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30+ Things to Do in Boulder in 2018

January 11, 2018
Things to do in Boulder 2018

 2018 is promising to be a year full of AWESOME! With over 30 events celebrating every season, check out festivals and fairs, games and races, and fun for all. Happening this year in and around Boulder. Happy 2018!

Estes Park Winter Festival

things to do in boulder in 2018

Photo Courtesy Estes Park, CO Facebook Page Photo By Ron Thompson

When: January 13 – 14, 2018

Where: Estes Park Events Complex, 1209 Manford Ave, Estes Park, CO 80517

Time: 10AM – 5PM

Cost: 21+ with Tasting $30, Ages 10+ $15, Ages 4-9 $5, 3 & Under FREE

Celebrate the winter season in Estes Park at the Estes Park Winter Festival weekend! Sip a variety of beers, browse retail vendors, enjoy live entertainment and more at the Estes Park Winter Festival, Martin Luther King, Jr. Weekend 2018 at the new Estes Park Events Complex!

Lafayette Oatmeal Festival

January in Boulder

When: Saturday, January 13, 2018

Where: Downtown Lafayette, N Public Rd, Lafayette, CO 80026

Time: 7:30AM – 12PM

Cost: Oatmeal Breakfast $8 adults, $6 Youth 3 – 12, $6 Seniors 60+, Kids 2 & Under FREE. 5K Race $20 Adults (13 – 59), $15 Youth (3-12) & Seniors (60+). Register for 5K here.

22nd Annual Lafayette Oatmeal Festival is a popular family event focusing on healthy lifestyle. A unique festival including an Oatmeal Breakfast, 5K Walk/Run and a Ninja Warrior Course. Oatmeal Breakfast will be held at Pioneer Elementary School. 5K Walk / Run starts promptly at 9:30 am at Colorado Music Festival & Center for Musical Arts. Dogs on leashes only. Check out the Ninja Warrior Course at Bob L. Burger Rec. Center. 2 Ninja Warrior Courses for all ages. For more information, click here.

Old Man Winter Bike Rally & Run

things to do in boulder in 2018

Photo Courtesy Old Man Winter Rally

When: Sunday, February 11, 2018

Where: Sandstone Park, Lyons, CO 80540

Time: 10AM – 5PM

Cost: $45 – $85, Register here.

Bundle up and get ready to run and/or ride some of Colorado’s best roads and trails at the Oskar Blues Brewery Old Man Winter Rally. Riders – choose 50km or 100km of dirt, snow, sweat, and beer rolling through the world-famous cycling mecca of Boulder County. Runners can crush the 5.4-mile run course, a fast, flat “Best of Lyons” tour, that integrates singletrack trails, red rock canyon, and gravel paths. Everybody gets luxury aid stations with real food and hydration, a hot meal and a cold beer at the finish line, and a killer post-ride party with great music, a fire pit, and a massive raffle. To register, click here.

Boulder International Film Festival

things to do in Boulder in 2018

Photo Courtesy Boulder International Film Festival

When: February 22 – 25, 2018

Where: Venues around Boulder, schedule available February 2 here.

Time: Schedule available February 2 here.

Cost: Some events are FREE, Film tickets $14+, Festival passes starting at $375, more information here.

The Boulder International Film Festival brings films and filmmakers from around the world to Boulder for a four-day celebration of the art of cinema in February. Featuring a wide variety of films from local, national, and international filmmakers, including many that have gone on to significant box-office success and multiple Oscar nominations. Adding to the BIFF experience are events featuring nationally renowned chefs, filmmaker happy hours, multiple opening night Galas, talented musicians and much more. The Festival attracts more than 25,000 film enthusiasts, media and industry each year.

Frozen Dead Guy Days

Things to do in Boulder 2018

Photo Courtesy Frozen Dead Guy Days

When: March 9 – 11, 2018

Where: In and around Nederland, see festival map here.

Time: See full festival schedule here.

Cost: Some events are FREE to watch, Music tents $15 for weekend pass, Blue Ball $20/person, VIP passes $150. For VIP ticket info, click here. For Blue Ball tickets, click here.

Known as one of the most unique and quirky festivals in America, Frozen Dead Guy Days takes place in the mountain town of Nederland, just thirty minutes from Boulder. The festival, celebrating its 17th year, features three days of frosty merriment including 30 live bands in heated super tents and outrageous events like coffin racing, costumed polar plunging, the Blue Ball, frozen t-shirt contests and much more. The home-grown frosty fest pays homage to Bredo Morstol, who is frozen in a state of suspended animation and housed in a Tuff Shed on dry ice high above Nederland. Thousands of adventurous, life enthusiasts come to participate in Colorado’s “most frigidly fun festival” and view the events along with local, national and international media and entertainment.

Estes Park Whiskey Warm Up

things to do in Boulder 2018

Photo Courtesy Distillery 291

When: March 3, 2018

Where: George Hix Riverside Plaza, 184 W Elkhorn Ave, Estes Park, CO 80517

Time: 1PM – 4PM

Cost: TBA

The Whiskey Warm Up celebrates the winter tradition of warming up from the inside out. Layer up to sip on selections of Colorado whiskeys from a variety of distilleries while cozying up near of one of the fire pits outside in the beautiful George Hix Riverside Plaza. Sway to the toe-tapping sounds of live music, learn more about the styles, tastes and smells of whiskey from a local distillery’s knowledgeable educators, who will be presenting live snapshot seminars throughout the event including Elkins presenting on the challenges of high altitude distilling and how all their materials are sourced from Colorado. Enjoy a local cigar shop selling products and demonstrating cigar rolling, to enjoy alongside your favorite whiskey.

