Eat (and Drink!) Your Brains Out

BY Steph Wilson


Eat (and Drink!) Your Brains Out

Denver loves Halloween—maybe more than any other holiday, we can’t say for sure. What we can say is that there are some spectacular spooky-themed pop-up bars, murder mystery dinners, and Día de Los Muertos celebrations happening all around town this month. We’ve rounded up some of our fear-inducing favorites here. 

Burton’s Halloween Bar at Zeppelin Station, Through Oct. 31

Burton’s Halloween Bar

This immersive Tim Burton-themed bar is taking over Zeppelin Station for the month of October. Tickets include a boozy welcome drink, 90 minutes at the Halloween-themed bar complete with Ghost Host, games and activations. Tickets: From $12. Event Website

Black Lagoon Halloween Pop-Up Bar at Yacht Club, Oct. 17–31 

Black Lagoon is an immersive, creepy-as-hell experience that leans into goth culture and cult horror with a splash of the macabre for good measure. With spooky themed cocktails and an emo night every Wednesday, this is the must-visit pop-up bar of the haunted season. Named Canada’s Best Pop-Up Bar by Canada’s 100 Best, Black Lagoon is the brainchild of hospitality industry leaders Erin Hayes and Kelsey Ramage, who conjured up drinks such as the Screaming Banshee, Hexes for your Exes, and Close Casket, perfect for those looking for a ghoulishly-good time. Costumes strongly encouraged. Event Website

Dark and Stormy Murder Mystery Dinner at The Brown Palace Hotel & Spa

Oct. 21, 28, 29, 30 @ 6:30 p.m.

The Brown Palace Hotel & Spa is partnering with Adams Mystery Playhouse to host a series of murder mystery dinners throughout October. Featuring a three-course meal and interactive theater experience, it promises to be a dark night of wickedly good fun. The premise: After arriving at a premier book launch at famous author J.C. Crate’s mansion, a storm washes out the road, trapping you and the other guests. You must help solve a crime before time runs out! Tickets: $140–$1,000. Event Website

Trick or Treat Cocktails at Dairy Block, including Poka Lola and Kachina Cantina, Oct. 21–31

Get into spooky season at Dairy Block as participating restaurants and bars, including Kachina Cantina and Poka Lola, offer special cocktails inspired by favorite Halloween movies. Poka Lola is serving the Mystery Machine, inspired by the movie “Scooby Doo,” prepared with tequila, strawberries and Starbursts for only $14. Head to Kachina Cantina and enjoy the Un Poco Loco, inspired by the movie “Coco,” including Reposado Tequila, Horchata, cream liqueur and Chambord for $12. Event Website

Boo @ Postino 9+CO, Oct. 22

Postino is hosting a spook-tacular Halloween event at the green space outside of its 9+CO location at 9th Avenue and Colorado Boulevard. Pick the perfect pumpkin from a pop-up patch, concoct your own witch’s brew at Postino’s drink tent, snap spooky pics in the photo booth and get your face painted while enjoying tunes from a live DJ. This family-friendly event also offers crafty Halloween activities and trick-or-treating around 9+CO for little ones, plus costume contests for kids, parents, and dogs. Tickets: $5, with all proceeds going to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado. Event Website

Frequent Flyers Spooky Cabaret and Optional Wine Tasting, Oct. 22 @ 6:15 p.m. + 8:45 p.m. 

Showcasing the talents of the performers in the Frequent Flyers home studio, this evening showcases 45-minute performances on aerial silks, hoop, sling, dance trapeze, stilts, and more. An optional add-on for $20 gets you a tasting flight of five wines or two glasses of wine of your choice at the Vinnie Fera Winery just across the driveway from the Frequent Flyers studio in Boulder. Tickets: $30 Event Website

Nocturne Cocktail Class: Spooky Sips, Oct. 26 @ 5:30 p.m.

Celebrate Halloween early with a spooky sips cocktail class. A recent addition to Nocturne’s award-winning cocktail program, the hands-on mixology experience will be led by bartender Jenn Freeman, Spooky Sips teaches you about cocktail lore and how to make several ghoulish delights, including the Zombie, Corpse Reviver and more. Following class, you are invited to fully immerse yourself in the Nocturne experience and enjoy a live jazz performance starting at 6:30 p.m. Tickets: $46 (inclusive of the nightly music fee). Event Website

Stoned Appetit Halloween Dinner Party, Oct. 26 @ 6:30 p.m.

An eight-course tasting menu “inspired by the entire globe” featuring the tasty talents of Chef Merlin of Street Food lore and Chef Long Nguyen from Pho King Rapidos, this evening promises to be a rowdy affair. But even if you’ve been to any of these high-minded events in the past, this one is gonna be a bit different. The exact venue will be revealed closer to the event, but rest assured it will be 8 courses, served in interesting fashion with a lil Halloween flare. There will be mocktails, activities, music, dance floor… “We’re throwing the party that they had in Hocus Pocus 1, so dress your ass up & come join us for a once in a lifetime experience,” says the event website. Costumes are encouraged but not required, but no one wants to be that guy who’s too cool to dress up—plus there are big prizes for the best costumes of the evening. Each guest gets a swag bag filled with samples from some of the state’s best stoney brands. 

