Updated October 12th
If you thought last month’s calendar was huge, just wait until you discover what Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak region have in store for October. We’ve got your handy-dandy agenda right here, loaded with fall adventures and ready to guide you on the most epic fall journey ever. You want culture? We’ve got culture. You want whimsical fun? Be ready to explode from whimsy overload. Yes indeed, we take fall fun quite seriously here in Colorado, so strap on your party pants and ride into the golden orange sunset with us. In short, it’s time to get your fall on!
Oct. 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. 6 & 7 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.) Get the details here.
Oct. 6 Manitou Paints!
October Arts Month is also a pretty big deal in Manitou Springs. That’s probably not surprising when you think about just how many artists are holed up in the houses that dot the hills fervently creating their next masterpieces. 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. Learn more here.
Oct. 7 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 motorless 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 motorless until noon, so you’ve got a good seven hours to celebrate. Want to see what else is going on? Click here.
Oct. 20 Old Colorado City Giant Pumpkin Festival
Linus van Pelt and Sally Brown waited the whole night on Halloween to meet the Great Pumpkin, a mysterious being said to bring toys to good boys and girls who wait patiently in the pumpkin patch. Spoiler alert: The dude never showed. In Old Colorado City, however, giant pumpkins do appear, although they aren’t sentient and don’t hand out gifts. Sentient pumpkins would be terrifying anyway, right? Giant vegetable growers from across southern Colorado will haul their magnificent squash to Colorado Avenue and compete to win the honor of growing the biggest pumpkin in the region. And because it’s Halloween season, cool characters will wander the streets of Old Colorado City for photo opps and fun. Everyone who attends is strongly encouraged to dress up and kiddos can snag a small pumpkin from the pumpkin patch for a great low price. In addition to all that stuff, there will also be vendors, face painting, balloon animals and the city’s beloved scarecrows, set out for scarecrow days. Check out this link for more details.
Oct. 20: Colorado Wolf Adventures at Cliff Dwellings
Did you miss the wolves at the Manitou Cliff Dwellings in September? Have no fear. The beautiful, beloved and very, very necessary apex predators are back at the Manitou Cliff Dwellings for a morning of education, photo opps and maybe a few pets. Raised by the dedicated folks at Colorado Wolf Adventures, these furry and fabulous creatures each have a unique story to tell about their lives before rescue, their purpose in the ecosystem and the future of their species. Get to know this paw-some pack between 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. as part of your regular admission to the Manitou Cliff Dwellings (Wolves and hands-on fun? Yes, please!). Arrive early to ensure you get a chance to meet them, because these puppers have to get their rest and can’t stay after 1 p.m. Kiowa, Ghost, Spirit and Apache will also be available for photos for a donation of $20, which supports the care of the wolves. Kids must be over 45 inches to enter the wolf area. Meeting the wolves is included with admission.
Oct 27. Cripple Creek Art at the Park
Throughout the month of October, the entire country celebrates National Arts & Humanities Month. In the Pikes Peak region, we’ve created our own local arts month that honors all the artists that make Colorado Springs and the surrounding region so special. Cripple Creek launches its high-altitude October Arts Month with Art at the Park, a celebration of local artists held in the park by City Hall. An enormous, 240-square-foot canvas will be available for you to show off your (family-friendly) artistic skills. Speaking of family-friendly, the event will have lots of fun crafts available for the kiddos to enjoy as you check out the stunning works of some of the most talented artists in the region. If you can’t make Art in the Park, you can find various works of art displayed in the historic buildings in town, as well as the Silver Mine, the Butte Theater (which has a killer showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show for $18-$21 all month long) or the Cripple Creek Heritage Center. Learn more about Art in the Park at https://visitcripplecreek.com/event/arts-month.
Yet another month jam-packed with adventure, culture, education and thrills. The Pikes Peak regions really knows how to do fall right. Come out and join us!
September 6th Post
While the first day of fall doesn’t technically begin until September 22, there is so much fall fabulousness going on that we had to break it down immediately. You don’t want to miss even one of the amazing events happening in the Pikes Peak region in September, so get ready to upload a massive list of fun to your calendar right now.
