Things To Do During Labor Day Weekend In Colorado

Written by Ben Sack, 08.14.2019

The sun is shining, the mountains are still lush and green, and you have a three-day weekend to enjoy with your friends and family. Use this last long weekend of summer as an excuse to get out and explore some of the best that Colorado has to offer.

We’ve put together a list of some of the most fun and exciting ways to celebrate Labor Day. If you’re looking for an outdoor adventure, check out our first section for the best outdoor adventures to have during this time of year. Or if you would rather take part in a Labor Day celebration, we have a list of some fun festivities going on around the state.

The Best Outdoor Adventures to Try During Labor Day Weekend

September is the month where temperatures in the mountains go from warm to slightly less predictable. As the month draws to an end, you can start to see leaves changing and feel fall making its way in. This makes Labor Day weekend one of your last chances to get out there and enjoy the outdoor adventures that are best enjoyed during the warm months. Try one of the following trip ideas to take advantage of the warm Colorado weather.

Go Whitewater Rafting

Rafting season in Colorado typically runs from May through the early part of September, depending on the water levels. Labor Day Weekend is usually the last chance to get out and enjoy a group rafting expedition.

Gather a group of your friends or family to enjoy the rush that comes from paddling through rapids and the peace that comes from floating along lazy sections of the river. The water levels are lower this time of year, which typically results in a more relaxed whitewater rafting experience. This is ideal for those new to rafting, or even to those who are dedicated river explorers who would like one more chance to feel the energy of the river this season.

Paddling through 3 Rocks Rapid

Take Part in a Mountain Bike Race or Trail Run Race

Colorado has a number of areas with incredible trail systems. This Labor Day Weekend is the second annual Royal 50 Mountain Bike Race, with either a 25 mile or 50 mile race option. There’s also a 5K and half-marathon trail race during this two day event taking place at the Royal Gorge Park Trails near Cañon City. As a bonus, the races cover some new trails just recently opened to the public.

Get Out Camping

That extra day really makes the difference when it comes to enjoying the outdoors. It can give you more time to drive to a camping destination that you’ve always wanted to explore, or simply more time to enjoy one of your favorites close to home. The weather is typically pretty nice, so you can find a camp spot along a lake or reservoir to enjoy some fun on the water too.

camping on the river

Our Favorite Labor Day Festivals In Colorado

Many cities and mountain towns throughout Colorado celebrate Labor Day with festivals. You can find music festivals, food festivals, and more that can bring together the community. Plus, most of these festivals are fit for the whole family!

Denver’s A Taste of Colorado

If you can’t get out to the mountains this weekend, Denver is holding an annual event great for people of all ages. Denver’s 37th A Taste of Colorado is being held this year from August 31 to September 2. It’s a free festival jam packed with free concerts, tasty food and drinks, art vendors, and fun attractions to entertain the kids.

Jazz Aspen Snowmass

Aspen, ColoradoJazz Aspen Snowmass is an annual event held at Snowmass Town Park in Snowmass Village. This festival includes not only jazz music but also performances from popular artists like ZZ Ward, Sting, John Mayer, and Weezer. They offer diverse music at the two side stages and nightly performances at JAS After Dark. They have exotic food, tasty drinks, and crafts available for festival attendees. Be aware, this festival tends to sell out.

Colorado Springs Labor Day Lift Off

Imagine a sky full of colorful hot air balloons floating off into the distance as you watch from below, taking pictures for future memories. Colorado Springs Labor Day Lift Off is a free event great for the whole family. Not only is there the ascension of over 70 hot air balloons on the morning of August 31, but there are other activities and local vendors to entertain you throughout the weekend.

Keystone’s Oktoberfest

Only have one day to get out to the mountains? Try Keystone’s Oktoberfest where you will find German food, beer, and music along with other festival activities. There is a 5K to start the day off right at 12 P.M., a tent sale at River Run Village shops, and free face painting and a bounce house for the kiddos.

Closing Thoughts

No matter what you and your loved ones decide to do this Labor Day Weekend, try to get out and enjoy our beautiful state. There are plenty of festivities and outdoor activities that provide a fun and memorable way to spend your last long summer weekend. 

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About the Author

Ben Sack is the General Manager of Echo Canyon River Expeditions, Colorado's largest white water rafting outfitter. He's also a raft guide, a photographer, and he loves exploring Colorado and beyond with his wife and two boys.
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