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“Allow Plenty of Time” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of National Center for Atmospheric Research - NCAR

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.
Arlington, TX
Level Contributor
510 reviews
135 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 144 helpful votes
“Allow Plenty of Time”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 9, 2014

Wife and I came here to check out NCAR and hike their little onsite trail. NCAR is really neat, but we didn't allow nearly enough time. There's a fair amount of reading and a few interactive stations that take a little time. They also have a supercomputer downstairs, but we didn't find that particularly interesting. Don't forget to check out the neat trail behind the complex. There is a beginner trail with intermediate loops.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
Thank DanNowlan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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203 reviews from our community

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English first
Grants Pass, Oregon
Level Contributor
36 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Amazing Building!”
3 of 5 bubbles 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.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
Thank Mark M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Elgin, Illinois
Level Contributor
60 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Better on weekdays when tour”
3 of 5 bubbles 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.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
Thank rhelgintravelor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boulder, Colorado
Level Contributor
18 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Not just for kids!”
5 of 5 bubbles 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.
Boulder, Colorado
Level Contributor
26 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Beautiful View and Educational Experience”
5 of 5 bubbles 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.

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