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5 Ways to Ready Yourself for Backpacking in Colorado

April 9, 2018
backpacking in Colorado

The weather is slowly warming, and we are ready for some outdoor adventures! If you want to do some backpacking in Colorado this summer, now is the perfect time to plan and prepare. To help, I’ve compiled a list of local resources for backpackers. Here are five ways to begin preparing for your summer adventure before the season begins.

#1 Read Backpacking 101

prepare for backpacking season

Photo Courtesy Heather Balogh Rochfort

Are you new to backpacking or want to become more knowledgeable? Check out Backpacking 101: Choose the Right Gear, Plan Your Ultimate Trip, Cook Hearty and Energizing Trail Meals, Be Prepared for Emergencies, Conquer Your Backpacking Adventures – written by Colorado author and adventurer, Heather Balogh Rochfort. The book has everything you need to know about hiking and spending time in the Colorado wilderness including all the topics mentioned in the title in addition to navigation, interacting with wildlife, what to do if you get lost and so much more. To find out more about Heather, and to be inspired by her many adventures, check out her blog Just a Colorado Gal.

#2 Listen to These Fun & Inspiring Podcasts

prepare for backpacking season

Photo Courtesy The Trail Show

While you are preparing for your summer adventures, listen to some adventure podcasts to fuel your wanderlust. Boulder-based podcast, The Trail Show, is all about hiking, adventure stories, beer, nonsense and fun! The Dirtbag Diaries is another interesting station to follow, with episodes covering a variety of outdoor adventures from backpacking to roadtrips. For inspiring female adventurists, check out She Explores, featuring more than 300 women’s outdoor adventure stories.

#3 Take a Backpacking Class

prepare for backpacking season

Photo Courtesy Women’s Wilderness

There are a handful of ways to learn the basics (and more advanced techniques) of backpacking in Colorado. REI offers free classes across the Front Range, including Rocky Mountain Backpacking, Beyond Backpacking Basics: What’s Inside Your Pack?, Women’s Backpacking Basics, and more in-depth paid classes ($89) that include an outing as well as demo gear: Introduction to Colorado Backpacking Skills. Women’s Wilderness offers multiple classes to women, including Backpacking Basics ($49) and Advanced Navigation Techniques ($49). Colorado Mountain Club also offers schools and clinics from the basics to advanced mountaineering that start at $75 to members (individual membership costs $70/year, more details here).

#4 Take a Survival Skills Class

prepare for backpacking season

Photo Courtesy Boulder Outdoor Survival School

Since backpacking trips typically lead to remote places far from medical assistance, shelter and cell phone range, taking a survival skills class is essential. Women’s Wilderness offers a Core Survival Basics Class ($99) to women in Boulder. REI offers a wilderness survival skills class for $109 ($89 Member) that include how to find shelter, locating and accessing drinking water, and how to make your own emergency kit. Colorado Mountain Club also offers a $45 Hiking and Survival Essentials class to members (individual membership costs $70/year, more details here). For more advanced survival skills classes, check out Boulder Outdoor Survival School with courses running 3 – 28 days in length ($445+).

#5 Join a Backpacking Group

prepare for backpacking season

Photo Courtesy Colorado Mountain Club

Want to go backpacking in Colorado but don’t have anyone to go with? Try joining a backpacking group! These groups regularly plan trips throughout the state. Boulder-based CHAOS is an informal group of energetic, fun, non-competitive backcountry enthusiasts that plan backpacking and hiking trips on Meetup. Colorado Backpackers (and Campers) Meetup Group offers group backpacking trips throughout Colorado. Colorado Mountain Club offers a variety of group backpacking trips and other hiking outings to its members, as well as adventure travel across the US and abroad (trip costs vary, individual membership to CMC $70/year, more details here).

Boulder Events Guides

10 Can’t Miss Events at CU’s Conference on World Affairs

April 7, 2018
things to do in Boulder in 2018

The Conference on World Affairs, famously called “the Conference on Everything Conceivable” by Roger Ebert, is held every April at the University of Colorado Boulder campus. The public is invited to witness any of the 200 sessions held by 100 speakers and performers. These thought leaders will be discussing and debating a variety of topics from gender issues, science and technology, environmental and political topics, pop culture and so much more! To get the most out of the conference, I recommend downloading the free Conference on World Affairs app that will help you to find topics of interest, keep track of your schedule and even submit questions for the speakers. Here are a few of the many thought-provoking discussions, performances and presentations that will be happening April 9 – 13, 2018 in Boulder.

#1 Danielle Feinberg Lights Up Coco!

Conference on World Affairs

Photo Courtesy Disney Pixar

Danielle Feinberg, Director of Photography (Lighting) for Pixar Animation Studios, will be speaking about how she, and her co-creators, create stories with soul and wonder using math, science and code to create the jaw-dropping worlds of Coco, Brave, Finding Nemo and more. Danielle works with teenage girls to ignite a passion for science and technology and to encourage these young women to pursue a career in Computer Science. She is also a Boulder native. Check out Danielle Feinberg’s TED talk here.

Danielle Feinberg’s presentation will be held at Macky Auditorium on Friday, April 13, 2018 from 1PM – 2:20PM.

#2 Earth in Human Hands

conference on world affairs

A panel of experts will be discussing how the Earth has been affected by humans by asking the question: Have humans caused a new global epoch? Speakers include David Grinspoon of Planetary Science Institute, Tracey Holloway Professor at University of Wisconsin-Madison and President of Earth Science Women’s Network, Jennifer Thomsen Assistant Professor of Parks, Tourism, and Recreation Management for the University of Montana, and Alexander Verbeek, Dutch Diplomat, Environmentalist and Associate at Stockholm Environment Institute.

Earth in Human Hands will be held at the UMC Center Ballroom on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 from 11AM – 12:10PM. 

#3 Resonance Borealis

April in Boulder

Photo Courtesy Fiske Planetarium

Pianist Roman Zavada performs live on stage under imagery and video of the Aurora Borealis in Northern Canada at Fiske Planetarium. From the rock of the Canadian Shield to sitting on the edge of the taiga, Roman Zavada pushed his creative boundaries by getting inspiration from one of the most majestic and grand phenomena on our planet — the northern lights. A colorful immersive show in which Roman Zavada performs live features the piano, resonating strings, and auroras filmed in real time and 360 degrees. A talk will be given by CU Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences researcher, Robert Ergun, on heliospheric and astrophysical plasmas.

Resonance Borealis will be held at Fiske Planetarium for two performances on Thursday, at 11AM – 12:15PM and 4:30PM – 5:45PM.

#4 Poetry: The Power of the Words of Women

conference on world affairs

Photo Courtesy Amanda Gorman

Amanda Gorman, the first ever Youth Poet Laureate of the United States of America, has been called the “next great figure of poetry in the US”. She will be speaking at the Conference on World Affairs this year, at Poetry: The Power of the Words of Women. Amanda Gorman is an award-winning published writer, an ambassador for the feminist platform, School of Doodle, as well as a sophomore at Harvard University.

Amanda Gorman will be speaking at the Macky Auditorium on Friday, April 13, 2018 from 11AM – 11:50AM.

#5 Keynote: Rethinking the Future: Clean Disruption of Energy and Transportation

conference on world affairs

Photo Courtesy RethinkX

One of CWA’s major events, keynote speaker Tony Seba will present Rethinking the Future: Clean Disruption of Energy and Transportation. Tony Seba is the co-founder of RethinkX, a think tank that forecasts the speed as well as the scale of technology-driven disruption. He is also an author and educator at Stanford University.

Keynote: Rethinking the Future: Clean Disruption of Energy and Transportation will be held at Macky Auditorium on Monday, April 9, 2018 from 11:30AM – 12:20PM. 

#6 Homelessness: Attitudes, Beliefs, Solutions

conference on world affairs

A topic that is of great concern to many in Boulder, four speakers will be discussing the different ways to find compassion and creativity to alleviate this nationwide issue. The speakers include: Charles van der Horst, Emeritus Professor of Medicine at University of North Carolina, Rosanne Haggerty, CEO of Community Solutions, Brandon D. Anderson, Founder and CEO of Raheem AI, and Darrick Hamilton, Associate Professor of Economics and Urban Policy at The New School.

Homelessness: Attitudes, Beliefs, Solutions will be held at the Boulder Public Library’s Canyon Theater on Monday April 9, 2018 from 4:30PM – 5:45PM.

