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Snow Day Activities in Boulder

Do you know the feeling? The forecaster's calling for snow. The roads are salted. You're wishing so hard for school or work to be canceled. The next day you wake up and look out the window to a world of white, and then you hear the magic words...SNOW DAY! 

When it snows in Boulder, the whole city comes alive and it's as if everyone collectively plays hooky to bask in the joy of it. Here are some of our favorite ways to celebrate a snow day in Boulder.

Make Memories on the Sledding Slopes

Downtown Boulder is nestled between hills on the north and south, so you'll find sledding spots galore. We've created an entire page dedicated to sledding in Boulder, but be sure to check out Scott Carpenter Park—where you can always find a group of folks having a jolly good time on the park's idyllic sledding hill.

You can rent a sled by the day at Neptune Mountaineering as well as purchase sleds at McGuckin Hardware, Epic Moutain Gear or Crystal Ski Shop.

Sledding at Scott Carpenter Park

Rent Showshoes and Get Into Nature

Venture into the great outdoors on snowshoes to experience the quiet of a forest coated in a blanket of fresh snow. Betasso Preserve is a good nearby choice — a gem of a spot with acres of pristine wilderness and the 3.3-mile Canyon Loop Trail. Find your footwear and more places to snowshoe.

Know Before You Go

Please use caution when driving mountain roads. It's best to download a map before you leave in case you go into areas with no cell coverage. In winter, ensure you have snow tires or chains. Check weather conditions and make sure you're prepared with warm gear, food and plenty of water.

Play Like a Kid in the Snow

Build snow creatures and have epic snowball battles at one of Boulder's numerous city parks. We recommend North Boulder Park, at the base of the foothills, for its wide, open spaces perfect for snowy fun (and sweeping views), Chautauqua Park for its classic Flatirons locale, or Harlow Platts Park, tucked into a sweet neighborhood in South Boulder surrounding the scenic Viele Lake.

Photo by Leah Webster

Ranger Cottage at Chautauqua

Try Indoor Rock Climbing

Escape the cold while still getting active and adventurous with indoor rock climbing. Boulder is home to some of the best rock climbing gyms in the country. Check out Movement Climbing and FitnessThe Spot Bouldering Gym, ABC Kids Climbing, or Boulder Rock Club. Feeling extra adventurous? Try out ice climbing in the country's only ice-climbing gym without having to even wear a coat.

Warm Up With Hot Cocoa From a Local Cafe

Heat those mitts up after your snowy adventures with cups of cocoa at local cafe favorites. Piece, Love & Chocolate has a darling Pearl Street location and offers thick, European-style sipping chocolate in a variety of flavors. Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory handcrafts all of their chocolate in copper kettles using recipes that have been handed down for generations. And at Gelato Boy you can get a hot chocolate with a scoop of gelato in it (heaven!).

Hot Chocolate on Pearl Street

Learn How to Ski

Local ski area Eldora is known for its laid-back vibe, a perfect place to try winter sports for the first time or dip your toe back in. You’ll see local moms and dads teaching their kids to ski — and lift attendants welcome you instead of herding you into a lift line. Eldora offers daily ski lessons for families and kids. Learn more and book online.

Get Homework Done (Then Play!)

Hunker down with wifi and hot cocoa at one of the many cozy spaces inside Junkyard Social Club, a non-profit community space, followed by a play session in their adventure playground or maker studio after assignments are completed.

Take an Indoor Field Trip to NCAR

Head to the National Center for Atmospheric Research, perched on a scenic hillside above the city, to learn all about climate, weather and the environment. NCAR is open to the public seven days a week and offers state-of-the-art exhibits, public tours and custom school field trips at no charge. You'll learn a ton while also taking in the snow-blanketed city from a new angle.

NCAR Boulder

Play Some Indoor Pickleball

Boulder is home to several fantastic indoor pickleball facilities. Boulder Pickleball has high ceilings, great lighting, pro-level playing surfaces and offers an intro package for beginners that includes a lesson and gear. In addition to lessons and clinics, they also have open play, which you can register for on their website. Several Boulder recreation centers also offer drop-in indoor pickleball courts for reservation, included with a daily entrance fee.

Bowling, Billiards and Games at The Connection

Find refuge from a blustery day with some indoor fun for all ages at The Connection on CU's campus. Opt for bowling, shooting some pool, playing ping pong, renting board games from the front desk or simply relaxing and lounging while watching the snow fall through the windows.

Take an Art Class or Workshop

Unleash your inner artist with an art class or workshop at cozy local shops and studios. Paint pottery to be fired in kilns and picked up before you leave town at Color Me Mine. Learn how to sew at SewBo fabric shop, which offers kid and adult classes multiple times per week. Take a tapestry weaving class for all ages or one of many other workshops for kids and adults alike at The New Local.