School’s out for summer! Thankfully, in good and bad weather, there are a ton of amazing places to take your kid in the Boulder area. Whether your kid loves biking, reading, skiing, go kart racing or music, there is something for everyone in our guide to summer for kids in Boulder. Does your kid love dinosaurs? Check out our guide of 10 places to explore dinosaurs and fossils in Colorado.
Creekside Play Area
Kids of all ages, head outside to the new Civic Area nature playground, Creekside Play Area. This brand new playground was designed to give kids a safe, fun playground and water play area full of learning opportunities that allow children to learn and explore the natural world.
The Boulder Civic Area is Located in Front of Main Public Library, 1001 Arapahoe Ave, Boulder, CO 80302. Open Dawn – Dusk, FREE.
Gateway Park Fun Center
Gateway Park Fun Center is a kid’s dream come true (and so fun for adults too!). Opened in the 1980s, this park has maintained tons of original features, giving it an eclectic, old school feel that will bring you back to your childhood. Many activities include 18-hole mini golf courses — choose from the Windmill Course or the Castle Course, or play both!! The park also offers bumper cars, as well as single-seat and double-seat go carts. Gateway is home to Boulder’s only batting cages, with a variety of pitch speeds for softball and baseball. The arcade is filled with different kinds of video and interactive games. Many of the games spit out tickets which can be traded in for fun prizes at the end of your visit. A snack bar is located inside. If that isn’t enough, Gateway also has a full golf driving range as well as a human maze.
Making Musicians Beginner Ukulele Class & Sound Beginnings
Making Musicians in Boulder Valley is hosting summer classes to get your kids playing music, dancing, and having fun! Is there an instrument that sounds like summer more than the ukulele? In five lessons, your child will learn the basics of ukulele and be able to strum the summer away! There are classes for all grade school ages, and you can even join in! For the younger musicians in your life, check out Sound Beginnings for babies and toddlers under 5. They will have a blast learning through play, developing fine and gross motor skills, vocal and pitch development, as well as rhythm and beat. For more information and to register, click here.
Sunflower Farm is a rural haven in South Longmont where kids can feed goats, sheep and llama, jump from hay bale to hay bale, play in the corn house, playhouse and sandboxes, explore the tree forts and bridges, hold a chicken, soar down the zipline, balance on the slackline. There is even an old airplane to explore. All activities are covered by a single admission fee of a ticket—no other fees apply. Pre-purchasing tickets is encouraged, the farm frequently sells out. Purchase tickets here.
Beach Time at the Boulder Reservoir
Boulder Reservoir offers one of the largest, seasonally lifeguard attended swimming beaches in Colorado. It features a marked swim area with rafts. The shallow roped off area is great for small children. Children 12 and under must pass a lifeguard administered swim test to go beyond the first rope. Children under 3 years old must wear swim diapers. Children 5 years old and under must be within arm’s reach of an adult when in the water or near the water’s edge. Flotation devices are allowed only at the discretion of the lifeguards/beach staff. To view all the safety rules, click here. Don’t have time to pack a lunch? Visit the Beachside Cafe, featuring an extensive lunch menu as well as snacks, kids meals and coffee and tea. Check out all the splash pads, pools, reservoirs and more in this dedicated guide.
Boulder Reservoir is located at 5565 N 51st St., Boulder, CO 80301. Swimming hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily unless otherwise posted. Admission: Kids ages 3-18 $5.50 (Residents $5.50), Adults 19-59 $11 (Residents $9), Seniors 60+ $6.75 (Residents $6.75), 2 and under are FREE. Group Rate for 4 people (max 2 adults) is $29 (Residents $24).
The Bee Hugger Farm
The Bee Hugger Farm is a happy place where you can visit with goats, peacocks, chickens, sheep, horses, mini horses and more! Kids can climb tractors and adults can buy honey. The farm is open to the public with no entry fee. Text for questions to 303.330.8277. Located at 12590 Ute Hwy, Longmont, CO 80504. For a complete list of places to visit farm animals near Boulder, click here.
