Best Christmas Shopping in Boulder

Who Needs Santa? Christmas Shopping in Boulder Made Cheap and Simple

Delicious chocolatey treats, the latest best-sellers, athletic gear, and consigned treasures are just a few of the shopping categories you'll find on our list detailing some of the best hot-spots for holiday shopping in Boulder, Colorado.

Topping out the list in hands-down fashion is famous Pearl Street. During the holiday season, this quaint and elegant street embodies a winter wonderland of sorts, with its twinkling lights, festive decorations, and delicious smells from local restaurants and shops churning out holiday delights.

If you're shopping for gifts, a walk down Pearl is a must but we've also included some of the stores and shops that are not-to-be-missed on this strip, including Boulder Book Store and Peppercorn. These adorable, local, favorites offer awesome holiday sales  and ensure that you have a unique and simply buying experience.

Have a few folks in your life who are gear-fiends? REI and Neptune Mountaineering are the perfect spots for you. There helpful and knowledgeable staff will ensure that you get the right kind of ice axe, steer you toward the best climbing accoutrements, and advise you on the qualities of down sleeping bags even if you're not gear-savvy in the slightest.

Wanna save a buck without sacrificing quality? We've also included a couple of our favorite consignment shops which offer great deals around the holidays and will enable you to find unique treasures no longer available in retail stores.

So tell St. Nick he can take the year off because Boulder and 10best have got you covered.


Look for REI's seasonal sales, including their well-known "garage sales" where you can get gifts for cheap! One of the best places in town to shop for outdoor gear, Boulder's REI is a haven for climbers, hikers, back packing, skiing, and cycling enthusiasts. Not only do they offer amazing "garage sales" where gear is sold at dramatically reduced prices, they also offer free classes on winter survival, hiking 14ners ( 14,000ft mountains), navigation, and much more. Eco-friendly? You can feel confident shopping with REI in Boulder, as their building is retro-fitted with solar panels, recycling and composting bins are dotted throughout the facility, and they have a high ratio of USA made goods. Interested in earning rewards, a membership with REI earns you annual dividends that can be redeemed in the store.

Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: For the skiers, climbers, and campers in your life, REI is your one-stop-shop for everything outdoors this holiday season.

Hope's expert tip: REI "garage sales" are a popular amongst locals. If you're a member and receive newsletters, look for garage sales while you're in the area and be sure to arrive early, since the good gear goes fast.

Read more about REI →

Love to shop but don't really care for all the walking involved? Never fear! 16th Street Mall of Denver offers a free trolly service that you will take you up and down the mall from store-to-fabulous store. This mall features the Virgin Records Megastore, Nikitown, the Gap. Awesome and funky places to dine and drink include, the Hard Rock Cafe, Maggiano's, Little Italy, and Rock Bottom Brewery, who got its start here in Colorado. This mall puts you in the epicenter of Denver and gets you within walking distance to Coors Field and the Pepsi Center, so you can shop before or after you catch a game or concert. For the holiday season, 16th street mall is also close to many entertainment opportunities, including unique performances of the Nutcracker and Handel's Messiah.

Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: The 16th Street Mall offers awesome Black Friday sales and fanciful holiday entertainment and dining in downtown Denver.

Hope's expert tip: Holiday events abound on and near the 16th Street Mall, including an ice skating rink which provides fun for the whole family.

Read more about 16th Street Mall of Denver →


Need to spruce up your place settings for the holiday season? Peppercorn is the perfect place for all of your culinary needs and will help you deck the halls with spices, spatulas, and more! Flatware, wine glasses, skillets, and just about every other tool that you could possibly need to craft the perfect meal can be found in abundance. But the fun doesn't stop there; Peppercorn offers spices, unique baking mixes, jams and jellies, kitchen decor, and quality cooking brands such as Cuisine Art. There fun and fanciful dining decor mixes elegance with a touch of whimsy and provide the perfect gift to bring home after a stay in the mountains. Need something small to tote home? Peruse their wine glasses or array of cook books.

Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: Homey, warm, and quaint; Peppercorn's offers reasonably prices kitchen and cooking accoutrements for the chef's and home-makers in your life.

Hope's expert tip: Take home a cook book or some unique spices as sovereigns.

Read more about Peppercorn →


Known as the "less local" more mainstream mall of Boulder, the 29th Street Mall boasts big names such as Nordstrom Rack, Macy's, and Victoria's Secret. Dining can be found just around the corner at Colorado Pizza Kitchen, Noodles & Company, and Mad Greens. Catch a movie at Boulder Century Theater and then grab dessert at one of Boulder's best frozen yogurt spots, Spooners, where you're charged by the ounce and toppings abound. Other not-to-be-missed shopping destinations include Anthropologie, Moosejaw, Lucy's and Lululemon. This is the perfect mall for anyone coming from a smaller town, who might not have easy access to larger, namebrand, stores.

Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: 29th Street Mall offers more main-stream retail stores than Pearl without losing an ounce of charm and festive energy.

