There is so much fall fabulousness going on in the Pikes Peak region that we had to break it down immediately. You don’t want to miss even one of the amazing events happening in September and October, so get ready to upload a massive list of fun to your calendar right now.
Sep 21: Aspens on the Avenue in Old Colorado City
Fall in Colorado is not complete without a jaunt through the mountains to check out one of our natural wonders — the turning of the aspens. Old Colorado City is giving visitors a taste of the season at a (slightly) lower altitude. Aspens on the Avenue is a fall art festival that features the work of hundreds of artists. Enjoy live demonstrations, like painting, drawing, glass-blowing and wood-turning. While you wander, pick up a piece of handmade jewelry, a lovely framed work that captures the beauty of the aspens or any number of other pieces of art inspired by the season. All of Old Colorado City’s restaurants and bars will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, giving you a boost of energy for more art enjoyment. Click here for a list of galleries and activities:
Sep 22: Taste of OCC
As reliable as the turning of the aspens is the annual food and drink festival known as Taste of OCC. Each year, the best restaurants, breweries, distilleries and wine bars team up for three hours of dining and imbibing in Bancroft Park. You’ll be treated to unlimited samples of food, craft brews, fine spirits and exquisite wines from the westside, so come hungry and plan for a ride home if you intend to drink a bit more. Live local music will accompany you as you mingle with your fellow foodies and enjoy all the westside has to offer. Proceeds from the ticket sales support improvements to Old Colorado City Tickets always sell out and are $40 for regular admission and $55 for VIP (which gets you in an hour early). Get them here:
Sep. 28: Manitou Paints!
While the fall leaves are still a golden yellow and the weather is that perfect mild fall temperature, we suggest you pay a visit to the town for their Plein Air event. Plein Air is a term to describe painting outdoors, which is exactly what you will find happening up and down the streets of Manitou Springs. Find artists at work in public spaces, outside of galleries and in other areas of town. Watch how they work, the unique styles they use and the magical creation of art from canvas, paint and imagination. The event runs from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and is followed by an incredible opportunity to purchase some of the works at an auction held in the Manitou Art Center. There may still be a few opportunities for local artists to get in on the action. Ring up one of Manitou’s many galleries to see if they will sponsor you.
Sep 28-29: Cripple Creek Big Aspen Happnin’
Last, and most certainly not least, is the FREE Big Aspen Happnin’ in historic Cripple Creek. The roads leading to Cripple Creek are well-known for their scenic views of the golden trees and the town has doubled down on that fame by adding a dollop of fall fun on the already festive fall cake. For two days, you can enjoy live music, cold beer, inflatables for the kids, vendors and great food. You can also get pumpkin patch photos and search for Jack Aspen, the town’s chipper and friendly mascot. Jack is absolutely adorable, so don’t miss out on your chance to meet him. Speaking of aspens, snag some last chance tickets on the Narrow Gauge Railroad and check out the leaves from the open-air cars! It closes for the season on Oct. 6 and you’ll want to get your tickets for the train immediately because everyone wants to give it a whirl.
Oct. 5 & 6 Weekends Miner’s Pumpkin Patch
Is there anything that captures the essence of fall more than visiting a pumpkin patch? The answer to that is no, in case you were wondering. Opening with an exciting Harvest Festival, the Miner’s Pumpkin Patch at the Western Museum of Mining and Industry is a family-friendly affair filled with fresh-pressed cider, hayrides, photo opps and, of course, pumpkins! Bring the kiddos to pick a pumpkin and then stay for fun games like giant Jenga, tether ball, horseshoes, corn hole and other outdoor activities. And because it’s held in the spacious mining museum’s outdoor space, you’ll also get to check out the equipment used in the past and present to bring precious resources to create so many of the items we rely on today. On Oct. 5 & 6 only, inflatable bounce houses, spooky stories and local vendors will be around to maximize the excitement. We’re forgetting something … Gem panning! What’s a mining museum without a bit of good old-fashioned panning for treasure? That’s a lot of entertainment for $10 (includes a pumpkin.)
Oct. 6 Motorless Morning at Garden of the Gods
Want to check out Garden of the Gods without hordes of cars? Back by popular demand is the motor-less morning! Ride your bike, hike the trails or just stroll the roads without a care. Bring along the kiddos to ride the hills without fear and catch the sights that are too hard to get to when traffic fills the roads. The Garden of the Gods Trading Post will be open at 9 a.m., selling hot coffee and tasty snacks for you and the crew to enjoy pre- or post-party — you can also park there for free and get right on the road to begin enjoying the adventure immediately. Check out star viewing if you’re near the visitor center at 5 a.m. There will also be climbing demos later in the morning, for-purchase Segway tours, nature walks, a fitness walk with Olympian Carl Schueler, a bike ride with Paralympic hopeful Brandon Lyons and more. The park will remain motor-less until noon, so you’ve got a good seven hours to celebrate.
Oct. 19 Old Colorado City Harvest Festival
Formerly their Giant Pumpkin Weigh Off, Old Colorado City has added way more Autumn fun to the schedule. Families can enjoy a pumpkin patch and decorate their pumpkins together. Or check out the Kids Zone and all the great family friendly activities. The grownups can spend a little time tending the Beer Garden and checking out all the food vendors. The merchants of OCC will have lots of sidewalk sales where you’re sure to snag a great deal on a new beanie or cute scarf. Scarecrow Days will be in full swing, and meandering the treelined streets in search of the coolest scarecrow is always great fun. You can take part in the Scarecrow Scavenger Hunt for added adventure. In addition to all that stuff, there will be vendors, face painting, balloon animals, live music and the Farmers Market. Check out this link for more details.
Jam-packed with adventure, culture, education and thrills. The Pikes Peak regions really knows how to do fall right. Come out and join us!