Graduation is a major milestone worth celebrating!
It’s the moment full of excitement that proud parents, guardians, and role models have been waiting for!
It’s easy to pull out all the stops for friends and family to join a significant milestone celebration, and planning for special moments can feel overwhelming. We’re here to help make planning a breeze to celebrate your special grad.
Bring the grad vibes and plan a celebration to remember
Invite loved ones to experience the local places where you spend time. From catering, indoor and outdoor venues, and lodging for out-of-town guests to navigating the best photo-worthy sites and photographers to help capture the day’s memories for years to come. No matter what you need, Downtown Fort Collins makes it easy to honor your graduate’s accomplishments, at any level, in a truly special way.
Many locally owned and operated restaurants in Downtown Fort Collins offer catering options, Moe’s Original BBQ, Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant, Yampa Sandwich Shop, Illegal Pete’s, The Urban Egg, Blue Agave, Comet Chicken, Walrus Ice Cream, and Ben & Jerry’s. Leave the prep work to the professionals so you can enjoy celebrating.
Prefer to host at a restaurant? There are a variety of restaurant venues that accommodate large groups:
- Penrose Taphouse & Eatery
- The Emporium: An American Brasserie
- Silver Grill Cafe
- Blind Pig Pub
- Union Bar & Soda Fountain
- Beau Jo’s
- CooperSmith’s Pub & Brewing
- Ginger and Baker
- Jay’s Bistro
- Pueblo Viejo
- Restaurant 415
- Rodizio Grill
May weather in Colorado sometimes leaves us guessing, but those warmer days present options to explore restaurants that offer outdoor & patio dining options and soak up the sun while reminiscing on some of your favorite moments together.
Have family and friends coming from out of town?
Suggest their stay downtown with two luxurious lodging options at the historic Armstrong Hotel or The Elizabeth Hotel, both pet-friendly! These locations are nestled right in the heart of downtown with access to various recreational opportunities, fun family activities, local craft breweries, boutiques, vibrant nightlife scenes, and cultural attractions that showcase the charm and quaint character of Downtown Fort Collins.
Hire a photographer or take your own pics
A few local favorites specializing in senior portraits and family photography include Ben Bradley Photography, Bob Younger Images, Craig Vollmer Photography, PHOCO, and Tina Wood Photography.
Enjoy our top 5 spots for family portraits (plus a special bonus):
- Oak Street Plaza, with the Museum of Art Fort Collins as the backdrop
- Projection mural in Old Firehouse Alley by Venice-based muralist and graffiti artist, Peeta
- Historic red bricks of Old Firehouse Alley
- Colorado Lambscape mural, located on the Old Firehouse Book Store, in partnership with Canvas Credit Union, painted by Lindz and Lamb
- Pointillism mural by Barry Q. Lee, located in the southwest entrance of the Opera Galleria
- A special bonus during CSU Graduation weekend, May 12 – 14, catch the evening green and gold splash pad pop jet light show in Old Town Square! Pop jets are on daily (weather dependent) from 8:00 am – midnight; evening light show from 8:00 pm – midnight.
Give the gift of Downtown Fort Collins!
Looking for a last-minute option?
Give your grad the gift of Downtown Fort Collins! With a Downtown Fort Collins Gift Card accepted by over 160 businesses, they can customize theird own experience.
Gift cards can be purchased online or in person at three downtown locations. Learn more here!
Hero image: Valerie Mosley Photography
Major milestone: Walrus Ice Cream
Lodging: 1. Downtown Development Authority
Spots for photographs: 1. City of Fort Collins, Tina Chandler 2. Richard Haro 3. Aspen Grove Marketing 4-6 Downtown Development Authority
Downtown Fort Collins Gift Card: 1. Downtown Development Authority