Things to Do in Boulder in 2019

by Rachel Daly
things to do in boulder in 2019

Happy New Year! Starting with the Boulder Polar Plunge on January 1st, Boulder kicks off 2019 events celebrating every season, like festivals and fairs, games and races, and fun for all. All happening this year in and around Boulder.

Boulder Polar Plunge

things to do in boulder in 2019

Photo Courtesy Boulder Polar Plunge

When: Tuesday, January 1, 2019 from 11 AM – 2 PM

Take the Polar Plunge on New Year’s Day at the Boulder Reservoir to support the mission of the American Cancer Society. Donations support life-saving cancer research and free services for patients such as lodging and transportation. The first 200 registered participants will receive beach towels!

The Boulder Polar Plunge will be held at the Boulder Reservoir, 5565 N 51st St., Boulder, CO 80301. Register online for $35, Day-of for $40, Kids 12 & Under $15. Register here.

Estes Park Winter Festival

things to do in boulder in 2018

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

When: January 19 – 20, 2019 from 1 PM – 5 PM

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, at the Estes Park Events Complex! Activities include ice skating at the indoor ice rink, live music, inflatables for kids and more.

Estes Park Events Complex, 1209 Manford Ave, Estes Park, CO 80517. Tickets $30 21+ admission w/tasting, $15 General Admission 13 +, $5 Kids 4 – 12, Kids 3 & under are FREE.

Old Man Winter Bike Rally & Run

things to do in boulder in 2019

Photo Courtesy Old Man Winter Rally

When: Sunday, February 10, 2019 from 10 AM – 5 PM

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. \

The Old Man Winter Rally will be held at Sandstone Park, Lyons, CO 80540. Cost: $49 – $109, Register here.

Boulder International Film Festival

things to do in boulder in 2019

Photo Courtesy Boulder International Film Festival

When: February 28 – March 3, 2019, full schedule available in early February 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.

BIFF will be held at venues around Boulder, schedule available February here. Cost: Some events are FREE, Film tickets $14+, Festival passes starting at $375, more information here.

Frozen Dead Guy Days

Things to do in Boulder 2018

Photo Courtesy Frozen Dead Guy Days

When: March 8 – 10, 2019, see full festival schedule 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.

Frozen Dead Guy Days is held in and around Nederland, see festival map here. Cost: Some events are FREE to watch, Music tents $20 for weekend pass, Blue Ball $20/person. For Blue Ball tickets, click here.

Boulder Arts Week

things to do in boulder 2018

Photo Courtesy Boulder Arts Week

When: March 29 – April 6, 2019, full schedule here.

The 6th annual Boulder Arts Week celebrates 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.

Boulder Arts Week will be held at various locations around Boulder. Cost: Costs vary depending on event, click here for details.

Tulip Fairy and Elf Festival

things to do in boulder in 2019

Photo: All Things Boulder

When: Sunday, April 7, 2019 from 1 PM – 5 PM

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!

The festival will be held downtown at the Pearl Street Mall, 1942 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80302. This event is FREE.

Conference on World Affairs

things to do in Boulder in 2018

Photo Courtesy Conference on World Affairs

When: April 9 – 13, 2019, full schedule here.

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.

The Conference on World Affairs will be held at the University of Colorado Boulder. This event is FREE and open to the public.

Erie Town Fair and Balloon Festival

Photo Courtesy of Justin Reed, Erie Chamber of Commerce Website[/caption]

When: Mid-May 2019, Date TBD.

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 in the mornings on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Colorado National Golf Club. On Saturday, the Town Fair will host vendors from and feature a Balloon Glow in the evening as well as fireworks to conclude the day’s festivities.

Balloon Launches: Colorado National Golf Club, 2700 Vista Parkway, Erie, Town Fair & Balloon Glow: Historic Downtown Erie & Coal Creek Park, 575 Kattell, Erie This event is FREE.

Boulder Creek Festival

things to do in boulder in 2018

Photo Courtesy Boulder Creek Events

When: May 25 – 27, 2019, full schedule here.

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.

The festival will be held 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. Admission to this event is FREE.


things to do in Boulder in 2018

Photo Courtesy BolderBOULDER

When: Monday, May 27, 2019 from 6 AM – 1 PM

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.

BolderBOULDER begins at 30th & Walnut. Cost: $35 – $100, Register here.

Lyons Outdoor Games & Burning Can Fest

best things to do in Lyons, Colorado

Lyons Bike Park, Photo Courtesy Colorado Burning Can Fest

When: May 31 – June 1, 2019, full schedule here.

Lyons Outdoor Games & Burning Can Fest is a weekend of adventure, music, craft beer, & Rocky Mountain revelry. Town of Lyons and Oskar Blues have combined two festivals that include activities like: a trail running relay, mountain biking on the local single track, and a huge KidZone. As 60+ breweries start pouring their beers, festivalgoers can check out dog jumping, a slackline competition, or BMX dirt jumping. 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.

The festival will be held at Bohn Park, 199 2nd Ave, Lyons, CO 80540. Cost: TBA, information will be available here.

Longmont Kinetics

things to do in boulder in 2018

Photo Courtesy Kineticists

When: June 2019, date TBD

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.

Kinetics is held at Union Reservoir, 461 Co Rd 26, Longmont, CO 80504. Cost: Spectators: $10/carload, $2 to walk/bike in. Racers: $40 per Team plus $10 for each Team Member.