Boulder Arts Week

things to do in boulder 2018

Photo Courtesy Boulder Arts Week

When: March 30 – April 7, 2018

Where: Various locations around Boulder.

Time: See full schedule here.

Cost: Costs vary depending on event, click here for details.

The 5th annual Boulder Arts Week will take place on March 30 to April 7, 2018, at venues throughout the city. Celebrating Boulder artists, the week is Boulder’s only large-scale, inclusive celebration of our community’s vibrant arts and cultural offerings, promoting and celebrating our city’s thriving creativity. Join Boulder to celebrate the city’s excellent artists and arts and culture offerings such as art walks, First Fridays, exhibitions, performances, dance, music, theater, public art, artist demonstrations, lectures, readings, and workshops.

Tulip Fairy and Elf Festival

things to do in Boulder in 2018

Photo Courtesy Downtown Boulder

When: Sunday, April 8, 2018

Where: Pearl Street Mall, 1942 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80302

Time: 1PM – 5PM

Cost: FREE

Spring officially arrives in Downtown Boulder with the Tulip Fairy and Elf Festival. Festival goers can witness the vibrant Tulip Fairy, along with pint-sized fairies and elves, parade around the Pearl Street Mall ‘welcoming the tulips’. This beloved springtime tradition in Boulder features special events and activities for girls and boys and celebrate the more than 15,000 tulips that adorn the world renowned Pearl Street Mall throughout the spring season. The event includes live stage performances, face painting, free activities for children and more!

Conference on World Affairs

things to do in Boulder in 2018

Photo Courtesy Conference on World Affairs

When: April 9 – 13, 2018

Where: University of Colorado Boulder

Time: See full schedule here.

Cost: FREE

The Conference on World Affairs is a year-round unit of the University of Colorado Boulder, offering events without admission fees to the Boulder community, students, and the public. The most popular event is CWA Week, taking place in early April each year. CWA Week is a festival of ideas featuring 200 panels, 100 speakers and performers, over 5 days, attracting more than 70,000 in cumulative attendance each year. The Conference also present the CWA Speaker Series where thought leaders in their field join together for a campus visit with an evening discussion open to all.

Erie Town Fair and Balloon Festival

Photo Courtesy of Justin Reed, Erie Chamber of Commerce Website

When: May 18 – 19, 2018

Where: Balloon Launches: Colorado National Golf Club, 2700 Vista Parkway, Erie
Town Fair & Balloon Glow: Historic Downtown Erie & Coal Creek Park, 575 Kattell, Erie

Time: 10AM – 9PM

Cost: FREE

22nd Annual Erie Town Fair and Balloon Festival hosts over 200 craft and food vendors; performances on stage at Coal Creek Ball Park offer a variety of entertainment by local groups, carnival games and hot air balloons. Hot air balloons launch at 6:15 am on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Colorado National Golf Club, 2700 Vista Parkway, Erie. Saturday, May 19, the Town Fair will host vendors from 10:00 am – 4:00pm at Coal Creek Park. Garage Rats Car Club will be hosting the Car Show. Don’t miss the fabulous Balloon Glow at 9:15pm, as well as fireworks to conclude the day’s festivities.

Boulder Creek Festival

things to do in boulder in 2018

Photo Courtesy Boulder Creek Events

When: May 26 – 28, 2018

Where: Boulder along the Boulder Creek corridor, extending from Broadway to 14th Street (west to east), between Canyon Blvd. and Arapahoe Ave. (north and south) Click here for a detailed map.

Time: TBD

Cost: FREE

For over thirty years, the Boulder Creek Festival® has been the unofficial kickoff to summer in Boulder. The Memorial Day weekend festival includes three days of festivities featuring a large variety of events, activities, food and entertainment unique to the Boulder community. Featuring nine separate event areas with 500 vendors showcasing everything from community arts and crafts to healthier alternatives and technology while a spectrum of music and dance is performed on three performance stages. The festival also features carnival rides and food and beverage vendors.


things to do in Boulder in 2018

Photo Courtesy BolderBOULDER

When: Monday, May 28, 2018

Where: Race begins at 30th & Walnut

Time: 6AM – 1PM

Cost: $35 – $80, Register here.

BolderBOULDER is one of the largest and most highly acclaimed 10Ks in the world. Whether you want to run or enjoy watching, BolderBOULDER is a ton of fun! Almost 1.2 million runners, joggers, walkers and spectators of all ages have gathered over the years to create a spectacle that defies description. Olympic medal winners and hopefuls, grandmothers and kids, running enthusiasts and one-race-a-year guests from all over the world come together at the foot of the Rocky Mountains to form one of the sport’s truly unique events. Each year BolderBOULDER hosts 50,000+ participants and 100,000+ spectators throughout the course for what we like to call the biggest and best Memorial Day celebration on earth.

Burning Can Festival at Lyons Outdoor Games

What to do with Kids in Boulder this Weekend

Photo Courtesy Oskar Blues Facebook Page

When: June 2-3, 2018

Where:  Bohn Park, 199 2nd Ave, Lyons, CO 80540

Time: TBA

Cost: $5 – $65 + Cost of optional extras. Tickets can be purchased here.

