Summer Adventures for the Family in Aspen, Colorado

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Home > Colorado > Colorado Cities > Aspen > Summer Activities > Family Style    [ bookmark this page ]

Page Title: Summer Adventures for the Family in Aspen, Colorado
Page Synopsis: Summer Activities for the Family in Aspen, Colorado



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Family Style: Aspen has Adventures for all Ages

From Camps to Hikes to Cooking Classes, Kids Think Aspen was Made for Them

A vacation is a vacation if the kids are happy. In Aspen, tots and teens will find endless ways to have a fun and enriching vacation, regardless of their interests. Mountain sports abound, but in Aspen that’s just the beginning. From art and nature to skateboarding, horseback riding, river rafting, or even cooking classes, kids will find their days so thoroughly packed with new friends and adventures, they might even ask to go to bed a little earlier than usual.

Learning Activities & Camps

·     A Natural. Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES) offers a variety of programs for kids throughout the summer. The one-hour Little Naturalist sessions, half-day wildlife classes, and extended Field School courses teach children about their worlds and the creatures who live in it.  Topics include Snakes Alive!, Flower Power, and Paws and Claws. (www.aspennature.org; 970.925.5756)

·     Hop on Board. Aspen’s public skateboard park has been named one of the best in the country, and legendary skateboarder Tony Hawk confirmed that on a visit last summer. Kid’s can come skate for free or learn to skateboard at the nearby Othello’s Sk8 Shop, which offers instruction and camps. (970.544.8274)

·     Be Creative. The Aspen Art Museum offers week-long art programs, as well as special events and classes all summer long. (www.aspenartmuseum.org; 970.925.8050)

·     Get Cooking. The Cooking School of Aspen is a state-of-the-art facility where little gourmet cooks can indulge in kid-specific classes, learning basic kitchen skills including how to make some of their favorite foods. (www.cookingschoolofaspen.com; 970.920.1879)

·     On Stage. Aspen Theatre in the Park offers Classes for Children, where kids of all ages learn from the masters. Fast Tracks (ages 8-12) and Teen Apprenticeships (ages 13-17) give an inside look into the actor’s studio. (www.aspentheatreinthepark.com; 970.925.9313)

·     Listen Up. Aspen Music Festival and School features programs from orchestra to opera, conducting to contemporary music, piano, guitar and more. With a distinguished faculty in addition to 200-plus world-class concerts, master classes, and lectures, the school is an intense musical world of its own, a crucible of artistry that has shaped young classical performers for more than fifty years. (www.aspenmusicfestival.com; 970.925.3254)

·     Eddy Out. Aspen Kayak School, operated by whitewater kings Charlie MacArthur and Kirk Baker, offers classes for all ages and levels, from dry land exercises to advanced whitewater rodeo. (www.aspenkayak.com; 970.925.4433)

Fun for the Whole Family

·     Rafting. Throughout the spring, summer, and fall, Aspen’s rafting companies offer the perfect activity for families, with river trips on the Roaring Fork, the Colorado, and the Arkansas with everything from mellow one class rapids for beginners to class three or four rapids for older kids and more adventurous parents!  Blazing Paddles (www.blazingadventures.com; 970.923.4544) and Colorado Riff-Raft (www.riffraft.com; 970.925.5404) are two of many local outfitters.

·     Giddy Up. A family outing in the Wild West wouldn’t be complete without saddling up, and Aspen’s many horseback riding outfitters offer fun and safe trips with endless views. H2J Riding School and Summer Camp is a hands-on equestrian program featuring a summer day camp, private lessons and pony rides for horse lovers, big or small. With two outdoor arenas, a large indoor arena, and experienced, qualified trainers, H2J offers many choices for the beginner, intermediate or advanced rider. (www.h2j.com; 970.923.9297)

·     Bike Rentals. The numerous bike shops in downtown Aspen, including Aspen Velo (970.925.1495), Hub of Aspen (970.925.7970), and Aspen Bike Tours & Rentals (970.925.9169) rent mountain bikes, cruisers, specialty cycles (including covered four-seaters built for families), bike accessories for smaller children, and helmets for riders of all ages. A spin around town or down the scenic Rio Grande trail is a sure crowd-pleaser.

·     Bike Tours and Mountain Biking Camps. Bike Tours are an easy way to keep the family smiling, as any ride—from beginner to advanced—offers jaw-dropping beauty and thrills. Sun Dog Athletics offers private group mountain biking lessons, a family affair to get the adrenaline pumping (www.sundogathletics.com, 970.925. 1069). Timberline Bicycle Tours (www.timberlinebike.com; 970.925.3586) and Blazing Adventures (www.blazingadventures.com; 970.923.4544) also offer guided rides for all ages and abilities.

·     Snowmass Rodeo. Your kids will never forgive you if you skip this one—a real, competitive rodeo on Saturday and Wednesday nights from mid June through August. Feast on a barbecue dinner and special kids’ activities, like learning to rope from real cowboys and getting in on the action at the calf scramble. (970.923.3520)

Activities On-High

Some of the most memorable family activities are found right in Aspen’s backyard. During the summer and fall Aspen Mountain features diverse mountain-top activities: (www.aspensnowmass.com; 970.925.1220)

·     Gondola Rides. The Silver Queen Gondola travels 2.5 miles and more than 3,000 vertical feet from the town of Aspen to the 11,212-foot summit of Aspen Mountain. At the top, take in the spectacular panoramic views of Aspen and the Elk Mountain Range, dine at the Sundeck, hike, and discover adventure. Tickets can be purchased at the Gondola Office at the base of Aspen Mountain.

·     Between a Rock and a Hard Place.  A mini wall for aspiring climbers graces the top of Aspen Mountain during the summer, a safe and fun adventure for kids wanting to test their Spiderman skills.

·     Children’s Activities. Kids of all ages will find free activities and entertainment awaiting them on top of Aspen Mountain every Monday–Friday during the summer. From 11 a.m.–2 p.m., families are invited to participate in arts & crafts, games, obstacle courses and more.

·     Guided Nature Walks. Naturalists from the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES) lead free 45-minute walks along Richmond Ridge at the top of Aspen Mountain. Learn about the native trees, birds and animals that thrive in the high-alpine environment. Tours meet at the top of the gondola on the hour from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. daily.

·     Tuesday Twilight Dinners. Take advantage of the rare opportunity to ride the Silver Queen Gondola in the summer evenings, and enjoy a western BBQ dinner and live music to boot.  Dinner served 5-7:15 p.m. Price includes all-day gondola pass and dinner: Adults $35, kids (4-12 years) and seniors (70+) $20.

·     Frisbee Golf. Play the world’s highest official disc (Frisbee) golf-course—a hike and a game in one free and fun outing. Pick up your disc, score card and course map at the top of Aspen Mountain. Take it easy and play the top 9 holes, or challenge yourself to all 18—the back 9 are infamous.

 Favorite Places

·     The Fountain. The fountain on the Hyman Avenue Mall is a bona fide child magnet, with unpredictable vertical jets of water that shoot from the ground, soaking anyone standing in their way.  Designed by Aspen-based physicist Nick DeWolfe, the computer-programmed fountain is completely random, with no set pattern.

The Grottos. A few miles east of Aspen on Independence Pass, these smoothed-out rock caves and caverns on the Roaring Fork River never fail to thrill little explorers—and their parents, too. The scenic area includes picnic tables, so bring some grub and make a day of it.





Home > Colorado > Colorado Cities > Aspen > Summer Activities > Family Style    [ bookmark this page ]

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