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Top Summer Activities & Festivals in Boulder

Ah, summer in Boulder. Things take on a different pace as the days lengthen, a lush canopy of trees comes into full leaf, and outdoor lovers happily spend even more time outside. Here are just a few reasons to join in the fun — our list of things to do in Boulder in summer.

Splash and Play

On warm, sunny days, water is especially refreshing at the foot of the Rocky Mountains:

Boulder Reservoir Beach

Summer Hiking

In the summertime, trails are sprinkled with wildflowers and the long days mean more time for hiking. On warm days, try these shady hikes:

  • Much of Lion's Lair is shaded by towering (and fragrant) ponderosa pines, with a steep summit that overlooks all of Boulder Valley.
  • Ranger Trail is quite lush in summer, providing shade. Connect with E.M. Greenman Trail, the lower portion of which is also shady.
  • Anne U. White is also known for being in the shade of a narrow canyon in Boulder's foothills yet is a good choice for a lower-intensity hike.

Note: Boulder's Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP) periodically has trail closures throughout the year. We recommend checking for the most current closures here before you go.

E.M. Greenman Trail

Imbibe and Refresh

Boulder loves its summer bevies. Try these ideas:

Group Dining on Patio Boulder

Boulder Outdoor Performances

Music just sounds better on a Boulder breeze! And in Boulder, even the arts happen outdoors, from dance concerts to theater performances on the trails. Summer concerts are held outside in Boulder every week in gorgeous locations at the foot of the Flatirons, on beautiful Pearl Street and beyond. Read more on our Hot Summer Music page.

Bands on the Bricks Boulder

2023 Festivals and Events

Jump to: Ongoing Through Summer  |  June  |  July  |  August

Plan your visit around one of dozens of summertime festivals or events. Below are a few annual events to get you started, with a complete calendar available here

Ongoing Through Summer

Boulder Farmers Market
Every Saturday, April 1-November 18, 2023 (8am-2pm) 
Every Wednesday, May 3-October 4, 2023 (4-8pm)
Come sample, shop, meet local farmers, smell the flowers, hear live music, sit by the creek and eat great food.

NoBo Art District First Friday Art Walk
First Friday of every month, 2023, 6-9pm
Every first Friday is your chance to discover Boulder's art scene up close. Come nibble on snacks, stroll a cool neighborhood and discover inspiration in a city that lives, sleeps, eats and breathes creativity.

Arts in the Park at the Bandshell
June 2-July 29, 2023
Taking place at the Glenn Huntington Bandshell in Boulder’s Civic Area, this year's Arts in the Park will showcase talent from the Boulder Ballet, Boulder Symphony and Boulder Opera in four performances through June and July.

Chautauqua Summer Concert Series
June-October, 2023
Chautauqua’s entertainment series, featuring concerts, silent movies, theater, dance, forums and family events at the foot of the Flatirons.

Colorado Shakespeare Festival
June 11-August 13, 2023
Plays are performed beneath summer night skies in the historic Mary Rippon Outdoor Theatre on CU Campus.


Bands on the Bricks
June 14-August 2, 2023
From oldies to alternative, Bands on the Bricks is Boulder's premier outdoor summer concert series taking place on the bricks of the Pearl Street Mall from 5-9pm.

Colorado Music Festival

June 29-August 6, 2023
This internationally acclaimed festival is held four nights per week for several weeks at the historic Chautauqua Auditorium, showcasing an orchestra of professional classical musicians from all over the world.


Celebration of Immigrant Heritage Month
Each June, the City of Boulder celebrates Immigrant Heritage Month (IHM). IHM is an annual celebration recognizing immigrants’ experiences, contributions and achievements throughout our country’s history. More details about this developing celebration will be announced soon.

Boulder Jewish Festival
June 4, 2023
Live entertainment, fine art and Judaica, food, community organizations and activities for all ages in downtown Boulder.

June 10, 2023
This "half Ironman" takes place at the Boulder Reservoir with a spectacular Rocky Mountain backdrop. The event has been an athlete favorite for over a decade and is one of the fastest IRONMAN events to sell out each year.

Boulder Plein Air Festival
TBA, 2023
Stop in throughout this week-long celebration that welcomes artists of all levels to make art en plein air in and around Boulder, with the opportunity to exhibit and sell their works.

