Best Things to Do with Kids in Boulder

Child's Play: Boulder's Unique and Exciting Attractions for Your Little Ones

The Front Range town of Boulder, Colorado is known for its mountains, scenic hiking trails, majestic canyons and microbreweries, but it also happens to be a wonderfully family-friendly spot with a ton of fun to be had for the kiddos in your life. 

Attractions like Gateway Fun Park allows your little ones to putt-putt, ride go-carts, and play arcade games to their heart's content. Batting cages are great for both kids and adults and there's also a fun outdoor maze that will keep your rugrats guessing. 

You'll also find Celestial Seasonings on our list, with a free tour for the whole family which includes the famed Mint Room. Want a relaxing afternoon indoors where your kids can tap into their creative side? Try Color Me Mine, where you can pick a ceramic piece and paint it together as a family. 

Not the indoor type? Take your brood to Chautauqua Park where hiking, rock-climbing, and scenic wonder awaits. You can also find plays and kid-friendly musical acts at the Auditorium. Boulder Creek Path offers a relaxed outdoor experience where kids can wade and splash in the waters, run along the creek-line, or fish in the well-stocked children's pond. 


WOW! Children's Museum
Photo courtesy of WOW! Children's Museum

This unique and pint-sized museum is a perfect way to spend the early morning or afternoon with your rug rats. Interactive displays such a bubble hoop that completely surrounds the participant in one, soapy, bubble along with a dress-up area and stage allow children to experiment and play. This intimate museum is perfect for toddlers and younger children who might otherwise be overwhelmed by the larger, city, museums. Not to mention, the entire exploration area is contained, which means your kiddo can explore safely. A pretend pirate ship complete with educational displays can be played in and on, a model train display runs with just the push of a button and much to the delight of everyone, and friendly staff is on-hand to assist if you have the need.

Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: WOW! offers interactive exhibits, crafts, and plenty of safe space for younger children to run, play, and learn.

Hope's expert tip: Be sure to go early before the crowds arrive and look on their website for a variety of craft classes throughout the week.

Read more about WOW! Children's Museum →

Valmont Bike Park

The Boulder Mountain Bike Alliance is proud to give you this one-of-a-kind bike park. Enjoy some well-maintained, yet exciting trails that will rip the screams from your throat. However, if you're in the mood for something tamer, family-friendly trails will help you wind your way to fitness and relaxation. The bike park hosts various events such as "Take Your Kid Mountain Biking Day" and the annual Boulder Cyclocross Series. There are also picnic areas where family and friends can watch all of the tricks and thrills from the sidelines. This bike park hosts bike clinics, festivals, and much more!

Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: The Valmont Bike Park offers mountain biking for all ages and skill levels.

Hope's expert tip: Be sure to take your mountain bike and experience all the curves, twists, turns, and jumps at Valmont Bike Park.

Read more about Valmont Bike Park →

Known for its exceptional routes, enormous facility, and comprehensive programs, Movement Climbing and Fitness of Boulder is the perfect place to take kiddos who need to burn some energy. Your first visit is only $10 and any other day passes are $16 for kids and $20 for adults. If you don't have your own equipment rentals are quick and easy. If you're completely new to climbing, Movements offers a Top Rope Belay Course and Movement Orientation to make sure you've got the basics. If you'd rather forego ropes and simply boulder around, there is a substantial bouldering area with dozens upon dozens of challenging and exciting routes for all skill levels. A full gym and yoga facility is also available if you want to work out while the kids climb. Wifi and a sitting area allow you to stay connected.

Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: Rock climbing is a right of passage in Colorado and Movement Climbing and Fitness of Boulder is the perfect place for kids to start.

Hope's expert tip: Visiting Movement during the day will mean fewer crowds and more opportunities to take advantage of their programs and facilities.

Read more about Movement Climbing and Fitness →

Chautauqua Park
Photo courtesy of © 2014 City of Boulder Parks & Recreation

This meadow-like foothills park is ideal for a lazy afternoon with a book, a family picnic, bird watching, or a vigorous hike on numerous trails that will suit any skill level. The hiking trails take you into the Flatirons and the Bluebell Shelter or the top of Flagstaff Mountain. A century-old community center occupies the middle of the park. Numerous lectures and musical performances are scheduled, including the Colorado Music Festival, which is held each summer. The Royal-Arch and Green Mountain hikes are not-to-be-missed but should only be attempted if you're in good shape, have plenty of water, and have had a few days to acclimate to Boulder's altitude.

Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: Wear your kids out with hiking, rock-climbing, and picnicking at Chautauqua Park.

Hope's expert tip: Be sure to tackle the strenuous Royal-Arch hike which provides a spectacular view well worth the climb.

