Best Things to Do in Colorado Springs This Fall

Labor Day Lift Off, Porchfest, Arts Month and more events to make the most out of the fall season in the Pikes Peak region.

It won’t be long before you’re slipping into your favorite flannel and grabbing a pumpkin spice latte because fall is almost here in the Springs. The changing season ushers in brilliant foliage, costumed fun, spiced cider and some of the areas most anticipated events, including Labor Day Lift Off, Colorado Springs Oktoberfest and Pikes Peak Apex.

Even though some annual fall activities aren’t returning this year—a moment of silence for the Emma Crawford Coffin Race—we’re still excited for all of the fall activities to come. Read on for the best things to do in Colorado Springs this fall.

Air Force Football

USAFA Stadium, Sept. 4 – Nov. 26

Photo courtesy of U.S. Air Force Academy Athletics.

Cheer on the Fighting Falcons as they open the season against the Lafayette Leopards on Labor Day weekend. Plan ahead for home games again Mountain West Conference rivals Wyoming, Oct. 9, and San Diego State, Oct. 23. And take in those always impressive aircraft flyovers.

Commonwheel Art Festival in Manitou Springs

Memorial Park, Sept. 4-6

Celebrate and support local artists at this 47th annual Labor Day weekend festival in historic Manitou Springs. Enjoy live music and specialty foods as you tour the talents of sculptors, jewelers, potters, painters and more. 

Lift Your Spirits Patriot’s Day Festival

Buffalo Lodge Bicycle Resort, Manitou Springs, Sept. 11

Have a good laugh with L.A. comedian Steven Briggs and sample food truck fare and craft beverages from 1350 Distilling, the Heart Distillery, 3Hundred Days of Shine, High Hops Brewery and Red Leg Brewing Company.

Patty Jewett Porchfest

Patty Jewett Neighborhood, Sept. 12

Part block party, part roving music festival, the event brings local musicians to various front porches for an afternoon of free concerts, food trucks and fun in the leafy downtown neighborhood. Read more in Patty Jewett Porchfest Returns in 2021.

Rock Ledge Ranch Powwow

Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site at Garden of the Gods, Sept. 18

The 11th annual powwow celebrates and honors Native American culture, history and traditions through song, dance, storytelling and food.

Bines and Brews

Limbach Park, Monument, Sept. 18

Head to the Tri-Lakes area brewfest to taste beer, moonshine, gin and other spirits from Colorado breweries, distilleries and a meadery. Enjoy upbeat contemporary jazz all afternoon. You’re sure to find a new favorite beverage. Ticket sales are capped at 400, so make your reservations.

Pikes Peak Apex and Outdoor Festival

Pikes Peak, Sept. 23-26

Russell Finsterwald rides mountain bike in Red Rocks Open Space in preparation for the Pikes Peak Apex.
Russell Finsterwald rides Red Rocks Open Space in preparation for the Pikes Peak Apex. Photo by James Stokoe.

The four-day, multistage mountain bike race showcases local trails in Palmer Park, Cheyenne Cañon and more, and offers a big purse for pros and amateurs. Head to America the Beautiful Park on Saturday, Sept. 25, to watch the racers start and finish, and enjoy mountain bike skills clinics, food trucks, craft beer from Goat Patch Brewing and more.

Dead Man’s Brewfest

Weidner Field, Sept. 24

Kick off your spooky season a little early. Sample craft beers and spirits—see what we did there?—from Colorado Springs and around the world. Cheers to you and the dead man!

Colorado Springs Oktoberfest

Western Museum of Mining and Industry, Sept. 24-26

The Western Museum of Mining and Industry hosts an authentic Oktoberfest celebration, complete with live music, wiener dog races, stein hoisting and costume contests. Of course, there’s all of the beer and wine you’d expect too. Prost! Read more in Where to Celebrate Oktoberfest 2021 in Colorado.

