A detailed itinerary is not necessary for a successful family vacation to Snowmass—spontaneous adventures are half the fun. With thousands of acres of entertaining terrain for every level of skier and rider, on-mountain fun like snow tubing and snowbiking, daily kids’ activities, family oriented après-ski and a kids-only base area facility, Snowmass serves up effortless family fun. Not to mention the Very Important Kid (VIK) program, which hosts daily activities all winter long.
A state-of-the-art, 25,000-square-foot childcare facility in Base Village brings the great outdoors inside with Colorado-themed play rooms and supervised activities for children ages 8 weeks to 4 years old. Find state-licensed childcare for infants and toddlers, ski school programs and rentals all under one roof. Translation: seamless transitions for families and more enjoyable mornings. The Treehouse also offers extended child care from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for children participating in programs that day (advance reservations required).
Every Friday, and several select Tuesdays, starting December 22, both locals and visitors board the Elk Camp Gondola to be whisked up to a veritable winter wonderland in honor of the Norse God of Snow. Enjoy snowbiking, guided snowshoe tours with ACES, rides on the new Breathtaker alpine coaster and snow tubing on four lift-served lanes (tubing and coaster tickets required; advance purchase recommended). Start off with a locally sourced à la carte dinner at Elk Camp and finish the evening around a bonfire roasting s’mores and sipping hot chocolate.
The perfect place to warm-up after a day of skiing or snowboarding and a fun alternative to a sit-down dinner, Slopeside Lanes offers eight full-sized lanes, a lounge area with full bar, locally brewed beers, wood-fired oven pizzas (offered to-go, too), upscale bar food and more. Located below Venga Venga Cantina at the end of the Snowmass Mall, Slopeside Lanes is open Tuesday-Sunday 3:30pm-12:00am.
Stop by the interactive Ice Age Discovery Center on the Snowmass Mall and learn why Snowmass’ mascot is a Wooly Mammoth. In short, while excavating a nearby reservoir in 2010, construction workers dug up a juvenile Columbian mammoth bone. Paleontologists from the Denver Museum of Nature and Science arrived, and over the following ten months, unearthed more than 6,000 Ice Age fossils, including mammoths, mastodons, giant ground sloths, giant bison, deer, camel, horses and more. Learn more about the discovery, meet scientists and see fossils from the site.
On Saturdays as part of our Very Important Kid program, Snowmass turns après-ski into a family affair at Après on the Bricks. Here, families can enjoy free activities like face painting, balloon artists, dancers, a live DJ, après specials and more. Snap a selfie with Snowy the Mammoth, Snowmass’ Ice Age mascot, between 2:30 and 4:30 p.m in the Base Village Plaza.
A former SKI Magazine editor, Tess Strokes moved to the Roaring Fork Valley in 2010, contributing to publications like The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Outside, National Geographic, Freeskier, and Backcountry.