What’s The Burning Can Festival at Lyons Outdoor Games? Adventure, Music, Craft Beer, & Rocky Mountain Revelry. Oskar Blues & the Town of Lyons have combined two festivals to create the best weekend of the year. The Burning Can Festival promises to be the perfect weekend for lovers of adventure, beer, live music, and camping. To start the day, you can take on a trail running relay with your best buds, take a mountain bike on the local single track, or laugh with the kids in a huge KidZone. As 60+ breweries start pouring their beers, festivalgoers can check out dog jumping, a slackline competition, or BMX dirt jumping while enjoying over 200 canned craft beers. The mission of Burning Can at Lyons Outdoor Games is to raise funds and awareness for the Can’d Aid Foundation and the Town of Lyons Park, Recreation and Cultural Department and to keep Lyons growing as a vibrant, unique and outdoor-oriented Colorado community.


things to do in boulder in 2018

Photo Courtesy Kineticists

When: June 2018

Where: Union Reservoir, 461 Co Rd 26, Longmont, CO 80504

Time: TBA

Cost: Spectators: $10/carload, $2 to walk/bike in. Racers: $40 per Team plus $10 for each Team Member.

The Kinetics Sculpture Race features teams dressed in zany costumes on human-powered sculptures racing across land and water! This all-day family-friendly festival at the Beach of Union Reservoir with music, entertainment, food & beer garden, kid’s recycled raft race, solstice swim, dragon boats, and burn sculpture at dusk on the lake! Produced by Kineticists.Org and The City of Longmont.

Colorado Shakespeare Festival

what to do in boulder in august

Photo Courtesy Colorado Shakespeare Festival

When: June – August 2018

Where: Mary Rippon Outdoor TheatreUniversity Theatre

Time: Times vary, check schedule here.

Cost: Starts at $20

The Colorado Shakespeare Festival was founded in 1958 and is still going strong. Held every summer at the picturesque Mary Rippon Outdoor Theatre and the indoor University Theatre on the University of Colorado Boulder campus, this festival is consistently among the most critically acclaimed of its kind in the nation. CSF’s award-winning education program also presents classes, workshops and camps for all ages throughout the year. This summer’s performances include Love’s Labour’s Lost, Richard III, Edward III and more.

Ralphie’s Independence Day Blast

When: July 4, 2018

Where: CU’s Folsom Field, 2400 Colorado Ave, Boulder, CO 80302

Time: Gates open at 8PM

Cost: FREE

Ralphie’s Independence Day Blast has been a Boulder tradition since 1941. Crowds of thousands gather each year at CU’s Folsom Field to enjoy Boulder’s largest fireworks display and local entertainment such as Open Space and Mountain Parks Rangers, the Mad Hops skip rope team, the Monarch High School Marching Band, School of Rock, and of course, Ralphie. This event is hosted by the associates of WK Real Estate, the University of Colorado at Boulder (CU) and the City of Boulder. Media Sponsors include the Daily Camera, KBCO and Boulder Channel 8.

46th RockyGrass

things to do in boulder in 2018

Photo Courtesy Planet Bluegrass

When: July 27 – 29, 2018

Where: Planet Bluegrass, 500 W Main St, Lyons, Colorado 80540

Time: 9AM – 11PM

Cost: $70+, Tickets are already on sale here.

Every year in late July, Lyons becomes the center of the bluegrass universe as generations of legends and future-legends and Festivarians converge under the red rock cliffs of the St. Vrain River at Planet Bluegrass for RockyGrass. This year’s lineup includes Hot Rize, Sam Bush Bluegrass Band, Steep Canyon Rangers and many more. Bluegrass lovers who have kids can rejoice — kids 12 and under enter for FREE!  Rockygrass is super family-friendly, offering a kids area to include a variety of fun, planet-minded activities throughout the day, including crafts, slacklining, a musical instrument petting zoo, kids music performances, knot tying, and much more.

Boulder County Fair

When: August 3 – 12, 2018

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

Time: 10AM – 10PM (For carnival hours, click here.)

Cost: FREE (Parking is also FREE.)

Celebrating its 149th year, the Boulder County Fair, located at the Boulder County Fairgrounds in Longmont, is the longest running county fair in Colorado. The Boulder County Fair offers an entertaining and educational experience for the whole family with fun-filled events and activities like carnival rides and games, yummy food, music, demo derby and rodeos. For more information and complete schedule, click here.

Lafayette Peach Festival

august in boulder

Photo Courtesy Lafayette Chamber of Commerce

When: August 18, 2018

Where: Old Town Lafayette on Public Road

Time: 9AM – 4PM

Cost: FREE

The Lafayette Peach Festival centers around world famous all natural Palisade, Colorado peaches. Enjoy peach pies, peach cobbler and peach smoothies. Food vendors, crafters, antique dealers along with some of the finest artists from the Front Range and Western States will be showcased. Children’s activities, live entertainment and music throughout the day. Over 30,000 pounds of Certified Organic Peaches from Morton’s Orchard’sTate Orchards and Red Fox Run Orchards in Palisade, CO. will be available in 4 locations along Public Rd. Free face painting by Face Fiesta & balloon sculpting all day, 9:00am-4:00pm! Bonfils Bloodmobile will be holding a Blood Drive from 9:30am – 3:30pm. Look for the Bonfils Bus on S. Public road near Kimbark Street.

Boulder Creek Hometown Festival

what to do with kids in boulder

Photo Courtesy Boulder Creek Events

When: September 1 – 3, 2018

Where: Boulder along the Boulder Creek corridor, extending from Broadway to 14th Street (west to east), between Canyon Blvd. and Arapahoe Ave. (north and south) Click here for a detailed map.

Time: TBA

Cost: FREE

Just as the Boulder Creek Festival® kicks off the summer in Boulder County, the Boulder Creek Hometown Festival is the perfect bookend to close out the summer event season. This event features arts & crafts exhibitors in Central Park, live performances at the Bandshell, the Hometown Fest 5K, a Classic Car & Motorcycle Show, the Rocky Mountain Pizza & Pints Festival, a food court & beer garden, and much more! Don’t miss out on the festivities of this community event each Labor Day weekend!

