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Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Denver's Best Fall Activities & Events 2021

Fall is upon us y'all! And what better way to celebrate the season than by picking apples, choosing pumpkins, going on fall drives, walking through groves of golden leaves and snacking on cinnamon goodies? Below I've got a list of all my favorites (plus more I've been wanting to go to) and a map at the bottom for you to see what's closest to you. Denver is alive with fall vibes, so get out there! — xoxo darling, Hayden
Ault, Currently Open Wed.–Sun.
Located in northeastern Colorado, this one is your best bet for apple picking near Denver. Each weekend they open for picking, but you need to check Facebook to see what they have up for grabs. You also need to get there early or they will be picked over. The country store sells a bunch of goodies as well. 
Longmont, Sept. & Oct. Tue.–Sat. 10am–3pm Sun. 10am–6pm & Nov. Tue.–Sun. 10am–3pm
Ya Ya has amazing apple cider donuts, a cute farm store and a little hay ride that is fun if you want to reminisce on your childhood. They also have a petting zoo that my friend Jess loved.
Penrose, Open 10am–5pm
The best apple cider I've ever had in Colorado was from Jenkins! Down in Penrose (which there are two pumpkin patches you should hit while down there), this one has that true family-run feel. Check website for details on actual apple picking.

Walks, Hikes & Drives

This is one of my all-time favorite walks in the Denver-area. If you go during golden hour the light hits the marigold-colored leaves in the most amazing way.

Get up early for this park that's just outside of Morrison. The parking lot will fill up and the trail can get crowded, but after you can reward yourself with a pumpkin latte from Morrison Joe! 

Downtown Littleton

The antique shops along Alamo Ave. do it up for the fall season. Pumpkins, skeletons, bats, cob webs and more will delight you on any given afternoon. If you want photos, of what I like to call our little Stars Hollow, go early on a Sunday morning.
My absolute favorite fall drive — I've been doing this one for three years. I like to get up at about 5:30am on a Sunday and make my way along 285 to this pass. The aspens are truly in their most perfect state and if you get to the trailhead early enough you'll get parking. A short brisk walk after the hour+ drive is reviving.
A daily pass is $10 but I think it's worth it just to drive around the park and enjoy the falling leaves. They have tons of hike options but lack for parking so go early because I went in the afternoon and had to circle for half an hour.

Festivals & Events

Lakewood, Saturday Oct. 2–Sunday Oct. 3
This weekend! I'm going on Sunday and can't wait to try all the apple products — think apple pressing, apple cider and apple baked goods. 

Pumpkin Harvest Festival at Four Mile Park

Denver, Oct. 1 (5-8pm), Oct. 2 (9am–8pm), Oct. 3 (9am–5pm)
Also this weekend, there are some really cool VIP experiences I think are worth the extra price. Think s'mores station, axe throwing and things from The Inventing Room (an insane dessert shop).
Littleton, Oct. 9 10am-3pm
 Pick a pumpkin and go for a hayride at the living history museum not to far from Sterne Park. Say hi to the donkey — I always see him on my walk.
Denver, Oct. 19–24
I have never been to the Botanic Gardens at Halloween but I have been at Christmas and it was magical so I can only imagine what they do for the spooky season. 
Littleton, Oct. 1–Oct. 30
 Okay, for sure want to go to this glowing Halloween magic. Apparently there are 5,000+ hand-carved jack-o-lanterns just waiting to be discovered. 

Fall Fest — Boulder, September (already happened)
Morrison Ciderfest — September (already happened)
Pumpkin Nights — October, canceled this year

Pumpkin Patches

Penrose, Aug. 27
Usually Third Street is my favorite apple-picking spot but this year they are going all in on the pumpkins. This one is amazing for the Instagram photos — my friends truly loved it when we visited. 

Penrose, Thur.–Sun. 9am–4:30pm
If you are looking to make a day of fall activities a trip to Penrose is worth it. As you've read above they have apple picking and pumpkin patches but Happy Apple just goes above and beyond. They make some of the best apple cider donuts in Colorado, dish up bbq and give you all the fall feels.
Erie, Sept. 22–Oct. 31, hours vary based on day
A corn maze, pumpkin patch, pumpkin canon and private campfire sites make Anderson Farms a joy to visit.

Littleton, Sept. 17–Oct. 31 9am–5pm
 Seven acres of corn make this quite the affair! My roommate and I went a few years ago and somehow made our way out but there was a lot of walking so if you're into getting your steps buy a ticket to this activity.

