Colorado may be famous for its 300 annual days of sunshine. But there are ample fun events and activities to take part in after the sun has gone down throughout the state’s most vibrant cities, and Boulder nightlife is no exception.
From live music in Boulder’s many craft brewery taprooms to late night eats, a unique bar scene, community art and culture events, and much more, here are a few ideas for exciting, enriching things to do in the Boulder nightlife scene.
Craft Beer & Taproom Events
The craft brew sipping and sampling that’s synonymous with Boulder doesn’t stop just because the sun goes down. Boulder County boasts one of (if not the most) unique and diverse craft beer scenes in the country, with many local breweries also offering hearty dinner menus along with their craft beer line-ups. From patio season pale ales to after-dinner stouts and porters, the evening hours are an ideal time to take in the city’s craft beer scene.
- Avery Brewing Company
- Famous for its ample selection of inventive brews, Tap Room Rarities, and incomparable barrel-aging program, Avery also boasts a delicious dinner menu, brewery catwalk, and patio that’s hard to beat on an evening during any season.
- Boulder Beer Company
- With a claim to fame as Colorado’s first craft brewery, Boulder Beer is an ideal local craft beer sipping hangout.
- Twisted Pine Brewing Company
- Eats, event space, and mouthwatering beers make Twisted Pine a local favorite for fun goings-on and relaxing beer sampling.
- West Flanders Brewing Company
- Located on Pearl Street Mall, West Flanders is an ideal spot from which to enjoy a brew and bites while watching the bustle of Downtown Boulder at night pass by.
- Rayback Collective
- Can’t decide which of Boulder’s many taprooms to visit? Rayback Collective is a community gathering space that boasts a diverse list of beers, food trucks, and space to relax and play into the evening.
Boulder’s craft breweries also play host to an array of events throughout the week, from trivia nights to art and craft sessions (hello beer stein painting!), board game nights, comedy events, frequent new beer releases, fundraisers for local charitable organizations, and many more.
- Get your trivia on at multiple breweries throughout the county, including Crystal Springs Brewing Company, Odd13 Brewing Company, Front Range Brewing Company, and more.
- Earn your brews by participating in Brewhouse Yoga or Craft Pilates at Sanitas Brewing Company.
- Clink glasses for a good cause at frequent fundraising events at the likes of Twisted Pine Brewing Company and Left Hand Brewing Company.
Boulder nightlife is teeming with intimate, engaging venues that play host to musical talent galore across a number of genres and styles. No matter the night of the week, you’re sure to find anything from taproom tunes and bluegrass picking sessions to seasonal summertime shows serving as the soundtrack to Boulder after dark.
- Enjoy regular live music events while sipping on a craft brew at taprooms including Liquid Mechanics Brewing Company, Upslope Brewing Company, and all of Boulder’s Mountain Sun Pub & Brewery locations.
- World-class musical talents across a wide spectrum of genres frequently perform at the historic Boulder Theater downtown and at the Fox Theatre on “The Hill.”
- The University of Colorado Boulder’s many event venues, such as Macky Auditorium, play host to various evening musical performances and events throughout the year.
- The historic Chautauqua Auditorium and conveniently located Central Park Boulder Bandshell are ideal musical venues during sunny summertime evenings.
Late Night Eats
Tacos, sushi, seafood, pasta, farm to table, Mediterranean, slow-cooked BBQ…the cuisines waiting to be indulged in throughout Boulder nightlife are endless. The city’s restaurant scene is bursting with culinary talent and innovation and, whether you’re looking to enjoy the best burger of your life, an indulgent late-night snack, or a carefully crafted, locally sourced plate of charcuterie, Boulder’s restaurants are hard to beat.
- It’s a near-impossible task to narrow down a short list of Boulder’s best restaurants. By way of a rapid-fire list of suggestions, be sure to check out: Bramble & Hare, Wild Standard, Frasca Food & Wine, Black Cat, T|aco, The Med, Via Perla, Tahona Tequila Bistro, Eureka, Brasserie Ten Ten, Oak at Fourteenth, and Japango.
- If you’re lucky enough to get a reservation, Flagstaff House offers an upscale dining experience along with one of, if not the most, beautiful views of Boulder around.
