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.
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 highlight below 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!
- 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. *Be prepared for photos! In addition to a fun family day out, this could be a great opportunity to capture great family photos.
- PAWTOBERFEST (September 15, 2018; 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! For all the information, including parking instructions and tickets, click here.
- KICK OFF TO FALL FAMILY FESTIVAL (September 22, 2018, Long Neck Pumpkin Farm, Colorado Springs): Geared toward young families. Hay rides, farm animals, games, live music, swag bags, food, vendors. For a sneak peak of all the fun included, check out this recap of last year’s festival.
- ROCK LEDGE RANCH POW WOW ( September 22, 2018, 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. Ticket info here.
- OLD COLORADO CITY GIANT PUMPKIN FESTIVAL (October 20, 2018, Colorado Springs): This festival includes a contest for Rocky Mountain Giant Vegetable Growers to compete for The Biggest Pumpkin in Southern Colorado title. There will be a pumpkin patch where kiddos can pick out a pumpkin for a small fee, face painters and balloon artists.
- 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
- HARVEST FEST AT THE HOLY CROSS ABBEY (September 29-30, 2018, 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.
- HAUNTED BREW FEST (October 20, 2018, 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! Get your tickets here before they sell out.
- A NIGHT AT THE RANCH DINNER AT A GRAZING LIFE (September 15, 2018, A Grazing Life Ranch, Black Forest): Enjoy a Full Ranch Tour while learning about their conservation practices, “followed by dinner by Chef Gerry Castro, music, dancing, bonfire, mallow roasting, etc… End at 10pm (if you stay any later you’ll be put to work feeding pigs).” Sign up for tickets here.
- MORRISON CIDER FEST (September 29, 2018, Morrison): Bring your own apples and have them pressed into cider for you, hay and pony rides, music, vendors, and a car show. Location and info here.
SHOPPING, ARTS & CRAFTS
- SALIDA FIBER FEST (September 8-9, 2018, 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! Info here.
- MAKE AND TAKE HARVEST/THANKFUL SIGNS (October 3, 2018, The Downtown FarmGirl, Pueblo): This is different and interesting! Grab a friend and learn to make your own farm sign. Make & Take – Sign Class Overview: In this hands-on class, “lets get crafty and add some accents to our pieces such as string, burlap, bows and flowers! Choose your word, such as harvest, thankful, blessed, gather, etc. Choose your paint color and your accent, get creative.” Supplies and materials provided. Click here for info and pricing.
- GIRLS NIGHT OUT (September 7, 2018, The Emporium, Castle Rock): Grab your girlfriends, and enjoy a splendid evening of shopping, appetizers, drinks, and laughs!
- SUGAR PLUM FOOD AND GIFT MART (October 20-21, 2018, 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 14-16, 2018, 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.
OUTDOOR, MUSIC, & MISC AUTUMN ACTIVITIES
- SALIDA BIKE FEST (September 13-16, 2018, 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.
- AUTUMN COLOR RUN (September 15, 2018, 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 (September 20-23, 2018, 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. Get all info here.
- SAINTS AND SINNERS TOUR (Usually in Late October, Pueblo): Start the day with a brunch and then a tour of the historical churches and taverns.
- FALL COLORS PHOTO TRAIN RIDE (September 8-30, 2018, 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!
- CENTENNIAL CHALK ART FESTIVAL (Sept. 22-23, 2018, Centennial, CO): Have you always admired chalk art shared on social media? Come watch these talented artists in person as they create a masterpiece at your feet!
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!