Kick off your Labor Day weekend, September 1st-4th, 2023, with any of the following Denver area festivities. Marking the unofficial end of summer, Labor Day is a great time to wave the season goodbye and make lasting memories with friends and family. Whether you’re soaking in the sunshine by picnicking in the park or ringing in the holiday at a concert, make the weekend count by doing something fun!
1. Rock Out with Phish in Commerce City
Where? 6000 Victory Way
Phish is playing a four-day show at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, which is a quick 20-minute drive from Denver. The show begins on August 31st and continues through September 3rd. Rock fans can purchase their 4-day ticket and enjoy multiple performances by the band this Labor Day weekend.
This long standing tradition dates back to 2011 and has continued for over a decade with Phish putting on multi-day performances in the Mile High City. The event draws thousands of fans and is an exciting way to send off the summer with a bang. Many Phish Heads opt to attend all four shows because the band never plays the same show twice due to live improvisation and instrumental jams meant to keep the audience engaged.
PRO Tip: Parking lots open for the show at 3:00 PM and close an hour after the show ends. The venue gates are expected to open at 6:00 PM, providing guests with plenty of time to tailgate and get excited about the concert.
2. Watch Ghostbusters in Golden
Where? 1300 10th Street
On September 1st, head to the park to catch a screening of Ghostbusters: Afterlife. This is part of the city’s Movies & Music in the Park event, which includes three Friday nights of free family-friendly entertainment and movies. Previous screenings included Puss in Boots: The Last Wish and Strange World with music by blankslate. The movies are projected onto a huge inflatable screen, ensuring everyone has a good view.
For the Ghostbusters event, the movie is being moved to the Lions Park Ballfields, with an exciting firework display taking place after the concert and before the movie. Ghost Town Drifters are set to perform before the Labor Day weekend movie. The band draws its influence from bluegrass, jazz, rock and roll, and country — resulting in a unique sound that’s sure to get the crowd ready for the festivities of the evening.
PRO Tip: Music begins around 7 PM, with the movie set to begin around dusk at 8:30 PM. Families are encouraged to bring a picnic or opt to grab snacks from the food trucks on-site.
3. Run a Half Marathon in Parker
Where? 11920 North Motsenbocker Road
Runners who want to lace up their sneakers this Labor Day weekend should head to Salisbury Equestrian Park in Parker, Colorado. The entirety of the course is paved and runners will traverse through the park and onto the Cherry Creek Trail. The course will feature multiple aid stations and bathrooms. Pups should be kept on non-retractable leashes that are six feet or shorter.
Racers will receive free photo downloads after the race, as well as a race logo shirt, a finisher medal, and a professional chip timer with their entry fee. Entry fees will cost $80 if signing up after August 1st. Those who sign up on race day will be charged $85. There is also a 10K and a 5K option that cost $50 and $35, respectively. The course routes, as well as locations of aid stations and bathrooms, are all posted to ensure full transparency for participants.
PRO Tip: For those wanting to participate but who aren’t able to be in Parker, there is a virtual event option. The race is set to operate rain or shine, so participants should be prepared for potential inclement weather.
4. Cool Off at Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park
Where? 2000 Elitch Circle
Nothing rings in the end of summer like a day at the water park. Pack up the family and head to Elitch Gardens to beat the heat and enjoy roller coasters, water slides, and loads of fun. To celebrate Labor Day, the park will be having a firework show on Sunday, September 3rd. The fireworks are set to go off at park closing.
The park features a range of rollercoaster rides, from options for adrenaline junkies seeking to be thrilled to family-friendly rides that are suitable for the little ones. The waterpark attractions include Cannonball Falls, Castaway Creek, and a 65-foot tall high-speed slide. In total, there are upwards of 40 attractions that are sure to keep everybody entertained for hours. The park has a diverse selection of dining options, including pizza, burgers, buffalo wings, and even green chili cheese fries.
PRO Tip: Ride enthusiasts can snag a single ticket that provides access to both the theme and water park for $50. The ticket price will also include the firework extravaganza.
5. Sing the Night Away at Red Rocks
Where? 18300 West Alameda Parkway
Red Rocks is the naturally formed Colorado venue that hosts a multitude of musical acts and events throughout the year. Enjoying the beautiful summertime weather at an outdoor concert is one of the best ways to get a true taste of Denver. This Labor Day weekend, the venue is hosting Rezz on August 31st and September 1st, as well as The Chainsmokers on September 2nd and 3rd. Gregory Alan Isakov plays on Monday, September 4th for those who want to ring in the holiday with the Appaloosa Bones Tour featuring special guests, Jeremiah Fraites of The Lumineers.
If you can’t make it to one of the evening shows, make plans to check out Red Rocks Park & Amphitheater anyway. There are hiking trails in the park, as well as dining options and photo opportunities with the iconic rock formations serving as the backdrop. The Colorado Music Hall of Fame is located in the Trading Post at Red Rocks Amphitheater and features free admission for those looking to learn about some of the greats.
