One of Boulder’s closest suburbs, Lafayette is loved by its residents for it’s small town feel, fun community events, local dining and shopping options as well as its many parks. In 2019, Lafayette was named the first “Bird City” in Colorado by the Environment for the Americas for the city’s focus on conservation, education and preservation of local birds and their habitats. Lafayette’s public schools are part of Colorado’s most sought after districts, Boulder Valley School District. Lafayette’s public schools are highly rated not only by parents, but by teachers, paying teachers the highest salaries in the state. Buying a home in Lafayette is more affordable than purchasing real estate in nearby Boulder, making the city particularly desirable. There are many reasons to love Lafayette, Colorado, here are our top 8:
#1 Old Town Lafayette
The heart of Lafayette, Old Town is filled with local dining, shopping and entertainment, as well as being home to many of Lafayette’s community events. At the center of Old Town is Festival Plaza, where local events are held and kids gather to enjoy the fountains on summer days. Along Public Road, the downtown features boutique shops, as well as coffee shops and international restaurants. Stop at Eats & Sweets for their famous banana bread ice cream sandwich or a chocolate shake. Learn something new at the Miners Museum, showcasing the history of coal mining in Lafayette, complete with artifacts, photos and a hands-on learning space for children. See a show at the Mary Miller Theater, where the Theater Company of Lafayette puts on regular live performances.
#2 Waneka Lake
Waneka Lake Park is more than just a park, it is a community gathering place, a wildlife refuge and a hot spot for recreational activities. Walking paths surround the lake, where you can get a glimpse of Colorado’s native birds. Kids love the huge playground that has equipment for every age group. A summertime favorite, locals rent colorful paddle boats at Waneka Lake Park‘s Boathouse to take out on the lake.
#3 Lafayette Events
Lafayette hosts a ton of fun community events every year, celebrating diversity, healthy lifestyle, Colorado produce and more. Every year, Lafayette celebrates the life and legacy of Cesar Chavez and other civil rights heroes with musical and cultural performances. The Lafayette Peach Festival celebrates the world famous Palisade, Colorado peaches by offering over 30,000 pounds of everything peach: bags of peaches, peach pies, peach cobbler and peach smoothies. Another unique festival, The Lafayette Oatmeal Festival, promotes a healthy lifestyle with an oatmeal breakfast, 5k walk/run and an opportunity to donate blood. To read about more of Lafayette’s community events, click here.
#4 Lafayette Old Town Farmer’s Market
Lafayette partners with Boulder County Farmers Markets to host a weekly, producer-only farmers market beginning every spring and summer in Old Town. The market offers a wide variety of locally grown produce and packaged goods, as well as live music, a beer garden, chef demonstrations, kids’ activities, and more.
#5 Arts & Culture
Lafayette’s investment in local arts is strong, with the Lafayette Cultural Arts Commission at the helm. The city offers arts education grants, a youth poetry contest, teen nights, musical arts opportunities and more. Lafayette hosts Art Night Out, a dynamic monthly arts festival held in Old Town May through September. At Art Night Out, the community comes together to enjoy live music, fun flash mobs, art demonstrations, street performers and more.
#6 The Great Outdoors Waterpark
Latayette recently opened the only water park in Boulder County, The Great Outdoors Waterpark. The park features a thrilling 21-foot high double flume slides, a zero-depth entry leisure pool, lazy river and fun play structures perfect for smaller children. This is the #1 reason my kids love Lafayette, Colorado!
#7 WOW Children’s Museum
The World of Wonder Children’s Museum in Old Town Lafayette is a favorite for young children. Designed for interactive learning and play, WOW features a light & music room, an art room, a little clinic, a sandbox, a theater area complete with costumes and stage and so much more! Kids can spend hours exploring this fun museum.
#8 Bob L. Burger Recreation Center
Lafayette’s state of the art recreation center has everything from an adult fitness facility and indoor track to a fun, kid friendly pool with a two story slide! Bob L. Burger Rec Center offers fitness classes, gymnastics, basketball, senior activities and more.