#7 Women Waging Peace

conference on world affairs

At this presentation, listen to renowned women peacemakers and their inspirational perspectives on paths to disarmament and peace. Speakers include Heather Hurlburt, Director of New Models of Policy Change at New America’s Political Reform Program, Susi Snyder, Nuclear Disarmament Program Manager of Don’t Bank on the Bomb, Margo Squire, a career diplomat and Consultant for Retired Foreign Service Office at the US Department of State and Shadia Marhaban, Journalist, Activist and Peace Mediator at Mediators Beyond Borders International.

Women Waging Peace will be held at Macky Auditorium on Thursday, April 12, 2018 at 3:30PM – 4:40PM. 

#8 My Journey as a Lost Boy

conference on world affairs

Photo Courtesy Valentino Achak Deng

Valentino Achak Deng, a Minister of Education for South Sudan, tells his story as a lost boy. The Lost Boys of Sudan were over 40,000 boys of the Nuer and Dinka ethnic groups who were displaced or orphaned during the Second Sudanese Civil War (1987–2005); about 2 million were killed and millions were displaced. In 2006, Valentino Achak Deng and author, Dave Eggers established the Valentino Achak Deng Foundation to help rebuild Sudanese communities by increasing access to educational opportunities. The foundation’s focus is on quality education, vocational training, sustainable development and girls’ education. Despite Deng’s hardships, he maintains an unwavering, positive outlook on South Sudan and believes the solution lies in increased education and knowledge of human rights and improved economic opportunities.

Valentino Achak Deng will speak at Macky Auditorium on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 from 3PM – 4:20PM. 

#9 Ebert Uninterruptus / Interruptus: Mad Max Fury Road

conference on world affairs

Photo Courtesy Mad Max Facebook Page

The Ebert Interruptus series is one of the most beloved and popular Conference on World Affairs traditions: a four-part event showcasing a film along with in-depth analysis over 3 sessions. The host of this year’s Ebert Interruptus will be film critic Josh Larsen, who will break down and discuss Mad Max: Fury Road. The film is a post-apocalyptic action adventure (the first action film for Ebert Interruptus). To be clear, the first showing will simply be a showing of the film itself, while the following three events will be a viewing of the film, interrupted shot-by-shot for discussion and analysis.

Ebert Interruptus Schedule (all events held at the Visual Arts Complex): Ebert Uninterruptus: Mad Max Fury Road showing on Monday April 9,2018 from 3:30PM – 5PM; Ebert Interruptus I will be held on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 from 3:30 – 5PM; Ebert Interruptus II will be held on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 from 5PM – 7PM; Ebert Interruptus III will be held on Thursday, April 11, 2018 from 3:30 – 5PM. 

#10 Coal to Code: Retraining Tomorrow’s Workforce

conference on world affairs

In Coal to Code: Retraining Tomorrow’s Workforce, speakers will discuss the future of career and industry in America. Speakers include Jim Deters, CEO of Colorado-based Galvanize, Tulio Cardozo, Technical Manager at The Last Mile Works, and Larry Greenwood, Jr., President at Japan Society of Northern California.

Coal to Code: Retraining Tomorrow’s Workforce will be held at the UMC West Ballroom on Friday, April 13, 2018 from 9AM – 10:20AM.

The above are just 10 of the 200 events happening all over the CU Boulder campus at this unique festival of thought. To see the full schedule for CWA Week 2018, click here.

Colorado's Best Spots Guides

10 Places to Explore Dinosaurs and Fossils in Colorado

April 4, 2018
dinosaurs in Colorado

In Colorado, we are familiar with the Gold Rush that shaped our great state in many ways, but how about the Great Dinosaur Rush? In the late 1800s, Colorado was center stage to a ruthless and intense hunt for fossils. The rush was the start of a paleontologic breakthrough with an astounding number of dinosaur discoveries, including the Stegosaurus, the Allosaurus, the first Tyrannosaurus Rex teeth, and many other prehistoric creatures. Recently, a Torosaurus was discovered in Thornton by the Saunders construction crew. The crew quickly realized they had come upon something special, and the 68 million year old fossils are now being carefully preserved at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. The Thornton Torosaurus is the most complete Torosaurus ever found in the world. Dinosaurs are fascinating, and we have many opportunities to witness their glory all around the state. Here are 10 places to learn, discover and explore dinosaurs and fossils in Colorado.

10 Places to Explore Dinosaurs and Fossils in Colorado

[Interactive Map]

 #1 Dinosaur Ridge – Morrison, Colorado

places to see dinosaurs in colorado

Photo Courtesy Paul Hermans, Wikipedia Commons

Take a walk along a path that the dinosaurs themselves traveled 100 million years ago at Dinosaur Ridge. This is the very spot where the first stegosaurus was discovered in 1877! The hike, just over two miles, is an easy, paved stroll with over 300 dinosaur tracks on view. In addition to the famous dinosaur tracks, visitors have the chance to see dozens of dinosaur bones from the Jurassic period, still nestled in the layers of sandstone along the trail. The site will have you imagining the Morrison ridge as it was millions of years ago, a coastal beach on the edge of an ancient ocean. Round out your adventure by checking out the Visitor’s Center and Discovery Center to explore Colorado’s changing landscape over the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods with numerous fossil displays, hands-on dinosaur exhibits, kids dig areas and more.

The walk through Dinosaur Ridge is FREE. For admission to the exhibit halls, the Discovery Center and a 45 minute guided bus tour, tickets are $9/Adults (12+), $7/Youth (3-12), Kids under 3 are FREE. For ticket info, click here. Dinosaur Ridge is located at 16831 W Alameda Pkwy, Morrison, CO 80465With the Morrison Dino Pass, gain admission to Morrison Natural History Museum as well as Dinosaur Ridge exhibits for a discounted price: $17/Adults, $13/Youth.

#2 Denver Museum of Nature and Science – Denver, Colorado

dinosaurs in Colorado

Photo Courtesy Denver Museum of Nature and Science

The Denver Museum of Nature and Science is home to many of Colorado’s prehistoric creatures found in places like Dinosaur Ridge and Garden Park, as well as very recent local dinosaur finds like the Thornton Torosaurus! Visit the Prehistoric Journey exhibit to learn about our planet’s changing climate over billions of years, view fascinating dinosaur bones and fossils, and explore the rise of mammals. Displays include skeletons of the stegosaurus, allosaurus, diplodocus and many more. Observe scientists working on fossils from the recent discovery by construction crews of the Thornton Torosaurus, the first torosaurus ever discovered in Colorado as well as the most complete torosaurus skeleton ever found in the world.

Tickets prices for the Denver Museum of Nature and Science: $16.95/Adults, $11.95/Kids 3-18, $13.85/Seniors 65+, Kids  2 & Under are FREE. Denver Museum of Nature and Science is located at 2001 Colorado Blvd, Denver, CO 80205.

#3 Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center – Woodland Park, Colorado

Dinosaurs in Colorado

Photo Courtesy Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center

Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center is a kid-friendly museum featuring unique and spectacular dinosaurs including T-Rex, raptors, giant flying and marine reptiles, huge carnivorous fish and life restorations. Visitors can witness an actual fossil preparation laboratory, making casts and preparing fossils for museums around the country.

Ticket prices for Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center: $11.50/Adults 12+, $7.50/Children 5-12, $10.50/Seniors, Kids 4 and under are FREE. Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center is located at 201 S Fairview St, Woodland Park, CO 80863.

#4 Dinosaur Journey Museum, Fruita, Colorado

Dinosaurs in Colorado

Photo Courtesy Dinosaur Journey, Museums of Western Colorado

Dinosaur Journey, part of the Museums of Western Colorado, concentrates its exhibits on the geology and paleontology of Western Colorado and Eastern Utah. The museum features interactive exhibits, animatronic dinosaurs, fun events, educational programing, and area dinosaur trails. Dinosaur Journey hosts special exhibitions every summer running from mid-May to September that YOU can join!

Dinosaur Journey admission prices: $9/Adults, $7/Seniors, $5/Children, $25/Immediate Family Groups (Up to 6 people). Dinosaur Journey is open Mon – Sat 10AM – 4PM and Sun 12 – 4PM until April 30 and will be open 7 days a week, 9AM – 5PM starting May 1st. Located at 550 Jurassic Ct, Fruita, CO 81521.

