Oktoberfests, Halloween Bars, and More Fun Things to Do in Denver This Weekend

Your guide to all of Denver's must-hit food and music festivals, events, movies, markets, deals, and concerts.

Denver may be best-known for its outdoorsiness, but the Mile High City is so much more than just a gateway to the Rockies. (Although the Rockies are pretty great.) There are loads of cool restaurants, bars, and breweries, not to mention museums, thrift stores, and farmers markets. And yes, of course we have stunning hikes, bike trails, and lakes to dive into. And if all that’s not enough, new events are popping up every single weekend. These are the best ways to spend your hard-earned days off in and around Denver.

Festivals in and near Denver

September 22 - 23
Colorado Convention Center, Tickets: From $95
String up your pretzel necklaces, the biggest and best beer festival is here. Join 60,000 of your fellow brew lovers at the Great American Beer Fest, where more than 500 breweries will set up at the Colorado Convention Center pouring 2,000-plus beers. Calculate your strategy, line up an Uber, and get on over there.

September 22 - 24
Ball Park, Free entry
When Denver is filled with a stein hoisting stage and keg bowling, it can only mean one thing: Oktoberfest is back. The 53rd annual Denver Oktoberfest is one of the best in the country, chock-full of schnitzel, beer, and dirndls, as any self-respecting Oktoberfest should be.

September 22, 3 pm - 12 am, September 23, 10 am - 12 am, September 24, 10 am - 5 pm
Pueblo, Tickets: $6
Hatch who? It’s all about the Pueblo chiles at the 29th annual Chile & Frijoles Festival. Besides the roasting of bushel after bushel of the superior chiles, this fest features live entertainment, street vendors, cooking competitions, a jalapeño eating contest, and last but not least, the chihuahua parade.

September 23, 12 - 10 pm
Golden, Tickets: $30
If the Denver Oktoberfest scene is too much, head west to Golden’s Wild West Oktoberfest. They’ll have a yodeling competition, an arm wobbling stein hoisting contest, bull riding, the perfect opportunity to wear your Germany-meets-wild-west costume, and, of course, beer. (This is the home of Coors after all.)

Food & Drink Events in Denver

September 22 - 23
Denver, Tickets: prices vary based on the bar
Several bars are turning wicked this year, including the undead spookeasy at Mile High Spirits and the Slayers Vampire Academy inside Zeppelin Station. It’s fall: if you’re not drinking BOOzy drinks amid fake cobwebs and zombie dolls, what are you even doing with your life?

September. 23, 11 am - 3 pm
McGregor Square, Free entry
We can think of worse ways to start the day than with puppies and pancakes. This adorable dog adoption brunch is taking place on The OG’s patio, where pups from Mile High Lab Mission will be waiting to win you over. Don’t let them down.

Arts & Entertainment Events in Denver

September 22 - 24
RiNo, Free entry
A new international mural fest is beautifying RiNo this week. Denver Walls will feature cool new murals, artist talks, and tech activations, including the Tech Opening with Ben Bohmer at the Mission Ballroom Friday night at 7 pm. But really everywhere you look in the neighborhood will offer interesting views.

September 23 - 24
Thornton, Tickets: $14
Is it even fall if you don’t do a corn maze? Maize in the City, built into a 40-acre corn field in Thornton, opens Saturday. If getting lost amid dead stalks of corn isn’t your jam, they also have pick-your-own pumpkins, a corn launcher, rubber duck racing, and more.

Outdoor Events in Denver

September 23, 6:30 am
Northfield, Tickets: From $94
Explore different Denver neighborhoods and sights by street and trail in this urban cycling event. Whether you’re looking for a casual cruise or a new route to work, the Denver Century Ride will inspire you to take to two wheels as you roll past Coors Field and other iconic city spots via 25-, 50-, 85-, and 100-mile routes.

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Allyson Reedy is a Thrillist contributor.