Courtesy of Ryan Cox Photography

The Best Things to Do in Boulder for May 2024




Between Mother’s Day, graduation and the official start of summer, May is a big month. It’s time to start making plans and penciling events and activities onto your calendar.


Whether you’ve got guests in town to help celebrate your grad or you’re just looking to liven up your month, these are some of the best things to do in Boulder in May 2024.

Last Chance to See the “Picturing the West” Exhibition at the Longmont Museum


If you haven’t already made the drive to Longmont to see the “Picturing the West” exhibit at the Longmont Museum, make plans ASAP. This compelling show featuring American landscape photography is closing on May 5. It displays the work of 19th-century Western photographers like Carleton Watkins, William Henry Jackson and Eadweard Muybridge—including some original mammoth-plate photographs.

Marvel at Fulldome Films at Dome Fest West


From May 2-5, the Fiske Planetarium at the University of Colorado will host Dome Fest West, an immersive film festival featuring 12 fulldome screenings of 55 films. The festivities also include discussion panels, mixers and opening and closing ceremonies. This year’s keynote speaker is Android Jones, an artist and digital animator.

Firefly Handmade Spring Market


Need to find a last-minute gift for Mom or the graduate in your life? Make your way to the Firefly Handmade Spring Market, held May 4-5 on Old South Gaylord Street in Denver. Here, you’ll be able to peruse the wares of more than 80 talented artisans, listen to live music and just generally enjoy the (hopefully) nice spring weather.

Celebrate the 150th Running of the Kentucky Derby


You don’t need to fly all the way to Louisville, Kentucky, to celebrate the 150th running of the Kentucky Derby (though we certainly won’t stop you!). This year, watch the historic race from one of the many Boulder-area venues that are hosting watch parties or offering specials on May 4.


St Julien Hotel & Spa is hosting its annual derby party on the lawn from 1 to 5 p.m., where over-the-top hats are encouraged and you can sip mint juleps while jamming out to a live performance by Maydays. The party is free, but you can also splurge for a $130 VIP package, which gets you reserved seating, an open premium bar and an elevated Southern buffet.


West End Tavern, meanwhile,  is offering derby-themed food and beverages, like pimento cheese crostinis topped with cardamom-infused honey drizzle and fried capers and a hibiscus Champagne French 75.


Or, venture down to Denver for the day and head to Poka Lola Social Club for a variety of creative handcrafted cocktails in honor of the race, like a Lead Pony, featuring Old Forester Bourbon with citrus and mint, and the Dead Heat, made with Old Forester Rye, Fernet Vallet and cherry.

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo


Wherever you choose to celebrate the Kentucky Derby, try your hardest not to overdo it, because the very next day is Cinco de Mayo. Yes, really!


Courtesy of Toro


Here are a few great options to consider:

  • Longmont Celebrates Cinco de Mayo, now in its 21st year, will bring food, shopping, live entertainment, a car show, a break dance competition and free family activities to Roosevelt Park.
  • 3 Margaritas at Orchard Town Center is hosting a Cinco de Mayo festival, complete with food, drinks, art vendors and music.
  • Atomic Cowboy, which has multiple locations across the Front Range, is making a special taco pizza with all the classic taco fixings, including seasoned ground beef, black olives, red onion, cheddar cheese, lettuce, and tomato, drizzled with sour cream.
  • Tamayo, situated in Denver’s Larimer Square, is offering pork belly al pastor tacos and granada margaritas all weekend long, from May 3-5.
  • Blanco Cocina + Cantina in Denver’s 9th & Colorado neighborhood is offering drink specials, live Mariachis and Sonoran-style dishes. Find your way there from May 2-5 for $5 Dos XX beers, $25 beer buckets, specialty margaritas, specialty shots and more.
  • Toro, located inside the Hotel Clio in Cherry Creek North, will be celebrating with their famous house margaritas and al pastor tacos. Draft beers are just $5 all day.
  • BurnDown Denver is going all in on their signature draft margarita, made with Espolon blanco tequila, naranja, agave and lime. It’s on happy hour special all day for just $8.


Courtesy of BurnDown Denver

Colorado MahlerFest


The theme of this year’s Colorado Mahlerfest is “Mahler and The Mountains,” because the alpine landscape served as a big source of inspiration for composer Gustav Mahler in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Get tickets for the festival, which runs May 15-19 at various locations in Boulder and features Mahler’s “Symphony No. 4,” Richard Strauss’s “Alpine Symphony” and so much more. In addition to performances, there’s also guided hikes, workshops, masterclasses, dinners, social events and more.


Kick Off Summer at the Boulder Creek Fest & the Bolder Boulder


There’s no better way to welcome summer than attending the Boulder Creek Fest and running/spectating the Bolder Boulder. Every Memorial Day Weekend, these two beloved events take over Boulder in the best way possible. Boulder Creek Fest is May 24-27, while the Bolder Boulder is May 27.


Courtesy of Ryan Cox Photography


This year’s Boulder Creek Festival—its 35th year—will feature more than 200 vendors, free concerts with more than 30 bands, bites from local restaurants and food trucks, a skate park activation, free family-friendly entertainment and a roller skating rink. Boulder Creek Fest is free, but tickets to the creekside beer festival are $35 for all-inclusive tastings from more than 20 breweries and beverage makers.


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