Summers are bustling in Louisville. Best of all, most of the fun will cost you nothing (or the price of a drink or food). We took a look at our friendly neighbors and found plenty of free things to do for the entire family. This way, the next time you want to skip town, you don’t have to skip far or spend much to find the fun!
What's Happening in Boulder, Colorado?
Welcome to Your Boulder, a guide to what’s happening in one of the happiest, healthiest, and creative cities around. Did we also mention that Boulder, Colorado is one of the most beautiful places on earth?
The epic scenery, athletic opportunities, and splendid climate captivate you immediately. Then it’s time to discover the world-class restaurants, the vibrant technology scene, and the quirks of an amazing college town that’s more than a mile high above sea level.
We keep you informed about the events, outdoor recreation, restaurants, shopping and real estate news you need to get the most out of Boulder. Plus, we profile who and what’s happening around town with our feature articles – to give you a deeper flavor for this fantastic town.
If you’re visiting or new around these parts, here’s your jumping off point for experiencing the best and brightest that Boulder, Colorado has to offer. Take your pick of topics below, or head to the home page for the latest happenings in Boulder.
Boulder is 25 miles northwest of Denver, in the heart of Colorado. Nestled up against the base of the Rocky Mountains, its elevation of 5,430 feet makes it higher than the Mile High City to the southeast (in more ways than one).
It was gold that truly brought Boulder to life. Fortune seekers made Boulder County home on October 17, 1858, at what is now known as Settler’s Park at the far West end of Pearl Street.
Boulder is often referred to as “25 square miles surrounded by reality” for its progressive politics and laid-back lifestyle, but also for its stunning natural beauty. Even with quick access to the world-class city of Denver and an international airport, there’s often very little reason to leave.
Sitting in a valley at the intersection of the Rocky Mountains and the Great Plains, Boulder is associated with the immense sedimentary rock formations to its west known as the Flatirons. The city takes its name from Boulder Creek, a rushing tributary powered by melting mountain snow and healthy springs to the west of town.
Boulder has a semi-arid climate that supports a mild but fully distinct four seasons. Add to that 300 days of annual sunshine, and you realize why Boulderites prefer to be outside, immersed in the copious natural beauty.
Yes, it gets cold, and yes, it snows. But the mountains to the west help shield the city from precipitation in winter, and the sun melts the snow before it gets messy. Summers are mild (but watch out for the sun), and spring and fall are pure bliss.
Look up the definition of "progressive city" in the dictionary, and you'll find See Also: Boulder, Colorado. The town prides itself on creative, independent, and forward thinking, which in turn powers the intellectual vibe, intense athleticism, and technology start-up scene.
Boulder has been named the Happiest, Brainiest, Foodiest, Healthiest, and most Creative city in the United States, among other accolades. People aren't just content to live here, they're thrilled by it -- which is why protection of the environment, alternative energy, and sustainable practices are a top priority to the citizens of Boulder.
Boulder is home to the flagship main campus of the University of Colorado, also known as CU. The university is considered one of the thirty "Public Ivy League" schools according to The Public Ivies: America's Flagship Public Universities. Boulder is also home to Naropa University, a private liberal arts college founded by Tibetan Buddhist teacher and Oxford University scholar Chögyam Trungpa.
The Boulder Valley School District is the local public school system, which includes two high schools and several middle and elementary schools. There are also a variety of private schools, including several Montessori schools, a Waldorf school, and a selection of religious and secular private institutions.
Boulder, CO 80302
The summer heat is here in Boulder, and there’s nothing quite like a frozen treat to cool off with as the thermometer inches upward. Opportunities are abound in Boulder to indulge in ice cream, frozen yogurt, and gelato around town in flavors both classically traditional and creatively wacky. Whether you’re ready for a break after spending a hot day perusing Pearl Street Mall or are on your way home after a sunny summertime adventure, here are some of Boulder’s best spots for a frozen dessert.
Cool & Creative
From the same mind that brought Boulderites BRU Handbuilt Ales + Eats, Heifer and the Hen Organic Creamery takes traditional ice cream flavors and injects out of this world creativity into the mix. With wildly varying flavors like Bourbon Maple Ripple, Orange Blossom, and White Russian (amongst many, many others), Heifer and the Hen also offers dairy-free options, ice cream sandwiches, floats, and more.
