From apple cider to beer tasting and scary movies to pumpkin picking, these fests offer the best the state has to offer.

Hello, fall! Colorado really shows off this time of year, with changing leaves, wildlife, harvest goodies, and so much more. We’ve got rundown of fall festivals to help put the celebration in the season. And don’t miss the colors while they last! Consider a fall drive to see the state in all its splendor!

Mountain Harvest Festival: Paonia, Sept. 27–30

Colorado’s Western Slope is a cornucopia of agricultural delights! The town of Paonia invites you to its annual celebration of the harvest with live music, farm tours, farmers’ markets brimming with the bounty of the season, beer and wine tasting, a chili cook-off, and arts and crafts galore.  

Oktoberfest Denver: Denver, Sept. 28–30 

One of the biggest around, Denver’s autumn celebration is festive fun for the whole family. Beer lifting, polka dancing, live music, traditional food booths, and so much more (not to mention the free-flowing beer), is a great way to spend an afternoon. Looking for an Oktoberfest close to you? We’ve got you covered!

Denver Oktoberfest

Courtesy of Denver Oktoberfest (Facebook).

Breckenridge Strings, Ciders & Sours Festival: Breckenridge, Sept. 28-30

For those with a penchant for sours and ciders mixed with a little bluegrass, this is the event for you. Enjoy the beautiful colors on the way up to the mountains and enjoy sipping, grooving, noshing, and many other activities.

Morrison Ciderfest: Morrison, Sept. 29

Autumn means apples, and Morrison’s free festival is a celebration of all things cider. You can get your fill of cider, as well as check out cider presses, hay rides, pony rides, arts and crafts exhibits, a silent auction, a bouncy castle, and other activities. Jam out to live music performance, and while you are in the area, do some leaf peeping on the easy-to-drive Lariat Loop!

CALF Harvest Day: Castle Rock, Sept. 29

Family fall fun on a real Castle Rock farm! This fun event has it all: hayrides, carriage rides, pumpkin picking, farm animals, vendors, food, music and more. And it all goes to a good cause of connecting people of all ages and abilities to agriculture.

Farm to Bottle Fall Festival: Denver, Sept. 29

Nothing says festival like music, 40 local breweries, wineries and distilleries, and local food vendors. It’s all yours at this 3rd annual celebration. You can even put a little fancy in your fall fest and go for a VIP ticket for early access and more.

Elk Fest: Estes Park, Sept. 29–30 

The fall draws tons of spectators to Estes Park to witness the beautiful mating rituals of elk. Rutting season brings hundreds of the majestic creature into the town and fills the air with the haunting bugle of the bulls. If you choose to attend, give these animals tons of room and enjoy them from afar.

Elk Fest

Courtesy of Elk Fest (Facebook).

Applefest: Cedaredge, Oct. 6–7 

There is nothing better than a juicy apple straight off the tree. Cedaredge is brimming with red and green shiny treats courtesy of mother nature, and you can them all at Applefest. In addition, more than 150 vendors, a classic car and antique tractor show, bands, and much more will be there to share some fun.

43rd Annual Cider Days: Lakewood, Oct. 6-7

When life hands you apples, you make apple cider! And that’s exactly what this event has been doing for 43 years. It will feature family-friendly entertainment, including a magic show and square dancing, plus balloon artists, a craft zone, a petting zoo, train rides and more. The festival also hosts historical demonstrations of traditional skills like blacksmithing, woodcarving, quilting, and sawmilling. And don’t forget the star attraction: apples in every tasty form possible. 

Punkin Chunkin: Aurora, Oct. 6–7 

Look, Charlie Brown, it’s the Great Pumpkin high in the sky! Actually, it’s just our favorite gourd gloriously soaring through the air at this one-of-a-kind festival. High-flying teams will launch pumpkins our of an array of contraptions to become the one team that rules them all! You can also pick pumpkins, watch a chainsaw carving competition, enjoy live music, and more.

Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms Pumpkin Festival: Littleton, Oct. 12-14

Chatfield Farms wants to share its bountiful harvest with you! Prepare to a day of old-fashioned farm fun with pony rides, hayrides, a corn maze (extra fee), and tons of vendors. Bring your own wagon to tote your picked pumpkins around while you take it all in.   

Courtesy of the Denver Botanic Gardens (Facebook)

Courtesy of the Denver Botanic Gardens (Facebook).

Telluride Horror Show: Telluride, Oct. 12–14

Embrace the terrifying in Telluride! The 8th-annual horror, fantasy, and sci-fi film fest take place in the town's historic Sheridan Opera House. 

The Bloody Mary Festival: Denver, Oct. 13

Okay, this is a bit of a stretch on the fall “harvest” theme, but somewhere someone is harvesting tomatoes, and that's good enough for us. If you are a fan of this quintessential hangover cure, come out for two hours of unlimited tastings, as well as other food and drink samples.

Breckenridge Craft Spirits Festival: Breckenridge, Oct. 19–21 

Warm your insides as the temps drop outside with some wonderfully spicy spirits. The event offers samples from small-batch, artisan distillers, and will teach you more about the distilling process.

Frontier Historical Museum Ghost Walk: Glenwood Springs, Oct. TBA 

Dig up some spooky history at Glenwood Springs’ oldest cemetery. You’ll be regaled with ghost stories, and maybe even a few of the long-dead locals will join you on the tour. Bring a flashlight or lantern.

U-Pick Farms and Corn Mazes: Statewide throughout Fall

Many Colorado farms offer opportunities in the fall to pick your pretty much everything from berries to carrots. And don’t forget to pick the perfect pumpkin for your jack-o-lantern needs. Many of these farms host their own festivals complete with animals, hayrides, corn mazes, and more. The Colorado Department of Agriculture can help you find fall fun in your area.

Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

Three words: Pumpkin. French. Toast.