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Things to Do in Boulder in Winter

A "Top 10 Winter Town" by National Geographic

The next time someone asks you "What are you doing this weekend?" have an answer that you can get excited about. Plan a quick winter getaway to Boulder!

Winter in Boulder is surprising. Hotels offer their lowest rates, there typically isn't much snow on the ground and outdoor activities abound. On warm days, bike rides and hikes are the norm, as are lunches on restaurant patios. On snowy days, coffee shops and breweries are the perfect refuge. Come play in our winter wonderland!

1. Opt Outside

Hiking in Boulder is great any day of the year, including all through winter (especially on these 5 great winter trails). 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.

Winter Hiking at Chautauqua

Wander Wisely

Keep an eye on the weather and be prepared for quickly changing conditions. You'll need sunscreen (yep, even in winter), plenty of water, snacks and a few extra layers of clothing.

2. Fuel Up With an Unforgettable Meal

You don't get to play host city to "Top Chef" and earn the title of America's Foodiest Town (Bon Appétit) without having some of the country's best chefs turning out incredible dishes, starring flavorful local ingredients. Come indulge at dozens of acclaimed restaurants

Japango Outdoor Dining
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. (Read about it in the LA Times!) 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. Have a Hearty Brew

Boulder has been a craft brewing capital for decades. Cozy up to some hearty winter fare, paired with the perfect brew, at Boulder's breweries.

Avery Brewing Tap Room

5. Indulge with a Sweet Treat

Handmade chocolates at Lift Chocolate, cupcakes at Kim and Jakes, sipping chocolate and truffles at Piece Love and Chocolate, a wide selection of chocolate goods at Peppercorn and baked goods at Spruce Confections — Boulderites love to reward themselves with gourmet confections. Indulge your sweet tooth, too.

Peppercorn Chocolate Display

6. Discover a Cheery Winter Event

Visit our full, searchable event calendar for more ideas.

Pearl Street Holiday Shopping

Please Confirm Events and Happenings

Please check official event websites before making plans to attend. This site may not reflect the most recent updates, as events recover from Covid-19 disruptions.

Winterlong Events

Snow Much Fun Light Displays
November 21, 2021-January 9, 2022
Thousands of twinkling lights will illuminate Boulder's Civic Area and downtown Boulder. Visit creative, themed displays, with a map to guide you. Free!

Snow Much Fun

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.


Warren Miller Film Premiere
Nov. 11-14, 2021
Each year, Warren Miller kicks off winter with a new, groundbreaking ski film in Boulder. 

CU Buffs Football Season
September 3-November 26, 2021
Watch the Pac-12 CU Buffs compete on beautiful Folsom Field.

CU Homecoming
November 4-7, 2021​
In-person events will include the annual Alumni Awards ceremony, Spirit Days on the Quad, Buffs on Tap, the 50-Year Reunion for the class of 1971 and the Ralphie’s Corral tailgate.

Switch on the Holidays
November 21, 2021
Come see the lighting of downtown in holiday lights and an appearance by Santa Claus, too.

St. Nick on the Bricks
Friday, November 26 and Saturdays, November 27-December 18, 2021
Kids of all ages can visit with Santa at the Downtown Boulder Visitor Information Center for free.

Fresh Air Friday
November 26, 2021
Free access to all 41 Colorado state parks on Fresh Air Friday, including Eldorado Canyon State Park, just 15 minutes from Boulder.

Find Freezie Bingo
November 26-December 11, 2021
Head to downtown Boulder and visit participating businesses starting on Friday, November 26. Find enough "Freezie" plush snowmen and be entered to win a $25 gift card.

Holiday Window Display Contest
November 26-December 22, 2021
Check out the creative and festive window displays at participating downtown Boulder businesses while you enjoy the Snow Much Fun holiday lighting display. "Like" your favorites on Downtown Boulder's Facebook page to vote!

Small Business Saturday
November 27, 2021
Shop great deals at small businesses throughout Boulder.


St. Nick on the Bricks
Friday, November 26 and Saturdays, November 27-December 18, 2021
Kids of all ages can visit with Santa at the Downtown Boulder Visitor Information Center for free.

CU Presents Holiday Festival
December 3-5, 2021
The decades-old celebration brings together student choirs, bands and orchestras — along with world-class faculty performers — for a concert of holiday favorites and new surprises.

eTown Presents: We Banjo 3 - "A Winter Wonderful" Holiday Celebration
December 3, 2021
WB3’s “A Winter Wonderful” live show will feature traditional holiday tunes from both Ireland and from the U.S. and plenty of the fan-favorite original compositions that have made them such a beloved live band.

Lights of December Parade
December 4, 2021
Marching bands, floats, fire engines, holiday carolers and more. The grand finale includes an appearance by Santa Claus himself.

Santa's House
December 4-5, 2021
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 and Imagine!

Artisan Holiday Craft Fair at The Museum of Boulder
December 5, 2021
Enjoy a fun and festive winter day while doing some holiday shopping from 21 local artists at the Museum of Boulder. The admission fee includes one warm beverage and a custom ornament.

WinterFest at Colorado Chautauqua
December 10-12, 2021
Each year, at the foot of the Flatirons, the Colorado Chautauqua hosts a classic winter celebration. In 2021, it includes a festival of lights, a kids concert, breakfast with Santa, Santa's Cottage, horse-drawn carriage rides, historic tours, public art, a Winterfest market, a scavenger hunt and a photo station.

Freezie Fest
December 11, 2021
Hunt for little stuffed snowmen hidden inside participating shops and you could win big prizes! Plus, enjoy visits with Santa, train rides on the Snowflake Express and loads of holiday crafts and activities along the Pearl Street Mall.

Find Freezie

Boulder Library Foundation Masked Petit Gala
December 12, 2021
Support Boulder Library Foundation with an afternoon concert at the Museum of Boulder, preceded by bountiful buffets and custom cocktails on the top-floor balcony overlooking the Flatirons.

Stories on Stage, "Making Merry"
December 18-19, 2021
A holiday version of Stories on Stage, which presents great works of literature, performed on stage by professional actors.

New Year’s Eve Party at License No. 1
December 31, 2021
Ring in the New Year at Hotel Boulderado's speakeasy-style bar starting at 8pm.

Quemando New Year's Eve Party at St. Julien Hotel
December 31, 2021
Party your way into 2022 with a Brazilian dance party, jazz at Jill's, balloon drops, champagne toast, dessert station, cocktail bars and more!

Crumb's New Year's Eve Boulder Bash with Ramakhandra
December 31, 2021
Boulder Theater hosts a New Year's Eve party featuring the creative and energetic music of Crumb and Ramakhandra.


First Day Hikes
January 1, 2022
Start the year off right with a fresh-air hike.

Winter Hiker with Sunshine

Polar Plunge
January TBA, 2022
Take the plunge in the icy waters of the Boulder Reservoir on the first of the year.

Flatirons Food Film Festival
TBA 2022
Take in this extended weekend extravaganza of food-related films, expert speakers and fun culinary events for those interested in eating, food culture or food issues.

February and March

Winter Craft Beer Festival
February TBA, 2022
A great beer-tasting event at Balch Fieldhouse at Folsom Field, right when you need it: mid-winter! 

Boulder International Film Festival
March 3-6, 2022
Films and filmmakers from around the world come to Boulder for a four-day celebration of the art of cinema.

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