View of the bronze buffalo statue at the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder, one of the best things to do in Boulder with kids

25 Fun Things to Do in Boulder With Kids (in 2023)

I’m a Colorado mom of four, and in this article, I’ll share some of the best things to do in Boulder with kids. Bonus: many of them are free! 

I’ll help you get wiggly kids out of the house, no matter their age or interests. This Boulder guide features outdoor attractions, educational experiences, and unexpected outings your little ones will absolutely love. For more Boulder fun, check out our main list of things to do in Boulder after you read this guide.

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25 Best Things to Do in Boulder with Kids

Gateway Park Fun Center

Spend a day go-karting, mini-golfing, or hitting the batting cages

View of the welcome arch sign of Gateway Park Fun Center
Gateway Park is on the north end of Boulder, away from the downtown bustle

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (303) 442-4386 | Gateway Park Website | Hours: 10 am – 7 pm daily | Entrance: Attraction prices vary

Gateway Fun Park features a maze, an arcade, mini golf, go-karts, and other family-friendly activities. Since there are both indoor and outdoor spaces, it’s open year-round. Even in bad weather, this is a great spot for a variety of ages. 

Lyons Classic Pinball

Play vintage pinball games in this small town arcade

View of the hands playing pinball
Be a pinball wizard!

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (720) 837-2677 | Lyons Classic Pinball Website | Hours: 5 pm – 10 pm Thurs, 4 pm – 10 pm Fri, 12 pm – 10 pm Sat, 12 pm – 9 pm Sun, Closed Mon-Wed

Lyons Classic Pinball features more than 35 pinball machines. Games are from the 1960s through the present day. The arcade is family-friendly and also hosts tournaments for more serious players. 

Lyons Classic Video is found next door, in the basement of Oskar Blues. Inside, you’ll find even more arcade games from the 1980s. 

Into The Wind

Browse colorful kites, fun toys, board games, puzzles, and more

View of the colorful displays moving along the wind at the Into the Wind store
Into the Wind is a vibrant store to visit on Pearl Street Mall

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (303) 449-5906 | Into the Wind Website | Hours: 10 am – 6 pm Sun – Thurs, 10 am – 8 pm Fri & Sat

This engaging shop on the Pearl Street Mall features fun kites, whirligigs, flags, and educational children’s toys. It’s a fun spot for browsing and a great place to nab a souvenir of your trip!

Pearl Street Mall

Eat, drink, and play in this open-air shopping and dining center 

View of the bronze frog statue at Pearl Street Mall
There are animal sculptures, bridges, rocks for climbing, and more along the mall

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (303) 449-3774 | Pearl Street Mall Website | 👉 Browse Tours on Viator

Exploring Pearl Street Mall is one of the best things to do in Boulder. This downtown attraction has lots of retailers, restaurants, coffee shops, and bars. It also has play spaces for kids, with stone animals to climb and a pop jet fountain for cooling off in the summer.  

The mall is in the heart of town, and there are lots of great places to stay in Boulder nearby! 

Eldorado Canyon State Park

Run off some energy on one of the many park trails

The author Laura Faulin posing in the middle of Eldorado Canyon State Park
Like a toddler, I also feel better when I can run off steam outside! 

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (303) 494-3943 | Eldorado Canyon Website | Hours: Sunrise – Sunset daily | Entrance: $10 vehicle pass 

Eldorado Canyon State Park is one of the best state parks in Colorado! Kids will enjoy the gentler hiking trails like the Streamside Trail, after which you can settle down for a picnic. You can also fish in South Boulder Creek, or snowshoe in the park during winter.

👉 Pro Tip: We love these monster snow shoes for kids because they make fun tracks when you walk!

Boulder Public Library & Playground

Get a great book and play on the creekside jungle gym 

View of the empty playground outside the public library in Boulder
The library and playground make a great combo outing!

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (303) 441-3100 | Library Website | Hours: 9 am – 7 pm Mon – Thurs, 10 am – 5 pm Fri & Sat, 12 pm – 5 pm Sun

Enjoy two kid-friendly attractions on this free Boulder outing! Start at the library and browse the kids’ section for some great books to read. 

