6 Great Ways to Celebrate Fall in Colorado
Fall in Colorado
The nights are getting cooler, the Aspen leaves are turning gold, and there’s someone holding a pumpkin spice latte or wearing a cute scarf everywhere you turn. Fall is officially here! And while 2023 might look different from other years in a lot of ways, there are still some fantastic ways to celebrate fall in Colorado. We’re a little biased, but we think you should get out and enjoy them all. Check out our events calendar for music and cultural events happening around Colorado. Or here's our favorite list of fall festivals and pumpkin patches.
Pumpkin PatchesSure, you could grab a perfectly sized pumpkin from the bins outside Safeway or King Soopers, but there’s something just so satisfying about going out into that pumpkin patch and selecting your own, especially for kids. Since pumpkins are difficult to grow at higher elevations, you’ll probably have to travel to the Front Range or the Western Slope to pick your own pumpkins, but it’s worth the drive for the smiles you’ll put on your kids’ faces.
- Anderson Farms (Erie) - Anderson Farms is practically an institution in the Front Range. With a corn maze, hay rides, pumpkin patch, plenty of great food, private campfire sites, playgrounds, pedal karts, and more, it’s a great way to spend the day celebrating fall with family and friends.
- Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield Farms (Littleton) - The pumpkin patch at Chatfield Farms is available by reservation this year, and also includes passes to the Chatfield gardens as well as the corn maze if you buy them on weekends.
- Cottonwood Farm (Boulder/Lafayette) - At Cottonwood Farm, you can take a hay ride to the pumpkin patch, or visit the fall market for a selection of pre-picked pumpkins, squashes, and beautiful fall decor.
- Studt’s Pumpkin Patch (Grand Junction) - A lot of pumpkin patches offer hay rides, but Studt’s pulls theirs by horse! They also have corn mazes, pony rides, and of course, a massive selection of pumpkins, from very small to very giant, and every variety from classic orange to white and green.
- Moon Farm and Pumpkin Patch and Petting Zoo (Fruita) - This family-friendly pumpkin patch has a haunted straw maze for spooky fun adventures, hay rides, and a petting zoo with bunnies, ponies, horses, peacocks, goats, and more.
- Punk’s Pumpkin Patch (Delta) - Calling this experience a pumpkin patch wouldn’t be doing it justice, because Punk’s also has an obstacle course, a zip line, a huge inflatable slide, a petting zoo, playgrounds, and even a ninja course.
Apple PickingIn Colorado, apples aren’t quite as abundant as in other parts of the country, but we still have some great orchards with plenty of delicious fruit on their trees. You will most likely have to schedule a reservation to go apple picking, and the slots fill up well in advance, so be sure to plan ahead! Many U-Pick apple orchards offer other fun apple-themed products as well, like apple cider, apple cider donuts, apple pies, apple butter, and more delicious treats.
- Ya Ya Farm & Orchard (Boulder) - At Ya Ya Farm & Orchard, you can get your pick of apples as well as apple-themed products like delicious, fresh-made cider donuts at their farm stand. Ya Ya Farm also has a variety of farm animals you can visit, including their massive Percheron draft horses.
- Big B’s Fruit Company (Hotchkiss) - At Big B’s, not only will you be able to pick your own apples, but you can stop by their tasting room for some of their delicious homemade hard cider, made with fruit picked right there on the farm. They also have a cafe, socially-distant live music on Thursdays, an orchard store, and even rustic campsites in the orchards!
- Fritzler’s Corn Maize (La Salle) - Wander through the rows of corn to try and find your way out at Fritzler’s Corn Maize, or if you’re feeling extra daring, grab tickets for Scream Acres, the haunted weekend event that will have you feeling like a character in a horror movie.
- Jack Lantern’s Northern Colorado Corn Maze (Fort Collins) - With a 35+ acre corn maze that is perfect for families during the day, with an optional scavenger hunt for those looking for a challenge, as well as bounce houses, a petting zoo, pumpkin patch, and more, Jack Lantern’s is a great palace for some fall fun. When the sun goes down, the monsters come out and the corn maze gets a little spookier.
Leaf PeepingThe autumn aspen season is short in Colorado but beautiful. Whether you want to see it by foot, out the window of your car, or even from the air, now’s the time to check out those golden aspens. Popular destinations like Kenosha Pass and Kebler Pass are often packed in the fall—for a more detailed look at leaf-peeping options in Colorado, check out our blog post on the topic.
Haunted HousesThere’s something so thrilling about being scared on purpose, and Colorado has got you covered when it comes to haunted houses.
- The Frightmare Compound (Westminster) - This is Colorado’s oldest haunted house, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t grown more terrifying year after year. Their team of “scare experts” works hard to create an experience you’ll never forget… even if you wish you could.
- Aftermath (Canon City) - This spooky place has been rated one of Colorado’s top scariest haunted houses for years. With four scare nights throughout October and different routes you can take through the haunted forest and house, it’s a choose-your-own-adventure type of place that will have your heart pounding and your adrenaline pumping.
Enjoy Patio Season Before It’s OverAt lower elevations, you might get lucky and have a winter season that lets you enjoy the patio almost year-round, but it’s certainly not a given. So make sure you enjoy these final weeks of pleasant weather by taking advantage of all the delicious fall food and beverages Colorado’s restaurants, breweries, and distilleries have to offer. Take a brewery tour in Summit County to try local offerings of pumpkin ales, or visit Stem Ciders in Denver or on their farm in Lafayette for some appley, boozy goodness. Most breweries roll out seasonal varieties like Oktoberfest and pumpkin beers, as well as more creative varieties made with ingredients like spiced hops, cinnamon, and even yams, so get out and enjoy patio season while you still can with a local brew or cocktail.
Planning AheadDue to capacity restrictions and social distancing policies still in place, many fall festivities are operating with limits. While it’s 100% possible to have a fun fall, planning ahead is important. If possible, get those tickets early or plan your adventures for a weekday. But no matter where you go and when you do it, we’re confident you’ll find a way to make this fall festive and fun, whether you’re picking pumpkins with the family so you can take them home to carve them or planning a spooky date night in a haunted corn maze.
By Emily Krempholtz
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