4 unique things to do in Colorado this summer – CU Boulder Today

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Photo of two friends looking at a road map while parked in a car at sunset.
Need something to do over the summer? Here are a few unique things to check out in Colorado.
Most of Colorado’s drive-in movie theaters are open seasonally, which means summer is a great time to catch a flick on the big screen.
If it’s your first time attending a drive-in movie, be sure to follow instructions from attendants. Vehicles are typically organized based on size, so smaller cars are closest to the screen and larger trucks and SUVs are farther back. You will need to tune your radio to a specific station to listen to the sound. If you have any questions about what to expect, call the theater before your visit!
Fort Collins, CO
Commerce City, CO
Pueblo, CO
Colorado is home to four national parks. Only a handful of other states have more national parks than Colorado, including Alaska, California and Utah.
If you don’t have an annual parks pass, you can check one out using your local library card or pay for daily admission. Be sure to check out park sites in advance, as some may still require reservations. You can also visit Outdoor Pursuits at the Rec Center for maps, trip planning, tips and equipment rentals. 
 Estes, CO
Rocky Mountain National Park is the fourth most-visited park in the U.S.
It offers a variety of hiking, biking, camping and other recreational opportunities.
The park is best known for its stunning alpine lakes, waterfalls, mountainous terrain and unbeatable views.
 Mosca, CO
The Great Sand Dunes is one of the most geologically unique parks in Colorado.
It offers a variety of hiking, camping, horseback riding and other recreational activities.
The park is best known for its large sand dunes, remote location, seasonal river flow and beautiful mountain backdrop.
 Montrose, CO
The Black Canyon of the Gunnison is sometimes referred to as the Grand Canyon of Colorado.
While the park has more limited options, visitors can still enjoy scenic drives, short hikes, fishing and kayaking (with permits) and more.
The park is best known for its steep canyon walls and striking rock features.
 Cortez, CO
With over 4,000 archaeological sites, Mesa Verde will teleport you back to Ancestral Puebloan life.
It offers self-guided driving tours, interactive displays and dig sites, as well as camping and hiking trails.
The park is best known for its ancient cliff dwellings and archeological wonders.
Whether you enjoy food, music, parades or live entertainment, there’s bound to be an annual festival for you in Colorado this summer. Here are just a few fan favorites you should check out.
 Boulder, CO
June 5-August 7
Since 1958, the Colorado Shakespeare Festival has taken center stage for multiple performances of some of Shakespeare’s best plays. It’s held on varying days on the CU Boulder campus. Ticket information is available online.
 Larkspur, CO
June 18-August 7
The Renaissance Festival is held over eight weekends throughout the summer in Larkspur (between Denver and Colorado Springs). Take a trip back to medieval times with elaborate costumes, artisan crafts, food and more. Ticket information is available online.
 Greeley, CO
June 24-July 4
The Greeley Stampede is an annual summer event that boasts concerts, rodeos, demolition derbies, carnivals, fireworks and much more. Event parking and ticket information is available online. 
 Denver, CO
June 25-26
PrideFest is a free two-day festival that celebrates LGBTQ+ communities across Colorado. The celebration includes a 5K, pride parade, food and beverage vendors, local businesses and fun activities for all.
While Colorado may not be known for having the largest potato or ball of yarn, there are plenty of fun roadside attractions to visit this summer. Plan some time to visit these weird and wonderful creations or make them a pitstop on your next road trip.
Rye, CO
Located south of Pueblo, Bishop Castle is an impressive structure that took almost 60 years to complete. The design includes bridges, towers and a fire-breathing dragon to boot.
Fort Collins, CO
If you’re a fan of folk art, Swetsville Zoo is a must-stop roadside attraction. This art exhibit features nearly 180 metal sculptures made from scraps, car parts and machinery and is open all year round.
Morrison, CO
This quirky attraction showcases over 100 buildings that make up Tiny Town. It’s a great detour for anyone heading to or from the mountains and has been open to the public since 1920.
Keep in mind that Colorado summers can be hot, dry and unpredictable. Help keep yourself and our communities safe by following these general guidelines.
Wildfires have become common in Colorado, and the summer season is especially high risk. You can help protect natural lands, neighborhoods and more by following a few simple tips.
High elevation and dry weather can lead to dehydration, especially in the mountains. Follow these tips to stay safe and hydrated this summer.
300 days of sunshine combined with high altitude makes Colorado a great spot to catch a sunburn. Minimize your risks with these tips.
Leave No Trace principles help minimize our impact on the outdoors. Here are some ways you can help protect our parks and wildlife this summer.
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