You can even see Young the Giant & Thundercat this year.
September 1st is the unofficial start of Halloween and fall and all things spooky, and around here, we’re all about celebrating fall for as long as humanly possible. That’s why we have this ultimate guide for you, so that you can start prepping for the best spooky season with corn mazes, pumpkin patches, haunted tours, and arts and culture festivals that only come around once a year. Put on your best Halloween costume, pull up a chair with some cider, and get ready to be spooked. Here’s our guide for 12 frightening fall festivals and spooky attractions around Denver that you won’t want to miss.
1. Fairmount Cemetery “History Mystery Tours”
Check out this “History Mystery” tour at Fairmount Cemetery starting September 17th from 7:30 to 9:30pm. Be led by a spooky historian through Denver’s most notorious cemetery with a tour that takes you back in time to hear the stories of some of Colorado’s most notable figures and more. Tickets are around $25 without fees.
One of Denver’s finest venues, the Denver Botanical Gardens, is bringing back a couple of their fall festivities. From their Glow at the Gardens fest, a night-time festival celebrating the all mighty symbol of fall, the pumpkin, to their cornfield mazes in Chatfield Farms. Wander through the illuminated gardens lined with artistically carved pumpkins then, let the night take on a bit of a darker turn with their nightly ghost tours. The festival is from October 19th to the 24th and non-members pay only $21.
Boo at the Zoo is back, taking place every day in October from the 1st to the 31st for a whole month of spooky fun for the family. Enjoy the seasonally themed desserts and drinks & come dressed up in your best. Stories will be told, from fantasy to myths, with unique animal experiences and costume characters bringing the stories to life. This event called Madness & Monsters is sure to cause a fright. Get tickets here.
Head over to the historic Molly Brown house for an event that combines history and literature in a unique and fun way. Listen to some of the spookiest stories in the canon, penned from famous writers like Mary Shelley and Lord Byron, and learn more about Shelly in the process. You’ll walk away feeling spooked and inspired all at once in this virtual-only event. Get your tickets here.
The Cider Days Festival is returning to Lakewood this year, taking place on October 2nd to 3rd, and tickets are now on sale. Come Celebrate Lakewood’s agricultural history with a taste of the fall season. Enjoy apple cider, apple pressing, an apple baking competition on Sunday, and enjoy live performances and local vendors.
Anderson Farms Fall Festival is back on September 22nd with a newly-designed corn maze that’s suited for the whole family. This one is light-hearted and great for the kids. The haunted corn maze, though, will be on the north side of the farm and is known as Terror in the Corn. By day, enjoy the farm festival activities like trick or treating, the corn maze, and pumpkin patch. By night, feel real terror as you paintball fight a bunch of zombies, escape from the haunted corn maze, and get your spook on. Tickets for all of the events are on sale now.
For two weekends, enjoy Denver’s rip-roaring good-time beer fest, Oktoberfest. From September 17th – 19th and September 24th – 26th, drink your fill of German-inspired lagers and pilsners, wear your lederhosen, and enjoy a little taste of Germany right in your own backyard.
Over in Boulder, you can head over to the Ya Ya Farms and Orchard for plenty of fall-time activities suited for the little ones. From their U-Pick It activity, which lets you pick your very own fresh apples, pears, cherry, and flowers to their Hard Cider workshop where you can learn to make a perfectly spiced cider to sip on as the leaves turn colors and the weather changes. And don’t forget to check out the cider doughnuts.
Arts +Culture Festivals
From September 4th – 6th, enjoy the Cherry Creeks Art Festival that promotes arts and art education in the Denver area. Discover an amazing array of exhibiting artists, catch a live performance from bands like Peach Street Revival, a psychedelic rock group, and Healing Force, which is reggae. Buy a work of art from the local artists and support the amazing and innovative Denver art scene all weekend long.
Taste of Colorado brings together the best of arts, cultures, and food and it’s taking over Downtown Denver & 16th St. Mall this 4th through 6th. With so many amazing festivals, you’ll be able to fill your weekend with the best that Colorado has to offer. Enjoy a taste of local distilleries, pig out on food truck fare, then head over to urban art adventure walk before finally settling in and listening to live performances on 3 different stages.
The First Friday Art Walks in the Denver Arts District are the perfect way to spend Friday evenings. Enjoy the crisp air and take a stroll while admiring some of Denver’s most unique vendors. The event happens yearly on Santa Fe Drive and goes from 5:30 to 9:30. Not to mention, there are often food trucks and vendors to enjoy in between the art watching. For this year, you’ll have to wear a mask and keep a safe distance from each other, but this open-air event seems like the perfect way to spend an evening.
Westword Showcase features some of the biggest and best music, from national favorites to Denver locals. This year’s lineup includes Young The Giant, Thundercat, and Matoma, among many others. The event is from September 17th to 18th, with Friday evening showcasing the local Denver talent before the main event on Saturday. Tickets are available here, with Saturday’s main event starting at only $55.
[featured image by denverbotanic via Instagram]