Top 10 Things to do in Boulder Colorado in Winter: An Insider’s Perspective

things to do in boulder colorado

Looking for the top things to do in Boulder Colorado in Winter?

We’ve complied this list from Boulder residents to give you an insider’s perspective on the best things to do in Boulder Colorado in winter.

Winter in Boulder Colorado

Some see winter as a dreary, dark and cold time of year.

But Boulder Colorado is a winter wonderland!

Incredible vistas of the beautiful Rocky Mountains, fantastic healthy food and winter activities will make you fall in love with winter in Boulder Colorado.

After all, if you must be cold you may as well do it in a city that has so much to offer during the winter months!

Pre-Traveling guide of Boulder Colorado

Winter Weather in Boulder Colorado

The average winter high temperature in Boulder is 50 F (10 C) and lows are around 20 degrees F (-7 C).

There’s a pretty good chance that it will snow at least a little while you are in Boulder – anything from flurries to a big snowfall.

But don’t worry, the snow melts pretty fast in Boulder Colorado during the winter, leaving behind beautiful views of snow on the mountains. Besides, Boulder is one of the best Christmas destinations in the US!

What to pack

What you need to pack for winter in Boulder Colorado depends on your plans in Boulder.

Warm clothes, obviously.

We also recommend a pair of boots, a good pair of walking shoes and a coat. If you are planning to ski you should pack to prepare for the snow: an extra pair of socks and pants!

Don’t forget Travel Insurance

I always travel with insurance, even if I travel inside my own country. 

No matter how well you plan and research a trip, there are always things that happen beyond your control. I had to use it several times and it saved my trip! 

Don’t have insurance yet? You can get a free quote here:

Getting to Boulder Colorado

Denver International Airport (DEN) is a 45-minute drive from Boulder and is the closest airport.

Here you have the best plane tickets deals to Boulder Colorado.

Rental cars are plentiful, but don’t feel obligated to rent a car. Finding a ride to and from Boulder from Denver Airport is easy.

The bus system between Denver Airport and Boulder is your cheapest (and most environmentally friendly) option!

It’s called the RTD and only costs $9 each way (it’s free for students at CU Boulder).

Taxis and Uber/Lyft are also readily available at the airport. Price to and from Boulder is about $60 each way.

Getting Around Boulder

what to do in boulder

Once you make it to Boulder getting around is even easier.

On foot the best way to take everything in.

Walking is also the best option to visit the beautiful CU Boulder campus and the Pearl Street Mall which provides stunning views as well as great food and shopping.

The local bus system can also take you where you need to go. With routes all over the city and a cheap 10-Ride Ticket Book package starting at around $22, the bus is also a great option for transportation.

Having a rental car is great if you want to drive up the Flatiron mountain range or visit the Rocky Mountains for a ski day.

Boulder’s roads could be temporarily snowy, but the city does a great job keeping them clear.

Where to Stay in Boulder

If you’re looking for convenience, Pearl Street is best bet.  Posh hotels like The Boulderado and St. Julien’s make for a truly luxurious visit.

More affordable chain hotels are also available further down Pearl Street.

Find the best hotels in Boulder in the following map:

Booking.com

But we recommend checking out the many fantastic AirBnBs for more of a homey feel during your stay in Boulder. 

A Word About the Altitude in Boulder Colorado

Boulder’s altitude is about 5,300 feet high which is a little over a mile high.

Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated at altitudes to avoid any hint of altitude sickness!

If it turns out that you are sensitive to altitudes and start to feel a touch of altitude sickness coming on, local gas stations have small portable oxygen tanks that can help with loss of breath and lightheadedness. 

Best Things to Do in Boulder Colorado in Winter

best things to do in boulder in the winter

Now that you know how to get to Boulder and how to get around, here’s what to do in Boulder Colorado in winter, one of the must-see destinations in the United States:

Explore Pearl Street Mall

Pearl Street is the central hub for shopping, dining, arts and entertainment located in the heart of downtown Boulder.

A wide variety of shops and restaurants/bars litter both sides of this ‘outdoor street mall’.

Fun things to do in Boulder can be found for all ages while walking the lively and upbeat street. Small jungle-gyms and many street performers provide entertainment for kids and adults alike.

The Med, a Greek-themed restaurant is a great option to eat some delicious, healthy, and authentic Mediterranean food. But whatever your tastes, you will find a huge variety of restaurants on and near Pearl Street.

If you’re looking for some late-night action, bar crawling is easy and fun at the many lively bars on and near Pearl Street.   

Eat at The Sink

The Sink is a one of the most famous restaurants in Boulder.

things to do in boulder today

It’s a vibrant family restaurant. Known for its unique art and absolutely delicious food, you should put The Sink high on your list of places to eat in Boulder.