Superior Chili Fest

things to do in boulder in september

Photo Courtesy Superior, Colorado Facebook Page

When: September 2018

Where: Community Park, Community Park Dr, Superior, CO 80027, United States

Time: TBA

Cost: Chili Fest entrance is FREE, chili tasting cups are $5.

The 2018 Chili Fest is back for its 18th year, this year’s Chili Fest features great chili samples and food, local vendors, a FREE Kids Zone area and more! Please note that chili samples are generously provided by the cooks and are distributed first come-first served. Chili tasting cups will be available for purchase – BACK AGAIN THIS YEAR for $5 you may purchase a reusable chili tasting cup with attached spoon – eat all the chili you want and take home the commemorative cup!

Longs Peak Scottish-Irish Highland Festival

what to do with kids this weekend in boulder

Photo Courtesy Longs Peak Scottish-Irish Highland Festival

When: September 6-9, 2018

Where: Stanley Park Fairgrounds, 1209 Manford Ave, Estes Park, CO 80517

Time: 9AM – 5PM

Cost: $29/adult, $10/Kids 11-16 years old, $5/Kids 5-10 years old. $85 for 3-day passes. Tickets available here.

Ages: All Ages

Celebrate your Scottish or Irish heritage by participating in the Long’s Peak Scottish-Irish Highland Festival in Estes Park, Colorado! The festival features athletic games and pipe bands, as well as jousting and dance competitions. In addition, various Celtic rock, folk, and traditional musicians will be performing. 80 participating Scottish and Irish clans will be participating in the games this year. Pageantry and patriotism, spirit and spectacle, talent and teamwork all combine in this awesome display of music and might. Kids will love the games, the parade, the dog show and the amazing food!

Louisville Oktoberfest

Things to do in Boulder in October

When: September 28 – 30, 2018

Where: Old Town Louisville, 916 Main St, Louisville, CO 80027

Time: Friday 2PM – 7PM, Saturday 11AM – 7PM, Sunday 11AM – 4PM

Cost: Early Tickets $5, buy tickets here. Kids 17 & Under FREE.

Louisville’s Oktoberfest is back with its authentic Bavarian experience featuring traditional music & dancing, amazing food including pretzels, schnitzel, potato soup and more! The festival will also host a kids area with lots of fun activities like a jumpy castle, gymnastics, arts & crafts and jump ropes. For more information, click here.

Munchkin Masquerade

Things to do in Boulder in October

Photo Courtesy Downtown Boulder

When: October 31, 2018

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

Time: 3PM – 6PM

Cost: FREE

Each year, Downtown Boulder is invaded by thousands of tiny ghosts & goblins, dinosaurs & dragons, fairies & princes, super heroes and animals of every size trick-or-treating along Pearl Street for the Munchkin Masquerade. There will be over 100 places handing out treats along the Pearl Street Mall.

Boulder Mountain Handmade Market

things to do in Boulder in November

Photo Courtesy Boulder Mountain Handmade

When: November 2018

Where: Boulder Elks Lodge & Pool, 3975 28th St, Boulder, Colorado 80301

Time: 10AM – 4PM

Cost: FREE

Shop the Boulder Mountain Handmade Market that gives back to volunteer firefighting to benefit the Boulder Mountain Fire Protection District Auxiliary! Boulder Mountain Handmade features over 60 artisans in its market, plus Boulder’s best bake sale, live music and fire truck tours. Free admission, plenty of parking.

Left Hand Brewing’s Nitro Fest

things to do in Boulder in November

Photo Courtesy Left Hand Brewing Company

When: TBD November, 2018

Where: Johnson Storage & Moving Co, 900 S Sunset St, Longmont, CO 80501

Time: TBD

Cost: TBD

Left Hand Brewing is hosting the 5th annual Nitro Fest. America’s swankiest nitro-exclusive beer festival returns with 40+ craft breweries from across the world pouring super smooth nitro beers alongside wild circus performers and amazing live music. Costumes strongly suggested. 40+ breweries from across the US, Ireland, the UK, China and Korea pouring super smooth nitro beers, inside a heated tent, circus acts, fire, wicked music and wild costumes make for “the most bizarre beer festival in the circuit”. Event proceeds will benefit the Left Hand Brewing Foundation.

Longmont Turkey Trot

things to do in Boulder in November

Photo Courtesy Longmont Recreation Services

When: November 2018

Where: Altona Middle School, 4600 Clover Basin Dr, Longmont, Colorado 80503

Time: TBD

Cost: TBD

Gobble, Gobble, Gobble, GO! Sign up to run one of the most scenic, fastest, 10k or 2 mile courses around, the Longmont Turkey Trot! 10K course also has a Wheelchair Division. Don’t just run for the fun of it, all of the Longmont Turkey Trot proceeds benefit the City of Longmont Youth Scholarship Fund! For full information, click here.

St. Nick on the Bricks

things to do in Boulder in November

Photo Courtesy Downtown Boulder

When: Saturdays throughout December

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

Time: 11AM – 2PM

Cost: FREE

Saturdays in December, 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.

CU Holiday Festival

boulder holiday events

Photo Courtesy CU Presents

When: December 2018

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

Time: TBD

Cost: TBD

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, 2018

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

Time: TBD

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 holiday parade down Main Street.