Then, hit the brand-new Creekside Play Area just outside the library near Boulder Creek. Kids can climb into a tree house and enjoy other park features. 

Bowling at The Connection

Head to CU for a fun evening of family bowling

View of the bowling pins in their respective alleys
Show your kids what you’ve got!

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (303) 735-2695 | Connection Website | Hours: 1 pm – 10 pm daily | Cost: $5 per game, $3 shoe rental

The University of Colorado Boulder has a bowling alley that’s open to the public. Spend an evening knocking down pins with the family, or enjoy the ping pong and pool tables on-site. 

Brainard Lake

Hike, fish, or snowshoe at this gorgeous alpine lake

View of the Brainard Lake sign with the scenic views of the Rocky Mountains and lake in the background
Spend a day in the Rocky Mountains at this beautiful lake!

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (303) 541-2500 | Brainard Lake Website | Entrance: Summer – $14 vehicle pass, Winter – free

Brainard Lake is one of the best day trips to take from Boulder. Take the kids for a hike around the water, try fishing, or pack a picnic and just let everyone run around a bit. In winter, there are also snowshoe and cross-country trails. 

📚 Related Reading: 19 Fun Hiking Trails Near Boulder

Sunflower Farm

Spot goats, sheep, cows, llamas, and even peacocks at this Longmont attraction

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (303) 774-8001 | Sunflower Farm Website | Hours: 11 am – 3 pm Sat & Sun | Entrance: $18 adults, Free under 1

Located in Longmont, Sunflower Farm is an Educational Demonstration Farm that has preschool through elementary school programs. The general public can also visit during Farmfest hours, and it hosts live music and food trucks during the summer. 

Valmont Bike Park

Challenge kids on a large variety of terrain — including a toddler track! 

View of a cyclist at Valmont Bike Park
All skill levels are welcome at this urban attraction

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (303) 413-7200 | Valmont Bike Park Website | Hours: Sunrise – Sunset daily | Entrance: Free | 👉 Family Small-Group E-Bike Tour

The Valmont Bike Park has 42 acres of varying terrain. It’s suitable for a variety of abilities, and even has a track dedicated to toddlers. Whether your kid shreds on a mountain bike or wobbles on a Strider, there’s something for them here!

👉 Pro Tip: Note that in certain weather conditions, the park may close to avoid damaging the trails.

Eldora Ski Resort

Enjoy a family- and budget-friendly day on the slopes!

View of the sunset above Eldora Ski Resort
Eldora is one of the closest ski resorts near Denver

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (303) 440-8700 | Eldora Website | Hours: 9 am – 4 pm Mon – Fri, 8:30 am – 4 pm Sat & Sun | Lift Tickets: From $99 adults, From $79 under 16

Eldora is one of the top Colorado ski resorts, and one of the closest to Denver! It features several green runs for young skiers and riders. Children’s lessons are also available, with small classes that include lunch. 

Boulder Creek Path

Walk or bike this scenic waterfront trail 

View of the Boulder Creek Path during the fall season
Boulder Creek is a pleasant place to get the wiggles out!

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (303) 413-7200 | Boulder Creek Path Website | Hours: Sunrise – Sunset daily 

This gentle path runs 5 ½ miles through Boulder. It passes several sites, like the library, Civic Area Park, and the Dushanbe Teahouse. Wander along Boulder Creek with kids, or take a family bike ride.

🌊 Summer Fun: During warm weather, you’ll often spot families tubing down Boulder Creek! Take laps near the library, where the current is more mellow. 

Day in Denver

Take a short trip to the Mile High City for an exciting. action-packed itinerary

Fun sculpture of a broom and dustpan sculpture at the Denver Art Museum
The Denver Art Museum has fun sculptures inside and out!

📍 Google Maps

Take a day trip to experience the many things to do in Denver with kids! Hit the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, the zoo, the botanic gardens, and other kid-friendly attractions in Colorado’s biggest city. 

