Student Guide 2010: Minor fun


You don’t have to be 21 to have a good time

One of the big pieces of entertainment news this summer was the merger of the Fox Theatre and the Boulder Theater. These two bastions of Boulder music and entertainment are now under the same management, parent company Z2 Entertainment.

“I believe that this is going to be an incredible thing for Boulder and for all of our patrons, and for both businesses to be complementing each other rather than competing,” Cheryl Liguori, Boulder Theater’s general manager, told Boulder Weekly in June, when the merger was announced.

Between the two, Fox Theatre and Boulder Theater have been responsible for some of the biggest-name shows to come through our fair city, like The Game and Hansen. And while many shows at the Fox are 21-plus only, there are plenty of all ages or 18-plus happenings there and at Boulder Theater.

Lesser known (for the moment) is the new Astroland. Based in a warehouse in North Boulder, Astroland is a DIY art space, says co-founder Zack Roif. It’s a place for local musicians and smaller acts, and an alternative to Boulder’s larger venues. Astroland also has monthly readings, an open mic night and a film series. Located at 4115 N. Broadway, Astroland is always all ages.

For under-21-friendly venues, hot spots and activities any time of day, check out these fine destinations:

•ThePearlStreetMall, as the central pedestrian portion of downtown Boulder is called, has a little bit of everything: food, shopping, entertainment, cafes and more.

•TheLaughingGoat hosts live shows nearly every night of the week, and almost always for free. The venue is intimate and the talent impressive, so why not check out a cool new singer-songwriter or a sit in on a weekly poetry reading while sipping your latte? You can even convince your older friends to come along, since the Goat also serves wine and beer for those who are legal.

•The Pearl Street Mall also has one of the densest concentrations of coffee shops in the western hemisphere. TheCup offers some of the best coffee in town, as well as late hours to accommodate all of you night owls out there, and AtlasPurveyors, a few doors down, has an impressive selection of teas and treats. On the west end of Pearl, you can find the TridentCafé andBookseller.BrewingMarket also has a Pearl Street outpost, and a block over on Walnut Street you’ll find Amante Coffee.

•Fun doesn’t have to be indoors.

Get out there and smell the roses at these great spots:

The ChautauquaTrailhead and hiking area is one of the most convenient and beautiful recreation areas in Boulder. Easily accessible by bike, bus or car, it’s the perfect spot for East Coasters to cut their teeth, with trail options ranging from easy to ouch.

Farther to the north, Mt.Sanitas offers a beautiful — but slightly challenging — hike just minutes from downtown Boulder.

For info on these and other great hiking and outdoor areas, visit the Open Space and Mountain Parks website at

•There’s a lot to do on the Hill.

From music to a smorgasbord of restaurants and coffee shops, you couldn’t be bored there if you tried.

For something different, there’s the HookahHouse, which is alcohol-free but still 18-plus only. (You do know what a hookah is, right?) It’s open late throughout the week, and it’s not uncommon to see the place packed with tobacco lovers getting their fix.

• Located in central Boulder, the Twenty Ninth Street Mall is a shopper’s paradise. Here you can pick up anything from the latest bestseller at Borders to a new iPod at the Apple store. It also hosts music events and festivals; check out the schedule at

• And of course, there’s a whole list of things to do on campus; so many, in fact, that we gave that its own article. Go read it; it’s good.