View of the mountain landscape in Boulder Colorado

29 Fun Things to Do in Boulder Colorado (in 2021)

One of the best things about Colorado is that each area of the state has its own vibe. And nowhere is that more apparent than in the so-called “People’s Republic of Boulder.” You’ll find an eclectic array of things to do in Boulder, with options for every type of person, and I’m here to guide you through it all.

Whether you want to get out into the Rocky Mountains or take in a chamber orchestra concert, I’m sure you’ll find something on this list to do … and you’ll also be infected by the wild and wacky spirit of Boulder and the people who love it!

Note: Some of these great Boulder attractions are currently closed due to the ongoing health crisis. Circumstances are constantly changing, so we noted those places where you’ll want to double-check before planning a trip in the near future.

Disclosure: Travel Lemming is an independent reader-supported blog. You can support my work by purchasing through the affiliate links on this page, which may earn a commission for this site. Thank you!

Best Things to Do in Boulder

👉 Jump to: Best Things to Do | Outdoor Activities | Museums & Culture | What to Do in Winter | Downtown Activities

Eldorado Canyon State Park

View of the Eldorado Canyon trail near Boulder Colorado

Map It: 9 Kneale Rd, Eldorado Springs, CO 80025 | Phone: (303) 494-3943 | Website | Hours: Sunrise to Sunset | Entrance: $10 

Eldorado Canyon State Park showcases the best of Boulder’s outdoor scenery and activities! There are many hiking trails and biking trails in the park. The rock climbing at the park draws people from around the world to try routes at the park, and there’s great fishing, too. If you love nature photography, Eldorado Canyon State Park is also a wonderful place to take pictures!

👉 Pro Tip: The park gets crowded on weekends and holidays. Arrive early, and use the shuttle service in summer to avoid parking headaches. 

Pearl Street Mall

View of the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder
There’s fun for everyone along the Pearl Street Mall! (jenlo8 / 123RF)

Map It: 1942 Broadway #301, Boulder, CO 80302 | Phone: (303) 449-3774 | Website | Hours: Shop Hours Vary 

Pearl Street Mall is an outdoor shopping area with plenty of stores, bars, restaurants, a free electric train ride for kids, and outdoor spaces to relax or cool off. You’ll see shops you recognize, but there are also lots of independent stores where you can find something unique along the Pearl Street Mall to bring home from your day in Boulder. 

🚲 Want a good overview? Try an Electric Cruiser Fat Tire Bike Tour to take you past the big sights in Boulder like CU, Chautauqua, and more. 

University Of Colorado Boulder

View of the stadium entrance and the CU Buff outside
(jenlo8 / 123RF)

Map It: 552 UCB UCSU, Boulder, CO 80309 | Phone: (303) 492-6970 | Website | Hours: Vary | 👉 Browse Boulder Hotels on Booking

The University of Colorado Boulder (known as CU Boulder…and among locals simply as “CU”) is the biggest Colorado campus for a university. No surprise that there’s plenty to do here, whether you’re a student or a tourist! 

Visit the CU Heritage Center to see a moon rock, memorabilia from famous students like Glenn Miller, and a model of the university made entirely of LEGO. If you visit Boulder in summer, check out the Colorado Shakespeare Festival on campus, and if you’re there in fall, see a football game. 

📚 Related Reading: If you’re staying in Colorado for a while, be sure to check out our list of 33 Fun Things To Do in Colorado (written by a local!). 

Museum of Boulder

Aerial view of Boulder Colorado and mountains around it

Map It: 2205 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80302 | Phone: (303) 449-3464 | Website | Hours: 9 am – 5 pm daily, Closed Tuesdays | Entrance: $10, adults, $8 under 18

The Museum of Boulder is one Boulder museum among many! The museum has lots of artifacts and photos tracing the history of the area and Boulder’s impact on the wider world. The Playzeum is a kids’ space where they can experiment and they’re allowed to touch the exhibits. There are also exhibits showing local artists’ creations.

