Colorado Vacations 
Family Travel Colorado 
Your Guide to Visiting Colorado with the Kids
Best Steamboat Springs Attractions for Families
Steamboat Springs offers families with kids plenty of fun.

In winter the snow is deep and the skiing is great. So are the sleigh rides, the ice skating, the snow-tubing, and the bowling (when you need to get out of the cold.)

In summer, enjoy hiking to waterfalls, horseback riding, or exploring history.

A soak in the hot springs feels good any time of year.

All around, Steamboat Springs has great recreational opportunities, especially for kids.

Photo: Howelsen Hill, in the heart of downtown Steamboat Springs, Colorado, is the oldest continuously operating ski area in Colorado. The ski jumps behind the lodge have been a training ground for many an Olympian.

Photo: A snowboarder and his girl
cross the street in downtown Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The runs of the Steamboat Ski Area catch the evening light in the background.

Photo: Skiing at Steamboat Ski Area is only one of a whole list of recreational opportunities that Steamboat Springs has to offer.

Steamboat Springs offers vacationing families a wide variety of attractions and activities for the kids.

Steamboat Ski Area is the northernmost of all Colorado's major ski areas. With 2965 acres and 165 trails, it is one of the largest in the state.

Howelsen Hill Ski Area – This recreational park operated by the City of Steamboat Springs offers four lifts, alpine and Nordic skiing, ski jumping events, night skiing, and tubing.

Old Town Hot Springs Pool –
With water slides, a climbing wall over water, fitness center, lap lanes, and big pools, there is plenty for families to do here in the summer or winter.

Tread of Pioneers Museum – Housed in a Victorian home built in 1908, this museum houses exhibits on Steamboat Springs history, skiing history in Steamboat Springs, and American Indian art and firearms. 

F. M. Light and Sons – All those signs on the drive into town make this a tourist destination in itself. And the signs are right, they have a real big collection of Stetson Hats. Besides, there’s a plastic horse outside with a saddle that you can set your little buckaroo in for a great photo op with the storefront in the background.

Yampa River Core Trail -
  This trail stretches for seven miles along the Yampa River through Steamboat Springs. It provides excellent wildlife watching and fishing access to the river.

Fish Creek Falls – Just outside of Steamboat Springs, you can take a short hike to see this beautiful waterfall plunge 283 feet.  

Arts and Crafts Gym – this creative space
offers daily, monthly, 2-month, and 3-month memberships. 10-day punch cards are also available. Tools, supplies, lockers for partly-finished projects, and classes are offered.

Snow Bowl Bowling Alley –
Had enough of the outdoors? This bowling alley offers inexpensive fun, bumpers for children, and a snack menu full of classic yummies like onion rings and grilled cheese.

Fly Fishing (Guided or on your own) – Walk along the Yampa River Core Trail and look for a spot, or stop in at any of the sporting goods shops and as where’s a good spot to try.

Horseback Riding –
families can take a trail ride through some mighty pretty country and at some places even sign up for cattle drives, dinner rides, or fishing trips. The really rugged can go horseback riding in the winter at Del’s Triangle 3 Ranch.

Hot Air Ballooning – Check out the annual Hot Air Balloon Rodeo every July in Steamboat Springs. For a trip into the sky, families with kids over the age of 6 can try Wild West Balloon Adventures at

Sleigh Rides – Several outfits offer sleigh rides to families visiting Steamboat Springs. Most sleigh rides are outside of town on cattle ranches in the Yampa or Elk River Valleys. Often a driver will meet you and your kids at your hotel or condominium or at a designated place, then take your family out to the ranch for the sleigh ride. Most rides include dinner served in a log cabin, teepee, or tent, and will set a family of 4 back about $200.

Snow Shoe Tours – Yampatika, a not-for-profit environmental and outdoor education organization, offers a regular schedule of snowshoe and ski tours in the beautiful wild lands around Steamboat Springs. Check the Yampatika website for schedules and information.

The Potter’s Wheel – Pick a vase, cup, platter, or other item from a stock of ready-made ceramics, choose your paint colors, and create very personal memory of your trip to Steamboat Springs. It takes two or more days for the finished pieces to be fired, so the folks at The Potter’s Wheel are happy to pack your work up and mail it to your home. This activity is great for kids of all ages. I was surprised when my electronics-oriented 11-year-old son said painting his own mug was one of his favorite things to do!

Howelsen Ice Arena – This rink, located near the Rodeo Grounds, claims an Olympic-sized ice sheet. Check the schedule for public skating times. Families can rent skates or bring their own.

Snow Tubing – Want a fast, fun alternative to skiing? Snow tubing is offered at Howelsen Hill in downtown Steamboat Springs, and at Saddleback Ranch, about 15 miles west of town. Both places provide inner tubes to ride and lifts to get your family to the top of the hill. Fees run around $20 for an hour of snow tubing fun. Sessions fill fast, so it’s a good idea to make reservations, especially during the weekends or holidays.

The Howler Alpine Slide – Located on Howelsen Hill, downtown Steamboat Spring’s historic ski mountain, the Howler Alpine Slide operates from late May through late September. Kids 2 to 6 years old must ride in a sled with a paying adult. The chairlift ride and loading area on top give families a beautiful view of the Yampa Valley.

Bud Werner Memorial Library – Housed in a beautiful new building near Iron Springs Park, the library offers a wonderful retreat for traveling families. Plus it has one of the most friendly and helpful children’s reference librarians in Colorado.

Related Links:

Steamboat Springs, Colorado - Overview
A Quick History of Steamboat Springs

Colorado Destinations
Colorado Towns and Cities

Skiing with the Family in Colorado
Round-up of Colorado Ski Areas

Hiking with Kids
Camping in Colorado