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Boulder's Holiday Lights

Boulder transforms into a glittering wonderland of lights and holiday cheer during the winter months. Nothing warms the heart like strolling down a quiet street that's coated in a blanket of snow and illuminated by hundreds of lights. Here are some of our favorite ways to embrace Boulder’s festive, twinkly magic.

Where to See Holiday Lights in Boulder

Switch on the Holidays

November 19, 2023
Downtown Boulder becomes a hub of holiday spirit at this iconic event, which includes performances from the Boulder Ballet and the Boulder Chorale. This lighting ceremony marks the start of the season, illuminating the historic Pearl Street Mall and surrounding streets.

Switch on the Holidays

Snow Much Fun in Downtown and Civic Area

From late November through January, thousands of colorful LED lights adorn Boulder’s Civic Area and downtown. Grab a cup of hot cocoa and enjoy a wonder-filled stroll outside, taking breaks to shop or eat along Pearl Street.

Photo by Justin Bilancieri

Snow Much Fun in downtown Boulder

The Colorado Chautauqua

Each year, at the foot of the Flatirons, the Colorado Chautauqua hosts Winterfest, a celebration in early December that includes the lighting of Chautauqua's historic buildings and evergreens. Even after Winterfest, you always can enjoy a stroll around the Park to see the lights and bask in the holiday energy.

The Boulder Star

The Boulder Star on Flagstaff Mountain has been a Boulder tradition since 1947 and consists of 365 LED light bulbs strung in the shape of a star and displayed from mid-November to early January. You can drive up Flagstaff Road and park at Panorama Point just beneath the star for a closer view, or post up around a fire pit on one of downtown’s restaurant patios and take in the star from afar with a hot toddy, tea or warm meal.

Admire From Afar

Please remember there is no hiking permitted in the area around the Boulder Star for the protection of the surrounding environment, which has seen a little too much love. The city suggests some great alternative trails for viewing the star.

Photo by University of Colorado Boulder

Boulder Star as seen from the University of Colorado

Hotel Boulderado Christmas Tree

Stop in for a gander at this massive, light-adorned tree that towers two stories under the Hotel Boulderado’s famous stained-glass mezzanine. While you’re here, have a warm drink at the lobby bar, Corner Bar or downstairs at License No. 1.

Photo by Tim Romano

Christmas Tree at Hotel Boulderado

Top Neighborhoods with Festive Lights

Many of Boulder’s quaint neighborhoods have shimmering strands of holiday lights displayed throughout the season. Be sure to check out the historic Mapleton Hill near downtown, which has tree-lined streets dotted with charming homes. You can also try Holiday Neighborhood off Broadway, near North Boulder’s shops and restaurants like Bellota and Bacco. Also in North Boulder is the Wonderland Hills neighborhood next to Wonderland Lake, known to enchant with an array of beautifully lit houses and streets.