Blake Walsh

17 Best Things to Do in Lafayette, CO

  • Published 2022/12/01

Reward yourself with a worthwhile trip to other places, like the stunning city of Lafayette on the southeastern side of Boulder County, Colorado.

Mary Miller founded the city in 1888, naming it after her husband, Lafayette Miller.

It was incorporated in 1890 and had a rich history in coal mining and agriculture.

It’s home to the magnificent Waneka Lake Park, where you can enjoy a bundle of exciting outdoor activities on land and in Waneka Lake.

In 2019, the Environment for the Americas named Lafayette the first designated “Bird City” of Colorado for conserving native bird species and their habitats.

The city’s diverse downtown boasts many amenities and attractions, including family-friendly festivals.

Whether you’re a history buff, an outdoor enthusiast, an art lover, or a festival-goer, there’s always something for you here.

Here are the best things to do in Lafayette, Colorado:

Let the Kids Learn and Play at the WOW! Children’s Museum

View of WOW! Children’s Museum

Craig Talbert, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The WOW! Children’s Museum, situated along North Harrison Avenue, is the best place in the city for children under 12.

In 2015, the Early Childhood Education Zone named it among the top 25 children’s museums in the United States.

The children’s museum has also served more than a million happy visitors with its interactive, creative, and educational exhibits and fun programs, events, and classes.

Many exhibits, from science to arts and crafts, can be enjoyed here, including ArtSpace, Bank, Forest of Light, Pirate Ship & Lighthouse, and more.

If you’re looking for a perfect place for your toddlers and school-age children to learn and play at the same time, check out the WOW! Children’s Museum.

There’s an admission fee for children aged one to 11 and adults, while the ones aged under one are free.

Delve into the City’s Past at the Lafayette History Museum

Run by the Lafayette Historical Society, the Lafayette History Museum on Simpson Street is a great way to learn about the city’s vibrant past.

The Lewis Home, which served as home to miners working at the Gladstone Mine northeast of Lafayette, was originally built in the 1890s.

The house was moved into town after the mine closed, and the Society acquired it in 1976 to operate the Lafayette Miners Museum.

In 2022, the Society changed its name to what is now known as Lafayette History Museum, a perfect destination for history buffs.

Find it on East Simpson Street and see a vast collection of artifacts displayed in exhibits.

Discover aerial maps, household goods, coal mining and agricultural tools and equipment, and more.

Scheduling a group tour and participating in the museum’s events are great ways to explore the museum.

Admission is free, but donations are appreciated.

Hop on a Kayak at the Majestic Waneka Lake Park

Your Lafayette trip won’t be complete without visiting Waneka Lake Park, where you’ll see the magnificent Waneka Lake.

It’s a great place where families can enjoy various outdoor activities no matter the season.

Hike, run, or bike on its trails that loop the lake with fitness stations and connect to other trails leading to recreation sites like the nearby Greenlee Wildlife Preserve.

Rent a watercraft at the Waneka Lake Boathouse in the summer months to experience water adventures such as kayaking, canoeing, and paddleboarding.

As swimming isn’t allowed here, you can teach the kids to fish for bass, rainbow trout, and catfish.

Bring your on-leash dogs here, play basketball, baseball, or disc golf with friends, or go cross-country skiing in the winter.

This spot has picnic shelters, barbecue grills, benches, drinking fountains, a playground, and restrooms, making it the perfect place for a family outing.

Waneka Lake Park is 1.4 miles from Downtown Lafayette.

Play a Round of Golf at Indian Peaks Golf Course

Golfing is a popular recreational activity, and Indian Peaks Golf Course is one of Colorado’s top-rated golf destinations for locals and travelers.

Hale Irwin, a prominent Hall of Fame golf player, designed this 18-hole, par 72 golf course, which opened in 1993.

The championship golf course plays 7,088 yards from the longest tees, but it has options that cater to kids, women, and seniors.

It has a practice facility, wide fairways with perfectly manicured greens, elevation changes, water hazards, and striking views of the Flatirons and Rocky Mountains.

Besides offering golf lessons and hosting tournaments and events, the Indian Peaks Golf Course also has a clubhouse with a golf shop and The Peaks Bar & Grill, where you can grab a bite to eat.

With its complete features, the Indian Peaks Golf Course on Indian Peaks Trail guarantees guests a fun-filled golfing experience.