#5 University of Colorado’s Museum of Natural History – Boulder, Colorado

Dinosaurs in Colorado

Photo Courtesy University of Colorado Boulder’s Museum of Natural History

The University of Colorado Boulder’s Museum of Natural History is home to a variety of prehistoric fossils in its Paleontology Hall. The museum houses 150,000 catalogued specimens from all over the United States and the world, but the fossil vertebrate collection is focused on the Rocky Mountain region. In addition to prehistoric creatures, the museum houses invertebrates and plants, including beautiful pieces of petrified wood. Family friendly and full of interesting exhibits, CU’s Museum of Natural History is one of Boulder’s best free spots for learning and exploring.

Admission to the museum is FREE. The museum is open during Monday – Friday 9-5, Saturday 9AM -4PMm Sunday 10AM – 4PM (Closed on all University holidays). The CU Museum of Natural History is located at CU’s Henderson Building, 15th and Broadway, Boulder, CO 80309.

#6 Royal Gorge Dinosaur Experience, Cañon City, Colorado

Dinosaurs in Colorado

Photo Courtesy Royal Gorge Dinosaur Experience

Royal Gorge Dinosaur Experience is a family-friendly interactive museum featuring full-scale dinosaur fossil casts, science-focused interactive displays, animatronic dinosaur exhibits, as well as hands-on exhibits with real dinosaur fossils. Kids will enjoy the kids’ dig area, multimedia exhibits, games and outdoor recreational-focused activities including a multi-story ropes course.

General Admission: $12/Adults, $8 Children 3-12, Children Under 3 are FREE. For ropes course and other add-ons, see pricing here. The Royal Gorge Dinosaur Experience is open Thursday – Sunday 10AM – 5PM and is located at 44895 W U.S. 50, Cañon City, CO 81212.

#7 Ft.Collins Museum of Discovery – Ft. Collins, Colorado

ft collins museum of discovery

Photo by All Things Boulder

The Ft. Collins Museum of Discovery features Wildlands & Wildlife, exploring the creatures and lands that existed in Ft. Collins millions of years ago! Prehistoric beasts and flora are accompanied by a complimentary exhibit showing the plants and animals that inhabit Ft. Collins today. Kids will love the fossil wall, as well as the many other exciting STEAM exhibits including: the music and sound lab, the tornado chamber, tot spot and more!

The Ft. Collins Museum of Discovery is located at 408 Mason Ct, Fort Collins, CO 80524. The Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, 10AM – 5PM, Thursday open late until 8PM. Closed Mondays. General Admission prices are $9.50/Adults, $7/Seniors, $7/Students, $6/Kids Ages 3-12, Children 2 & Under are FREE.

#8 Morrison Natural History Museum – Morrison, Colorado

dinosaurs in Colorado

Photo Courtesy Morrison Natural History Museum 2

Morrison Natural History Museum focuses on the prehistoric days of Morrison, Colorado, featuring rare and unique Jurassic period fossils, dinosaur tracks, and more. Visitors are encouraged to get the most out of the museum by taking a museum tour, offered every hour and included with admission. In addition to Jurassic treasures, the museum houses fossils and casts from the Cretaceous period as well as the Ice Age.

Ticket prices: $9/General Admission (12+), $7/Youth (3-11), Kids under 2 are FREE. Morrison Natural History Museum is open every day, 10AM – 5PM and is located at 501 CO-8, Morrison, CO 80465. With the Morrison Dino Pass, gain admission to Morrison Natural History Museum as well as Dinosaur Ridge exhibits for a discounted price: $17/Adults, $13/Youth.

#9 Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument – Florissant, Colorado

dinosaurs in Colorado

Photo Courtesy Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument

Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument is home to one of the richest and most diverse fossil deposits in the world. The name “Florissant” comes from a French word meaning “flowering” or “blooming”, a fitting name for the wildflower-filled, grassy Florissant valley. Amongst the wildflowers, visitors will be wowed by massive petrified redwood stumps up to 14 feet wide. The Visitors Center features thousands of detailed fossils of insects and plants reveal the story of a very different, prehistoric Colorado.

Ticket prices: $7/Adults 16+, Children are FREE. Annual passes (good for cardholder plus 3 adults) are $30 and good for one year. Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument is open daily from 9AM – 5PM (open until 6PM during the summer) and is located at 15807 County Road 1, Florissant, CO 80816.

#10 Garden Park Fossil Area, Cañon City, Colorado

dinosaurs in Colorado

Photo Courtesy Garden Park Fossil Area

Garden Park Fossil Area is known as one of the country’s most prolific and historically important dinosaur excavation sites. These fossils are on view in museums all over the country, and include complete and nearly complete skeletons of various dinosaurs like the Allosaurus, Stegosaurus, Camarasaurus and Diplodocus. Although this site has been (and continues to be) home to fossil quarries, there are no dinosaur fossils on view. Visitors, however, enjoy hiking and exploring the area for its historical and scientific importance. The area features extensive historical markers as well as an EarthCache so you can take a self-guided tour to learn more about this amazing site. Or, you can take a virtual tour of the quarries here.

Visiting Garden Park Fossil Area is FREE. Garden Park Fossil Area is located at 3501-3767 Garden Park Rd, Cañon City, CO 81212. For more information on visiting the area, click here.


Where to Adopt a Dog in Boulder

January 25, 2018
dog rescues boulder

2018 is the Year of the Dog in the Chinese zodiac! To celebrate, I put together a list of rescue organizations in and around Boulder who are working hard every day to take care of homeless dogs (and in some cases many other kinds of animals!). These folks are dedicated to giving these dogs a second chance by matching each one with a human companion that can give them a forever home. Fair warning: adorable faces ahead!! Here’s to all the dogs that make our lives so much happier, may they have a wealth of love and happiness in 2018. To the people who go out of their way to save these precious lives, thank you for all that you do for humans’ truest and most loyal friends — dogs!

Summit Dog Rescue, Boulder Colorado

dog rescue boulder co

Tess, Photo Courtesy Summit Dog Rescue

Summit Dog Rescue, based in Boulder, is on a mission to save dogs who are left in shelters that are overcrowded and therefore unable to continue to care for the animals. Summit focuses on dogs who thrive in the mountain environment, and does their very best to pair these furry sweethearts up with a commited adopter. Summit is always in need of good homes for dogs, as well as foster families for dogs who are awaiting adoption. To find out more about Summit Dog Rescue, follow them on facebook here or check out their website here.

Brighter Days Dog Rescue

dog rescues boulder

Fitz, Photo Courtesy Better Days Dog Rescue

Brighter Days Dog Rescue, based in Boulder, is a rescue organization that takes calls from all over the U.S. who are in danger of being euthanized. BDDR works hard to find these dogs a loving, stable home. If you are interested in finding out more, visit Brighter Days Dog Rescue on their facebook page, or at their website.

Farfel’s Friends Rescue

dog rescue boulder

Mingus, Photo Courtesy Farfel’s Farm

The pet-friendly downtown Boulder boutique shop, Farfel’s Farm, also rescues and adopts dogs through Farfel’s Friends Rescue. The rescue focuses on urgent need dogs from southern states, matching them with forever homes here in Colorado. Check out Farfel’s Farm on facebook here or at the Farfel’s Friends Rescue website here.

Gritty Pittie Rescue

dog rescues boulder

Maya, Photo Courtesy Gritty Pittie Rescue

Gritty Pittie Rescue, based in Longmont, is focused on the rescue and advocacy of pit bull dogs, but make themselves available to help any dog who finds themselves in need regardless of breed. The end goal is to be a matchmaker for dogs looking to land on the couch and in the arms of a responsible home and to find their people. To find out more about Gritty Pittie, follow them on facebook, or visit their website here.

Underdogs Animal Rescue

dog rescues boulder

June Carter and Johnny Cash, Photo Courtesy Underdogs Animal Rescue

Underdogs Animal Rescue is dedicated to changing the perception of the “underdog” – the forgotten ones, the misunderstood ones, the ones that get picked last (or don’t get picked at all). The rescue saves dogs from overcrowded shelters and places them with foster families as they diligently find forever homes for these deserving dogs. Follow Underdogs Animal Rescue on facebook or visit their website here.