Longmont, Oct. 1–31, 9am–5pm
Okay, you've entered one of the most aesthetically pleasing patches I've ever seen! They have a giant pumpkin — a la Halloweentown — gourds of all shapes and sizes, and tons of activities. I will be making a pilgrimage this year.

Fritzler Farm Park 

 LaSalle, Sept. 19–Oct. 31, Fridays: 4pm–10pm, Saturdays: 11am–10pm, Sundays: 12pm–5pm
This one has a house made out of pumpkins that would be *chef's kiss* for a 'gram photo with your pals. They also have a scary event that I will not be taking part in, but it is there if that's your thing.
 Lafayette, Sept. 25–Oct. 31, 10am–6pm
 Get your $5 ticket before you get to this pumpkin patch and corn maze extravaganza. 
 Broomfield, Oct. 1–31, 9am–6pm
 U-pick pumpkins, a corn maze, decor and baked goods make this worth the drive up to Broomfield.
Thornton,  Now–Oct. 31, Monday–Thursday: 12pm–7pm, Friday–Sunday: 9am–7pm 
Maize in the City has the cheapest pumpkins of the patches I've been to thus far. And they have so many! It's also dog friendly, so that's a big plus as well.
 Brighton, October, Saturdays & Sundays 10am–6pm
There are 35 activities to run around and do at this farm. The u-pick pumpkin patch and corn maze are probably the biggest highlights. But they also have punkin' chunkin' sling shots...so...
 Aurora, Oct. Mon.–Sat. 8am-–6pm, Sun. 9am–5pm
Nick's does it up for the spoopy season and I'm definitely going to pop by. Also, is this how I know I'm getting older? I'm genuinely looking forward to going to a garden center?
 Thornton, October, Monday–Saturday: 10am–6pm, Sunday: 10am–5pm
Admission is free and they grow all the pumpkins — yes, there are different kinds — ones for pie, little ones, gourds, jumbo for jack-o-lanterns, etc. Plus, they have decorations to make your home aggressively fall themed.
Boulder, Monday–Sunday: 9am–6pm
This Boulder farm has quite a few Instagramable corners with plenty of seasonal gourds and pumpkins available for purchase.
Parker, Sept. 25–Oct. 3,  Thur.–Sun. 10am–6pm
Get your pumpkins, corn stalks, straw bales and gourds at this festival. Admission is $16.
Loveland, Monday–Sunday: 10am–6pm
This farm is the only one I've found that lists mums for purchase (THE flower of fall)! They also have pumpkins, gourds, corn, straw bales and hay rides.
Milliken, Oct. 1–31, Monday–Friday 1pm–6pm, Saturday–Sunday: 10am–6pm
Snack on a homemade pickle while you pick a pumpkin, squash, straw bale and corn stalk. Or go later in the day to enjoy the haunted houses.
Hudson, Oct. 1–31, Saturday–Sunday: 10am–5pm
For $14 you can enjoy a corn maze, petting zoo, pumpkin patch and a working farm. Also, a fun activity they offer (for $40) is make-your-own-scarecrow, which sounds incredibly fun!
Johnstown, Oct. 2–31, Saturdays: 11am–5pm, Sundays: 12pm–5pm
This place has blue pumpkins and you know a fall-obsessed person loves that! They also offer a corn maze.
 Greeley, Now–Mid-Oct., Thursday–Sunday: 10am–6pm
15 acres of pick-your-own pumpkin paradise. ALSO, PINK PUMPKINS — a purchase of which gives money to breast cancer research. Count me in!

Mile High Farms 

Bennett, Oct. 2nd–31, Saturdays & Sundays 10am–6pm
This one is aesthetically pleasing — think crumbling wood structure surrounded by hay bales and pumpkins. They have two corn mazes, a petting zoo, corn pits and, of course, a pumpkin patch!
 Littleton, Now–Oct. 31, Monday–Friday: 9am–6pm, Saturday–Sunday: 9am–5pm
Another garden center that offers up giant pumpkins without the hassle of driving all the way to a farm.
Longmont, Opening: Oct. 2
Get some perfectly round, bright orange pumpkins up at this quaint farm in Longmont. 
Mueller's Little Farm — Littleton (closed this season)


Pumpkin Spice Soft Serve — Hamburger Stand

Yep. That's all you need to know. 

Dushanbe is my favorite restaurant in Boulder and their chai is truly my favorite. They sell it in jugs and I buy two whenever I'm up there. It feels like fall the instant it hits your palate. 

Pumpkin Spice Donut — LaMar's Donuts & Coffee

Need I say more? Hello fall! 

Pumpkin Chip Ice Cream — Little Man Ice Cream


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