Summer Activities for Kids in Steamboat
Of course the outdoors are your playground in the summertime. Biking and hiking are typical go-tos for families with kids old enough. There are several trails and paths close to town that are great for young kids. If you child is really young, then a hiking carrier or bike trailer would be ideal. Check out our post on hiking with kids in Steamboat for suggestions.
Some of our favorite bike trails for young kids include the Yampa River Core Trail which is entirely paved with lots of points of interest to explore. The trail is about 7 miles long but you could tailor the length to what your family can handle. For budding mountain bikers, Panorama or Fiddlehead at the Dry Lake Campground are short in length without much elevation change. For more extreme biking enthusiasts, check out the pump tracks at Howelsen Hill or Bear River Park.
The Steamboat Resort base has so many fun activities for kids. Burgess Creek flows alongside the mountain with lots of rocks for kids to climb on and explore. There are also two small sand beaches and large red Adirondack chairs for lounging. The highlight of the base area is The Land Up. This is sort of expensive in my opinion but can give hours of joy and fun, especially to kids in the elementary age group.
The Land Up is a collection of kids activities like a ropes course, extreme trampoline, mini-golf, climbing wall, bounce house, and other things as well as North America’s longest mountain coaster, Outlaw Mountain Coaster and the gondola. The gondola will take you for a scenic ride up to Thunderhead Lodge, which also gives access to Vista Nature Trail, a great 1 mile hike for kids.
If you have really young kids, they may enjoy playing at one of the many parks in town. Some of our favorites include Rodeo Park (by the Rodeo and stables at Howelsen Park), Whistler Park (in the Whistler neighborhood south of the Ski Resort) and West Lincoln Park near the Bud Werner Library which was just re-done in the Summer of 2019. Speaking of the library, young kids may also enjoy the Children’s Library, which also has several story times available throughout the week.
If swimming is a must for your family, the best local swimming pool is at the Old Town Hot Springs. There are several pools heated by a natural spring and it is always warm and pleasant. In the summer months, there is also a small splash pad for the kids and a large shallow depth pool.
Winter Activities for Kids in Steamboat
The obvious choice for winter activities is downhill skiing or snowboarding. There are plenty of novice, or green, runs at Steamboat Resort. The Kids’ Vacation Center hosts wonderful ski school, or day care, programs for all ages. If the price is a bit steep and you are not sure your child will even enjoy downhill skiing, another option is to take them to Howelsen Hill. Locals tip: on Sundays, lift tickets are free at Howelsen Hill as well. Check out more lift ticket tips on our post about IKON Pass and lift tickets at Steamboat Resort.
Snowshoeing or winter walks are also fun for kids. There are several fun areas to do this with kids in the winter. Most you wouldn’t even need snowshoes although they would be optimal. Fish Creek Falls and Spring Creek would be the best places near town although Rabbit Ears Pass has some wonderful trails in the winter time.
Tubing and sledding are of course fun for kids of all ages. There are small sledding hills all over town in the winter. If you want a more formal experience, Saddleback Ranch offers tubing expeditions in the Winter complete with shuttle service. It is about 30 minutes from town.
Swimming in the Hot Springs is really a year round experience your kids will love. On a nice winter day, swimming at the Old Town Hot Springs or at the natural Strawberry Park Hot Springs is a memorable experience. Be prepared to be cold until your body hits the water!