Humane Society of Boulder Valley

boulder rescue dog

Photo Courtesy Humane Society of Boulder Valley

The Humane Society of Boulder Valley takes in dogs, cats, rabbits, ferrets, birds and other pets that are in need of a home. Providing shelter to over 7,000 animals a year, the Humane Society of Boulder Valley is in need of loving, stable homes to adopt these precious animals. You can follow them on facebook or visit the Humane Society of Boulder Valley to see adoptable animals here.

Mother Gaia Animal Rescue

dog rescues boulder

Spot, Photo Courtesy Mother Gaia Animal Rescue

Mother Gaia Animal Rescue, based in Lafayette, is a foster-based rescue that helps find homeless animals committed, loving families. If you are interested in adoption, or if you have room in your home to foster one of these doggies in need, check out Mother Gaia Animal Rescue’s facebook page or their adoptable dogs on petfinder..

Save the Giants

dog rescues boulder

Flaca, Photo Courtesy Save the Giants

Save the Giants has a Broomfield-based dog rescue (they also rescue throughout Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas), dedicated to rescuing and responsibly re-homing Great Danes, Saint Bernards, Great Pyrenees and English Mastiffs who are rescued from kill shelters and from dire situations/circumstances. To see adoptable dogs, check out their petfinder page, or follow them on facebook here.

Rocky Mountain Lab Rescue

dog rescues boulder

Bart, Courtesy Rocky Mountain Lab Rescue

Rocky Mountain Lab Rescue is made up of a small group of volunteers that find and re-home labrador retrievers and lab mixes. Many of these dogs come from high-kill shelters in rural areas that cannot hold dogs for more than 4-5 days. Rocky Mountain Lab Rescue is able to save these dogs with a network of foster homes and eventually forever homes when families reach out to adopt these sweet dogs. If you are interested in adopting a lab, or if you have room in your home to foster a lab, visit Rocky Mountain Lab Rescue’s website or follow them on facebook for updates.

Rocky Mountain Puppy Rescue

boulder dog rescues

Bags, Rocky Mountain Puppy Rescue

Rocky Mountain Puppy Rescue‘s mission is to rescue, foster, vet and rehome unwanted shelter animals and promote spay and neuter of all animals. The rescue is determined to end pet overpopulation with the Spay It Forward program, providing subsidized spay neuter surgeries for impoverished counties in the South West US. Check out Rocky Mountain Puppy Rescue’s website and facebook page.

Do Over Dogs

dog rescues boulder

Cherry Crumbles, Photo Courtesy Do Over Dogs

Do Over Dogs is a Broomfield-based dog rescue, giving at-risk dogs a second chance at life. Dogs are rescued from high-kill shelters and placed in foster homes until a forever home can be found. To find out more about Do Over Dogs, follow them on facebook, or see their petfinder page here.

Golden Retriever Rescue of the Rockies

boulder dog rescues

Bernie, Photo Courtesy Golden Retriever Rescue of the Rockies

Golden Retriever Rescue of the Rockies is a rescue group that helps place unwanted, abandoned or surrendered Golden Retrievers into loving forever homes. GRRR re-homes approximately 300 Golden Retrievers annually. To find out more about Golden Retriever Rescue of the Rockies, follow them on facebook or visit their website.

Longmont Humane Society

dog rescues boulder

Shortstack, Photo Courtesy Longmont Humane Society

The Longmont Humane Society provides temporary shelter to thousands of animals every year including dogs, cats, small mammals and birds who are lost, abandoned or surrendered. The shelter also provides low cost spay and neutering, as well as dog training. To learn more, follow them on facebook here or check out adoptable animals here.

Boulder Events Guides

Complete Boulder Holiday Events Guide

November 18, 2017
things to do in Boulder in November

Excited for the holidays? Get ready for a fun-filled season of parades, festivals, handmade markets, fireworks, visits with Santa and so much more! Here is your complete guide to over 50 holiday events happening in and around Boulder.

Santa HQ at Flatiron Crossing

holiday guide boulder christmas events

Photo Courtesy HGTV

When: November 14 – December 24, 2017

Where: Flatiron Crossing Mall, 1 W Flatiron Crossing Dr, Broomfield, CO 80021

Time: Hours vary, see schedule here. Make reservations here (optional).

Cost: Photo packages start at $34.99

Santa is available for photos and visits at Santa’s Headquarters presented by HGTV, located at the base of Flatiron Crossing‘s Grand Staircase. Reservations available, but not required! Exciting Features include Elf-Ray Vision, Naughty-or-Nice ‘O Meter, Holiday Fun Photo Options & More! Reserve your time with Santa here.

Mollie McGees Holiday Market

things to do in Boulder in November

Photo Courtesy Molly McGee’s Craft Market

When: November 18 – 19, 2017

Where: Boulder County Fairgrounds, 9595 Nelson Rd, Longmont, Colorado 80501

Time: Saturday 9AM – 5PM, Sunday 10AM – 4PM

Cost: $4 for both days, kids under 12 are FREE

Mollie McGee’s Craft Markets feature only the highest quality handcrafted items as well as a selection of unique items not found in most malls. Molly McGee’s Fall and Holiday Markets boast over 160 booths at each show.

Louisville WinterSkate

things to do in Boulder in November

When: Thanksgiving Week – End of February

Where: Steinbaugh Pavilion, 824 Front Street in Historic Downtown Louisville

Time: Monday–Wednesday: 2 – 7PM, Thursday: 2 – 10PM, Friday: 12 – 10PM, Saturday: 10AM – 10PM, Sunday: 10AM – 8PM

Cost: Adults: $5.00, Kids (ages 4-12): $4.00, Children (ages 3 & under): Free Admission, College Students and Military (with valid ID): $3.00, Senior Citizens (65+): $3.00, Skate Rental: $4.00

Located at the Steinbaugh Pavilion in Historic Downtown Louisville, WinterSkate is an old-fashioned ice skating rink complete with skate rental, concessions and traditional holiday music. Celebrating its thirteenth year as the original outdoor ice skating rink in the community, WinterSkate presents the perfect opportunity to enjoy the winter season in a beautiful small-town setting.

Santa Cellar Craft Fair

boulder in november

When: Saturday, November 18, 2017

Where: Broomfield Community Center, 280 Spader Way, Broomfield, CO 80020

Time: 8AM – 3PM

Cost: FREE

Check out the Santa Cellar Craft Fair, held at the Broomfield Community Center. Our Annual Santa’s Cellar Craft Fair features five rooms filled with local crafters from Colorado. Santa visits from 10 a.m. until noon! Find something special for everyone on your list. The Ninth Reindeer Cafe will be open during the Craft Fair from 8 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. for your snacking needs. Located in the Lakeshore Room. Take a look at the Breakfast and Lunch menus.

Estes Park Tree Lighting Ceremony

things to do in Boulder in November

When: Saturday, November 18, 2017

Where: George Hix Riverside Plaza, 184 W. Elkhorn Ave, George Hix Riverside Plaza, CO

Time: 4PM – 7PM

Cost: FREE

Light up the season in Estes Park at the 7th Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony. This event has become an Estes Park tradition with its unique characteristics and community recognition. Guests are welcome to visit with Santa, enjoy cookies and hot chocolate, browse the area shops, and enjoy live entertainment. The ceremonial lighting will occur at 6pm.

Soul Tree Holiday Bazaar

things to do in Boulder in November

When: Saturday, November 18, 2017

Where: Soul Tree Studio, 422 E Simpson St, Lafayette, Colorado 80026

Time: 11AM – 4PM

Cost: FREE

Soul Tree Yoga is hosting its 5th Annual Holiday Bazaar, featuring a handful of returning artists  along with a few new artists for the 2017 season. Gifts range from contemporary jewelry, original stoneware, essential oils, as well as wine tasting from a local winery! Soul Tree carefully selects artists that can provide handmade, affordable gifts for everyone on your list. Many of the artists are students and teachers at Soul Tree.