👉 Pro Tip: The Museum of Boulder used to be known as the Boulder History Museum, and you may find some people who still refer to it that way.

Outdoor Activities in Boulder

👉 Jump to: Best Things to Do | Outdoor Activities | Museums & Culture | What to Do in Winter | Downtown Activities

Chautauqua Park

View of flatirons mountains from Chautauqua Park

Map It: 900 Baseline Rd, Boulder, CO 80302 | Phone: (303) 413-7200 | Website | Hours: 5 am – 11 pm daily 

When you’re looking for things to do in Boulder, Chautauqua Park is a great place to start! It’s part of a landmark area that the City of Boulder set aside to be preserved more than 100 years ago. 

Now, visitors can hike and mountain bike on the many hiking trails that wind through the park. There’s also a playground and tennis courts. After you work up an appetite out on the trail, the Chautauqua Dining Hall is a delicious, special place to eat! 

Hike the Flatirons

View of the famous flatirons in Boulder

Map It: Bluebell Road, Boulder, CO 80302 | Website | Hours: Sunrise to Sunset

The Flatirons are the most striking scenery in Boulder – they’re rocks that jut up out of the ground west of the city. Getting up close and personal with the Flatirons is one of the exciting things to do in Boulder! 

There are lots of hiking trails that will take you near the Flatirons, and many of those trails start at the Chautauqua Trailhead. The Ranger Cottage nearby has trail maps and you can get advice on the hikes. Flatiron Loop is a daily easy, two mile hike but there are others that will make your trip longer if you want more of a challenge. 

Also, many Boulderites go rock climbing on the Flatirons, so that’s an option, too!

Boulder Creek

A man in a tube on the Boulder Creek, one of the top things to do in Boulder Colorado
Boulder Creek is beautiful to walk along…or raft in!

Map It: 1505 30th St, Boulder, CO 80303 | Phone: (303) 441-4406 | Website

This creek runs through downtown and there are lots of places where you can sit and enjoy it! Boulder Creek Path is a 5 and a half mile path you can walk or ride, that follows the creek from Boulder Canyon on the west to Stazio Ballfields on the east. The creek is also the main source of the beautiful tributary, South Boulder Creek, which is a popular choice for fly fishing.

The Peoples’ Crossing Park

View of Flagstaff Mountain and the sunset behind it

Map It: 101 Pearl St, Boulder, CO 80302  | Phone: (303) 441-3440 | Website | Hours: Sunrise to Sunset | Entrance: Free

The trailhead at the Peoples’ Crossing Boulder mountain park leads to many red rock hiking trails. Dogs are allowed on the hiking trails, and you may encounter bear, mountain lions, and mule deer. You’ll also get amazing views of the Boulder area and the red rock sandstone formations on these trails. 

👉 Pro Tip: The Peoples’ Crossing Park was renamed from “Settler’s Park” in 2021. The new name is meant to honor the area as a crossroads for Indigenous Peoples who long traveled and lived in the Boulder region.

Boulder Central Park

View of Boulder Central Park and a statue of a woman sitting
Boulder Central Park is near Pearl Street Mall – a great place to take a break! (kitleong / 123RF)

Website 

Central Park is downtown near the Boulder County Farmers Markets and the Pearl Street Mall. There’s a playground there, and access to the creek, along with space for kids to run or for you to bring some food you bought on Pearl Street and have a little picnic. 

Flagstaff Mountain Nature Center

View of Flagstaff Mountain from afar

Map It: Flagstaff Summit Rd, Boulder, CO 80302 | Phone: (303) 441-3440 | Website | Hours: 10:30 am – 4 pm Fri, Sat, and Sun June through Sept. | Entrance: $5 Parking Fee

Driving to Flagstaff Mountain is going to give you beautiful views of Boulder down below. The Nature Center is at the summit, and you can learn about the wildlife and geology of the area. There is a kids’ corner with books and other activities for children, and there are interactive exhibits for everyone to see. You can also pick up some hiking trails near here for even more great views!

