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7 Best Fall Activities in Colorado with Kids

A view of autumn leaves, trees, and mountains on the Bear Lake Train near Denver.
Photo Courtesy: Michelle Hamilton

Fall is fast approaching, which means it’s time to explore these fall activities in Colorado with kids! With school in full swing and cooler weather approaching, there’s no time like now to get your kids outside to enjoy various fall activities. When we think of fall, we think of carving pumpkins, the smell of apple cider, prickly corn mazes, and spooky Halloween decorations. We are lucky to have such a wide variety of fall activities in Colorado with kids! Festivals throughout Colorado celebrate what autumn brings, as well as holidays including Dia de Los Muertos and Halloween. With many farms featuring pumpkin patches and apple orchards to explore, as well as farmer’s markets to stroll through, you can participate in the fall harvest as a family. Corn mazes, bumpy wagon rides, and petting farms are all family-favorites on my list of the 7 Best Fall Activities in Colorado with Kids.    

Let’s explore where to experience fall in Colorado and the best fall activities for kids, whether it’s a day trip from your home or an exciting weekend excursion.

Fall-Themed Farms in Colorado with Kids

Two kids sit in a green wagon holding pumpkins in the middle of a pumpkin patch.
Photo Courtesy: Alicia Pepe

We are lucky to have so many family-friendly farms in Colorado, welcoming guests of all ages by offering countless fall activities catering to children. Most of these farms offer a farmstand with in-season fruits and vegetables for sale, in addition to pumpkins and gourds available for purchase. Plus, there’s plenty of free fall activities for kids! Your small children can feel independent while navigating the hale bale mazes on the farm, or your family can adventure through the tall stalks of the leafy corn mazes. Some of our all-time favorite farms to visit are north of Denver. Each farm has a unique set of activities offered, so be sure to check out their websites for all of the details and any admission fees.  

Anderson Farms, Erie

A rainbow stretches over Anderson Farm on a sunny autumn day.
Photo Courtesy: Anderson Farm

Anderson Farms is a must-visit farm during fall in Colorado! Located in Erie, off of Hwy 52, you’ll see a large pumpkin silo as you near the farm. Feel free to take advantage of everything offered here! Among the activities and attractions open in 2020 are the corn and rainbow mazes, the petting zoo, and the tire mountain. Best of all? It’s all included with your entrance fee! Kids especially love to play on the playground, ride the pedal karts, and take a wagon ride out to the pumpkin patch. Though some of the activities are closed for this season, many of the best fall activities for kids are still available. For a unique family experience, rent a campfire site to roast s’mores for a special evening in the crisp fall air! 

Sunflower Farm, Longmont

Two baby goats stick their heads through a gap in the fence.
Photo Courtesy: Sunflower Farm

Sunflower Farm focuses on nature, animals, and children. What could be better for a day of fall activities in Colorado with kids? Make reservations for one of the Sunflower Farm Farmfest days. Note: “During FARMFEST public hours, you will be able to have direct contact with your favorite farm animals. Free-roaming chickens, peacocks, turkeys, and guineas dance among visitors. Enjoy the huge shade trees with incredible tire swings or sit on a John Deere tractor. You will discover an old airplane, sandboxes, bicycles, hammocks, giant treehouses, among many other adventures. Please be aware: we do not serve food, please pack a picnic/beverages.” Be sure to book your tickets in advance as they sell out quickly!

7th Generation Farm, Louisville

A rusty old pick-up truck sits amongst hay bales, corn stalks, and pumpkins on a fall day in Colorado.
Photo Courtesy: 7th Generation Farm

7th Generation Farm is your place for family fun in October! Boasting the “best pumpkin picking in Boulder County,” this local, family-run farm is great for a day of enjoying some fall festivities with kids. Here, families can choose from a range of organic products, alongside access to a pumpkin patch! Browse the U-pick pumpkins from a pre-picked selection and decide which one you want to take home. Kids will also love exploring either a hay bale or a fun corn maze! Plus, little ones will definitely delight in petting farm animals, too. Or, take a family spin around the farm on a  tractor ride! Finally, the hay bale mountain adds an extra special feature that your tiny climbers will love! 

