That crisp air. Those falling leaves. The scent of pumpkin and cinnamon in the air. In September, autumn settles gradually into Colorado, and for many people it’s their favorite time of year. With aspens turning gold and the elk bugling, a trip to the high country is definitely in order. But don’t forget about the classic fall activities you can enjoy right here in town, from A Taste of Colorado to Oktoberfest; so very close to Stepping Stone.
Check out the ideas below and start planning your happy segue into the cooler days to come.
Stepping Stone Pool Closes-Sept. 18
Last day to splash in the pool! There will be no pool monitors from September 6 – 18; swimming is at one’s own risk. The pool staff will be present for two hours per day to check pool chemicals, tidy restrooms and remove trash.
A Taste of Colorado-Sept. 2-5
The good news about more people moving to Denver (and Stepping Stone) is that more restaurants are popping up all the time. Explore your options—without committing to an entire meal—at A Taste of Colorado. More than 50 favorite restaurants will be on hand to satisfy your hunger for variety. Along with excellent food and drink, the festival includes five entertainment stages featuring national, local, and ethnic music; carnival rides, games, crafts, and children’s entertainment; and 275 booths in an arts & crafts marketplace. Held at Civic Center Park in downtown Denver. No admission fee. Learn more.
Barker Days-Sept. 10, 9am-3pm
Tails wag a little faster in Parker after Labor Day, when the H2O’Brien Pool trades human swimmers in for the four-legged kind. On this much-anticipated day, dogs may frolic at the neutralized H2O’Brien Pool as well as a temporary dog park at the O’Brien Park ball field. There, your pups can chase balls and Frisbees, and you can check out the agility course and demonstrations and shop dog-friendly vendors. View photos from past events on the Parks and Recreation Facebook page. $6 for Parker resident dogs, $8 for non-residents. Humans are free. http://parkerrec.com/216/Barker-Days
Wacky Bike Ride for Project ReCycle– Sept. 11
Pick your distance, from 6-, 25-, 45-, 62-, and 100-mile rides at this one-day cycling event that’s all about encouraging fitness and fun. Proceeds benefit Project ReCycle, a Douglas County charity that donates bicycles to children. The event will start and finish at the Highlands Heritage Park at 9651 S. Quebec St. in Highlands Ranch. Riders will enjoy stocked aid stations, route support, excellent post-ride food from Dads & Dudes Breweria, an amazing expo, and fun-filled goodie bags. More info and registration here.
Parker Oktoberfest– Sept. 16-18
Leave it to the small, but exceptionally vibrant town of Parker to have its very own Oktoberfest, growing strong and now in its 11th year. It offers far more than drinking, too—although a Biergarten serving up Erdinger craft beers and a Winegarten are certainly part of the fun. The Friday night opening, aka Rocktoberfest, features everything from bluegrass to rock, and a Künstlerischen (artistic area) will host artists, authors, and other performances. Live German music, Bavarian dancers, Black-Eyed Bingo (somehow involves neon paint, dance, and bingo), a bungee trampoline, and more activities for the whole family. Admission is free. Learn more.
Free Entrance to all National Parks-Sept. 24
Happy birthday, National Park Service. Now 100 years old, the National Park Service invites you to join the celebration with 16 free days this year—the next being Sept. 24. It’s an ideal time to go, now that the summer rush is over. Not sure where to start? How about sand sledding in the Great Sand Dunes or exploring Ancestral Pueblo culture in Mesa Verde? Of course, Rocky Mountain National Park can’t be beat this time of year for the bugling elk and dramatic drives and hikes amid aspen gold. More than 400 parks are available nationwide, so get going! https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/fee-free-parks.htm