Twenty of the Best Kid-Friendly Halloween Celebrations

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Children's Museum of Denver.
Join the Children's Museum of Denver this weekend for its popular annual Trick or Treat Street.
Halloween is a holiday celebrated by all ages, but being a kid this time of year is something special. And from costume contests to magical worlds that only appear during the spooky season, the city is packed with places where hardcore candy seekers can get their sugar fix, little ones will find fun and games and older kids might discover more haunting experiences. Check the Westword calendar for a full listing of events throughout October, and keep reading for the best kid-friendly parties and events that everyone from toddlers to teens can enjoy.

See also: Twenty of the Best Adults-Only Halloween Parties

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HOOTenanny Lands at Audubon Center at Chatfield Saturday

Categories: Childhood, Family

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Audubon Society of Greater Denver's Facebook page
The Audubon Center at Chatfield

So, you've got a kid, huh? Whether it's your own rambunctious preschooler or the bratty nephew you've been charged with keeping alive for the next five hours, the most important thing is leaving your house where valuables are liable to be destroyed and seeking refuge on somebody else's property. In this series, we'll be exploring fun, local, and quirky spots that are kid-tastic and adult-friendly, too.

"Owls," says Karl Brummert, executive director of the Audubon Society of Greater Denver, "are fascinating, mystifying and intriguing to all ages." At this year's fourth annual HOOTenanny -- which runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, September 27 at the Audubon Center at Chatfield -- parents and their kiddos will get up close and personal with real Colorado owls from Wild Wings Environmental Education. Sounds like a hoot!

See also: Denver Area's Ten Coolest Free Fountains


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Photos: The Amazing Acro-Cats Rock and Roll at the Bug Theatre

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Feline-o-philes of all ages purr with joy whenever the Amazing Acro-Cats slink into town because, you know -- cats playing guitars and riding skateboards and stuff. Animal trainer Samantha Martin has parked her cat bus in front of the Bug Theatre for a run of performances inside, continuing Thursdays through Sundays through August 10. Here's a taste of what to expect if you go, courtesy of photographer Ken Hamblin.

See also: FashioNation Leaves 13th Avenue After 27 Years but Will Live On at a New Denver Location

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PlatteForum celebrates Hero Lab, a kid-created graphic novel, with free party Friday

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PlatteForum's Facebook page
PlatteForum staff and students in action.

So, you've got a kid, huh? Whether it's your own rambunctious preschooler or the bratty nephew you've been charged with keeping alive for the next five hours, the most important thing is leaving your house where valuables are liable to be destroyed and seeking refuge on somebody else's property. In this series, we'll be exploring fun and quirky local spots that are kid-tastic and adult-friendly, too.

This summer at PlatteForum, thirteen at-risk high-school students partnered with Colfax Community Network (CCN), an organization advocating for children and families residing in transient housing along Colfax Avenue, to collaborate with 25 kids, all ages six to eleven, and create a graphic novel. It was all part of PlatteForum's annual ArtLab summer literacy program. The result is a non-linear graphic adventure filled with goofy stories in various settings -- everything from prehistoric to outer space -- that challenge readers to consider what, exactly, makes somebody a hero.

See also: Boulder's Meadow Music offers a fun way for families to connect with nature and each other


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Rise of the Undead Redhead, the first tween roller-derby book, rolls out today

Categories: Childhood, Family

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Dorothy's Derby Chronicles Facebook page

So, you've got a kid, huh? Whether it's your own rambunctious preschooler or the bratty nephew you've been charged with keeping alive for the next five hours, the most important thing is leaving your house where valuables are liable to be destroyed and seeking refuge on somebody else's property. In this series, we'll be exploring fun, local, and quirky spots that are kid-tastic and adult-friendly, too.

Roller derby, the fastest-growing sport in the world, is not just for grownups anymore. In fact, thousands of young girls across the globe are playing roller derby, benefiting from the powerful messages of teamwork, body confidence and strength that derby delivers. As the Rocky Mountain Rollergirls celebrate ten years of rolling strong, teammate and debut author Meghan Dougherty, who goes by Undertaker's Daughter in the rink and works as a PR professional by day, is launching the first book in a young-adult (designed for ages nine to twelve) series that's all about the wild world of roller derby.

