Everything to Do in Denver This Weekend

Oktoberfest and Harvest Week are here.

What’s the first sure sign of fall? Oktoberfest celebrations and the aroma of roasting chiles, of course, and you can get a fix of both this weekend. Denver’s annual Oktoberfest has been cancelled, but you can still dust off your lederhosen for a smaller scale celebration at Rhein Haus. Then head to Pueblo for a throwback edition of the annual Chile and Frijoles Festival where you can stock up on green chiles for all the fall cooking to come. Harvest Week has also kicked off which means restaurants all over town have tasty specials featuring local ingredients. It’s time to have some fun, autumn-style. Let’s all raise a (socially distanced) stein to that. 

Dine out to support independent restaurants during Harvest Week

Wednesday, September 23-Sunday, October 4
Various locations 
EatDenver’s annual Harvest Week has adapted to the times and the new format means even more restaurants get to participate. This year, 50 spots will be serving up specials featuring Colorado grown and made ingredients. A portion of the proceeds from those dishes and drinks will go to EatDenver, an essential resource for the city’s independent restaurants, and their Harvest Week partner, The GrowHaus. Your goal: Try as many of these local flavors as you can.
Cost: Depends how many Harvest Week specials you try

Drink up for Oktoberfest

Wednesday, September 23-Saturday, September 26
Rhein Haus Denver
The Mile High’s annual Oktoberfest may have been canceled but that doesn’t mean you need to skip the pretzels and beer. Rhein Haus has you covered -- book a 90-minute session for you and up to a group of eight. Each ticket includes a pretzel, a liter of beer (or upgrade to a boot for an additional $15), and German cookies. And yes, you should definitely rock the lederhosen.
Cost: $25/person

Watch over 80 films during the virtual Mile High Horror Film Festival

Thursday, September 24-Sunday, October 4
Like a good scare? After being postponed in the spring, the Mile High Horror Film is moving online just in time to get you hyped for Halloween season. You’ll have ten days to watch over 80 horror, thriller, and sci-fi films including many new releases debuting before they’re available to the general public.
Cost: An all access Scream Pass is $75 or opt to purchase tickets to individual films 

Shop the last weekend of the Sloan’s Lake Farm & Flea

Friday, September 25
Sloan’s Lake
Fall has officially arrived which means farmers market season is coming to a close. The Sloan’s Lake market ends after this weekend so get out there and check out the local goods from over 30 vendors including food products, produce, art, jewelry, clothing, and more. 
Cost: Free to attend or get a wristband for unlimited drinks for $25

Shop the Denver Botanic Gardens’ online Fall Plant & Bulb Sale

Friday, September 25-Sunday, September 27
No need to leave the house for this annual sale -- this year it’s going virtual. You can check out the catalog ahead of time so you’ll have your game plan ready. This year they’ve also added pre-made bulb bags and custom seed mixes. Purchases will be picked up October 1-3 at the gardens.
Cost: Depends how much you buy

Stock up on Pueblo chiles at the Chiles & Frijoles Throwback Festival

Saturday, September 26 -Sunday, September 27
Since activities like the frijole spitting contest of the past are exactly COVID-era friendly, The Greater Pueblo Chamber of Commerce is taking a throwback approach to their annual celebration of one of the state’s most iconic (and delicious) crops: the Pueblo chile. This year, you’ll be able to browse a farmers market setup in two locations where chiles will be fire roasting and ready to go home with you. And while the typical street vendors won’t be out, many restaurants and shops in Pueblo are open so this is a great chance to day trip out of Denver and check out this chile-growing city to the south.
Cost: There is no $5 gate admission this year; instead, you can opt to donate your admission via an online portal and get a $2 off drink coupon 

Find unique artisan items at the Fall Frenzy Market

Saturday, September 26
Dairy Block
This outdoor market in the Dairy Block alley from the Junior League of Denver will feature over 30 vendors. There will also be live acoustic music from 1-3pm and food and drink specials available, plus if you’re one of the first 25 people to register you’ll score a $10 Milk Market gift card. 
Cost: Free to attend but advanced registration is required

Pickup a feast from Lola’s paella pop-up

Sunday, September 27
Treat yourself to a Sunday night seafood feast. Lola’s putting together kits that you can cook up at home, just be sure to pre-order by Thursday September 24th at noon to reserve yours. Kits include saffron saffron bomba rice, mussels, shrimp, chicken, Alaskan crab, and Spanish chorizo. If you want to skip the dishes, Lola will also be offering a few paella specials for dine-in guests -- reservations recommended.
Cost: Paella for two is $55

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Molly Martin is a Denver-based freelance writer. Follow her @mollydbu on Instagram and Twitter for more updates on food, fun, and life in the Mile High.