In Colorado, summer brings long days punctuated by cold beers and an endless slate of festivals and concerts al fresco. Winter, meanwhile, arrives with the promise of trips down slopes deep in powder and streets ablaze with twinkling lights.
Yet it's fall, with its particular palette of crisp days, bountiful harvests, and streets and mountain sides awash in gleaming color that holds that most unique and romantic grasp on the Centennial Stater's soul.
Of course, it doesn't hurt that the season also offers a full range of unique seasonal activities to enjoy, from pumpkin patches and corn mazes to beer festivals (pumpkin porter, anyone?) and Dia De Los Muertos events. Plus, its the only season where showing up to work dressed like Batman or a pirate might be acceptable. And who doesn't love a good, old-fashioned fright?
Here's a look at where to enjoy these and other fall activities around the northern Front Range.
Corn mazes, pumpkin patches and hay rides
Anderson Farms: 6728 County Road 3 ¼ , Erie. Check out Colorado's longest running 30-acre corn maze and pumpkin patch sure to boast some real beauts ideal for carving. To add to the experience, you can check out the private campfire sites, do some gem mining and take in the underrated pastime of gourd launching. Check website for hours (open until 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday) through Oct. 31; $12-$18, kids 3 and under free; andersonfarms.com.
Cottonwood Farm Halloween Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze: New location at 10600 Isabelle Road Lafayette. This darling farm features a menagerie of animals, pumpkins, hayrides, a steam engine and several free mazes. Be sure to hit up their farmstand for some ornamental corn and gourds. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. through Oct. 31; free on weekdays, $5 on weekends, kids under 5 and seniors free; cottonwoodfarms.com.
Fritzler Farm Park: 20861 County Road 33, LaSalle. Farm park features a corn maze, pumpkin patch, beer garden, pumpkin cannon, go-carts, barrel coaster, paintball and other activities, including the Scream Acres haunted corn maze. 6-10 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Sunday through Oct. 31, 6-9 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays Oct. 17-31; $13.95-$35.95; fritzlerfarmpark.com
Growing Gardens Community Harvest Fest: Hawthorn Community Gardens, 1630 Hawthorn Ave., Boulder. There will be pumpkins to purchase and paint. Day includes face painting, a bubble machine, lawn games, bluegrass band, food trucks and beer garden. 4 p.m.- 7 p.m. Wednesday; free; growinggardens.org.
Miner's Blast in Erie: Coal Creek Park, 575 Kattell Street, Erie. Miner's Blast features flying gourds, an archery range, hayride, maze, classic car show, petting zoo, live jazz music, beer garden, food vendors and chili cook-off. Noon-4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6; free, with $10 package that includes all kids activities; eriechamber.org
Munson Farms: 7355 Valmont Road, Boulder. Visit the impressive pumpkin patch, take a hayride, explore the corn maze and stock up on farm-fresh produce to zest up dinner. 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m. daily through Nov. 1; free; munsonfarms.com.
Osborn Farm Pumpkin Patch: 1230 S. Boise Ave., Loveland. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily Saturday through Oct. 31. admission free; prices for pumpkins, gourds, sunflowers and other items vary; osborn.farm
Red Wagon Organic Farm Pumpkin Patch: 7694 N. 63rd St., Longmont. Gaze at animals, play in the straw bale maze and select your own pumpkins from an impressive patch. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily through Oct. 31; free admission, $6 for pumpkin patch tour; redwagonfarmboulder.com.
Rocky Mountain Pumpkin Ranch: 9059 Ute. Highway (Colo. 66), Longmont. Savor a carnival atmosphere every weekend in October. Enjoy pony rides, a petting zoo, a hay maze, cornstalk tunnel, a fire truck slide and more. Feast on hand-spun cotton candy, old-fashioned caramel-dipped apples and hot pretzels. 9 a.m.-6 a.m. Saturday and Sunday; free admission, pay per-activity basis; rockymtnpumpkinranch.com.
7th Generation Farm: 1536 Courtesy Road Louisville. Throughout October, this farm provides folks with plenty of fall fun. Get lost in a hay bale maze, take a spin on a tractor hayride, pet goats and other livestock. There's even a pumpkin smash game (which has no affiliation with Billy Corgan). Noon-6 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; Corn maze $12; 7thgenerationfarm.com.
Other fall events
Boulder Handmade in Colorado Expo: Central Park, 1236 Canyon Boulevard, Boulder. In its tenth year, the annual event showcases a bevy of Colorado's most talented artisans sellinghandcrafted goods. From metal and fiber pieces to paintings and ceramics, the amount of mediums is vast. 9 a.m.- 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6; free, donations accepted; eventbrite.com/e/handmade-in-colorado-expo-in-boulder-tickets-43124163534?aff=ebdssbdestsearch
Burgundy Wine Festival: Various venues throughout Boulder. Discover hearty reds from eastern France that are best enjoyed when the weather is crisp. Featuring tastings to wine-paired meals hosted by renowned sommeliers. Some participating restaurants include Mateo, Frasca Food & Wine and PMG. Proceeds benefit Growe Foundation, which provides elementary schools with gardens and farm-to-table lunch options. Find list of events at boulderburgundyfestival.com
Hemp Harvest Party at The Oak Room at Oskar Blues Brewery: 1800 Peak Rd., Longmont. Celebrate Harvest season with hemp food, hemp liquor and plenty of Oskar Blues beers. Live music from Ginger Whale and special guests. 8 p.m.- 12 a.m. Oct. 13; $20; facebook.com/events/816511258555291/
Longmont Oktoberfest: Roosevelt Park, 700 Longs Peak Ave., Longmont. Experience Longmont's favorite fall gathering with live music from Flynn & The Electric Company, Hazel Miller Band, JJ Grey& Mofro, among others, feast on brats and wash it all down with a variety of brews. 4-10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5 and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6; $5-$15; lhbfoundation.org/longmont-oktoberfest.
Nederland Witches' Ball at The Caribou Room: 55 Indian Peaks Drive, Nederland. Maybe you've watched "The Craft" or "Practical Magic" one too many times and want a sneak peek into this world of spells, rituals and mystique. Witches and non-witches are encouraged to attend this festive night where costumes are highly recommended. Music by Banshee Tree and Madam Kensington. Karen Anderson, of Distant Star, will offer readings. Oct. 27, 6:30; $15; eventbrite.com/e/nederland-witches-ball-featuring-banshee-tree-tickets-48815505491
Pumpkin Pie Days: Vintage & Antique Market: Boulder County Fairgrounds Exhibit Building, 9595 Nelson Rd., Longmont. St. Vrain Historical Society hosts this two-day event that will have access to tons of art from all over Colorado — from rustic to shabby chic. After purchasing a few treasures, stop by the SVHS café for lunch and a few slices of pie — cause nothing revs the appetite like the sport of shopping. 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. Oct. 13 and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 14; $5 (kids under 12 free); stvrainhistoricalsociety.com/vintage-antique-markets.