Free and Inexpensive Things to Do in Denver in October

Broncos bargains 2022

The Mile High City is still looking for a win in Broncos football. However, there is a little more hunger in the collective cheer of fans due to the tasty deals offered each regular season. After game day, fans can grab a few deals all over town. This season, there are three cases to tackle: Conoco, King Soopers and McDonald’s. The day after a game, fans can sip a free 12-ounce cup of coffee at Conoco, all day. If the Broncos win, grab a free donut from King Soopers the next day. (This offer requires your buyer’s loyalty card at checkout.) And, finally, when the Broncos score points in a game, fans can head to McDonald’s the next day for a six-count free Chicken McNuggets with one purchase. $1 minimum or Suite. Offer is only available through the McDonald’s app. Come on, Broncos!

Noodles & Company October Deals

Hungry bargain hunters can find big savings this month at Noodles & Company. First, enjoy 50% off regular admission every weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday). Then, on National Noodle Day, October 6, save 20% on all regular-sized entrees. And, to top off your savings, the popular fast-casual eatery is offering a small free entree with the purchase of a regular entree on Halloween, October 31. All offers are only available to members of the channel’s loyalty program. , Noodle awards. Sign up by visiting or downloading the Noodles Rewards app.

elk party

Let the bugle begin as Estes Park hosts Elk Fest. As usual, the festival coincides with the annual fall elk rut, providing the natural sight and sound spectacle created during the big game mating season in and around Rocky Mountain National Park. While the park charges an entrance fee or requires a National Parks Pass, admission to Elk Fest is free on October 1 and 2, from approximately 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Festivities include bugle contests, elk displays, elk-inspired arts and crafts, and Native American music, dance, and storytelling. Additionally, vendors will display artwork and offer distinctive elk cuisine. In addition to the bugle, country, rock and bluegrass music will fill the air. Elk Fest is one of Estes Park’s busiest weekends, so planning ahead can help you get to and around downtown.

national taco day

Tuesdays are tacos! Fittingly, this year National Taco Day falls on a Tuesday. On October 4, Fuzzy’s Taco Shop serves up a selection of tacos for just $1.50, all day. Quantity limits may apply, so check first before ordering. The restaurant’s signature Baja tacos are made with your choice of protein, including shredded chicken, seasoned ground beef, shredded beef brisket, or carnitas, plus grilled vegetables and fried avocado. The special is also available for takeout and online orders placed through the Fuzzy’s Taco Shop site or app. Plus, every order placed on October 4 through the restaurant’s app will be automatically entered for a chance to win free tacos for a year.

Arvada Scarecrow Festival

Provided by the city of Arvada

This year, the free, family-friendly Scarecrow Festival in Old Town Arvada features costume and pumpkin contests, hay wagon rides and more.

Arvada has been scaring people for over 25 years with its annual Scarecrow Festival. The fall event features scarecrows of all shapes, sizes and designs on October 8 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Arvada Olde Town Square. Free entry. Family fun includes a scarecrow contest, cone maze, free hay rides, fall treats for sale, vendor booths and more. At noon, tiny ghosts and goblins march in the parade of costumed children around the town square. Plus, the Big Pumpkin Contest begins its weigh-in at 1:30 p.m. Arvada gardeners will also be on hand with their fresh produce for sale at the Farmer’s Market, including pumpkins, squash, and corn stalks.

Boulder Eat and Be Happy Pass

Diners now have a fun way to experience restaurants in Boulder and enjoy a few tasty perks along their culinary journey. Visit Boulder recently launched its new Eat and Be Happy Pass, a free digital passport that offers rewards and discounts. So far, there are 50 participating Boulder restaurants, including everything from hot dog eateries and local favorites to the city’s most upscale eateries. Passport holders can win prizes, including a monthly draw for a $50 Boulder Downtown gift card and a tumbler. However, the tastiest treat is that some restaurants offer discounts, including free cocktails, free-to-buy promotions and more. The pass runs until November 30.

