Published: Nov. 14, 2023

Fall break is nearly here—and with finals just around the corner, make sure you take time to decompress. If you're sticking around Boulder, there are plenty of fun ways to spend the week and other opportunities for mental health breaks.

Pearl Street MallThanksgiving Farm Stand

 Nov. 21  2–6 p.m.  1630 Hawthorn Ave.
Stock up for the holidays at the Thanksgiving Farm Stand located at Hawthorn farm in Boulder. The farm has a variety of organic, seasonal produce to choose from. Items such as baked pumpkin, take-and-bake pies and more will be available for pre-order.

‘The Nutcracker’

 Nov. 24–26  Macky Auditorium $25–$104
’Tis the season! Attend an age-old performance of “The Nutcracker.” The classic story follows the main character, Clara, on a journey through the Land of the Sweets. Gary Lewis from the College of Music is expected to conduct the show, performed by the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra and the Boulder Ballet. 

Walking tours

 Nov. 25–26  Historic Courthouse on Pearl Street Mall
Boulder has a rich and long history. Learn more about the town at the feet of the Flatirons during a free walking tour. The hour-and-a-half-long trip covers the old west, mining history, town development and more. 

Volunteer at the shelter

Year-round 4869 Broadway
Give back to the community during break by volunteering at the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless. There are plenty of positions available, including dinner server, kitchen assistant, breakfast cook, dinner cook, kitchen lead and dorm supply. 

Dine out for Thanksgiving

Not up for cooking this year? Boulder has plenty of restaurants open on Thanksgiving Day. From Hotel Boulderado’s classic Thanksgiving buffet to Centro Mexican Kitchen specials, you are sure to find a warm meal, without all the prep and clean-up. Reservations recommended.

Take a hike

Take advantage of the city’s illustrious views by checking out a hiking trail over break. Boulder has a ton of hikes to choose from, or if you want something more challenging, consider rock climbing. Be sure to go prepared with food and safety gear. 


If you can’t make it home to the family this year, try spending time with your chosen family here in Boulder. Friendsgiving is an honored tradition of friends cooking a meal and enjoying it together. It's also a great way to practice gratitude with one another, and maybe even sharpen up your cooking skills. 

Local Black Friday shopping 

Did someone say Black Friday? Boulder has plenty of shopping options for the day of sales. Stop by 29th Street for the classic shopping experience, or head over to Pearl Street for Small Business Saturday.