By Catherine Lutz

Visiting Aspen Snowmass on a family vacation? Doesn’t mean you have to spend all your time together. Summertime in this Colorado ski resort presents an amazing array of events and activities for the whole family to enjoy — but sometimes Mom and Dad need a little adult time. And with myriad options for adventure and discovery, the kiddos benefit from the kid time as well.

Here are the top five ways to ditch your kid for the day — so that when you get back together around the dinner table, everyone in the family has their own story to tell.

Camp Aspen Snowmass

Kid Independent Activities at Aspen Snowmass
Kid-Independent Activities at Aspen Snowmass

Want your little one to get a taste of all Aspen and Snowmass have to offer? Camp Aspen Snowmass is their ticket. Open daily from 8am to 4pm through August 31, this day camp for kids ages 3 to teen presents age-appropriate programs, including hiking, biking, mountain boarding, fishing, rock climbing, rocket building, rafting, arts and crafts, games, and — new this year — ropes courses and the Breathtaker Alpine Coaster.

Choose from single-day, multi-day, and even overnight camps, and for the wee ones, ages 1 and 2, child care is offered in the Treehouse Kids Adventure Center. There are theme days and field trips as well — check out the camp calendar for daily activities by age group, and for those that require reservations in advance. Sign up online or call 877-282-7736 for more information.

Lost Forest Explorers

Kid Independent Activities at Aspen Snowmass
Kid-Independent Activities at Aspen Snowmass

Calling all adventurers ages 8 to 17: New to Snowmass this summer is the Lost Forest, and what better way to discover this land of enchantment tucked into the trees than with a guide and some friends.

As Lost Forest Explorers, kids get four hours (including lunch) to experience the Breathtaker Alpine Coaster — a mile-long, 400-vertical-foot thrill ride full of twists and turns — and the Treeline Trial Challenge Course: five ropes course of five different difficulties above the forest floor. And all this with an experienced guide — no nagging, worried parents allowed.

Paintball

Kid Independent Activities at Aspen Snowmass
Kid-Independent Activities at Aspen Snowmass

Kids who don’t mind getting messy and like the thrill of the hunt should try their aim at Timber Territory Paintball. A full day of supervised fun (9am–3pm) includes transportation to and from the paintball field in the Snowmass forest, masks and body protection, paintball guns with 300 paintballs, and several games in 1 ½-hour sessions before and after lunch. Camp Aspen Snowmass passes can be used for paintball, and reservations are required: call 970-923-8733.

Downhill Mountain Biking

Kid Independent Activities at Aspen Snowmass
Kid-Independent Activities at Aspen Snowmass

An ever-expanding network of trails with fun features like jumps, banked turns, and drops covering nearly 3,000 vertical feet, Snowmass Bike Park is the ultimate summer mountain playground — with the right equipment and skills. Coached and supervised by experienced Bike Pros, all-day clinics (9am–3pm) are offered for kids ages 8 and up on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Friday; and for teens 12 and older on Tuesdays.

Bike rentals with all the safety gear are optional. Another possibility for ages 8 and up are full-day or half-day private lessons, available for groups of up to four people. Perhaps the kids can pick up a thing or two to teach their parents. Check out the Downhill Bike Clinics page for more info or to sign up.

Choose Your Own Adventure

Kid Independent Activities at Aspen Snowmass
Kid-Independent Activities at Aspen Snowmass

Maybe your kids have always wanted to learn to fish, or you’d like to offer them an extra-special Aspen Snowmass birthday experience. Available for all ages and abilities, custom Free Spirit Adventures offer private instruction or guiding in mountainboarding, road biking, skateboarding, fishing, paintball, or the local activity of your choice. You choose the adventure; you set the agenda. How about a fully immersive mountain adventure that even includes a sleepover? Kids ages 6 and up can enjoy some hiking and fishing, and then spend the evening storytelling around the campfire and learning about the stars and constellations on an overnight campout at a private site at the top of the Elk Camp Gondola. Now, their vacation is complete.

Published July 2018