Things to Do in Boulder at Night

Pearl Street Mall at night
Pearl Street at night. Photo by Aimee Heckel

Attention vampires, bats and other creatures of the night. Boulder doesn’t shut down just because the sun goes down. If you’re looking for something fun to do in Boulder after dark, prepare to be surprised by the options.

Here are some of our favorite things to do in Boulder at night.

Boulder County at night. Photo by Flickr user Carol Jacobs-Carre

Hiking is huge during the day, and it’s also big at night. In fact, an evening hike can be refreshing: In summer, the weather’s mild, the crowds are thin to none and the clear Colorado skies open up to stunning star-watching. Head out for a night hike on your own or book a guided trip. The city of Boulder’s trails are open all day and night and many trailhead parking lots remain unlocked even after dusk.

A full moon in Boulder. Photo by Flickr user Jeff Ruane

Another uniquely Boulder way to enjoy the darker hours is about once a month at a special full moon event. In celebration of the full moon, Boulderites host full moon poetry readings, moonlight hikes, yoga chants and more, with offerings changing every month.

The Fox Theatre on The Hill. Courtesy Photo.

Music, Arts and Culture After Dark

After dark is when Boulder’s music scene wakes up. You can go see a concert at one of Boulder’s big venues, like the Boulder Theater, Fox Theatre and Chautauqua Auditorium. The famous Red Rocks Amphitheater isn’t far away, and the University of Colorado holds some high-caliber musical events throughout the year.

Colorado Shakespeare Festival
The Colorado Shakespeare Festival at the Mary Rippon Outdoor Theatre. Photo by Zachary Andrews

As an artsy community, Boulder’s theater scene is strong, too. See a show at the dinner theater (the BDT Stage), at the Dairy Arts Center or the renowned Colorado Shakespeare Festival. Our favorite way to do Shakespeare in Boulder: at the outdoor theater, where you can stretch out under the stars and enjoy the show.

Boulder’s dance scene is also hoppin’. Get inspired at a dance performance, whether that’s a ballet concert or a jaw-dropping aerial dance show by one of the world’s most respected aerial dance companies, Frequent Flyers.

Party All Night

The nightlife in Boulder is always cracking.

After dark, you can go dancing, catch a poetry slam, see stand-up comedy, find open mics and karaoke or join a trivia night. Many of Boulder’s bars and breweries hold special events, such as game nights, and have live music, especially on the weekends. Boulder County has about 50 different breweries and taprooms to choose between. You might just find yourself brewery-hopping.

Probably not a legal sign but hey, it is Boulder. Photo by Flickr user Craige Moore

On that note, a safe way to get around is via the Brewhop Trolley in Longmont, which circles between Longmont’s breweries all night long. The fare is cheap and it’s a bonus party on the bus. Another fun way to get around is by planning a brewery biking tour. You can rent bikes in Boulder at most bike shops or right on the street from a BCycle bike share station.

If you’re looking for a good bar in Boulder, a few highlights include License No. 1 (beneath the historic Boulderado hotel, designed to feel like an old speakeasy), the Bohemian Biergarten, the Bitter Bar and the Dark Horse. For something offbeat and memorable, check out Boulder’s unique bars. The Rayback Collective food truck park parties into the night, too.

Planning a date? Boulder boasts tons of unique date night ideas, like snuggle parties (um, they’re just what they sound like: People get together and snuggle), couples’ pole dancing classes and tantra events.

Holiday lights on the courthouse downtown. Photo by Flickr user Raymond Johnson

For a simple outing, just stroll along the Pearl Street Mall any time of year. In summer, the pedestrian mall is lively with street musicians and buskers throwing fire, contorting, playing music and dancing. In the winter, the mall is covered by a canopy of twinkling holiday lights. In spring, the mall is lined with a zillion colorful tulips.

End your day by grabbing a bite to eat at one of the late-night food joints. In a healthy town like Boulder, that’s not all bar food (although you can find some naughty greasy goodness at bars like The Attic). There are plenty of healthy, organic options. Or a late-night cookie delivery, if you have a hankering for an ice cream cookie sandwich but can’t be bothered to leave your bed.

One Response

  1. I really enjoyed reading this article. The context is amazing. It also helped me understand why sometimes I am so much more creative and thoughtful than my friends. Thank you!

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