Photo: Heather Garbo/Denver Dweller

I know people wax nostalgic about being young in the summertime, but I’ve long believed there’s no better time of the year to be a kid than the fall. I mean, dressing up in costumes? Throwing pumpkins? Getting lost in mazes? All the sugary treats? How can that not appeal to all kids, big and small? Below is our annual round-up of 50 distinctly fall things to do in Denver with kids in 2019. (Plus, a few more that admittedly have nothing to do with fall, but are totally worth checking out!)

  1. Take a leaf-crunching family hike on a local trail.
  2. Order a caramel apple-making kit from Denver-based Daffy Apples.
  3. Peep at the changing Aspen colors with a mountain day trip.
  4. Cheer on the Broncos at Mile High
  5. or the Buffs at Folsom Field
  6. or the Rams at Canvas Stadium.
  7. Reserve a time to pick your own apples through October. (Tip: Apples ripen late July through mid-October. Be sure to reserve ASAP…slots fill up quickly!)
  8. Attend a fun fall-themed class with your kids at the Children’s Museum of Denver…like the fall cooking challenge. (Tip: You must register in advance and many classes sell out.)
  9. Forget the PSL. Order up a more traditional hot spiced cider from one of Denver’s local coffee shops.
  10. Take your littlest littles for A Day Out with Thomas the Train at the Colorado Railroad Museum on the first three September weekends.
  11. Take in the 32nd annual Downtown Boulder Fall Fest on September 13, 14 and 15.
  12. Encourage a love for music at the Annual Sunnyside Music Fest on September 14.
  13. Bond at the Extreme Sports interactive exhibit at the Museum of Nature and Science. September 20 is set aside for families to explore the temporary exhibit together.
  14. Enjoy Oktoberfest in downtown Denver the last two September weekends (20-22 and 27-29).
  15. Explore life in the time of dinosaurs at Jurassic Quest at Denver Convention Center (September 20-22).
  16. Explore a corn maze at Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield Farms (September 20 – October 27 weekends). You can also take a spookier turn through the After Dark Corn Maze and Dead Zone Scream Park.
  17. Chunk a pumpkin at the 22nd annual Punkin Chunkin Competition and Festival on September 21-22.
  18. Drive up to Estes Park for Autumn Gold Festival on September 21-22.
  19. Get lost in the family-friendly Maize in the City in Thornton (opens September 27) with a big maize (40 minutes or so) and a little maize (25 minutes or so), and other fun activities. This one even offers a smart phone trivia game to gives hints to those of us who are directionally challenged.
  20. Get scared at Elitch Gardens’ Fright Fest every weekend with Halloween-themed Family by Day activities and scarier Fright by Night fun (Friday nights, Saturdays and Sundays September 27 through November 2).
  21. Sip cider at the Morrison Ciderfest on September 28.
  22. Show off your best bugle call at the Estes Park Elk Fest (September 28 – 29).
  23. Pick your own pumpkin at the huge pumpkin patches at Rock Creek Farm in Broomfield. (Tip: Plan to stay after to explore the farm, corn maze and kids’ activities because your kids will whine like crazy if you don’t. Also, the line may be long to get in.) Opening day is September 29.
  24. Partake in all sorts of fall fun from corn mazes to hay rides to pumpkin-picking (plus bouncy castles and more) at Mile High Farms every weekend September 29 – October 28.
  25. Shop for your Halloween costume at one of Denver’s best costume shops.
  26. See some creepy crawlies up close at the Butterfly Pavilion’s annual Bugtober Masquerade all October long.
  27. Lead your kids on a Denver Ghost Scavenger Hunt at Civic Center Park on October 1.
  28. Take a spooky evening stroll through the Denver Zoo’s Enchanted Hallows on October 3 – 25.
  29. Drop your teens off for the Museum of Nature and Science’s Hallowteen adventures (October 4 for middle schoolers; October 21 for high schoolers).
  30. Challenge the whole family to a pumpkin-carrying obstacle course for the Great Pumpkin Haul on October 5 at Englewood’s Meridian Park.
  31. Paint yourselves with fake blood (if the kiddos are old enough to handle it) for the 14th annual Denver Zombie Crawl in Skyline Park (October 5).
  32. Discover how 19th-century Coloradans prepared for fall at the Four Mile Historic Park Pumpkin Harvest Festival  (reimagined for 2019) on October 5-6. (There will also be pioneer games, live music, and food trucks.)
  33. Relive your childhood at a showing of cult classic The Goonies with a live score by the Colorado Symphony (October 11).
  34. Bowl a pumpkin at the Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield Farm’s Pumpkin Festival on October 11 – 13.
  35. Build your scariest scarecrow for Arvada’s Festival of Scarecrows on October 12.
  36. Get a pre-Halloween sugar high at Choctoberfest on October 12 at the Arapahoe County Fairgrounds.
  37. Enjoy cider, apples and donuts at AppleFest at Ya Ya Farm and Orchard in Longmont on October 19 – 20. (They’ll also have BBQ and live music.)
  38. Check out the glowing pumpkins at Glow at the Gardens at Denver Botanic Gardens on October 21 – 25.
  39. Hit the slopes. This is Colorado, after all, and A-Basin and Loveland open in mid-October.
  40. Take your littles for trick-or-treating, fun fall activities and a Monster Mash Dance Party with live music at the Denver Central Library (October 25).
  41. Beg for even more candy at the Trick or Treat Street at the Children’s Museum (October 25).
  42. Explore the Museum of Science and Nature at midnight at the Halloween at the Museum family overnight on October 25-26.
  43. Run with your costumed kiddos at the MonsterDASH fun run at Sloan’s Lake (October 26) or Louisville (October 27).
  44. Trick or Treat at the Tennyson Street local businesses in Berkeley neighborhood (October 26).
  45. Take a ride on the Trick or Treat Train at the Colorado Railroad Museum (October 26-27).
  46. See Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas on the big screen at Boettcher Concert Hall (November 1).
  47. Attend the Colorado Symphony’s Halloween Spooktacular for a spooky but family-friendly concert (November 3).
  48. Check out the many events during the Annual Denver Arts Week (November 1-9).
  49. Partake in the Dia de Los Muertos Art and Street Party at 40 West Arts District on November 1 or visit the Dia de Los Muertos celebration during the First Friday Art Walk in Santa Fe Art District(also November 1).
  50. Celebrate Dia de Los Muertos at Denver Botanic Gardens on November 2.
  51. Ride The Polar Express Train at the Colorado Railroad Museum beginning November 9 through mid-December. (Tip: Reserve now because this fills up quickly!)
  52. Take in a post-Thanksgiving dinner movie at Alamo Drafthouse.
  53. Run in the 46th Annual Mile High Turkey Trot (November 28) in Wash Park.
  54. Kids don’t want to go to a mall, but you could do a little family holiday shopping at our amazing local businesses on Small Business Saturday (November 30). One perk of neighborhood shopping districts? There’s always a park nearby!
This post originally appeared on Denver Dweller.