When harvest season nears, Colorado’s farms swing open their gates for fall fun in the fields. Load up the whole family for wallet-friendly learnin’, pickin’ and eatin’ — all the while supporting local growers and businesses.
Below are a few examples of things to see and do on Colorado’s most fertile lands. For information on other options around the state, check out Colorado Roots, fall-color drives on scenic byways and farm and ranch activities.
U Pick/Farm Tours
Create your own farm-to-table menu with a visit to the many farms that are eager to teach people about agriculture this fall. You can choose (and taste!) your produce right from the source for a farm-fresh meal.
- Jumpin’ Good Goat Dairy, Buena Vista: Walk through the dairy’s facilities, spend some time with their happy goats, taste all sorts of cheese, watch the busy cheese-making staff at work and even try your hand at milking.
- Two working farm museums take you back in time for a peek into Colorado’s farming history: Timberlane Farm Museum in Loveland and the Littleton Museum in Littleton.
- Berry Patch Farms, Brighton: Fall crops like apples, beets, carrots, garlic, onions, squash, pumpkins and peppers are ripe and ready. Meet the farm’s chickens, ducks and two cute pigs named Bacon Bits and Pancetta.
- Take in the splendor of southwest Colorado’s high-desert topography while you see how farmers live and taste the area’s flavors on a Mesa Verde Farm and Ranch Tour hosted by the Cortez Cultural Center. Excursions include transportation to multiple sites, a guided tour, lunch and a tasting of craft beverages from local breweries and wineries.
Corn Mazes & Pumpkin Patches
The harvest season beings plenty of opportunities for farm fun. Pumpkin picking, hayrides, mazes and other activities make for the perfect fall day.
- Cottonwood Farm, Boulder: Tackle straw-bale and corn mazes, take a wagon ride, decorate a gourd and pick a perfect pumpkin.
- Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield Farms, Littleton: The gardens’ massive corn maze twists and turns across eight acres, with a mini-maze for smaller kids and great bird watching opportunities.
- Fritzler’s Corn Maize, near Greeley: More than just a maze, Fritzler’s delights with a mini-rollercoaster ride, pillow jump, duck races, pumpkin canons, go-carts and a haunted maze at night.
- Miller Farms, Platteville: Harvest potatoes, carrots and other vegetables, take a hayride through 180 acres of field, have a picnic and taste some delicious snacks.
- Anderson Farms, Erie: One of Colorado's longest running corn mazes and U-pick pumpkin patches also features a zombie paintball hunt, gourd launching and much more.
- Frederika Fall Festival: Each September, this farm near Avondale (20 minutes east of Pueblo) carves an epic design in the corn (2014's edition features this website's logo!). There are also pumpkin flings, pumpkin decorating, costume contests and a dog parade.
- Colon Orchards and Diana's Pumpkin Patch Corn Maze, both in Cañon City: Two corn mazes, hayrides and pumpkin picking in the heart of the Arkansas River Valley at Colon Orchards; a maze, s'mores and hot cider on Friday and Saturday evenings and paint balloon wars at Diana's.
- Studts Pumpkin Patch, Grand Junction: Day and night mazes, pumpkin jumps, haunted house and many other family activities.
Farmers’ markets offer the chance to feast on Colorado’s seasonal fruits and vegetables, and many of the larger ones also have chef demonstrations, live entertainment and kids activities. Sort our list of farmers' markets by city and region here. A few of the most popular include:
- Montrose Farmer’s Market
- Colorado Fresh Markets in Denver
- Boulder and Longmont Farmers’ Markets
- Alamosa Farmers’ Market
- Cortez Farmers Market
- Durango Farmers Market
- Larimer County Farmers’ Market in Fort Collins
- Central Colorado Food Alliance Farmers Markets in Salida, Buena Vista, Cañon City
- Cruise along Highway 50 on Colorado's eastern plains from La Junta to Rocky Ford to find many small fruit stands
Check out other farm, ranch and culinary activites in our Colorado Roots guide.