📚 Related Reading: Don’t miss my list of the 41 best places to visit in the state of Colorado, including some Colorado spots and destinations locals might not even know about!

Eldorado Hot Springs Pool

Map It: 294 Artesian Drive, Eldorado Springs, CO 80025 | Phone: (303) 604-3000 | Website | Hours: 10 am – 6 pm daily, Memorial Day to Labor Day | Entrance: $8

Eldorado Hot Springs Pool has been around since 1905, and the pool is fed from an artesian spring. The water is a gorgeous clear blue, and it stays at 80° F. The architecture of the resort building and the view of the Rocky Mountains beyond make one of the best things to do in Boulder on a nice afternoon!

Boulder Falls

Scenic view of the splashy Boulder Falls
A fun hike with a splashy ending!

Map It: Boulder Canyon Dr, Nederland, CO 80466 | Website 

Boulder Falls is just a short, easy hike from the parking area, but the falls are beautiful and even earned the area the name “Yosemite of Boulder Canyon” (which may have been stretching things just a bit!). The falls are pretty impressive, though, and a fun, quick trip from Boulder where you can picnic and enjoy the outdoors.  

Cure Organic Farm Tours

View of hens from a organic farmyard

Map It: 7416 Valmont Road, Boulder, Colorado, 80301 | Website | Hours: Mondays or Thursdays; April–May and September–October | Entrance: $5/person, $75 minimum 

Farm tours are fun things to do in Boulder! The Boulder community tends to be very conscious of living with an eco-friendly, healthy view towards their food and other things they consume. An organic farm tour can show you how food is grown, teach you about composting, or introduce you to the farm animals. You’ll spend the day outside and learn a little something, too!

👉 Pro Tip: Farm tours are currently suspended due to Covid. Check the Cure Farm Tours website to see when they’ll be back!

Valmont Bike Park

View of a boy riding his bicycle

Map It: 5100 Valmont Road, Boulder, CO 80301 | Phone: (303) 413-7219 | Website | Hours: Sunrise to Sunset daily, check for weather closures | Entrance:  Free

Valmont Bike Park is a natural terrain park that has different tracks and features for different kinds of mountain biking. There are calmer, flatter trails, but also trails with jumps and plenty of opportunities for daredevil moves. If you’re a mountain bikers, this is one of the more awesome things to do in Boulder!

Museums & Culture

👉 Jump to: Best Things to Do | Outdoor Activities | Museums & Culture | What to Do in Winter | Downtown Activities

Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art

View of the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Arts exterior
(kitleong / 123RF)

Map It: 1750 13th Street, Boulder, CO 80302 | Phone: (303) 443.2122 | Website | Hours: 11 am – 5 pm daily, Closed Mondays | Entrance: $2, adults, Free under 12, Free for everyone on Saturdays

The Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art is a really inexpensive way to enjoy some local culture! Even the building is cool – a 1906 downtown Boulder building that used to be a warehouse. Along with showcasing art from many talented adults, the BMoCA has programs for youth as well. This is one of those things to do in Boulder that you’ll find interesting and educational…and you’ll be supporting the local community!

📚 Related Reading: Denver also has great museums and culture. Check out our list of the best things to do in Denver for more activity inspiration!

Boulder Museum of Natural History

Map It: Henderson Building, 15th and Broadway, Boulder, CO 80309 | Phone: (303) 492-6892  | Website | Hours: 9 am – 5 pm weerkdays, 9 am – 4 pm Saturdays, 10 am – 4 pm Sundays | Entrance: Free, although a small donation is suggested

The Boulder Museum of Natural History is one of the Boulder museums that’s part of CU Boulder. This Colorado museum has interactive exhibits for kids and lectures and hands-on activities for adults. Learn about ancient life in the Boulder area and tour the Paleontology Hall to see fossil plants and animals. 

👉 Pro Tip: The museum is currently closed, but working to reopen for Fall 2021.

Boulder Mural Tour

View of a bicycle and a colorful street mural behind it
(David Prahl / Shutterstock.com)

Map It: 9th & Pearl, Boulder, CO 80302 | Website

Boulder has a vibrant artist community, and some of the best public art is in the form of murals all over the city. The murals on this list are mostly along Pearl Street, so you can take a nice walk as you admire them all!

