Denver, the Mile-High City, is renowned for its vibrant fall season. As the leaves turn golden and the air gets crisper, the city comes alive with a plethora of activities that cater to both locals and visitors. Whether you’re a fan of the spooky season or just looking to enjoy the autumnal vibes, Denver has something for everyone. Here’s a curated list of the best fall activities in Denver for 2023:

Outdoor Activities: Pumpkin Patches & More

Anderson Farms:

Located in Erie, Anderson Farms is a must-visit during the fall season. They open their doors for the Fall Festival from September 20th to October 30th, 2023. Activities include a pumpkin patch, corn maze, and the special “Terror in the Corn” event. U-Pick Sunflowers are also a highlight, though they close before the Fall Festival begins. 

Fritzler Farms:

Open from September 17th to October 29th, Fritzler Farms is known for its iconic corn maze and pumpkin patch. They often have a variety of attractions, including pedal go-carts, an outdoor movie theater, and even a “Scream Acres” haunted attraction for those looking for a fright.

Pumpkin Fest at Denver Botanic Gardens:

Celebrate the beauty of fall with a visit to the Denver Botanic Gardens’ Pumpkin Fest at the Chatfield Farms Location. From October 6-9th, enjoy the 10 acre pumpkin patch and corn maze. It’s a family-friendly event that showcases the versatility and charm of pumpkins.

Glow at the Gardens:

Glow at the Gardens™ is a luminous, nighttime celebration of America’s favorite gourd at the Denver Botanic Gardens. Scheduled for Oct. 17-22, 6-9 p.m., this event transforms the York Street location for Halloween. Enjoy larger-than-life pumpkin sculptures, spooky live entertainment, and hoards of gourds with thousands of jack o’ lanterns made from real, locally grown pumpkins. 

Pumpkin Nights Denver

Pumpkin Nights was founded in 2016 at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds with a mission to showcase local artists and celebrate the most magical time of year without the gore and scares. Now, Pumpkin Nights runs through the month of October in many cities across the US.

At PUMPKIN NIGHTS, you will venture along a half-mile walking path, where you’ll discover the Forbidden City, a Pirate’s Cove, and more fantastical lands built using over 5,000 hand-carved real and artificial pumpkins. The celebration continues with entertainment and games in The Village, our festival area.

Haunted Houses and Frights

13th Floor Haunted House:

One of the most renowned haunted houses in the country, the 13th Floor brings your worst nightmares to life with its spine-chilling attractions.

LoDo Zombie Crawl:

Join the undead as they roam the streets of LoDo. This annual event sees thousands of zombies taking over downtown Denver, making it one of the largest zombie gatherings in the country.

Coloween: 

This one is for the adults-only! Celebrated as the Premiere Halloween Party in Denver and selling out every year, Coloweeen is Colorado’s longest-running adult Halloween party! Coloween features state-of-the-art immersive experiences, two massive stages with festival-worth production, 40 bars, mind-bending immersive installations, dozens of interactive performers, nationally touring club-style DJs, and five thousand costumed attendees vetting to win $1000 Best Costume Contest, and the $1000 Celebrity Dressed Fashion Show Contest.

Spooky Day Trips and Foliage

Autumn in Denver is synonymous with a breathtaking display of fall foliage. The city and its surrounding areas are adorned with hues of gold, red, and orange, making it a paradise for nature lovers. Here are some top spots and activities for foliage viewing:

Golden Hayride Beer Tour:

Combine your love for beer and spooky tales with this unique tour. Sample beers from Golden’s finest pubs while enjoying a hayride.

Denver Botanic Gardens:

While known for its diverse plant collection, the gardens also offer a stunning display of fall colors, especially in the Japanese Garden.

Rocky Mountain National Park:

A short drive from Denver, this national park offers some of the best fall foliage views. The Bear Lake Road and Trail Ridge Road are particularly popular for their vibrant autumnal displays.

