Camp Christmas 2019 was an immersive experience, produced by the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, taking visitors through extravagant Christmas-themed installations filling the 10,000-square-foot Hangar at Stanley Marketplace. The 2020 event will be virtual.
(Provided by Denver Center for the Performing Arts)

The return of Camp Christmas

Those who love everything and anything Christmas can unwrap an early present almost from their couch. Hanzon Studios, working with DCPA Off-Center, brings the popular Camp Christmas immersive experience straight to homes this year from Nov. 12 to Jan. 5, 2021. Customers (aka “campers”) can access online content and receive up to five delivered packages that come with a wide variety of Christmas-themed activities. The digital experience takes place on a web-based app where campers can explore an expansive fictional land, featuring fantastical places, such as Sweetsville, Fairy Forest and Treehouse Village. Each location will feature multimedia content about the stories, history and traditions surrounding the season, as well as in-home activities. Campers can earn badges and track their progress. Sign-up for the Camp Newsletter by Oct. 4 for discounted pre-sale tickets, before they go on sale to the general public on Nov. 1.

Denver LeafDrop

Autumn may be sweater weather, but it also means the leaves are piling up. What do you do with all of those leaves, after you’ve made a big pile and jumped in them a few times? Head to Denver’s annual LeafDrop. Weekday drop-off sites will be open from Oct. 5 through Dec. 4. (Weekend sites are open in November.) Leaves collected through the program will be turned into a high-quality compost and sold to residents next May. The collection service is free, but only open to Denver residents. Instead of plastic bags, paper is preferred because they can also be composted. Leaves cannot be dropped off at the sites, except for specified dates and times. (Otherwise, it’s considered public dumping.) By the way, pumpkins are accepted for composting, too. Head to LeafDrop’s website for a full review of the drop-off schedule and requirements. 

Oodles of savings

Noodles & Company is celebrating 25 years of serving up oodles of tasty noodles throughout October. On Oct. 6, Noodles Rewards members can save 25 percent on any order. With no purchase requirement, customers can feed the entire family at a discounted price. Plus, members will enjoy 25 days of free delivery, starting Oct. 7. With so many options for noodles, sauces and proteins, bargain hunters can definitely create the perfect bowl with a side of savings. Sign up for Noodles Rewards by Oct. 5 to be eligible for either offer.

Arvada Festival of Scarecrows

Halloween may look different this year, but scarecrows will still be part of the landscape in Arvada. The city’s annual Festival of Scarecrows showcases scarecrows of all shapes, sizes and costumes on Oct. 10 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Arvada Olde Town Square (W. 57th Avenue and Olde Wadsworth Boulevard). Businesses, organizations and families are invited to enter for the chance to win prizes by creating their own scarecrow. (The entry fee ranges from $10 to $20. Entries must be received by Oct. 7 to be on the map.) Plus, the Great Pumpkin Contest starts its weigh-in at 1:30 p.m. Attendees can vote for their favorite scarecrow and buy pumpkins, gourds and cornstalks.

Free and cheap fall events in Denver and Colorado, October 2020
Ashley Boggs, center, hoists a pumpkin as she and coworkers Amber Jo Schmidt, left, and Amber Jo’s sister-in-law Samantha Schmidt, right rearrange pumpkins while they prepare the patch for the opening of the Fritzler Farm Park. (Cyrus McCrimmon, Denver Post file)

Fritzler Farm Park is back

The Fall Festival at Fritzler Farm Park (20861 CR 33) in LaSalle offers lots of family-friendly outdoor activities. Since 2000, the Fritzler Family has welcomed young and old to their farm park. Their iconic 15-acre corn maze designs are only part of the fun, as the seasonal event offers more than 25 attractions. Kids will enjoy the barrel train, pedal go-carts, pumpkin cannons and more. To give back to the community, Fritzler is hosting a Heroes Weekend on Oct. 10 and 11. Military, firefighters, police and EMTs receive free admission. Show proper ID at the front gate for the complimentary admission.

Colorado Free Application Day

Every budget-conscious student knows “free” is always a good thing, especially because it means saving money for more important expenses. To inspire more Coloradans to continue their education, all 32 public colleges and universities in Colorado and several private institutions will allow students to apply for free on Oct. 13  as part of the third annual Colorado Free Application Day. The statewide push is designed to increase Colorado’s college-going completion rates. Despite being one of the most educated states in the country, Colorado sends just 56 percent of high school graduates to a college, university or certificate program. By removing financial barriers for students, Colorado can increase the number of students who complete their programs and enter the workforce with a degree or competitive skills. 

Castle Rock Spooktacular 2020

Fall fun is in the air. Castle Rock will celebrate all things not-so-spooky at Spooktacular 2020 on Oct. 24 at Philip S. Miller Park (1375 W. Plum Creek Parkway). Family-friendly costumes are encouraged. Activities include games, prizes, food and, of course, candy. Due to the pandemic, safety and social distancing will be in place. The event will be hosted outdoors at the Amphitheater and inside the Millhouse, so dress accordingly. Attendance is limited to 250 participants per each time slot (11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; 1 to 2:30 p.m. and 3 to 4:30 p.m.) Cleaning will take place between time slots. All attendees (regardless of age) must be registered. Registration opens on Oct. 1.

Free Holiday Cab Ride Program

Halloween is full of spirits — and not just the kind that go bump in the night. The Sawaya Law Firm is sponsoring free cab, Uber or Lyft rides on Oct. 30 and 31. Just get a safe ride home and keep your receipt. For reimbursement (up to $35), send your receipt, along with a copy of a valid ID, to Halloween: Free Cab Ride Program, The Sawaya Law Firm, 1600 Ogden St., Denver, CO 80218. You must be 21 or older. The deal is only good for a one-way ride home within the Denver metro area. For questions about the community program, contact Jozie LaViolette at [email protected].

More freebies, discounts and deals at

Every month, Laura Daily and Bryan K. Chavez at compile “Cheap Checklist” to help smart shoppers find freebies, discounts and deals. Send tips to [email protected] 14 to 21 days in advance.

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Free and cheap fall events in Denver and Colorado, October 2020