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“Amazing Building!”

National Center for Atmospheric Research - NCAR
Ranked #8 of 148 things to do in Boulder
Certificate of Excellence
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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.
Reviewed June 20, 2014

I took my children ages 16-20 to NCAR. The drive up is spectacular as is the architecture of the building, which was by I.M. Pei who also designed the Pyramid at the Louvre in Paris! Once inside there are lots of "do it yourself" exhibits which were nice. We arrived a bit late in the day, so a guided tour was not available, and I suspect that if I went back again, I would be sure to go at a time when a tour was available, as I'm sure it would be an overall much better learning experience.

Thank Mark M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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147 - 151 of 239 reviews

Reviewed June 10, 2014

We went on a Sunday and there were no tours available and you could just walk around and look at displays. There was a cell phone tour but that is not easy to do. Table tours are also available just on weekdays. From the comments below the guided tours are great and very informative. But for us it was not so interesting just to see the exhibits. Also the films seemed a little more like advertisements to convince you your tax money was being spent well - they even featured politicians who fund the projects.

Anyway, if you have a family it is probably best to go during week when there are tours. Also, to make outing most worthwhile talk time to do some hiking while there as it is an a beautiful area with nice trails. I can see a family outing here during week bringing sack lunch, doing hiking, and getting the guided tour being a 5. But for a couple on a weekend to just see the NCAR it is not really worth the time.

Thank rhelgintravelor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.

Thank travelfamily3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.

1  Thank Maggie L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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!

Thank vinlyn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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