In person Halloween fun


Outdoor, art-themed walk-through was planned for Halloween day

UPDATE: The Arvada Center received word from the City of Arvada on Thursday that because of rising COVID case numbers, they are recommending the "Trick Art Treat” event planned for Halloween day be canceled. Ticket-buyers have the option to transfer the purchase price to a donation, a gift certificate, or returned as a refund. Call 720-898-7200.

By John Moore, Senior Arts Journalist

Not much is certain this uncertain October but this: Halloween 2020 will be unlike any other in recent history. The ongoing pandemic has parents naturally unsure of how to enjoy the holiday safely.

”The good news is, we've learned a lot over the past seven months about how to get together and do social things, yet do it in a safe method," Dr. Eric France, Chief Medical Officer for the Colorado Department of Public Health said at a press conference this week. "We’re dealing with a global pandemic. But if we are careful; if we maintain proper social distancing; if we wear our face coverings and use sanitizer, we can maintain a little bit of our traditions and enjoy a fun evening with loved ones.”

The Arvada Center will do its part by offering a fun afternoon with loved ones from 1-5 p.m. on Saturday, October 31. “Trick Art Treat” is the Arvada Center’s new outdoor, art-themed Halloween walk-through display. Small groups will make their way around two safe and socially distanced bays of the Arvada Center's outdoor parking lot exploring art specifically created by Colorado artists.

Pivoting with ... Todd Debreceni and his 3D Halloween masks

“We wanted to do this because it’s a way for us to stay connected with our community and visible to our community,” said Arvada Center Vice President of Advancement Teresa YoKell. “It’s also a wonderful opportunity for us to engage our volunteers, because they haven’t been back to the Arvada Center at all since the shutdown began, and we are looking forward to re-connecting with them.”

Families are encouraged to come in costumes and explore the many car trunks decked out for the holiday. In addition, at least one artist will be creating art in real time throughout the afternoon: Muralist Daniel Crosier. Some art objects along the walk will be available for purchase.

“I’m not sure how many families are going to feel safe going into their neighborhoods trick-or-treating this year," YoKell said. "This will give them something fun to do that is also creative and a little different because they will actually get to see artists creating something. I think people should just put on their costumes, head over to the Arvada Center and have some fun with us.”

There will not be traditional Halloween treats handed out at each stop. Instead, kids will be offered a sealed bag of candies to take home at the end of the experience.

'This will give families something fun to do that is also creative and a little different because they will actually get to see artists creating something.' – Teresa YoKell

Purchase your tickets by phone (720-898-7200) for a half-hour time slot between 1 and 5 p.m. The number of tickets for each time slot is limited, and arriving visitors will be spaced out as they enter the parking lot to ensure social distancing and safety.

The overall safety message for parents from the Colorado Department of Public Health is to pay attention to where your community is on the state's COVID-19 Dial and plan ahead. Currently, Jefferson County is presently considered “Safer Level 2: Concern,” which is right in the center of the safety dial. Level 2 brings with it specific guidelines for indoor activities, but not for outdoors.

With COVID positivity rates on the rise around the state, “The next two weeks will be a key indicator of what kind of Halloween celebrations people could see,” France said.

John Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the U.S. by American Theatre Magazine during his time at The Denver Post. He also is the founder of The Denver Actors Fund, and is now contributing reports on the arts community for ArvadaCenter.Org. Reach him at

Trick Art Treat: CANCELED
  • When: 1-5 p.m. Saturday, October 31
  • Where: Arvada Center parking lot
  • Cost: $5 for adults, $2 for ages 3-12, free for children ages 2 and under
  • How: Please call 720-898-7200 for refund information
Halloween activity suggestions by perceived risk

Source: Colorado Department of Public Health

Stay-at-Home: Safest

  • Plan a virtual costume or pumpkin-carving contest.
  • Set up a virtual scary movie night and simultaneously watch from your own homes.
  • Host a virtual costume contest or party, voting on the scariest and most innovative costume.
  • Create a virtual haunted-house experience. Set it up in your own home, and virtually guide family members through the horror.

Safer-at-Home: Level 3

  • Organize a neighborhood costume parade with predetermined routes marked to maintain safe distances between participants.
  • Organize a drive-by yard-decorating contest where neighbors pick their favorite yards.

Safer-at-Home: Level 2

  • Throw a neighborhood face-mask decorating party, with guests limited to 10.
  • Go to an open-air, one-way, walk-through haunted forest, pumpkin patch or corn maze.
  • Have an outdoor Halloween movie night with local family and friends, with people wearing masks and spaced at least 6 feet apart. If screaming is likely (it is Halloween after all!), adhere to greater distancing.

Safer-at-Home: Level 1

  • Plan a small get-together, ideally outdoors, with family and close friends; limit to 25 guests.
  • Help your neighborhood with proper social distancing and one-way flow by drawing directional arrows and 6-foot spacers.

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