Switch on the Holidays

things to do in Boulder in November

Photo Courtesy Downtown Boulder

When: Sunday, November 19, 2017

Where: Pearl Street Mall, Pearl Street, Boulder CO 80302

Time: 5PM – 9PM

Cost: FREE

Switch on the Holidays is back with a holiday sing-along performance led by the Boulder Children’s Chorale joined by members of the Boulder Chorale lead up to the grand illumination of the Boulder County Courthouse and the Pearl Street Mall, with a special appearance by Santa himself! Then stick around for FREE visits with Santa until 7:00 p.m. For more information, visit:

Winterfest Wednesday

holiday guide boulder christmas events

Photo Courtesy Orchard Town Center

When: Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Where: The Orchard Town Center, 14697 Delaware St #850, Broomfield, CO 80023

Time: 5PM – 8PM

Cost: FREE

Winterfest Wednesday is The Orchard‘s annual kick-off to the holiday season, kicking off the holiday season and transforming Town Center Square into a child’s holiday dream. The opening show will offer families a tantalizing tale of fun as a cast of characters come to life before their eyes, dancing, singing and helping all of us to find the spirit of the holidays. Santa will make his grand arrival at 6:00pm joining in the fun and bringing to life The Orchard’s 50’ Christmas Tree with lights and music. Festivities will continue through the evening with music and entertainment! Featuring music and dance performances with Rudolph, Frosty, Santa’s Elves, The Pickwick Singers, White Christmas Quartet and more!

Longmont Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony

boulder holiday events

When: Friday, November 24, 2017

Where: 6th Ave & Main Street, Longmont

Time: 6:30PM

Cost: FREE

Longmont is hosting a Multicultural Celebration of Lights as well as a Lights On / Dance Off in this year’s Downtown Tree Lighting Ceremony, featuring holiday-themed hip-hop dance battles by Block 1750, and a cultural unity celebration to help light up the holiday season. Hot beverages, goody bags, and carolers provide the seasonal trimmings for this festive event. Bring your family Downtown this year and Light It Up! Santa Claus at the North Pole will be there and the first 200 guests will be given Goody Bags, thanks to High Plains Bank, filled with discounts and offers from Downtown Businesses! Free to attend, anyone and everyone welcome! For more information:

The Nutcracker Ballet

things to do in Boulder in November

Photo Courtesy Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra

When: November 24 – November 26, 2017

Where: Macky Auditorium, 1595 Pleasant St, Boulder, Colorado 80309

Time: Times vary, see full schedule here.

Cost: $15 – $82, tickets here.

Thanksgiving weekend, the curtain rises for America’s favorite ballet, brought to life by Boulder Ballet and the Boulder Philharmonic – The Nutcracker. Make your plans now for this thrilling and heartwarming spectacle, all performed to Tchaikovsky’s masterful score.

Boulder SantaCon

things to do in Boulder in November

Photo Courtesy Boulder SantaCon

When: Friday, November 24, 2017

Where: TBD

Time: 5PM – 12AM

Cost: TBD

SantaCon is simply a gathering of people dressed as Santa. Traditionally, SantaCon is free to attend, however, some events have costs that need to be covered and the organizers ask for a contribution. Others are held in support of a good cause and also have a mandatory contribution. Boulder SantaCon has not yet released more details, but I will update as the information comes in.

WinterSkate Boulder

boulder holiday events

Photo Courtesy Boulder Creek Events

When: Starting Friday, November 24, 2017

Where: Ice Rink Next to the Dushanbe Tea House, 1770 13th St, Boulder, CO 80302

Time: Monday – Wednesday 11AM – 9PM, Thursday & Friday 11AM – 10PM, Saturday 10AM – 10PM, Sunday 10AM – 8PM

Cost: $10 Adults, $9 Children 12 & Under, $8 Seniors & Students, $4 Children 3 & Under. Bring your own skates, receive $5 off admission.

WinterSkate returns to Boulder on the plaza next to the Dushanbe Teahouse, presented by Boulder Creek Events. Relive your favorite winter memories and enjoy holiday lights and music. For more information, click here.

Niwot’s Enchanted Evening

boulder holiday events

When: Friday, November 24, 2017

Where: Cottonwood Square, Downtown Niwot

Time: 6PM – 9PM

Cost: FREE

Every year on the day after Thanksgiving, the community of Niwot officially ushers in the holiday season with Enchanted Evening. The night will begin with the lighting of the community tree, welcoming Santa to town, presenting a Live Ice Sculpture demonstration in Cottonwood Square. Check out Ptarmigan String Quartet who will be performing Holiday music in the Grange with Santa from 6-8:30pm. Come back on Saturday for Niwot’s Holiday Parade. For full event info visit:

Holiday Open House at The Flower Bin

Boulder holiday events

Photo Courtesy The Flower Bin

When: November 24 – 26, 2017

Where: The Flower Bin, 1805 Nelson Rd, Longmont, CO 80501

Time: 11AM – 3PM – Schedule of events here.

Cost: FREE

Check out The Flower Bin of Longmont’s Holiday Open House featuring live entertainment, holiday cookies, apple cider and visits with Santa! The Flower Bin will have all the essential holiday decorations on hand for sale including live Christmas trees, wreaths, garland, poinsettias and more.

A Very Soulful Christmas with Hazel Miller

boulder holiday events

Photo Courtesy Hazel Miller Band

When: November 25, 2017

Where: Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut St, Boulder, Colorado 80302

Time: 7:30PM

Cost: $20, $10 Students. Tickets here.

Colorado favorite Hazel Miller, the most sought after performer in Colorado for the past 30 years, will kick off the holiday season with arrangements of seasonal favorite tunes infused with jazz, swing, gospel, latin and pop flavors at A Very Soulful Christmas. Featuring a mix of sacred and secular holiday music, Hazel Miller and her band will perform arrangements of “Silent Night” in an Afro Cuban style, “O’ Holy Night” in a blues style, “Away in a Manger” in a Gospel ballad style… and much more.

Niwot Holiday Parade

boulder holiday events

Photo Courtesy Niwot, Colorado

When: November 25, 2017

Where: Along 2nd Avenue from Murray Street to Niwot Road, Downtown Niwot

Time: 11AM – 1PM

Cost: FREE

Santa returns to Niwot Saturday morning, Nov 25th, to join in on the Holiday Parade. The parade starts at 11:00 AM. Participants will march down 2nd Ave from Murray Street to Niwot Road. When the parade finishes Santa will be in the Grange until 1:00 PM to take the children’s Christmas gift wish list. The local business will be open with additional craft vendors in the Grange.

Sugar Plum Tea Party

boulder holiday events

Photo Courtesy Centennial State Ballet

When: November 25 – 26, 2017

Where: Centennial State Ballet, 1422 Nelson Rd, Longmont, Colorado 80501

Time: Times vary, see schedule here.

Cost: $35/person. Tickets available here.

Centennial State Ballet will host their 15th annual Sugar Plum Tea Party fundraiser during the Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend. The non-profit youth ballet organization celebrates 20 years of exceptional ballet performances this year with this well-known fundraising event. The ticket price includes a delightful afternoon with warm tea, sweet and savory edibles and harp accompaniment, a mini-Nutcracker performance and a souvenir photo taken with the Sugar Plum Fairy. For more information, click here.

St. Nick on the Bricks

things to do in Boulder in November

Photo Courtesy Downtown Boulder

When: Saturdays, November 25 – December 23, 2017

Where: Downtown Boulder Visitor Information Center, 1301 Pearl Street, Boulder, CO 80302

Time: 11AM – 2PM

Cost: FREE

Saturdays starting November 25, kids of all ages can visit with Santa at the Downtown Boulder Visitor Information Center for FREE. Bring your list and a camera to capture priceless holiday memories.

Gingerbread Tea

boulder holiday events

Photo Courtesy St Julien Hotel & Spa

When: Sundays, November 26 – December 17, 2017

Where: Jill’s Restaurant & Bistro, 900 Walnut St, Boulder, Colorado 80302

Time: Times vary, see schedule here.

Cost: $35.95 Adults, $19.95 Children 4-12, Children three & under are FREE

Jill’s Restaurant & Bistro at the St. Julien Hotel and Spa is hosting a Gingerbread Tea for the young and old, urban and rural. Traditional tea, music and delicacies including savory tea sandwiches, sweet Petite Fours and an array of different flavored scones, fill the room as Jill’s Restaurant & Bistro Executive Chef Laurent Mechin helps children – both small and big – decorate gingerbread cookies. The sweetest part—a portion of the proceeds are donated to There With Care, a non-profit organization that supports children and families facing critical illness. For reservations, please contact the St. Julien concierge at (720) 406-9696.

FACE: Holiday Shows

things to do in Boulder in November

Photo Courtesy BDT Stage

When: November 27 – 28, 2017

Where: Boulder Dinner Theater, 5501 Arapahoe Ave, Boulder, CO 80303

Time: 5:30PM – 10:30PM

Cost: $45 – $55, Tickets here.

