Ralphie at the pool

Not sure what to do over the summer? Here are some activities that can boost your mental and physical well-being. 

1. Transfer your health care 

Okay, this one isn't necessarily “fun,” but it’s still important to do if you’re heading home or leaving Boulder for the summer. Look into ways you can find local options for primary care, therapy and prescriptions.  

If you have the CU Anthem Gold Student Health Insurance Plan, you can find in-network providers through the national Anthem network. All students can also use tools like AcademicLiveCare to access free virtual health and counseling services or Thriving Campus to explore therapy options nearby.  

2. Join a summer sports league 

Get active and let your competitive side out by joining a summer sports league. The Rec Center is offering a variety of summer intramural sports leagues, including basketball, tennis, pickleball, racquetball, jumbo volleyball and badminton. Summer Sports Passes are available for $10 and give you access to all summer leagues (summer Rec membership required).  

If you’re looking to get out into the community, you can also join local sports leagues like basketball, dodgeball, volleyball, kickball, softball and more. Here are some areas around Colorado that offer recreational adult leagues. 

If you’re not in Colorado, you can also search your local area for recreational sports league options. 

3. Catch up on your ‘to be read’ list 

Put those textbooks down and pick up a novel instead. Summer is a great time to unwind with a good book, catch up on your ‘to be read’ pile or experience the joy of reading for fun. You can find the perfect summer book by exploring the New York Times Best Sellers list or review-based platforms like Goodreads.  

If you’re looking for personalized recommendations or free books, check out your local library or head over to Norlin. All CU students can check out books for free with your Buff OneCard. If you're a Colorado resident, you are also eligible for a free library card at any Colorado library. Books are available as hard copies or e-books through apps like Libby.

4. Volunteer 

Volunteering in your community can give you a sense of connection, belonging and accomplishment (it can also help boost your resume). The best part is that most volunteer opportunities are flexible and cover a variety of areas, so you can find something that fits your schedule and your interests. If you’re looking to get involved, the Volunteer Resource Center (VRC) is a great place to get started! They provide a one-stop shop for opportunities that are open to students in the community and nearby.

5. Enjoy Free Days or a Culture Pass 

Did you know you can visit local cultural attractions for free? That’s right. Denver hosts a variety of Free Days throughout the summer that allow you to enjoy the zoo, museums, botanic gardens and more at no cost.  

If there’s an attraction you’d like to visit, but you missed the Free Day, that’s okay. Most Colorado libraries offer Cultural or Adventure Passes for free to cardholders! Passes typically need to be booked in advance, so plan your trip early!  

If you’re out of state over the summer, check with your local libraries to see if they offer similar deals. Many areas have similar perks and experiences available. 

6. Sign up for a race 

Get active and work towards one of your fitness goals by training for an upcoming race or competition. If you’re not feeling athletic, don’t worry. Many events aren’t competitive or don’t have time limits, so you can go at your own pace and still have fun.  

Here are some opportunities you can look forward to around Colorado. 

Bolder Boulder | Monday, May 27 (Memorial Day) 
This quintessential race takes participants on a scenic 10K route around Boulder that is open to all fitness levels. 

Garden of the Gods Trail Run | Sunday, June 9 
Head down to Colorado Springs for a 10K or 10-mile run. The park closes for the race so runners (and walkers) can enjoy the scenery and quiet roads. This event also features music, food and vendors.  

Rocky Mountain National Park | Friday, Aug. 2 and Saturday, Aug. 3 
This challenging but scenic run weaves through Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park. Courses include a 5K and half marathon. 

Pearl Street Mile | Saturday, Aug. 3 
Join community running clubs for a multi-lap race around Pearl Street. Heats are based on running time, so you can join groups that are at a similar pace. 

Buffalo Bicycle Classic | Sunday, Sept. 8 
Looking to go biking? The largest scholarship fundraising ride is coming to CU Boulder. This event offers a variety of distances ranging from 14 to 100 miles.  

7. Enjoy local traditions 

Colorado summers are full of fun traditions big and small. Grab a friend and head outside to celebrate the summer season with festivals, markets, events and more! Here are a few things to check out around Colorado.




8. Plan a camping trip 

Colorado is great for camping, no matter where you live. This summer, try to plan a trip to get into the great outdoors with friends or family. You can explore nearby campgrounds and make reservations online. Just be sure to book ahead to secure your spot or plan to get up early for first-come, first-served campsites.  

If you don’t have gear or are missing some essentials, Outdoor Pursuits at the Rec Center has outdoor equipment rentals available (no membership required). Rental items include tents, backpacks, sleeping bags, stoves, bear cannisters, cook sets, camping chairs, coolers and more. They also have rentals available for water sports and rock climbing for additional adventures.


If you’re planning to join in on outdoor activities, be sure to bring water and sun protection. You can also connect with a wide variety of health and wellness resources over the summer.