Five Family-Friendly Adventures Celebrating Fall

YMCA of the Rockies - Snow Mountain Ranch
It’s time to fall into some serious Colorado family fun, with campfires, festivals, harvest feasts and bugs galore! Some of these events are only for the weekend, but others run well into get out your calendar.

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YMCA of the Rockies - Snow Mountain Ranch
Fall Fest at YMCA of the Rockies – Snow Mountain Ranch
September 29 to October 1
1101 Colorado Road 53, Granby
At Snow Mountain Ranch, you and your clan can experience all the fall fixings: Hayrides at Sombrero Stables, campfires with s’mores, scarecrow building, a special screening of It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, and a carnival with doughnut bobbing, a pumpkin seed-spitting contest, and a fortune-telling goat. (Yes, it’s a goat, and it’s super-clairvoyant.) Other on-site activities include hiking, mountain biking, swimming, zip lining, archery and summer tubing. Minus the hayride, all Fall Fest activities are free with lodging. Lodge rooms start at $109 in September, cabins are available for $209, and the site’s new yurts, which sleep six, are $99 nightly. For details, visit the Snow Mountain Ranch website.

Elitch Gardens Fright Fest
September 29 through October 29
2000 Elitch Circle

If your family prefers a spooky good time, Elitch Gardens Fright Fest begins at 6 p.m. Friday, September 29, with a terrifying month-long Halloween celebration. During the day, families can enter costume contests and stock up on free candy on the Trick or Treat Trail; when night falls, it’s time for Fright by Night, which includes the terrifying show Séance, a creepy clown graveyard and more horrific antics. If you prefer the scream-inducing pleasures of a normal day at Elitch's to goblins and ghouls, fear not: Roller coasters will still be operating. Fright Fest runs through October 29; entry is covered in general admission to the park, but some of the fun costs extra.

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Photo courtesy of Castle Rock EDC
Castle Rock Oktoberfest
Wilcox Square and the surrounding area
September 30

Prost! Enjoy local beer, good food and German music from 1 to 9 p.m., at the city of Castle Rock’s annual Oktoberfest. This giant, free street fair is totally family-friendly and includes live entertainment, a variety of bounce houses, demonstrations, and other activities for kids of all ages. Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or picnic blankets. For more information, visit Downtown Castle Rock’s website.
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Jamie Siebrase is a Denver-based freelance writer, and author of the forthcoming Falcon Guide Hiking Wth Kids, Colorado: 52 Great Hikes for Families.
Contact: Jamie Siebrase