Best time to go to Denver

Denver Labor Day Weekend 2020

The Mile High City is packed with festivals, live music, and plenty of late-summer activities for Labor Day Weekend

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin
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Labor Day Weekend in Denver is packed with events and things to do. Fun celebrations and plenty of late-summer activities in and around Denver are perfect ingredients for an excellent summer farewell. Some events are canceled this year, but there are still plenty of things to do that can keep you busy throughout the whole weekend.

Denver Mini Derby (September 5, 2020)

Labeled as "a Kentucky Derby viewing party with a twist," Denver Mini Derby is a fun event on Kentucky Derby Day. Usually, it takes place in early May, but in 2020 the event was rescheduled for September 5, 2020. Right after watching the legendary Kentucky Derby, you can witness the hilarious "mini race" with adorable mini horses trotting around on site in a charity race. There are : huge screens for watching the Kentucky Derby, a live band and DJ, tons of great food options and open bar, Best Derby hat contests, and a Corgi Race—could this day get any better? Come to The North Green from 1 pm to 6 pm and enjoy a fun-filled day. Admission varies from $59 to $2,000.

Elitch Gardens Theme Park and Fireworks (2020 dates to be confirmed)

Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park a popular getaway on Labor Day Weekend in Denver. It's a perfect mix of a water park and a theme park. So bring your sunglasses and a bathing suit to become a kid no matter what age you are. For even more fun, check out the fireworks on Sunday night right after the park closes at about 10 pm. You can watch the fireworks extravaganza from the Gardens parking lot or any other location in Downtown Denver.

Colorado State Fair in Pueblo (August 28–September 7, 2020)

The annual Colorado State Fair takes place in Pueblo, about two hours from Denver. From late August to early September, the famous fairgrounds host thousands of visitors drawn by the entertainment program—thrilling rides, concerts, competitions, and lots of vendor booths. The Colorado State Fair 2020 edition will offer a limited program due to the COVID-19 limitations. The admission will be free, but rides and food will be available at a separate price.

A Taste of Colorado (rescheduled for 2021)

A Taste of Colorado is Denver’s traditional Labor Day Weekend party in Civic Center Park. The farewell to summer program presents lots of music, food, arts, and games. Five stages with free concerts over the course of three days feature a few dozens of national and regional bands. In addition to music, there is an excellent choice of arts and crafts sold at almost 200 booths. Those who get hungry can grab a bite at one of over 50 food vendors on site. The Kidszone will keep your kids entertained with dance, magic, and crafts.

Labor Day Weekend Getaways from Denver

Road in Colorado with the Rockies view 2020
Road in Colorado with the Rockies view

There are tonnes of road trip ideas when you are based in Denver. The Mile High City is surrounded by all sorts of destinations from the mountains and thrilling roads to cozy towns and hot springs. Denver is an excellent gateway to the Rocky Mountains region and nearby towns. You could close your summer season by climbing up Mt. Elbert, Colorado's highest mountain (14,440 ft or 4,401 m). There are no easy 14'ers; so, spending a few days in Leadville or Twin Lakes in order to acclimatize to the elevation would be a good idea. Most of Elbert's surrounding locations such as Leadville or Twin Lakes are at a higher altitude, which is perfect for acclimatization. Another alternative is to visit mountain towns like Breckenridge, Buena Vista, and Winterpark with great dining and shopping options to keep you occupied while you get used to the sub-alpine air. In Breckenridge, pay tribute to Isak Heartstone, an iconic wooden troll sculpture by Thomas Dambo. A southwest road trip from Denver can take you to Crested Butte, Kebler Pass with magnificent views of the West Elk Mountains, and then one of the most photographed spots in ColoradoCrystal Mill. On your way back to Denver, take a short detour to Mount Evans Scenic Byway in Idaho Springs, and then spend a relaxing afternoon at Radium Hot Springs. Double-check the campsite opening updates with local authorities. Another excellent long-weekend getaway from Denver is a trip to Colorado Springs. Labor Day Weekend is the right time to be there for the Colorado Springs Labor Day Lift Off. Once in the city, you can also go to the iconic Garden of the Gods with lots of activities: hiking, climbing, biking, and horseback riding. Warm early fall days are also calling for a peaceful kayak ride. Lake Pueblo State Park, about 50 mi (80 km) south of Colorado Springs or 120 mi (190 km) from Denver, is an excellent kayaking spot for newbies and offers rentals.

Denver events map

The map below depicts the locations of the above-mentioned events (Denver Mini Derby in The North Green, Elitch Gardens Theme Park, and A Taste of Colorado in Civic Center Park). Book accommodation close to the events you want to attend to make your trip as smooth as possible.