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Top Summer Activities & Festivals in Boulder

Ah, summer in Boulder. Things take on a different pace as the days lengthen, a lush canopy of trees comes into full leaf, and outdoor-lovers happily spend even more time outside. Here are just a few reasons to join in the fun — our list of things to do in Boulder in summer.

Splash and Play

On warm, sunny days, water is especially refreshing at the foot of the Rocky Mountains:

Tubing Boulder Creek

Summer Hiking

In the summertime, trails are sprinkled with wildflowers and the long days mean more time for hiking. On warm days, try these shady hikes:

  • Much of Lion's Lair is shaded by towering (and fragrant) ponderosa pines, with a steep summit that overlooks all of Boulder Valley.
  • Ranger Trail is quite lush in summer, providing shade. Connect with E.M. Greenman trail, the lower portion of which is also shady.
  • Anne U. White is also known for being in the shade of a narrow canyon in Boulder's foothills yet is a good choice for a lower-intensity hike.

E.M. Greenman Trail

Imbibe and Refresh

Boulder loves its summer bevies. Try these ideas:

Group Dining on Patio Boulder

Boulder Outdoor Performances

Music just sounds better on a Boulder breeze! And in Boulder, even the arts happen outdoors, from dance concerts to theater performances on the trails. There are summer concerts held outside in Boulder every week in gorgeous locations ranging at foot of the Flatirons and on beautiful Pearl Street and beyond. This summer, we expect lots of events to happen outdoors with lots of space for audiences.

  • Check out Boulder Arts Outdoors for drive-in music, dance and other performing arts.
  • Visit the Dairy Arts Center calendar to look for innovative porch concerts and drive-ins.
  • See all the details on summer concerts, including musician lineups, on our comprehensive Hot Summer Music page.
  • Much of Boulder's summer fun is happening at the Bandshell in Central Park. Here's a full Arts in the Park lineup that includes dance, theater, hippy bluegrass church (no joke!), opera and more.

AscenDance Bus Performance

2021 Festivals and Events

Please Confirm Events and Happenings

Please check official event websites or call to verify schedules before making plans to attend an event. Conditions can change due to COVID-19 safety measures. Listings on this site may not reflect the most recent updates.

Jump to: Ongoing Through Summer  |  June  |  July  |  August

Plan your visit around one of dozens of summertime festivals or events. Below are a few annual events to get you started, with a complete calendar available here

Ongoing Through Summer

Boulder Farmers Market
Every Saturday, April 3-Nov. 20, 2021 (8am-2pm)
Every Wednesday, May 5-Oct. 6, 2021 (4-8pm)
A feast for the eyes, palate and soul! One of the best farmers' markets in the country, with all local producers. Takes place outdoors on 13th Street.

Colorado Shakespeare Festival
June 18-Aug. 15, 2021
Plays are performed beneath summer night skies in the historic Mary Rippon Outdoor Theatre on CU Campus.


Chautauqua Summer Concert Series
June-September 2021
Indigo Girls, Keb' Mo', The Jayhawks and more return this year for Chautauqua’s summer series, featuring concerts, silent movies, theater, dance, forums and family events at the foot of the Flatirons.

Colorado Music Festival
July 1-Aug. 7, 2021
This internationally acclaimed festival is held four nights per week for seven weeks at the historic Chautauqua Auditorium, showcasing an orchestra of professional classical musicians from all over the world.

Bands on the Bricks
Tentatively Wednesdays, June 9-Aug. 11, 2021
From oldies to alternative, Bands on the Bricks is Boulder's premier outdoor summer concert series taking place on the bricks of the Pearl Street Mall. 

Arts in the Park at the Bandshell
May 22-Sept. 19, 2021
Dance, theater, opera, hippy bluegrass church and more are all happening as part of Arts in the Park at the Glenn Huntington Bandshell in Boulder’s Civic Area.


Celebration of Immigrant Heritage Month
Details about this developing celebration will be announced soon. 

Colorado Brazil Fest
June 18-19, 2021
Two rhythmic days of Brazilian dancing, capoeira, music, food and more at Boulder's Bandshell.

Boulder International Film Festival
June 24-27, 2021
Films and filmmakers from around the world come to Boulder audiences for a four-day celebration of the art of cinema.

Boulder Comedy Festival
June 25-27, 2021
Nationally touring comics featured on Comedy Central, Netflix and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert come together with festival winners and local comedians to create a sea of hilarity outdoors as part of the Dairy Arts Center's Backporch Series.


Boulder Creek Festival
July 16-18, 2021
Three days of festivities featuring makers, artists and small businesses; family activities; music; food and entertainment — all on the banks of Boulder Creek.

Louisville Slugger Independence Day Tournament
June 30-July 4, 2021
For more than two decades, this 80-team competitive girls softball tourney has been hosted in Boulder!


Community Roots Art Festival (CRAFt)
August 1, 2021
Head to VisionQuest Brewing for one special day of artwork, performances, giveaways and tasty treats highlighting local Black, Indigenous and brown self-identified artists.

August 7, 2021
This "half Ironman" takes place at the Boulder Reservoir with a spectacular Rocky Mountain backdrop. The event has been an athlete favorite for over a decade and is one of the fastest IRONMAN events to sell out each year.

Boulder International Fringe Festival
August 11-22, 2021
Celebrating art outside the box, with a series of thought-provoking performances and events.

Want more? We have barely scratched the surface of all the amazing Boulder summer festivals. See our complete, searchable events calendar.