Spruce Outdoor Pool
Spruce Pool is Boulder’s premier family oriented outdoor pool. Enjoy a picnic on the lawn, cool off in the water features and leisure pool, then swim a few laps in our 25 yard lap pool. Eight lane, 25-yard pool with temperatures between 80° and 82°, leisure pool with accessible ramp, accessible play features including jets, fountains and a duck slide.
Spruce Pool is located at 2102 Spruce St., Boulder, Colorado 80302. Open Swim Hours are: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 11:15AM-8PM, Tuesday & Thursday 10AM-8PM, Saturday & Sunday 10AM-6PM. Admission: Kids ages 3-18 $4, Adults 19-59 $7, Seniors 60+ $5, 2 and under are FREE. Summer passes available, click here for details.
ABC Kids Climbing
Open Gym is a great opportunity for families to try ABC Kids Climbing for their first time. Kids are welcome to explore our facility, with parent supervision, to find the area in which they will have the most fun. ABC has top ropes, auto-belays, ziplines, slides, and bouldering for kids of all ages to enjoy! No climbing experience? No need to worry! ABC’s expert staff will give all new families a tour complete with rules and basic climbing guidelines to get you started in the right direction. ABC also offers summer day camps for kids – details here.
ABC Kids Climbing is located at 1960 32nd Street, Boulder, Colorado 80301. Open Gym Hours: Saturday & Sunday 12:15 – 5:15 PM; Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 9 AM – 2 PM. Admission: Individuals $14, Add a climbing guardian $6.
The Great Outdoors Waterpark
The awesome The Great Outdoors Waterpark in Lafayette will open Memorial Day weekend! Plunge down the thrilling 21-foot high double flume slides. Guests 48” tall and brave enough to conquer the twists and turns galore are invited to venture down. Perching high atop the fully accessible, zero-depth entry leisure pool, The Grand Eagle Dump Bucket spills water every few minutes near play structures perfect for smaller children.
The Great Outdoors Waterpark is located at 500 E South Boulder Rd, Lafayette, CO 80026. Hours: 10AM – 6PM daily. Admission: Kids 2-17 $7.50, Adults 18-54 $10, Seniors $7.50, Kids under 2 are FREE. Punch passes available for a discount.
Strawberry Fields Urban Farm Petting Zoo
Set up time for a private family petting zoo at Strawberry Fields Urban Farm in Erie. The farm has the sweetest goats, as well as horses, chickens, pigs and more. Many of these animals are rescues, and all the proceeds go to taking care of the animals so they can live happy lives. Strawberry Fields is a favorite place for families to visit with farm animals near Boulder. To book an hour with the animals, go to the Strawberry Fields Urban Farm facebook page. The farm also accommodates birthday parties! For more info, message them here. Strawberry Fields Urban Farm is located at 12657 Jay Rd, Erie, CO 80516.
CU Museum of Natural History
The museum is temporarily closed. We will update after it reopens. The University of Colorado’s Museum of Natural History is 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. Paid parking is located South of the museum.
The CU Museum of Natural History is located at Henderson Building, 15th and Broadway, Boulder, CO 80309. Open Monday – Friday 9-5, Saturday 9-4 and Sunday 10-4. Admission is FREE.
Summer Reading Program at Boulder Public Library
Boulder offers five public libraries in different areas around town, all of which are offering the summer reading program. You can sign up in person or sign up online and pick up your reading log or teen card deck the next time you’re at your local library. The main library is awesome for families with its 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. 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. The Seeds Library Cafe is temporarily closed, we will update when it reopens.
For a map that includes all of Boulder’s libraries and their hours, click here. Admission and summer reading programs are always FREE.
The Bounce Place
The Bounce Place is an indoor playground in Boulder that features obstacle courses, bounce houses and inflatable slides for big kids as well as push cars, activity panels and building blocks for toddlers. Appropriate for kids up to age 10.
The Bounce Place is located at the 29th Street Mall, 1711 29th St, Boulder, CO 80301. Cost: $12/child ages 3 – 10, $10/child ages 2 & under. Hours: Monday – Thursday 9 AM – 7 PM, Friday & Saturday 9 AM – 8 PM & Sunday 9 AM – 7 PM.