Go Swimming at the Bob L. Burger Recreation Center

Since 1990, the Bob L. Burger Recreation Center has been offering recreational opportunities for the community through its indoor and outdoor facilities and amenities.

It has a stretching area, fitness atrium, functional training area, cardiovascular studio, and other equipment and spaces for fitness activities.

It features a sports complex with a gymnasium, a racquetball and basketball court, a soccer field, and a running track.

The Great Outdoors Waterpark features a lazy river, 21-foot-high double flume slides, different pools, and more, perfect for beating the summer heat.

The center also has a skate park where you can skateboard or watch others skateboarding.

It also has a sauna, steam room, or hot tub if you want to relax.

The center also offers fitness classes, preschool and youth programs, after-school enrichment, senior services, camps, and other events.

Check out the Bob L. Burger Recreation Center’s full amenities to know what fits you, or visit it along West Baseline Road.

Sink Your Teeth into Some Peaches at the Lafayette Peach Festival

Every August, Lafayette holds the annual Lafayette Peach Festival to celebrate the world-renowned Palisade peaches.

The one-day event started over 20 years ago, gathering food vendors, artisans, antique dealers, artists, residents, and visitors.

The festival highlights certified organic peaches, peach pies, cobblers, peach smoothies, and other peach-filled products.

Besides peaches, there are also children’s activities, entertainment, and live music throughout the day to elevate the festival vibe.

The Lafayette Peach Festival takes place at Old Town Lafayette along Public Road.

Explore Simpson Mine Park

Situated along East Simpson Street, Simpson Mine Park is a neighborhood park with excellent features.

It has an entry allée, an interpretive playground, and a plaza, making it an ideal spot to stroll around, unwind, take the kids, or walk your dog.

What’s unique about this park is it features an impressive site design and artistic elements inspired by Lafayette’s vibrant coal mining history.

The rocks embedded with dark bands representing coal and model-size mine scenes are remarkably well thought of.

In 2009, Simpson Mine Park won the President’s Award of Excellence for Design from ASLA Colorado.

Create Memories with Your Dog at the Great Bark Dog Park

If you’re traveling with dogs, the perfect place to take them is the Great Bark Dog Park.

This 6.1-acre fully fenced-in park is the only public park in the area that permits dogs to run off-leash.

This grass-and-packed sand park has vast open space, logs for dogs to play and jump over, a small or timid dog section, a running path, and a ⅓ mile loop trail.

It also includes covered benches, parking, and restrooms, and its trail connects to Rothman Open Space.

Create unforgettable moments with your dogs while bonding with other dog-loving visitors in the park.

Besides taking snaps of your dogs as they run freely and play around, don’t forget the stunning mountain and sunset views.

The Great Bark Dog Park awaits dogs and their fur parents on North 119 Street.

Celebrate a Healthy Lifestyle at the Lafayette Oatmeal Festival

The annual Lafayette Oatmeal Festival hosted by the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce takes place on one January morning each winter.

It has been a fun celebration for all ages for more than 20 years already.

This popular family-oriented event centers on healthy lifestyles.

It features a 5K Walk/Run, a health fair, and a Hot Oatmeal Breakfast boasting the world’s largest oatmeal topping bar.

There will be more than 200 gallons of oatmeal, thousands of oatmeal pancakes and oatmeal muffins, and more than 100 different toppings.

If you want to join this unique festival, you can purchase tickets in advance or at the event; only those under two are free.

Taste Craft Beer at the Lafayette Brew Fest

If you’re a craft beer fan, you should attend the annual Lafayette Brew Fest in September on South Public Road in Old Town Lafayette.

It’s a vibrant celebration of craft beer where you can enjoy tasting Colorado craft beer one pour at a time at a lower cost.

The Lafayette Brew Fes features heaps of breweries and cideries within Colorado, wines, food trucks, non-alcoholic beverages, jam-packed live music, and entertainment.

Make sure to come with your friends and bring your IDs if you’re 21 and over to drink alcohol.

Children are also allowed at this event, provided they are with an adult at all times.

Hike the Trails at Rothman Open Space

Don’t miss Rothman Open Space on your La Fayette trip, as it’s an excellent outdoor spot worth visiting.

Rothman Open Space Trail is perfect for biking, hiking, and jogging.

It’s also an ideal site for cross-country skiing in the winter.

