Looking for things to do indoors with the kids in Boulder? Boulder is known for its amazing outdoor activities for families in the warmer seasons, but it also offers some great indoor activities that families can enjoy when the air is too cold for comfort. Here are a handful of things to do indoors with kids in the Boulder area this winter.
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 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, the Discovery Corner. 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 UMC is right next door if you get a hankering for a Starbucks or somethings to eat.
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.
Boulder Public Library (Main Library)
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. 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 Main Library is open Monday – Thursday 9 AM – 8 PM, Friday & Saturday 10 AM -6 PM and Sunday 12PM – 6 PM. Parking fee Monday – Friday for the first 90 minutes is free, additional time can be purchased for $1.25/hr. Saturdays and Sundays parking is always free. The cafe is open Monday-Thursday from 9-5, Friday & Saturday 10-5 and Sunday 12-5.
Color Me Mine
At Color Me Mine, kids and adults will have a blast painting their very own ceramic piece! The art space is warm and cozy, and even has a free tea & coffee station. Pick your ceramic piece (they have everything from mugs and plates to piggy banks and figurines), pick your paint and start creating. As an added bonus, painting at Color Me Mine means you don’t have to clean up — the staff will handle all that for you. In fact, once you are done painting, your piece will be glazed and fired for you, all you have to do is pick it up a week later. This is one of my kids’ favorite things to do indoors in Boulder.
Color Me Mine is open Monday – Thursday 11 AM – 8 PM and Friday – Sunday 10 AM – 8 PM. Studio fees are $10/adults, $6/kids plus the cost of your ceramic item.
Boulder Rec Centers
Boulder has three recreation centers located in different parts of the city, and each has its own unique amenities. Each of the rec centers have a pool, but the North Boulder Rec Center and East Boulder Rec Center have kid-friendly features like water slides and warmer water temperatures. There are other activities like rock wall climbing, gymnasiums, ball courts and more things to do indoors with kids. To find out more about each of these rec centers, click here.
Museum of Boulder
The Museum of Boulder is another fun, family friendly option for a cold day in Boulder. The museum has multiple exhibits, including a Boulder Experience gallery, a travelling exhibit, hands-on activities, and art exhibits. The museum also features the Google Garage: and interactive area with activities that will inspire creativity and curiosity.
The museum is open every Weekday except Tuesday (closed Tuesday) 9 AM – 5 PM, and Weekends from 10 AM – 5 PM. Admission is $10/adults, $8/seniors & youth, Kids under 2 are FREE.
Just a short drive out of Boulder, Play Time in Lafayette is the perfect spot for littles (0 – 5 years old) to get the wiggles out on a frigid day. Located in the Sports Performance Center, kids can build, climb, run, jump and be creative on the field while parents take a break.
Open Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays 8:30 AM – 11:30 AM from October – April. Admission $8/Kids 1-5, $6/Siblings, $3/Kids 8 Months – 1 year, Under 8 Months FREE. Parents are and guardians are always free.
NCAR (National Center for Atmospheric Research)
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. Fun, educational, interactive – NCAR is a fun indoor winter activity. 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.
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 is open Thursday – Monday from 11 AM – 6 PM. Wheelchair ramp available. Rides are just $2!
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 theater 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! Children’s Museum is located at 110 N. Harrison Avenue, Lafayette. The museum is open Tuesday-Friday: 9:00am-5:00pm Toddler Hour on Tuesday & Wednesday from 9:00am-10:00am (for children ages 5 years and younger), Saturday & Sunday: 10:00am-6:00pm. Closed Mondays. Admission: Children (ages 1-11): $10, Adults: $5, Infants (under 1): Free, Members Always Play for Free!
The Bounce Place
The Bounce Place in Boulder features a variety of bounce houses, obstacle courses, and inflatable slides. If your kids enjoy bouncing, this is a great active environment that is perfectly suited for kids up to the age of 10 years old. They also offer a special toddler area that features push cars, activity panels, interactive games, and building blocks.
The Bounce Place is located at the Twenty Ninth Street Mall. Open Jump for kids ages 3 – 10 is $12, akids 2 & under jump for $10. The Bounce Place is open Sunday – Thursday 9 AM – 7 PM, Friday & Saturday 9 AM – 8 PM.
Paul Derda Rec Center’s Kid Zone
A perfect escape for kids on a cold day, the Paul Derda Rec Center in Broomfield offers an indoor play space for kids from 0 – 7 years old. The space includes a toddler/crawler area, large play structure with slide and sitting area for parents.
Paul Derda Rec Center is located in Broomfield. Drop-in rates Resident/NonResident: $5/$7.75 Adults, $3.50/6.25 Kids 4+, Kids under 4 are FREE.
Longmont Museum and Cultural Center
The Longmont Museum and Cultural Center is a community and cultural hub for the city, featuring changing exhibits in history, art and science. The long-term exhibit, Front Range Rising, is an award-winning look at the history and culture of this region from 14,000 years ago to today. The museum also holds regular hands-on education programs for all ages, as well as events like indoor and outdoor concerts and performances, film series and lectures.
The Longmont Museum and Cultural Center are located in South Longmont off Highway 287. The museum is open Monday – Saturday from 9 AM – 5 PM and Sunday from 1 PM – 5 PM.
Get Air Trampoline Park
Get Air Trampoline Park is Longmont’s own wall-to-wall jumping fun. Spend a morning, afternoon or evening here bouncing off the walls! In addition to trampolines for the big kids, there is a Little Air area for kids under 46″ with a fun slide, foam pits, basketball, dodgeball, slacklines, fidget ladders and other one-at-a-time obstacles. Big jumpers and little jumpers aren’t allowed to jump together to keep all jumpers safe. This is definitely in my kids’ favorite list of things to do indoors in the Boulder area.
Get Air Longmont is open seven days a week. Visit their website for hours and prices.
The Butterfly Pavilion
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. This is the perfect way to enjoy a day of indoor fun with your kiddo in the winter.
Butterfly Pavilion is located at 6252 W 104th Ave, Westminster, CO 80020. Open daily from 9 AM – 5 PM. Admission: Adults 12+/$12.00, Seniors 65+/$10.00, Children ages 2-12 – $8.00, Children (under 2) are always FREE.