Playing in Nederland
Nederland, Colorado is a picturesque mountain town nestled 17 miles west of Boulder, 20 miles north of Blackhawk and 41 miles south of Estes Park along the Peak to Peak Highway in the Rocky Mountains. We are a Town of roughly 1500 people, but our surrounding population boosts us to about 5000 “locals.” At an altitude of 8230 feet above sea level, we are nearly 3000 feet higher than Denver, which keeps us approximately ten degrees cooler than Boulder, our neighbor “down below,” so bring that extra sweater!
As the “Gateway to the Indian Peaks,” our community has some of the best and most varied outdoor recreation in Colorado. Eldora Mountain Ski Resort is just minutes outside of Town, and we have both an Olympic-sized outdoor ice and tennis park for seasonal fun within walking distance of Town. When you’re at the ice rink, be sure to check out Nederland Youth Hockey or even take a turn at curling. Skateboarders can get some air at our skatepark, and kids of all ages will delight in our Carousel of Happiness.
The Peak to Peak Community also boasts a vibrant arts and music scene, as well as a rich musical history based around the Caribou Ranch recording studio. On almost any given night, local, regional, and nationally-known bands can be found playing at our bars and pubs or at one of our summertime festivals.
Speaking of festivals, our little Town plays host to multiple special events throughout the year, with something fun for everyone, including:
You won’t want to miss Frozen Dead Guy Days, a tongue-in-cheek tribute to Grandpa Bredo Morstoel, who is cryogenically frozen and cared for in a Tuff Shed on private property in Town, awaiting the day when science can re-animate him and cure him of the heart disease that killed him in 1989. FDGD is a weekend-long party that takes over Town the first weekend in March each year. Our biggest party of the year offers up music, food, a polar bear plunge, and lots of competitive challenges like the coffin races. In 2010, the New York Times named FDGD in its Top 10 Best Parties of the Winter, alongside Mardi Gras in New Orleans and Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro. Come join us for a weekend you’ll never forget!
The High Peaks Art Festival gets the summer in full swing in Nederland in late June. This free festival has something for the whole family, including art workshops for the children, juried art shows, live music by local bands and musicians, and food provided by local restaurants. Not one to be missed!
The 4th of July in Nederland is truly special. Come join us for a slice of old-fashioned, wholesome Americana. The day kicks off with a parade down First Street, continues with music in Chipeta Park, and is capped off by a dazzling fireworks display above Barker Reservoir. If you’re tired of fighting the crowds and the traffic this July 4th, come on up to Nederland and remember how America’s birthday was supposed to be celebrated!
Nederland’s mining history is captured and re-lived in our annual Miner’s Days celebration, held every July. This free, family-friendly event offers up an “Old Timer’s Parade” on Saturday, and all kinds of events throughout the weekend, including craft and food vendors, mining demonstrations, old-fashioned miner competitions on Sunday (with prize money!), and special events for the kids. While you’re in Town, be sure to stop in the Mining Museum to see the fascinating mining artifacts and learn a little bit about Nederland’s rich mining history.
Vintage car buffs get their day in Nederland’s sun with the Hotrods and Classics in the High Country event, held on a Saturday in July each year. This event features music, food, and free giveaways, along with trophies awarded based on votes by the publis and votes by the Front Range Hot Heads Car Club.
NedFest is one of Colorado’s biggest musical festivals. During the last weekend in August, more than a dozen bands converge on Nederland and fill the valley with music against the gorgeous backdrop of Barker reservoir and our Ponderosa Pine-covered mountains. Tickets are required for entrance to NedFest, so buy early to insure your chance to participate.
Runners won’t want to miss the Neder-Nederland Race held every September. With 5K and 10K options, this race is a truly special opportunity to experience a high-altitude run through our beautiful Town and valley, culminating in a post-race party with food, drinks, and entertainment. Registration for the race is required, and participation can count toward qualification for the Bolder Boulder.
Windfest is a chance for kids of all ages to indulge their love of kites! Held in September each year, this free festival features the chance to fly your kites or even to make a new one at one of the kite-making tables.
When it’s time for some holiday shopping, don’t forget to visit the Holiday Mountain Market, held the first weekend in December at the Nederland Community Center. Local artisans and craftspeople work all year on amazing gifts of all sorts. Our annual arts and crafts festival features local mountain artists, unique gifts, festive food, a silent auction, holiday music and photos with Santa. No need to fight the mall traffic down below; just stop by the Market and for everything you’ll need for a festive and warm holiday season!
While you’re in Town, be sure to take a stroll through our downtown. Time moves slowly in Nederland, so take the chance in slow down, poke around in our shops, and enjoy a wholesome meal or two in our restaurants and pubs. Meander along Boulder Creek to Chipeta Park or cast your line in Barker Reservoir. More serious hikers and bikers will find all sorts of trails and paths through the Mud Lake Recreation Area and the National Forests that surround our Town. Wrap up the day with an ice cream or hot cocoa at Buffalo Bill’s Train Cars where, in the summer, you can watch family movies under the stars. When your time in Nederland is done, however you’ve chosen to spend it, we’re certain you’ll agree – life’s better up here!