The trails connect to surrounding neighborhoods and recreation spots, including the Great Bark Dog Park and the Bob L. Burger Recreation Center.

There are benches to sit on if you need a short break from the activity and charming views of the Front Range to admire.

It’s also home to native vegetation and wildlife, including red-tailed hawks, red foxes, and northern harriers.

Shop for Vintage Items at the Lafayette Collectibles & Flea Market

The Lafayette Flea, situated along East Spaulding Street, is the place to be for affordable vintage, antique, and second-hand goods.

It has been a local favorite since the 1990s, known as the Lafayette Collectibles & Flea Market, but it was originally built in 1964 to house a bowling alley.

John Smidt rebranded it as The Lafayette Flea when he purchased the building in 2022 after its previous owners decided to retire and sell it.

Today, it has over 175 vendors selling a broad array of items, including furniture, home decor, vintage clothing, cameras, vinyl records, collectibles, and more.

Leaving this top bargain shopping spot is impossible without making a purchase!

Tour the Beauprez Barn

Beauprez Barn is a historic house under preservation with a historical collection.

Arthur Beauprez, who immigrated to the nation from Belgium in 1907, constructed the family barn in 1927.

The Beauprez family started dairy farming near the barn in the 1950s, which continued until 1990 with three generations of their family’s maintenance and expansion.

Due to their quality livestock, they were recognized locally, nationally, and internationally.

Today, Beaupres Barn is a property of Lafayette Open Space.

Visitors can take part in the guided tours offered throughout the year.

That way, you’ll discover the Beauprez family story, their dairy business, and the city’s rich agricultural history.

View Wildlife at Greenlee Wildlife Preserve

If there’s one spectacular thing to do at Greenlee Wildlife Preserve, it would be wildlife viewing.

The preserve is a sanctuary for foxes, coyotes, occasional deer, amphibians, and avian species, including Swainson’s hawks, ring-billed gulls, and occasionally bald eagles.

It’s also home to native plants and vegetation helpful to wildlife.

This wildlife refuge buffers human activity around Waneka Lake, where you can only access the nature preserve.

Here, you’ll find a viewing platform with interpretive information on flora and fauna.

If birdwatching sounds interesting, visit Greenlee Wildlife Preserve at Baseline Road.

Get a Bird’s-Eye View of the City and Surrounding Areas while Riding a Hot Air Balloon

To complete your trip, indulge in an air adventure by riding in a hot air balloon.

Fair Winds Hot Air Balloon Flights, along North 107th Street, will give you an unparalleled air experience you’re bound to remember.

You’ll enjoy the spectacular views of the towering mountains, farmlands, rainforests, calm waters, and everything as far as your eyes can see.

Fair Winds Hot Air Balloon Flights is one of the region’s premier hot air balloon tour providers.

Making reservations in advance is recommended, and their flying season is May through November.

Check out their seasonal specials and create exciting memories sooner!

Wander around Old Town Lafayette

Old Town Lafayette offers interesting things to do and explore.

Enjoy a small-town feel while walking through the sidewalks at this eclectic downtown.

Shop at many businesses and dine at one of the dozens of restaurants with diverse cuisine when you get hungry or crave something delicious.

You can also watch fantastic live performances at Mark Miller Theater.

Check out the bustling streets, which serve as open-air galleries filled with numerous impressive public artworks.

Visit Festival Plaza for summer concerts, festivals, and other events.

The plaza also has splash pad fountains, picnic areas, benches, and other facilities.

There’s more worth checking out around Old Town Lafayette, from dining and shopping to cultural attractions and a welcoming community.

Support Local Art at Art Night Out

One of the many ways the city supports local arts is by hosting Art Night Out.

This monthly arts festival happens each second Friday of the month from May through September in Old Town Lafayette.

This free event features art demonstrations, live music, street performers, face painters, food trucks, a beer and wine garden, local arts and crafts, and more.

There are also free children’s activities, so make sure to bring your kids.

Art Night Out received the People’s Choice Award for Best Community Event in 2022.

Final Thoughts

Lafayette is a beautiful city with boundless attractions for residents and visitors alike.

It boasts fascinating museums, charming parks, water adventures, lively festivals, dining and shopping options, and more.

If you haven’t been to this city, make this your next destination with family and friends.

Reference this list of the best things to do in Lafayette, Colorado, to make the most of your trip.

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