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“Not just for kids!”

National Center for Atmospheric Research - NCAR
Ranked #12 of 134 things to do in Boulder
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Explore hands-on exhibits about weather, climate, the Sun, the atmosphere, and art-science connections in this famous I.M. Pei-designed building. Other options: a wheelchair-accessible outdoor weather trail, guided tours for the public at noon on Monday/Wednesday/Friday except holidays, and a Guide-By-Cell audio tour (using your phone). Free admission, open 363 days a year. Hours: M-F 8am-5pm; Weekends & holidays 9am-4pm. Visit our website for information about your visit, including organized group tours and to find out about our two annual maintenance closure dates.
Boulder, Colorado
Level Contributor
19 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Not just for kids!”
Reviewed May 28, 2014

I went with my son's class as part of a school field trip. I think I enjoyed it as much or more than the kids! The tour guides were wonderful, with interesting anecdotes and facts that kept the information transfer animated. There are great interactive exhibits that are fun for kids and adults alike.

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
Thank travelfamily3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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207 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Boulder, Colorado
Level Contributor
26 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Beautiful View and Educational Experience”
Reviewed May 28, 2014

We take everyone who visits Boulder to NCAR. There are trails around the building that lead up to Bear Peak and Mesa trails. Inside there is a wonderful education center with all sorts of experiments showing various weather and atmospheric phenomenon. The tornados and lightning displays are popular with the kids. The views are wonderful as you drive up Table Mesa to the top of the NCAR hill. There are often deer up there and the trails just behind the building have lots of information posted a various stops. NCAR also has theatres where you can see films about different scientific subjects. It is a great place to visit when the festival is on. There are scientists and meteorologists to talk to you and lots of lectures and films to attend.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Maggie L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Level Contributor
139 reviews
105 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 235 helpful votes
“Take the guided tour!”
Reviewed May 5, 2014

What you will see here are mostly displays designed for visitors; not actual research environments. I have some background in meteorology, and I found this a very interesting tour. One can tour by themselves, but I opted for the guided tour, and our guide (Tim) mixed just the right balance of detail and interest to please participants, whatever their level.

After the tour I walked the trial to see the Flatiron rock formations up closer, and as another poster mentioned, I, too, ran into "the" rattler. I would have walked to within a foot of him if another visitor hadn't yelled at me to stop. The rattler wasn't coiled, just laying immediately alongside the trail.

I heartily recommend this tour, sans the rattler!

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank vinlyn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
617 reviews
55 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 220 helpful votes
“Learned a Lot”
Reviewed May 1, 2014

With the Atlanta Chapter of ARCS we had a well orchestrated tour of this amazing facility dedicated to the study of our atmosphere. The exhibits are interactive and remind you of what you learned in high school science. Our guide was patient, the film excellent and the interactive visualization lab impressive and frankly beyond the imagination. The cafeteria food was good and the setting at the Boulder Blue line impressive.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank James C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, IL
Level Contributor
25 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Visit the Museum and Hike Around”
Reviewed April 27, 2014

Nestled in the foothills this is a great place to take a break and learn about science. There are interactive displays that are interesting for kids and adults, a library and a few easy trails outside with beautiful views.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
Thank ChicagoYoungMom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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