Colorado's Best Spots Lifestyle

Colorado’s National Parks – National Park Week

April 13, 2017
National Park Week

National Park Week begins this weekend! To celebrate, the National Parks Service is granting free admission to ALL National Parks for the weekend of April 15-16 and April 22-23. Take an adventure by visiting one of Colorado’s four amazing and diverse national parks. I’ve put together a guide for all of Colorado’s National Parks below!

#1 Rocky Mountain National Park

Nymph Lake, Photo Courtesy of Rocky Mountain National Park

Nymph Lake, Photo Courtesy of Rocky Mountain National Park

A Colorado favorite, Rocky Mountain National Park is a great escape into nature. The park encompasses 415 square miles of natural settings including some of Colorado’s highest mountains, lush evergreen forests and fascinating wildlife. Stop by the Alpine Visitor Center to pick up information on the park. RMNP offers many hiking trails for people of all ages and abilities. A favorite, accessible trail for people of all ages is Bear Lake – the trail loops around beautiful Bear Lake, with gorgeous views of Hallet Peak. More adventurous hikers will enjoy trails like Alberta Falls and Nymph Lake. RMNP offers great camping options, but these sites are extremely popular – be sure to book in advance! During the summer season (after Memorial weekend), Trail Ridge Road opens to drivers, a famed scenic byway at the top of the continental divide. The drive is not for the faint of heart with its steep inclines and hairpin turns.

RMNP is just over an hour-drive from Boulder. Estes Park, located just east of RMNP offers plenty of shopping, lodging and dining for park visitors. Entrance Fee to Rocky Mountain National Park is usually $20/car per day, $30/car for a 7-day pass. Annual Passes are $60. The weekends of April 15/16 and April 22/23 admission is FREE.

#2 Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve

National Park Week

Photo Courtesy Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve

The Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve is home to the tallest dunes in North America. The park offers endless opportunities for fun and adventure through hiking, sand sledding, splashing in Medano Creek, wildlife watching, and more! Enjoy the views of Colorado’s beautiful Sangre de Cristo Mountains from this exquisite and unique Colorado ecosystem. Favorite hikes include the dunes themselves, Mosca Pass Trail and Zapata Falls. The Park offers campgrounds from $20/per night. Reservations can be made here.

The Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve is just over a four hour-drive from Boulder. Entrance Fee is usually $15/car. The weekends of April 15/16 and April 22/23 admission is FREE.

#3 Mesa Verde National Park

National Park Week

Cliff Palace, Photo Courtesy Mesa Verde National Park

Mesa Verde National Park offers a remarkable glimpse into the lives of the Ancestral Pueblo people of Southwestern Colorado, who made Mesa Verde their home for over 700 years (AD 550 to 1300). Mesa Verde National Park protects nearly 5,000 known archeological sites, including 600 cliff dwellings. Many of these beautifully preserved dwellings are available only for observation during the spring season. There are many hikes and scenic drives to enjoy these fascinating views. Stop by the Mesa Verde Visitor Center to inquire about seasonal openings, purchase tickets and learn more about the history of Mesa Verde.

The park also houses the Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum, featuring dioramas, exhibits of prehistoric artifacts and more. If you are interested in taking a tour through a dwelling, the Balcony House is open during the spring. A ticket purchase is required (available at the Colorado Welcome Center in Cortez or at the park’s Visitor Center) and tours begin every hour between the hours of 10am – 4pm. Tickets are $5/person. The Balcony House involves a climb up at 32-foot ladder, as well as descending a 100-foot staircase. As it can be strenuous, it is not recommended for those with heart or respiratory problems.

Mesa Verde is a seven-hour drive from Boulder. Camping and lodging options available. Entrance Fee is usually $15/car. The weekends of April 15/16 and April 22/23 admission is FREE.

#4 Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

National Park Week

Photo Courtesy Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

Described as a vertical wilderness, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is an expansive space featuring steep cliffs, craggy spices and breathtaking formations. Adventurers can enjoy the Black Canyon’s stunning wilderness in so many ways – scenic driving, hiking the inner canyon, kayaking, fishing, rock climbing and more!  Stay in one of the park’s campgrounds or in nearby Crested Butte or Montrose. Some of the roads are open seasonally as weather permits, be sure to check in at the South Rim Visitor Center for more information.

The Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is just over 5 hours-drive from Boulder. Entrance Fee is usually $15/car. Annual Pass $30. The weekends of April 15/16 and April 22/23 admission is FREE.

Happy National Parks Week!

Boulder's Best Spots Lifestyle

Boulder Breweries – National Beer Day 2017 [Interactive Map]

April 7, 2017
Boulder Breweries National Beer Day

Boulder will rejoice on Friday, April 7th, 2017 – National Beer Day! This national holiday celebrates the day President Franklin Roosevelt took the first step toward ending Prohibition. On that fateful day – April 7, 1933 – the Cullen–Harrison Act was enacted after having been signed into law by FDR earlier that year. The law allowed Americans to brew and sell beer, so long as it remained less than 4.0% alcohol by volume. For the first time in 13 years, Americans were able to lawfully purchase beer once again.

To celebrate National Beer Day 2017, I’ve put together a guide of Boulder’s locally-owned breweries. Cheers!

Boulder Breweries [Interactive Map]


Asher Brewing Company

Boulder Breweries

Photo Courtesy of Asher Brewing Company Facebook Page

Asher Brewing Company, located at 4699 Nautilus Ct S,, is Colorado‘s first all-organic craft brewery. Asher offers a laid-back atmosphere to enjoy its unique and tasty brews. Call Asher at 303-530-1381 to schedule a free tour.

