30+ Things to Do in Boulder in 2018

by Rachel Daly
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.

Related Articles