What are the five best things to do with kids in Aspen?

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While you can’t beat the beautiful Aspen winters, summers provide endless opportunities for families with kids to enjoy all kinds of activities.

1. Go on an adventure. Those with a thirst for adventure might try white-water rafting, horseback riding, hiking, or mountain biking. Aspen Expeditions organizes outings where you can zipline from the ground up at Independence Pass, hike up to the Pyramid amphitheater or climb to one of Aspen’s 14,000-foot peaks for some incredible views.

2. Aspen Mountain. Ride the Aspen Mountain gondola to the summit, where kids can enjoy a rock-climbing wall, Eurobungy trampolines — a hybrid of a trampoline and a small bungee jump — obstacle courses and scavenger for silver nugget digs.

3. Ski Schools of Aspen Snowmass. During winter, the Ski Schools of Aspen Snowmass is one of the best in the country with programs for kids of all ages and abilities. Whether it’s a group lesson or an individual session, your youngster will be cruising the slopes in no time.

4. Ice-skating. Kids also love the ice-skating rink downtown by CP Burger, which is converted into a mini-golf course in the summer.

5. Ride a gondola. The year-round gondolas on Aspen Mountain and Snowmass are similar to amusement park rides for kids. For families who don’t ski, foot passes are available at a reduced rate.

Because Aspen is largely an outdoor playground, there’s no shortage of activities to do with kids. Here are some of our favorites:

Biking: Grab a bike and hit the trails in Aspen. It’s a great way to spend the day together as a family, and the easy Rio Grande Trail runs from Aspen all the way to Glenwood Springs 50 miles away. Not feeling up for the entire trail? Take the kids just eight miles down the trail to the Woody Creek Tavern for lunch before biking back to town. The Little Nell offers a fleet of free cruiser bikes, or guests can rent a high-end Orbea road bike from our adventure shop.

Rafting: Whitewater rafting in the summer in Aspen is the perfect way to cool off while getting a dose of adrenaline. Outings can range from flat water to Class IV rapids, so choose your trip accordingly.

Skiing at Buttermilk or Snowmass: These family-friendly mountains are a great place to bring the kids, and enrolling them in ski school is a great way to get your little ones out on the hill. Or, try a private lesson together as a family. Terrain parks at both mountains are very popular with the kids. Don’t forget to check out the 25,000-square-foot Treehouse Kids’ Adventure Center in Snowmass, which offers everything from camp activities in the summer to winter ski school and daycare options.

Sledding: There’s something about old-fashioned sledding. The Aspen Recreation Center offers sleds and a ski hill. There are no big frills, but it’s certainly fun for the whole family.

Hiking: Hiking is a great way to introduce kids to nature and the beauty of the Rocky Mountains. For guided nature hikes, check out the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies. Need a bit more inspiration for you little ones? Try geocaching adventures through the Little Nell’s adventure shop.

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