Steamboat takes family fun to a whole new level. We’re laid back, welcome everyone and know how to show your crew a good time. This is where kids and parents reconnect on and off the mountain. We’re wrangling and raising our kids here — let us show you the ropes.

Cherry pick from our top 10 Steamboat family favorites this winter:                  

1. Ski School

Skiers ages 2 to 6 years get out on the snow, enjoy some group instruction time and nurture a passion for skiing. Little rippers relax in the brand new facility inside the Sheraton Hotel, refuel over a healthy lunch and enjoy a safe, encouraging mountain environment.

2. Hot Springs

Splash around in Old Town’s Hot Springs-fed pools and play on two waterslides and a rock-climbing wall. Or head out on a short drive (or shuttle ride) to Strawberry Park Hot Springs for a family soak in an enchanting setting.

Top 10 Steamboat Winter Activities for Families

3. Family Skiing & Scenic Gondola Rides

Steamboat’s easier trails are sprinkled throughout the Sunshine Peak and Rough Rider Basin areas. The mountain’s nearly 3,000 acres of terrain, gives kiddos freedom to explore, no matter their skill level. Purchase a 5-or-more day adult lift ticket and kids 12 and under ski for free at Steamboat Resort. Take advantage of night skiing and hit the slopes after dark before you grab dinner and enjoy ski free Sundays at Howelsen Hill. Or, for those with young children and toddlers, take a scenic gondola ride up the Steamboat Gondola for surrounding view of the Yampa Valley and grab a bite to eat at the top in Thunderhead Lodge.

4. Trail of Olympians

Steamboat has produced more winter Olympians — 98 and counting — than any other town in North America. Learn about some of Steamboat’s best known Olympians on the Sunshine Olympian Trail in the mellow trees between Quickdraw and Flintlock runs.

Top 10 Steamboat Winter Activities for Families

5. Sleigh Ride Dinner

Reserve your family’s spot on a horse-drawn sleigh ride across the Yampa Valley before sitting down to a four-course dinner with all the trimmings. Haymaker Sleigh Ride Dinners are available Thursday through Sunday and reservations are required.

6. Ice Time

Skeeter’s Ice Rink takes centerstage in Steamboat Square. The rink is free to the public with their own skates. Skate rentals, both hockey and figure skates, are available for a fee for adults and children, first come, first serve. Guests must be wearing skates to enter the rink.

7. Saddleback Ranch

Spend a day at this working ranch and cruise around on a snowmobile tour, giddy-up on a winter horseback ride and take hot laps down the Yee-Haw Tubing Hill.

8. Snow Tubing at Howelsen Hill

Howelsen Hill has a new tubing hill that is perfect for the whole family

9. Snowshoeing

Just a short drive from the ski resort, the Haymaker Nordic Center is a beautiful place to take in the Yampa Valley. Snowshoe trails serve beginners to more advanced trekkers, and the Nordic center also offers cross-country ski rentals, skate ski rentals and snow bike rentals along with instruction.

Top 10 Steamboat Winter Activities for Families

10. Family Events

Celebrate winter with family-focused festivals such as the Cowboy Up Balloon Glow, the Bud Light Cowboy Downhill and the 109th Steamboat Springs Winter Carnival and Steamboat Light The Night Celebration. The Springalicious Festival rounds out the season in April. Visit the events calendar for a full listing.

As for your friends here are my young toddler recommendations:

  • Ride the Gondola, it’s 10 minutes each way so it’s an easy time kill. They can get off at the top of the gondola and have lunch at the Thunderhead Food Court- if it’s nice out the deck is a fun place to get fresh air.  You don’t need to ski or snowboard, you just ride the gondola as a foot passenger (with a special pass and as long as the winds are whipping).
  • Excel gymnasium has open gym on weekday mornings and definitely gets the sillies out through jumping and running.
  • Bud Werner Library has great group story times, and if it’s not an official story time there’s lots to play with on the kids library side- go all the way to the back room for a fun rolling ball set up