A Colorado company with two locations in Boulder and additional shops in Louisville, Denver, and Aurora, Sweet Cow creates unique ice cream concoctions in small batches using local ingredients. Sustainably made and with funky, fun shops to visit, Sweet Cow offers unique flavors in ice cream sandwiches, classic cones, cakes, and more.
It’s that wonderful time of year again – Farmers Market season. Farmers Markets in Boulder are definitely much more than just a place to grab produce. It’s an opportunity to support local farmers and small, local businesses. Often, you’ll find unique, hard to find fruits and vegetables that can’t be found in your typical grocery store.
Plus, there is so much more than just product at Boulder farmers markets. You’ll find fresh flowers and plants, prepared foods, drinks, artisan crafts, jewelry, clothing, and more. Even if you’re not shopping for food, you can find activities for the kids, live music, free samples, and food drinks.
(The following should be sung to the tune of “Peanut Butter Jelly Time”:)
It’s Boulder Creek Festival time, Boulder Creek Festival time; Boulder Creek Festival is the thing ever!
But seriously, Boulder Creek Fest is my favorite time of year in Boulder, if it’s not already obvious, my favorite event of the year. This year is no exception even though the weather forecast is a bit of a bummer.
But that shouldn’t stop you from coming out to have some fun at this free festival downtown!
Breakfast can be a tricky meal for vegans when dining out. Usually breakfast and brunch menus are dominated with bacon, breakfast sausage, eggs, and even sweet options, like French toast and pancakes, made with milk and eggs. While a bowl of fruit is nice, sometimes you want a hearty, savory option that are meat-eating friends enjoy. Fortunately, there are plenty of spots right in Boulder that offer tasty vegan breakfast options. (Note: Anytime you’re ordering, it’s always helpful to mention to make it vegan.)
Your Boulder is delighted to partner with The Passport Program once again for 2017. It’s official — The Boulder Passport is now on sale!
$20 and you’ve got your ticket to 2-for-1 drink specials at a downright HEAP of purveyors in and around town.
Need to tell a co-worker “thank you”? Boulder Passport!
Need a no-excuses way to get friends out of the office at a reasonable hour to relax? Boulder Passport?
Have a new puppy in the house and you just need to sit around with folks who are already potty trained and don’t chew on your $400 designer eyeglasses until they’re reduced to bits of plastic (don’t judge — it happened)? Boulder Passport!
There are over forty location ready to welcome you, your friends, and family for a boozy adventure all summer long — and might we add, on a budget?
Boulder shoe shopping? Yeah, it’s a thing, no matter what your stride. While springtime in Boulder could still always mean a freak snow flurry or a stormy day of rain, sunny and warm summertime is right around the corner. This means it’s (nearly) time to closet those snow boots and free those toes that have been so long suffocating under the heavy woolen socks of winter!
Whether you’re looking to refresh your warm weather shoe collection with stylish new finds or need some new footwear for your upcoming outdoor summer adventures, there are plenty of local shops in Boulder to satisfy that shoe shopping itch.
And they’re off! This Saturday, May 6th, marks the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. It’s both a classic sporting event steeped in tradition and everyone’s favorite excuse to bust out their seersucker suits and fancy hats and indulge in a refreshing mint julep, and Boulder certainly isn’t one to miss out on the excitement of the race and (especially) the celebrations that go along with it.
From mint juleps to whiskey sours and bowties to elaborate hats, here are just a few of the ways you can celebrate the Kentucky Derby in Boulder this weekend.
Boulder is far from the only county in Colorado that consistently focuses on improving and supporting the local community. West on I-70 as you pass through Vail, Beaver Creek, and beyond, Eagle County consists of a series of quintessential Colorado mountain communities that local non-profit InteGreat! looks to continue bettering through a focus on the area’s underprivileged, including its youth. Next month marks InteGreat!’s first large-scale fundraiser, which invites all of Colorado’s youth to rock out and show off their musical gifts for a great cause. So tune your guitars, warm up those vocal chords, and get ready for InteGreat! Rocks! Youth Battle of the Bands.
And it’s Earth Day Saturday, which always gets lots of attention here in our super-eco-conscious town, not only on Earth Day, but every day. But there are plenty of celebrations and events going on to celebrate official Earth Day (too many to include all of them here). One of the many parties is the Children’s Bee Earth Day, over at the new Children’s Peace Garden on Hawthorn. A bluegrass band, goats from Mountain Flower Dairy, face painting, and more, all to celebrate honeybees and the Earth! Buffalo Exchange (recycled clothing is good for the Earth too!) is having a dollar sale, to benefit the Humane Society and the good work they do. Best show up fast for this event though, as their dollar items tend to go quickly. Friday, Twisted Pine is having one of their Pints With a Purpose events, to benefit Green Up Our Schools, an organization definitely up Earth Day’s alley. $1 from every pint sold Friday benefits Green Up Our Schools.
