Stargazing in Boulder. Photo courtesy of the Hotel Boulderado

Free Things to do in Boulder


Whether you temporarily or permanently lost your job, are a student on a limited income or need to save money, Boulder is packed with free things to do. The city gets a reputation for being expensive, but there’s actually no shortage of entertainment around here that doesn’t cost a penny.

If you’re looking for something free to do in and near Boulder, start checking off this list.

Note: If you are on a shelter-at-place quarantine, make sure you are following the guideline and understand the difference between necessary and optional outings. Exercise is considered a necessity.

Free and Solitary

Boulder is considered a top place for solo travel, which means there’s plenty to do on your own. Here’s how to find fun for free without the crowds. You can do these activities alone or with your immediate family.

A hiking trail near NCAR in Boulder. Photo by Flickr user Geoff Alexander

Go hiking. Pick one of Boulder’s least-busy trails and explore nature.

Green Mountain. Photo by Instagram @drew_rossi_adventures

See the attractions. You don’t need anyone else to appreciate Boulder’s popular attractions. Some of the best sites are Boulder’s natural attractions: the Flatirons, Green Mountain, Flagstaff Mountain, Royal Arch, Mount Sanitas, Eldorado Canyon and Boulder Creek to name a few. Because these are well-known, they can be busy, so it’s best to visit during off-peak hours, like at sunrise.

View from Flagstaff Mountain. Photo by Flickr user Max and Dee Bernt

Take in the views. Drive up Flagstaff Mountain to see Boulder from above. Here’s a look at the best views around Boulder.

The bridge on the University of Colorado campus. Photo by Flickr user Max and Dee Bernt

Take a campus tour. Wander through the University of Colorado campus and take in the gorgeous brick buildings, lakes, trees, bridge and more.

Hayden Lake sunset. Photo by Flickr user Carol Jacobs-Carre

Watch the sunset. When everyone’s headed home for the night, head out. Here are our favorite spots to see the sunset around Boulder. For example, Realization Point has several great perches on the western side of the Flatirons where you can watch the sun go down.

An old tree on the CU campus. Courtesy photo

See Boulder’s ancient trees. Boulder’s old trees are residents worth seeing for yourself.

The night sky at Clear Creek. Photo courtesy of Flickr user Max and Dee Bernt

Go stargazing outside. Stay outside past sunset and watch as the stars fill the clear sky.

Make your own mini triathlon at McIntosh Lake in Longmont. McIntosh Lake has 3.5 miles of easy trails that you can walk or bike on. Then take out a kayak onto the waters. While you can’t swim or tube here, you can still get a fun workout on the water. Bonus: It’s all free and comes with sweeping mountain views.

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december, 2023

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