Two unforgettable nights at the Boulder Dinner Theater, see the long-awaited Face holiday concerts! Face is a nationally recognized vocal rock band based out of Boulder, Colorado, bringing a new edge and attitude to the human voice. Using just four singers and a vocal drummer, Face creates a rock-music phenomenon that has to be seen to be believed. No instruments and no special effects -– just five guys. Named “Best Local Musician/Group” by Boulder Weekly in 2015, 2014 and “Best Local Band” by Denver A-List 2013. These shows will sell out! Get your tickets early.

Erie Country Christmas & Parade of Lights

boulder holiday events

When: Friday, December 1, 2017

Where: Historic Downtown Erie, Briggs St & Moffat St, Erie, CO 80516

Time: 5PM – 8PM

Cost: FREE

Erie is hosting its annual Country Christmas & Parade of Lights, featuring Santa’s Workshop, Local School Choirs, complimentary s’mores, living Nativity scene, free hayrides and a Parade of Lights followed by visits with Santa!

Elf, Jr: The Musical

boulder holiday events

Photo Courtesy CenterStage Theatre Company

When: November 30 – December 3, 2017

Where: Louisville Center for the Arts, 801 Grant Avenue, Louisville, Colorado 80027

Time: Times vary, see schedule here.

Cost: $20 VIP Reserved, $15 Adult General Admission, $10 Child/Student. Tickets available here.

CenterStage Theatre Company presents Elf, Jr.: The Musical. Buddy, a young orphan, mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported to the North Pole. The would-be elf is raised, unaware that he is actually a human, until his enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa’s permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father and discover his true identity. Faced with the harsh reality that his father is on the naughty list and that his half-brother doesn’t even believe in Santa, Buddy is determined to win over his new family and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas.

Louisville Parade of Lights

boulder holiday events

Photo Courtesy of Louisville Chamber of Commerce

When: Friday, December 1, 2017

Where: Main St, Louisville, CO 80027, United States

Time: 5:30PM – 9PM

Cost: FREE

Join Louisville in its annual Parade of Lights. Enjoy musical entertainment provided by local schools & churches, a living nativity, petting zoo and visits with Santa.  The Parade begins at 7:00 p.m. at the south end of Main Street and ends on South Street. The Parade of Lights will include the Louisville Arts District First Friday Art Walk. from 5-6:30PM. Enjoy choirs singing, the living nativity, visits with Santa, carolers, ice skating and lots more!

Scrooge, A Musical

boulder holiday events

Photo Courtesy Jester’s Dinner Theatre

When: December 1 – 30, 2017

Where: Jester’s Dinner Theatre, 224 Main St, Longmont, CO 80501

Time: Times vary, schedule here.

Cost: $17 and up. Tickets here.

Jester’s Dinner Theatre presents Scrooge, a musical version of the the holiday classic, “A Christmas Carol”. The Jesters has been doing this production every Christmas for over 20 years! Don’t miss this classic.

Boulder Lights of December Parade

boulder holiday events

Photo Courtesy Downtown Boulder

When: Saturday, December 2, 2017

Where: Pearl Street Mall, Pearl Street, Boulder CO 80302

Time: 6PM

Cost: FREE

Head downtown for Boulder’s annual tradition, the 30th Lights of December Parade. The parade features floats decorated by local businesses and organizations, as well as marching bands, fire engines, holiday carolers and of course – Santa!

Country Christmas

boulder holiday events

When: Saturday, December 2, 2017

Where: Boulder County Fairgrounds, 9595 Nelson Rd, Longmont, CO 80501

Time: 7PM – 9PM

Cost: FREE

Join Boulder County and Trail Country Music Band for a night full of Christmas fun, crafts and dancing in the cowboy tradition! The event will be held in heated Barn A at the Boulder County Fairgrounds, in Longmont. Refreshments will be served.

Lyons Holiday Parade of Lights

boulder holiday events

When: Saturday, December 2, 2017

Where: Sandstone Park, Lyons, CO 80540 

Time: Lyons Holiday Bazaar 10AM – PM, Holiday Parade of Lights 6:30PM

Cost: FREE

The bright glow of the holidays is once again coming to the Town of Lyons for the Lyons Holiday Bazaar & the Holiday Parade of Lights. The parade will start at 6:30 pm and will be filled with illuminated, colorful floats, many of which will be decorated in the theme of this year’s parade — “Peace on Earth”. Live music and entertainment will follow the parade at approximately 7:15 p.m. in Sandstone Park, on the Raul Vasquez Community Stage. Among those performing this year will be the Lyons High School and Elementary School Show Choirs. At 7:40 p.m., the sky will be illuminated by a fireworks display (thanks to generous donations & grants received from the Lyons Community Foundation and other local supporters)!

Superior Count the Lights Celebration

boulder holiday events

Photo Courtesy Superior Chamber of Commerce

When: Saturday, December 2, 2017

Where & When:

2:30 – 4PM Superior Sports Stable, 1 Superior Drive, Superior, CO 80027

3:30 – 5:30PM Asti Park, 101 W Coal Creek Dr, Superior, CO 80027

Cost: FREE

The holiday festivities begin at the Superior Sports Stable for Superior Chamber’s Skate with Santa presented by Dixon Orthodontics. Come enjoy some time on the ice at the Sport Stable from 2:30-4 pm. We are collecting new coats for families in need so drop one at the door on your way into the event. Hot cocoa and cookies will be available as well as an opportunity to have your photo with Santa. Then head over to the Town’s Count the Lights holiday celebration at Asti Park 3:30-5:30 pm. Make a gourmet s’more, drink some hot chocolate, enjoy a horse drawn carriage ride around Original Town, tour the historic museum and enjoy holiday caroling by our local high school students.

Charlie Brown goes to the Nutcracker

holiday events boulder

When: Saturdays, December 2 – December 23, 2017

Where: St. Julien Hotel & Spa, 900 Walnut St, Boulder, Colorado 80302

Time: 6:30 PM

Cost: FREE

Jazz up your holiday season at St Julien Hotel & Spa with this complimentary performance. The show blends the music from “Charlie Brown Christmas” show, composed by Vince Guaraldi, with the jazz versions of “The Nutcracker,” written by Duke Ellington, features the Ron LeGault Trio. Curl up by the fireplace, sip a seasonal cocktail and spread holiday cheer.

Home for the Holidays

boulder holiday events

When: Saturday, December 2, 2017

Where: Festival Plaza, 311 S Public Rd, Lafayette, Colorado 80026

Time: 12:30PM  – 4:30PM

Cost: FREE

Join Lafayette for this free event, Home for the Holidays. The festival starts at 12:30pm and ends at dusk with the tree lighting and caroling. Visit with Santa and Jingles D. Checker, kids crafts, High Peaks Twirlers performance, caroling, and see the tree lighting.

Winter Market at Boulder County Fairgrounds

boulder holiday events

When: December 2 – 3, 2017

Where: Boulder County Fairgrounds, 9595 Nelson Rd, Longmont, CO 80501

Time: 9AM –

Cost: FREE

The 11th Annual Winter Market at the Boulder County Fairgrounds on Dec. 2 and 3 will feature 70 local food growers and producers and 60 Colorado artists. Enjoy the flavors of root vegetables, winter squash, specialty cuts of lamb, beef and pork, fresh eggs, preserved fruits and vegetables, wine, coffee, and delicious baked goods. Grab breakfast or lunch, listen to live music, and browse local art including candles, jewelry, photography, stationery, and knitwear. It’s the perfect time to stock up on local goods and gifts for the holidays.

Boulder Children’s Chorale: Songs of the Season

boulder holiday events

Photo by Glenn Ross, Courtesy Boulder Children’s Chorale

When: Sunday, December 3, 2017

Where: Boulder Public Library, 1001 Arapahoe Ave, Boulder, Colorado 80302

Time: 4 – 5PM

Cost: FREE

Check out the Boulder Children’s Chorale performance of Songs for the Season at the Boulder Public Library. Experience some holiday cheer in this free performance featuring the four choirs of the Boulder Children’s Chorale.

Gingerbread House Decorating Party

boulder holiday events

When: December 4 – December 18, 2017

Where: Por Wine House, 836 1/2 Main St, Louisville, Colorado 80027

Time: Times vary, see schedule here.

