Memorial Day weekend in Fort Collins is a great time to explore  for multiple reasons. Not only is it a longer weekend, which means there's more time for activities, but it's also the unofficial start to summer, and a weekend full of celebrating our fallen heroes. Enjoy Memorial Day weekend in Fort Collins with these eight Fort Collins-centric activities.

1. Whitewater Rafting

The winter snow pack is melting and the rapids are roaring in the Poudre Canyon. Memorial Day weekend it the perfect time to bring the family out for a white water adventure. Check out one of our many white water rafting companies and book your trip. With the wet weather we have been seeing, the river is screaming excitement. So grab your wet suit and a paddle, and enjoy your adventure on the Poudre River.

2. Explore Horsetooth (Reservoir or Rock)

Horsetooth is always a popular spot on the long three-day weekend. Not only do boats start floating the waters, but so do Stand up Paddle Boarders and Kayakers. If it’s not quite warm enough for you to enjoy water recreation yet, then enjoy the view from above, atop Horsetooth Rock. This iconic hike will take you on a half-day trip through Horsetooth Mountain Open Space to the highest overlook in the Fort Collins area!

3. Have a picnic at City Park

Find ducks and swans swimming in the pond, games of soccer and Frisbee being played in the lawn and families settled on top of their picnic blankets eating lunch at City Park during Memorial Day weekend in Fort Collins. Pick up lunch from a local deli like Choice City Butcher, The Pickle Barrel or Backcountry Delicatessen and find your perfect spot at the park.

4. Realities Ride and Rally

Each Memorial Day weekend, Realities Ride & Rally is held in downtown Fort Collins. This two-day festival features live music, vendors, local food, beer and fun for all ages. At the end of the rally, the single largest Poker Run in the entire world begins. This community celebration is a great way to give appreciation to our veterans while spending time with family in Fort Collins this weekend.

5. See a movie at the Drive-In TheaterHoliday Twin Drive-In, Credit Jessica Quinn - Copy - Copy

When I think of a classic summer evening in Fort Collins, the Holiday Twin Drive In is always in my mind. With new movies each weekend, this two screen outdoor theater is the perfect way to kick back and relax for an evening on Memorial Day Weekend. Open up your car hatch, pile in the pillows and grab your popcorn for a cozy evening at the Drive-In.

6. Go Camping

Memorial Day weekend officially kicks off the camping season in Fort Collins and with a three-day weekend on your hands, it’s the perfect time to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. Favorite camping spots include Horsetooth Reservoir and the multiple campgrounds along the Poudre River. If you’re looking to get a little further from the hustle and bustle, check out the back country near Pingree Park!

7. Honor the Fallen

This Memorial Day weekend in Fort Collins head to the Veterans Plaza to see over 4,000 American flags on display honoring the U.S. fallen soldiers of WWII. On May 22nd, enjoy live entertainment and a “movie on the lawn” starting at 6:30pm. Also, enjoy WWII era vehicles and re-enactors Saturday-Monday, along with a Sunday ceremony with displays and veteran oriented vendors, food, an WWII flyover and live music. This weekend-long celebration at the plaza is a true Memorial Day celebration that bring together fun and the remembrance of our fallen heroes.

8. Jam out at the Mishawaka Amphitheater

The Mishawaka Amphitheater was rated one of the top outdoor venues in the U.S. because of its supreme mountain location in the Poudre Canyon and balconies that overhang the Poudre River. Enjoy an outdoor concert Memorial Day weekend at the Mishawaka and grab a bite to eat and a local craft beer at the restaurant before you start rockin’ out. With shows on Friday and Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, this is the perfect place to celebrate your extended weekend, Fort Collins style.