Family Activities in Aspen and Snowmass
A family vacation in Aspen is all about fun, and the Aspen Luxury Vacation Rentals staff excels at ensuring you have a memorable experience while you are here.
Winter or summer (or any time in between), there are many family-oriented activities and events in Aspen and Snowmass to choose from. Our knowledgeable concierges are here to help you plan an awesome vacation for you and your family.
Whether you are looking for organized family activities, such as guided tours and scheduled events, or if you prefer to venture out on your own, we would be delighted to handle all of the details so all you have to do is enjoy. Even if you would rather make your own plans, however, we can definitely point you in the right directions.
Winter Family Activities in Aspen
In the winter, Aspen family vacation activities naturally revolve around alpine skiing and snowboarding, but there are many other fun family-oriented things to do in Aspen and Snowmass as well.
Take in the natural beauty: Aspen Luxury Vacation Rentals can arrange for snowshoeing and snowmobiling tours around the area with experienced, licensed local guides. Perhaps a snowcat ride, a dogsledding adventure or a western dinner, dance and horse-drawnsleigh ride through spectacular scenery strike your fancy – we can set it all up for you!
Cross-Country Skiing: If you’re looking for alternatives to alpine winter recreation activities and want to catch some great views of the valley, cross-country skiing is a great choice. The Aspen/Snowmass Nordic Council maintains over 60 miles of free cross-country skiing trails in the area. These trails, known affectionately as “Aspen’s fifth mountain”, offer a wide variety of terrain and difficulty, so there is definitely something for all ages and abilities.
If you would like, we can also arrange for lessons at the Aspen Cross Country Center so you and your family will be ready to tackle the trails on your own. For a positively memorable family experience let us book you a reservation for a cross-country ski excursion to a fabulous wild game dinner at the Pine Creek Cookhouse. If you are feeling even more adventurous, consider a guided backcountry skiing excursion, or schedule in a trip to one of the renowned 10th Mountain Division or Braun system huts.
For the complete scoop, check out our Ultimate Guide for cross-country skiing in Aspen and Snowmass.
Sledding: You don’t have to strap on skis or a snowboard to have a great time sliding down a snowy hill. Take the family and some sleds to the “Whoa Nellie” sledding hill, located next to the Aspen Recreation Center (ARC) just outside of town, for some casual but exhilarating outdoor fun. If you don’t have your own sleds, you can rent them from the ARC.
Ice Skating: Always a family favorite, ice skating is just one more way to enjoy the winter in Aspen. For a classic outdoor winter experience, check out the cozy Silver Circle Ice Rink, located right in the heart of Aspen, one-block away from the Aspen Mountain Gondola.
If you would rather be indoors, choose between the Aspen Ice Garden (“…one of the best-maintained surfaces in the region…”) in town and the modern, NHL-sized Lewis Ice Arena at the ARC.
More Aspen Winter Family Activities
Looking for more activities to fill out your winter family vacation in Aspen or Snowmass? The Aspen Skiing Company typically has programs to add even more outdoor fun to the mix. Most recently, they featured “Ullr Nights”, an evening celebration of winter at Elk Camp in Snowmass. Activities included:
- A Viking ghost ship
- Fire dancer
- S’mores by the campfire
- Live music with dancing
- “… a culinary celebration sure to please any palate.”
We would be delighted to find out what they have in store for the upcoming season.
Summer Aspen Family Activities
Summertime also provides many opportunities for some family fun in Aspen and Snowmass.
Want to take in the scenery? Experience the beautiful back country surrounding Aspen and Snowmass with a guided jeep tour or horseback ride. If you prefer more strenuous family activities, we can also arrange for guided excursions along the numerous hiking trails in the area, exhilarating whitewater rafting adventures, or rock climbing in the wilderness – all with experienced area guides.
Here are some more options for fun things for your family to do on your vacation to Aspen. Again, we’d be happy to assist you with the logistics, including scheduling, transportation and equipment rental, etc. – just let us know how we can help!
- Mountain Biking
- Road Biking
- Paddle Boarding
- Fly Fishing
- Storytelling by the Campfire:
- Aspen Music Festival & School performances
- Movie Theaters
- Snowmass Rodeo and Barbecue
- Live outdoor music
- Horseback Riding
- Whitewater Rafting
- Hot Air Balloon Rides
- Disc golf atop Aspen Mountain,
- Theatre Aspen performances
- T-Lazy-7 Ranch visits
- Silver Queen Gondola rides
- Mine Tours
Aspen Skiing Company Sponsored Activities:
Besides being/running one of the top family winter ski resorts in the world, the Aspen Skiing Company also offers many summer family vacation activities as well. These include, but are not limited to:
- Guided Mountain Adventures
- Run & Gun Paintball Sessions
- Guided Fishing Adventures
- Mountain Biking 101
- Guided Overnight Camping Adventures
- Eurobungy Trampoline (Trampolining while attached via a harness to bungee ropes attached to a frame)
- Gondola and Chairlift Rides
- Hiking Trails
- Climbing Wall
You may find out more about the Aspen Skiing Company summer recreation offerings here: http://www.aspensnowmass.com/summer-recreation
Year-Round Vacation Activities for Families in Aspen
No matter what time of year you’ve chosen to enjoy your family vacation in Aspen, there’s always a lot to do. Here are just a few possibilities:
Indoor Recreation Centers: If traditional recreation opportunities are your preference, we can arrange for passes to either the Aspen or Snowmass Village Recreation Centers. Both offer state-of-the-art workout facilities as well as related outdoor recreation opportunities.
