This year Mother’s Day happens to fall on a very busy weekend in Fort Collins that includes Colorado State University's graduation. This means there will be plenty to do for all of the grads and moms that are making their way to Fort Collins for the festivities. We know moms and grads are fairly hard to shop for, so let us help you treat them to something extra special this Mother’s Day/Graduation Weekend in Fort Collins. Here are some Fort Collins activities, events and dining ideas that are sure to make everyone’s day special.
For the Trailblazer
- Fort Collins is known for its incredible hikes and spectacular scenery. Everything from ‘lunch break’ hiking, day-long hikes, and multi-day hikes are just a short drive from the heart of town. Here’s a list of some of the best hiking trails in Fort Collins.
- Whether you’re exploring Fort Collins’ 285-plus miles of trails or biking in the mountains, taking in the awe-inspiring landscape, you’ll understand why Fort Collins has been named a platinum level bike-friendly city. Fort Collins also offers a Bike Share program Pace, which is a public transportation program that includes a network of bicycles for short-term use.
- Stand Up Paddle Boarding, or SUP, has exploded in popularity over the last few years in Fort Collins. Because of our reservoirs, lakes, and rivers, Fort Collins plays host to some of the best SUP’n spots in the state. It doesn’t matter if it’s your first time on a board or if you paddle every day, we have plenty of outfitters happy to set you up with the proper equipment, offer guided and unguided trips, and give you insider tips to explore the outdoors like a local.
- There are plenty of spots to fish in Fort Collins such as the Cache la Poudre River, Horsetooth Reservoir, Riverbend Ponds and many more. Most people who try fishing tend to develop an affinity for the sport, especially if they manage to land a fish or two in the process. Fort Collins is full of a bounty of trout and other native fish species scattered throughout all the bodies of water in the area.
- Convenient access, clear water, challenging rapids and beautiful scenery make the Cache la Poudre a river-runner’s paradise from May through September for whitewater rafting. From Class I all the way to Class V, Fort Collins has rapids for every age and ability. Here’s a First Timer’s Guide to Rafting in Fort Collins.
For the Bookworm/Intellectual
- The iconic Old Firehouse Books is a local, independent bookstore located in the heart of Old Town Fort Collins. The bookstore is named after the historically significant building it calls home, The Old Firehouse. Old Firehouse Books sells a diverse selection of both new and used books as well as other miscellaneous items. Get to know Old Firehouse Books better in our community connections blog.
- Although this event isn’t during mom and grad weekend, it could make for a great gift and excuse to come back and spend a weekend in Fort Collins in October. The FoCo Book Fest is an annual, locally-organized event designed to celebrate local libraries, books, and the literary arts throughout Fort Collins and Northern Colorado. It’s free and open to the public. Participants can attend panel discussions, writing workshops, author readings, book signings, classes and other exciting sessions throughout the day and converse with a variety of incredible writers.
For the Shopper
- Fort Collins is a city full of artisans and local craftsmen who use the Rocky Mountain backdrop and supportive community for inspiration. When we see their products throughout Colorado we’re proud to say they are ‘Made in Fort Collins.’ Here are some of our favorite local products.
- Shopping in Downtown Fort Collins can be a magical experience. Quaint boutiques, historic architecture, and unique shops line the streets of Old Town Fort Collins creating a window-shopping experience with every amenity you could want.
- The Foothills Mall, a 77-acre shopping center remodeled in 2015, includes household names like Macy’s and Victoria’s Secret, Nordstrom Rack and H & M. The mall and the stores along the College Ave. corridor offer a wide variety of women’s and men’s clothing, fashionable and functional shoe wear, and accessories.
- Front Range Village has the city’s largest collection of large national retailers along with many smaller boutiques in a walkable state-of-the-art lifestyle shopping center. Destination stores like DSW Shoes, World Market, and Lowe’s anchor the 100-plus acre property, while favorite smaller stores fill in the rest of this shopping landscape.
Trying to find a restaurant in Fort Collins ends up being an enjoyable activity when visiting because there are so many delicious dining choices! Fort Collins has more restaurants per capita than any other city in the state of Colorado and more than most cities in the entire country. There are options for every wallet, including family-friendly pricing and high-end dining. Influenced by local grown and seasonal foods, local restaurants and chefs are extremely innovative in planning savory menus that rotate throughout the year allowing diners to have a constantly new experience.
If relaxing and rejuvenating is your thing, you’ve come to the right place! Fort Collins is home to several businesses that make this their profession, from acupuncture to massage, pedicures or yoga. Health and wellness is a staple of the Fort Collins culture so there is no shortage of places to find something catering to a healthy relaxing lifestyle.
- Visitors and locals alike are buzzing about Washington’s, the newest music venue in town anchoring an ever-growing music scene. This Old Town Fort Collins landmark was purchased by the Bohemian Foundation and renovated with a state-of-the-art sound and lighting system. Now the 900-capacity venue is bringing local and national bands to the region. Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Martin Sexton, Keller Williams and more have performed since it opened in early February; this spring, Flobots, Justin Townes Earle, Pedro the Lion and many more will grace the already-lauded (and applauded) stage.
- Concerts at The Armory pair a local artist with a nationally-known musician in an intimate 200-capacity (seated) listening room. Big names like John Oates, Shawn Colvin, Shelby Lynne, Brett Dennen, Gregory Alan Isakov and many others have played this one-of-a-kind venue housed in a historic Fort Collins building.
Unique Venues Local to Fort Collins
- A handful of other longtime local venues, including the Downtown Artery, Hodi’s Half Note, Avogadro’s Number and the historic Aggie Theatre, round out the live music venues, along with local bars and breweries. The new mixology bar Blue Door hosts live music, as does Ace Gillett’s Lounge where sultry jazz music tempts people to this underground speakeasy each week. Likewise, many of the more than 20 local breweries host live music on the regular, including New Belgium Brewing, Equinox Brewing, Odell Brewing Company and Maxline Brewing.
Gifts from CSU for the Ram Mom and Grad
Colorado State University is one of the top schools in the state with dynamic exploration opportunities. Just minutes from both downtown Fort Collins and pristine foothills of the Rocky Mountains, CSU is easily accessible from I-25. Moms and grads can stroll the lush campus, explore the Lory Student Center, find a gift at the bookstore and enjoy the campus ambiance. When you find yourself back downtown don’t forget to stop by the Ram Zone for another special gift for mom and the grad.
Calendar of Events for Mom and Grad Weekend (May 11-13)
Trimble Court Artisans – May Gallery Walk – featuring Sharon Gloss
Fat Tire Friday New Belgium Live Music
Emil & the Detectives
Drake Road Farmers’ Market
Fort Collins Wind Symphony Spring Concert
Exhibitions at Avenir Museum:
- “New Threads” Exhibition
- “ORANGE: a short history of orange in fashion” Exhibition
- “FABRICation” Exhibition
- “Nothing To Sneeze At: 1 Woman – 1,107 Handkerchiefs” Exhibition