Here's a list of our favorite summer activities for the kids while you're visiting Aspen.
1. The ASPEN RECREATION CENTER! This place is a dream for parents and kids alike. Swim at the indoor pool and ride the 2-story water slide for hours, or try out 32ft. indoor rock climbing on the tower, beginners welcome! With an onsite snack bar, locker room, ice rink and work out facility, the whole family will be entertained.
2. Guided Adventures. Explore the surrounding mountains via jeep, horse or foot - take your pick! Local jeep tours will take you to scenic vistas in a rugged but comfortable ride, or if sampling the Wild West is more your speed, take a guided horseback ride into the wilderness with a picnic lunch. For the active outdoor family, strap on your hiking boots for a guided hike to experience each trail crossing and grassy meadow on your own two feet. Better yet, let the guides teach you a thing or two about the basics of climbing and strap into a rope and harness to hang out in the hills, mountain style.
3. Splash! Ever try whitewater rafting? No trip to the Colorado Rockies would be complete without it! We have three area rivers (Roaring Fork, Colorado and Arkansas) that have everything from Class IV whitewater to mellow day floats to accommodate the whole family via raft, kayak, ducky or stand up paddle board.
4. Mini-golf anyone? FORE! The Silver Circle Ice Rink located across from the Rubey Park Bus Station at the base of Aspen Mountain transforms into a miniature golf course in Aspen's summer months. The location can't be beaten and the kids will be entertained day or night with this family fun activity. And CP Burger is right there with the perfect kid-friendly nosh.
5. Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES). ACES is abuzz with children's voices and laughter during the summer months. They offer fun and educational kids' classes and camps that allow your child to experience and learn about the natural world. Let your child wonder in nature and see how quickly they can foster their curious minds! Kids will love meeting the resident golden eagle and learning about all of the local wildlife. It's like a zoo and a museum and a fun hands-on classroom all in one.
6. Aspen Historical Society. Who said history isn't fun? Teach your kids about Aspen's rich history starting with the Ute Indians onto the Mining Boom to the beginning of life as a ski town. The Historical Society also offers several different tours throughout the winter season as well. Go to their website for a full menu of tours and events.
7. Camps! Aspen loves its outdoor adventures in any season, but it's second best friend is Arts and Culture of course! It's a good thing we're familiar with exercising the mind AND the body around here. See what places, such as the Ajax Adventure Camp, Aspen Art Museum, Theatre Aspen, and ACES to name a few, have in store. Your kids could be coming home from a day of creative activity that will wear them out and have the begging for more!
8. Skateboarding! Whether you're a novice or a shredder, Aspen's very own Rio Grande Skate Park is a great place to play. Located near the popular Rio Grande Park and Trail the Skate Park includes all types of terrain from a clover bowl, peewee bowl and pool wall extension to a deep vertical bowl. Lessons are available through Radio Boardshop and All Star Skate Camp.
9. Smuggler Mine Tours. Many enjoy hiking up Smuggler mountain, but did you know that underneath that hike is one of the most famous and productive of Aspen's silver mines? The Smuggler mine produced a world record nugget of nearly pure silver that weighed almost a ton! The guided tour takes guests into the mine and shows firsthand how difficult the hard rock mining of the late 19th century was. Call (970) 925-2049 for more information.
10. Top of the Mountain FUN. Step right up! Ride the Silver Queen Gondola all the way to the top of Aspen Mountain. Once you're there try out the climbing wall or take a jump with Eurobungy. If that's not your thing there's disc golf, an obstacle course, and even the popular silver nugget dig! Mine for silver just like the old days in Aspen - the small silver nuggets can be taken as a souvenir. Have lunch at the Sundeck or pack a picnic of your own. The view from 11,212 ft. isn't too shabby either!
11. Build-a-pie @ Bruno's. Have a budding chef in your bunch? Most kids dig pizza so head over to Brunelleschi's Pizza and they can each make their very own pizza pie! Kids will love this hands-on family night out for dinner.
12. SWEETS. Just in case all else fails, we have sugar. Paradise Bakery & Cafe serves homemade cookies and Italian-style ice cream. Maybe a reward is in order after a first raft trip or bike ride, or better yet, just ‘cause. Now you know where to get your sugar fix!
13. Learn to cook as a family! The Cooking School of Aspen offers courses for the whole family or in a group. Their kid's classes will bring out the chef in anyone. These hands-on cooking classes will have your child teaching you culinary tricks the next time you cook a family meal together.
14. Puppies! Come and play with the puppies at the Aspen Animal Shelter. Yes, the puppies and dogs at the animal shelter need socialization and they will let you play with a puppy or take a dog out for a walk for free! See how quickly you fall in love.
15. Dancing Fountain - Run, Splash and play in the waters of the dancing fountain on the corner of Mill and Hyman. View the virtual tour to check out the action.
16. Ascendigo offers rewarding and challenging summer and weekend camps with positive, autism-friendly supports so every child can succeed and have fun! Whether through sports, recreational and group programs, all call be enjoyable and achievable for individuals with autism.