Family Workshops: Traditions of Día de los Muertos: Sugar Skulls at Denver Botanic Gardens
Oct 21, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Join us as we explore the cultural traditions of Día de los Muertos. Learn how to make and decorate sugar skulls as you discover the cultural significance of these important icons. Each person can make and take home two sugar skulls.

FREE Fall Flannel Festival at Dairy Block
Oct 21, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
 Dairy Block & Denver Milk Market will celebrate the changing of the seasons with a special FREE Fall Flannel Festival on Sunday, Oct. 21st from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.  This community event – held in the Dairy Block Alley, Denver’s first pedestrian alleyway – will feature a festive line-up of events for all ages, including free face painting and balloon art, live music, games, an urban pumpkin patch, a live pumpkin carving artist and more.

Good Vibrations: Lamont Percussion Ensemble
Oct 21, 2:00 – 3:30 pm
Clap your hands and tap your feet while learning about rhythm and the sound patterns that create music. This free family-friendly musical afternoon, presented by Friends of Chamber Music, features the Lamont Percussion Ensemble performing West African/North Indian hand drumming, David Friedman’s “Carousel” for marimba and vibraphone, and Steve Reich’s “Clapping Music.”

Denver Nuggets vs. Golden State Warriors at Pepsi Center
Oct 21, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
The Denver Nuggets face off against the Golden State Warriors!

Inside the Orchestra’s Tiny Tots Performances at National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)
Oct 23, 9:30 am – 12:30 pm
Tiny Tots gets children truly inside the orchestra by seating the audience on the floor and surrounding them with a 30+ piece orchestra, modern dancers, opera singer, and teaching artists. Designed for children six and under, this 45-minute program gives young ones the chance to interact with the music and learn about the instruments in the process. Tiny Tots audiences receive an up-close-and-personal performance in a casual, fun environment. The experience is one-of-a-kind!

Denver Nuggets vs. Sacramento Kings at Pepsi Center
Oct 23, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
The Denver Nuggets face off against the Sacramento Kings!

Disney in Concert: Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas at Boettcher Concert Hall in the Denver Performing Arts Complex
Oct 24  – 25
See one of Tim Burton’s most celebrated films like never before! Disney’s full-feature film The Nightmare Before Christmas will be projected on the big screen with dialogue, singing, and effects accompanied by Danny Elfman’s darkly charming score, played live by your Colorado Symphony. Families are welcome and costumes are encouraged.

Colorado Avalanche vs. Tampa Bay Lightning at Pepsi Center
Oct 24, 7:30 – 10:00 pm
Colorado Avalanche vs. Tampa Bay Lightning at Pepsi Center!

Ongoing Events and Exhibits

Haunted Field of Screams
Sept 21 – Oct 31
 On Friday, September 21, the Haunted Field of Screams (HFOS) opens as an all-new scream park for the 2018 season. Built into a 40-acre corn field, HFOS will deliver a daunting indoor/outdoor haunt experience only 15 minutes from downtown Denver at 10451 McKay Road, Thornton, CO.  Backing the famously haunted Riverdale Road, the scream park offers four contrasting interactive haunt experiences that prey on individual’s innermost fears: Dead Man’s Maze, Zombie Paintball Massacre, CarnEvil and Condemned.

Corn Maze at Botanic Gardens Chatfield
Sept 21 – Oct 28
Wind your way through seven acres of corn. The maze can be viewed from two 15-foot tall illuminated bridges. Visitors under the age of 10 can explore the corn mini-maze.
In an effort to reduce waste, printed maps will not be available at the mazes.

Maize in the City
Sept 28– Oct 31
Maize in the City is Colorado’s favorite rural fall event featuring convenient, fun attractions for the whole family to enjoy. Get lost in your own backyard as you navigate your way through the 20-acre corn maze or mini maze. Find your perfect pumpkin in our easy-pick field. Locally grown by the Maize in the City farmer, choose from 15 variety of pumpkins and gourds. Launch ears of corn 50+ feet across the field with our all-new corn launchers; have your little ones ride through the field on the barrel train; take a turn on our obstacle bouncer. All new this year, bounce above the corn stalks on our pumpkin bounce pillow – the largest in the state! Visit and feed animals in our petting zoo. Swim through our free corn kernel box as the all-new corn kernel waterfall pours over or have your kiddos take a turn conquering the free playground area. Experience hours of family fun just 15 minutes outside of downtown Denver.

Fright Fest at Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park
Sept 28 – Oct 28
In October, Elitch Gardens transforms into Family By Day and Fright By Night, plus all your favorite Theme Park rides. Don’t miss out on five weekends of scary fun at Colorado’s largest Halloween event!

BUGTOBER at the Butterfly Pavilion
October 1-31
Overwhelming pain, paralysis and death in a matter of minutes – real peril lurks with the fangs, barbs and stingers of the spineless. Move over sharks – these animals and plants give danger a whole new meaning! Safely see these toxic terrors at Colorado’s Butterfly Pavilion during BUGTOBER, a Halloween-themed event where their most intimidating invertebrates take center stage.

Mindbender Mansion
July 20 – January 6, 2019
Love brainteasers? Enter “Mindbender Mansion,” a quirky place full of puzzles, brainteasers and interactive challenges that put minds of all ages to the test. This unique, high-energy experience opened at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science on July 20.

Denver Art Museum
There are several family-friendly exhibits at the DAM including Stampede: Animals in Art on view at the museum through May 19, 2019.  A Walk in the Woods is still on view, which coincides with Stampede, and includes animal-themed artmaking activities and after their summer break, Foxy & Shmoxy: Art Detectives, are back.  Children have been really loving the gallery games and book in the exhibition Ganesha: The Playful Protector. Their Learning & Engagment department created a children’s book specially to be used while visiting this exhibition with children, and don’t miss Past the Tangled Present. Go to for more information.

AI Weiwei: Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads
Oct. 18, 2017–Oct. 17, 2018
The 12 bronze heads of Ai Weiwei’s Circle of Animals represent the 12 animals of the traditional Chinese zodiac. See it for free at Civic Center Park!

Zoom In: The Centennial State in 100 Objects
Nov. 21, 2017–Dec. 31, 2018
History Colorado created a brand-new space, the Tim Schultz Gallery, to house this 3,700-square-foot exhibit of 100 objects, each of which had a role in shaping history.

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