🛏️ Pro Tip: If you want to make this an overnight trip, there are lots of great places to stay in Denver for a night

Boulder Reservoir

Swim, waterski, bike, and watch for wildlife at this scenic lake

View of the rocky mountain range and the clear blue sky over the Boulder Reservoir
The Boulder Reservoir is a popular place to cool off in summer!

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (303) 441-3461 | Boulder Reservoir Website | Hours: Winter 10 am – 3 pm daily, Summer 6 am – 8 pm | Fall & spring – $5 vehicle fee, Summer – $12 adults, $7.25 under 19 

The Boulder Reservoir is one of the best lakes in Colorado, and kids will have a blast spending the day here! You can rent paddleboards, kayaks, and canoes on-site. Kids can also fish, walk the area, and watch for wildlife. 

University of Colorado Museum of Natural History

Explore interactive exhibits that teach kids about the past

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (303) 492-6892 | Museum of Natural History Website | Hours: 9 am – 5 pm weekdays, 9 am – 4 pm Sat, 10 am – 4 pm Sun | Entrance: $3 adults, $1 under 19

The galleries at this natural history museum help kids learn about paleontology, trees, anthropology, and more. Kids can view museum specimens, do puzzles, make art, and read books about the different topics in the museum. 

There are spaces for eating as well. But plan to pack a lunch, as there is no food available at the museum.  

👉 Pro Tip: If you’re looking for more museums to explore with your kids, these nearby Denver museums are a great place to start!

Rocky Mountain National Park

Watch for elk, take an easy hike, and learn about history at this iconic Colorado destination

View of the lush green wide landscape surrounding of the Coyote Valley Trail
The Coyote Valley Trail is flat and stroller-friendly!

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (970) 586-1206 | Rocky Mountain National Park Website | Vehicle Pass: $30 | 👉 Browse Tours on Viator

Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the best places to visit in Colorado. It’s located just an hour from Boulder and is well worth the trip! 

A few of my favorite kid-friendly activities in the park include the walk around Sprague Lake and the flat, one-mile Coyote Valley Trail. Drive over Trail Ridge Road and visit the Holzwarth Historic Site, too. 

Shredder Indoor Ski School

Get kids ready to hit the slopes!

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (303) 396-1754 | Shredder Website | Hours: 8:30 am – 12 pm, 4 pm – 7 pm weekdays, 8 am – 5 pm Sat & Sun | Entrance: from $15 | 👉 Browse Ski Rentals on Viator

Even before visiting the mountains, help your kids get ready to ski with classes at this indoor ski school. Shredder offers ski and snowboard classes for kids from nine months to ten years old. There is also an open gym period, allowing students to practice on their own. 

⛷️ Hit the Slopes: Consider taking your family to Keystone Ski Resort, considered one of the best for young skiers and riders! 

Chautauqua Park

Enjoy trails, a playground, and the nature center at this historic park

View of the station center at Chautauqua Park
The ranger station also houses a nature center and helpful guides to the park!

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (303) 413-7200 | Chautauqua Park Website | Hours: 5 am – 11 pm daily | Entrance: $2.50/hr on summer weekends & holidays, free the rest of the year

Chautauqua Park has trails that take hikers to great views of the Flatirons. You’ll also find a playground, tennis courts, and an open grassy area where kids can run. The ranger station has a nature center with maps and brochures about the park. 

ABC Kids Climbing

Let them climb like the little monkeys they are

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (303) 443-5437 | ABC Kids Website | Hours: 10 am – 2 pm weekdays, 12:30 pm – 5 pm Sat & Sun | Entrance: $20

Of course, Colorado has climbing gyms for kids! We like to start ‘em early on one of our favorite sports around here. 

ABC Kids Climbing has over 7,200 square feet of climbing space, available to those ages 2 ½ to 19 years old. A special area is designated for 2 ½ to 5-year-olds, while older kids can challenge themselves on harder courses. 