🚴 Take an eBike Mural Tour: You’ll visit murals around town on the Wall to Wall Boulder eBike Mural Ride, and learn anecdotes about Boulder life from your guide. 

Boulder Chamber Orchestra

View of a viola being played by a man

Map It: 4735 Walnut St F, Boulder, CO 80301 | Phone:(303) 583-1278 | Website | Tickets: $20-25 

Listen to the beautiful strains of violas and cellos in one of the most beautiful cities on earth! The Boulder Chamber Orchestra tends to play at the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Boulder, which is a large venue and doesn’t often sell out. They usually do seasonal pieces around Christmas, and also have some mini-chamber performances along with larger concerts. 

Boulder Theater

View of the Boulder Theater outside
(jenlo8 / 123RF)

Map It: 2032 14th St. Boulder, CO. 80302 | Phone: (303) 786-7030 | Website

Once an opera house, the Boulder Theater is now one of the coolest places in town to experience live music. It also shows films, hosts spoken word readings, and a variety of other events. 

📚 Read Next: My epic list of the best day trips from Boulder will give you plenty of ideas for excursions and getaways around the Boulder area!

Dairy Arts Center

View of the Dairy Art Center sign with some snow on it

Map It: 2590 Walnut, Boulder, Colorado 80302 | Phone: (303) 440-7826 | Website | Hours: 10 am – 6 pm weekdays, 12 – 7:30 pm Sat, 12 – 5:30 pm Sun| Entrance: $5

The Dairy Arts Center was formed as a place for local artists to work. Now, you can get a ticket for a live performance or tour the visual arts gallery during the day. You can also pop in for happy hour at the Polk Cafe and learn more about the space. 

National Center for Atmospheric Research

View of the exterior of National Center for Atmospheric Research
(jenlo8 / Depositphotos)

Map It: 1850 Table Mesa Drive, Boulder, Colorado 80305 | Phone: (303) 497-1000 | Website | Hours: 8 am – 5 pm daily | Entrance: Free

NCAR has a Mesa Laboratory and Visitor Center that offers tours and allows visitors to check out the exhibits and learn about atmospheric science and research. You can learn more about weather and climate science here, too. 

👉 Pro Tip: As of early September, NCAR is currently not allowing tours or visitors at the Visitor Center due to the health crisis. Be sure to check the website for updates!

NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory

View of the signages in National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and a big tree behind it
(EQRoy / Shutterstock)

Map It: 325 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80305-3328 | Website | Hours: Tours are Tuesdays at 1 pm | Entrance: Free

One of the more unique things you can do in Boulder is to check out the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration! They do lots of research and work on weather forecasts both on Earth and in space. If you’re a meteorology buff, this is right up your alley!

👉 Important Note: NOAA is currently not conducting its tours due to the health crisis. Be sure to check the website to find out when they’ll be back on!

Fiske Planetarium

View of the Fiske Planetarium from the outside
(Sharon Wildie / Shutterstock)

Map It: 2414 Regent Drive, Boulder, CO 80309 | Phone: (303) 492-5002 | Website | Entrance: $10, adults, $7 under 18 

Fiske Planetarium is part of CU Boulder, and hosts live talks, concerts, special events, and star shows. It’s a great place for kids or adults who love all things space! The planetarium also sometimes hosts laser fantasy shows (some of those are a little less kid-friendly!)

What to Do in Winter in Boulder

👉 Jump to: Best Things to Do | Outdoor Activities | Museums & Culture | What to Do in Winter | Downtown Activities

Eldora Ski Resort

View of Eldora ski resort and mountains on the background

Map It: 2861 Eldora Ski Rd, Nederland, CO 80466 | Phone: (303) 440-8700| Website | Hours: 9 am – 4 pm daily

Eldora is a great little ski resort that’s just 21 miles from Boulder and 47 miles from Denver. Because it’s smaller than big resorts like Breckenridge, it’s cheaper and it’s a great place for beginning skiers and families. 

