5 destinations to cure winter break boredom in Fort Collins

Leo Friedman

A lot can get done during the long month of winter break, but for a lot of people, this much time off from school can tend to get a bit boring. 

Luckily, this city offers plenty of things to do for those who are staying in Fort Collins for winter break. From hiking, to the movies, to a night out on the town, FoCo has you covered. 


  1. Battle the cold outdoors 
picture of horsetooth reservoir
Horsetooth Reservoir on a snowy afternoon Nov. 25. The 6.5 mile-long reservoir serves as a prime location in Fort Collins for hiking, biking, boating, water skiing and fishing, (Megan McGregor | The Collegian)

While Fort Collins has seen a bit of snow as the leaves began to fall, hiking is still possible during winter break. People who aren’t scared of a little snow can head to Horsetooth Mountain Open Space to get some steps in and see a beautiful late autumn landscape up in the mountains. For great scenic views of the water, people can head to the nearby Horsetooth Reservoir, which offers a perfect scenic landscape for some great photos. Be careful, though — this time of year is icier than usual, so you’ll want to wear some sturdy shoes and warm clothing! 

2. Get in the holiday spirit in Old Town 

old town square sign
Old Town Square in Fort Collins becomes less busy as fall break begins for Colorado State University students, Nov. 25. (Megan McGregor | The Collegian)

Adorned with charming holiday lights and full of cute bars, coffee shops, boutiques and restaurants, Old Town is one of the greatest destinations during winter break. The aesthetic is sure to put shoppers in the holiday spirit, and the unique range of stores offers locally-made products and gifts that you can’t find online. Whether you’re picking out a last-minute gift or grabbing hot chocolate with friends, Old Town is likely the place to do it. 

3.  Become a film nerd at The Lyric 

These days, online streaming services offer any genre you’re interested in at your fingertips. However, there’s nothing like going to the cinema to give you the full movie-watching experience (and to get you out of the house). Local theaters like The Lyric also throw special events that you can’t find on Netflix, like Bad Movie Nite! (playing Dec. 14) and “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” (playing Dec. 13). 

4. Take a trip to the museum 

The OtterBox Digital Dome inside of the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery on Friday, March 1. (Skyler Pradhan | Collegian)

As the weather cools down, inside activities are a must. The Fort Collins Museum of Discovery is a completely hands-on music, science and history museum located just outside of Old Town. Currently, the museum features a video game exhibit where gamers can learn the history of video gaming and the innovation that goes into it. The museum also has the famous OtterBox Digital Dome Theater, where people can catch shows about music, science and other insightful topics. The museum also has a host of fossils and natural history, displaying the animals and plants that have frequented Northern Colorado for millions of years. There is surely a lot to learn at this highly interactive museum with interests for all age groups.

5. Go on a Magic Bus Tour

A lot of students tend to get so wrapped up in school and campus life that they forget to explore the city around it. The Magic Bus Tour offers a fun and interesting way to find out information about the City that you never knew before. These buses, adorned with captivating designs and tidbits about the City, take people around Fort Collins for history tours, farm tours, ghost tours and all other kinds of local antics. For those who are the curious type, the bus tours are packed with plenty of interesting things about Fort Collins that aren’t taught in school. 

Leo Friedman can be reached entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @leofriedman13.