Warrior Playground in Longmont
The Warrior Playground is a full scale American Ninja Warrior and Obstacle Course Race training facility for kids & adults to experience the thrill of tackling the obstacles they see on the TV show. The Warrior Playground features many American Ninja Warrior obstacle replicas straight from the show; now even if you can’t get on the show, you can train like a ninja. If you have a little ninja at home, check out Warrior Playground’s open gym hours or sign up for a class! If it is your kid’s first time at the playground, they will need to take an orientation class.
Warrior Playground is located at 33 South Pratt Parkway, Longmont CO 80501. Open gym fees this summer are $12.50/week. Punch cards and monthly memberships can be purchased for discounted rates. Class prices and open gym schedules vary, click here for details.
Valmont Bike Park
North America’s most state-of-the-art public bike park, Valmont Bike Park is located in Boulder, Colorado on 40 acres of awesome. Bike Park amenities include family trails, cross country trails, cyclocross courses, a slopestyle terrain park, dirt jumps, a dual slalom race course, 2 pump parks, and kids bike play areas. Progression is the name of the game at this park, with “small” through “extra-large” trails and features that cater to everyone, from the beginning mountain biker to professional rider. Check out the bike park’s trail map here.
Valmont Bike Park is located at 3160 Airport Rd, Boulder, CO 80301. The park is open from dawn to dusk daily. Admission is FREE.
Fiske Planetarium is located on the campus of the University of Colorado. The Planetarium hosts a diverse range of shows, star talks, LASER shows, and special live events in it’s 65-foot diameter dome (the largest between Chicago and Los Angeles!). In 2013, Fiske completed a major systems upgrade with an 8K Sky-Skan projection system that allows us to show the most cutting-edge content in a truly immersive environment that fully surrounds audiences with a huge screen, dazzling visuals, and fantastic sound. The new star machine, which looks like R2-D2, shows 10 million stars and the Milky Way, the most beautiful indoor sky ever. The planetarium hosts special talks and educational events, and often host large crowds during astronomical and NASA-related events. Fiske is open weekdays for select shows and events, and hosts weekend shows and matinées. For the Planetarium’s show schedule, click here.
Meadow Music with Jeff and Paige
A kid favorite. Join the musical duo Jeff and Paige for mornings of children’s music and nature education . Sponsored by City of Boulder’s Open Space and Mountain Parks Division Meadow Music is an award-winning environmental education program.
Meadow Music is held at the Boulder Bandshell. Reservations required this year. Always FREE.
Shredder Urban Ski & Snowboard Park
Disappointed that ski season is over? Shredder Urban Ski & Snowboard Park has got you covered! Shredder is an amazing indoor ski and snowboarding facility for ages 10 months to adult. Shredder offers ski and snowboard school classes to all ages, including freestyle fundamental classes (starting at age 8), Yeti School (10 months to 3 years), and beginning adult skiers/boarders. Check out Shredder for Birthday Parties, Summer Camps, Parents’ Nights Out, and so much more!
WOW Children’s Museum
Just a short drive out of Boulder, the World of Wonder Children’s Museum in downtown 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 theatre area complete with costumes and stage and so much more! Kids can spend hours exploring this fun museum. There is a snack area with vending machines available. WOW! is just one of the many reasons to love Lafayette, Colorado.
WOW! Children’s Museum is located at 110 N. Harrison Avenue, Lafayette. The museum is open Tuesday-Saturday: 10 AM – 12 PM & 1 PM – 3 PM. Admission: Children (ages 1-11): $10, Adults: $5, Infants (under 1): Free. Members Always Play for Free! Reserve tickets here.
The Butterfly Pavilion is home to over 5,000 animals! Kids will be immersed in a tropical rainforest where 1,600 butterflies live and Rosie, the tarantula is ready to be held by brave children. Step to Water’s Edge to be immersed in an underwater world full of sea creatures. The pavilion also features lovely gardens and a nature trail, as well as an indoor play area and fun gift shop.
