From the Hill to Pearl Street, it's true: Buffs love to party.

But not everybody likes hitting up the frat houses on a Friday night, and not everybody at CU is 21 (because Buffs would never drink underage, right?).

So what's a nerdy student to do at night? Here's your guide to nerdy nightlife in Boulder.

Poetry readings

Believe it or not, Boulder is actually a poetry hotspot. Some of the greatest poets of the Beat generation spent time in Boulder, and slam poet Andrea Gibson lives here.

Boulder is also the home of Innisfree, a bookstore and café specializing explicitly in poetry. Innisfree hosts regular poetry readings multiple times per week, and they even have an open poetry reading night for people looking to break into the scene or work on new material.

The Laughing Goat on Pearl also features a weekly poetry night, with events crafted through partnerships with the Beat Book Shop and Naropa University's poetry program.


Boulder's nerds love getting together at meetups. Whether it's about startups, social media or fandoms, tons of groups exist to help people meet each other and nerd out. is an excellent resource for finding groups and events, such as Analyze Boulder, a group dedicated to data analysis that often meets at breweries around town.

Not meeting up on CU also has tons of student groups, many of which have social events at night.


Board game nights

Another way to meet up with fellow nerds is to plan or attend a board game night.

Whether it's Cards Against Humanity or Settlers of Catan, gathering to play board games is a great way to spend an evening with friends.

With the advent of projects like the Tabletop YouTube series, board games are growing in popularity. Boulder has multiple game stores, including Karliquin's Game Knight on 30th and Gamers' Guild Boulder on Broadway. Gamers' Guild holds regular game nights and tournaments. Quickly-moving games like Castle Panic allow for multiple rounds in one night, while long-lasting ones like Risk or Axis and Allies can last the whole evening.

International Film Series

CU is well known for its International Film Series, which screens critically-acclaimed films from around the world every week.

The series is an event for the whole Boulder community, but they offer discounted rates for students.

While they haven't released their fall 2013 schedule as of our print date, past films have included pre-release screenings of "Howl" (a film adaptation of the Allen Ginsberg poem), French film "The Intouchables," and a quote-along of "The Princess Bride."

Pub quiz

Put your nerdy knowledge to the test by going to one of the many trivia nights held around town. Pub quizzes can be found nearly every night of the week, and range from super-competitive events to more laid-back rounds.

Alex Pray, a grad student in architectural engineering, spent his summer guest-hosting the pub quiz at Conor O'Neill's. Pray said he likes the trivia at Conor's because it is more challenging and intimate than other trivia nights, and it helped him grow closer with his team.

"My favorite memory is the first time we won," he said. "Even with only eight teams, we were always mediocre. The first time we beat one of the regulars, we'd been going for six months at that point. We finally reached the level of not being mediocre."

Now that he's had the experience of hosting, Pray said he enjoys creating clever questions for the teams that are competing.

"My favorite one recently was, 'If Eisenhower had run his campaign based on his support of cycling, what would his slogan have been?'"

("I like bikes," of course.)

Jessica Ryan is a community manager and recent CU grad. She writes about nerdy things every Wednesday for the Colorado Daily. On Twitter: