30 fun things to do in Denver this weekend
posted by: Amber Johnson
October is one of Denver’s most glorious times of the year! Don’t miss Enchanted Hollows, Nitro Circus: You Got This, pumpkin patches and more. See our event calendar for full listings.
Go, Dog. Go!at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center
Sept 15– Oct 13
P.D. Eastman’s classic children’s book comes to life on stage in an exploration of movement, color, and space. The dogs delve into life with gusto, creating a visual spectacle for the audience to feast upon. They snorkel. They howl at the moon. They ride a Ferris wheel. They sing and dance and climb trees. This is a rollicking free-for-all of chicanine-ery. A big and little musical world of doggy fun. Like a pop-up book that comes to life – and never stops.
Just Between Friends of Broomfield/Brighton at Adams County Fairgrounds
Oct 11 –14
Thousands of shoppers find bargains on kids’ clothing for newborn-preteen, toys, strollers, furniture, baby equipment, books, shoes, maternity items and more…all at 50-90% below retail.
Oct 11, 7:15 – 9:30 pm
Enjoy a film in the Longmont Museum’s state-of-the art, 250-seat Stewart Auditorium this fall. The Museum is also open with extended evening hours (5 – 9 pm) to stroll through the galleries. Popcorn, concessions, beer, wine, and signature drinks available for purchase.
Pumpkin Festival at Botanic Gardens Chatfield
Oct 12 – 14
Ticket price includes access to the 10-acre pumpkin patch and family and children’s activities. Pumpkin prices vary by size; the average price is $8. The Festival includes live music, local craft and artisan booths, food trucks, beer and wine vendors, antique tractor exhibit by Front Range Antique Power Association, tractor-pulled parking shuttles, pony rides, horse-drawn hayrides, photo booths, five carnival game tickets per child’s paid admission, mini-maze for kids 10 and under, jumping pillow, obstacle course, express face painting, kids crafts and corn hole. Additional costs include Corn Maze, pumpkin golf cart shuttles directly to your car, Xtreme Obstacle Course, hamster balls, stunt jump and additional carnival game tickets.
Thorne Fall Fest
Oct 12, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Free, outdoor celebration of the season at Thorne Nature Experience Headquarters. Pre-concert nature activities from 10-11am (free as well!) Rain or shine J&P show 11am-12pm. *Registration required
Enchanted Hollows at Denver Zoo
Oct 12 – 13
An eerie nighttime experience designed for families with children 8 and over that brings Halloween story and lore to life. Enchanted Hollows features Woodland Hollow, an immersive night walk, Jack-o-lantern sculptures and spooky décor; seasonal foods, beer, wine and cocktails; animal meet-and greets and demonstrations; and trick or treat candy stations (Oct. 26 and 27 only).
Dinosaur Discovery Days at Friends of Dinosaur Ridge
Oct 13, 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Dinosaur Discovery Days are free outdoor events hosted by Dinosaur Ridge at the Main Visitor Center Complex and along the Ridge Trail on the second Saturday of the month between May and October. Volunteers are stationed along the Dinosaur Ridge Trail at significant interpretive sites, while many others staff booths and activities at the Main Visitor Center Complex for kids of all ages. Visitors can hike at their own pace or take the shuttle bus at $4 per person on these special days (ages three and under ride free).
Harvest Festival at Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Oct 13, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
Come out to the Barr Lake State Park’s 6th Annual Fall Harvest Festival. Great carnival games for kids, petting zoo, face-painting, hay rides, train rides, kids crafts and more. Come get a Barr Lake State Park pumpkin grown at the park. The Friends of Barr Lake will be providing food and beverages for a donation.
Free Day – Fire Prevention Week at Denver Firefighters Museum
Oct 13, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Join us as we celebrate fire prevention week! Free admission for all, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Special activities, including crafts and a family-friendly scavenger hunt throughout the museum. Be sure to snag a ride on E04, our historic 1953 fire engine, too. (Weather permitting)
Longmont Museum at Longmont Museum
Oct 13, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
The Longmont Museum, housed in a distinctive contemporary building, features changing exhibits in history, art, and science, as well as the award-winning Front Range Rising, a long-term exhibit on the history and culture of this region. The Museum recently opened an expansion, featuring the 250-seat Stewart Auditorium and Cone-Shortall stage, the Swan Atrium, and the Kaiser Permanente Education Center.
Creepy Clay Crawlers at Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus
Oct 13, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Use your imagination to make original creepy crawlers out of clay! Come back the following week to glaze your creation.
Hands on History Family Fun Days at the History Colorado Center
Oct 13, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
Join us for our Hands on History Family Fun Days! On the second Saturday of each month, families have the opportunity to explore and create their own history, art, and culture through hands-on, immersive activities like adobe brick making, building log cabins, live performances, and role playing in our exhibits.
Maker Faire Denver at the National Western Complex
Oct 13 –14
Maker Faire is a gathering of fascinating, curious people who enjoy learning and who love sharing what they can do. From engineers to artists to scientists to crafters, Maker Faire is a venue for these “makers” to show hobbies, experiments, projects. We call it the Greatest Show (& Tell) on Earth – a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity, and resourcefulness.
Candy Crawl at Shops at Northfield Stapleton
Oct 13, 3:00 – 5:00 pm
Join us October 13th for our Candy Crawl event with Trick-or-Treating, Hay Rides, Contests, Entertainment and More.
Colorado Avalanche vs. Calgary Flames at Pepsi Center
Oct 13 – Nov 2
Colorado Avalanche vs. Calgary Flames at Pepsi Center!
