12 Fall Festivals and Events in Denver
posted by: Amber Johnson
Denver’s fall months are filled with some of The Mile High City’s greatest events, from the biggest beer festival in the country to a citywide week of arts. Visit Denver has rounded up some favorites!
A TASTE OF COLORADO
WHEN: Sept. 2-5, 2016
WHERE: Civic Center Park
The weekend-long food-lovers’ delight known as A Taste of Colorado returns to downtown Denver’s Civic Center Park over Labor Day weekend. The food fest features more than 50 of Colorado’s favorite dining establishments, offering sample- and full-sized portions of their specialties. You’ll find everything from the finest, fanciest food to down-home specialties. All in all you’ll enjoy the offerings of more than 50 area food establishments, 275 marketplace artisans and vendors, six entertainment stages, family activities, educational programs and more. Admission is free, and food tickets start at $10.
WHEN: Sept. 10-11, 2016
WHERE: Belmar Center, Lakewood
Mamma mia! The annual Festival Italiano Food & Wine Festival at Belmar Center is a fun-filled celebration of all things Italian. The event will feature over 70 of the finest Italian food, wine and artisan vendors from the area who will sell ceramics, gelato, sausage, baked goods, pasta, flowers, herbs, sculpture, antique maps, produce, pizza and much more. What should you expect? Throwers from Florence, regional Italian wine tastings for adults, chef demonstrations, live Italian music and dancing, Italian movies, a children’s grape stomp and a bocce ball tournament.
WHEN: Sept. 23-25 and Sept. 30–Oct. 2, 2016
WHERE: Ballpark Neighborhood (between 20th and 22nd Sts. on Larimer St.)
Oktoberfest lives on in The Mile High City! Modeled after Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany, this family-friendly fest commemorates this world-famous and time-honored tradition of German heritage. Enjoy German attractions including music from national touring groups, performances by international dancers, children’s activities and heritage booths selling German goods, decor, an accordion concert and authentic drinks and cuisine.
GREAT AMERICAN BEER FESTIVAL® AND DENVER BEER FEST
WHEN: Oct. 6-8, 2016 (GABF®) & Sept. 30-Oct. 8, 2016 (Denver Beer Fest)
WHERE: Colorado Convention Center and various locations throughout the city
For beer aficionados, there’s no bigger event all year. More than 60,000 beer enthusiasts from around the world come to attend the legendary Great American Beer Festival (GABF)®. The GABF® is a gargantuan event, covering 188,000 square feet of the Colorado Convention Center. GABF® is all about sampling. Visitors enjoy one-ounce beer samples from the festival’s 750 breweries, which come from all over the country, giving beer lovers a walking tour of the nation’s beer-blessed landscape. The brewers themselves staff many of the booths. If you love beer, don’t miss this event. Tying in nicely with GABF® is Denver Beer Fest, a citywide celebration of all things beer in The Mile High City. Events include beer bike nights, midnight beer breakfasts, beer-paired dinners, brewery tours, brewer competitions, meet-the-brewer nights, tap takeovers, beer quizzes and even a beer street party with bands, brews and food trucks.
WHEN: Weekends Throughout October
WHERE: Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park
Things get spooky around this time of year — especially during Fright Fest at Denver’s famed downtown theme park, Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park. This enormous fun zone transforms from theme park to “scream” park all month long during Fright Fest. Daytime is a trick-and-treat trail for little ones, and nighttime is all about haunted houses and ghoulish surprises.
WHEN: Oct. 7-9, 2016
WHERE: Denver Botanic Garden at Chatfield
At Pumpkin Fest, search for the perfect jack o’ lantern or pumpkin pie gourd for all your Halloween and fall festivities! Thousands of pumpkins will be ripe for the picking from the Denver Botanic Garden at Chatfield‘s pumpkin patch. The gardens will be filled with exciting children’s activities and vendors selling handcrafted gifts. Explore a menagerie of animals at the working farm, tour the historic ranch and enjoy the carnival rides.
BOO AT THE ZOO
WHEN: Oct. 22-23 and Oct. 29-30, 2016
WHERE: Denver Zoo
Discover “spooktacular” Halloween fun at the Denver Zoo during Boo at the Zoo. Enjoy trick-or-treating stations and family-friendly entertainment while supporting Denver Zoo’s mission to provided exceptional care to our resident animals. Space is limited so buy tickets early!
DENVER GORILLA RUN
WHEN: Oct. 22, 2016
WHERE: Westin Westminster
The annual Denver Gorilla Run features more than 3,000 people in gorilla suits running a 5K to benefit the mountain gorillas of Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The 13th Annual Gorilla Run will be taking place at The Westin Westminster. The run begins at 11 a.m. with the Silverback After Party immediately following. The cost of the race is $99.95, which includes a full gorilla suit (available in different sizes). All Gorilla Run participants receive entry into the after-party, and tickets are $10 (includes one beer and access to all food tents) for spectators or anyone who’d like to join the fun.
DENVER FILM FESTIVAL
WHEN: November 2-13, 2016
WHERE: Various venues, including the Sie FilmCenter and UA Pavilions
Since 1978, the Denver Film Society has worked to promote the medium as both an art form and a civic forum, developing a program that includes year-round screenings, community outreach projects and renowned special events. The Denver Film Festival brings over 200 guest filmmakers and sells over 55,000 tickets to more than 250 films, from blockbusters and documentaries to shorts and indepedent films.
DENVER INTERNATIONAL WINE FESTIVAL
WHEN: Nov. 2-4, 2016
WHERE: Westin Hotel, Denver International Airport
Join fellow oenophiles in The Mile High City for the 12th annual Denver International Wine Festival at the Westin Hotel, Denver International Airport. More than 400 wines will be presented by proprietors and winemakers from around the world. Take educational seminars, sample delicious gourmet food samplings and meet travel experts from top international destinations.
DENVER ARTS WEEK
WHEN: Nov. 4-12, 2016
WHERE: Various galleries, museums and theaters throughout Denver
The Mile High City celebrates its vibrant creative community each year with Denver Arts Week. In 2016, this unique citywide happening returns with a lineup of innovative, inspiring and fun activities and events. Denver Arts Week takes place at seven neighborhood art districts, several museums, dozens of art galleries, and includes the wildly popular Night At The Museums, where several of the city’s greatest museums are free.
DENVER ZOMBIE CRAWL
WHEN: October 22, 2016
WHERE: Skyline Park
Some 16,000-plus blood splattered crazies gather at Skyline Park and drag themselves down the16th Street Mall in this day-long event that can be as funny as it is horrifying. The Denver Zombie Crawl typically starts at 9 a.m. with the Organ Trail. This zombified version of a 5K event is a run, walk or crawl around downtown Denver. That’s followed by a parade of undead at 4 p.m. As you might imagine, during the procession, you’ll see zombie cheerleaders, zombie nurses, zombie brides, zombie Playboy bunnies, and even a complete zombie marching brass band.