Put on those sweaters of questionable aesthetic value and pour yourself some hot apple cider because it is officially fall in Fort Collins!
The temperature is falling, the afternoon winds are making biking westward a cardio workout fit for an Olympic athlete and the promise of snow in the high country is a buzz; all signs that summer has officially come to a close. Now, I love summer as much as the next person but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t beyond excited for fall. Why you may ask? Well let me share with you just a few of my favorite fall-centric activities in Fort Collins.
First and foremost... Leaf peeping (and yes that is the technical term). I would highly recommend heading up the Canyon or even paying Rocky Mountain National Park a visit and basking in the glow of the changing aspens. Whatever your activity of choice is (hiking, trail running, photography, quietly contemplating the complexities of the universe, etc.) get out there and peep some leaves while you're at it.
Is it cliché? Yes! Does that make pumpkin picking any less delightful? Of course not! There are several pumpkin patches in northern Colorado. The most popular is arguably Fritzler’s Giant Pumpkin Patch in LaSalle (it is in fact giant). If you don’t feel like getting on I-25, the Bartels Farm offers a smaller albeit more local patch. Whichever patch you choose, wrangle up some friends and hunt down that perfect pumpkin.
Fall is football season. So if you’re PROUD *clap* TO BE *clap* A CSU RAM (or even if you’re not) don your finest green and gold and cheer on your Rams football team. The Homecoming game will be against Nevada on Saturday October 14th. I don’t know about you, but watching a football game on a cold metal bleacher under a warm lap blanket just feels like fall.
Nevada’s offensive line not scary enough for you? Want something spooky? Well not to fear because Fort Collins has plenty for you Halloween lovers. Now personally, I am not the biggest fan of haunted houses and corn mazes. However, I did get talked into going to Scream Acres Haunted Corn Maze at Fritzler’s a few years back and it was actually pretty fun. If you are into being chased by chainsaws, this is the place for you.
Don’t want to go out of your way to find spooky creatures? Then let the fun come to you on October 21st when the Old Town Zombie Fest hits Fort Collins. Dress up and participate in the Zombie Crawl or just show up for the spectacle. A few years ago zombie crawl coincided with a local high school’s homecoming dance. I’m not sure if they dance-ward bound Seniors found the zombie photo-bombers as funny as I did but give it a few years and they are really going to appreciate those pictures. I’m pretty sure my pre-dance homecoming pictures were taken at an Olive Garden and they most definitely didn’t feature any zombies. If you aspire to help liven (or rather undead-en) up some homecoming pictures, you can find info regarding the crawl HERE.
If you still want to get into the Halloween spirit but are like me, faint of heart and weak of bladder, may I suggest The Lyric Cinema Café. The Lyric offers several festively frightening films each year. You’ll have to wait until October 27th to see the Rocky Horror Picture Show. I hope you can stand the antici…pation.
Finally, because this is Fort Collins, no season would be complete without some mention of craft beer! New Belgium is pouring a special release of Voodoo Ranger called Atomic Pumpkin (spiced with pumpkin, cinnamon and habanero). It replaces Pumpkick as New Belgium’s seasonal offering. As for Odell Brewing, their marzen style lager Oktoberfest is the most ‘fall tasting’ beer they are currently pouring. Even though it tastes maybe a touch more like winter, my personal favorite seasonal beer coming out of Odells is Mountain Standard. In my humble opinion, it is a killer IPA that redefines the balance between bitterness and malt. Or maybe I just like the label.
Well there you have it folks, a Fort Collins fall in a nutshell. This is how I’ll be spending my free time for the next month and I hope to see some of you out their enjoying these autumn activities!