Just because the holidays are over and pocketbooks are a little thinner doesn't mean you can't have fun in Fort Collins! While there are many luxurious parts of the city, these winter budget options will put a little spring in your step!

1. Get Outdoors

With an average of 300 days of sunshine a year, going outside in the dead of winter doesn't have to be miserable! Fort Collins has 53 natural areas covering over 36,000 acres and are all free of charge to enjoy. So put on your walking shoes or grab that book you've been dying to read - no matter what your favorite hobby is, just get out and enjoy the great outdoors! If you're looking for a more difficult jaunt, try Reservoir Ridge as it's sure to get your blood flowing.

Winter Snow Outdoors

2. Enjoy Live Music

Fort Collins is a music city. We're known for our local music, venues, and multiple concert series throughout the summer. However, there are still ways to listen to free music while the sun is still going down early. Magic Rat, a venue in the Elizabeth Hotel, is always free to the public. While they do have a great bar where you can purchase beer, wine, and cocktails, no purchase is required to enjoy the music.


The Fort Collins Symphony provides free week-of-concert events, including an open rehearsal for each upcoming show. This is a great opportunity to learn what it takes for an orchestra to bring live music to the stage, while being able to hear the conductor make comments to the band. The next open rehearsal is Thursday, February 1, 2024. 

Fort Collins Symphony

3. Bingo, Trivia, and Board Games

Many Fort Collins drinking establishments have weekly activities that can fill the void of summer fun. If you get hooked on their games like bingo or trivia, you can continue the fun through the summer, a perfect way to end the day, no matter the season. If you need a few suggestions, we recommend Maxline for bingo, Stodgy for board games, and Gilded Goat for trivia.

Willing to spend a little bit?

When you're balling on a budget, you can't beat free. But if you're willing to spend a little bit, we think these are some pretty good options.

4. Unleash your inner child at Pinball Jones

Limit your spending by only bringing a certain number of quarters, or better yet, swing by on a Monday when it's a $5 cover with all-you-can-play games!

Pinball Jones

5. The Happiest Hours

There is no shortage of budget-friendly happy hours in Fort Collins! Here are some of our favorite (and cheapest) deals for a night on the town.

  • Brothers Bar and Grill - Tuesday $2 cheeseburgers from 4pm to 10pm with $3 double wells
  • Rare Italian - Monday through Friday, 4pm to 6pm. $7 pizzetta, $6 wine, $9 burger and fries
  • The Reserve at Old Elk - All day happy hour on Monday featuring $7 cocktails and discounted small bites

Old Elk Drink

6. Check Out Thrift Culture

Fort Collins prides itself on being sustainable. One key aspect of sustainability is reuse. By shopping at thrift stores and finding hidden treasures, you're sure to save money while still updating your house or your wardrobe. Check out our thrift store blog for details about some of our favorite thrift stores.


7. Book a Staycation

A staycation is a great way to reduce costs while still getting out of the house for a night. If you're looking for a boutique experience on a budget, book with the Armstrong Hotel. They are currently a special for Colorado residents. Check out our hotels deals and specials pages for other lodging options.