Brainard Lake

View of the frozen Brainard lake in the wilderness

Map It: Brainard Lake Rd, Ward, CO 80481 | Phone: (303) 541-2500 | Website 

Brainard Lake Recreation Area is a beautiful spot year-round, and there are plenty of hiking and biking trails you can explore in summer. But it’s really popular as a snowshoeing and cross-country skiing spot in winter. Pack yourself a thermos of hot chocolate and hit the trails!

👉 Pro Tip: A timed-entry reservation is required to enter Brainard Lake Recreation Area. You can learn more here

Avery Brewing Company Tours

View of different beers on a wooden table

Map It: 4910 Nautilus Ct N. Boulder, Colorado 80301 | Phone: (303) 440-4324 | Website | Hours: 3 pm – 9 pm Wed & Thurs, 11:30 am – 9 pm Fri – Sun 

Colorado is well-known for its craft beer industry and there are plenty of brewery tours to take throughout the state! The Avery Brewing Company is one great brewery in Boulder where you can pop in and have a pint. 

Tours are currently on hold due to the health crisis, but you can visit the taproom, and keep an eye on their website to see when they plan to reopen the Avery Brewing Company tours. It’s one of the most fun (and tasty!) things to do in Boulder!

🍻Combine your love of beer and hiking: The Boulder Hike & Brews tour takes you on a hike to the Flatirons, then to a local taproom to try a craft beer. 

Celestial Seasonings Tea Factory

View of Celestial Seasonings logo on a brick stone in Boulder CO

Map It: 4600 Sleepytime Dr, Boulder, CO 80301 | Phone: 866-972-6879 | Website | Entrance: Free

See where one of the world’s most popular tea brands is made (on Sleepytime Drive, of course!). You’ll get to sample some teas, and it’s definitely one of the best-smelling tours you’ll ever take. 

👉 Pro Tip: Tours are currently on hold due to the health crisis. You can check the tea tour website to find out when they’ll be offered again. 

Downtown Activities

👉 Jump to: Best Things to Do | Outdoor Activities | Museums & Culture | What to Do in Winter | Downtown Activities

The Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse

View of the Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse outside during afternoon
Spend a beautiful afternoon at the teahouse! (kitleong / 123RF)

Map It: 1770 13th Street, Boulder, CO 80302 | Phone: (303) 442-4993 | Website | Hours: 11 am – 9 pm Tues – Fri, 9 am – 9 pm Sat & Sun

The Dushanbe Teahouse is a gorgeously painted teahouse downtown. It was actually given as a gift from Boulder’s sister city Dushanbe, Tajikistan. You can have a full meal inside, an English afternoon tea, or a small treat like dessert or appetizers. 

Boulder Farmers Market

View of goodies from Boulder Farmers Market
You can load up on all kinds of goodies here! (jenlo8 / 123RF)

Map It: 13th St, Boulder, CO 80302 | Phone: (303) 910-2236 | Website | Hours: 8 am – 2 pm Saturdays April – Nov | Entrance: Free

The Boulder Farmers Market is perhaps the best farmers market in all of Colorado. There are tons of vendors with plenty of fresh produce, free-range animal products, and vendors selling handmade and other unique items. 

Take the morning to just stroll through the market, and maybe pick yourself up a tasty treat while you’re there! You’ll find tons of options at Boulder County Farmers Markets! 

👉 Want More? Next, read my guide to the best stuff to do in the state of Colorado.

***

Boulder is a wonderful community of unique people, and the things you’ll find to do there are as interesting and varied as the people! 

Boulder is at once a college town, an outdoors paradise, and are eco-friendly and artistic city. From Colorado’s Shakespeare Festival to the BolderBOULDER, the third largest running race in the country, Boulder really does offer a lot of variety.  

What’s your favorite Boulder attraction on this list? Do you have a favorite activity in Boulder that’s not on this list? 

Leave a comment and let me know!

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