Tickets: $155 Event Website

Día d los Muertos Copal Ceremony and 4-Course Dinner at Tamayo Denver, Oct. 27 @ 6 p.m.

This special Día de los Muertos evening event begins with a Mayan Copal Ceremony by healer Nataline Cruz, followed by a four-course culinary experience with beverage pairings by Chef Richard Sandoval. The Mayan Copal Ceremony is both educational and immersive, where you’ll learn about the ancient traditions of Mesoamerican tribes—including healing methods using tequila and copal. Chef Sandoval then hosts his four-course dinner with beverage pairings, sure to be an acclaimed culinary experience featuring festive dishes and drinks themed around the rich history and narrative of the Día de los Muertos celebration. Enjoy smoky cocktails including the Palo Santo Margarita and Pineapple Mezcal Sour and savor dishes like the Tortilla Talavera, Seafood Pozole and Mole Coloradito Enchiladas. Tickets: $200. Event Website

Dia de los Muertos at Kachina Cantina, Oct. 28–Nov. 2

Celebrate Dia de Los Muertos at Kachina Cantina from Oct. 28 to Nov. 2 with a special menu. Dishes include a Tofu Taco with jicama shell, truffle mayo and lentils ($5); Pastor Cauliflower Steak with grilled pineapple, arroz verde and morita salsa ($18); Pato con Mole Negro, a seared duck breast with confit duck leg hash and cherry sauce ($26); and the Pan de Muerto, with hojandra, whipped requeson, salted cajeta ($7). Event Website

Murder Mystery Dinner at The Fort, Oct. 28 @ 6:30 p.m.

The Fort hosts a murder mystery dinner, Midnight at the Masquerade, one night just before Halloween. Dress in your best evening wear (totally optional but you absolutely should) to enjoy a three-course prix fixe meal and murder mystery fun. Along with the engaging participatory entertainment, your ticket gets you masks at the door, a cocktail, salad, entrée and dessert—plus unlimited coffee, hot tea and iced tea. Tickets: $99. Event Website

Sugar Skull Paint & Sip Party at Los Chingones, Oct. 29 @ 6 p.m.

Los Chingones, Sugar Skull Paint

Los Chingones celebrate Dia de los Muertos with their annual Sugar Skull Paint & Sip Party at their Central Park location. You’ll get all of your painting supplies, including an authentic Sugar Skull, along with a Los Marg, Chips and Guacamole or Chips and Queso and Churros for dessert. Winner of the best Sugar Skull gets a $50 gift card for use at any of TAG Restaurant Group’s concepts. Also on the menu is the new Los Chingones’ Muerto-rita special for the holiday. Made with Don Julio Blanco, chamoy, mango and lime, it is the right mix of sweet, tart and spicy to celebrate the spooky season. The Muerto-rita will be available at all Los Chingones locations from October 24 until the 3. Bonus: Don Julio is joining the party and sponsoring a Los Chingones photo contest. Guests who share a photo or video of the Muerto-rita on their instagram stories while tagging Los Chingones (@loschingones_denver) and Don Julio (@donjuliotequila)  are entered to win a goody bag full of Don Julio and Los Chingones swag. Tickets: $35. Event Website

Monster Brunch in Ellyngton’s, Oct. 30 @ 10 a.m–2 p.m.

Creep it real this Hallows Eve’ as Ellyngton’s serves up spooky Halloween-themed items from beyond the grave. Sink your fangs into Scrambled Brains (eggs), Fried Black Cat & Biscuits with Snake Venon Gravy (chicken and biscuits with country gravy), Bat’s Blood Witches Soup (beet and root vegetable stew), Seared Chicken Parts with Poison Mushroom Sauce (seared chicken breast with wild mushroom sauce), an array of sinfully good desserts and more. Reservations available through Open Table. Event Website

The Bloody Mary Festival at Reelworks, Oct. 30

Enjoy alllll the best bloody marys from Denver’s top eateries—in one day, under one roof. Taking place at Reelworks, Denver (1399 35th Street) from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. (VIP tix gain entry an hour earlier), the 6th Annual Bloody Mary Festival Denver brings together the craftiest, most delicious tomato-based concoctions from Baker to the Highlands. Not only will you get to enjoy samples of the Mile High City’s best bloodies, you’ll get food and beverage tastes from local companies as well. Participating restaurants include Highland Tavern, The Lobby, The Glenn, Roxy on Broadway, District, and other top spots. Vote for your favorite blend and help them earn the coveted People’s Choice Award. Tickets: $50 for GA, $65 for VIP. Event Website

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Steph Wilson

Steph Wilson is a writer, editor, and creative maximalist in Denver. She makes magazines for a living and throws color around the world like confetti for fun.