Aspen is a playground for adults, but it’s really kids who have the most fun.
Kids at Aspen Center for Environmental Studies camps get to explore our backyard.
Aspen and Snowmass are equally entertaining for all ages. If you’re wanting a vacation from your vacation (i.e. kids) here are a variety of ways—from a weeklong camp, a day camp, or a romp in the park—for littles to have a blast.
Outdoor Adventure Camps
To entertain your kids all day with outdoor activities, leave it to the professionals. There are plenty of camps from which to choose, depending on their interests. Ajax Adventure Camp (ajaxadventurecamp.com) is customized for the kiddos, offering a wide range of activities daily, including rock climbing, paddleboarding, archery and zip lining. Campers get to spend the day outside learning and developing new skills, meeting friends and making lasting Aspen memories. Camp Aspen Snowmass (aspensnowmass.com) introduces kids to playing in the mountains in summer style. There’s a diverse agenda of themed activities daily—Western Day, Superhero Day—geared toward different age groups. And with Aspen Ski Company’s recent buildout of the Lost Forest Adventure Center, which boasts the Breathtaker Alpine Coaster and a climbing wall, kids will develop a love of the outdoors that will also make them say “ahhh.” For a rolling good time, let your kids enjoy a day of skateboarding and learning from experienced coaches while making new friends with Radio Board Shop’s skate camp (radioboardshop.com).
Nature & Art Camps
Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (aspennature.org) teaches kid from 3 to teenage about wildlife, science and outdoor skills. Kids can study and observe animals and ecological systems—and the Roaring Fork Valley is the best place to do this. Farm Collaborative (thefarmcollaborative.org) is dedicated to future generations by connecting children to the nature around them. Become a farmer for the day or week and experience personalized farmyard fun. Are your kids budding artists? All ages can enjoy an extensive list of hands-on art camps through the Aspen Art Museum (aspenartmuseum.org), in addition to workshops in which they’ll create frameworthy pieces.
The Aspen Recreation Center (aspenrecreation.com) is one-stop shopping for getting the wiggles out of kids. Aspen’s community center offers an indoor ice skating rink; a 32-foot climbing tower; and an indoor pool with a large water slide, lazy river and diving board. During the winter, enjoy the perfectly sloped sledding hill behind the baseball field. Bored? The Red Brick Recreation Center (aspenrecreation.com) is located in the heart of Aspen and offers an antidote (though it’d be hard to be bored here). Start with the indoor climbing wall or open gymnastics (depending on class schedules).
When looking for a more lowkey day, head to CP Burger (cpburger.com) to grab a burger, fries and milkshake while your kids enjoy a game of minigolf. Sink the golf ball on the last hole and get a free milkshake. In the winter, the plaza turns into an ice skating rink. Take a ride on the wild four-legged side at 80-year-old T Lazy 7 Ranch. Through Maroon Bells Outfitters (maroonbellsaspen.com), enjoy a custom horseback ride with lunch included and make memories the Western way.
Hike up or ride the gondola to the top of Aspen Mountain (aspensnowmass.com) for a high-altitude day with the family. Different activities include musical performances, disc golf, giant chess and mountaintop yoga. Or let the kids loose the Aspen way and head to Wagner Park (aka Tooth Park), where they can scramble on the bouldering playground that’s shaped like a molar. Stroll down the street to the dancing fountains on a hot day, where kids can cool off before a stop at Paradise Bakery.
A view of Aspen's mountains.
Drop your kids off at the Treehouse Kids Adventure Center (aspensnowmass.com) at the base of Snowmass Ski Area, a multilevel alpine-themed facility for kids ages 8 weeks to 4 years. With opps ranging from group ski lessons (must be potty trained) to themed playrooms, kids are assured to have fun while you spend the day skiing.
Children can tube at Elk Camp (open daily Dec. 1 through early April, aspensnowmass.com) on the lift-served and carved tubing lanes. On Fridays, Elk Camp hosts Ullr Night, whisking families to a winter wonderland for an evening of tubing, ice skating, snowbiking and the Breathtaker Alpine Coaster. For the full-throttle experience, give children the advantage of learning to ski early by taking skiing lessons on Snowmass or Buttermilk, the best beginner’s mountains.
Photography by: Aces