Evert Pierson Kids’ Fishing Pond

Cast a line in a space designed just for kids

A boy holding a fishing rod near the water
Fishing is a great way to get kids outside!

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (303) 413-7200 | Evert Pierson Fishing Pond Website | Hours: 5 am – 1 pm daily | Entrance: Free, for use only by kids under 13

The Evert Pierson Kids’ Fishing Pond is only available to kids 12 and under. The pond was originally a University of Colorado gravel pit but was developed into a fishing pond in 1949. 

It’s stocked with around 3,000 fish every year between Memorial Day and Labor Day. This pond is a great spot for a first fishing outing and allows kids to learn the basics. 

WOW! Children’s Museum

Learn at this museum where kids are encouraged to play with the exhibits

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (303) 604-2424 | Children’s Museum Website | Hours: 9 am – 5 pm Tues – Sat, Closed Sun & Mon | Entrance: $7 adults, $13 under 12

The WOW! Children’s Museum is all about hands-on fun. It includes an art space, a bank, a wind exploration exhibit, an area for bubble fun, and a mock health clinic. The museum also has a special space for newborns to three-year-old children. 

Scott Carpenter Park

Get some fresh air at a playground featuring a rocketship

View of the bright red playground equipment at Scott Carpenter Park
Blast off in a beautiful setting with the Flatirons just behind you!

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (303) 441-4406 | Park Website | Hours: 5 am – 11 pm daily

This community park has a skate park, an open grassy area, and a playground. Most notably, it features a climbable rocketship that kids can’t get enough of! The park is also a popular spot for sledding in the winter. 

Boulder Book Store

Support a local bookstore and discover some great children’s literature

Façade of the Boulder Book Store
The Boulder Book Store has a great kid’s area, plus picks for grown-ups, too!

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (303) 447-2074 | Book Store Website | Hours: 10 am – 10 pm Mon – Sat, 11 am – 7 pm Sun

The Boulder Book Store on the Pearl Street Mall in downtown Boulder has been a fixture since 1973. Let kids find their next great read while you browse books for yourself! 

The bookstore features local authors and hosts community events. It also supports area schools with book fairs, author visits, and discounts on school materials. 

Fiske Planetarium

Inspire wonder and see galaxies far away  

View of the iconic architectural structure of Fiske Planetarium and Science Center
(photo: Sharon Wildie / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (303) 492-5002 | Planetarium Website | Hours: Showtimes vary | Entrance: $12 adults, $8 under 18 & students

Attend a star talk, concert, laser show, or film screening at this unique planetarium. During celestial events like eclipses and rocket launches, it hosts big public gatherings. You can also pop by the Sommers-Bausch Observatory next door for stargazing open houses. 

National Center for Atmospheric Research

Learn about the study of weather

Exterior view of the architectural structure of the National Center For Atmospheric Research
The NCAR building was designed by architect I.M. Pei (photo: jenlo8 / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (303) 497-1000 | NCAR Website | Hours: 9 am – 4 pm weekdays | Entrance: Free

Kids (and adults!) can learn about the study of weather and atmospheric processes at NCAR. The NCAR Mesa Lab Visitor Center is open on weekdays. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at noon, guides lead a free tour of the center. Reservations are not required but are a good idea! 

FAQs About Kid-Friendly Activities in Boulder

Is Boulder a good place for kids?

Boulder is a good place for kids. There are lots of open spaces, hiking trails, and creek access so kids can get out in nature. There are also plenty of indoor kids’ spaces including the Boulder Public Library, plus climbing gyms, rec centers, and even an indoor ski school.

Boulder is also one of the best places to live in Colorado. The Boulder Valley School District ranks highly among others in the area. 

What is there to do in Boulder, Colorado for toddlers?

Things to do in Boulder, Colorado for toddlers include the Boulder Creek Path and Evert Pierson Kids’ Fishing Pond. There are play spaces along Pearl Street Mall and a new jungle gym outside the Boulder Public Library


Thanks for reading this article on the best things to do in Boulder with kids! For more family fun, see our guide to Colorado’s top activities

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