Specifically, the Aspen Recreation Center (ARC) offers:
- Indoor Pool
- 2 Story Water Slide
- 32 Ft. Climbing Tower
- NHL Ice Rink
- Lap Pool
- Diving Board
- Steam Room
- Fitness Studio
- Lazy River
- Hot Tub
- Batting Cages
- Tennis Courts
- Ball Fields
- Cardio Room
- Weight Room
The Snowmass Recreation Center features:
- Unique Saline Outdoor Pools Open Year-round
- State-of-the-art Cardio and Weight room
- A Brand New Indoor Gymnasium
- Aerobics Classes
- Climbing and Bouldering Walls
Educational Family Activities: Are you looking for more than just recreation to fill your family vacation time while in Aspen? Check out the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES).
In the winter and early spring,ACES, a local non-profit environmental science education organization, offers such activities and events as:
- Daily naturalist-guided snowshoe tours on top of Aspen Mountain, at Snowmass and at Ashcroft.
- Naturalist-guided ski tours at Snowmass.
- Free weekly presentations at their Hallam Lake headquarters featuring local adventurers sharing tales from abroad (“Potbelly Perspectives” on Wednesday evenings) and regional expert naturalists discussing relevant environmental-related topics (“Naturalist Nights” on Thursday evenings).
You may also visit their Hallam Lake center (free admission during open hours) to learn about their “education” animals which include their resident birds of prey. They also offer “farmyard tours” at their Rock Bottom Ranchfacility, located just a short distance down valley, in between Basalt and Carbondale.
In the summer and fall you can “Hire A Naturalist Guide” at ACES to show you around their Hallam Lake and Rock Bottom Ranch facilities, or to take you on area hikes that range in difficulty from easy to strenuous. The ACES staff can provide the transportation and pick up snacks and lunch if requested.
Art: The Aspen Art Museum, a non-collecting institution, features “…the newest, most important evolutions in international contemporary art…”. They provide guided tours, cell phone audio guides and even an “artCART” full of free art supplies to use while you are there.
You can also visit the Anderson Ranch Arts Center, a nonprofit arts institution located in Snowmass Village. They offer self-guided tours at any time during the summer, Monday through Friday, and guided tours from June through August on Tuesday afternoons at 4:00. Their café is open to the public during the summer months as well.
History: The Aspen area has an intriguing and somewhat unusual history, from the original inhabitants, the Ute Indians and their interactions with the first settlers, to the height of the Colorado silver mining boom, through the following quiet years, and finally to its establishment as an American skiing mecca.
The Aspen Historical Society’s Stallard House Museum, has selective exhibits of these days gone by and, by appointment, you can view related “…extensive Archives and Collections of artifacts, photographs, oral histories, newspapers from 1881, manuscripts, films and videos…”.
The current exhibit is “Seasons of the Nuche: Transitions of the Ute People”, a story of an indigenous people’s journey from an unbothered nomadic life to forced displacement and cultural assimilation.
We would be delighted to assist you in scheduling your visits to ACES or the Aspen Historical Society.
Winter and Summer Activities for Kids
Of course a family vacation doesn’t necessarily involve everyone doing the same activities or attending the same events at the same time. There are plenty of area activities and events geared specifically for kids.
In the winter, most activities for kids revolve around skiing and snowboarding, but over the holidays, and during special events like Winterskol and the X-Games, there is plenty of other youthful entertainment to be found. Additionally, the local Youth Center features a computer lab, game room, kitchen, gym, and media room.
Summer activities for kids include:
Ajax Adventure Camp: (rafting, biking, rock climbing, fishing, archery and more)
Anderson Ranch Arts Center: young artists workshops
Aspen Art Museum: Kids’ Summer Workshops
ACES: children’s classes and camps
Aspen Historical Society: Playing with the Past programs
Aspen Music Festival and School: free children-friendly programs
Aspen Science Center: summer Science Street Fair and periodic evening barbecues with science demonstrations and other fun and interesting presentations
Aspen Youth Center: kids’ activities – located at the Aspen Recreation Center (ARC)
Snowmass Recreation Center Summer Camp: indoor and outdoor activities such as rock climbing, swimming, hiking, arts & crafts, field activities, tennis, volleyball, and more
Camp Aspen/Snowmass: daily and weekly programs for kids of all ages at the Treehouse Kids’ Adventure Center
Camp Cozy Point: a day-long camp where kids learn basic equine anatomy and veterinary skills and are taught how to groom, saddle, and ride horses.