Boulder Nightlife: The Best Bars, Music, Events and Activities After Dark

boulder nightlife

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.

Live Music

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.

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.

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.

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.

Night Hikes

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!

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on email
Email
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp
Lisa Van Horne

Lisa Van Horne

Lisa Van Horne is a writer, editor, and communications professional with a passion for telling the unique stories of people, businesses, and places. Having traded the subways and skyscrapers of Midtown Manhattan for the bliss that is Boulder, Lisa has found home in Colorado and writes on topics including architecture and design, craft beer, local businesses, and local lifestyle. When she’s not scribbling away she can be found exploring Colorado’s mountain towns, learning how to play guitar, swimming, cooking, and cheering on the Buffalo Bills and Colorado Avalanche. Twitter: @LisaVanHorne31 Portfolio: www.lisavanhorne.com
Lisa Van Horne

Lisa Van Horne

Lisa Van Horne is a writer, editor, and communications professional with a passion for telling the unique stories of people, businesses, and places. Having traded the subways and skyscrapers of Midtown Manhattan for the bliss that is Boulder, Lisa has found home in Colorado and writes on topics including architecture and design, craft beer, local businesses, and local lifestyle. When she’s not scribbling away she can be found exploring Colorado’s mountain towns, learning how to play guitar, swimming, cooking, and cheering on the Buffalo Bills and Colorado Avalanche. Twitter: @LisaVanHorne31 Portfolio: www.lisavanhorne.com

Featured Listings

Related Posts

Never Miss a Thing in Boulder

Sign up for our FREE weekly email with Boulder’s best events, concerts, happy hour deals, comedy shows and more. Delivered to your inbox every Friday!

Never Miss a Thing in Boulder

Sign up for our FREE weekly email with Boulder’s best events, concerts, happy hour deals, comedy shows and more. Delivered to your inbox every Friday!

Latest Posts