5th Annual Brunch 5K + 10K
Oct 14, 8:00 am – 12:00 pm
Join us for the 5th annual bRUNch Run 5k + 10k on Sunday, October 14th in Stapleton Central Park helping benefit: Metro Caring + the fight against hunger. That’s right! We are back at it for a 5th year and we’ve got an amazing morning planned for all of our bRUNchers.
Low Sensory Morning at Downtown Aquarium
Oct 14, 8:30 – 9:45 am
For our guests that prefer a calmer and more sensory-friendly environment join us for a special morning. We will open early at 8:30am, turn up the lights and turn down the ambient sounds in the exhibits. Stay as long as you would like.
Free Day at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science
Oct 14, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Museum Admission is free on the dates listed below. To add a temporary exhibit, IMAX or Planetarium show, purchase tickets at the Museum on the Free Day; upgrade rates apply.
Whole Child Approach to Autism Workshop at Green Spaces
Oct 14, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Autism specialist and Author, Tali Berman, will host a 2-hour workshop sharing an innovative and integrative approach to autism, taking place on Sunday, October 14thth in Denver, Colorado.
Ballet Melange presents Melange D’Amour at Cleo Parker Robinson Dance
Oct 14, 4:00 – 6:00 pm
Mélange D’Amour – Classic excerpts from well-known ballet love stories interspersed with the energy and excitement of contemporary works.
Nitro Circus: You Got This at the Pepsi Center
Oct 16, 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Nitro Circus: You Got This is coming to Denver for an October 16 Pepsi Center show. Nitro Circus: You Got This will feature Travis Pastrana along with Nitro Circus’ best athletes in FMX, BMX, Scooter and Inline, including multiple X Games medalists and several Nitro World Games champions. Pastrana will lead this all-star roster as they attempt both never before seen tricks and completely ill-advised stunts. This tour will debut an audacious production complete with new huge ramps and crazy contraptions. Expect some sketchy challenges to be thrown down. Who will take them up? With this crew, you never know what will happen, but without a doubt You Got This will be totally wide open, with more thrills, more excitement and more irreverence than ever before.
Ongoing Events and Exhibits
Haunted Field of Screams
Sept 21 – Oct 31
On Friday, September 21, the Haunted Field of Screams (HFOS) opens as an all-new scream park for the 2018 season. Built into a 40-acre corn field, HFOS will deliver a daunting indoor/outdoor haunt experience only 15 minutes from downtown Denver at 10451 McKay Road, Thornton, CO. Backing the famously haunted Riverdale Road, the scream park offers four contrasting interactive haunt experiences that prey on individual’s innermost fears: Dead Man’s Maze, Zombie Paintball Massacre, CarnEvil and Condemned.
Corn Maze at Botanic Gardens Chatfield
Sept 21 – Oct 28
Wind your way through seven acres of corn. The maze can be viewed from two 15-foot tall illuminated bridges. Visitors under the age of 10 can explore the corn mini-maze.
In an effort to reduce waste, printed maps will not be available at the mazes.
Maize in the City
Sept 28– Oct 31
Maize in the City is Colorado’s favorite rural fall event featuring convenient, fun attractions for the whole family to enjoy. Get lost in your own backyard as you navigate your way through the 20-acre corn maze or mini maze. Find your perfect pumpkin in our easy-pick field. Locally grown by the Maize in the City farmer, choose from 15 variety of pumpkins and gourds. Launch ears of corn 50+ feet across the field with our all-new corn launchers; have your little ones ride through the field on the barrel train; take a turn on our obstacle bouncer. All new this year, bounce above the corn stalks on our pumpkin bounce pillow – the largest in the state! Visit and feed animals in our petting zoo. Swim through our free corn kernel box as the all-new corn kernel waterfall pours over or have your kiddos take a turn conquering the free playground area. Experience hours of family fun just 15 minutes outside of downtown Denver.
Fright Fest at Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park
Sept 28 – Oct 28
In October, Elitch Gardens transforms into Family By Day and Fright By Night, plus all your favorite Theme Park rides. Don’t miss out on five weekends of scary fun at Colorado’s largest Halloween event!
BUGTOBER at the Butterfly Pavilion
Overwhelming pain, paralysis and death in a matter of minutes – real peril lurks with the fangs, barbs and stingers of the spineless. Move over sharks – these animals and plants give danger a whole new meaning! Safely see these toxic terrors at Colorado’s Butterfly Pavilion during BUGTOBER, a Halloween-themed event where their most intimidating invertebrates take center stage.
July 20 – January 6, 2019
Love brainteasers? Enter “Mindbender Mansion,” a quirky place full of puzzles, brainteasers and interactive challenges that put minds of all ages to the test. This unique, high-energy experience opened at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science on July 20.
Denver Art Museum
There are several family-friendly exhibits at the DAM including Stampede: Animals in Art on view at the museum through May 19, 2019. A Walk in the Woods is still on view, which coincides with Stampede, and includes animal-themed artmaking activities and after their summer break, Foxy & Shmoxy: Art Detectives, are back. Children have been really loving the gallery games and book in the exhibition Ganesha: The Playful Protector. Their Learning & Engagment department created a children’s book specially to be used while visiting this exhibition with children, and don’t miss Past the Tangled Present. Go to https://denverartmuseum.org/ for more information.
AI Weiwei: Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads
Oct. 18, 2017–Oct. 17, 2018
The 12 bronze heads of Ai Weiwei’s Circle of Animals represent the 12 animals of the traditional Chinese zodiac. See it for free at Civic Center Park! https://www.denver.org
Zoom In: The Centennial State in 100 Objects
Nov. 21, 2017–Dec. 31, 2018
History Colorado created a brand-new space, the Tim Schultz Gallery, to house this 3,700-square-foot exhibit of 100 objects, each of which had a role in shaping history.