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    Boulder's mountaintops peek up over Pearl Street's East End

    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.

    Hiking Chautauqua in Winter

    2. Fuel Up With an Unforgettable Meal

    You don't get to play host city to "Top Chef" and earn the titles 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! Check out these Mini Dining Guides for ideas.

    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 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 and baked goods at Spruce Confections — Boulderites love to reward themselves with gourmet confections. Indulge your sweet tooth, too.

    Pastries in Boulder

    6. Discover a Cheery Winter Event

    Visit our full, searchable event calendar for more ideas. 

    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.

    Winterlong Events

    Snow Much Fun Light Displays
    November TBA, 2021-January TBA, 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.


    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.

    Firefly Handmade Holiday Market
    November 20-21, 2021
    The best in handmade gifts from dozens of local indie-craft artisans.

    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.

    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.

    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!.

    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

    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.


    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.

    Boulder Jewish Film Festival
    March TBA, 2022
    This intimate film festival explores the human experience through film and provides audiences with insight into the Jewish experience.

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