How to Incorporate CU Into Your Visit to Boulder


If you think a university is just for the students, think again. You’ll seriously be missing out if you don’t include the University of Colorado on your list of places to visit while in Boulder.

Founded in 1876, The University of Colorado-Boulder has been an integral part of the city ever since, providing jobs, education and yes, entertainment for locals and visitors alike.

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Here’s a list of some of the best ways you can incorporate the University of Colorado’s flagship campus into your stay.

Fiske Planetarium
Fiske Planetarium at University of Colorado. Photo by Sam Howzit

Fiske Planetarium

CU has sent hundreds of instruments into space on NASA missions, and alum are proud of CU’s long history with space exploration and education, including an on-campus planetarium. The Fiske Planetarium provides a look into the Milky Way in full-dome movies, talks and space education shows.

You can also catch laser music shows and kid-specific events. Jimi Hendrix, Journey and David Bowie are just a few of the artists whose music has been put to lasers at Fiske. Check out the ever-changing schedule here.


Have you heard of CU but don’t really know much about it? Check out the Heritage Museum. Learn all about the university’s history and culture, with both rotating and permanent exhibits, including an athletics room, space exploration room and a Lego replica of the CU campus.

Already a Buff brainiac? Check out The Art Museum, which has ever-changing exhibits and some master of fine arts students’ thesis projects at the end of each semester. But Art and heritage

Art and heritage isn’t all CU has to offer. The Natural History Museum has a permanent butterfly exhibit and fossil exhibit, as well as a small gift and souvenir shop. This is a fantastic choice if you have young kids; enjoy a tea or coffee while your kids enjoy the hands-on learning that the Discovery Corner offers. You might even learn something yourself.

Football Game
Buffalo being formed at Home football game. Photo by Kara Brugman

Buffs Sporting Events

If you’ve never seen Ralphie’s run during CU home football games, you’re missing out. Ralphie is CU’s mascot, a live buffalo, and CU fans go crazy for her. CU also has popular basketball, track, cycling, lacrosse and tennis teams, so you can get your sporting fill no matter the season. Check out the website to see a full schedule of events.

Special Events at CU

There’s always something happening at CU: classical music concerts sponsored by the school of music, the famous Colorado Shakespeare Festival, speakers covering the full spectrum (from Bernie Sanders to Milo Yiannopoulos) and numerous bike races, runs and fitness competitions. Oh, and don’t forget, the highly missed Concerts at Folsom Field series returns this summer with a bang, welcoming the Dead & Company.

Check out a full list of events here.

The Connection

As the only bowling alley in Boulder, if you want to hit the lanes, The Connection at the University Memorial Center is the place for you. Open throughout the day and until at least 11 p.m. every night, this is an affordable place to enjoy a family outing.

But bowling isn’t all The Connection has to offer. It also sports eight billiards tables, a variety of game consoles, arcade games and pinball. You can also catch whatever popular sporting event is taking place on the multiple TVs while drinking a beer (limit one per ID) or enjoying some food off the microwave and snack menu.

Students walking on Norlin Quadrangle
Students walking on Norlin Quadrangle on CU Campus. Photo by Ann Duncan.

The Beautiful Campus

With the Flatirons as the backdrop, the CU campus is simply stunning. Whether your visit is in the winter when you can wander through a snow-covered campus, or you’re just catching the flowers in bloom, every season will take your breath away.

And the view isn’t all that’s beautiful. The buildings on campus use locally sourced lime and sandstone and clay barrel tile roofs to achieve a magnificent, uniform design. You can find a nice spot to hang a hammock near Old Main, play frisbee or football on Farrand Field or find a shady spot to lay a blanket on the Norlin Quad. There are endless nooks and crannies that provide comfort, quiet and access to unbeatable views.

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