Welcome to Denver! The Mile High City is a world-class metropolitan area, able to boast of a thriving and diverse cultural scene, beautiful neighborhoods, and the natural beauty of the surrounding Rocky Mountains, all in the center of one of America’s healthiest states. There’s no end of activities for you and your family to enjoy all year round, but with fall coming up, it’s a good time to look forward and plan ahead for the most colorful season of the year with these Autumn activities in Denver!
Produced by the Brewers Association, the greatest and grandest of all beer festivals in the United States calls Denver home every autumn. Founded in 1982, the Great American Beer Festival grows year after year; in 2016, eight hundred breweries covered 400,000 square feet in the Colorado Convention Center, and 60,000 attendees sampled over 3,800 different beers. The massive scope of the festival makes this the best time for brewers to personally show off their wares, giving attendees a rare opportunity to meet the men and women who craft the finest beers in the nation.
The festival also features a pair of competitions: the general, where a professional judging panel evaluates entries over five three-hour sessions, and a pro-am, where commercial craft brewers submit beers created from award-winning homebrew recipes. If you have a recipe that you swear is as good as anything on the market, submit it to the American Homebrewers Association and you might find a professional making your beer!
As the home to Coors Brewery, the single largest brewery in the world, Denver is a perfect home for beer festivals. In fact, if you can’t make it (the GABF runs from Sept. 20th-22nd), the Denver Beer Fest runs from the 14th to the 22nd. September in Denver is built for beer lovers, so make sure you get a taste. This is by far one of the most popular Autumn activities in Denver!
Every year, Denver hosts more Halloween events and activities than anyone can likely visit in one season. Whether you’re looking for something scary, something kid-friendly, or something to scare the kids, Denver has plenty of options. These are just a few.
- Colorado’s Coolest Corn Maze. Located at the Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield, this corn maze is one of the most heavily visited in the country. The seven acres of space are more than enough for most kids to wear themselves out, and if you have kids a little too small to enjoy the full thing, a special mini-maze is designed just for them. A ticket gets you access to the maze, a hayride, and for kids under twelve, a barrel train ride; pony rides are available for an extra charge. Enjoy the array of seasonal foods, and once you’re done exploring the maze, check it out from above atop one of the fifteen-foot illuminated bridges. It’s a sight you won’t see at any other Autumn activities in Denver!
- The 13th Floor Haunted House. The #1 scariest haunted attraction in the U.S., according to Fangoria Magazine, this haunted house is designed to teach visitors exactly why the thirteenth floor is left off the plans for high-rise buildings. Running from September through Halloween at its home on E. 52nd Ave., the effort put into casting and special effects is reflected in a terrifying experience you’ll insist your friends share.
- Elitch Gardens: Fright Fest. Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park hosts this activity for kids and adults alike on Friday nights, Saturdays, and Sundays from the end of September until the weekend before Halloween. Bring the little ones during the day so they can enjoy free candy available on the Trick or Treat Trail; leave them with a loved one at night, though, because haunted creatures come out to lurk around every corner. The Fright Fest is free with regular admission to Elitch Gardens.
One of the first things people from all over the U.S. connect with Denver is their historically successful NFL team. The Broncos have three Super Bowl victories to their credit, along with eight trips to the biggest game in sports, tied for second all-time. They’ve been so historically successful that even in down years fans still show up in droves to Mile High Stadium (technically named Sports Authority Field at Mile High, but hardly anyone calls it that if they’re not being paid to do so).
How consistent are Broncos fans? This coming fall, the Broncos expect to sell out every ticket in their 76,000-plus seat stadium for the four hundredth consecutive time. And even though the 2017 Broncos struggled to a 5-11 record, there are plenty of reasons to have hope for the coming season. There’s no doubt that attedning a Broncos game (or even just a tailgate!) is one of the best autumn activities in Denver.
Finally, if you’re interested enough in Colorado sports and want to see some areas of Mile High normally off limits to visitors, tours are held year round. The schedule is here; from September through December, tours run Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, every hour from 10 am to 2 pm.
Miscellaneous Autumn Activities in Denver
If you’re relaxing for a day and just looking for something to do, visit some of these events. Each is open for several weeks at different times during the fall and winter.
- Denver’s Christkindl Market. Local artisans combine with vendors from Germany, Ukraine, Ireland, and other countries at 1515 Arapahoe to offer high-quality gifts for the Christmas season. German food and music are ubiquitous and unique, hand-carved wooden figurines, handmade candles, and special ornaments are available from late November till just before Christmas.
- Ai Weiwei’s Circle of Animals. Located at Civic Center Park through October 17th, this art installation consists of twelve bronze animal heads, representing the traditional Chinese zodiac as reinterpreted by contemporary artist Ai Weiwei.
- Downtown Denver Rink at Skyline Park. Free to use, with skate rentals running $6-8, this rink is a busy attraction, popular among young and old skaters alike. Whether you’re just learning or able to weave through the new skaters flailing their arms (be careful!), the rink will be open for use from November 22nd through January 31st. And keep an eye out for special entertainment, including Friday night DJs, Saturday morning skating lessons, Saturday night concerts, and Sunday afternoon family entertainment.
Of course, it’s hard to enjoy any of these Autumn activities in Denver if you’re not in the area! If you’re looking for a home in Denver, contact Lana Cordier Shelton today to work with someone who specializes in finding families their perfect luxury homes.