Cost: $20

Por Wine House will be hosting its second annual Gingerbread House decorating party.This kid-centric event is fun for the whole family, led by our pastry chefs, your children will learn from the best! Each ticket includes Gingerbread House, mounds of treats for decorating and free hot chocolate. Santa will be available for photos. For parents, Por will be offering Happy Hour pricing and $5 mimosas and bloody marys for you to enjoy while staff helps your little ones create their masterpiece.

Chanukah Cooking for Kids

boulder holiday events

Photo Courtesy Boulder JCC

When: December 5, 2017

Where: Boulder JCC, 6007 Oreg Ave, Boulder, CO 80303

Time: 4:30 – 6PM

Cost: $18/child

Celebrate the holidays through cooking! Join the Boulder Jewish Community Center to create delicious Chanukah recipes to share with family and friends. Each child will leave with recipes and special treats. Class is open to kids 5 – 10 years old.

CU Holiday Festival

boulder holiday events

Photo Courtesy CU Presents

When: December 8 – 10, 2017

Where: Macky Auditorium Concert Hall, 1595 Pleasant St, Boulder, CO 80309

Time: Times vary, see schedule here.

Cost: Starting at $20, Tickets available here.

Boulder’s most beloved December tradition gathers together for the Holiday Festival,  CU’s most remarkable student and faculty talent for an unforgettable concert that’s fun for the whole family. Delight in the twinkling lights, seasonal greenery and festive atmosphere of Macky Auditorium as student choirs, bands and orchestras perform holiday favorites and new surprises.

Longmont Lights Holiday Festival & Parade

holiday events boulder

Photo Courtesy WK Real Estate

When: December 8 – December 9, 2017

Where: Roosevelt Park & Downtown Longmont, 700 Longs Peak Ave, Longmont, CO 80501

Time: Friday, 5PM – 8PM, Saturday 10AM – 9PM. Schedule of events here.

Cost: FREE

Join Longmont in its annual weekend holiday celebration, Longmont Lights! The festival begins on Friday at Roosevelt Park with Santa’s Workshop, a free craft area for kids and visits with Santa, live reindeer, holiday ice show, open skating, hot cocoa carts, fire pits and food truck sales. The evening culminates in a fireworks display sponsored by WK Real Estate. On Saturday, enjoy open skate ice skating and the March of the Toys Parade down Main Street. For the full schedule of events, click here.

The Happy Elf

boulder holiday events

Photo Courtesy The Longmont Theatre Company

When: December 8 – December 17, 2017

Where: The Longmont Theatre Company, 513 Main St, Longmont, Colorado 80501

Time: Times vary, see schedule here.

Cost: $10. Tickets available here.

The Longmont Theatre Company presents The Happy Elf. Based on Grammy-winner Harry Connick, Jr.’s original song, this family comedy follows Eubie, the happiest elf at the North Pole. On Christmas Eve, he sees something strange in the town of Bluesville. Not a single person has been nice. With a pinch of elfish magic and a magical whoosh, Eubie hopes that he can turn a whole town of naughty children nice in just one day. Families will love this festive tale of overcoming adversity, friendship, the power of positivity and believing in yourself!

The Gleaming Lights of Winter Nights

august in boulder

Photo Courtesy of Frequent Flyers Productions Facebook Page

When: Saturday, December 9, 2017

Where: Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut St, Boulder, Colorado 80302

Time: 8PM

Cost: $16 – $19. Tickets available here.

Celebrate the holidays with Frequent Flyers‘ Adult Student Company in The Gleaming Lights of Winter Nights! From the Aurora Borealis to a single candlelight in your window, aerial dancers bring you the warmth, splendor, and comfort of light in this dark season. Join us for a magical evening of joy and reverence with dancers on aerial fabrics, lyra, trapeze, and more!

Navidad Flamenca: A Flamenco Christmas Night

boulder holiday events

Photo Courtesy Flamenco Underground

When: Saturday, December 9, 2017

Where: Louisville Center for the Arts, 801 Grant Avenue, Louisville, Colorado 80027

Time: 7:30 PM

Cost: $18 in advance, $20 at the door. $15 Students & Seniors. Tickets available here.

Celebrate the Holidays with Flamenco Underground in an incredible live flamenco show, Navidad Flamenca. This Christmas show includes a special program with Villancicos Flamencos (Spanish Christmas carols) featuring guest artists: Guitarist Steve Mullins & Flamenco Dancer Ruben Rodriguez, Mark Herzog, Cante (Singing), and Natalia Perez del Villar & Flamenco Underground, Baile (Dance). Tapas and Spanish Christmas Sweets will be offered during intermission.

Storytime with Santa & Friends

boulder holiday events

When: Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Where: Longmont Library, 409 4th Ave, Longmont, CO 80501

Time: 10:30 – 11:30AM

Cost: FREE

Enjoy some winter holiday stories and a visit from Santa at the Longmont Library! Bring your camera, because there will be time for fun photos. No registration required. This program is generously funded by Friends of the Longmont Library.

Menorah Lighting on Pearl Street

boulder holiday events

When: Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Where: Pearl Street Mall, Pearl Street, Boulder CO 80302

Time: 5:30PM

Cost: FREE

The annual Menorah Lighting on Pearl Street attracts over 300 parents, children, grandparents, couples, singles, and passers-by each year, and has become a holiday ritual for numerous local Jewish families. The event features a performance by the talented and well-loved musician Sheldon Sands, Chanukah Favors to first 100 participants, plenty of fresh sufganiot, small menorah and candle sets to take home, Menorah Lighting under the stars with the Participation of Community Leaders and Dignitaries, a fresh, hot Latke Bar created by local chef Josh Raderman, as well as hot Coffee, Hot Chocolate and more. This event is jointly sponsored by the Boulder County Center for Judaism, the Boulder JCC, the Boulder Jewish NewsJEWISHcolorado, the Oreg Foundation, Audrey and Andy Franklin and Rhonda and Bruce Wildman.

Ignite Chanukah 2017

boulder holiday events

Photo Courtesy Boulder JCC

When: Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Where: Rembrandt Yard, 1301 Spruce St, Boulder, CO 80302

Time: 5:30PM – 9PM

Cost: $25 *This is a 21+ event. Tickets available here.

Ignite Chanukah is a fast-paced, fun-filled evening of 5 minute TED-talk-style presentations given by your peers. Pair that with latkes, falafel, and open bar, and it is sure to be a night not to miss. It is the biggest Adult Chanukah Party in Boulder! Tickets include: admission, open bar, latkes, falafel, snacks, raffle prize ticket, & admission to the afterparty! Stay to see your peers share stories about their passions, in short, 5-minute presentations. Stay even longer for the after party!

KYGO’s Christmas Jam

boulder holiday events

Photo Courtesy KYGO

When: Thursday, December 14, 2017

Where: 1st Bank Center, 11450 Broomfield Lane, Broomfield 80021

Time: 7PM – 11PM

Cost: $45 – $55. Tickets available here.

98.5 KYGO presents KYGO’s Christmas Jam starring Chris Young, Chris Janson and Chris Lane at Broomfield’s 1st Bank Center.

Historic Hoverhome’s Annual Holiday Tours

boulder holiday events

Photo Courtesy St. Vrain Historical Society

When: December 9 – December 17, 2017

Where: Historic Hoverhome, 1309 Hover St, Longmont, CO 80501-3161, United States

Time: See schedule here.

Cost: $10/person. Kids under 6 are FREE

Come and enjoy the holiday season at Historic Hoverhome in Longmont! Tour this beautifully decorated 1913-1914 historic house all decked-out for the holidays. These open-house tours allow guests to tour the house at their leisure, and no RSVPs are required. Tours also include hot cider and cookies, Christmas music and caroling, and costumed docents. Fee is $10 per person, children under 6 are free. Tour fees and donations collected assist The St. Vrain Historical Society with the management, preservation, and care of Hoverhome.

Chanukah on Ice

boulder holiday events

When: December 14, 2017

Where: Steinbaugh Pavilion, 824 Front Street in Historic Downtown Louisville

Time: 4PM – 6PM

Cost: $3 Adults | $2 Kids (ages 4-12) | Free for Children 3 and under | Skate Rental: $4 | Pay at the rink

Skate with family and friends to Chanukah music at Chanukah on Ice! Lighting of the public Menorah in Louisville will be followed by a night of ice skating and delicious sufganiyot (jelly donuts)! For more information, contact Chany at or Irene at

Longmont Symphony Candlelight Concert

boulder holiday events

When: December 15, 2017

Where: Westview Presbyterian Church, 1500 Hover St, Longmont, CO 80501

Time: 7:30PM

Cost: Adults $25, Seniors $22, Youth (12 – 18) $5, Children Under 11 FREE

Join the Longmont Symphony Orchestra, with guest conductor David Rutherford, in their Candlelight Concert, an intimate chamber music concert celebrating the music of the season.