Hope's expert tip: Some of the best holiday shopping can be found at Nordstrom Rack, Moosejaw, North Face, and Victoria's Secret. `

Read more about 29th Street Mall →

For all of your running and hiking needs, Boulder Running company outfits you with the best shoes, socks, boots, and clothing out there. For the holidays, expect the latest styles, wool socks, and outdoor cold gear perfect for the athletes in your life. Not to mention, BRC's personalized service will have you swearing off chain footwear stores forever. Whether you're having shin splints, knee troubles, or just want some advice on which shoe suits your workout routine the best, Boulder Running Company has the answers and the gear. Brands such as Nike, New Balance, Asolo, and Chacho are just a few of the big names you'll find. However, you won't pay the big prices and you'll be treated to personalized fittings.

Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: Boulder Running Company offers socks, shoes, hiking boots and apparel for the marathoners and tri-athletes in your life.

Hope's expert tip: Be sure to ask a staff member about the best inserts and socks to wear with your shoes and boots.

Read more about Boulder Running Company →

Photo courtesy of Moosejaw and Hanna O'Neill

There are many outdoor gear shops in Boulder but, perhaps, none as young, funky, and fun-loving as Moosejaw. Complete with a ping-pong table so that you can battle 'til the death while you shop, as well as a variety of outdoor gear, shopping at this retail spot is as much an experience as it is a holiday right of passage. Brands like Patagonia, North Face, and Dynafit line the shelves while friendly, and cheeky, Moosejaw staff eagerly help you find the best fit or the best gift. Some items in their winter line include snow shoes, avalanche safety equipment, and a smattering of accessories to keep you warm in the powder.

Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: Moosejaw offers and fun and funky spin on your favorite holiday gear.

Hope's expert tip: Watch for Moosejaw's "door busters", items that you can only get before noon, on Black Friday.

Read more about Moosejaw →

Located on famous and romantic Pearl Street, Piece, Love, & Chocolate Company is the perfect place for dessert on date-night, Valentine's Day, or for couples who just want to treat themselves. Known for their truffles, decadent cakes, and in-store hot chocolate, this Chocolate Boutique caters to those with a sweet tooth. A local favorite you can't get anywhere else, their truffles made with beer from Boulder's microbreweries are sure to be a hit. Wanna relax instead of taking your chocolate to go? Many of PLC's cakes are served by the slice and can be eaten in their cozy sitting nook or on their Pearl Street Patio.

Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: Piece, Love, & Chocolate is your one-stop-shop for everything chocolate and perfect for purchasing delicious and unique treats for the holidays.

Hope's expert tip: Be sure to sample PLC's amazing hot chocolate during the winter months.

Read more about Piece, Love, & Chocolate Company →

Changes in Latitude offers everything you could possibly need while traveling, including ultra-light rolling luggage to ensure that you avoid baggage fees, travel clothing such as packable hats, sock, and rain jackets. You can also purchase light weight packing tubes for toiletries and other small items. Their website offers helpful tips for travel and current baggage regulations. Furthermore, they offer helpful tips and videos on all things Travel, including how to purchase travel luggage, information on the latest travel shows, and various travel newsletters. Visit their store and we're certain that you'll be wanting to change your latitude almost immediately.

Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: The perfect place to buy gifts for the travelers in your life, Changes in Latitude offers luggage, maps, and other travel necessities.

Hope's expert tip: Be sure to look for their ultralight rolling luggage to avoid baggage fees when you fly.

Read more about Changes in Latitude →

This enormous community bookstore features more than 100,000 titles, with four fabulous floors of new and used books, magazines, journals, and book-related gifts. The atmosphere is comfortable and relaxed, with warm woodwork, high ceilings, and stained glass windows. Check out the staff picks, for the reliable employees are known for their excellent recommendations. Attend one of the many events, including book readings and lectures. Enjoy a cup of coffee at the Bookend Caf� connected to the shop and dive into your newest book. Looking for a book that's no longer in print? Boulder Book Store can help! They are adept at locating out-of-print treasures so you can give something special and unique this holiday season.

Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: New and used books can be found at Boulder Book Store ensuring that you find the titles you want without paying the big bucks.

Hope's expert tip: Be sure to look for holiday specials and peruse their out-of-print books section to find some treasures.

Read more about Boulder Book Store →

Dozens of holidays themed entertainments await you on and near Boulder's famous Pearl Street, including the annual Holiday Festival at Macky Auditorium, featuring seasonal music performed by choirs, orchestras, and local musicians. Furthermore, St. Nick on the Bricks gives children of all ages the opportunity to see Santa Claus downtown while you're out shopping. Named by the "Wall Street Journal" as among America's leading open-air pedestrian malls. Whether it's books, clothing, sporting goods, candy, or jewelry, there's a little something here for everyone. The area includes galleries, entertainment venues, historic sites, and architectural landmarks, while the extensive dining options range from Russian to Thai. The site of frequent outdoor concerts and community events, the Pearl Street Mall is frequented by locals of all ages. Big names such as Patagonia, Athleta, and Prana can be found on the mall, as well as local favorites like Boulder Art Mart.

Recommended for Christmas Shopping because: A variety of stores, shops, and restaurants makes Pearl Street your one-stop-shop for holiday purchases.

Hope's expert tip: Be sure to hit up all of the local spots, including Boulder Art Mart, Peppercorn's, the Boulder Bookstore, and Piece, Love, Chocolate to find the best gifts for the holidays.

Read more about Pearl Street Mall →


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