49 Fall-ish Things to Do in Denver (with Kids)

Fall things to do in Denver with kids

I know that the Colorado weather can sometimes seem all over the place, but still...on Labor Day (just 2 days ago!) we were baking in the 90-degree sun at the Rockies game. Yet the very next day, as if on cue, the coolness of fall swooped right in. I woke up this morning craving apple cider and pumpkin baked goods, and thinking about how we should decorate our house for Halloween. So it seems it’s time to pack up the ever-at-the-ready bin of bathing suits, beach towels, and swim diapers and trade them in for our fleece jackets and cozy blankets. And, I love that because fall really is my absolute favorite. I’ve found in the last few years that it’s even more fun with kids. So, in that spirit, here are 49 decidedly fall things to do in Denver with kids…

  1. Order a caramel apple-making kit from Denver-based Daffy Apples.
  2. Attend the 9th Annual Chile Fest in Brighton (formerly the Denver Chile Fest) on September 9.
  3. Cheer on the Broncos at Mile High
  4. or the Buffs at Folsom Field.
  5. Forget the PSL. Order up a more traditional hot spiced cider from one of Denver’s local coffee shops.
  6. Take in the 30th annual Downtown Boulder Fall Fest on September 15-17.
  7. Enjoy a little living history at the Buffalo Bill Fall Round-Up on September 17 at the Buffalo Bill Museum.
  8. Sip cider at the Morrison Ciderfest on September 23.
  9. Enjoy Oktoberfest in downtown Denver in late September.
  10. Drive up to Estes Park for Autumn Gold Festival on September 23-24.
  11. Pick your own pumpkin at the huge pumpkin patches at Rock Creek Farm in Broomfield. Opening day is September 24.
  12. Take a leaf-crunching family hike on a local trail.
  13. Get lost in the family-friendly Maize in the City in Thornton (opens September 29) with a big maize (40 minutes or so) and a little maize (25 minutes or so), and other fun activities. This one even offers a smart phone trivia game to gives hints to those of us who are directionally challenged.
  14. Sample Colorado’s best chili at the 30th Annual Firefighter Chili Cook-Off in Larimer Square on September 29.
  15. Get scared at Elitch Gardens’ Fright Fest every weekend evening September 29 through October 29.
  16. Peep at the changing Aspen colors with a mountain day trip.
  17. Show off your best bugle call at the Estes Park Elk Fest (September 30 to October 1).
  18. Attend The Big Wonderful’s 4th Annual Oktobergrass  (September 30 to October 1).
  19. Partake in all sorts of fall fun from corn mazes to hay rides to pumpkin-picking (plus bouncy castles and more) at Mile High Farms all October long.
  20. Discover how 19th-century Coloradans prepared for fall at the Four Mile Historic Park Pumpkin Harvest Festival on October 7-8. (There will also be scarecrow-building, pumpkin-picking, and wagon-riding.)
  21. Paint yourselves with fake blood (if the kiddos are old enough to handle it) for the 12th annual Denver Zombie Crawl in Skyline Park (October 7).
  22. Chunk a pumpkin at the 20th annual Punkin Chunkin Competition and Festival on October 7-8.
  23. Build your scariest scarecrow for Arvada’s Festival of Scarecrows on October 7.
  24. Embrace nature at the Thorne Fall Fest at Boulder’s Thorne Nature Experience on the morning of October 13.
  25. Explore a corn maze at Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield Farms (October 13-15).
  26. Shop for your Halloween costume at one of Denver’s best costume shops.
  27. Bowl a pumpkin at the Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield Farm’s Pumpkin Festival on October 13-15.
  28. Get a pre-Halloween sugar high at Choctoberfest on October 14 at the Arapahoe County Fairgrounds.
  29. Enter the family-friendly Zombie Zone (October 17-20) at Denver Pavilions.
  30. Check out the glowing pumpkins and LED circus performers at Glow at the Gardens at Denver Botanic Gardens on October 18-19 and 25-26.
  31. Listen to the stories of unexplained encounters with ghosts at the Museo de las Americas’ Conversacion con Las Muertos on October 20.
  32. Enjoy cider, apples and donuts at AppleFest at Ya Ya Farm and Orchard in Longmont on October 21. (Ya Ya Farm also offers pick-your-own apple experiences but reservations are required and they are already booked up for Fall 2017.)
  33. See some creepy crawlies up close at the Butterfly Pavilion’s Bug-a-Boo on October 21-22.
  34. Parade your little goblins and ghosts at Union Station’s Halloween Parade and Party on October 26.
  35. Trick or Treat on Tennyson Street in Berkeley neighborhood (October 28).
  36. Challenge the whole family to a pumpkin-carrying obstacle course for the Great Pumpkin Haul on October 28 at the Botanic Gardens at Chatfield.
  37. Take a ride on the Trick or Treat Train at the Colorado Railroad Museum (October 28).
  38. Hit the slopes. Because this is Colorado, and A-Basin and Loveland open in mid-October.
  39. See Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas on the big screen at Boettcher Concert Hall (October 26 and 27).
  40. Beg for candy at the Children Museum’s 3-day Trick or Treat Street on October 27-29.
  41. Sleep with dinosaurs at the Museum of Science and Nature’s Family Overnight: Halloween at the Museum on October 27.
  42. Attend the Colorado Symphony’s Halloween Spooktacular for a spooky but family-friendly concert plus pre-concert instrument petting zoo and other fun activities (October 28).
  43. Bring your trick-or-treat bags to Boo at the Zoo at the Denver Zoo on October 29-30.
  44. Check out the many events during the Annual Denver Arts Week (November 3-11).
  45. Celebrate Dia de Los Muertos at Denver Botanic Gardens on November 4.
  46. Ride The Polar Express Train at the Colorado Railroad Museum beginning November 9 through mid-December. (Because if you wait till December to think about this, it’s always sold out.)
  47. Take in a post-Thanksgiving dinner movie at Alamo Drafthouse.
  48. Run in the 43rd Annual Mile High Turkey Trot (November 23) in Wash Park.
  49. Kids don’t want to go to a mall, but you could do a little family holiday shopping at our amazing local businesses on Small Business Saturday (November 25). One perk of neighborhood shopping districts? There’s always a park nearby!

Did I miss anything? What’s your favorite fall thing to do with kids? Share in the comments and I may add it to our list.

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