Where to buy a last-minute Halloween costume in Denver: The Wizard’s Chest

Editor’s note: Each week in Staff Favorites, we offer our opinions on the best that Colorado has to offer for dining, shopping, entertainment, outdoor activities and more. (We’ll also let you in on some hidden gems).

It’s the same scenario every year: a last-minute costume party invite, followed by the most depressing closet raid.

Some people’s wardrobes are filled with costume-worthy pieces — I’m looking at you, renaissance fest types — but my closet of basics just doesn’t cut it, and I usually find myself throwing together something deeply lame at the last possible minute.

Not this year. This year, I went to The Wizard’s Chest.

From the moment you step inside this 16,000-square-foot magic castle at 451 Broadway, it’s hard not to feel the Halloween spirit.

Giant dragons and wizards loom over the entrance, which opens up into a wonderland filled with treasure chests and witches’ cauldrons, fairy wings and wigs in every color imaginable. Originally opened in 1983, the family-owned store has nearly 40 years of magic under its belt. The interior design — filled with murals and ornate castle-like details — is modeled after “the fantastic world of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth,” according to The Wizard’s Chest’s website.

Everywhere you turn, there’s a touch of whimsy. Wanna go as Harry Potter this year? They have everything you need. Thinking of going as a plain ketchup bottle, or maybe just a bizarre fried egg? They’ve got that, too, along with a huge staff of uber-helpful employees.

After you’ve found the perfect costume for this year’s festivities, hit the basement to explore Wizard’s Chest’s incredible selection of games. You may have come here for a costume, but don’t be surprised if you also leave with a collector’s edition of your favorite tabletop game.

This year, skip the last-minute Amazon purchase and spend an afternoon drawing inspiration from one of Denver’s favorite purveyors of whimsy.

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