Best of Boulder East County 2023 — Entertainment and Culture

pARTiculars Art Gallery. Credit: Susan France

Art Gallery

pARTiculars Art Gallery
401 S. Public Road, Suite 1, Lafayette, 720-890-7888

Longmont Winner: Firehouse Art Center
Louisville Winner: Creative Framing Art Gallery
Lyons Winner: Red Canyon Art 

Celebrating 15 years of serving Lafayette’s creative community, 

pARTiculars Art Gallery pulls out all the stops when it comes to homegrown art. To celebrate the milestone, the arts center is offering 15% off gift certificates for those who complete a 15-clue scavenger hunt in the gallery space. With a rotating calendar of exhibitions and classes throughout the year, it’s easy to see why this local linchpin took home top honors this year in the Art Gallery category.

Day Care Center 

Primrose School
411 Homestead St., Lafayette, 303-665-4769

Broomfield Winner: Bright Horizons Montessori at Interlocken
Louisville Winner: La Petite Academy 

When it comes to looking after your little ones, our readers say Primrose School is the gold standard. For nearly 40 years, this national system of accredited private preschools has built its name by providing high-quality learning experiences that set the stage for a lifetime of learning. The school employs a “Balanced Learning” technique that “balances purposeful play with nurturing guidance from teachers to encourage curiosity, creativity, confidence and compassion.”

Escape Room

Rabbit Hole Recreation Services
1156 W. Dillon Road, Unit 1, Louisville, 720-890-4242

Broomfield Winner: Themescape Escape Rooms
Longmont Winner: Atlas Escape Rooms

At most Best of Boulder-winning establishments, you never want to leave — but getting out is the name of the game at Rabbit Hole Recreation Services. That’s easier said than done at this thrilling escape room in Louisville, featuring 4D environments, cutting-edge technology and surround sound making for an immersive experience that’s fun for all ages. Whether you’re looking for a team-building activity or just a fun night out with friends, our readers say a trip down the Rabbit Hole is the way to go. 

Live Jazz Venue 

1455 Coal Creek Drive, Unit T, Lafayette, 720-535-7113

Longmont Winner: The Speakeasy 
Louisville Winner: Gravity Brewing 

When it comes to experiencing the East County jazz scene in full fidelity, Nissi’s in Lafayette is the place to be. That’s the word among Best of Boulder voters, who have once again crowned Nissi’s with a bevy of honors including Best Live Jazz Venue. From local players to touring acts, this celebrated venue has got you covered. Come on their regular Wine and Jazz nights for 20% off select bottles. 

Live Theater Group

Longmont Theatre Company
513 Main St., Longmont, 303-772-5200

Lafayette Winner: Theater Company of Lafayette
Louisville Winner: CenterStage Theatre Company

Entertainment and education go hand in hand at Longmont Theater Company, dazzling the community with year-round performances at the Longmont Performing Arts Center and training the next generations of thespians through its youth theater program. This downtown Art Deco gem features a 1,100-foot square foot stage, dressing rooms, limited backstage space and professional theatrical lighting and sound, making it our readers’ pick for best live theater group in East County.

Music venue 

1455 Coal Creek Drive, Unit T, Lafayette, 720-535-7113

Louisville Winner: The Waterloo 
Longmont Winner: The Roost 
Lyons Winner: Oskar Blues Grill & Brew

Though it took home the gold in the live jazz category, you’ll find music of all genres at Nissi’s in Lafayette. Whether you’re in the mood for high-octane rock, down-home roots music or smooth R&B, Best of Boulder voters say Nissi’s is the place to be. That’s a big part of why this concert hotspot was crowned top music venue by our readers, who agree that it’s the best place to catch a show in East County. 


Sister Carmen Community Center

655 Aspen Ridge Drive, Lafayette, 303-665-4342

Longmont Winner: Longmont Humane Society 
Louisville Winner: CenterStage Theatre Co.

Doing good is the goal at Sister Carmen Community Center in Lafayette. For more than four decades, this non-religious 501(c)(3) nonprofit has provided critical assistance to the community’s most vulnerable residents. From help covering bills to accessing healthy food and putting warm clothes on people’s backs, this local lifeline offers a suite of services to help folks get on their feet and stay there.   

Open Mic

Bootstrap Brewing Company
142 Pratt St., Longmont, 720-438-8488

Lyons Winner: Oskar Blues Grill & Brew
Lafayette Winner: Cannon Mine Coffee

Bootstrap Brewing Company is more than a great place to grab a pint — it’s also home to the best open mic in East County, according to Boulder Weekly readers. Hosted by Denny Driscoll every Monday night at 6 p.m., this regular showcase of local talent is the place to be when it comes to catching up-and-coming acts or sharing your own creativity with the world. 

Place to Dance

1455 Coal Creek Drive, Unit T, Lafayette, 720-535-7113

Longmont Winner: The Speakeasy
Louisville Winner:  The Waterloo

When it comes to cutting a rug in East County, Best of Boulder voters agree there’s no better spot than Nissi’s. From Latin nights to electro-funk dance parties, this Lafayette entertainment hub is the far-and-away favorite when it comes to strutting your stuff on the dance floor. And with a range of themed nights and drink specials, you’ll want to bring the whole crew during your next big night on the town.

Place to WiFi

Ziggi’s Coffee
Multiple locations, Longmont, 720-699-8726

Lafayette Winner: Read Queen Bookstore & Cafe
Louisville Winner: Bittersweet Cafe & Confections 

With the rise of remote work, a strong wifi signal in a comfortable environment is more important than ever. If you ask Boulder Weekly readers their favorite place to get stuff done in East County, the answer is loud and clear: Ziggi’s Coffee. And with multiple locations in Longmont and elsewhere, it couldn’t be more convenient to pop in and tackle that next big project while enjoying small bites and irresistible offerings from the espresso bar.

Private school

Dawson School

10455 Dawson Drive, Lafayette, 303-665-6679

Longmont Winner: Gateway Montessori School
Niwot Winner: Boulder Valley Waldorf School

Few things in life are more important than a good education — that’s where Dawson School comes in. And when it comes to quality instruction, Boulder Weekly readers say this private, co-educational, college preparatory day school founded in 1970 is the top of the crop. With top-notch faculty and resources, it’s easy to see why voters put their trust in this Lafayette learning institution serving grades K-12.

Public School 9-12

Centaurus High School
10300 W. South Boulder Road, Lafayette, 720-561-7500

Erie Winner: Erie High School
Louisville Winner: Monarch
High School

Longmont Winner: Longmont High School 

The leadership team at Centaurus High School in Lafayette understands that our adolescent years are crucial. That much is evident in the curriculum at this BVSD public secondary school — featuring international baccalaureate, advanced placement, AVID and engineering programs — that’s been serving the local community since 1974.

Public school K-8

Coal Creek Elementary School

801 W. Tamarisk St., Louisville, 720-561-4500

Westminster Winner: Ryan Elementary School 
Longmont Winner: Blue Mountain Elementary School

Fostering a lifetime of learning is the goal at Coal Creek Elementary School, which is why Best of Boulder voters give this Louisville school such high marks. Recognized as a John Irwin School of Excellence, this neighborhood school serves roughly 400 students with “a child-centered, holistic approach to education.” From extra-curricular instruction to core learning, our readers say this public learning institution is top of the class.