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Top 10 Things to do in Boulder and Denver, Colorado During Summer 2016

Boulder and Denver offer a unique mix of cultural and outdoor activities that will undoubtedly spruce up your weekends this summer. Between the new Flatiron Flyer bus rapid transit that runs every 15 minutes between downtown Boulder and Denver, and an 18-mile bike path stretching from Boulder to Westminster, it’s easier than ever to get between the two while leaving your car at home. Here are the top ten can’t-miss activities and events happening this summer:

Dragon Boat Festival

When: July 30-31, 2016
Where:
Sloan’s Lake Park, Denver

Immerse yourself in ancient Chinese tradition at the two-day Colorado Dragon Boat Festival, which culminates in a 50-team boating race on beautiful dragon boats across Sloan’s Lake. Also, be sure to check out the five performing arts stages, a gift marketplace, Taste of Asia food courts, and much more. You’ll quickly see why after 16 years, this remains one of Denver’s favorite festivals.

Travel Back in Time

Since 1958, the Colorado Shakespeare Festival has entertained audiences on CU Boulder’s campus with its performances of classic Shakespeare plays. Support local theater this summer and experience one of the top three Shakespeare festivals in the nation—shows run through August 7.

Head to the Fair

Pay homage to Colorado’s pioneer roots at the Denver County Fair, July 29-31, and Boulder County Fair, July 29-August 7. With a carnival and kids’ activities, music and entertainment, rodeos and horse events, competitions and much more, both offer a unique spin on the traditional county fair.

Cool Off

On the next 90 something-degree day, don’t hide inside blasting the A/C—head to one of our nearby water parks, which offer tons of refreshing fun. Check out Elitch Gardens Theme and Water Park or Water World for a day full of rides, sunshine—even boogie boarding, at Water World’s Cowabunga Beach.

Get in Touch with Nature

Get up close and personal with 1,600 magnificent butterflies and other critters—like the famous tarantula, Rosie—at the Butterfly Pavilion, just 20 minutes outside of Boulder and 15 minutes from Denver. Closer to the city? Check out the Denver Zoo, then walk over to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, both of which are brimming with amazing natural relics.

Rock Out

You don’t necessarily have to head up to Red Rocks to catch a show (though we’re certainly not discouraging it). More and more live music is popping up in neighborhoods all around town, such as Hudson Gardens Summer Garden Concert Series, free City Park Jazz concerts every Sunday night, and performances at the Rock Bottom Brewery on the 16th Street Mall.

Lounge at the Lake
We may not live near any beaches, but the Cherry Creek Reservoir is a pretty close substitute, and a great way to spend a hot summer day (or long weekend). In addition to traditional park activities, you can try wakeboarding and standup paddle boarding, or rent jet skis, fishing boats, kayaks, and more at The Marina at Cherry Creek.

Peruse Some Art

Denver is home to several vibrant art districts, including the Art District on Santa Fe, Golden Triangle Museum District, River North Art District (RiNo), and Tennyson Street Cultural District. Whichever hotspot you wind up at, we recommend visiting on the first Friday of the month for the ultimate gallery hopping experience.

Bike and Brews

Bicycles and breweries go hand-in-hand so often in Boulder that the city created its own recommended bike-to-breweries route. The Boulder beer trail includes Upslope Brewing Company, Twisted Pine, Boulder Beer, Sanitas Brewing, and so many more. Customize your route based on your interest and activity level.

Catch an Outdoor Flick

Cool summer nights are made for relaxing outside with a great movie. Check out what’s playing at Red Rocks Amphitheater, whose Film on the Rocks lineup includes classics like The Sandlot on July 11 and Star Wars: The Force Awakens on September 7. Outdoor movies are popping up all over town: Civic Center Park, Skyline Park, the Historic Elitch Theatre, and Infinity Park all have their own free outdoor lineups throughout the summer.

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