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    Snowy Flatirons

    Winter Activities in Boulder

    A "Top 10 Winter Town" by National Geographic

    Winter in Boulder is surprising. Hotels offer their lowest rates, there typically isn't much snow on the ground, and CU is in session, giving the town a hip, young energy. On warm days, bike rides and hikes are the norm, as are lunches on restaurant patios. On snowy days, coffee shops buzz and breweries are hopping. Come play in our winter wonderland!

    1. Opt Outside

    Hiking in Boulder is great any day of the year, including all through winter. You likely won't even need snowshoes — just a pair of boots. The city offers free, guided nature hikes where you can discover winter birds, snowflakes and animal tracks in the snow. Most of the trails are located no more than five minutes from downtown.

    Celebrate the New Year with a First Day Hike and be part of the #OptOutside movement! Join other adventurous souls and celebrate the New Year with a refreshing foray into the wilderness. Start 2017 off right and resolve to get outside more often, live healthier and feel cleansed by nature. Here are 5 winter hikes to try. And Eldorado Canyon State Park is just nine miles from town.

    Hiking Chautauqua in Winter 

    2. Cozy Up to an Unforgettable Meal

    You don't get the titles of America's Foodiest Town (Bon Appétit) or Top Ten Foodiest Street (Food & Wine) without having some of the country's best chefs turning out incredible dishes, starring flavorful local ingredients. Come indulge at dozens of acclaimed restaurants!

    Riffs Restaurant Boulder

    3. Ski Like a Local

    An easy 30-minute drive from downtown Boulder, Eldora Mountain Resort offers snowboarding, downhill skiing, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Eldora has a laid-back local vibe with enough skiing and riding for skiers and boarders of all levels. Both Ski and Skiing magazines are based in Boulder, as is Warren Miller's famed ski film production company. So yes, we love to ski!

    Eldora Mountain Resort

    4. Complete All Your Holiday Shopping

    Need an indie boutique or a favorite national brand to complete your holiday shopping list? Boulder has two major shopping areas outside in the fresh Colorado air. Hit downtown's famous Pearl Street pedestrian mall or the Twenty Ninth Street shopping center, with views of the snow-dusted Flatirons.

    5. Have a Hearty Brew

    Boulder has been a craft brewing capital for decades, and the pace of new brewery openings continues at a staggering rate. Cozy up to some hearty winter fare, paired with the perfect brew, at Boulder's brewpubs.


    Avery Tap Room

    6. Ice Skate Downtown

    Boulder's charming little ice rink is lit with twinkling lights right in downtown, across from Central Park. It’s open every day and every night through Valentine’s weekend and skate rentals are available. Stop in the Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse next door for something warm afterward. It is an authentic central Asian teahouse, built by hand and shipped to Boulder in pieces as a gift from our sister city, Dushanbe, Tajikistan. At nighttime, across the street, Central Park is adorned in more than 200,000 colorful lights. 

    7. Indulge with a Sweet Treat

    Handmade chocolates at Piece, Love and Chocolate, cupcakes at Tee and Cakes, gelato at Fior di Latte and baked goods at Spruce Confections — Boulderites love to reward themselves with gourmet confections. Indulge your sweet tooth, too.

    Pastries in Boulder

    8. Discover Your New Favorite Winter Events

    Check out these great holiday events and visit our full, searchable event calendar for even more ideas. 

    Winter Skate (Ongoing through Valentine's weekend)
    Take a spin on the ice under in downtown Boulder next to Central Park and the Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse (great for a post-skate warm-up).
    Mon, Tues, Weds – 11am-9pm
    Thurs, Fri – 11am-10pm
    Sat – 10am-10pm
    Sun – 10am-8pm

    Switch on the Holidays (Nov. 20, 2015)
    See downtown Boulder come alive with sparkling lights and a visit from Santa.

    Snow Much Fun (Nov. 21, 2016-mid January 2017)
    200,000 lights illuminate Boulder’s Central Park and an ice skating rink!

    Fresh Air Friday
    Colorado's State Parks are free on Black Friday, including Eldorado Canyon State Park, just nine miles from town.

    Boulder Ballet's "Nutcracker" (Nov. 25-27, 2016)
    America's favorite ballet is brought to life and accompanied by the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra.

    St. Nick on the Bricks
 (November 25 and Saturdays, November 26-December 24, 2016)
    Meet Santa himself in downtown Boulder.

    Small Business Saturday (Nov. 26, 2016)
    Boulder's countless independent boutiques and businesses are ready with great deals for conscientious shoppers.

    Santa's House (Dec. 3-4, 2016)
    Meet Santa and Mrs. Claus at the Pi Beta Phi sorority house, decked out in holiday cheer to welcome children each year, to help raise money for the Emergency Family Assistance Association.

    CU Presents' Holiday Festival (Dec. 2-4, 2016)
    One of Boulder's most loved holiday concert traditions.

    Lights of December Parade (Dec. 3, 2016)
    Our hometown parade of lights. 

    Firefly Handmade Holiday Market 
(Dec. 10-11, 2016)

    The best in handmade gifts from dozens of local indie-craft artisans.

    Stories on Stage, "Making Merry" (Dec. 10-11, 2016)
    A holiday version of Stories on Stage, which presents great works of literature, performed on stage by professional actors.

    Santa on the Snow (Dec 24-25, 2016)
    Join Santa on the ski slopes at Eldora Mountain Resort.

    Third Annual Ugly Sweater and Best Elf Costume Contest (Dec. 24, 2016)
    Don your ugliest holiday sweater or elf costume and join in a fun day of skiing and laughing at Eldora Mountain Resort.

    First Day Hikes (Jan. 1, 2017)
    Start the year off right with a fresh-air hike.

    Winter Craft Beer Festival
    February TBD, 2017
    A great beer-tasting event at CU's Coors Events Center, right when you need it: mid-winter! 

    Chocolate Lovers' Fling
    February 4, 2017
    All you can sample cakes, candies and sauces. Plus wine and beer pairings, live music, dancing and an auction benefiting Boulder Safehouse.

    Boulder International Film Festival (March 2-5, 2017)
    Four incredible days of screenings, celebrities, workshops, panels and parties.

    LOCAL Lab New Play Festival (March 17-19, 2017)
    A celebration of new voices in American theater through performances of new plays.

    Boulder Arts Week (March 31-April 8, 2017)
    Tons of Boulder art in one week, including art walks, exhibitions, performances, dance, music, theatre, artist demonstrations, lectures, readings and symposia. 

    CU Men's Basketball and CU Women's Basketball (Through March)
    Watch the Buffs stampede the court at the Coors Events Center on CU's campus.

    Theater and Classical Music Season
    Boulder's theater and orchestra seasons are in full swing. Check out the performing arts listings here.