Avery Brewing Company

Boulder Breweries

Photo Courtesy of Avery Brewing Facebook Page

Avery Brewing Company, located at 4910 Nautilus Ct N, is a family-owned craft brewery. Avery features innovative beers and brews over 40 different beers a year! Excellent brewpub menu & dog-friendly patio. Tours offered weekdays at 4PM, Saturday at 2 & 3:30PM, Sunday at 2PM. Reserve your tour spot here.

Boulder Beer

Boulder Breweries

Photo Courtesy of Boulder Beer Co. Facebook Page

Boulder Beer / Wilderness Pub, located at 2880 Wilderness Pl, is famous for being Colorado’s first craft brewery, offering a variety of hand crafted beers as well as a full menu restaurant and pub. Boulder Beer Company produces flavorful beers, including Hazed Hoppy Session Ale, Mojo IPA, Shake Chocolate Porter as well as many other award winning brews. Brewery tours offered weekdays at 2PM, Saturdays 2 & 4PM, Sundays at 2 PM.

BRU Handbuilt Ales

Boulder Breweries

Photo Courtesy of BRU Handbuilt Facebook Page

BRU Handbuilt Ales, located at 5290 Arapahoe Ave, is a sunny, modern brewpub dispensing creative craft beers & inventive American fare in industrial digs. Open daily for lunch and dinner and all day happy hour every Tuesday with 14 rotating ales on tap.

Cellar West Artisan Ales

Boulder Breweries

Photo Courtesy of Cellar West Brewing Facebook Page

Cellar West Artisan Ales, located at 1001 Lee Hill Dr #10, recently opened its doors in North Boulder. Cellar West is open for pours, merchandise and to-go bottle sales every Saturday and Sunday from 1 – 8PM.

Fate Brewing Company

Boulder Breweries

Photo Courtesy of Fate Brewing Company Facebook Page

FATE Brewing Company, located at 1600 38th St, is Boulder’s first brew-bistro and a local favorite to experience chef-inspired, gourmet creations with unique, handcrafted microbrews. FATE features local ingredients on the lunch, brunch, and dinner menus as well as 30 taps feature house drafts and rotating guest beer.

Finkel & Garf Brewing Company

Boulder Breweries

Photo Courtesy of Finkel & Garf Facebook Page

Finkel & Garf Brewing Company located at 5455 Spine Rd, Ste A, is a Boulder favorite for fantastic beer, friendly service and a fun, colorful atmosphere. It’s a great place to grab a beer, let the kids play and even enjoy some tacos. The brewery sells a variety of snack foods and has a ton of games on hand that are fun for kids and adults alike. A new beer is tapped every Wednesday at 5PM!

J Wells Brewery

Boulder Breweries

Photo Courtesy of J Wells Brewery Facebook Page

J Wells Brewery, the smallest nano brewery in Boulder, is located in a garage at 2516 49th St, Ste 5. J Wells is a tiny brewery & taproom offering tastes of British- & West Coast-inspired beers. Open Mon-Friday 4-9 PM, Saturdays 2-9PM.

Kettle and Spoke Brewery

Boulder Breweries

Photo Courtesy of Kettle & Spoke Facebook Page

Kettle and Spoke Brewery, located at 2500 47th St #12, is a brand new Boulder brewery located in the Green Guru HQ and producing tasty local handcrafted small batch beers. Tasting room open Thursday 5-8pm, Friday 5-9pm, Saturday 2-9pm, and Sunday 2-5pm.

Mountain Sun/Southern Sun Pub & Brewery

Boulder Breweries

Photo Courtesy of Mountain Sun Facebook Page

Mountain Sun Pub & Brewery, located at 1535 Pearl St., and the Southern Sun Pub and Brewery, located at 627 S. Broadway St, offers five-star service, fresh, high quality pub fare and finely crafted brews for affordable prices in an environment that’s comfortable like your living room. Stop by for award-winning beers and excellent food!

New Planet Beer Company

Boulder Breweries

Photo Courtesy of New Planet Facebook Page

New Planet Beer Company, located at 6560 Odell Place, Unit D, is Boulder’s premier source 100% gluten-free and gluten-reduced craft beers. New Planet does not currently have a tasting room, but you can find these gluten-free beers at liquor stores & pubs around boulder by clicking here.

Sanitas Brewing Company

Boulder Breweries

Photo Courtesy of Sanitas Brewing Facebook Page

Sanitas Brewing Company, located at 3550 Frontier Ave, is regarded for their signature blend of tradition and innovation as well as their use of only the finest ingredients. Sanitas’ Tap Room features a rotation of handcrafted beers and tacos from McDevitt Taco Supply. The outdoor patio is ideal for playing bags or bocce ball with friends and enjoying mountain views.

Shine Restaurant & Gathering Place

Boulder Breweries

Photo Courtesy of Shine Restaurant Facebook Page

Shine Restaurant & Gathering Place, located at 2027 13th St, is one of only a handful of women-owned breweries in the country. Shine offers local, organic, nutrient dense, delicious food in a 100% gluten free kitchen.


Twisted Pine Brewing Company

Boulder Breweries

Photo Courtesy of Asher Brewing Company Facebook Page

Twisted Pine Brewing Company, located at 3201 Walnut Street, offers 24 from traditional styles to adventurous creations. Twisted Pine is a a happy hour haven for nearby business people, a sunny patio with a gorgeous view of the Flatirons, a site for graduation and birthday parties, home to some of the best pizza in Boulder.

