This Fall, Denver is packed with festivals, events, openings and activities that keep the city bustling even as the summer winds down. Along with crisp air and spectacular foliage, fall 2015 features unique celebrations, exhilarating performing arts and unparalleled exhibitions.
“Denver’s 300 days of sunshine and proximity to the mountains make it possible for people to take a fall foliage hike in the morning and enjoy our many cultural offerings in the afternoon and evening,” says Richard Scharf, president and CEO of VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau. “As the days get shorter, the list of things to do in Denver does not.”
Below are some highlights visitors and residents alike can experience in Denver this fall. For a full list of fall activities, go towww.visitdenver.com
Beer Events and Festivals
Denver Beer Fest (Sep 18-26) – September is the time to celebrate “everything beer” in Denver. From the launch of the 2015-2016Denver Beer Trail to beer pairing dinners, brewery yoga and tastings, Denver’s craft beer scene will take the spotlight during Denver Beer Fest. Denver Beer Fest features nearly 200 events that celebrate the city’s reputation as the best beer city in America.
Great American Beer Festival (Sep 24-26) – The world’s largest celebration of beer marks its 33rd year with more beers and brewers than ever before and a new Meet the Brewer section.
Oktoberfest (Sep 18-20, 25-27) – Denver is also home to its very own Oktoberfest, a free festival in the Ballpark neighborhood. One of the city’s longest running festivals and one of the largest of its kind in the nation, Denver’s Oktoberfest features traditional German music and dance, beer-based activities and entertainment during two consecutive weekends.
Denver Arts Week, Cultural Events and Exhibit Openings
Marilyn Minter: Pretty/Dirty (Sep 19) – This exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art explores the evolution of Marilyn Minter’sstyle as a painter and photographer, from image choices to the organization of an unusual studio of assistants she trained in her style.
Super Indian: Fritz Scholder, 1967-1980 (Oct 4) – With a signature blend of figurative and pop art influences, renowned 20th century artist Fritz Scholder created colorful, compelling and revolutionary images depicting the reality of being an American Indian. This Denver Art Museum exhibition will feature more than 40 rarely seen paintings and lithographs by Scholder.
The International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes (Oct 23) – This exhibition at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science takes visitors to Victorian London to work alongside Holmes and Watson as they unravel a new case. It also explores the Sherlock fascination through more than 300 artifacts including first edition publications, original artwork and more.
Denver Film Festival (Nov 6-14) – The 38th annual event will feature the best in new cinema, including star-studded red carpet premieres, more than 250 films, parties, intimate conversations with filmmakers and more.
Denver Arts Week (Nov 6-14) – November highlights Denver’s creative community with the ninth annual Denver Arts Week. Kicking off with a free Know Your Arts First Friday arts walk events in several of the city’s cultural neighborhoods, the celebration continues on Saturday with the annual favorite Night at the Museums – during which more than 22,000 attendees visit 20 of Denver’s best museums, all of which stay open late and offer free admission for the event. Additionally, Denver Arts Week features nearly 300 theater, dance and live music performances and a variety of deals and discounts on performing and visual arts.
Wyeth: Andrew and Jamie in the Studio (Nov 8) – On November 8, Denver Art Museum will unveil the new, groundbreaking Wyeth exhibition. With more than 100 works created in a variety of media, the exhibition explores the connection between the father and son duo of American artists.
Children’s Museum of Denver Grand Reopening (Nov 20) – After a $16.1 million expansion, the Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus will reopen on November 20. The museum will feature new interactive learning exhibits, including Altitude, The Art Studio, Community Tree, Energy, The Teaching Kitchen and Water, as well as a new admission area, new café, additional parking and more.
Performing Arts at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts
Lookingglass Alice (through Oct 11) – Inspired by Lewis Carroll’s beloved stories, this Chicago-born hit show features spectacular theatricality and stunning acrobatics to inspire imagination and laughter.
If/Then (Oct 13-25) – Tony Award-winning Broadway superstar Idina Menzel reprises her role as Elizabeth in this Broadway musical that explores the intersection of choice and chance.
The Lion King (Nov 4-29) – The renowned musical returns to Denver for just four weeks. Winner of six Tony Awards, the show is unlike anything else and an absolute must-see.
Fall Day Trips
Due to the different elevations and climates within two hours’ drive of Denver, fall in the city features two months of colorful foliage from riverside Cottonwoods and scrub oak trees to the spectacular aspen trees throughout the mountains. From late-September to mid-November, visitors can take fall foliage hikes, bike rides and drives through the city all the way above 9,500 feet. Visit the Fall Foliage page on the VISIT DENVER website for a full list of options – from local parks to scenic byways to state and national parks.