Butterfly Pavilion is located at 6252 W 104th Ave, Westminster, CO 80020. Open daily from 9 AM – 4 PM. Admission: Adults – $13.00, Seniors (65+) – $11.00, Children (2-12) – $9.00, Children (under 2) are always FREE. Purchase tickets here.
Boulder County’s Agricultural Heritage Center
Check out the Agricultural Heritage Center! Get a glimpse into the history of agriculture in Boulder County and enjoy the rural surroundings. This site focuses on the years 1900 to 1925 when local families prospered as farmers and witnessed the coming of the Modern Age. Kids will love the interactive exhibits, 1909 farmhouse furnished with items from the 1910s, animals on site including chickens, pigs, draft horses and sheep, two barns, blacksmith shop and more! A guided tour starts at 11AM during visiting hours.
The Agricultural Heritage Center is located at 8348 Ute Hwy, Longmont. Open Friday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sunday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Closed Monday – Thursday. Admission is always FREE.
Paddle Boats at Lafayette’s Waneka Lake Park
Your child is sure to get a kick out of the fun, colorful paddle boats at Waneka Lake Park‘s Boathouse. Parents can rent the paddle boats by the half hour (which come with complimentary – and required – life vests). Enjoy a calm, fun boat ride on a swan, flamingo, dragon or duck! For all the details, click here.
Waneka Lake Park is located at 1600 Caria Dr, Lafayette, CO 80026. The Boathouse is open May 26 – August 12, 2018: Tuesdays & Thursday – Sunday 11AM – 7PM, and is closed Mondays & Wednesdays. Rental costs: 2-person paddle boat $8/30 minutes, 4-person paddle boat $10/30 minutes
Museum of Boulder
The Museum of Boulder is great fun for kids, featuring the Google Garage as well as the Playzeum! Google Garage is a creative space for kids to discover , explore and experiment with technology. Play music by touching colors, build a robot, or experience virtual reality. The Playzeum is an interactive exhibit for kids to explore their imaginations. And don’t forget to make a trip to the rooftop deck, where you will get a breathtaking view of Boulder’s flatirons and downtown. The museum is open Thursday – Monday 9 AM – 5 PM, and Wednesdays 9 AM – 8 PM. Closed Tuesdays. Admission $10/Adults, $8/Seniors, Students & Kids 5 – 17. Kids under 5 are free.
Adventure West St. Vrain Creek Tubing
For fun with the older kids, take a family-friendly float on the Saint Vrain Creek. Rent a tube for use in the Playpark or shuttle upstream with our Tube/Shuttle Bundle and kick-back and enjoy the ride! Adventure West’s Saint Vrain Creek location in Longmont offers walk-up or reservations for tube rentals, but reservations are required for the tube shuttle bundle as there is limited space on the vans. The tube shuttle takes you to the put-in and outfits you with a commercial grade river tube and complimentary lifejacket (free helmets also available upon request). Enjoy a 1 1/2 – 2 hour (depending on speed of creek flow) float with a few small manmade rapids in the playpark area. This 2-mile picturesque journey takes you through protected natural areas to an easy takeout on the Greenway where the shuttle will meet you and conveniently take you right back to your car or feel free to keep your tube and enjoy the tubing playpark as long as you like!
Adventure West Longmont is open Friday – Monday, 10 AM – 5 PM. Longmont locals $15/Day Tube Rental and $20/Day Tube & Shuttle Bundle. Non-Residents $20/ Day Tube Rental, $30/Tube & Shuttle Bundle. More information here.
Fun City in Estes Park
Estes Park is full of fun things to do with the kids, but when I mention Estes, my kids always request a stop at Fun City. This amusement park has been charming kids since 1969. Adults will get a kick out of the retro feel of the park while kids delight in the thrill of go-karts, bumper cars, mini golf, bumper boats, bungee trampoline and more.
