There is no bad season in Fort Collins, but spring is a special time of year. We’re seeing more sunny days on the forecast, warmer temperatures, and blossoms that are beginning to bloom. To help you maximize the season, we’re sharing some fun things to do this spring in Fort Collins, from garden tours to 5Ks and patio hangs to kayaking adventures. We’ve included a mix of one-time events and a variety of activities you can enjoy all season long.
See how many of these springtime activities you can check off your bucket list before Memorial Day!
Photo Courtesy of The Gardens on Spring Creek
While The Gardens on Spring Creek are open all year long, the gardens spring to life during the spring, as flowers begin to bloom, shrubs and trees grow new leaves, and the sun shines more often. Plan a visit to the gardens this spring to see all that is growing and blooming this year. And mark your calendars for the Gardens on Spring Creek Spring Plant Sale May 14–15! Get your (free) tickets to reserve your shopping time between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Then show up to shop from more than 30,000 types of locally grown native and regionally appropriate annuals, perennials, herbs, vegetables and hanging baskets.
In April and May, crabapple trees put on a spectacular display all throughout the Front Range. And here in Fort Collins, you can see a high concentration of crabapple trees throughout CSU’s campus and in Old Town. Take a stroll or a bike ride through campus to see the deep pink and white flowers for yourself — it’s a signature sign that spring is here!
Photo Courtesy of Horsetooth Half-Marathon
Spring is an ideal time to be active outdoors, as the weather is pleasant without being too hot. Stay accountable to get moving by signing up for a race in Fort Collins! This year, the Horsetooth Half-Marathon is taking place on April 10, the Flying Pig 5K is taking off on April 24, and the Colorado Marathon (which includes options for a 5K, 10K, half-marathon and a full marathon) is happening on May 1. Sign up for one of these fun races to challenge yourself and get involved with the thriving running community we have here in Northern Colorado.
‘Tis the season for patio hangs — and we have plenty of the sort in Fort Collins. Some of our favorite patios in Old Town Fort Collins include Ace Cafe, Equinox Brewing, Penrose Taphouse & Eatery, Union Bar & Soda Fountain, Vatos Tacos & Tequila, and Coopersmith’s Pub & Brewing. Each provides the ideal setting for sipping and snacking in the sunshine!
Spring is the ideal time to visit The Farm at Lee Martinez Park, which is maintained by the City of Fort Collins and located on the grounds of one of our largest community parks. Since 1985, the farm has been a hands-on family experience providing insight into our agricultural history. Here, kids can interact with animals, ride ponies, play games, attend educational events, and play on the nearby playground. Stop by to meet new baby chicks at the farm — and see other familiar animals!
To say that Fort Collins is an artsy town is an understatement. Just go on a self-guided tour through town with Art in Public Places, which highlights a range of beautiful outdoor artwork created by local artists. Along the way, you’ll discover wall murals, transformer boxes and planters, beautiful sculptures, and painted pianos! Check out the Art in Public Places website to see all the creations you can encounter this spring.
On a warm spring day, we’re itching to get in the water — and one of the best destinations is the Poudre River. The Poudre runs through Northern Colorado and has become one of the best destinations for whitewater adventure. It’s also the only Colorado river to be designated “wild and scenic,” meaning it’s free-flowing and jaw-dropping. Much more technical than lake kayaking, river trips can require more training and more safety gear. Rocky Mountain Adventures offers multiple courses, including Kayaking Classes so you can be ready for anything. The river has more than 40 miles of kayak-ready waters, from the most difficult Class V and above to the easier, more scenic Class III waters. Beginner whitewater paddlers can embark on the Filter Run, a straightforward course near Fort Collins with class II – III waters. To learn more about kayaking in Northern Colorado, check out our complete kayaking guide!
After switching to virtual events over the last two years, Earth Day Fort Collins is back for in-person, eco-friendly fun! Taking place on April 23 at Civic Center Park, Earth Day Fort Collins inspires community members to honor the earth every day and features a variety of activities and events for the entire family. Enjoy informational booths and displays, kids’ activities, arts and crafts, live music, speakers, local food and a beer garden. Admission to the event is free but attendees are asked to bring a non-perishable item for the Food Bank for Larimer County.
When the weather is nice, there’s no reason to eat inside! Pick up sandwiches and other provisions from Elevated Sandwiches (voted the #1 sandwich shop in Fort Collins) and head to a nearby park, like Greenbriar Park just a short drive down the road. The park has plenty of grass to lay your blanket down, several picnic benches, and a playground for the little ones.
Taking place at the Edora Pool Ice Center on May 7, the Spring Spectacular Ice Show features more than 150 Northern Colorado skaters ranging from beginners to national competitors. There are two shows, one at 1 p.m. and another at 6 p.m. The two-hour show is divided into four 25-minute performances featuring guest appearances from nationally acclaimed guest skaters! For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.
At the end of the day (literally), there’s no better place to be in Fort Collins than overlooking Horsetooth Reservoir as the sun sets. And it’s equally as magical at sunrise! There are plenty of places to catch a glimpse of the kaleidoscopic Colorado skies, mirrored in the calm waters down below. Consider taking the hike to Horsetooth Rock, which is the highest overlook spot in the area. You’ll just have to plan around sunset or sunrise time, as it is a 5-mile out-and-back trail.
All fall and winter, we are longing for the return of farmers’ markets in Northern Colorado. And while we have a later growing season than other regions, a few begin to open in May, including the Fort Collins Sunday Market. The Fort Collins Farmers’ Market is possibly the most well-known market in the region and is the oldest farmers’ market cooperative in Colorado. You can experience the market every Sunday from early May through mid-November and twice each week from mid-June through mid-September. The event draws shoppers, vendors and farmers from all over Northern Colorado to meet and shop on the south end of Fort Collins. Join the fun Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Harmony and Lemay in front of Ace Hardware.
What are you most looking forward to this spring in Fort Collins? Let us know in the comments below!