Oroweat Bakery

Deals are increasing on bread and baked goods at Oroweat Bakery Outlet. Owned by Bimbo Bakeries USA, the outlet store sells Oroweat, Entenmann’s, Sara Lee, Bimbo, Thomas’ and more. The shelves are full of everything you’ll find in the bakery section of the grocery store, but up to 50% off. Stock up on baked goods and treats, from loaves of bread and rolls to tortillas and sweet pastries. Check the outlet’s Deal of the Day for special offers on overstocked or expiring items. For maximum savings, join the store’s loyalty program by downloading its app. There are four outlets in Colorado: Commerce City (5305 E. 72nd Ave.), Denver (5050 E. Evans Ave.), Loveland (373 N. Denver Ave.), and Colorado Springs (3232 Chelton Circle).

Denver LeafDrop

Marge Mills' bags leave outside her house along Sunset Street near Sunset Circle in Longmont.  Any extra leaves not needed in the landscape can be shared or brought to local leaf scraps.  Check with your municipality for dates and locations.
It’s Denver’s annual LeafDrop season, starting October 10th. (Denver Post file)

Fall leaves can be colorful, but that also means lots of leaf piling up. It’s time again for the Denver LeafDrop. The weekday drop-off sites are open from October 10 to December 2 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Weekend sites are open in November, also from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The leaves collected as part of the program will be transformed into high-quality compost and sold to residents next May. The collection service is free, but only open to residents of Denver. Instead of plastic bags, paper is preferred as the bags can also be composted. As a bonus, there’s a coupon on the site for a free five-pack of 30-gallon paper sheet bags at Denver Ace Hardware stores. See the filing schedule and requirements at

BOO @ 9+CO

Get those costumes ready! Bring your “boo and babes” to [email protected]+CO, a Halloween family gathering on the green space of Eighth Avenue and Colorado Boulevard on October 22 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fun includes picking a pumpkin from the patch, face painting, craft activities, tricks or treats for candy from select 9+CO stores and more. Plus, enjoy a costume contest for kids, parents and doggies. One ticket includes a pumpkin (for all ages) and a bag of candy for kids (12 and under), plus all food, drink, and entertainment. Tickets (available online) are only $5 per person. Children under 3 years old are free. Best of all, 100% of ticket sales go to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado.

treat the street

Charity please! Families are in for a treat at Treat Street. The event takes place Oct. 22 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Arapahoe County Fairgrounds (25690 E. Quincy Ave.) in Aurora. Wear your favorite costume for free admission (otherwise it’s $10) and enjoy lots of spooky family fun, including games and activities, a children’s farm, shows and costume contests. Highlights include bouncy houses, face painting, wagon rides, and Hallo-weenie races for dressed dachshunds. Of course, the most important thing for the children will be the tips and tricks kiosks from more than 20 local companies and partners. Adults can enjoy a few “boos” at the beer garden, and food trucks will be parked on site.

Jeffco Used Book Sale

It’s an ocean of offers at Colorado’s largest book and media sale, sponsored by the Jefferson County Library Foundation. The Fall Whale of a Used Book Sale runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on October 21 and 22 and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on October 23. Held in the massive showroom at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds (15200 W. Sixth Ave.) in Golden, the sale features thousands of gently used books of all genres, DVDs, CDs, LPs, puzzles and games . Prices range from 50 cents to $3 on most items. Sunday is “bag day,” when $8 buys you as many items as possible in a grocery-sized bag. Admission is $5 per person, with those under 18 admitted free. If you want to lend a hand, hundreds of volunteers are needed for this massive event. Volunteers are rewarded with two free books for every four-hour shift. For more information, call 303-403-5075 or email [email protected]

Pop-up grocery store

Have you been to a disco fridge room? If you’re looking for a new shopping experience and are committed to supporting small businesses, you’ll appreciate opening a new grocery store in Denver for just one month. Pop Up Grocer is open in the RiNo neighborhood of Denver (2645 Walnut St.) from September 30 through October 30. The grocery store features a selection of emerging brands from women-owned, LGBTQ+, and minority-owned businesses — all in a whimsical setting, including a human-sized Plinko game. In addition, 90% of the brands are vegan. The store will offer more than 120 brands and 300 food and beverage products, as well as home, body and pet care. Shoppers can fill their baskets with brands committed to sustainability, ingredient transparency and innovative flavors. Denver is the ninth city to host the unique grocery store. Pop Up Grocer is open 7 days a week from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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Christy J. Olson