Tulips on Pearl Street
Spring tulips on Pearl Street Mall. Photo by Ann Duncan

Spring Activities and Events in Boulder

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Happy spring! This is an amazing time of growth and renewal in Boulder. The snowfall melts away (we hope) and the everlasting sunshine begins to warm the earth. While we can definitely get spring snows, they are usually fleeting and quickly disappear.

While there are always outdoor adventures in Boulder, spring is when event planners really start to utilize our abundance of open spaces. This year, spring is March 20 to June 21. Some of our favorite festivals and annual events take place during this time, before the weather heats up too much.

Here are some of our favorite activities to take part in during spring. While this is not an exhaustive list (that would be impossible), it contains something for everyone, whether you’re planning your trip around a particular event or just happen to be visiting Boulder during this time.

Sports

Hiking, mountain biking and water sports such as kayaking really pick up during this time, but if you prefer an organized event, this is for you.

Retro Days at Eldora (March 31): While not a competition in the sense of the other sporting events, Retro Days at Eldora combines skiing with ’80s gear. Come to ski. Stay for the outfits.

BolderBoulder finish at Folsom Field. Courtesy photo

BolderBoulder 10k Road Race (May 28, 2018): Whether you’re a professional racer, a casual jogger or have never run a day in your life, you can enjoy the BolderBoulder. You can race, jog or walk, or if you prefer, just come for the entertainment. Past acts have included live music, a variety of dance crews, aerialists, cheerleaders, Brazilian drummers and more. After the race, sample food and drink and then head to Folsom Field for the Memorial Day Tribute.

Boulder Rez Half Marathon, 10K and 5K Spring Running Festival (June 3): The first race of the Boulder Rez series, the Spring Running Festival at the Boulder Rez is great for those athletes who have been stuck on a treadmill all winter and are itching for an outdoor track. This event offers amazing views, age group and overall awards, as well as T-shirts, finisher medals and goodie bags for all participants.

Ironman Boulder (June 10, 2018): The Boulder Ironman is an event for serious athletes. It combines a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bicycle ride and a marathon, making it one of the hardest athletic events you can find. But don’t fret if the thought of any one aspect of the competition makes you sweat. You can come just to watch some of the world’s best athletes compete.

Arts

If physically taxing events aren’t really your thing, don’t worry. There are plenty of artistic outlets that you can take advantage of this spring.

Chautauqua Author Series (March 28-May 8): This series brings some of the most thought-provoking authors’ works to Chautauqua’s Community House. All of the works in one way or another embody Chautauqua’s spirit, whether examining wildfires through the eyes of the firefighter, tackling all the challenges that come with owning a Colorado ranch or exploring one of the other topics covered in this series.

Open Studios fall 2017 exhibition. Courtesy photo

Boulder Arts Week (March 30-April 7): Boulder has a vibrant arts culture, and Boulder Arts Week is your chance to help celebrate it. Events include art walks, First Fridays, exhibitions, performances, dance, music, theater, public art, lectures, readings and workshops. Try your hand at aerial dance, pottery or Hawaiian hula. Or just come view and appreciate everything Boulder arts has to offer.

CU Fringe Festival (April 27-29): CU Fringe Fest is an entirely student-run (directors, actors, dancers, you name it) celebration of art. See a classic play or ballet, and then check out some burlesque or a comedy show. All events are free and open to the public.

Viewing the winners of the MediaLives international GIF competition. Courtesy photo

MediaLive ( May 14-20): The Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art puts on MediaLive each year to bring together art, digital culture and technology. This year’s theme is “The Void.” Events include hands-on exhibits, art installations and lectures. All events are free, but you can purchase a VIP ticket for open bars at all events, as well as admission to the exclusive artist barbeque.

Boulder Plein Air Festival (June 3-10): The Plein Air Festival, organized by Open Studios Boulder, is a celebration of landscapes and cityscapes, combined with unique workshops and free events. Watch artists paint in real time or join in to have your artwork displayed at the final exhibit. The festival also has artist meet-and-greets and discussion panels.

Culture

Boulder is a place where differences are celebrated. This inclusiveness is seen both in the hospitality of the people and in the events and festivals that happen here.

Conference on World Affairs at CU Boulder. Courtesy photo

Conference on World Affairs (April 9-13): This year marks the 70th year of the Conference on World Affairs. This week-long event offers panels, speakers and performances, ranging in topics from technology to arts to social justice to the planet. The discussions encourage debate, critical thinking and diverse ideas.

Boulder International Festival (April 14): CU puts on the Boulder International Festival each year to celebrate the different cultures, traditions and heritage of its students. Activities include booths, food samples, performances and interactive activities for festival attendees.

Taste of Pearl (April 29): Foodies, this one’s for you. This event pairs 15 Boulder restaurants with 15 different wineries and distilleries. Sample all 30 vendors, as well as getting a keepsake wine glass, wine carry bag and special deals at hosting retail locations, included in the ticket.

Boulder Jewish Festival (June 3, 2018): The Boulder Jewish Festival is a celebration of Jewish food, culture and customs. It is free and open to the public. Activities include a fun run, local artists and artisans, live entertainment and discussions with spiritual leaders within Boulder.

Hanuman Festival participants. Courtesy photo

Hanuman Festival (June 14-17, 2018): The Hanuman Festival is a chance to honor the practice of yoga, uplift yourself and celebrate life. The festival brings world-class instructors, local artists, musicians and speakers to Boulder for this weekend of conscious community.

Family Friendly

Traveling with your kiddos? Not a problem. Boulder has a variety of kid-friendly events that parents can enjoy as well.

Tulip Fairy and Elf festival. Courtesy photo

Tulip Fairy and Elf Festival (April 8): Each year, more than 15,000 tulips are planted on the Pearl Street Mall and their arrival is seen by many as the official arrival of spring in Boulder. The Tulip Fairy and Elf Festival is the best way to celebrate spring with your little ones. Live performances, face painting, costumes and free activities for children are all offered.

Upslope Get Down (May 19, 2018): Upslope’s Get Down party provides beer, music, food trucks, arts and more. While the event is 21 and older, those under age are welcome as long as they’re accompanied by their parent or legal guardian.

Boulder Creek Festival. Courtesy photo

Boulder Creek Festival (May 26-28, 2018): While the Boulder Creek Fest is often considered the kickoff of summer in Boulder, it technically takes place during the spring. This festival offers over 500 vendors, nine event spaces and three performance stages that showcase music and dance. It also features carnival rides and food and drink vendors. The event is free, but vendors offer items for purchase.

Boulder Ballet’s Ballet in the Park (June 2, 2018): This free event showcases excerpts from the Boulder Ballet’s regular season performances. It takes place at the Central Park Bandstand, and attendees are invited to bring a picnic to enjoy before the show.

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