Sep 10-16: Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Military Appreciation Week
With Fort Carson, Shriever Air Force Base, Peterson Air Force Base, the Air Force Academy and Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, it’s safe to say that Colorado Springs has an enormous military community. That’s why, each year, the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo offers our active duty men and women in uniform, veterans, retired military personnel and their dependents 50% off of the normal admission price. And they don’t just do it for one day, it lasts all week long! From Monday, Sept. 10 through Sunday, Sept. 16, military folks and their families can feed the giraffes, check out the latest habitat updates, pet chickens, goats and a pig, all for a sweet discount. With the extra savings, you can score some cool zoo items in the gift shop, take an extra whirl on the merry-go-round and still have extra money for ice cream. It’s the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s special way to say thanks to the military community!
Sep 15: Colorado Wolf Adventures at Cliff Dwellings
The wild pups you know and love are back at the Manitou Cliff Dwellings. We’re talking, of course, about the beloved apex predators you can’t wait to cuddle, wolves. The dedicated folks at Colorado Wolf Adventures bring their beautiful pack to the Cliff Dwellings and share their stories with visitors. Many of the wolves at Colorado Wolf Adventures have had long and difficult journeys before ending up with their caregivers. You can learn all about them, plus the history of wolves as a species and their critical role in a healthy ecosystem from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Arrive early to ensure you get a chance to meet them! Kiowa, Ghost, Spirit and Apache will also be available for photos for a donation of $20, which supports the care of the wolves. Kids must be over 45 inches to enter the wolf area. Meeting the wolves is included with admission.
Sep 15: Space Foundation RocketOberfest
The Space Foundation Discovery Center doesn’t always get the credit is deserves for being a spectacular science attraction in Colorado Springs. There’s always something fun and educational going on and Saturday, Sept. 15 is no exception. The Space Foundation will launch (pun absolutely intended) its inaugural family-friendly “RocketOberfest” event supporting The Space Foundation’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education programs, the Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndromes Foundation (SADS) and the Pikes Peak Club. Packages start at $35 and include fun activities like virtual reality, a kids’ zone, scavenger hunts and way, way more. While it’s family-friendly, there will be beer tastings from local breweries, live local music and food. And if you use the code ROCKET10 through Sept. 10, you can save $10 off your admission. Get your tickets here: https://bit.ly/RTOBFTRG.
Sep 15: Pikes Peak Special Sunrise Opening
It’s not often that one gets an opportunity to watch the sun rise from the top of a majestic 14er, but the time has come! Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain is allowing early admission for a special sunrise session. The gate will open at 4:30 a.m. and allow photographers and visitors the opportunity to capture the sun rising over the east, lighting the earth’s stunning beauty and bringing into full view the epic panorama that has inspired songs, poems … and many a selfie. Please Note: The North Slope Recreation Area will not open early that day; they will open at the regular hour of 7:30am for fishing. Dress warm; it has been snowing on the summit lately, so you don’t want to be caught without a coat at that hour of the day. Bringing along hats and gloves is also a good idea. You can always leave them in the car if we’re wrong (we won’t be).
Sep 15: Cave of the Winds Welcomes the Cheyenne Mount Zoo Mobile
If you’ve ever been to Cave of the Winds, you know it’s a whole lot of fun. And if you haven’t been lately, you should really go and check out the new attractions, like the Via Ferrata outdoor climbing experience and the Magic Lantern Virtual Reality Theater. Double your fun by attending Saturday, Sept. 15, when the Cheyenne Mountain ZOOMobile will be on site from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.! (Note: Admission for the ZOOMobile is free, but since you’re already there …) The ZOOMobile will be bringing different animals from around the world. Get up-close and personal, learn all about the animals, their habitats and discover other cool facts, too. It’s a fun, family-friendly event you won’t want to miss. Find out more here:
Sep 22: 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 23: 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 $35 for regular admission and $50 for VIP (which gets you in an hour early). Get them here:
Sep 29-30: 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. 7 and you’ll want to get your tickets for the train immediately because everyone wants to give it a whirl.
Wow! Even we didn’t realize just how much was truly going on until we put it in print. Better get lots of sleep and eat a healthy breakfast each day. You’re going to need to bring your A-game if you want to try to tackle all of the fall activities in Colorado Springs, Old Colorado City, Manitou Springs and Cripple Creek this September.
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