No jokes about it, Steamboat Springs is completely serious when it comes to kid-centric fun. Our summer “rides” not only rival the country’s best amusement parks in the fun factor, but you don’t have to stand in long lines or on sizzling hot black top to enjoy them!
Coca-Cola Adventure Zone and Burgess Creek Beach
For the 12 and under crowd, a visit to the Coca-Cola Adventure Zone at the base of the mountain is a must. There’s a bouncy house, ropes course, bungee jumping trampoline, climbing wall, Water Walkerz and the requisite mechanical bull for mini bronc riders to try.
Kids love a scenic ride up the gondola and a leisurely cruise around the Vista Nature Trail at the top. Pack a picnic or grab a burger at the Thunderhead outdoor deck overlooking the Yampa Valley from a 10,000 foot perch. There’s also the day-lighted Burgess Creek “beach” where even the littlest tykes can splash around while parents relax in the strategically placed Adirondack chairs.
If your little ones fancy themselves as gold diggers, send them over to the Amaze’n Steamboat play zone off of Highway 40 (just behind our Visitor Center). Kids can pan for fool’s gold and other gems while contemplating whether they should super soak their parents in the squirt gun maze or hit the links at the mini golf course.
Let’s Get Wet!
Looking for a little wet ’n wild summer adventure? Try tubing the Yampa River. Kids of all ages love this signature Steamboat summer pastime. Grab a tube from the downtown river head-quarters, Back Door Sports, and then hop into the river, “right out their back door”. A shuttle bus picks you up at the end of the float and carries you back to town.
Or hit the 230 feet of water slides at Old Town Hot Springs. There’s also an aquatic climbing wall, a floating Wibit obstacle course (on summer weekends) and a zero-depth kiddie pool with giant cartoon characters built into little squirt-sized slides.
Want a little less wild with your water? Then rent a Pontoon boat at Steamboat Lake Marina or Stagecoach Marina for a floating picnic surrounded by Rocky Mountains. Little anglers can fish off of the boat. Take another day to bike your rod over to Fetcher Pond or Casey’s Pond for qui-et waters and ample aquatic life.
Been thinking about forming a family bobsled team for the next Winter Olympics? Take a chair-lift ride up Howelsen Hill and then hop on the Alpine Slide for a thrill ride down to the bottom. Screaming with joy is optional, but definitely adds to the fun.
Grab Your Bike
For two-wheeled adventures, ride along the Yampa River Core Trail with stop offs at the various parks, slides and swing sets along the way. Take a soothing nature tour through the Botanical Gardens or pack your skateboards and get your adrenaline on at Bear River Skate Park.
It’s the West
And what Steamboat summer vacation is complete without bringing your lil’ cowboy or cowgirl to the Pro Rodeo? Go early to enjoy a BBQ plate big enough for the whole family and stay late enough to send the kids out into the arena for the Calf and Ram Scrambles. No registration is necessary, just wait for the announcer to corral the kids into age groups and then send them out into the arena to wrangle a ribbon off of a calf or a ram. Winner gets bragging rights and a pair of kids’-sized Wrangler jeans.
This is just a tiny slice of the kid adventures waiting for your family in Steamboat Springs. Stop by our Visitor Center for even more ideas or share your kids’ favorite Steamboat summer activity in the comments below.