What to Do With Kids in The Winter … In Basalt
If you are heading to Whole Foods to get your shopping done, why not make a day of it in Basalt, Colorado with your little one? Pack up the sleds, the warm layers, gloves and boots, and make a day of it.
Ten Family Adventures in Basalt, Colorado
1. Fly Fishing in Basalt
There’s pretty much nothing cuter than seeing a little one in waders. Especially when wading in the Gold Medal waters of the Roaring Fork and Basalt’s Frying Pan River.
Fly-Fishing is a year-round event in Basalt, which has been lovingly referred to by locals as a “small drinking town with a big fishing problem”.
As many of you know, our AspenRealLife editor loves Aspen Outfitting for fly fishing with her family. There are also two incredible fly shops in Basalt where you can buy or rent fishing gear, Taylor Creek or Frying Pan Anglers. I have it on good word that one of the best fly fishing guides in Colorado works year-round at Taylor Creek, can guide by boat or wading, and brings his own 19-month old out fishing on the reg. Ask for Brandon at Taylor Creek if you’re using a guide with little ones!
You can schedule guided float or wade trips with either of these two fly shops down the Roaring Fork River. Generally, you’ll need to call at least one day in advance but it’s best to call a week or so in advance during the winter season due to the limited guides available.
If you aren’t a fly fisherman or woman and you have friends who can help you and your little one keep flies on your line… you’ll save a few hundred dollars on the guide cost by going with an experienced friend.
Basalt moms swear by three sled hills. The first is in the Blue Lake neighborhood on Black Bear Trail, it even made Aspen Trail Finder! For the decidedly more wee ones, try the mini sled hills off the playground just south of Whole Foods on East Valley Road. Finally, for a dog-friendly sled hill you can head up Light Hill above Basalt High School.
3. Animal Watching
Whether you’re looking to catch a glimpse of bald eagles or big horn sheep, Basalt is ripe with Winter Wildlife.
To catch the best views, head through the town of Basalt on Midland Avenue and continue straight onto Frying Pan River road towards Reudi Resevoir. In the thirteen mile drive, you will likely see at least one bald eagle (they’re usually fishing and nesting along mile five right now), Big Horn Sheep (scattered everywhere, especially in the first three miles of the Pan), Fox, Mink, Deer, Horses (several at mile 7 and 9 on ranches), and dozens of Wild Turkeys! (You may find them, surprisingly, up in trees just past Seven Castles when they aren’t grazing around the cabins at the Dallenbach Ranch near mile 2.)
If you make it to Reudi Reservoir without catching glimpses of eagles and big horns, you’ll love to stand on the bridge to watch fly fisherman hunting trout or else take a short hike up the Rocky Fork Trail at the base of the reservoir. While you’re up there, don’t forget to catch a glimpse of the breathtaking view of Reudi Reservoir.
4. Basalt Art Supply
Basalt Art Supply prides itself on supplying your family with toys that:
- Develop Eye-Hand Coordination
- Promote Creativity
- Nurture Imagination
- Choice & Decision Making
- Develop Spatial Coordination
- Logical Reasoning
- Artistic Abilities
- Sense of Geometry
- Math Concepts
- Knowledge & Facts
You’ll be delighted at how friendly and low-key the staff is about letting your little one try before he buys, as my little one always does!
5. Basalt Library
Photo Credit: www.BasaltLibrary.org/
I love the Basalt Library so much that my library card now resides in my son’s shadowbox!
The Basalt Library has the nicest librarians and executive director on the planet… alongside a kids area that spans the entire back half of the library complete with an infant play area, teen study room, and the fantastic reading “Tree House”.
Storytimes run every day with one of their friendly librarians and on Saturdays you can enjoy a free craft time with Miss Caroline in the kids’ room around 10:30 a.m. So much love goes into these crafts; I know first-hand that Miss Caroline prides herself on making crafts for kids of all ages (and always tests out the week’s crafts well ahead of time).
What’s more, if you have older children, talk to a librarian about checking out a telescope to enjoy our amazing Roaring Fork night skies.