Pueblo Chile & Frijoles Festival

Historic Downtown Pueblo/Union Avenue, Sept. 24-26

What better way to welcome the fall season than with the aroma of roasted chiles, a jalapeño eating contest and a Chihuahua parade? Check out our Pueblo Chile & Frijoles Festival Insider’s Guide before heading south for your tasty weekend in Steel City.

Arts Month

It’s easy to enjoy one new cultural experience during Arts Month’s. The schedule is packed with performances, cultural activities and events all October long. Each week has a different theme: Visual and Culinary Arts; Theater and Film; Poetry, Prose and Comedy; and Music and Dance.

UpaDowna Folk and Flannel

Buffalo Bicycle Lodge, Manitou Springs, Oct. 1-3

Stay in the bike themed lodge or come and camp for the weekend music festival to support UpaDowna’s community outdoor offerings. Festivities include hiking, biking, yoga, Zumba, paddleboarding, kid-friendly activities, lawn games, beach volleyball, spirit tastings and a beer garden. The live music lineup includes Grant Sabin, Tenderfoot Bluegrass, High Mountain Duet, Mary & the Pharaoh, Manitou Strings, Roma Ransom, Jon E. Boothe and Curtis Boucher.

CC Hockey Home Opener

Ed Robson Arena, Oct. 2

Cheer on the Tigers at the brand-new Ed Robson Arena. The first game on the new ice will be an exhibition against Air Force Academy on Oct. 2, and the regular season home opener will be Oct. 8-9 against St. Lawrence University. 

Rock Ledge Ranch Harvest Festival

Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site at Garden of the Gods, Oct. 2

Plan for a full day of pumpkin-picking, wagon rides, blacksmith demonstrations and historic home tours at the family-favorite Harvest Festival.

Blues on the Mesa

Gold Hill Mesa Community Center, Oct. 2

Bask in the warm sun and crisp autumn air while listening to live music, enjoying food and dancing with friends and family. The impressive lineup features Grammy winner Alvin Youngblood Hart, Grammy nominee Janiva Magness and more.

Cheyenne Mountain Run

Cheyenne Mountain State Park, Oct. 9

Push yourself all the way to the top of Cheyenne Mountain or loop the lower trails in an easier 5K. The annual favorite fundraiser run for Cheyenne Mountain State Park offers 25K, 10K and 5K options. The 25K is a qualifier for the Pikes Peak Ascent. You can also do the Duo in a combo with the Dam Run at Castlewood Canyon State Park on Sept. 19.

CC vs AFA Hockey Weekend

CC and Air Force Academy, Oct. 29-30

The cross-town rivalry returns in late October as the Air Force Academy and Colorado College trade home games over Halloween weekend. Cheer for your favorite hometown team at Air Force Friday night; then catch the action at CC on Saturday.


Old Colorado City, Oct. 30

Experience fall in full swing in Old City Colorado. Stroll through the historic shopping district and enjoy family-friendly activities from apple and pumpkin patches to face painting, live music and fall fashion sales.

Boo at the Zoo

Boo at the Zoo, one of the fall activities where mom dad and daughter can dress up
Family dressed in costume for Boo at the Zoo.

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Oct. 16-17, 23-24, 29-31

See the zoo like you’ve never seen it before, after hours, at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s Boo at the Zoo. Slip into costume, grab a trick-or-treat bag and enjoy Halloween-themed festivities, including a spooky graveyard, lighted pumpkin patch, haunted house and pirate’s cove. Don’t forget to stop at the many photo opportunities and treat stations along the way. 

Rocky Mountain Women’s Film Festival

Pikes Peak Center and Centennial Hall Colorado Springs, Nov. 12-14

The longest-running women’s film festival in North America features a weekend of screenings, filmmaker discussion and an opening gala in November at its new location, the Pikes Peak Center. If you can’t make either day, a virtual encore festival will be available Nov. 18-21.

What are your favorite fall activities in Colorado Springs? Let us know by tagging a photo to our Facebook or Instagram.

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