Read more about Chautauqua Park →

Travel back in time with the Egyptian Mummies exhibit or discover new and exciting facts about our earth and universe in the Discovery Zone! Denver's Museum of Nature and Science is the perfect day trip for a family with children of all ages. However, adults will find that there's plenty to hold their attention, including everyone's favorite, the dinosaur exhibit. A food court allows for quick meals between explorations or lunch can be packed and enjoyed outside on the lawn while overlooking Colorado's beautiful capital. A variety of Wildlife and Space exhibits are sure to capture the imagination, which the Native American exhibit, along with its intricate artifacts and displays, is sure to educate. Come ready to learn and to be amazed.

Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: Your kiddos will love the sights, sounds, and tastes of the Boulder County Farmer's Market.

Hope's expert tip: Be sure to check the museum's IMAX listings and take the family to see one of their educational and cinematically spectacular nature films.

Read more about Denver Museum of Nature and Science →

Bands on the Bricks is a free, weekly concert put on by the City of Boulder on downtown Pearl Street at absolutely no cost. A beer garden featuring local brews from Avery, West Flanders, and Upslope Brewing Company can be enjoyed, as well as the delicious food from Pearl Street restaurants. At this event, you'll find all ages and creeds of people dancing and enjoying the merry-making together. A pop-jet fountain nearby, entertaining street acts, and a small rock playground are perfect for entertaining the little ones in between sets. If you're looking to spend a little dough, you can always shop before or after at the numerous local and big-named retail shops along the mall. This event runs June-September.

Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: Band on the Bricks is a great way for your children to experience local music, food carts, and the pop-jet fountains of Pearl Street.

Hope's expert tip: Be sure to take advantage of the beer garden and nearby restaurants on Pearl Street.

Read more about Bands on the Bricks →

Airport - Wbu

Park your car and enjoy a peaceful, scenic stroll or bike ride through the heart of Boulder. The path runs for miles along Boulder Creek and connects up with a variety of other bike paths providing access to numerous parks, ponds, historical markers, gardens, rock-climbing opportunities, botanical sites, and a farmers' market. You'll also come across landmarks such as the art museum, library, the Senior Center, CU-Boulder Research Park, and the Stazio Ballfields. If you're hungry for a bite, the creek path takes you by several famous local spots, including the Dushanbe Teahouse. You can also fish and picnic along the path which segues into other routes and may be accessed at several points.

Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: Boulder Creek Path is free, beautiful, and offers car-free access to some of Boulder's most exciting natural spaces.

Hope's expert tip: Be sure to stop off at the library to enjoy one of their many free art exhibits or have a spot of tea at the Dushanbe Teahouse, both of which sit conveniently near the creek path.

Read more about Boulder Creek Path →

Known for its wide varieties and delicious tea flavors, including green, herbal, and wellness teas, Celestial Seasonings in a not-to-be-missed stop on your itinerary while visiting Boulder. Experience the powerful scent of herbs and teas on a tour offered by this wonderful New Age business. Witness a tea plant assembly line where a thousand bags of tea are blended and bagged each minute. Visit the herb garden, Tea Shop and Emporium, and don' t forget the caf�. Tours are offered each hour at no cost to you. We highly recommend taking home a box of the Acai Mango Zinger Herbal Tea, to invigorate you for the rest of your stay.

Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: The Celestial Seasonings Tour is free to the family, educational, and fun!

Hope's expert tip: Be sure to make a stop at the famous Mint Room and drink in this refreshing and pungent herb.

Read more about Celestial Seasonings →

At Gateway Fun Park, your kiddos can enjoy a wide variety of exciting entertainments, including a stellar arcade where tickets are won and prizes are redeemed, a large putt-putt golf course, and batting cages. The big draw here is the go-carts, where you and your family can go at rip-roaring speeds around the track, racing each other to win bragging rights. Gateway is also equipped with an outdoor pavilion where parties can be hosted and they will even cater the events for you. A fun and tricky outdoor maze gives the kiddos something to do after they've downed their pizza and drinks.

Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: Batting cages, an arcade, and putt-putt golf make this the perfect place for kids, both young and old.

Hope's expert tip: Be sure to ask for the special coupons that are often available for multiple day adventures.

Read more about Gateway Fun Park →

This unique family favorite is tucked away at the end of Pearl Street and offers a relaxing and artistic experience for kids that is sure to kill a good 3 hours on a rainy day. Children pick their own ceramic figurine ranging from bowls and cups to piggy-banks and hair brushes, paint them, and then leave them to be fired by Color Me Mine's skilled staff. Art-made-easy, there's no clean up for you, the paint comes in a rainbow of colors, and many of the figurines are affordable or at marked-down prices. If you have a large group, there is a party-space to accommodate.

Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: Color Me Mine gives children a way to express themselves through painting.

Hope's expert tip: Be sure to look for ceramics on sale.

Read more about Color Me Mine →


Meet Hope Gately

Hope Gately should have a bumper sticker proclaiming "Not a Native...But I Got Here as Fast as I Could!" A transplant from the Midwest, Hope has fallen in love with Colorado's mountains playing...  More About Hope