Another event going on this weekend is the Taste of Pearl, happening on Sunday. The ticketed event is sold out, unfortunately, but many places along Pearl are having unofficial tie-in specials etc. to celebrate with the official event, so keep your eyes and ears peeled.
Have an eco-fantastic weekend!
Friday, April 21st
Happy Hour Pitchers – @Twisted Pine (all day)
Pints w a Purpose – benefit @Twisted Pine (all day)
Blue – film @BIFF (see website for screentimes)
Unlocking the Cage – film @Chautauqua (7pm)
Free Coffee Tasting – tasting @Ozo (2pm)
Tyler T – live music @Upslope (6pm)
Fiesta Flamenco – live music @Caffe Sole (7pm)
The Constellation Collective – live music @Laughing Goat (8pm)
Atomga – live music @Oskar Blues Lyons (8:30pm)
New Family Dog – live music @Oskar Blues Longmont (8:30pm)
The Goonies – live music @Bohemian Biergarten (9pm)
Lady and the Gentlemen – live music @Conor O’Neill’s (10pm)
Jaden Carlson – live music @Lazy Dog (9pm)
September School Presents Battle of the Bands – concert @Boulder Theatre (7pm)
Louis Futon – concert @Fox theatre (9pm)
DJ Goodie – dance @Tahona (10pm)
Zing For Zonta: Boulder’s Got Talent – benefit concert @eTown (5:30-9pm)
Angry Neighbor brings you The 40 oz Profits – concert @Boulder House (9pm)
Late Night Happy Hour – @West End Tavern (9pm- 11pm)
Late Night Happy Hour – @Centro (9:30pm – 11pm)
Saturday, April 22nd
Boulder Farmer’s Market – @13th Street (8am – 2pm)
Longmont Farmer’s Market – @Fairgrounds (8am – 1pm)
Orvis 101 – @Front Range Anglers (10am)
Children’s Bee Earth Day – festival @Growing Gardens Organic Farm (10am-2pm)
Dollar Sale – benefit @Buffalo Exchange (10am-1pm)
Drink and Bottle happy hour specials – @SiP Boulder (all day)
White – film @BIFF (see website for screentimes)
Big Top: a Springtime Circus Extravaganza – circus event @eTown (6:30-9pm)
Janine Gastineau – live music @Caffe Sole (7pm)
Brian Kittrell – live music @Laughing Goat (8pm)
Matt Rouch & The Noise Upstairs – live music @Laughing Goat (9pm)
Cosmopolitics – live music @Conor O’Neill’s (10pm)
New Family Dog – live music @Oskar Blues Lyons (8:30pm)
Broken Land – live music @Oskar Blues Longmont (8:30pm)
Felonius Smith – live music @Longs Peak Pub (7pm)
Guerrilla Fanfare – live music @Bohemian Biergarten (10pm)
DJ Wushu – dance @Tahona (10pm)
Late Night Radio – concert @Fox theatre (9pm)
Late Night Happy Hour – @West End Tavern (9pm- 11pm)
Late Night Happy Hour – @Centro (9:30pm – 11pm)
Sunday, April 23rd
Red – film @BIFF (see website for screentimes)
Acoustic Jam – @Conor O’Neill’s (3pm)
Traditional Irish Session – @Conor O’Neill’s (7:30pm)
Bluegrass Pick – live music @Oskar Blues Longmont (12noon)
Kevin Dooley – live music @Oskar Blues Longmont (6pm)
Banshee Tree – live music @Oskar Blues Lyons (5pm)
Sophie Nevill – live music @Laughing Goat (8pm)
BrownRandy – live music @Laughing Goat (9pm)
SPIRKO – live music @Laughing Goat (10pm)
G Herbo – concert @Fox theatre (9pm)
Rahul Sharma & Zakir Hussain – concert @Boulder Theatre (7pm)
Boulder Comedy Show – stand-up comedy @Bohemian Biergarten (7pm: clean, 9pm: naughty)
The Sweet Lillies – live music @Mountain Sun (10pm)
As always, if you have an event you’d like for us to include in coming weeks or you know of fun happenings this weekend, be sure to leave it in the comments or send it to us right here in a message.