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Local Life

Choices abound for a family friendly Halloween

Cities, libraries, high schools and more celebrate the most haunted night of the year

Children go trick or treating at Wheat Ridge’s annual trunk or treat. This year’s event will be on Oct. 28
Children go trick or treating at Wheat Ridge’s annual trunk or treat. This year’s event will be on Oct. 28
Photo courtesy Localworks

It can be a bit nerve-wracking for parents to send their children out trick-or-treating when Halloween rolls around every year, with strangers around and visiting places they might not be familiar with.

But more and more cities, libraries and other organizations have stepped up over the years to provide a family-friendly experience that allows children to load up on candy, parents to keep an eye on them and hopefully have some fun themselves.

“We have businesses and families who come back year and year and get so creative,” said Ashley Holland, marketing and events coordinator with Wheat Ridge’s Localworks, which organizes the city’s Trunk or Treat event. “It’s a total community effort that brings everyone together to make something fun for everyone.”

There are a variety of options for a family searching for something to do. There are options like Wheat Ridge and Thornton, which offer trunk or treats — where people open up the trunks of their cars and decorate them — merchant trick-or-treat streets in cities like Arvada, Littleton and Golden, and community sponsored parties and trick-or-treat streets in cities like Highlands Ranch, Thornton and Castle Rock.

“We feel that it is important to offer safe, family friendly events during the year because Castle Rock is a cherished, sought-out and unique community,” said Heather Rossiter, special programs supervisor in the town’s parks and recreation department. “It’s safe, it’s family friendly. It’s where you know your neighbors.”

Castle Rock’s Spooktacular brings events for children like bounce houses, face-painting and games to the Miller Activity Complex, and from there, families can head over to the nearby amphitheater at Philip S. Miller Park for a harvest festival. The event features a pumpkin patch, hay bale maze, hay rides, mini-pumpkin painting, pumpkin carving and movies after sunset. There’s also local craft beer and food for the adults.

In Northglenn, the high school is transformed into a different theme every year — this year’s (the event’s 19th) theme is Beetlejuice, said Renae Lehr, public information officer with the Northglenn Police Department.

“It’s free and safe, which is great for everyone,” she added. “In previous years, more than 5,000 kids have received about 3,000 pounds of candy.”

Olde Town Arvada celebrates Halloween with its small businesses, who gift out candy to the children who come knocking. There’s also music and a costume contests with prizes.

“More than half of our business participate and give out candy,” said Samantha Geerdes, events manager with the Arvada Chamber. “Not only is the event safe for everyone, but it brings people in to see our businesses. And maybe they stay after the event and have dinner.”

In Wheat Ridge, the trunk or treat at Stevens Elementary is a way for businesses, nonprofits and individuals to gather and decorate cars in a variety of themes, from scary to Disney and much more.

“We have a tent haunted house that people set up in the parking lot, with members of the Wheat Ridge High School marching band volunteering as scarers,” Holland said. “We have so many volunteers who work together. My favorite part is not only seeing all the costumes the kids are in, but the car decorations that people do themselves.”


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