Guanella Pass:

Located near Georgetown, this scenic byway offers panoramic views of the changing aspen trees. It’s a favorite among photographers and nature enthusiasts.

Mount Evans Scenic Byway:

The highest paved road in North America, this byway offers spectacular views of the fall colors, especially around Echo Lake.

Take a Fall Foliage Train Ride:

The Georgetown Loop Railroad is a historic narrow gauge railroad originally used during the silver boom of the late 1800s. The train, now used for tours, takes you through aspen groves which turn bright yellow for a short period each fall. The one-hour train ride offers fantastic fall colors from the comfort of your open-air gondola.

Located just off I-70 and only 45 miles west of Denver, the Georgetown Loop Railroad and Mining Park is one of Colorado’s most authentic living museums and historically immersive experiences. Bring your family and friends for a narrow gauge train ride, or book a real silver mine tour, or learn how to pan for gold. Discover the rugged romance of the Colorado Rockies in the 1880s. Climb aboard and travel back in time. We may just become part of the colorful history and traditions of your family too!

Peak leaf season is late September into early October, the train typically runs daily during this time and averages about $30/ person. We recommend booking the first tour of the day for the fewest crowds, but no matter the time of day this is a great way to see the Rocky Mountain’s fall foliage!

Tip: Be sure to bring a jacket or blanket! It gets chilly.

Glenwood Canyon:

Fall is leaf peeping season in Colorado. For the best color viewing in the state, get off the beaten path in Glenwood Springs for autumn colors without the crowds. It’s one of the state’s most breathtaking seasons for appreciating the natural beauty of the mountains, but it doesn’t last long. Taking a drive is a good way to catch a glimpse of the fall foliage; but what’s even better is getting out of the car for the full sensory experience in Glenwood Springs: crisp autumn air, saturated blue skies, snow-capped peaks and mountainsides ablaze in golden hues.

Gold Belt Scenic Drive:

The Gold Belt Tour is a Colorado Scenic and Historic Byway as well as a National Scenic Byway. Drive the Gold Belt Tour and retrace the historic travel routes connecting Cripple Creek and Victor Mining District, site of the world’s largest gold rush, to the communities of Florence, Cañon City and Florissant.

Other Notable Activities

Oktoberfest Celebrations: 

Denver hosts several Oktoberfest events, with the most notable being The Denver Oktoberfest. It’s two weekends filled with traditional German music, food, and, of course, beer.

Fall BAZAAR at Belleview Station and Sloan’s Lake:

These events are perfect for those looking to shop local. From crafts to food, these BAZAARs at Sloans Lake and Belleview Station offer a wide range of products, all while you enjoy the fall atmosphere.

For the Introverts: Halloween Vibes at Home

If you’re someone who prefers the cozy corners of your home but still wants to get into the Halloween spirit, we’ve got you covered. Here are some podcasts and activities that will give you the chills without requiring you to step out:

When Walls Can Talk: The Podcast:

This podcast dives deep into the haunted history of various locations, offering a spine-chilling experience right in the comfort of your home.

Ouija Boards and Midnight Margs:

Why not make a night of it? Grab a Ouija board and some margaritas, and enjoy this lighthearted romp through folklore, the metaphysical and supernatural. Just remember to say “goodbye” when you’re done!

Geist: 

Tune into the darker side with these first-hand accounts and real stories from people who’ve experienced the supernatural

Lore: 

This award-winning podcast delves into the darker side of history, exploring the creatures, people, and places of our wildest nightmares.

The NoSleep Podcast: 

For those who really enjoy a good scare, this podcast brings together stories from Reddit’s famous “NoSleep” forum, turning them into a compelling audio experience.

Denver’s fall season is packed with activities that cater to all tastes. Whether you’re looking to get scared, enjoy the outdoors, or just sip on some pumpkin spice latte, Denver has got you covered. So, put on your coziest sweater and dive into the fall festivities!

Please note that while every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the events listed, it’s always a good idea to check the official event website or contact the organizers for the most up-to-date information.