Aspen Family Winter Activities
Aspen in the wintertime conjures up images of large snowflakes gently caressing families layered in Gore-Tex and down as they stroll through charming streets lined with Aspen trees strung with soft white lights. A place where a fifteen-minute gondola ride ascends 2.5 miles, over 3,000 vertical feet to majestic peaks, expansive views and versatile ski slopes. Toss in a little glitter and fine cuisine and this renown American ski town becomes the place where dreams are made of, or pursued.
For families, action-packed activities abound and it all begins with the four accessible ski mountains, Aspen Mountain, Buttermilk, Aspen Highlands and Aspen Snowmass, each offering differing levels of skiing terrain from beginners to expert.
For those who might desire a respite from skiing, or who don’t want their day to ever end, we have listed plenty of other outdoor activities to partake in for good family bonding time, so let’s get you started:
Every Friday night during the peak of winter season, the Norse God of Snow is honored with Ullr Nights, a nighttime, winter wonderland party at Elk Camp on Snowmass.
Friends and family take an evening gondola ride up to Elk Camp for outdoor winter activities such as tubing, ice skating, snowbiking, s’mores and hot chocolate by the bonfire. Dance to live music and enjoy an a la carte culinary celebration sure to please any palate. After playing in the snow, kids can warm up inside with fun activities and entertainment available downstairs in The Tent.
Tubing At Ullr Nights
The multiple lanes are lift served and carved into The Meadows at Elk Camp, with lighting facilities to illuminate the runs at night during Ullr Nights festivities and on special holidays. $34 per person, any age. (Ullr Nights is included in tubing cost). Reservations are strongly encouraged.
Price: $72 (Includes bike, tour, lift. Please wear your own ski or snowboard boots.)
Meet promptly at 5:00 pm at the Snowmass Base Village Four Mountain Sports store. Reservations required (please call 970-923-1227).
New Year’s Eve Torchlight Descent
Kick off New Year’s Eve in Snowmass with the Torchlight Parade and Fireworks. The Torchlight Parade, a Snowmass tradition, begins at 6:00 p.m. on Fanny Hill. Spectators can view the parade from base village or the Snowmass Village Mall. Locals and guests are welcome to participate in the Torchlight Parade (ages 8 and up with a valid ski pass). Meet at5:30 p.m. at Village Express. Reservations are required – 970.923.0560.
At 10:00 p.m., all can enjoy a New Year’s Eve fireworks display over Fanny Hill.
December 26–30, 9 AM–1 PM
This winter break, the museum offers a week of concurrent workshops for 4–5 year olds and 6–10 year olds to take inspiration from artists whose work is on view at the museum. Each day tackles a new creative challenge, winter activities, and a chance to play through art making. Lunch will be provided, and participants may sign up for the entire week or choose à la carte from the program below.
Prior registration is strongly encouraged.
Members: $28 per class
Nonmembers: $30 per class
Registrations: 970.925.8050 ext. 133
ACES at Hallam Lake is a 25-acre nature preserve in the heart of Aspen offering a variety of daily programs for all ages. Open Monday through Friday from 9am-5pm, visitors can enjoy snowshoe walks and bird watching in the heart of downtown Aspen.
During the winter, daily programs include naturalist-guided snowshoe tours on top of Aspen Mountain, at Snowmass and at Ashcroft; naturalist-guided ski tours at Snowmass; Friday evening snowshoe tours at Snowmass; and weekly slideshows where local adventurers share tales from abroad and regional experts teach on naturalist topics.
ACES Snowshoe Tours
Travel along mountain streams, over ridgelines, and through beautiful valleys while learning about mountain ecology on ACES’ naturalist guided snowshoe tours. Daily snowshoe tours are offered on top of Aspen Mountain, Snowmass Mountain, and at the Ashcroft Ghost Town. The Ashcroft snowshoe tours, offered daily by reservation, include the historic ghost town of Ashcroft and a gourmet lunch at the Pine Creek Cookhouse. Free downhill skiing tours are offered at Snowmass.
Free downhill skiing tours are offered at Snowmass by ACES. Snowshoe walks and bird watching can be enjoyed at the center. Evening programs include the Potbelly Perspective Lecture Series and Naturalist Nights.
Board a snowcat and embark on a dining experience you won’t soon forget at Snowmass’ Lynn Britt Cabin and Aspen Highlands’ Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro.
Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro on Aspen Highlands is a legendary Aspen Highlands restaurant with iconic views of the postcard-perfect Maroon Bells.
Looking for a snowcat dinner experience at Snowmass? Enjoy an exquisite Western mountain dinner high up at after the lifts close at the Lynn Britt Cabin. You will travel to and from in snowcats, which pick up slopeside at Base Village at 6 pm.
Let the Kids Play and Make Friends While You Ski
The first of its kind in the ski industry, the Treehouse at the base of Snowmass Village combines childcare facilities with ski school programs and rentals under one roof, giving families a consolidated and thoroughly enjoyable experience.
