Boulder, Colorado is set at the foot of the Rocky Mountains and is the perfect blend of urban living and natural beauty. It is well known for its food scene, breweries, and the never-ending list of outdoor pursuits.
Whether you’re into music, art shows, or night hikes, there is something for everyone to do in Boulder at night. Let’s take a look at some of the best venues and events Boulder has to offer when the sun goes down.
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If you’re looking for fun things to do in Boulder at night, there are two main areas for nightlife in the city: Pearl Street and University Hill.
The former is a pedestrian center in the heart of Boulder, lined with restaurants and bars. You’ll also find the Boulder Theater with the new Rosetta Hall just off it, which is an innovative food hall by day and dance venue by night.
The Hill is next to the University of Colorado and is a thriving, student-centric nightlife scene. The area also includes the legendary Fox Theater, labeled one of the country’s best by Rolling Stone.
Boulder City is renowned for its live music scene and has a rich history of musical traditions. In the summer, live music is on the calendar almost every day in different venues throughout the city.
Because of the strong traditions, many top names are willing to add Boulder to their list of tour dates.
Some of our favorite live music venues to check out are:
- The Boulder Theater
- Fox Theater
- eTown hall
- Macky Auditorium
- Chautauqua Auditorium
- Dairy Arts Center
- The Riverside and the Central Park Bandshell.
For something less formal, the Rayback Collective is a must-try. It’s described as a party you’ve been invited to and has a great community feel.
There’s also BOCO Cider, Boulder’s first-ever cidery, that has live music in the taproom on Fridays and Saturdays. Or you could hit up License No.1, an underground speakeasy-style bar offering a one-of-a-kind experience.
If you’re looking for somewhere to go dancing in downtown Boulder, there are some great spots:
- The recently opened Supermoon turns into a dance and nightlife venue on Friday and Saturday evenings.
- Press Play has an awesome range of vintage arcade games and pinball machines before DJs start spinning tracks throughout the week.
- The DV8 Distillery is a queer bar with raves, dancing, drag shows, and more.
There is no end of great places to eat throughout the Boulder Neighborhoods, but you have to try some of our favorite places:
- River and Woods is a quaint cottage eatery near Pearl Street.
- Frasca Food and Wine is an award-winning restaurant known for its Italian cuisine.
- The Post Chicken and Beer is a franchise based on the motto “hot chicken loves cold beer”.
- Avanti F&B is a Venezuelan diamond in the Pearl Street Mall featuring modern deli fare.
- Oak at Fourteenth is our old reliable featuring seasonal menus.
- The Kitchen Boulder is a farm-to-table restaurant with plenty of amazingly fresh food on offer.
When it comes to bars, there is something for everyone. If you’re into classy cocktails, then try:
- A booth at the Bitter Bar
- A speakeasy-style experience at License No.1
- A concoction from an expert mixologist at Salt
- A step back in history at Hotel Boulderado
For sports fans, there are:
- Bluff Street Bar and Billiards, which has pool tables, giant screens, and classic eats.
- The Tune-Up is a cycle lover’s dream with a full bike shop and 16 tap beers, live music, and broadcast sports games.
For those who prefer a cheap and cheerful dive bar feel, there are:
- The Sundown Saloon, with darts, pool, and cheap drinks.
- The Outback Saloon, which offers a true dive bar experience.
- The Pearl St Pub and Cellar, which has a pool and a jukebox.
Art & Culture
Even at night, there are plenty of cultural things to do in Boulder Colorado, including:
- Gallery openings and showings at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art.
- Free exhibits and planned shows at the Fiske Planetarium.
- Comedy acts and shows at the Dairy Arts Center.
- Music acts and theater performances at The Fox Theater.
- Musicals and Avant-Garde films at the Boulder Theater, with its Art Deco housing.
Due to its impressive location at the base of the Rocky Mountain, Boulder county hosts a number of excellent night hikes. You can enjoy a night picnic at Chautauqua Park, which is a fun way to experience the mountain in less traffic.
If you are okay spotting mountain lions, then a hike up Flagstaff Mountain may suit you, but definitely don’t do it alone at night.
Other hiking trails include Gregory Canyon, Mount Sanitas, and the Centennial Trail. These are mainly guided hikes and are the most sensible way to enjoy Boulder’s natural trails during the night.
Boulder is a unique city that is peaceful and outdoorsy during the day but comes to life at night. If you’re looking for a vibrant city with tons to do, this is the place for you.
If you’re thinking about moving to South Boulder, head to our neighborhood guide to find out more about the housing market, amenities, and more.