Bee Hugger & Ya Ya Apple Orchard and Farm, Longmont

Two children look on at a cow at Ya Ya Farm, one of the best fall activities in Colorado with kids.
Photo Courtesy: Michelle Hamilton

Want to explore more than one Colorado fall farm, but feel pressed for time? In Longmont, combine a trip to the Bee Hugger and Ya-Ya Apple Orchard and Farm for a special treat! Both locations are sure to fill your day with animals, honey, apple cider, and fall activities. Plus, kids will love all the wide-open spaces these farms present. Little ones can meander through the end of season sunflower field with spooky surprises or visit the haunted VW bug yard at the Bee Hugger Farm. Or, come ride their miniature horse, Lobo, between 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Depending on the harvest a Ya-Ya Orchard, apple picking may be available, but be sure to stop by for their cider donuts! With so many delicious treats, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better way to spend a full day exploring fall activities in Colorado with kids!

Fritzler Farm, LaSalle

Several large pumpkins sit at the edge of a pumpkin patch with a red barn in the distance at Fritzler Farm Park, one of the best fall activities in Colorado with kids.
Photo Courtesy: Fritzler Farm Park

Fritzler Farm is a one-stop-shop for your family’s autumn adventure! Located in LaSalle, this long-standing farm flaunts over 25 fall activities for kids. See all of the activities listed for Fall Days and Scream Acres to get a better idea of what’s offered here, between pumpkin cannons, go-karts, and a barrel train, you are sure to find a thrill! Little kids can tackle the slide mountain, corn spinner, or pillow jump to start your spectacular farm getaway. Then, Scream Acres is the perfect addition for your thrill-seeking, scream-chasing teenagers. They even offer night time paintballing, which is sure to be a thrill for teens!

Farmers Markets in Colorado with Kids

A woman wearing a brown coat holds out a small pumpkin.
Photo Courtesy: Frank Luca

Located around the state, Farmers Markets are some staple fall activities in Colorado with kids. Find farm fresh eggs and meat, as well as seasonal fruits and vegetables. In addition, local honey and baked goods can be found to satisfy your sweet tooth! Local Colorado specific goods such as hats and tee-shirts, vibrant photography, and hand-made art or jewelry often fill the stalls. Some markets are year-round, while others begin in May or early June. Find your local market, or the closest market while you are on your weekend getaway, to add fall flavors and fall-themed Colorado memorabilia as your family travels. This interactive map shows locations, while Colorado Farmers’ Market Locations lists the events by day of the week and the name of the town/city.

Denver Botanic Gardens

Two kids choose a pumpkin to cut off the vine at Chatfield Farm.
Photo Courtesy: Molly Callister

Denver Botanic Gardens is great for experiencing fall as a family in a controlled environment.  Plus, it’s also convenient since it offers 2 locations perfect for families! One is on York Street, between Cheesman and Congress Park, while the other location is Chatfield Farms in Littleton. Each location has unique experiences and fall activities in Colorado with kids. At the Chatfield Farm location, for example, the Corn Maze is 7-acres of twisting paths and bridges to explore! Be sure to check the website for admission fees and information on the limited season, namely Fridays-Sundays, Sept. 18 – Oct. 31. Plus, there is a small maze that won’t overwhelm kids under the age of 10. Finally, check out their 10-acre pumpkin patch so your family can pick the perfect pumpkins for carving your autumn creations!

The York Street location is equally alluring! Specifically, Glow at the Gardens is at the York location from Oct. 19-25, 6-9:45 p.m., and last entry is at 9 p.m. Here, wander the Gardens as they are illuminated and decorated for Halloween. Kids will love searching for spooky friends! Tickets go on sale in early October. Then, celebrate the Day of the Dead a bit differently in 2020 with the Dia de Los Muertos Celebration. Also located at the York Street location, this event is both online and in-person this year.  You can view the altar showcase, Oct. 28 – Nov. 2, which is included in your admission fee to the Gardens. The virtual celebration will offer at-home fun where you can “download coloring pages, learn how to make sugar skulls, and shop our virtual Mercado.” Whether on-site or virtually, your family is sure to love this fantastic experience!

BOO at the Zoo

Several kids stand on a porch dressed in Halloween costumes, including a lion, a witch, and several other costumes.
Photo Courtesy: Michelle Hamilton

What’s better than a little fun at the zoo? Luckily, fall means that many local zoos decorate for the season, making them a treat to visit with kids! Though there are countless zoos and animal sanctuaries around Colorado to visit as a family, here are two of my favorites. 

