While 2020 can seem like a constant barrage of bad news, Denver is doing its best to pivot with the times and provide plenty of fun festivities to get out of the house safely. Fall has always been an especially festive time in the Centennial State, with a number of events for both adults and families to enjoy. Whether you’re a foodie in search of pumpkin spice everything, a photographer looking to capture the best leaf peeping spots, or a beer connoisseur looking for new seasonal brews, here are a few of our favorite fall happenings in Denver to celebrate the season.
Disclaimer: Given the weird times we’re in, be sure to check with each event to see what their safety protocols are to avoid disappointment
The largest beer festival in North America and a kickoff to Oktoberfest, Great American Beer Festival (GABF), brings craft brewers from all over the country to the Mile High to showcase their favorite and most innovative pours. A ticket to the four-day event gets you thousands of samples from pineapple sours to peanut butter porters organized by region. But it is a bit like the golden ticket, and you have to be quick on the refresh button as they do sell out in minutes. If you aren’t able to score tickets, don’t worry, Denver puts on an array of free events at bars and breweries across the city, so there’s plenty of ways to get in on the action, especially this year with virtual drink passports.
Denver Arts Week happens every November with a great lineup that celebrates the vibrant art scene in Denver. From the First Friday Art Walk along Santa Fe to free museum nights, film showings, and dance performances, it’s a celebration of beauty in all its forms. Check out the galleries, installations, talks, and happy hours to get crafty and cultured around town. With 100s of virtual and in-person events, it’s easy to feel inspired this fall.
Get the whole family together and head to the Chatfield Farms for a fall-tastic day in a 10-acre pumpkin patch. There are attractions for the kiddos from local crafts and live music to a corn maze and pony rides. Get wanderfully lost while snacking on fall treats among the gourd-geous gardens and grounds.
Get into the “spirit” this Halloween season with a family-friendly outing to the Denver Zoo. Every night at twilight, see the animals come to life at this immersive night walk that includes photos with sasquatch, “owl-o-ween” encounters, carved pumpkins, and other spooky surprises.
Roll out the red carpet and experience life on the silver screen this fall. For 18 days, the Denver Film Festival features the best independent flicks from across the globe. There are panel discussions, director interviews, awards ceremonies, and – of course – plenty of cinema. It’s a great excuse to catch a show at one of Denver’s historic theaters like the beautiful Mayan.
Does anything get you more in the mood for fall than apple picking and apple cider donuts? We think not. Denver has several pick your own farms, none better than Yaya just outside Boulder. Featuring cherries, apples, and pears, enjoy the farm stand produce, hard cider workshop, gourd painting, hay rides, and other seasonal festivities.