Memorial Day Weekend in Fort Collins is a near perfect time to come visit our city. It is essentially the unofficial start to summer and the weather has finally given in to being consistently beautiful. This three-day weekend in Fort Collins is filled with thrilling activities and meaningful tributes to fallen heroes. We hope you enjoy this guide to 7 Memorial Day Activities in Fort Collins:
1. Whitewater Rafting
If you want to experience the ultimate rush you must take a plunge down the Cache la Poudre River and go Whitewater Rafting! The snow that accumulated all winter in the mountains has been melting and the rapids are flowing beautifully in the Poudre Canyon. Opening day just took place on May 15 and the river has been begging for some fun runs ever since. So, get out there grab a paddle and have an adventure, but before you get ahead of yourself check out one of our multiple whitewater guides and outfitters like Mountain Whitewater Descents, A Wanderlust Adventure, A1 Wildwater and Rocky Mountain Adventures to get you on your way.
2. Go Camping
Memorial Day Weekend serves as the un-official kickoff to camping season in Fort Collins. It really is the perfect time to camp since most people will have three days to enjoy the outdoors. There are too many favorite camping spots to name, but two favorites are definitely Horsetooth Reservoir and all along the Cache la Poudre River. There are also incredible options around Arapaho & Roosevelt National Forests, Rocky Mountain National Park and Lory State Park among others. Whether you’re looking for public or private campgrounds, family-friendly camping, or RV Parks, there are plenty of places to set up camp close to town or in the mountains.
3. Jam out at the Mishawaka Amphitheater
Did you know the legendary Mishawaka Amphitheatre turned 100-years-0ld last year? This incredible outdoor venue will host numerous national acts throughout the summer. Memorial Day Weekend will be no different as the Mish and The Colorado Sound present Justin Townes Earle with The Sadies and Sammy Brue at 7 pm on May 27. The Mishawaka Amphitheater was rated as a top outdoor venue in the U.S. and it’s easy to see why with its breathtaking mountain location in the Poudre Canyon that includes balconies that overhang the Poudre River. So, head up the canyon and enjoy some fantastic live music outdoors while drinking one of our local craft beers.
4. Have a Picnic
There are a number of spots in Fort Collins to have one of the most scenic picnics you’ve ever experienced. City Park happens to be one of those spots. You can find ducks and Canadian Geese swimming in the oversized pond in City Park, along with multiple families participating in fun activities ranging from soccer to Frisbee and lawn games. If you’re in the mood for a hike, head out to Horsetooth Open Space and pick a trail. All of them provide beautiful settings for a picnic, including Horsetooth Falls and Arthur’s Rock just to name a few. If you don’t want to make your lunch we suggest stopping by one of our many great sandwich shops like Choice City Butcher, The Pickle Barrel and Backcountry Delicatessen to name a few.
5. See a movie at the Drive-In Theater
Fort Collins is one of the few towns in the United Sates that still offers the drive-in movie experience. In fact, the Holiday Twin Drive-in is one of six left in Colorado and one of 348 left in the entire country. This is one of the perfect all-American ways to spend a summer evening in Fort Collins. This two-screen outdoor theater provides an ideal setting if you are looking to sit back and relax on a beautiful summer night. Grab some popcorn, blankets, pillows and snacks and go enjoy this rare gem of a movie theater setting.
6. Realities Ride and Rally
Realities Ride and Rally takes place each and every Memorial Day Weekend (May 27-28, 2017) in beautiful downtown Fort Collins. This rally offers the ‘biking’ community a chance to come together and honor our military service men and women and celebrate freedom. This is a 2-day festival featuring live music, local food, beer, vendors and tons of fun for all ages. The Rally is Free to the community and will take place in Civic Center Park which is located at N. Howes St. and Laporte Ave. If you choose to ride you motorcycle there will be streets closed off for bike-only parking provided. If you don’t ride you are still more than welcome to enjoy all the fantastic festivities offered at the rally.
Head over to the Spring Canyon Community Park to honor our fallen soldiers. This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War. In addition to a weeklong reading of names at the Traveling Vietnam Memorial wall, a recognition event takes place Saturday and features the USO Show, food trucks, and live music.
7A. Take a ride on Birney Car 21 Trolley
Hitch a ride on the only original restored city streetcar operating in the western U.S. today! If you’re near City Park Memorial Day Weekend or any other weekend this summer, be sure to grab a ride to Old Town on Birney Car 21. It is truly an experience you and your family won't soon forget.
Other Events Surrounding Memorial Day Weekend
Ben & Jerry’s Summer FAC Concert Series kicks off on May 26th and will continue throughout the entire summer. In all, there will be 10 Friday night concerts. As Ben & Jerry’s says…Peace, love, and ice-cream!