The Tebo Train on Pearl Street Mal
The Tebo Train on Pearl Street Mall. Photo by Ann Duncan

Labor Day 2017 in Boulder, CO


15 Ways to Celebrate Labor Day in Boulder

Labor Day marks the end of summer, but that doesn’t mean it’s the end of a good time in Boulder.

Labor Day is on Monday, Sept. 4 this year. Here are 15 fun things to do on Labor Day in Boulder this year.

1. Attend the Boulder Creek Hometown Festival

The Boulder Creek Festival starts the summer in Boulder, and the Boulder Creek Hometown Festival ends it. Both events are organized by Boulder Creek Events, are free and open to the public.

The hometown fest also takes place by the Boulder Creek, with Central Park as the home plate. Here, you’ll find arts and crafts, live performances at the bandshell, a car and motorcycle show, a food court, beer garden, a 5K race and the Rocky Mountain Pizza and Pints Festival. Yup, that’s a festival within a festival.

The hometown fest actually starts on Saturday and runs through 7 p.m. on Labor Day.

The Patio at West End Tavern. Courtesy Photo.

2. Dine Outside

Grab a bite to eat outside, while the patios are still open. Many restaurants close down or limit their outdoor seating when the weather gets cooler, and Labor Day is as good excuse as any to plan a meal under the open sky. Fill up on super garlicky baked spaghetti at Pasta Jay’s or fresh sushi at Hapa, both on the Pearl Street Mall. Or grab a lunch to go from Cured on east Pearl Street. Cured, a meat and cheese specialty shop, makes delicious picnics of assorted cheeses, meats, fruit and more. Take your pre-packed picnic to a park or up the trails.

Lake Brainard
Brainard Lake. Photo by Tyler Percy

3. Go Hiking

We know. The trails and campsites will be hyped on Labor Day. But if you don’t mind the crowds, the weather is usually ideal for a nice end-of-summer hike. Get deeper into the hills with mountain bikes or cruise up to Nederland and walk around Brainard Lake.

4. Tootle Around Downtown on the Tebo Train

Labor Day is the last day of the Tebo Train, an adorable, four-car mini train for kids that runs up and down the Pearl Street Mall. Head to the 1200 block of Pearl between 10 and 11:15 a.m. for a lift on the free kiddie train. It runs two blocks east and then returns.

5. Take One Last Dip in an Outdoor Pool

Boulder has two outdoor, public pools: Spruce Pool and the Scott Carpenter Pool. There’s also the outdoor pool at the YMCA of Boulder Valley, with a super fun kiddie spray park. This park closes after Labor Day, so come enjoy the water and warm weather one last time before fall. The Y’s pool is open 10 a.m.-7 p.m.

Banjo Billy's
Banjo Billy’s Tour of Boulder Colorado. Courtesy Photo.

6. Take a Ride on Banjo Billy’s Bus

Banjo Billy’s Bus Tours are a favorite attraction for visitors. These are guided, PG-13 bus tours of Boulder in a funky bus with saddles and recliners instead of regular bus benches. Banjo Billy offers 90-minute tours are packed with funny, scary and intriguing historical stories about Boulder. Pick a theme: a history, ghost or brewery tour. In the busy summer season, tours are offered every day. In the fall, the tours cut back to just Friday through Sunday. This is a memorable way to introduce yourself to Boulder and a fun way to spend Labor Day.

Fittness for living bootcamp. Courtesy Photo.

7. Exercise Outdoors

Boulder loves the outdoors and it loves fitness. Naturally, there are many ways to get fit outdoors. Enjoy the changing season during an all-levels, outdoor bootcamp offered through FitLiv. Try a free trial week this week, with three class times a day, including classes on Labor Day at Scott Carpenter Park in Boulder.

8. Fill Up on Cajun Food in the Mountains

Gold Hill Inn, 401 Main St. in Gold Hill (west of Boulder), is celebrating Labor Day with a Cajun Cookout and Concert from noon-5 p.m. On the menu: pan-fried catfish and jambalaya.

Listen to live music from the Ernest James Zydeco Band; New Family Dog with Sally Van Meter and the Mile-High Horns; and Stell & Snuggs – Russ Chapman.

Tickets cost $15 (for the music) to $30 (if you want food).

9. Attend a Fine Art Show

Labor Day in Louisville (east of Boulder) means the 32nd-annual National Fine Art Show and Sale, organized by the Louisville Art Association. The free, community show, at the Louisville Center for the Arts, 801 Grant Ave. in Louisville, brings art from around the country to Boulder County.

The show starts on Friday and runs through Sept. 10. On Labor Day, it’s 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you miss the Labor Day events, you can catch the wine and cheese reception 5-8 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 8.

10. Listen to FACE

FACE is easily one of Boulder County’s most beloved bands. Scratch that. This incredibly talented a cappella group from Boulder is one of Colorado’s greatest gems. You may have caught FACE at Red Rocks or on NBC’s premiere season of “The Sing-Off” in 2009. Now you can hear the band’s incredible vocals at Prospect Sound Bites from 5-8:30 p.m. on Labor Day. For free.
Prospect Sound Bites is a food truck party at Prospect Park, 2011 100 Year Party Court (yes, that’s the street name), in the quirky Longmont neighborhood of Prospect.
So not only can you listen to this internationally acclaimed, all-vocal rock band, but you can do so while munching on food truck goodies in a beautiful park.

11. Dance, Block Party Style

Here’s a fun way to celebrate Labor Day in Boulder: with Block 1750, a performing arts center at 1750 30th St. in Boulder. On Monday from 4-11 p.m., you can participate in free, all-ages, community workshops. There are also events on Saturday and Sunday. The special event will bring in teachers around around the world, DJs, dancers “on floors made of duct tape and used cardboard boxes” — we’re talking dance battles and more. Learn more online.

12. Sing at Open Mic Night

So maybe you’re no dancer, but you prefer to sing. Then head over to Bootstrap Brewing’s open mic night on Labor Day from 6-8:30 p.m. This free event, at 6778 N. 79th St. in Niwot, not only gives you the mic and stage for a song, but if you perform, you get a free beverage. Will sing for booze.

The patio at Tahona. Courtesy photo

13. Drink Margs and Get Happy

Tahona Tequila Bistro’s Monday happy hour is one of our favorites in town, and as Labor Day just so happens to fall on a Monday, this is one of our favorite ways to, er, get happy on Labor Day. Tahona’s happy hour is all night on Monday, from 4 p.m. until Midnight. Enjoy Tahona’s indoor-outdoor vibe and small outdoor patio right on the Pearl Street Mall, at 1035 Pearl St.

14. Do Free Yoga

While there are plenty of excellent yoga classes throughout Boulder on Labor Day, you can enjoy a free class at the Prana store on the Pearl Street Mall. Slow Flow Yoga, a free yoga class open to the public, is an hour-long starting at noon. Slow Flow Yoga is a “mindful, graceful” and creative flow class. A moving meditation. Prana even provides mats, bolsters and all equipment. Just show up ready to breathe.

15. See T. Rex  Bones

Kids (OK, and big kids) will love the exhibit at the Longmont Museum & Cultural Center, 400 Quail Road in Longmont. Dinosaur Discoveries, which you can see starting at 9 a.m. on Labor Day, features real T. Red bones found in Colorado, a soil sample showing proof of an asteroid’s collision with Earth, a dinosaur dig pit and even chickens. Yes, chickens are descendants of dinos. Learn more about dinosaurs in the area during the museum’s hands-on summer exhibition.

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