The Treehouse Kids’ Adventure Center — a multilevel, 2,300-square-meter childcare facility in Snowmass Village — brings the great outdoors inside with Colorado-themed play rooms and supervised activities for children ages 8 weeks to 4 years old.
THE HIDEOUT – BUTTERMILK BASE AREA
Buttermilk has long been considered one of the best mountains in North America to learn how to ski. And for families with young children, it just gets better with the recent addition of the Hideout Children’s Center.
This new, innovative facility offers the perfect introduction to the sport of skiing for kids ages 2 1/2 to 4 with:
- A gentle training slope for first turns, complete with magic carpet lift
- Four interactive, indoor learning rooms to foster a child’s imagination and allow for play-based learning during breaks from skiing
- Complete lunch facilities.
Using mountain adventure as its foundation, this innovative 7,500-square-foot new center allows young children an easy entrance into the sport of skiing.
Note: The Hideout Children’s Center is reserved exclusively for Ski & Snowboard School programs and does not offer an “only childcare” option. The hideout is located at the base of Buttermilk with easy drop off and pick up access for parents, with designated parking spaces directly in front. offers kids ages 2 ½ to 4 the perfect place to mix play and their first turns in a controlled, safe and un-intimidating environment. Also serves as the meeting place for Ages 5-6 Group Lessons.
With a days worth of activities the ARC will wear you and your family out with a 32-ft. climbing tower and the James E. Moore indoor pool that has a two-story water slide, 25-yard lap pool, a lazy river and fountains that spill over you when you least expect it.
Before swimming go ice-skating on the NHL sized indoor rink. There is also an outside rink and the Whoa Nelly sledding hill.
With a reputation for providing residents and visitors with the finest Fly Fishing and Shooting-sports for nearly 40 years Aspen Outfitting works hard to maintain their reputation by offering a contemporary and unparalleled selection of privately guided activities in the Aspen area.
Head out to their private shooting range for a safe and relaxed place to learn or practice or to ‘Gold Medal Water’ for some of the finest Fly Fishing in North America.
If you prefer to cross country ski to lunch with views of the 14,000-foot peaks of the Elk Mountain Range, Ashcroft Ski Touring, about eleven miles south of Aspen, provides 35 km of groomed trails. Ski, snowshoe or take a sleigh ride to the Pine Creek Cookhouse for lunch or dinner.
Dog Sled Rides After Lunch
Imagine being pulled on a sled by eager dogs through Aspen’s most beautiful scenery.
Visit Krabloonik for a two-hour trip on a sled pulled by 10 Alaskan sled dogs and guided by an experienced musher. The dogs love it, your kids will love it and you might just find yourself thinking of moving to Alaska. Stay for dinner for delicious game food in a cozy fireside setting.
Dog Sled Rides and more with Blazing Adventures
Backcountry Snowshoe Tours, Snowmobile Tours, Dog Sledding Tours, Winter Fly Fishing, Hot Air Ballooning, Backcountry Powder Tours, Scenic Driving Tours
Snow sports a plenty! Experience the cold, crisp air as you glide through high alpine meadows on the back of a dog sled. Check out local wildlife as you snowshoe through some of the most beautiful and pristine wilderness areas in the world. Looking for more excitement? Thunder along snow packed trails on a powerful snowmobile.
Reservations: 1-800-282-7238 or 970-923-4544 for more information or to book a winter activity.
Snowmobiling Tours in Aspen
To get deeper into the mountains there are a few adventure companies who will take you and your family on snowmobile tours and even up to a private cabin for lunch.
Aspen’s premier snowmobile tour operator, offering picturesque tours through the White River National Forest by special-use permit. All tours are led by knowledgeable guides with a love of the area and its history.
The 2-hour Maroon Bells Tour takes guests up to the Maroon Lake at the base of the majestic Maroon Bells for hot cocoa and stunning opportunities for photos.
The 3-hour Klondike Lunch Tour cruises through winding trails of Aspen groves up to the cozy Klondike cabin with views of the 14,000’ Pyramid Peak, where guests enjoy natural ranch-raised, grass-fed cheese burgers.
The 3-1/2 hour Independence Pass Lunch Tour takes guests through Colorado’s majestic high-country with snowy vistas, past a mining ghost town, frozen crystal waterfalls, and off to a rustic cabin for a hot lunch of the Ranch’s famous beef burgers. No experience necessary.
Closed Sundays, except holidays. Call for reservations – (970) 925-4614.
Downvalley Hot Springs
Catering to all who appreciate relaxing with a warm soak surrounded by mountain views Glenwood Spring’s newest hot spot offers 16 mineral hot springs soaking pools and a freshwater family pool with a jetted spa. All are located alongside the Colorado River, just across from the base of the tram at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, with Rocky Mountain views that soothe and inspire.