By Hudson Lindenberger
We get it, guys, sometimes you just want to hang out with a few of your male friends, and there is nothing wrong with that. But, where the ladies have spa days, book clubs, dinners and a whole other host of outings, we guys are usually relegated to bellying up to the bar, snacking on wings and watching the game.
It doesn’t have to be that way, it can be better, and you don’t have to jump a flight to Vegas to cut loose. There can be some pretty kicking nights to be had here in Boulder.
As one of the healthiest cities in America that also has legal marijuana, there are numerous adventures to be had both indoor and outdoor. Great restaurants, spots to sip suds and a healthy local music scene are just a few of the offerings awaiting you, plus a whole lot more.
Here are three different nights out in Boulder with your buddies that should leave you all smiling and telling tales about that “one night in Boulder” for years to come.
Climbing and Riding
A healthier twist on guys’ night out is to go climbing and bike riding in Boulder. With numerous climbing gyms and a healthy bike infrastructure, this evening will leave you feeling like a true local. Plus, you will get a few cold ones too.
Rent a bike: Getting a bike in Boulder is not that tough. We suggest signing up for the Boulder B Cycle bike share program. You could rent a bike from a shop, but most places require them back by nightfall, which puts a damper on a night out. With numerous bike stations spread all over town that will allow you to easily pick up a bike to get from point to point, the bike share is the way to go. When you are finished, you can just deposit the bike simply and easily.
Head to The Spot: Before heading for a few beers, first get your stoke on by hitting the climbing gym. Watching your buddies and other climbers work different routes will get your heart pumping, plus the occasional trash talking is fun too, especially when someone bites off more than they can handle. There are several great climbing gyms in Boulder, but The Spot Bouldering Gym at 3240 Prairie Avenue is the place to head to. Since it only has bouldering, that means that anyone in your party can climb, even beginners, no rope needed. They rent any equipment required on site and can show you the basics to get you started.
Grab a Cold One: Just a few doors down from The Spot is one of Boulder’s oldest breweries, Twisted Pine at 3201 Walnut. The tasting room is the perfect spot to relive your successes and failures from your climbing session over a cold brew from their extensive selection of beers (they have 30 different tap lines pouring all manners of brews). You might even grab a plate of nachos or some fresh pretzels to snack on from their menu before hopping back on your bikes to head to your next stop.
Sip some Homemade Spirits: No bike tour of Boulder would be complete without a quick stop into one of the local distilleries. Luckily for you Deviant Spirits is less than 10 minutes away. Located just off the bike path, this tasting room has a large outdoor sitting area where you all can sit back and relax while sipping on one of their handcrafted cocktails, made with spirits crafted on site. Don’t hang out too long though or you might struggle to make it to your final destination of the night.
Dinner at The Rayback Collective: As the unofficial gathering spot for Boulder bicyclists, the Rayback Collective food truck park is usually packed most nights with every type of two-wheeled transport possible. Once here, peruse what the different food trucks are offering and grab a table. The wait staff here is very helpful and will take your drink orders while you wait for your name to be called out when your meal is ready. After dinner, jump on a game of corn hole of just soak up the setting sun with your buddies. When it’s time to head home, just head back to a station and drop your bike off before heading home.
A Higher Experience
Let’s be honest, Boulder is pretty liberal town, as exhibited by the numerous pot stores spread throughout the city. So why not plan a night of mirth and munchies with the guys? It is a quintessentially Colorado thing to do.
Get some weed: One of the better places to get weed and all of its related items is at Native Roots Dispensary on the Pearl Street Mall, located under Lindsay’s Boulder Deli at 1146 Pearl St. Their top-notch staff of budtenders will make sure to point you in the direction of whatever you and your group is looking for. Since smoking pot in public is against the law, we recommend getting a few edibles for the evening. Just be warned, eat only what the person at the dispensary recommends, they take a little bit to take effect and people have been known to take to much.
Get your grub on: Time to head a few blocks west on the Pearl Street Mall to the Oskar Blues Boulder Taproom at 901 Pearl Street. These irreverent rock stars of the brewing universe crank out great beer, but they also are known for their grub too. We recommend ordering a couple of their pizzas and a few pitchers of beers to enjoy as your buzz starts to settle in.
Choose your Mission: Time to go all “Mission Impossible” for you and the gang. Head over to Enigma Escape Rooms at 1426 Pearl Street to put your creativity to the test for the next few hours. Their newest game is called The Startup where you and your group will have to figure out an escape game based on a stoned scientist and some hidden software. Look, even if you don’t figure it out, what could be more fun than a bunch of knuckleheads locked in a room for an hour and a half trying to figure out some puzzles while stoned? That’s the type of night you all will talk about for years, especially if you actually figure it out.
Refuel: Three blocks away at 1911 Broadway is Boulder Baked, maybe one of the best spots in town to load up on sweet snacks. As their name suggests, your group won’t be the first ones to step through their door a little high. With ice cream, cookies and cupcakes, it is just the reward you want and need right now.
Do The Time Warp: The final stop for this night is the Press Play Bar at 1005 Pearl Street. Loaded with vintage pinball and video games, this under-the-street bar is a mecca for anyone that grew up sliding quarters into slots. They have great beers, shot specials all night, Ping-Pong and rock and roll blaring. It’s the perfect way for your giggling group to wrap up the evening.
Listen to the Music
Going to a concert is a staple of many a guys’ night out, but this time let’s put a Boulder spin on it. Instead of lukewarm beer out of a cooler in the parking lot, treat your team to an evening that lets you all celebrate your friendship in a more civilized setting.
Happy Hour: Tahona Tequila Bistro at 1035 Pearl St has one of the best happy hours in Boulder as evidenced by the crowd of smiling faces there every afternoon. With an extensive list of tequilas and margaritas, it’s the ideal spot to have everyone meet at for your rock-and-roll night. From 4 p.m. on weekends and 11:30 am on weekends until 6 p.m., they have great deals on snacks and sippers to get everyone in the mood.
A Civilized Dinner: Sure, you could corral the team and head off for burgers before the show, but why would you? It’s not that often that you can get everyone together, especially if kids are in the equation. So instead, head over to one of the newest gems of the Boulder culinary scene, Corrida. This rooftop steakhouse located at 1023 Walnut pays tribute to the Basque region of Spain. Tomahawk steaks, a tableside gin and tonic cart and some of the best views in Boulder await you.
Time to Rock: Due to Boulder’s close location to Denver and Red Rocks, the city’s music scene is much better than one would expect. The two best venues in town are The Fox Theater on the Hill just across from the University, and The Boulder Theater. Both locations offer an intimate connection with their performers, post their shows months in advance, offer reasonable ticket prices and are an easy Uber ride away.
Winding Down: After jamming all night long, you all might just want to head home, understandable. But, if you still want to stay out a bit longer then head over to the Bohemian Biergarten at 2017 13th Street just off the Pearl Street Mall. Fashioned after a classic beer hall found in the founders’ home country of the Czech Republic, there are long wooden tables for you all to belly up to and hoist steins of European brews as you relive that amazing guitar solo. Best of all, on Fridays and Saturdays they host live bands in their cavernous back room if you still need to jam a bit more.