Painter in Front of Flatirons Boulder

Boulder County Pride Week
June 11-18, 2023
Whether you’re looking for something the whole family can take part in or a more 21+ experience, there's something for everyone at Boulder County Pride Week. Sign up for teen art classes, adult networking events, music, trivia, dancing and more.

Boulder Comedy Festival
June 21-25, 2023
Nationally touring comics featured on Comedy Central, Netflix and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert come together with festival winners and local comedians to create a sea of hilarity outdoors at the Dairy Arts Center.

Summer Bike to Work Day
June 28, 2023
This is a holy day in Boulder! Folks ditch the cars, get on their bikes and ride all around town to hit the free breakfast and merch stations to enjoy giveaways and the party atmosphere.

Louisville Slugger Independence Day Tournament
June 26-July 2, 2023
For more than two decades, this 80-team competitive girls softball tourney has been hosted in Boulder!


Dead & Company
July 1-3, 2023
This summer Dead & Company (comprised of members of the Grateful Dead plus John Mayer) will return for a final series of performances at the University of Colorado's iconic Folsom Field, a venue frequented by the Grateful Dead in the 70s. Join deadheads from across the world as they gather in Boulder for three nights of unforgettable performances before the band hangs up its jams.

Dead & Company Concert at Folsom Field

Louisville Slugger Independence Day Tournament
June 26-July 2, 2023
For more than two decades, this 80-team competitive girls softball tourney has been hosted in Boulder!

Folsom Field’s 4th of July Spectacular: A Night Sky Drone Show
July 4, 2023
Celebrate this Fourth of July with an all-new experience for 2023 at Folsom Field — Boulder's very first Night Sky Drone Show.

July 4th Celebration with Boulder Symphony
July 4, 2023
Celebrate Independence Day with symphonic classics, from Rodeo and William Tell to the 1812 Overture at the historic Boulder Bandshell.

Twenty Ninth Street Summer of Love Concert Series
​TBA, 2023
Friday concerts take place at Twenty Ninth Street, an outdoor shopping mall that opens up its Central Plaza so concertgoers can sprawl out and soak up the incredible Flatirons views while they listen to local bands. 

Boulder Fine Art Street Festival
July 8-9, 2023
This vibrant outdoor art festival returns to Twenty Ninth Street and features local and national artists' and crafters' handmade work in a lively open-air setting.

Hanuman Festival
July 13-16, 2023
This celebration of yoga and music features world-class yoga instructors, live music, inspirational experiences and community building.

Boulder Environmental / Nature / Outdoors Film Festival
July 13-16, 2023
Watch environmental documentary features, short films, Q&As and interviews online or at the Dairy Drive-In at the Dairy Arts Center.

Tube to Work Day
July 14, 2023
Boulderites don their best business attire and hit the creek in this yearly tubing tradition. The event starts at Eben G. Fine Park, but you can catch the view of the hilarious action (e.g. spectators dangling breakfast from atop bridges for tubers to grab) anywhere along the creek near downtown.

Tube to Work Day

Pearl Street Arts Fest
July 14-16, 2023
Tents line downtown Boulder's Pearl Street for this juried celebration of visual arts — from whimsical and modern sculptures to traditional watercolors, oil paintings and more.

Avery Invitational
July 29, 2023
Celebrate Avery Brewing Company's 30th Anniversary with over 100 specialty beers, rare barrel-aged releases and live music.

Frequent Flyers Aerial Dance Festival
July 30-August 11, 2023
Experience the joy of dancing in the air, for beginners through advanced aerial dancers. Participate in two weeks of classes, lectures/demonstrations, informal discussions and performances.


Colorado Brazil Fest
August 10-13, 2023
Two rhythmic days of Brazilian music, dancing and more at Boulder's Bandshell.

Boulder Creek Hometown Festival
TBA, 2023
Entertainment, chili cook-off, classic car show, food and drink along the banks of Boulder Creek.

Boulder Taco Fest
August 26, 2023
Indulge in the tastiest tacos of Boulder, a curated list of craft breweries, eclectic tequilas, high-flying Luchadores, live bands and lots of free fun for the kiddos.

Frequent Flyers Aerial Dance Festival
July 30-August 11, 2023
Experience the joy of dancing in the air, for beginners through advanced aerial dancers. Participate in two weeks of classes, lectures/demonstrations, informal discussions and performances.

Want more? We have barely scratched the surface of all the amazing Boulder summer festivals. See our complete, searchable events calendar.