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Colorado Springs

Dress up in your favorite costume or show off your family-themed costumes at BOO at the Cheyenne Mountain ZOO in Colorado Springs. Trick or treat through the Zoo, see the animals at night, and watch the candles flicker in the lighted pumpkin patch! Purchase your $3-5 tickets to ride the Mountaineer Sky Ride before it closes at 8 pm. What a way to see the zoo and Colorado Springs as you ride the open-air chair lift over the animal exhibits, in the dark! This is such a special way to connect with your kiddos this fall season.

Denver Zoo, Denver

Denver Zoo offers Enchanted Hallows: Big Foot Festival on Friday and Saturday nights in October. Here, your family can discover two wonderful experiences. First, the Harmony Hill Bigfoot Festival, and secondly, the Woodland Hollow. The Woodland Hollow is an immersive art walk, plus offers a wide array of fall activities in Colorado with kids. Not to mention, attractions to entertain everyone in your family, including kid and adult favorites alike. Start by challenging your family to a game of cornhole, then try your hand at creative pumpkin carvings. You will also find animal specialists leading conversations throughout the day, as well as a Scary-oke sing-along! After so much fun, your kids won’t want to leave!

Fall Hikes and Drives in Colorado with Kids

A road littered with golden leaves rolls between golden trees, while a white mountain looms in the background. Taking an autumn drive is one of the best fall activities in Colorado with kids.
Photo Courtesy: Joshua Ellis

Of course, you can’t miss the spectacular hikes and drives Colorado has to offer all autumn long!  This fall, spend time watching the Aspen trees turn shades of sunny gold and amber with your family. Don’t forget to bring along our cameras to capture family portraits and special moments. Included in the list of 9 Breathtaking Drives for Brilliant Fall Colors in Colorado with Kids are a number of great fall activities for kids along the way. These include stops in historic ghost towns or themed playgrounds to captivate your child’s attention, to mention a few. 

Two fallen birch trees lay between several others in a field of bright yellow aspen trees.
Photo Courtesy: Joshua Ellis

Then, discover the top 16 Best Family Hikes Near Denver. On these amazing family-friendly hikes, you will find waterfalls, creeks, and castles as your kid’s feet crunch fallen leaves along the path. Have your children collect their favorite colored leaves in various styles and create one of these 20 fall leaf crafts as a souvenir from your spectacular hike in the crisp, fall air. No matter which hike (or hikes!) you decide to take, your family is sure to love the picturesque views of Colorado and the time spent together.

Fall Festivals in Colorado with Kids

Two Colorado-inspired hot air balloons land in a filed on an autumn day in Colorado. A fall festival is one of the best fall activities in Colorado with kids.
Photo Courtesy: Michelle Hamilton

Fall in Colorado would not be complete without attending some fall-themed festivals! Although many festivals in Colorado have been canceled for the 2020 season, you should make plans to attend these festivals in the future (be sure to check COVID related information for each recommendation on the respective site). Many of the best fall activities in Colorado with kids and autumn-inspired food are found at festivals across the state!  

Open in 2020

Chile & Frijoles Festival in Pueblo is a festival that is OPEN in 2020!  It may look a little different this year, but they are celebrating their 26th year of the festival. This year’s THROWBACK inspired festival will be hosted in two designated areas in downtown Pueblo. One area will include a farmers market with the iconic Pueblo-grown chiles, roasting and ready for families! The festival is set for Saturday 9/26 and Sunday 9/27, 8:00 am to 7:00 pm. There is no entrance fee this year, but a donation is kindly encouraged. Finally, you can find COVID-19 safety guidelines on their website.

Going Virtual in 2020

This year, Elk Fest in Estes Park is going virtual. Plans are still in the works, but it looks like they will offer online wildlife videos, a scavenger hunt, and live music! This will be offered mid-September through the weekend of October 3-4th, 2020. Typically, Elk Fest is a festival that has fall activities for kids such as elk-based arts and crafts for kids, a children’s area for elk-themed activities, as well as Native American music, dance, and storytelling. Go virtual this year, but add the in-person Elk Fest to your future bucket list for fall activities in Colorado with kids.