PRO Tip: Whoever you’re opting to see, arrive early and tailgate for an hour or two before heading into the venue. You’ll soak in amazing views of the sunset as the bands take the stage, providing a truly unique Colorado experience.
6. Catch a Rockies Versus Toronto Game
Where? 2001 Blake Street
Beginning on Friday and continuing through Sunday, the Colorado Rockies take on the Toronto Blue Jays in a three-game series at home. Tickets to the games include free giveaways, such as an MLB trucker hat, a bobblehead, and a lunch bag. Whether you’re an avid baseball fan or not, the energy at a Rockies game is unmatched. Attendees are sure to have an enjoyable time while they cheer on the home team with 30,000+ community members.
Nothing screams baseball quite like a hotdog and Coors Field is proud to offer gluten-friendly options, including hamburgers, quesadillas, chicken sandwiches, and of course — the iconic dog. Other dining options include made-to-order burrito bowls, BBQ street tacos, nachos, and an impressive selection of local craft beers, cocktails, and wine at the Silver Bullet Bar.
PRO Tip: If you can’t make an evening game, the Sunday matchup on September 3rd is set to begin at 1:10 PM — meaning you can make it home for dinner. Families looking to enjoy the sporting event on a budget can bring in outside food, as long as it’s an individual serving size and wrapped in transparent packaging.
7. Enjoy a Picnic at a City Park
Where? Various Locations
Nothing says summer like dining al fresco at the park. With so many city parks, Denver is brimming with picnic potential for the whole family. Mix it up and head to a park that you’ve never been to before. The kids will enjoy a change of scenery and a new playground to explore, while parents can sit back, relax, and soak in the final days of summer. Washington Park is perfect for a lakeside charcuterie board and City Park is a prime location to people-watch and enjoy your favorite snacks.
Cheeseman Park offers prime sunset viewing for picnickers and Confluence Park is the best spot to watch tubers tackle the rapids. Whichever park you choose, you’ll see why Denver is known for its outdoor spaces. All of Denver’s public parks are free and some even host live music during the summer months, such as the popular City Park Jazz event.
PRO Tip: Not all of Denver’s parks have designated picnic tables. If you’re unsure whether yours does, just pack a blanket and picnic on the grass! Most parks are dog friendly, as well, so bring the whole family along.
8. Take a Day Trip to the Colorado State Fair in Pueblo
Where? 1001 Beulah Avenue
Hosted yearly at the Colorado State Fairgrounds in Pueblo, the state fair is one of Colorado’s largest festivals. The event began in 1869 and has been hosted every year except one since then. The 2023 event will begin on August 25th and run through September 4th, allowing plenty of time to join in on the festivities this Labor Day weekend. Children of all ages will be delighted by the array of activities, including the demolition derby, carnival games, competitions, and rodeos.
Fair entertainment includes concerts by Chase Rice, Lady A, Lil John, and Gabriel Iglesias. Activities included with gate admission are numerous, such as the stunt dog show, the petting farm, the lumberjack show, and a daily hypnotism show put on by Richard Barker.
PRO Tip: The Colorado State Fair provides guests with several discount options, such as the “Two Can Tuesday” on August 29th which provides free admission with the donation of two canned food items and the Colorado Lottery Special on September 3rd which discounts tickets by $3 for those with a non-winning lottery ticket.
9. Lift Off This Labor Day in Colorado Springs
Where? 1605 East Pikes Peak Avenue
A quick 70-mile drive from Denver, Colorado Springs makes for the perfect day trip destination this Labor Day weekend. The annual Labor Day Lift Off is a colorful event that invites attendees to look up to the sky and watch the 60+ hot air balloons as they float over the city. There will be live music, food vendors and even skydiving demonstrations hosted by the United States Air Force. The event runs from September 2nd through the 4th at Memorial Park in Colorado Springs.
Those who want to get in on the action can charter a hot air balloon and see the city from above. On average, flights take around 45-60 minutes and include a personalized flight certificate and a celebratory toast. Those wanting to stay firmly planted on the ground can participate in the 5K race around Prospect Lake or simply cheer on the runners as they race past.
PRO Tip: Head to the park early to watch the balloons take off. On Saturday and Sunday, the balloons will also participate in the Lift and Glow event — where they illuminate the park after the sun has set.
10. Celebrate at the Fall Festival in Louisville
Where? 801 Grant Avenue
This Labor Day, the city of Louisville will be hosting its 87th annual holiday celebration. This is the community’s largest event of the year and it’s a can’t-miss for nearby residents. Beginning on September 1st, the city will host the annual senior dinner at Steinbaugh Pavilion. The event features live music and door prizes, as well as a delicious chicken dinner for all residents over the age of 60.
On Labor Day, there will be a parade down Main Street followed by the Fall Festival at Memory Square Park. The festival will feature handcrafted goods, homemade baked treats, and a petting zoo. Dining options include local food trucks and live music by Banthom House — an Irish bluegrass group.
PRO Tip: Those interested in participating in the parade have until August 21st to submit an application. Whether you want to walk, bike, drive, or ride on a horse — all entries are welcome for consideration.