Virtual snowmen, penguins and dancing gingerbread people are waiting to be discovered near the Boulder Public Library and along the Pearl Street Mall through a new augmented reality holiday project.
Downtown Boulder, in partnership with the city and digital arts company Novaby, is offering the “Snow Much Fun” self-guided augmented reality tour through Jan. 31.
“It’s a way to explore downtown through a new set of eyes,” said Downtown Boulder marketing manager Emi Smith.
Outdoor signs direct visitors to scan QR codes on each block of the Pearl Street Mall, as well as on the East End and West End districts and throughout the Civic Area near the library, to access filters via Instagram. A map of the 11 locations is available at boulderdowntown.com.
Visitors can walk into an igloo to see penguins sitting on beach chairs, see a narwhal in a pool of water, stroll through a snowy forest, watch an ice skater and find a trio of “Breaking Bread” dancing gingerbread cookies.
Five can be found near the library, while the other six are along Pearl Street.
To participate, scan the QR Code using a phone camera. It will automatically open in Instagram. Place content in the preferred location by tapping a horizontal surface on the phone screen. Scale or rotate content as desired using a two-finger pinch or twist gesture.
Participants can take photos of the filters, then save them to their phone or post them to social media. Accessing the images requires an augmented reality compatible phone and the latest version of Instagram.
Along with the new virtual tour, Downtown Boulder is offering various holiday events and promotions.
The annual Lights of December Parade, featuring an appearance by Santa, is at 6 pm Dec. 3. The parade starts at 15th and Walnut streets, heads west to Broadway, goes north on Broadway, turns east on Spruce and finishes at 15th and Spruce.
Freezie Fest, a celebration of all things snowmen, is 11 am to 3 pm Dec. 10 on the Pearl Street Mall. It includes includes free train rides, visits with Santa and crafts.
Visitors also are invited to find Freezie, a stuffed snowman, in downtown Boulder businesses through Dec. 23. After scanning the QR card, visitors can fill out a form for entries to win a $25 Downtown Boulder gift card.