Colorado Shakespeare Festival

what to do in boulder in august

Photo Courtesy Colorado Shakespeare Festival

When: June – August 2019, full schedule here.

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 Twelfth Night, As You Like It, Romeo and Juliet, King John and Mike Bartlett’s King Charles III.

The Colorado Shakespeare Festival will be held at Mary Rippon Outdoor TheatreUniversity Theatre. Cost: Starts at $19, tickets available here.

Ralphie’s Independence Day Blast

When: Thursday, July 4, 2019 at 8 PM

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 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.

Ralphie’s Independence Day Blast will be held at CU’s Folsom Field, 2400 Colorado Ave, Boulder, CO 80302. This event is FREE.

47th RockyGrass Festival

things to do in boulder in 2018

Photo Courtesy Planet Bluegrass

When: July 26 – 28, 2019, full schedule 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 preliminary lineup includes Sam Bush Bluegrass Band, Punch Brothers Play & Sing Bluegrass, Soggy Bottom Boys and many more. Bluegrass lovers who have kids can rejoice — kids 12 and under enter for FREE! Rockygrass is family-friendly, offering a kids area to include a variety of fun, planet-minded activities throughout the day, including crafts, slacklining, tubing the St. Vrain, a musical instrument petting zoo, kids music performances, knot tying, and much more.

RockyGrass is held at Planet Bluegrass, 500 W Main St, Lyons, Colorado 80540. Cost: $75+, Tickets are already on sale here.

Boulder County Fair

When: August 2 – 11, 2019, full schedule here.

Celebrating its 150th 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.

The Boulder County Fair is held at the Boulder County Fairgrounds, 9595 Nelson Rd, Longmont, CO 80501. Cost: FREE (Parking is also FREE.)

Lafayette Peach Festival

august in boulder

Photo Courtesy Lafayette Chamber of Commerce

When: August 17, 2019 from 9 AM – 4 PM

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.

The Lafayette Peach Festival is held in Old Town Lafayette on Public Road. Cost: FREE.

Boulder Creek Hometown Festival

what to do with kids in boulder

Photo Courtesy Boulder Creek Events

When: August 31 – September 2, 2019, full schedule here.

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 Beer Festival, a food court & beer garden, and much more! Don’t miss out on the festivities of this community event each Labor Day weekend!

The festival will be held along the Boulder Creek corridor, extending from Broadway to 14th Street (west to east), between Canyon Blvd. and Arapahoe Ave. (north and south). This event is FREE.

Superior Chili Fest

things to do in boulder in september

Photo Courtesy Superior, Colorado Facebook Page

When: September 2019, Date TBD.

The 2019 Chili Fest is back for its 19th 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!

Superior’s Chili Fest will be held at Community Park, Community Park Dr, Superior, CO 80027, United States. Cost: Chili Fest entrance is FREE, chili tasting cups are $5.

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 – 8, 2019, full schedule here.

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!

The festival will be held at Stanley Park Fairgrounds, 1209 Manford Ave, Estes Park, CO 80517. Cost: $25/adult, $10/Kids 11-16 years old, $5/Kids 5-10 years old. $75 for 3-day passes. Tickets available here.

Louisville Oktoberfest

Things to do in Boulder in October

When: September 2019, date TBA

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.

Louisville Oktoberfest will be held in Old Town Louisville, 916 Main St, Louisville, CO 80027. Cost: Early Tickets $5, buy tickets here. Kids 17 & Under FREE.

Munchkin Masquerade

Things to do in Boulder in October

Photo Courtesy Downtown Boulder

When: Thursday, October 31, 2019 3 PM – 6 PM

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.

Munchkin Masquerade is held on the Pearl Street Mall, Pearl St, Boulder, CO 80302. This event is FREE.

Boulder Mountain Handmade Market

things to do in Boulder in November

Photo Courtesy Boulder Mountain Handmade

When: November 2019, Date TBA

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.

The market is held at the Boulder Elks Lodge & Pool, 3975 28th St, Boulder, Colorado 80301 This event is FREE.

Left Hand Brewing’s Nitro Fest

things to do in Boulder in November

Photo Courtesy Left Hand Brewing Company

When: Saturday, November 9, 2019 from 4 PM – 10 PM

Left Hand Brewing is hosting the 6th 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. Entertainment includes 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.

Location TBA, tickets will be on sale April 5, 2019 here.

Longmont Turkey Trot

things to do in Boulder in November

Photo Courtesy Longmont Recreation Services

When: November 2019, Date 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.

The Longmont Turkey Trot begins at Altona Middle School, 4600 Clover Basin Dr, Longmont, Colorado 80503. More information will be available here.

St. Nick on the Bricks

things to do in Boulder in November

Photo Courtesy Downtown Boulder

When: Saturdays throughout December, 11 AM – 2 PM

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.

St. Nick on the Bricks is held at the Downtown Boulder Visitor Information Center, 1301 Pearl Street, Boulder, CO 80302. This event is FREE.

CU Holiday Festival

boulder holiday events

Photo Courtesy CU Presents

When: December 2019, date 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.

CU’s Holiday Festival will be held at Macky Auditorium Concert Hall, 1595 Pleasant St, Boulder, CO 80309. More information will be available in the fall.

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