- What could take your Boulder dining experience to the next level? Enjoying your amazing eats from one of the city’s equally enjoyable restaurant or brewery patios.
- Learn from some of Boulder’s best chefs at a cooking class at Food Lab on Pearl Street’s East End.
Indulge in Dessert
While many Boulderites may choose to drink their dessert in the form of a hearty stout or sweet porter, there are ample opportunities to indulge in evening dessert treats throughout town.
- Heifer and the Hen takes a wildly inventive approach to their delicious ice creams. Stop by their shop to enjoy unique flavors like Orange Blossom, Burnt Marshmallow S’more, and White Russian (amongst many more).
- Satisfy your gelato fix at Fior di Latte by enjoying their scratch ice cream recipes and unique ingredients.
- Stop by Sweet Cow, a local Colorado company with multiple Boulder County locations, for small batch ice cream concoctions.
Check out even more local haunts for delicious frozen treats here.
The Bar Scene
Whether you’re looking to hang out at a sports bar, sip on swanky cocktails, or enjoy an evening of dancing and games, Boulder’s bars deliver on all fronts. There are numerous bars in the Boulder nightlife scene sure to fit any mood and vibe, from a night of cheering on your favorite sports team to relaxing with friends over a few drinks.
- Enjoy carefully crafted cocktails at the likes of The Bitter Bar and License No. 1 (within the historic Hotel Boulderado), or mix and match your own cocktail concoction at Salt the Bistro.
- Head to West End Tavern or The Attic Bar & Bistro for a casual pub atmosphere or The Lazy Dog Sports Bar & Grill on Pearl Street Mall for a traditional sports bar feel.
- Enjoy Czech-inspired brews, eats, and ambiance at downtown’s lively Bohemian Biergarten.
- Got a competitive streak? Play some of your favorite old-school video games at Press Play Bar.
Community Art & Culture Events
Boulder’s natural beauty can perhaps only be matched by the wonder created by the city’s talented local artists. From poetry readings to art exhibits, concerts, film screenings and festivals, and more, creativity thrives freely and is present everywhere in Boulder. Check out a few of these nighttime activities to experience the beautiful, thought-provoking work of some of Boulder’s best artistic and cultural visionaries.
- The Colorado Shakespeare Festival has been entertaining patrons for over 60 years, putting on multiple plays each summer at CU-Boulder’s Mary Rippon Outdoor Theatre.
- The Dairy Arts Center is a hub of creativity in Boulder, hosting numerous classes, events, performances, exhibits, and more throughout the year.
- Pearl Street Mall is the vibrant heartbeat of Boulder lightlife, and a nighttime stroll down these famous blocks promises experiences of local musicians and street performers galore.
- Inspired by all this creativity to get artistic yourself? Take a guided painting class (while sipping on your favorite vino) at Downtown Boulder’s POSHsplat Paint & Wine Studio.
You can check out a full calendar of community art and culture events here.
Hiking after dark in Boulder is a unique way to experience the city’s famously vast network of trails. Nighttime hikers can enjoy beautiful views of the city’s lights and have a tranquil hiking experience that can sometimes prove elusive during the day due to the popularity of some of Boulder’s most renowned trails.
- Starting your night hike at the Chautauqua Trailhead allows for a series of easy-to-navigate hiking options, including a simple Chautauqua Meadow-Bluebird Baird-Bluebell Road loop or the Woods Quarry trail.
- In the winter months, Boulderites can often be found hiking up Flagstaff Mountain to get an up-close-and-personal look at the famous Boulder Star.
- The City of Boulder’s Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP) offers a variety of guided night hikes for less experienced beginners.
While safety is always paramount when hiking, it’s especially important when embarking on a nighttime trek. Be aware that wildlife activity is high in the evenings and be sure to adhere to all local guidelines, laws, and regulations when it comes to both the trails and parking. With the appropriate prep work, safety precautions, and research, however, night hiking in Boulder can be a hugely rewarding experience.
Visit the OSMP website here for more information.
Any fun nighttime Boulder nightlife events and activities we missed? Let us know in the comments!