Every year around August 15, I can sense a slight shift in the air. While the temperatures may say that it is still summer, there is something subtly different in the air that lets me know Autumn is quickly approaching.
While I’m a bit sad that the sizzle and excitement of summer are beginning to fade, it also means loads of fall festivals and Autumn activities will start filling up my calendar. It’s the busiest season of the year for shopping, outdoor adventures, harvest celebrations, and social gatherings prior to our retreat indoors for the holidays and the winter chill. We’ve updated the information below with plans for each event and activity for 2020. (P.S. You know we love a good list of activities! Be sure to check out Halloween Fun, Things to Do in Colorado Springs, and Top 10 Christmas Activities).
LIST OF AUTUMN ACTIVITIES AND SIGHTS
Every year, we put together a guide for Autumn activities, such as viewing the golden Fall foliage of the Rocky Mountains:
This year we decided to gather some fun activities that you can enjoy with your family or a day/evening out with the adults. I dug through every event I could locate and highlighted a few regular happenings. In addition, I’ve included some not-so-well-known options. Click on the included links for details on each event.
We hope you enjoy an exciting and entertaining fall season!
Related Reading: Fox31 map of estimated peak fall colors
- LABOR DAY LIFTOFF (September 5-6, 2020) A quintessential Colorado Springs experience where you can see over 70 hot air balloons in flight over Prospect Lake. (Update for 2020: more than 35 balloons will lift off from 10-12 locations around the city so you can watch from the comfort of your home).
- PICK-YOUR-OWN FARMS (ongoing): Spend the afternoon picking apples, blueberries, raspberries, and pumpkins at pick-your-own-farms such as the Happy Apple Farm near Cañon City or Long Neck Pumpkin Farm. (Update for 2020: reservations are required for Long Neck Pumpkin Farm).*Be prepared for photos! In addition to a fun family day out, this could be a great opportunity to capture great family photos.
- PAWTOBERFEST (October 26-30, 2020; Bear Creek Regional Park, Colorado Springs): Gather the entire family, including your furry ones, and support the Pikes Peak Humane Society during this annual event. Vendors, food trucks, trail runs, and loads of family activities, as well as brews for the adults! (Update for 2020: this will be a 4 day, virtual fundraising event that will include a costume contest, shelter dog walk and more.)
- ROCK LEDGE RANCH POW WOW ( postponed for 2020, Rock Ledge Ranch, Colorado Springs): An enjoyable way to take in the heritage and beauty of our First Nations. They honor us with their traditions and history. You and your kids will walk away with a deeper appreciation for those who were here before us. Dancing, drumming, singing, food, and vendors.
- OLD COLORADO CITY HARVEST FESTIVAL (October 17, 2020, Colorado Springs): This festival includes a beer garden, live music, sidewalk sales and more. There will be a pumpkin patch where kiddos can pick out a pumpkin for a small fee.
- BOO AT THE ZOO (Select dates in October, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Colorado Springs): A unique experience for kids to dress up and trick-or-treat in a safe environment. The zoo strives to promote sustainability by providing candy that is made without palm oil.
FOOD AND DRINK
- PALMER LAKE WINE FESTIVAL (September 14, 2019) Tickets include wine tastings from over 20 Colorado Wineries. Enjoy live music, food and gift vendors.
- A NIGHT AT THE RANCH DINNER AT A GRAZING LIFE (September 27, 2019, A Grazing Life Ranch, Black Forest): Enjoy a Full Ranch Tour while learning about their conservation practices, followed by dinner, brews, cocktails, music and wine. Sign up for tickets here. Hurry–these tickets sell out well before the event.
- HARVEST FEST AT THE HOLY CROSS ABBEY (September 28-29, 2019, Cañon City): Live music, fresh roasted chilies, sweet vendor booths, loads of wine tasting! Bring your lawn chairs and picnic baskets and soak in a lazy fall afternoon. Free admission. Wine tasting tickets available for purchase.
- MORRISON CIDER FEST (September 28, 2019, Morrison): Bouncy houses, hay and pony rides, music, vendors, and a car show. Hard cider tastings available for a fee.
- BLACK FOREST OKTOBERFEST (September 28-19, 2019) Black Forest Brewing Company is hosting this weekend long festival with German beer, brats, music, and contests. Entrance is free.
- HAUNTED BREW FEST (October 19, 2019, Norris Penrose Event Center, Colorado Springs): 21+ Brewfest featuring over 70 breweries, distilleries, & wineries. Hellscream Haunts Cast & Characters are sure to make this an unforgettable and frightening evening!
SHOPPING, ARTS & CRAFTS
- SALIDA FIBER FEST (September 12 & 13, 2020, Salida): Fiber arts demonstrations, classes and activities all along the Arkansas River in beautiful Salida, CO. Wine and Beer garden, vendors, and numerous talented artists! (Update for 2020: this will be a virtual event this year with live broadcasts from the event’s vendors. See website for more details).
- SUGAR PLUM FOOD AND GIFT MART (October 19 & 20, 2019, Colorado Springs): The largest holiday show in Colorado Springs. The official kickoff of the holiday shopping season! Get an early visit with Mr. & Mrs. Claus, as well as, hundreds of food and craft vendors. Click here for more info.
- HOLLY BERRY FOLK ART FESTIVAL (September 13-15, 2019, Garden of the Gods/Rock Ledge Ranch): The most popular outdoor art festival of the year. Located on the stunning grounds of Rock Ledge Ranch. Proceeds from the festival are used for ongoing restoration work at the ranch. Live music, talented artisans from all over the country! Tickets and information found here.
- PARADE OF HOMES (September 11-27, 2020, various locations around COS): The Parade of Homes has made some adjustments this year in an effort to keep everyone safe. Check out their website for details and tickets.
OUTDOOR, MUSIC, & MISC AUTUMN ACTIVITIES
- SALIDA BIKE FEST (TBD, Salida): A 4 day festival celebrating bikes of all kinds. There will be an assortment of activities including a parade, various races, and a kickoff party with live music and beer. (Update for 2020: no details just yet on their website.)
- FOX FUN FOX RUN (Cancelled for 2020) This trail run out at Fox Run Regional Park in Black Forest will have options for 5K, 10K, 13.1 mile, 26.2 mile, and 50 mile courses.
- AUTUMN COLOR RUN (Cancelled for 2020, Buena Vista, CO): Enjoy the beautiful fall foliage and mountain views as you run either a half marathon, 10k, 5k or 1 mile fun run in this adorable down just over the Front Range.
- SPANISH PEAKS INTERNATIONAL CELTIC MUSIC FESTIVAL (Cancelled for 2020, La Veta): A traditional Celtic music festival straight from the hills of Scotland. Local residents originally from Scotland have gathered together the best musicians to bring us a traditional experience.
- FALL COLORS PHOTO TRAIN RIDE (Usually various dates in September, Leadville): A 3-hour train ride through some of the most beautiful scenery in Colorado. Bring your camera and a jacket to take in the wonder and sights of the bright, golden Aspens! Check website for dates. (Update for 2020: their website has details about COVID-19 precautions while enjoying their train rides).
Hopefully, you found a few options that piqued your interest! Don’t forget about all the Oktoberfest celebrations, Pumpkin Festivals, and Wine Festivals that abound. May all your pumpkin spice, falling leaves, snuggle by the campfire starry nights, and any other Autumn dreams and desires come true!