Fun City is located at 455 Prospect Village Dr, Box 483, Estes Park, CO 80517. Open Daily after May 22, 2021. Verify hours here. Admission: $2/Ride on the Rainbow Slide, $7/Driver for Bumper Boats, $10/Driver Go-Karts, $6/Driver Bumper Cars. For all the activities and pricing, click here.
Longmont’s Union Reservoir
Union Reservoir‘s sandy swim beaches are a fun gathering spot for kids and families in Longmont. Lifeguards are stationed at the beach for safety. A sand volleyball court, picnic shelter and playground are located near the beach.
Union Reservoir is located at 461 Co Rd 26, Longmont, CO 80504. Swim beach hours starting June 1, 2021 are Monday – Sunday 10AM – 8PM. Admission is $10/vehicle.
The Broomfield Bay Aquatic Park
Broomfield’s outdoor water park, The Bay, has been a summertime tradition in Broomfield since 1991. Designed for children ages 1 to 12 years old, the water park features a large pool, tot pool, body slide, tube slides, sprayground, and is ADA accessible. Lots of room for picnics, snacks and treats are available to purchase.
Carousel of Happiness
Head up the hills to nearby Nederland to visit the Carousel of Happiness, a magical menagerie featuring 56 whimsical, hand-carved animals on a restored 1910 Looff carousel! Fun for all ages, this lovely carousel turns to the music of a 1913 Wurlitzer band organ. Witness the 100-year old gears churn by watching from the upper observation window.
The Carousel of Happiness is located at 20 Lakeview Dr, Nederland, CO 80466. Hours: Mondays & Thursdays 11 AM – 5 PM; Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays 10 AM – 5 PM. Wheelchair ramp available. Rides are just $2.
Hike & Learn at NCAR (National Center for Atmospheric Research)
NCAR’s Visitor Center is temporarily closed to the public. NCAR’s beautiful outdoor spaces and Visitor Center are perfect for a summer outing with the kids! Take a hike at the base of Boulder’s amazing flatirons with gorgeous views. At the Visitor’s Center, kids 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. 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 also free.
NCAR is located at 1850 Table Mesa Dr, Boulder, CO 80305. Visitors Center is open Monday – Friday 8-5, Weekends 9-4. Admission is FREE.
Boulder Summer Activities: Frequently Asked Questions
What is there to do in Boulder in the summer?
Boulder offers tons of fun things to do in the summer including: tubing Boulder Creek, enjoying one of Boulder's many parks, splashing at Pearl Street's Pop Jet Fountain, riding Go Karts at Gateway Fun Park, petting animals at The Bee Hugger Farm, having an epic adventure at the Warrior Playground, exploring one of the many area museums and much more.
What is there to do in Boulder in June?
Boulder offers many fun annual events in June including: Boulder Creek Fest, Boulder Farmer's Market, Colorado Shakespeare Festival, Bands on the Bricks, Meadow Music with Jeff and Paige, Colorado Music Festival and more. Other local summer favorites include: paddle boarding on Boulder Reservoir, tubing Boulder creek, hiking the local trails, outdoor yoga and more.
What is there to do in Boulder in July?
Boulder offers many fun annual events in July including: RockyGrass, Boulder Farmer's Market, Colorado Shakespeare Festival, Bands on the Bricks, Meadow Music with Jeff and Paige, Colorado Music Festival and more. Other local summer favorites include: paddle boarding on Boulder Reservoir, tubing Boulder creek, hiking the local trails, outdoor yoga and more.
What is there to do in Boulder in August?
Boulder offers many fun annual events in August including: Boulder County Fair, Boulder Farmer's Market, Colorado Shakespeare Festival, Bands on the Bricks, Meadow Music with Jeff and Paige, Folks Fest, Colorado Music Festival and more. Other local summer favorites include: paddle boarding on Boulder Reservoir, tubing Boulder creek, hiking the local trails, outdoor yoga and more.
What are the top attractions in Boulder in the summer?
Boulder's most beloved summer attractions include: hiking Boulder's beautiful trails, tubing Boulder Creek, paddle boarding Boulder Reservoir, strolling the famous Pearl Street Mall, and swimming at Scott Carpenter Pool.