8 low-cost, all-ages things to do over Labor Day Weekend in Denver

8 low-cost, all ages things to do over Labor Day Weekend

We’re not letting go of summer just yet. But the time of swimming pools, mountain camps and children on the loose is swiftly coming to an end.

To mark the transition into fall and, hopefully, cooler temperatures, we picked eight Labor Day weekend events in the Denver metro area (mostly) that are light on cost and heavy on all-ages fun.

Most events take place between Friday, Sept. 1, and Monday, Sept. 4. Find more things to do in Denver at denverpost.com/theknow.

Colorado State Fair

Colorado’s biggest fair unites state-best agriculture and livestock, rodeo competitions, food, music, fine art and more on its sprawling grounds for diverse, family-friendly programming. Concert highlights this year include comic Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias (Aug. 31); pop-country act Lady A (Sept. 1); hip hop icon Lil Jon (Sept. 2); and ’80s vets Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo (Sept. 3). Oh, and the demolition derby and monster trucks. And the carnival! You get the idea. $7-$15 gate admission; kids 4 and under free. Individual events $25-$70 per person. Aug. 25-Sept. 4 in Pueblo. coloradostatefair.com

Free festivals and parades

Our friends at Mile High on the Cheap, who provide the Denver Post’s Cheap Checklist column, have assembled a ridiculously detailed lineup of free festivals, parades, live music and one-off events for Labor Day weekend (see milehighonthecheap.com/denver-labor-day), but suffice it to say, Front Range residents can expect a bevy of outdoor programming. Highlights include the Estes Park Arts & Crafts Show (Sept. 2-4), Denver Makers Market (Sept. 2), Louisville Labor Day Parade & Festival (Sept. 4), and free, all-ages concerts at Denver’s Levitt Pavilion (see levittdenver.org for the full lineup).

Gregory Alan Isakov at Red Rocks

The booking at Red Rocks Amphitheatre can feel niche these days with its heavy dose of dance-music acts known mostly to diehard fans of the genre. But Colorado’s own Gregory Alan Isakov, an internationally touring and acclaimed folk singer based in Boulder, is a sure bet for mainstream music fans and hipsters alike. Grammy-nominated Isakov has a wistful new album, “Appaloosa Bones,” and a 7 p.m. concert on Monday, Sept. 4, with Jeremiah Frates of Denver’s Lumineers (performing “Piano Piano”). All ages. Tickets: $56 at axs.com

Marathons, half-marathons and 5Ks

The Sloan’s Lake Search Party Marathon and its Hourly Loop Race will kick off Saturday, Sept. 2, at that park west of Denver. The Denver Broncos’ 7K  and kids run takes place Sunday, Sept. 3, at Empower Field at Mile High. Then there’s the Parker half-marathon, including a 5K and 10K race, at Salisbury Park on Monday, Sept. 4. And even more in the mountains, from Breckenridge to Fremont, Steamboat Springs, Aspen and Creede. Visit coloradorunnerevents.com/laborday for RSVP and ticket links, and runningintheusa.com or runguides.com/colorado/runs for a roundup of all September running events.

Later, theme parks!

Water World and its 50 attractions, which are only open weekends at the moment, close for the rest of the year on Monday, Sept. 4 (waterworldcolorado.com). Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park will remain open in downtown Denver for events through the end of 2023, but its Labor Day Fireworks (starting just before the park closes) are only available on Sunday, Sept. 3. Its water park also closes on Monday, Sept. 4 (elitchgardens.com). Lakeside Amusement Park is only open on weekends now except for all four days of Labor Day weekend (and it closes for the season on Sept. 10; lakesideamusementpark.com). Lafayette’s Great Outdoors Water Park is also open through Sept. 4 (lafayetteco.gov).

Skyline Park family fun

You don’t have to hit up a beer festival to have fun Labor Day weekend — although it probably helps. For those with kids, downtown Denver is still offering its City Skate sessions at Skyline Park through Sept. 30. The outdoor roller skating runs 3-10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sundays. Bring your own skates and it’s free. Rent skates and it’s still pretty cheap ($9 for adults, $7 for kids 12 and under). Skyline also has pickleball (reservations only), mini golf, a beer garden, and league-play volleyball. See more at summerindenver.com.

Powder Daze and The Epic Drop

Christy Sports is bringing back its Powder Daze event, which Denver Post outdoors writer John Meyer described as part of Denver’s sports heritage and a mini-festival in its own right. “When (it) begins Friday, Sept. 1, at the Christy Sports Event Center in Littleton, and at three other Colorado locations, it will have the usual ‘carryover’ inventory of last year’s skis, snowboards, boots and apparel discounted at up to 60% off last year’s prices.” Details on the full schedule of events are at christysports.com. Also check out Epic Mountain Gear’s Labor Day sale, The Epic Drop, which also offers items up to 60% off. It runs Sept. 1-10. epicmountaingear.com

Phish at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park

Look, we get it. Phish concerts — four of them, and right in a row — happen every year over Labor Day weekend at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City. They’re easy to take for granted, but with fans flying in from all over the country, the venue becomes the center of the jam-band universe for a few days. The Thursday, Aug. 31, through Sunday, Sept. 3, concerts are generally sold out, but resale tickets are available from official seller axs.com (currently $127-$183 for GA stands and field) and real heads never let a sold-out show deter them, funds willing. axs.com

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