Watch for in the Future

Future fall activities in Colorado with kids are on the horizon! Palisade Peach Festival and Morrison Cider Festival are canceled for this year, but start planning your 2021 trip. Finally, don’t miss AppleFest in Buena Vista and AppleFest in Cedaredge in the coming seasons, as well!

U-Pick Farms in Colorado with Kids

A large pile of perfect orange pumpkins.
Photo Courtesy: Kiy Turk

Apple picking is one of the best fall activities in Colorado with kids! Little ones will love telling their friends and family about their home-made applesauce and apple pie. Especially, when they picked apples ripe for the cooking during a family excursion to one of these apple orchards!

Orchard Valley Farms & Market, Paonia

An apple sits with dew on it on top of a pile of other juicy red apples.
Photo Courtesy: Shelley Pauls

Orchard Valley Farms & Market in Paonia is an orchard where you can pick your own fruit.  What a fun experience to educate kids about how and where their food is grown! In September 2020 you can pick apples, peaches, and nectarines. In October, pumpkins are also available to choose from. Be sure to check their website for the schedule as weather may impact their crop availability for the year.

Happy Apple & Third Street Apples, Penrose

The entrance sign for Happy Apple Farm is flanked by hay bales and scarecrows.
Photo Courtesy: Happy Apple Farm

Happy Apple is another contender on our list of fall activities in Colorado with kids! Located in Penrose, this spot offers pay-per-pound for fruits picked by you. With your free admission, you also get a hayride that kids are sure to love! They have blackberries and pumpkins to pick, as well. Third Street Apples in Penrose is another apple orchard with a larger variety of apples to pick. Their picking season runs from late August to late October, but be sure to check their website for the apple ripening calendar.  

Colon Orchard, Canon City

Father and daughter point to a jam display at Colon Orchards, one of the best fall activities in Colorado with kids.
Photo Courtesy: Colon Orchards

Colon Orchard concludes our fall activities in Colorado with kids! A 4th generation family farm located in Canon City, it’s perfect for a quick stop during autumn. They grow heritage apples and have a selection of other vegetables, squash, jellies, and jams available for purchase. In addition to fruits and veggies, you can also buy beef, pork, and lamb as well, all of which are antibiotic and hormone-free. Family fall activities include a corn maze, which is designed differently each year!

Happy Fall Fun in Colorado!

A snow-capped mountain stands behind a forrest of autumn hues, prominantly featuring colors of yellow and orange.
Photo Courtesy: Joshua Ellis

As you plan your fall activities in Colorado with kids, be sure to include some of these autumn favorites. This list offers you a hint of fall activities throughout the state. Search here if you need more ideas in your specific area. Whether you enjoy being active by hiking, picking apples, or cutting your own pumpkins off the vine, you will be sure to find something for the whole family to enjoy. Or, maybe you would rather enjoy a scenic fall drive or a leisurely walk at the Denver Botanic Gardens! Then, a Spooky haunted house or a tame Boo at the Zoo maybe just how you decide to spend your Halloween this year.

Colorado has a number of perfect fall activities to bring joy to everyone in the family. Hopefully, these 7 Best Fall Activities in Colorado with Kids inspires you to get started and take your kids on an autumn adventure. 

Thank You to Our Community!

The sun sets on a chilly autumn day in Colorado.
Photo Courtesy: Michelle Hamilton

A special thank you to the Families Love Travel Facebook community. They are a group of amazing families who love adventure and exploring through travel. Join the Facebook community and find us on Instagram (@families.love.travel) to connect with other families who love the unique experiences travel has to offer, whether by air, train, or RV.  It is also a safe place to ask questions and gather travel-related information specific to families. We welcome you!

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Written by Families Love Travel Contributor Michelle Hamilton. Want to see more from Michelle? Find her on Instagram @adventuretolearn

Michelle Hamilton

Michelle Hamilton has been traveling since she was a few months old. Born in California with her heart in Switzerland, where her family is originally from, she now instills this wanderlust into her own three children. Michelle currently lives and works as a Pediatric Occupational Therapist in Colorado, where she owns an Air B&B, and spends her free time outdoors hiking, biking, or skiing. Having traveled much of Europe and Asia with her husband, she soon plans to "worldschool" her kids, merging an enriching education with her family's passion for travel.
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