Memorial Day Weekend in Fort Collins is truly a perfect time to pay our city a visit. This holiday weekend marks the unofficial start to summer and, by this point in the year, 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 appreciate this guide to the top 7 Memorial Day activities to enjoy in Fort Collins.


1. Honor the Fallen

Memorial Day Weekend Ceremony

Every Memorial Day weekend, the Veterans Plaza of Northern Colorado hosts its largest event of the year, bringing in thousands of people from all over Northern Colorado to enjoy the weekend festivities. This event is free to the public and lasts all Memorial Day Weekend with the main ceremony on Sunday, May 26th at 12:00pm. Come join them this year at the Plaza to pay respects and celebrate those who sacrificed everything in defense of our nation. Visit their website for more information!


2. Whitewater Rafting


If you want to experience the ultimate adrenaline 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. So, get out there, grab a paddle, and have an adventure - but first, make sure you check out one of our multiple whitewater guides and outfitters like Mountain Whitewater, A Wanderlust Adventure, A1 Wildwater and Rocky Mountain Adventures to get you started on your thrilling journey. 


3. Go Camping

Camping Lory State Park

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, rather than just two, to enjoy the outdoors. We truly have too many favorite camping spots to name, but two standout areas 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, Red Feather Lakes and Lory State Park among several 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.


4. Jam out at the Mishawaka Amphitheater

Mishawaka Stage

Did you know the legendary Mishawaka Amphitheatre is over 100 years old? This incredible outdoor venue will host numerous national acts throughout the summer. 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. Check out their upcoming events calendar here then head up the canyon and enjoy some fantastic live music outdoors while drinking one of our local craft beers.


5. 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 and friends groups participating in fun lawn activities ranging from soccer to frisbee. If you’re in the mood for a hike, head out to Horsetooth Mountain 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, The Pickle Barrel and  Yampa Sandwiches to name a few. Just make sure you pack out all your trash when you leave!


6. See a movie at the Drive-In Theater

Holiday Twin Drive-In Movie Theater

Fort Collins is one of the few towns in Colorado that still offers the drive-in movie experience. In fact, the Holiday Twin Drive-in is one of only four left in Colorado and one of 177 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.


7. Ride the Fort Collins Trolley


Take a nostalgic ride down Mountain Ave in Fort Collins by jumping aboard the Fort Collins Trolley! Thanks to a small handful of volunteers, local businesses and the Fort Collins Municipal Railway Society, a complete restoration and rebuild of the original downtown line was completed in 1984. Since then, visitors and residents have got to experience the historic streetcar during summer weekends and holidays. Hop on at City Park Depot (1501 W Oak St.) from May 6th to September 29th, between noon and 5 p.m., with the trolley leaving every 30 minutes. Fares and additional information can be found at the Fort Collins Trolley website here. See you on board!


No matter what type of adventure you are looking for, you are sure to experience an unforgettable Memorial Day Weekend in Fort Collins. We can't wait to see you soon!