Firefly Handmade Holiday Market

boulder holiday events

Photo Courtesy Firefly Handmade Market

When: Saturday, December 16, 2017

Where: Embassy Suites Boulder, 2601 Canyon Blvd, Boulder, CO 80302

Time: 10AM – 5PM

Cost: FREE admission

Firefly Handmade will be holding its annual Holiday Market at the brand new Embassy Suites Hotel Ballroom. Shop handmade for the holidays at the Front Range’s premier marketplace for exclusively handmade artisan goods. Featuring 80+ Indie Artisans as well as live music with Banshee Tree. Each Firefly Handmade market is carefully and creatively curated to feature returning favorite and emerging artisans with home goods & décor; jewelry & accessories; adult & children’s fashion; skin care; ceramics; art; artisanal food; paper goods; and more.

Holiday Festival at Longmont Museum

boulder holiday events

Photo Courtesy Longmont Museum

When: December 16 – December 17, 2017

Where: Longmont Museum & Cultural Center, 400 Quail Rd, Longmont, Colorado 80501

Time: See schedule here.

Cost: $17 Adult, $12 Seniors & Students. Tickets available here.

The Longmont Museum’s holiday tradition continues with the 3rd Annual Holiday Festival. Join the Longmont Museum for songs of the season and holiday cheer from some of the finest musicians and performers in the region. Featuring the Heath Walton Jazz Quintet, Longmont’s Centennial State Ballet in excerpts from the Nutcracker, Venezuelan rhythms from Gonzalo Teppa, and much more. Matinee ONLY: Special Santa reception with complimentary cookies and hot chocolate before matinee performance only, beginning at 3 pm. Concert begins at 4 pm. Learn more at or call 303-651-8374.

A Tonal Noel: Holiday Vocal Music

boulder holiday events

When: Saturday, December 16, 2017

Where: Louisville Library, 951 Spruce St, Louisville, CO 80027

Time: 10:30 – 11AM

Cost: FREE admission

The local choral music group Key of She will present a holiday concert Tonal Noel in the Louisville Public Library. Please stop in the Library to enjoy seasonal songs.

The Aaron Walker Quartet: A Gypsy Holiday

boulder holiday events

Photo Courtesy Colorado Chautauqua

When: Saturday, December 16, 2017

Where: Chautauqua Community House, 900 Baseline Rd, Boulder, CO 80302

Times: 2PM & 7:30PM

Cost: $18, Tickets available here.

At Colorado Chautauqua, December 16 will be anything but a silent night as the Aaron Walker Quartet performs their own Bohemian style of jazz music to beloved holiday favorites. The quartet comprises of Aaron Walker on lead guitar with Luke Smith on rhythm guitar, Gary Sloan on stand-up bass and Joe D’Esposito on violin.

Santa’s House at Village at the Peaks

boulder holiday events

Photo Courtesy Village at the Peaks

When: December 16 – December 23, 2017

Where: Village at the Peaks, 1250 S Hover St, Longmont, Colorado 80501

Time: See schedule here.

Cost: Suggested donation of $5 will be accepted for the “I Have a Dream” Foundation of Boulder County.

Visit Santa’s House at Village at the Peaks this season! Bring your own camera or cell phone to capture the magic. $5 suggested donations will be accepted for the “I Have a Dream” Foundation of Boulder County. Visits with Santa are first come, first served. No reservations or appointments are available.

Jeff and Paige Chanukah Concert

what to do with kids in boulder this weekend

Photo Courtesy Jeff and Paige

When: December 20, 2017

Where: Boulder JCC, 6007 Oreg Ave, Boulder, CO 80303

Time: 4:15 – 5PM

Cost: $10 per child, $5 for Adults, Children under 2 are FREE

Join the Boulder Jewish Community Center for an interactive musical celebration of Hanukkah with Jeff and Paige! With elaborate costumes and song, Jeff and Paige use storytelling to explore Hanukkah and celebrate its many traditions. This a family-friendly event, and all ages are welcome!

Christmas Revels: An Irish Celebration of the Winter Solstice

boulder holiday events

Photo Courtesy Rocky Mountain Revels

When: December 22 – December 27, 2017

Where: Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut St, Boulder, Colorado 80302

Time: Times vary, see schedule here.

Cost: $20 – $28. Tickets available here.

Celebrate the season through music, dance, and drama with the Rocky Mountain Revels. An eagerly awaited holiday tradition, The Christmas Revels returns with a show steeped in Irish music, dance and story-telling. This spirited chorus of adults and children will capture your hearts and set the stage for the holidays! This year’s Christmas Revels will draw you into the celebration with audience sing-alongs, Mummer’s Play and Lord of the Dance. Popular local Irish musicians and award winning step dancers set your blood pumping and your heart singing!

Boulder's Best Spots Guides Lifestyle

Dog-Friendly Things to Do in Boulder

August 26, 2017
national dog day

It’s pretty great to be a dog in Boulder. Colorado canines enjoy everything that life could possibly offer — access to super fun dog parks, the very best hiking, great swimming spots, as well as more relaxing activities like hanging with their human pals at the local brewery. I don’t know about your dog, but mine assumes he is invited everywhere I’m going, and he is almost always right! For National Dog Day, I put together a list of my favorite things to do in and around Boulder with my best furry friend.

#1 Hike One of Boulder’s Beautiful Trails

Dogs are at their happiest outside, exploring the world. Boulder has a ton of amazing options for hikes — here are two of my favorites. The Tenderfoot Trail, a meandering, easy Boulder hike, perfect for enjoying some time outdoors with your dog of any age or ability. Totaling just a little under 2 miles there and back, this trail gains only 345 feet of elevation, and boasts amazing mountain views, as well as beautiful wildflowers. If your dog craves more of a challenge, Kohler Mesa Trail is a 4.1 mile loop trail located near Boulder, Colorado. A moderately difficult hike, this trail starts with a steep elevation climb, then backs off with an easier trail. With any hiking, be sure to bring plenty of water and a bowl to keep your pup hydrated and happy!

#2 Take Your Best Friend to the Park

dogs in boulder

Boulder offers four dog parks around town, there is sure to be one near you! East Boulder Dog ParkFoothills Dog Park & Valmont Dog Park all have separate areas for small and large breed dogs to meet up, play and have a fantastic time! There is also a fourth park, Howard Heuston Dog Park that is available to dogs with voice and sight control tags. For more information on the dog parks, click here. For information regarding voice and sight control tags, click here.

#3 Bring Your Furry Buddy to a Brewery

Photo Courtesy Boulder Beer Company

Many breweries in and around Boulder are dog-friendly! Avery Brewing is known for it’s dog-friendly patio seating, great service (wait staff will bring your dog a bowl of water!), as well as world-class craft brews. Boulder Beer offers outdoor seating for patrons with furry friends as well as a “dog door” to access the outdoor area. They are known for taking care of furry customers with a nice bowl of water, as well as offering their human friends delicious food and fresh beer. Outside of Boulder, 4 Noses Brewing in Broomfield is known for it’s dog-friendly tasting room. Since no food is served at the brewery, dogs are allowed inside! Not to worry, if you get hungry, there is almost always a food truck available (food truck schedule here). The brewery also offers incredible craft brews, spacious outdoor seating and close proximity to a public indoor dog pool, pet spa, pet supply shop and animal hospital.

#4 Take Your Dog Swimming

dogs in boulder

My dog hates the water, but for some dogs — water is absolute heaven! There are a handful of places to take your pup for a swim in and around Boulder. At the East Boulder Dog Park, there is a small pond where dogs are permitted to take a dip. West Lake at Twin Lakes in Gunbarrel (right across the street from Avery Brewing!) is a local favorite, a nice spot for both a hike and a swim. After Labor Day during the off season, Boulder Reservoir allows dogs to swim at the South Shore. Until then, check out nearby Coot Lake, which always allows dogs.

Happy National Dog Day!