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Colorado Fall Festivals, Pumpkin Patches and Mazes

The shift in seasons brings autumn traditions across the state. Visit these pumpkin patches, corn mazes and cheerful tasty festivals for a wicked good time.

By Lisa Blake

Pueblo Chile & Frijoles Festival

Food Fests

Pueblo’s annual Chile & Frijoles Festival (Sept. 22–24) celebrates all things green chile. Eat the fiery native peppers on a stick, in salsa and wrapped in tacos and then sign on for the jalapeno-eating contest. The annual fest averages 100,000 chile fans attending cooking competitions, a farmers market, watching live music and more.

Picturesque Estes Park lures leaf-peepers to downtown’s Bond Park with its 24th annual Autumn Gold Brats and Beer Festival (Sept. 23–24). The family-friendly gathering comes with face painting, bag toss games, a bounce house and rides in antique cars and a fire engine. Buy a raffle ticket for a shot at $5,000, dine on brats, roasted corn on the cob and funnel cakes and sip craft brews while dancing to award-winning Colorado bands.

Head to YA YA Farm & Orchard in Longmont for Applefest (Oct. 21) and get in on the historic century-old farm’s fall party. Chase the all-you-can-eat barbecue with apple cider donuts and apple pies. Visit resident draft horses, turkeys and peacocks, listen to live bluegrass and jump on a tractor-drawn hayride. Select your perfect gourd from the vine when YA YA’s famous pumpkin patch opens the first weekend in October.


Corn Maze

Corn Mazes

Visit the Arkansas River Valley’s Colon Orchards for two corn mazes, hayrides and pumpkin picking. The fourth-generation family-run farm also offers a market with local fruit, vegetables and farm-raised beef and a plethora of Colorado products spanning honey to jams, caramels to cookies.

Jack Lantern's Northern Colorado Corn Maze near Fort Collins breaks the maze fun into night and day. A younger-kid-friendly daytime maze is perfect for the playful family crowd, while the haunted nighttime maze delivers a spooky challenge for older kids. Two pumpkin patches are on tap along with free wagon tours of the 90-acre Colorado farm. Add a dash of competition with the all-ages corn maze scavenger hunt.


Pumpkins Everywhere

Incredibly large gourds steal the show at the Giant Pumpkin Festival (Oct. 21) in Colorado Springs. Gardeners vie for the biggest pumpkin blue ribbon and guests enjoy a pumpkin-decorating contest, scarecrow hunt, pie-eating contest, farmers market and a spirit tour stocked with craft beer and wine tasting from local restaurants. A kid’s zone shines with games, prizes and a pumpkin patch.

In Canon City, locals know to hit Diana’s Pumpkin Patch Friday through Sunday mid-September through October for pumpkin patch and corn maze fun followed by s'mores and hot cider by the fire pit. The oldest corn maze in Fremont County features a different theme, game and layout every year and the hay slide and duck races are always a big draw.


Wildlife

The Bighorn Sheep Festival (Nov. 11) in Georgetown brings folks to the mountains for hikes, music, crafts and children’s activities and, of course, glimpsing the majestic head-banging bighorns. Pull off I-70 at the Bighorn Sheep Viewing Station and the Georgetown Gateway Visitor Center for guided wildlife viewings and talks.

For a full list of Colorado fall festivals and events, visit coloradoinfo.com/festivals-events/colorado-event-calendar.