Upslope Brewing Company

Boulder Breweries

Photo Courtesy of Upslope Brewing Facebook Page

Upslope Brewing Company has two tap rooms located in Flatiron Park at 1898 S Flatiron Crt, and in North Boulder at 1501 Lee Hill Road, Unit #20. Upslope’s brews are the perfect match for Colorado’s active lifestyle, offering superior quality, hand-crafted ales & lagers in cans for the on-the-go beer enthusiast. Tours offered weekly at Flatiron Park on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at 3PM, and at Lee Hill on Friday and Saturday at 4PM. Check Upslope’s website for tap room events like live music, open mics and food truck schedules!

Vindication Brewing Co.

Boulder Breweries

Photo Courtesy of Vindication Brewing Company Facebook Page

Vindication Brewing Co., located in Gunbarrel at 6880 Winchester Circle offers a family friendly community tap room. Using all-natural brewing methods, Vindication features 10 beers on tap. Open daily from 2-9PM.

VisionQuest Brewery

Boulder Breweries

Photo Courtesy of VisionQuest Brewing Company Facebook Page

VisionQuest Brewery, located at 2510 47th St, Suite A2, is a small taproom next door to Boulder Fermentation Supply. If you’re into brewing and want to talk recipes and techniques, this is probably the best place in town to grab a pint.

Walnut Brewery

Boulder Breweries

Photo Courtesy of Walnut Brewery Facebook Page

Walnut Brewery, located in a historic brick warehouse at 1123 Walnut Street is Boulder’s original brewpub. The brewery offers award winning house-brewed beers & pub favorites ranging from burgers to fish ‘n’ chips. Make your reservation here!

West Flanders Brewing Co.

Boulder Breweries

Photo Courtesy of West Flanders Facebook Page

West Flanders Brewing Co., is a Belgian-inspired brewpub located on Boulder’s Pearl Street Mall at 1125 Pearl Street. West Flanders offers over a dozen beers on tap and new American cuisine in a casual atmosphere. Make your reservation here.

Wild Woods Brewery

Boulder Breweries

Photo Courtesy of Wild Woods Facebook Page

Wild Woods Brewery, located at 5460 Conestoga Ct, features beer inspired by the outdoors! Visit the taproom on Tuesdays for all-day happy hour and on Thursdays for new beer releases. Guests are welcome to bring their own food or order in. Dogs welcome on the patio.

Happy National Beer Day! 


Boulder Embraces Winter Storms and Freezing Temps

January 7, 2017
Boulder in Winter

It’s early January and the temps are are in the frigid negatives, but Boulder people don’t cower — they go outside. When we had our first snowstorm here in Boulder, I was more than a little charmed to discover people skiing through North Boulder Park.

Just yesterday, Boulder experienced a major snowstorm, heavy enough to close schools as well as city government buildings. Although Boulder receives snowfall regularly in the winter, these types of closures are a rare occurrence. Today the kids went back to school and as I drove through the streets, here is what I noticed:

Boulder in Winter

Boulder’s Chautauqua Park with Sledding Hill in View

Boulder people bike in the snow — they are cautious but undeterred.


At the park you’ll see kids playing in the snow as cross-country skiers glide past.  And it is awesome.

At Boulder’s scenic Chautauqua Park, people are enjoying themselves —  all bundled up they are hiking, running, walking their dogs and of course — sledding!!

chautauqua sledding

The blanket of snow and the freezing temps will give way to warmer days and sunshine throughout January and February. The snow sticks around only for a couple of days, melting in the Chinook winds. It’s all in the ebb and flow of a Colorado winter — freezing and thawing, the dark and the light.


Boulder's Best Spots

Boulder, CO Indoor Activities: 3 FREE Things to Do With Kids in Boulder this Winter

January 4, 2017

The coldest part of the year is here, but the kids are restless! Boulder is known for its amazing outdoor activities for families in the warmer seasons, but it also offers some great, warm indoor activities that families can enjoy when the air is too cold for comfort. I’ve compiled three fun and FREE! Boulder, CO indoor activities for kids.

#1 CU Museum of Natural History

Photo Courtesy CU Museum of Natural History

The University of Colorado’s Museum of Natural History earned the #1 spot by being fun, educational, interactive AND parent-friendly! The museum offers kid-inspired exhibits (right now — Curious Connections in Nature) and a cute gift shop on the main level. In the lower level, kids will have a great time in the interactive play and learning area. Right outside the play area parents can enjoy a nice, FREE cup of coffee or tea in the museum’s BioLounge with comfortable seats and inviting atmosphere. Family-friendly bathrooms are located upstairs. While there are beautiful staircases in this beautiful, old building, there is also a centrally-located elevator making the museum handicapped and stroller-friendly. Admission is free, donations are accepted. The gift shop offers a fun array of science-inspired items. The museum is open Monday – Friday 9-5, Saturday 9-4 and Sunday 10-4. Paid parking is located South of the museum. Closed on University holidays.

#2 NCAR (National Center for Atmospheric Research)

Photo Courtesy of UCAR

NCAR‘s Visitor Center is an excellent spot to take the kids on a cold winter’s day. Here, they can learn about weather and climate with interactive displays. Kids can play with clouds and even create their own tornado! Other exhibits include Sun-Earth Connections, Layers of the Atmosphere, Climate Discovery and more. Guided tours are available from 12-1 on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays, or you can opt to move through the exhibits on your own. The visitor center is open on weekdays from 8-5 and weekends from 9-4. NCAR offers a cafeteria that is open weekdays (except holidays) for breakfast, 8:00 am – 9:30 am and lunch, 11:30 – 1:30 pm (Cafeteria accepts only cash). Admission is always FREE to the public! Parking is free.