The Sink has been featured on the Food Network many times and has been visited by celebrity chefs such as Guy Fieri and Anthony Bourdain. Even former president Barack Obama swung by The Sink when he visited Boulder.

Walk Around the CU Campus

Head on over to the University of Colorado Boulder’s college campus for the most amazing winter views in Boulder.

Each building is made of a gorgeous reddish sandstone. This creates a stunning vista across all of the campus – especially in the snow.

“Old Main” is the top attraction. it was CU Boulder’s first building and was built before Colorado even became a state. A little museum on the top floor of Old Main provides a history of the University as well as Boulder itself.

The CU Campus is also a great area to view Boulder’s famous Flatiron Mountain Range. The mountains contribute to a gorgeous backdrop for the University’s red-sandstone buildings. Take a photo of the Flatirons across Farrand Field for the most iconic vista in Boulder. 

Take a Scenic Drive Up the Flatirons

Things To Do in the Winter in Boulder

Speaking of the Flatirons, if you are visiting Boulder Colorado in winter the snow-covered flatirons are a must see.

Literally! Almost no matter where you go in Boulder the Flatirons are visible. But if you want to actually explore the Flatirons rather than enjoy them from Boulder, then Baseline Road is your path straight up the mountains (only if the roads are clear).

From the top spot, Lost Gulch, you have an absolute stunning view of the vastness of the Rocky Mountains to the west an unbeatable overlook view of Boulder laid out to the east.

Go Sledding

If you’re visiting Boulder and there is snow on the ground or it starts to snow, count your blessings! Snow opens up some fantastic winter activities in Boulder.

Sledding is a great family-fun option and a chance to enjoy the fresh air and outdoors. Boulder has many foothills that provide some pretty gnarly sledding spots! Bundle up and make sure to wear boots! 

Go Skiing/Snowboarding

If you want a little more excitement in the snow, Colorado has some of the best ski resorts in the country!

If you have enough time and it’s in your price range, skiing is a great chance for you to get beyond Boulder and see the beauty of the Rockies in winter.

Eldora Mountain Resort is your closest option. It’s about 30 min from downtown Boulder and is one of the more relaxed ski resorts in Colorado.  

Skiers and snowboarders all ability and skill ranges can enjoy themselves, from beginner to advanced the amazing Eldora Mountain.

Drink Craft Beer

Winter Activities in Boulder

Boulder has a well-earned reputation as a beer crafting capital. Many new local breweries continue to open all around Boulder. Cozy up and spend a day in one of Boulders many breweries.

If you happen to be visiting in March, Boulder hosts a Winter Craft Beer Festival which includes unlimited free samples, food, and entertainment!

Celebrate Amendment 64

Hey, it’s legal! If you didn’t know, Colorado state law makes it legal for any US adult over the age of 21 to legally possess up to one ounce (28 grams) of marijuana.

Just walk into any legal and licensed local dispensary with a government issued ID and you’re good to go! If you’re a first timer, the dispensary workers are super friendly and will help guide you to something that you will enjoy and that keep you warm in the winter.   

things to do in boulder co

Visit the Planetarium

If it gets too cold for your comfort, Fiske planetarium is a great indoor option and one of the best things to do in Boulder on a rainy day.

Fiske offers everything from innovative takes on popular TV shows and movies to laser shows to viewing the stars and planets of the galaxy.

Many Boulder residents find ‘celebrating Amendment 64’ and then going to a show at the Fisk to be the highest form of entertainment in Boulder. The Fiske is located right in CU Boulder’s campus. 

Attend Boulder’s Many Events

While on your visit, you should look up what events are going on!

From film festivals to polar plunges, Boulder hosts many unique (and often goofy) events that can turn any ordinary day to a memorable one.

Visit the Boulder Convention and Visitors Bureau website for more details. 

boulder colorado winter weather

Bottom Line – Things to Do in Boulder Colorado during Winter

No matter what season you visit, Boulder Colorado has a perfect urban/outdoor balance that appeals to a wide variety of visitors.

Boulder has been described as “the city nestled between the mountains and reality.”

This is never truer than when visiting Boulder in the winter when the contrast of the red sandstone of the CU campus, the slate grey of the Flatiron mountain range and the white of the snow create an otherworldly panorama.  

You’ll never run out of cool things to do in Boulder Colorado in winter.

Hope you liked this Boulder Colorado travel guide and these cool & fun things to do in Boulder in winter!

Want to read similar posts? Check out my City Guides.

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Authored by Matt Wald
Matt Wald is author of the affordable luxury travel website readyjetroam.com. Matt and his wife Lisa left their corporate jobs in their 40s to pursue their passion for travel full time as digital nomads. Matt’s son lives in Boulder, Colorado and contributed to this article.
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