See also: Boulder's Meadow Music offers a fun way for families to connect with nature and each other


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Boulder's Meadow Music offers a fun way for families to connect with nature and each other

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So, you've got a kid, huh? Whether it's your own rambunctious preschooler or the bratty nephew you've been charged with keeping alive for the next five hours, the most important thing is leaving your house where valuables are liable to be destroyed and seeking refuge on somebody else's property. In this series, we'll be exploring fun, local, and quirky spots that are kid-tastic and adult-friendly, too.

The award-winning Meadow Music officially kicked off its 2014 summer season with a show on June 2, when hundreds of adults and kiddos spent the evening rocking out, Colorado-style. Now in its tenth year, this free, interactive, evening-time children's program pairs lively, open-air concerts with kid-friendly hikes -- a beloved local tradition that's sponsored by Boulder's Open Space & Mountain Parks.

See also: Shelly Coffman's beauty line, Poppy Drops, helps kids grow up -- but not too quickly


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Paul Reiser on his Sundance film and returning to standup after twenty years

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To anyone who grew up watching too much basic cable in the '80s and '90s, the sight of Paul Reiser cracking wise is comfortingly familiar. Whether on contemporary classics like Aliens and Diner or the long-running and widely syndicated sitcom Mad About You, chances are good that Reiser's face is on a television somewhere at this exact moment.

Not one to rest on his considerable laurels, however, Reiser is currently in the midst of a mid-career renaissance, appearing in several upcoming movies and honing his standup act in clubs across the country. In town this weekend to headline Comedy Works' South club, Reiser talked with Westword about his role in the Sundance Film Festival smash Whiplash, the lasting influence of Aliens, and his experience returning to the stage after a twenty-year hiatus from standup.

See also: Bobby Lee on Hollywood's lack of Asian roles, sobriety and an ambush from a naked fan

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Tom Edwards on Wallyware, the unofficial O.J. trial pottery, and a year of free ice cream

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Me with my dad and sister in 1991, painting pottery-shipping boxes.
Ever since I could speak, I've always been proud to tell people about my dad's job. He makes pottery for a living, running a business out of a converted garage studio connected to my parents' Evergreen home. From here he throws, decorates, fires in a kiln, and ships out his handmade plates, bowls and mugs to art galleries around the country. Though he started out creating fine art pottery with colorful glazes, my dad really built his business around Wallyware, pottery decorated with one-panel comic strips that range from political humor to pop culture references, many centered on a fictional dog named Wally.

In honor of Father's Day and the guy who taught me that you really can make a living doing what you love (in addition to teaching me how to walk), I interviewed my dad, Tom Edwards, about his pottery business, how he came to be the official potter for the O.J. Simpson trial, and the time his art won our family a year's supply of ice cream.

See also: Artist and writer: An interview with my brother, painter Evan Kutz

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Ten places to chill this summer in Denver

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Step inside the Forney Museum and cool off with some cool cars.
With the temperatures heating up, finding cool, fun places in Denver to beat the heat is a necessity. From the chilled out vibe and atmosphere of Laserium at Gates Planetarium to the delicious, icy treats and prime people-watching of Sweet Action Ice Cream, there is lots to do inside while taking a break from the outside.

Our Summer Guide, which hit the streets last Thursday inside the regular issue of Westword, has information on hundreds of events, as well as this list of ten places in the city to chill out. Keep reading for our picks.

See also: Ten don't-miss mountain festivals in Colorado

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Shelly Coffman's beauty line, Poppy Drops, helps kids grow up -- but not too quickly

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So, you've got a kid, huh? Whether it's your own rambunctious preschooler or the bratty nephew you've been charged with keeping alive for the next five hours, the most important thing is leaving your house where valuables are liable to be destroyed and seeking refuge on somebody else's property. In this series, we'll be exploring fun, local, and quirky spots that are kid-tastic and adult-friendly, too.

Spend an afternoon with my eight-year-old neighbor, and you'll quickly see that with some little ones, any attempts to ban glitz and glam are futile. Enter Poppy Drops, Creative Child Magazine 2013 Product of the Year, the cutesy new beauty brand that lets spunky kiddos be their wonderful, unique selves by indulging their affinity for grown-up accessories in a safe and age-appropriate fashion. The idea was born when Poppy Drops creator Shelly Coffman, class-action litigator turned mom-trepreneur, wanted to provide her daughter with a harmless alternative to that permanent -- and often painful! -- rite of passage known as pierced ears. Fashioning temporary tattoo earrings, Coffman paved the way for her current line of trendy, temporary and wonderfully glamorous gear.

See also: Janet Casson helps grownups make music with their kiddos


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