Warm, sunny days and crisp, cool evenings make Aspen, Colorado the ideal destination for a family summer vacation. Exploring Aspen (and the surrounding area) with the entire family means you'll have plenty of memories for years to come.
When you have the whole family in tow, you'll want to prepare for a variety of activities and cater to each family member's needs. We've compiled some tips to make your Aspen vacation both family-friendly and fun.
1. Pick a Convenient Location
Where you stay in Aspen is paramount. If you're looking for a stress-free summer vacation with the family, you should be where the action is, so you don't waste precious time and energy packing up the car with the kids just to grab ice cream at Paradise Bakery.
Choose lodging that's within walking distance of downtown for the freedom to explore and adventure without too much planning. Enjoy a stressless vacation by staying in a convenient location where you can be spontaneous.
2. Kid-Friendly Activities
Keeping the kids happy and giving them space to release their energy helps parents relax. Aspen summer vacations for families can be filled with a mix of both indoor and outdoor activities for children of all ages.
- Consider a visit to local parks, like Wagner Park or the Maroon-Bells Snowmass Wilderness Area.
- Fun family sightseeing adventures are available on a Silver Queen gondola ride -- check out the sightseeing packages.
- Go whitewater rafting! Kids love getting splashed, and with this list of Aspen whitewater rafting guides you can choose the scenario that fits your family.
- Younger children often enjoy scheduled camps. Days at Ajax Adventure Camp and the Treehouse Kids Adventure Camp (Snowmass) are always a hit with kids.
- Older children can't help but get excited about rock climbing, disc golf, ropes course, and the popular Breathtaker Alpine Coaster as part of the Lost Forest at Snowmass.
3. Explore the Simple Joys
There's no need to spend the family fortune on your Aspen family vacation. One popular reason to choose Aspen as a family vacation destination is the sheer beauty of the local natural scenery. Plus, there are plenty of free activities across town all summer long!
- Summertime launches the hot air balloon season. And a stroll outside may bring you vivid views of colorful balloons flying high.
- Meet the Raptors and various indoor animals, by visiting ACES' Hallam Lake Nature Preserve right in the middle of town. The kids will love it!
- Swing by the Children's Room at the Pitkin County Library on Mill St. You'll find complementary storytime and events.
- The Aspen Art Museum is also free to visit. It offers frequently updated art installations (educate the kids early) and a lovely cafe on the top story deck. Perfect for lunch with a view.
- Spend time experiencing the local flora, fauna, and sight while taking a walk or bike ride on the Rio Grande Trail.
- Experience the weekly Aspen Farmer's Market on Saturday morning. Sample new smells and try some of the local tastes. And don't forget to take the kids by the llamas!
- Be sure to take a walk through the perennial flower garden at the John Denver Sanctuary - a great family photo opportunity.
4. Intentional Family Packing
Packing is arguably one of the least enjoyable vacation tasks. And it can be even more cumbersome for families. Don't get overwhelmed! Instead, focus on packing purposefully.
- Include a rain jacket for each family member. Aspen summers are known for spontaneous afternoon thunderstorms.
- Consider packing and wearing layers. Temperatures in the mountains can significantly change throughout the day and usually drops in the evenings. Bring at least one fleece for each family member.
- Bring a bathing suit. A guided rafting trip, stand up paddleboarding, and a visit any of the local hot springs are great family activities.
- Don't forget to bring sunscreen! Cover your face and body during the days. The sun is strong up here in the mountains.
5. Enjoy Aspen Family-Friendly Dining
While Aspen is well-known for drool-worthy dining options, organizing the crew to eat out more than once a day can be tough.
- A condo or home rental simplifies family meal planning by providing you with a functioning kitchen and dining area -- perfect for casual snacks and meals.
- You can pick up fresh, locally sourced food at the Aspen Farmer's Market each Saturday morning to keep on hand in your vacation rental.
- You can give your kids a special treat by visiting one of Aspen's family-friendly restaurants, like CP Burger (burgers, salads, and even adult shakes), Hickory House (BBQ), or Mezzaluna (Italian).
6. Aspen Transportation
From the moment your flight begins to descend into Aspen until you leave, Aspen will redefine your opinions of vacation travel. Kids love flying into the Aspen airport; the spectacular mountain views at high altitude make for lasting memories.
- Once you've landed, enjoy complimentary transportation from the Aspen Airport to Frias Properties.
- Depending on the location of your lodging, easily walk to local eateries, shops, and events.
- As an alternative to the Downtowner (Aspen's free, electric vehicle shuttle), use WE-Cycle. This free, innovative bicycle sharing service makes it easy to flexibly navigate the city (either one-way or round-trip) while taking in new sights.
7. Adult Time
While family vacations are about time with your children, don't forget to take time to yourself. Carve out a little adult time. Aspen offers many opportunities for both daytime and evening dates.
- Local babysitting services are available to ensure you have time to reconnect with your spouse. Aspen childcare options include traditional child care, summer camps, and more.
- A late show at the Belly Up is a great way to experience Aspen's nightlife. Or buy tickets for a show at the Wheeler Opera House.
- Guests at Frias Properties can contact the concierge for information on summer events.
Make Aspen Your Family's Summer Destination
These tips will help you and your family have an Aspen summer vacation that everyone enjoys (and talks about for years to come). Before the wildflowers make way for powdery white snow, claim your slice of Aspen in the summertime. Start exploring available rental properties and book your summer vacation with us at Frias Properties.