Whether you happen to hail from a more rural setting where harvest means combines, corn, and silos or a more urban setting where a summer of gardening in the backyard yields a bounty of home-grown veggies, many would agree on one thing: there is something special about the harvest season. The air becomes crisp, the days become shorter, and pumpkin-spice-everything reigns supreme in everything from lattes to soap. Loveland is a great place to enjoy a fall weekend of harvest-time activities. Here are five picks of things-to-do to celebrate harvest:
1. Discover the perfect pumpkin at Osborn Farm
What could be better than fall colors combined with u-pick pumpkins, gourds, Indian corn, hayrides and a barrel train? Osborn Farm is the oldest continuously occupied farm in Colorado, going seven generations strong. The farm opens to the public on Sept. 30, 2023, and is open Tuesdays – Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (weather and crop permitting). Come explore Loveland and experience the harvest and all it has to offer. On weekends, enjoy food vendors, a coffee truck, hayrides, barrel train and a petting zoo.
2. Leaf peep and explore local history and the great outdoors
Leaf-peep at Viestenz-Smith Mountain Park, located along Hwy 34 through Big Thompson Canyon. Originally opened in 1926, the park has been restored twice after the Big Thompson floods in 1976 and 2013. The park features picnic areas, shelters, a fishing platform, kid zone, sculptures, overlook and more. Duck into the nature cabin to learn about area history and resident wildlife. Round Mountain Trailhead is located across the street from the park if you fancy a hike beneath the quaking aspens.
3. Colorado in a glass: New Loveland whiskey unveiled
NEW in August, Loveland’s Root Shoot Malting, a fifth-generation family farm that’s been providing barley, wheat, rye and corn to Front Range distilleries for eight years, unveiled its first single malt whiskey. Named Root Shoot Whiskey, the 100 percent locally-sourced whiskey was distilled in 2018 and aged in American oak barrels for four years. It contains notes of pastry, baking spice, faint cocoa dust, minty and spicy botanicals.
“This American Single Malt Whiskey expresses the craft, workmanship, and spirit of Colorado agriculture in every sip,” according to the website. Bottled-in-Bond at 100 proof, this whiskey is straight from Loveland soil to your snifter.
EVEN MORE IN OCTOBER
Pumpkin Party: Oct. 14
Celebrate fall as the fourth annual Downtown Pumpkin Festival takes over Foundry Plaza in downtown Loveland from noon to 5 p.m. on Oct. 14. The event is free to attend though tickets are required to decorate pumpkins ($12 each; purchase in advance as they will sell out) or take pumpkin decorating class ($20/person). Browse farmer’s market booths, Loveland artists stands and pumpkin sculptures, while listening to free live music by DJ Brian Howe, from noon to 5 p.m. Participate in the group/family costume contest for a chance to win (prizes awarded for first through fifth place). Guess the weight of the giant pumpkin for a chance to win a $50 Downtown Gift Card. When hunger strikes choose from a variety of food vendors (fees associated).
Scarecrow Scavenger Hunt: Oct. 13 – 31
This festive nod to Loveland’s thriving arts community is a great addition to your free fall fun list. Head to Loveland and search the town for lovingly-designed scarecrows, each an original work crafted by local artists and area businesses. The Scarecrow Scavenger Hunt is free and open to everyone; participants who complete the adventure win a prize, gain entry into a grand prize drawing, and become eligible for even more prizes based upon points. Download the free official Scarecrow Scavenger Hunt app and – beginning Oct. 13 – solve puzzles and answer questions to find clues to each scarecrow’s location.