“Go west, young man” is a phrase often credited to the New York author and newspaper editor Horace Greeley — and young Nathan Meeker was so inspired by his boss’ words that he did just that. He moved west with 59 other settlers and put down roots on the western edge of Colorado’s high plains in a community which Meeker eventually named Greeley in honor of Horace.
Built on Meeker’s ideals of cooperation, irrigation, agriculture, temperance, faith, family and education, Greeley developed into an agricultural center that is now home to a hardworking and proud community.
That small town character has helped to keep this NoCo city charming throughout its growth in population, local business and cultural attractions. Today, we’re showing off a little of both: the historic character and the modern cultural flair!
While there is no shortage of things to do in the area, here is our list of the top 10 coolest things to do in Greeley, Colorado.
Photo courtesy of Talia Lezama via Moxi Theater
The Moxi is downtown Greeley’s live music destination. With a capacity of over 400, professional light and sound, and a full-service bar, it’s the ideal place to see a show. The schedule always includes a healthy lineup of local acts like The Burroughs alongside nationally touring bands like Josh Hoyer & The Soul Colossal. Check out the calendar here and follow the team on Facebook for event updates!
Home to the Moxi and countless other local businesses, downtown Greeley is a Colorado Certified Creative District. As such, it’s the Greeley headquarters of arts, culture and entertainment. You can experience all of that at neighborhood events like the monthly First Friday: A Night of Art, Friday Fest throughout the summer, and OktoBREWfest in the fall.
Owned and operated by the City of Greeley, the Union Colony Civic Center was built in 1988 and is home to two performance venues. Monfort Concert Hall seats 1,686 and Hensel Phelps Theatre seats 214. Together, they host more than 100 musicals, concerts, comedy shows and events with the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley Philharmonic Orchestra and The Greeley Chorale every year.
Photo courtesy of Kress Cinema & Lounge
Not only is the Kress Cinema & Lounge Greeley’s only independent movie theater, it’s also a full-service bar and restaurant serving specialty cocktails, craft beer, wine, gourmet small plates, and classic movie concessions. Their basement speakeasy opened in February 2018 and offers yet another entertainment option! Located in downtown Greeley’s historically renovated Kress Building, you can stop in for cocktails in the lounge, sip in the speakeasy or enjoy your meal in the theater while watching a movie.
Part of Island Grove Regional Park just north of downtown Greeley, Centennial Village Museum is a living history experience. The seasonal museum features costumed interpreters, heritage farm animals, eight acres of beautifully landscaped grounds, and more than 35 historical buildings, including some of the oldest structures in Weld County. When you stop by, you may get the chance to see printing at the High Plains Post historic print shop, blacksmithing at the forge, rope-making, chuckwagon-style cooking, scrub board laundry techniques, corn shucking and grinding, food preparation on cast iron stoves, and adobe horno cooking!
Centennial Village Museum is just one of the many educational institutions located in Greeley. In our historic city, you’ll also find the Greeley History Museum, the Meeker Home Museum, the Lee Maxwell Washing Machine Museum, the White-Plumb Farm Learning Center, and the Colorado Model Railroad Museum. From historic to quirky — you can always learn something in Greeley.
Greeley’s Family FunPlex is much more than just a community recreation center. Located inside and open year-round, Adventure Island Indoor Waterpark is Northern Colorado’s greatest indoor waterpark! In the warm water pool, families can take a spin around the lazy river, children can explore the zero depth pool and play structures, and everyone can take a ride down one of several massive waterslides! The waterpark also features a water basketball court, a 25-meter lap pool and an outdoor patio area perfect for summer picnics.
In other places around Greeley, you can visit the seasonal Centennial Pool, Sunrise Splash Park, Island Grove Splash Park, and Discovery Bay Waterpark! Get all the information on Greeley aquatics here.
Located 25 miles northeast of Greeley, Pawnee National Grassland is a 193,060-acre grassland ideal for outdoor recreation. Internationally known as a popular birding area, you can also hike, bike, camp, picnic, horseback ride, stargaze and watch wildlife. Throughout its history, the land has seen the promise of the frontier, the tragedy of the Dust Bowl and the regrowth of the west.
Closer to home, Greeley has over 300 acres of neighborhood parks at more than 40 locations. Whether you want to enjoy a game of kickball at Pheasant Run Park, a picnic at the Charlie and Laura Archibeque Park, a day on the Monfort Park soccer fields, or you’re visiting the playground in Aven’s Village at Island Grove Regional Park, there are countless ways to enjoy Greeley’s park system!
Photo courtesy of Miguel Rivas via WeldWerks Brewing Co.
Crabtree Brewing Company opened its doors in May 2006 and has since become one of the city’s veteran breweries. Since then, Greeley has grown as a hidden gem in Colorado’s craft beer community thanks to places like Wiley Roots Brewing Company, Broken Plow Brewery and Green Earth Brewing Company. And most recently, WeldWerks Brewing Co. has made the city a national beer destination due to the popularity of its specialty beers and their showings at Great American Beer Festival. For more details on all of Greeley’s breweries, check out The Ultimate Guide to 20 Craft Breweries from Greeley to Loveland, Colorado.
In the comments below, let us know which local attractions you can’t get enough of!