Labor Day Weekend in Fort Collins is a near-perfect time to visit our city. It is essentially the unofficial closing of summer and jam-packed with events and things to do. This three-day weekend in Fort Collins is filled with entertaining activities like the 53:14 Music Video Experiment Premiere and plenty of outdoor recreation opportunities. We hope you book your stay and enjoy this guide on how to spend Labor Day Weekend in Fort Collins:
For the Outdoor Enthusiast
It is the perfect time to camp since most people will have three days to enjoy the outdoors. There are so many favorite camping spots around Fort Collins, but two favorites are 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.
Fort Collins is known for its fantastic hikes and superb scenery. Everything from quick, day-long, 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 exploring the 285-plus miles of Fort Collins’ trails or biking in the mountains, taking in the jaw-dropping landscape, you’ll understand why Fort Collins garners the designation of being a platinum-level bike-friendly city. Fort Collins also offers a E-bike and E-Scooter program called Spin, which serves as a type of public transportation that includes a network of bicycles and scooters for short-term use.
Stand Up Paddle Boarding, or SUP, has increased 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, Fort Collins is full of 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 give fishing a try tend to develop an affinity for the sport, especially if they catch 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.
- 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.
- 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 in this one-of-a-kind venue housed in a historic Fort Collins building.
Unique Venues Local to Fort Collins
- Several local venues, along with local bars and breweries, including The Magic Rat, Forge, The Coast, Avogadro’s Number, Atrium, and the historic Aggie Theatre, round out the live music venues. The classy Sunset Lounge hosts live music, as does The Crown Pub and Ace Gillett’s Lounge, where sultry jazz music tempts people to this underground speakeasy. 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.
2023 53:14 Music Video Experiment Premiere at The Lyric
September 1st, 2023
This Labor Day Weekend is the 6th Annual 53:14 Music Video Experiment Premiere at the Lyric on September 1. This exciting project is a collaboration between talented musicians and filmmakers with 53 hours and 14 minutes and a budget of $1000 are challenged to produce a new music video. The finished new music videos will be presented free at The Lyric's outdoor screen. This creative event in appreciation and celebration of musician and filmmaker talent is made possible through the help of 105.5 The Colorado Sound, Dellenbach Motors, VIA, Bohemian Foundation, The Lyric and FoCoMA.
The Beauty of Blackness Fine Arts Show
August 31-September 3, 2023
"The Beauty Of Blackness Fine Art Show is a premier indoor Fine Art festival focused on collectors and those who love art," bringing the finest in original Black/African American art to Northern Colorado. This art show hosted at Foothills Mall features original work by national and international Black/African American artists. You can attend the art festival Thursday - Saturday 10 AM - 6 PM, Sunday 10 AM - 5 PM, and the reception on Friday from 6 - 9 PM.
For the Drink Connoisseur
The breweries in Fort Collins are perfectly nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, with fresh snowmelt running off into the Cache la Poudre River, making it an ideal place for brewing some of the nation’s best beer. Some of the newest breweries to join our craft community include Hello and Mythmaker Brewing. Did you know Fort Collins is the largest producer of craft beer (70%, in fact) in Colorado (ironic for a town that was “dry” until 1969)? Our city is home to more than 20 craft breweries, the most microbreweries in the state, each with its distinctive style. We are home to one of the world’s largest operations and a leader in eco-friendly and sustainable business practices. To taste award-winning lagers, pilsners and ales year-round, take part in some brewery tours and a wild variety of taster trays, and even spend a few days to taste them all!
It’s widely known that we love our craft beer in Fort Collins, but the craft beverage culture has alternative breeds that we love equally – local, premium spirits. Our Fort Collins distilleries offer a personalized setting to go along with craft spirits that taste amazing. Visit our local distilleries for fresh batches of Whiskey, Vodka, and everything in between. Locals say the craft spirits scene in Fort Collins is similar to the city’s craft brewing industry of 15 years ago. Fort Collins is now home to six distilleries: CopperMuse Distillery, Old Elk Distillery, Old Town Distilling, Elevation 5003 Distillery, Mobb Mountain Distillers, and, the latest addition, NoCo Distillery.
Fort Collins is home to several wineries trailblazing in the fine wine space. Local favorite Odell Brewing Company launched The OBC Wine Project in May of 2021 and has its taproom open next to the brewery. On Labor Day Weekend, you can sip mimosas and enjoy delicious bites during Brunch Club hosted on Sunday, September 3rd, from 12-3 PM. Ten Bears Winery, nestled in the foothills just north of Fort Collins in Laporte, offers a relaxed atmosphere in a rural setting. It’s a great spot to sip on fantastic wines while sitting on the patio and enjoying the great outdoors. Ten Bears even grows its grapes, a rarity in Northern Colorado. Known for its red wines, especially the smooth-bodied Poudre River Red, Ten Bears also offers a variety of wines ranging from white to dessert and even cider. Also, don't forget to check out the new Blanchard Family Wines taproom at The Exchange, just above Vatos Tacos + Tequilas on 234 N College Ave.
Finding a restaurant in Fort Collins is a blast because there are so many delicious dining choices! Fort Collins has more restaurants per capita than any other city in Colorado and more than most cities in the country. There are plenty of options for every wallet, including family-friendly pricing and high-end dining. Influenced by locally grown and seasonal foods, local restaurants and chefs are extremely innovative in planning savory menus that rotate throughout the year, allowing diners a constantly new experience.
Other things to Do over Labor Day Weekend...
Larimer County Farmers’ Market (September 2)
Larimer County Farmers’ Market is brought to you by the CSU Extension and Master Gardeners. It is located in the heart of Old Town Fort Collins in the Larimer County Courthouse parking lot, located on the North side of Oak Street between Mason & Howes. The Market features the best vendor-produced fruits, vegetables, honey, flowers, herbs, cheese, meats, jellies, and other agriculture-related products!
Fort Collins is one of the few towns in the United States that still offers the drive-in movie experience. The Holiday Twin Drive-in is one of seven left in Colorado and one of 348 left in the 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 want 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.