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Family Activities

Head to Downtown Boulder with your family for fun 365 days a year! Throughout all four seasons you will find street performers creating balloon animals, juggling fire, singing, playing instruments and so much more. Each a unique form of entertainment for all ages to enjoy and be awed.

In April, the Tulip Fairy and Elf Festival celebrates the gorgeous tulips that adorn the Pearl Street Mall flower beds.  In the late 70s, Boulder’s then sister city, Meppel, Holland would send 5,000 tulip bulbs annually to be planted along the Pearl Street Mall. A form of this tradition continues to this day when every fall the City of Boulder’s Parks Department plants 15,000 brand new tulip bulbs that are directly imported from Holland. With a little TLC over the winter months, the tulips start to peek out of the ground sometime between late March and April.

With the start of summer, the Tebo Train begins a morning journey for tikes. Pick up and drop off is in front of the Wells Fargo Bank at 13th and Pearl Streets. The 100% electric train purchased by the Downtown Boulder Foundation - thanks to generous business and personal donations - runs up and down the Pearl Street Mall from 9:30 am - 11 am Mondays – Fridays from Memorial Day to Labor Day. This is a free 10 minute train ride for kids (and parents too). Sit back and enjoy the ride!  Come back during the holiday season when the Tebo Train magically transforms into the Snowflake Express providing rides (weather permitting) on Saturdays during St. Nick on the Bricks!

There are many locations for children to splash, climb and run in Downtown Boulder. In the hot summer months children can cool off in the Pop Jet Fountain (open June through September) on the 1300 block of the Pearl Street Mall – next to Ruthies Boardwalk Social (a great place to grab a grilled cheese and soft serve). On the 1400 block of the Pearl Street Mall there are marble and brass animal statues where children are welcome to climb and play. Another favorite for children are the climbing rocks on the bricks between13th and Broadway on the 1200 block. On the 1100 block of the Mall the Slippery Rock and split rock also provide fun entertainment for kids of all ages!

Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall Downtown Boulder has events that are great for families. In addition to the Tulip Fairy and Elf Festival in the spring, the Downtown Boulder Partnership (DBP) hosts a variety of events year round. On Wednesday evenings in the summer months (June – early August) Bands on the Bricks brings live music to the Mall – enjoy a wide variety of genres for music lovers of all ages. In July, fine arts are celebrated during the Pearl Street Arts Fest. In addition to artisan booth, there is a kids’ activity tent for budding Picasso’s!  In September visit our Fall Festival, which offers children’s games / activities, art show and live music for the whole family. When the CU Buffalos are playing a home football game, don’t miss the Pearl Street Stampedes, a hometown pep-rally like no other!

When it comes to Holidays, Downtown Boulder doesn't miss a beat! At Halloween, families can enjoy Munchkin Masquerade, where kids (recommended ages 12 and younger) can trick-or-treat along the mall and families can show off their creative costumes! Switch on the Holidays kicks off the holiday season as Santa Claus visits downtown for the grand illumination of the mall's holiday lights and the lighting of the courthouse. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be on Pearl Street for St. Nick on the Bricks on Saturdays between Thanksgiving to Christmas. Bring your wish lists and cameras – selfies are free and encouraged! The annual Lights of December Parade works its way around downtown the first Saturday evening of December. Enjoy handmade floats, community groups/organizations, high school marching bands and more! Downtown Boulder’s holiday Mascot, Freezie the Snowman has his own special day in December as well. During Freezie Fest, the mall is filled with free children’s activities and there is a special snowman scavenger hunt for awesome gift card prizes!

In addition to DBP produced events, there’s always happenings on the mall or in the civic area. Check the event calendar to see what’s happening and where 365 days a year.

When planning a family activity…head downtown to make it a day to remember! Grab a kite at Into the Wind. Pick up a book or two at the  Boulder Book Store. Grab a cookbook, gadgets and utensils at the Peppercorn. Rent a bike from University Bikes or B-Cycle. Explore your artistic side at Color Me Mine. Make a delicious meal at a kids class at Food Lab. Explore wonders at the Museum of Boulder or enjoy the latest exhibit at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art (BMOCA). On a hot day, dip your foot in the Boulder Creek and stop to play at the Boulder Public Library's amazing playground in the Civic Center. Stop by Ben & Jerry’s or Gelato Boy for a cool treat, then head to Rocket Fizz and Piece, Love & Chocolate for even more sweets. Rain, sun or snow downtown has something to do that every member of the family can enjoy!

Get some additional inspiration for day itineraries from locals who who downtown best at

In early 2019, Growing Up Boulder, a child and youth-friendly city initiative organization worked with more than 30 groups and 700 children contributed to Boulder's child-friendly map, a project that was made possible thanks to a collaboration with Boulder Valley School District, the City of Boulder and other community organizations. The map is intended for families with children age 0-10, featuring children’s favorite educational, cultural and recreational nonprofit locations in Boulder. 

Download the Map

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