10 Free Things to do in Boulder, Colorado

free things to do in Boulder Colorado

Boulder, Colorado is known for its outdoor adventure, fitness, tech startups, food, beer, art and overall happiness of its residents. CBS Sunday Morning called Boulder ‘The Happiest Place in the U.S.’. The city recognizes that when you provide fitness activities, musical experiences, brewery tours, and educational events for FREE, your community will be healthier, smarter, and happier. These free events are great for everyone - from families, to singles, to those in town for business, to couples looking for a romantic getaway.


1 - Bike Boulder Creek Path

Boulder Creek Path encompasses miles of paved path that meanders through the heart of Boulder, next to a babbling creek and beneath shady old-growth trees.  You’ll be joined by locals getting in a workout, commuters riding their bikes to work, and families playing in the creek. You may even catch the university students tubing down the white waters of the creek. Boulder Creek Path is your eco-friendly highway to the city's many restaurants and attractions as you follow the path from downtown all the way to the east-side of the city. Be sure to rent a bike at Full Cycles on Pearl Street, and grab a coffee or a beer at their Tune Up cafe! 

Free things to do in Boulder boulder creek path 

2 - Stroll Pearl Street

Explore downtown Boulder’s charming Pearl Street, a brick-paved pedestrian lane that's lined with colorful art galleries, unique shops, local eateries and fantastic breweries. While you're there, catch a show by one of the talented street performers, window shop the storefronts, and enjoy prime people watching.  There are play areas for kids, blossoming flowerbeds in spring and summer, street performers and plenty of benches to sit and enjoy the views of the Flatirons and foothills.

 Free things to do in Boulder Pear Street Mall

3 - See Boulder Falls

The perfect sightseeing nature adventure, Boulder Falls is the "Yosemite of Boulder Canyon," plunging more than 70 feet into Middle Boulder Creek. Accessing the falls only requires a short, easy hike, so people of all ages and fitness levels can enjoy. The drive to the falls alone is enough to satisfy your outdoors itch; located in Boulder Canyon, mountainous walls of rock jut up along the highway as the canyon road twists and turns along Boulder Creek. Keep an eye out on the high rock walls above you to catch a glimpse of the daredevil rock climbers scaling the canyon walls!

 Free things to do in Boulder Boulder Falls

4 - Enjoy Music at Band on the Bricks

For the music lovers, Bands on the Bricks is a weekly concert put on by the City of Boulder from June – September on downtown Pearl Street at absolutely no cost. A beer garden featuring local brews can be enjoyed, as well has the delicious food from Pearl Street restaurants. A great time for all ages, you’ll find people dancing and enjoying the merry-making together. A pop jet fountain nearby, entertaining street acts, and a small rock playground are perfect for entertaining the little ones in between sets.

 Free things to do in Boulder Band on the Bricks

5 - Learn at National Center for Atmospheric Research

Satisfying lovers of science, architecture, views and hiking trails right out the back door, the I.M. Pei-designed National Center for Atmospheric Research is perched above Boulder, with dramatic views of the city below. A free tour and hands-on exhibits are worth a longer stay to learn about unique weather- and climate-related topics. Discover the amazing world of meteorology with exhibits devoted to everything from tornadoes to global warming. NCAR features art galleries, a library, cafeteria, and several of the world's largest and fastest computers. Leading international scientists visit for research purposes.

 Free things to do in Boulder NCAR

6 - Tour Celestial Seasonings Factory

Voted one of the best food factory tours by USA Today’s Readers’ Choice, go behind the scenes of the largest tea manufacturer in North America. See how over 100 teas are blended, packaged and shipped during a free, 45-minute guided tour. Notable perks include the invigorating mint room, free samples of every tea they make (Sleepytime and Lemon Zinger are favorites) and an art gallery of the distinctive tea-box art.

 Free things to do in Boulder Celestial Seasonings

7 - Hike Mt Sanitas

Boulder offers some of the most scenic and well-maintained hiking trails in the country. Mt. Sanitas is one of the most beautiful and scenic hikes to take: this 3.1 mile moderate to strenuous trail gains over 1,300 ft in elevation, and will lead you to one of the most breathtaking, beautiful summits overlooking all of Boulder Valley. Sanitas, which is Latin for health, wellbeing, and clarity of mind, is the perfect day hike whether you're wanting to work out, relax, or just be with nature.

 Free things to do in Boulder Mt Sanitas

8 - Drink at a Brewery

Get a taste of Boulder’s booming craft beer scene by taking a free tour (or sitting down to some tasters and a snack) at one of the local breweries. A favorite is Dales Pale Ale at Oskar Blues Taproom right on Pearl Street. These guys are true Boulderites, with a love of mountain biking, live music, and coffee (roasted at their breweries up the street!).

 Free things to do in Boulder breweries

9 - Sample Foods at the Boulder Farmers’ Market

Named the No. 1 farmers’ markets in the nation by USA Today, the Boulder Farmer's Market is a must-visit on a Saturday morning or Wednesday evening, April through November. Peruse the wares of local farmers and specialty food purveyors, enjoy bright displays of flowers, lusciously ripe produce, live music, and free samples ranging from granola to salsas. The atmosphere is the perfect way to experience Boulder like a local. Established in 1986, you are guaranteed the best selection of locally grown, seasonal produce, eggs, cheeses, meats, herbs, flowers, wines and gourmet food.

 Free things to do in Boulder Farmers Market

10 - Discover the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art

The Boulder Museum of Contemprary Art was founded in 1972 and is located in a historically landmarked warehouse in the heart of downtown Boulder. While BMoCA normally charges $5 admission, the museum is free every Saturday and Wednesday evenings during the Boulder Farmers’ Market. Boundary-pushing and genre-bending contemporary art exhibitions await your discovery inside this small but worthwhile museum.  The museum has exhibited contemporary art by regional, national and international artists presented in three galleries and a 100-set black-box theater.

 Free things to do in Boulder Museum

For more activities and upcoming events in Boulder Colorado, visit The Boulder Source for all the info you’ll need!

And of course, if mountain biking is on your list to do while visiting Colorado, check out all our rides at boulder.sacredrides.com/Rides. All rides include a goodie bag full of organic trailsnacks, a gourmet picnic lunch post ride, and a cooler full of local Colorado microbrew craft beers!

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