Published: March 20, 2015
Snowy entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park

Ten things to do this week. This is a weekly column highlighting events on campus and in Boulder by Samuel Fuller, history major and resident event virtuoso.

Spring break has finally arrived, and for those of you not making it out to Cabo or Cancun this year do not despair; Colorado has plenty to offer. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventures or something to distract you from the inevitable beach photos clouding your Facebook news feed, the following ten things will provide plenty of opportunities to get out and enjoy your week off. 

This list includes both indoor and outdoor adventures, with the hope that everyone’s needs are accommodated. Visit the Rocky Mountain National Park or indulge your secret passion for fine art at the Boulder Arts Week. Whatever your fancy, Colorado has something to satisfy your needs.  

Rocky Mountain National Park

Located just outside beautiful Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the most breathtaking locations in Colorado. At more than 400 square miles, the park offers a bounty of outdoor recreation opportunities. There are over 300 miles of hiking trails, as well as snow shoeing and cross country skiing opportunities. If you do intend to try your hand at snow shoeing or other winter sports, remember that the park does not rent gear; this must be obtained beforehand either in the town of Estes Park or back in Boulder. If you are more comfortable keeping to the confines of municipal life, the town of Estes Park also provides ample opportunities for fun and exploration. Rates and park opening times can be found on their website. They also have awesome webcams so you can check on the weather conditions before you go.

The Great Sand Dunes

The tallest sand dunes in North America are one of the more unique experiences Colorado has to offer. Located southwest of Pueblo, the sand dunes are literally, a huge collection of sand dunes that facilitate many different outdoor options. Things to do range from hiking and backpacking to sandboarding and even horseback riding. Do be aware that spring in Colorado can create unpredictable and potentially tumultuous weather conditions, some facilities are currently closed. Be sure to check their website for alerts before you plan your visit. This is also more likely to be a multi-day visit, so plan your stay and resources accordingly. Campsites and other lodging information can be found here.

Garden of the Gods

Located on the west side of Colorado Springs and at the foot of the snow-capped Pike’s Peak, Garden of the Gods is a dramatic representation of Colorado’s diverse beauty. If you simply want to explore nature without the hassle of major physical exertion, Garden of the Gods is your go-to nature experience. Three hundred foot sandstone rock formations accompany the dramatic backdrop of Colorado’s Front Range; if the weather holds out this day trip can be one of your most memorable spring break excursions. Find out more information on their website.

Pikes Peak Cog Railway

This historical fixture of America’s most famous mountain provides spectacular views and a unique experience up Pikes Peak. Since 1891 this railway has ascended the 14,115 foot mountain. The train winds past waterfalls, through aspen and pine forest to reveal the breathtaking scenery of the Front Range. I would advise planning ahead and booking your places in advance. You can do so through their website.

Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum

Whilst museums may not be everyone’s cup of tea, they do offer a rich experience for many people including myself. The Air and Space Museum has an extensive collection of both aircraft and military exhibits that educate and inspire people of all ages to discover the wonders of past and present aviation endeavors. March 21 is “Cockpit Demo Day”, more information can be found on their website.

Boulder Arts Week

Beginning March 27 and running until April 4, Boulder Arts Week is an exciting opportunity to share your own work and experience the work of others. Last year’s inaugural event hosted over 14,000 people, with the hope that this year’s tally will be equally as impressive. Events range from exhibitions to parties, and many include your fellow CU students. Of particular note is the “Art at the Riverside” event. Beginning at 6 p.m. on March 28 at The Riverside on Broadway, CU Students Shae Meyer, Daniel Stolberg, Sam Cikauskas and Dylan Gebbia-Richards will showcase their talents at this free art exhibition. Indulge your secret passion for fine art and find more events on the Boulder Art Week’s official calendar

Major league sports in Denver

Any sports fans out there? If you haven’t yet experienced the tenacity of the Colorado sporting experience, I encourage you to make your way to the Pepsi Center next week. The Denver Nuggets and the Colorado Avalanche call the Pepsi Center home, and there are multiple home games occurring next week. For full scheduling information and tickets visit their online calendar. Also of note are the Colorado Rapids. Colorado’s Major League Soccer team takes on the newly created New York City football team, emphasis on the correct pronunciation of the sport’s nomenclature. This Saturday, March 21, they play at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Tickets are relatively cheap and are available through their website.

Celestial Seasonings factory tour

Celestial Seasonings, one of Boulder’s most renowned businesses, offers free factory tours. If you are looking for something to occupy your time in Boulder, but don’t want to overspend or don’t have the resources to travel too far, this is a great opportunity to spend your time exploring the business and products of one of Colorado’s most successful startups. Tours take place Monday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Sundays, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. More information on their website.

Banjo Billy’s Bus Tour

An old school bus tricked out to like a "hillbilly shack" gives guided tours of Boulder, exposing the history of Boulder’s haunted hotels and even the haunting tales of Macky Auditorium’s intriguing past. Clearly, take this tour with a grain of salt, nevertheless this is a riveting experience and a great way to spend an evening meeting new people and exploring a side of Boulder you have likely not seen before. Ticketing and more information is available on their website.

Walking tour of Denver

You may not realize it, but Denver has a very storied and interesting past. From underground tunnels to a haunted Capitol Hill, this two-hour tour will detail all of Denver’s history in an accessible and enjoyable format. Multiple types of tours can be arranged, simply organize and reserve your spot through Denver History Tour’s website. Be aware that Denver, like any city, has a rich cultural history. As such, some tours highlight the darker side of Denver, possibly not appropriate if you are taking young children. The website’s descriptions offer insight into the content of the tours so be sure to read up before you book.

Enjoy your break, delay that House of Cards marathon we know you were planning on having and explore the variety of fun opportunities at your disposal this coming week.

As always, if you have any ideas or events that you would like to be included in future articles, feel free to email us at:, and don’t forget to check out all the great things to do at the CU-Boulder Events Calendar.

Photo courtesy of the National Park Service.