#3 Boulder Public Library (Main Library)

Photo Credit:

Boulder offers five public libraries in different areas around town, but my favorite for families is the Main Library location on Arapahoe Avenue in Central Boulder. I’m focusing on this location for it’s fun Children’s Area as well as the Seeds Library Cafe, a full-service coffee shop right inside the library! The children’s area is glass-enclosed, allowing kids to make some noise without disturbing other patrons and offers a vast collection of books as well as  hands-on activities, a story time meeting area, and kid-sized computer desks and seating. The area has its own private bathrooms for kids & caregivers. The Library is open Monday – Thursday 9am-8pm, Friday & Saturday 10-6 and Sunday 12-6. Monday – Friday the parking for the first 90 minutes is free, additional time can be purchased for $1.25/hr. Saturdays and Sundays parking is always free. Parents will enjoy the Seeds Library Cafe, located on the bridge overlooking Boulder Creek between the main library and the arts & media area. The cafe is operated by the Boulder County Farmers’ Markets and offers not only coffee and espresso drinks but breakfast and lunch as well. The cafe is open Monday-Thursday from 9-5, Friday & Saturday 10-5 and Sunday 12-5.

Mountain Living Moving to Boulder

5 Things I Learned After Moving to Boulder Colorado

December 28, 2016

When we moved our family to Boulder, I felt like we had a pretty good handle on what our new lives would be like. I knew the city and its quirks pretty well, we had lived just 20 minutes away for over two decades and spent much of our time in Boulder for work and the great food and entertainment. Still, there were some adjustments we’ve had to make since moving to Boulder Colorado.

#1 Gettin’ Around

Photo courtesy Jamie Starr

People in this city walk, ride the bus, ride bikes, ride unicycles (for real!!), drive cars and ride vespas and after a snowstorm they even ski through the park. Most of the cyclists on the roads generally obey traffic laws but there are occasionally those who act as pedestrians, and a lot of times these are kids, so paying close attention is critical. In contrast to suburban living there is so much more going on around you, it can be disorienting.

#2 It’s Truly Urban

Photo Courtesy Daily Camera’s Cliff Grassmick Staff Photographer

Compared to the suburbs, there are so many people here, nearly 100,000, and they are from many, many places. We haven’t been here long and I’ve met people from NYC, Poland, Belgium, Missouri, Bermuda, Germany…. It is a smallish city, packed with people and businesses. The city feeling is also in the everyday thing. A security officer and metal detectors in the public library. Paying for parking pretty much everywhere downtown. This isn’t something I ever discovered in suburbia. Maybe the reason it feels a little surprising is because the city itself is very concerned with keeping with a more “natural” environment. No tall buildings are permitted, the largest being the dorms on the CU campus. The city invests in programs like “Urban Forestry”, managing over 50,000 trees in the city, as well as “Urban Wildlife Management” which manages and protects urban wildlife such as the famously defended Boulder prairie dogs. Taking into consideration the city’s concern with protecting open and green space as well as offering many outdoor parks and trails, Boulder is certainly unique in its urban flavor.

#3 Invest in Some Reusable Shopping Bags

Photo Courtesy Daily Camera

If you don’t bring your own bags, be prepared to pay 10 cents for each plastic bag you require. It’s pretty good motivation not only for using those environmentally friendly reusable bags but also for using fewer plastic bags when you do forget them. In those cases, we easily use half of what we would have in suburbia – stuffing ridiculous amounts of groceries into a single bag. It’s not just a cost thing either, everyone else is doing it so there is quite a bit of social pressure to step in line.

#4 Live in Boulder, Must Have Dog

Photo Courtesy Daily Camera (Autumn Parry/Staff Photographer)

People in Boulder LOVE their dogs and their dogs go everywhere with them! It is very typical to notice that the car next to you is co-piloted by a furry best friend riding shotgun. A neighbor of mine who also just recently moved to the city commented that she didn’t feel “Boulder enough” without a dog pal (her husband is allergic). Boulder requires dogs to be vaccinated against rabies and licensed by the city, costing pet owners $15/year. Since there are so many trails and open spaces in Boulder, the city offers “Go Green Tags” which allows dog owners, after viewing a training video and registering the animal, to walk their dogs off leash under voice and sight control. Boulder has four free dog parks: East Boulder Dog Park, Foothills Dog Park, Howard Heuston Dog Park and Valmont Dog Park. Dogs are not allowed on Pearl Street Mall, leashed or not. Dogs are permitted to play at the Boulder Reservoir during off-season from Labor Day to May 15. Local businesses know how important these furry friends are to their patrons — are 151 restaurants, breweries and coffeehouses around boulder that allow dogs at their outdoor seating areas. McGuckin Hardware, a Boulder favorite, has allowed leashed dogs into its store since 1978.

#5 Everyone…I mean EVERYONE! Is Active.

Mt Sanitas Hiking Trail Courtesy Paige Kumpf

The people in this city are fit and healthy and it really rubs off on you. I took a hike up Mt. Sanitas (amazing local hiking trail) not long after we moved here. The trail is not incredibly long but it is very steep, like climbing a staircase for however many miles (probably 2, felt like 20). As I huffed and puffed my way to the top there were people twice my age jogging (JOGGING!!) past me. It was humiliating and inspiring all at once. Hiking is part of the Boulder lifestyle, but there are many other activities that my new Boulder friends are involved in – to name a few: Running, Cycling, Marathons, Triatholons, Cross Country Skiing, Yoga… The list goes on. And of course Boulder annually hosts the famous Bolder Boulder, a 10K run around the city that attracts people of all ages, amateurs and professional athletes alike, and is a lot of fun for on-lookers as many of the runners dress up. The run ends at Folsom Field where all of-age participants are handed a free beer.