6. The Spirit Nest
Just behind the Basalt Library you’ll find a Spirit Nest and Gnome Habitats scattered around the Roaring Fork River on a beautiful, recently constructed trail. A ladder makes it easy to enter the Nest safely with your little ones for a view of downtown Basalt and an epic photo opp.
7. The Art Base
The Art Base in Basalt is super kid-friendly (and an awesome air-conditioned respite during the Farmer’s Market in Summer Months). In the summertime you can walk through the gallery, add to their lego tower on the deck behind the gallery.
In the Winter, the Art Base hosts Art On The Edge for ages 9-15 where students can practice comic drawing, graffiti arts, X-Games inspired branding and tattoo design. Cost is $60 for members, $75 for non-members and classes are Thursdays from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.
Your 6-12 year olds will enjoy Mosaic Madness taking place Thursdays from February 7-28th. Cost is $75 to construct a mosaic using colored glass, stone, and other mixed media. Learn about mosaic tools, materials, and techniques for design, construction, and grouting.
At the Basalt Elementary School you’ll enjoy Wednesday Enrichment as the Art Base partners with the Roaring Fork School District and the Aspen Community Foundation. Register through the Basalt Elementary School for this 1:45-3:45 p.m class (school lets out early Wednesdays) to explore cultures through art. The Winter Sessions start January 25th through March 29th.
Finally, your little one can have a Mommy & Me Jewelry Making class on Sunday February 12th from 12-2 p.m. All ages are welcome and the cost is $50 for members, $65 for non-members. You’ll learn how to bead bracelets including stringing, wire work, weaving, and how to affix clasps and closures that won’t break.
8. The Yellow Canary
The Yellow Canary is located in downtown Basalt and has everything from Birthday Parties to Drop-In Classes on Mondays and Tuesdays from 10-11:15 a.m. for $25.
Awesome Art Camps are Wednesdays and Thursdays for children 4+. $50 includes crafts of the day, stories by the river, cooking, and exploratory drawing. Pre-registration is required for classes from 9:30 – Noon or 1-3:30.
Call the Yellow Canary at 970.927.0205 to reserve your session as classes are limited to 8 children.
Bowling in Basalt just got a major facelift! Visit the newly renovated Bowlounge for bowling, pool tables, arcades, and delicious dinner.
Kid-friendly fare includes: fried and baked chicken, burgers, tacos, sandwiches, nachos, salads, and more. When you order a bucket of chicken you’ll enjoy sides made from scratch including Capps Cheesy Frieds, Mac ‘N Cheese, or Biscuits.
And of course, there’s the bowling. Brunswick Lanes with Electronic Scorekeeping (and the requisite cheesy digital cartoons mocking your gutter balls) compliment the spacious seating. Go bowling with the kids or arrange a private party by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. Bowlounge is open Monday through Thursday from 4-11 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 4-midnight, and Sunday from 11 a.m to 11 p.m.
The stunning bar is designed from an old bowling lane and the ceiling is adorned with old bowling balls. Best of all, craft cocktails are reminiscent of the most famous pop-culture bowling team of all time: Big Lebowski with names like: All The Way, The Jesus, The Nihilist, Donnie’s Element, The Dude, Caucasian. (I assume they always have White Russian ingredients on-hand, as well?)
Prices are as follows:
Junior (12 and Under): $4.00/game
League Bowler: $3.75/game
Shoe Rental: $3.00
10. Bow Tie Cinemas
If your child is old enough to sit through a movie, you’ll love Basalt’s Bow Tie Cinemas just behind the City Market, adjacent to Crown Mountain Park.
Bow Tie is the Valley’s only multiplex with several Stadium Seating auditoriums and, of course, popcorn!
Here’s an example of their January 20th schedule:
What To Do With Kids In Winter:
… In Aspen
Stay tuned for What to Do With Kids in Snowmass, Carbondale and Glenwood Springs
Have we missed anything? Email us at email@example.com to share what you and your family enjoy most about Winter in the Roaring Fork Valley.