Have you thought about Steamboat Springs skiing with kids? If you are looking for a wonderfully Western, easy to get to, epic ski resort with lots of family-friendly things to do, you've come to the right place. Steamboat Springs, Colorado may be the perfect vacation destination for you.
Our family loved Steamboat Springs skiing, and while it is a fantastic Colorado ski resort, there are so many great family-friendly activities. It's fantastic any time of year, whether you visit Steamboat Springs in the fall, in the winter for their epic skiing, or in the summer, you won't be disappointed!
From challenging ski terrain as well as beginner options, Steamboat Springs skiing is perfect for all levels. Steamboat Springs Ski School is fantastic for kids.
Activities like a mountain coaster, night skiing at Steamboat Springs, terrain parks, and more, plus hot springs nearby, make Steamboat Springs a perfect Colorado ski resort for families. They even have a Ski Free Sunday (need I say more).
And, this pretty town is nestled in a part of the Rocky Mountains and has produced almost 100 Olympians since 1915. That's why it is called “Ski Town USA”.
Going to Steamboat Springs skiing with kids is one of the best winter vacation ideas if you're looking to get away for a fantastic family ski vacation or for excellent spring skiing. Here's all you need to know about Colorado's Steamboat Springs skiing with kids.
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About Steamboat Springs
So, what makes a visit to Steamboat Springs skiing with kids different than other ski towns? It’s the residents’ focus on family.
This north-western Colorado town is located in the Yampa Valley and is also known as Ski Town, USA. The experiences it offers are the same ones the residents want for their families, and this family-friendly feel can really be felt. It is also very western, with cowboy hats as common as ski hats, even in the winter.
Steamboats Springs also has geothermal hot springs that are best known for their healing properties. One of them is located in the center of the city and have soaking pools, swimming pools, and water slides. There is also another one called Strawberry Springs nestled in a natural setting in the mountain, not far from downtown Steamboat Springs.
People love skiing at the Steamboat Resort on the Champagne Powder® snow that they are known for. The ski resort has unique Aspen glades, and it's known as some of the best tree skiing in North America and one of the best family ski resorts in the nation.
Steamboat Springs is a complete mountain range in itself. The town is most famous for the Pioneer Ridge, Sunshine, and Storm Peak trails with the Champagne Powder® snow in the trees.
The diversity of trails means there are ski trails for every experience level. The front ski slopes and back bowls are for more advanced skiers, and many are tree-lined, so they offer a challenge. This is different than Vail's Legendary Back Bowls which are wide open mostly.
You just need to be careful and don't ski too close to the tree line.
The 12 beginner trails are great for kids just learning how to ski or anyone who doesn’t have a lot of experience.
Make memories that will last a lifetime in this family-friendly Colorado town. My family loves Steamboat Springs because there is so much to do, and it's one of the best ski resorts in Colorado. It's family-friendly feel, from the Steamboat Springs ski school to the activities to the family-friendly accommodations, mountain coaster, and more, can really be felt.
Why Steamboat Springs Skiing is Great for Families
There are so many reasons why a trip to Steamboat Springs skiing with kids is great for families, so let's look at some of them.
- Steamboat Springs Ski School – Book your ski and snowboard lessons in advance.
- Steamboat Springs Night Skiing – Night skiing is a fun event for the whole family.
- Outlaw Mountain Coaster – This mountain coaster is a family favorite for older children.
- Childcare – The Steamboat Ski Resort has the Kids' Vacation Center where younger kids can do all kinds of activities while older ones and their parents hit the slopes.
- Ski In and Ski Out – Accommodations with kitchens
- Trails – There are a variety of trails for every skill level – 12 trails are beginner level
- Family Activities – Steamboat Springs has so many family activities you'll stay busy.
- Kids 12 and Under Ski Free – Kids 12 years old and younger ski free for the same number of days of skiing their parent or legal guardian does. All you need to do is purchase a five or more day adult ski lift ticket.
- Family-Friendly Restaurants – Great family-friendly restaurants with kid’s menus
- Hot Springs – No visit to Steamboat Springs would be complete without a visit to the hot springs.
- Western Downtown Steamboat Springs – Go shopping downtown.
- Snowshoe on Rabbit Ears – The whole family can enjoy the great outdoors snowshoeing on Rabbit Ears Pass.
Things to Do in Steamboat Springs in Winter
You’ll find so many things to do in Steamboat Springs. There’s more to do than just skiing, although that’s the most popular winter activity! Now you can see why this little town has the reputation of being one of the best family-friendly places in America.
Ski and Ride Programs
You'll find plenty of Steamboat ski programs for beginners and kids as well as Steamboat Springs snowboard lessons. My kids absolutely loved the Steamboat Springs ski schools.
Ski instructors and the Steamboat Snowsports School know the latest techniques and have years of experience to guide beginners down the mountain. Whether it's your first time skiing or you're an experienced skier looking to take your skills to the next level, the instructors can tailor your lesson to your skill level.
It's the perfect place for kids learning how to ski with kids-only magic carpet lifts and half and full-day ski lessons for the whole family. There are even snow monsters, Steamboat Olympians, and other characters you'll see along the way.
There are several lifts for beginners and intermediate-level skiers, such as Christie Peak Express, Sunshine Peak Sunshine Express, Thunderhead Express, and Christie II.
Steamboat Springs also has backcountry adventure courses for the whole family if you want to do something different. Tour the mountains in a whole new way no matter what experience level you are.
There’s also The Land Up adventure park where kids can ride the Outlaw Mountain Coaster, play mini-golf, try out the Kilimanjaro Climbing Wall, and much more.
Ski Free Sundays
Steamboat Springs has Ski Free Sundays hosted by Howelsen Hill. Your entire family can hit the slopes for free at the oldest operating ski area in North America. Just stop by the lodge to get your free ticket to access the trails and ski lifts.
Après Ski Family Activities
You'll find bars and restaurants all around the mountain and its base. There's the Gondola Pub and Grill in Gondola Square, where you can relax after a long day skiing.
Bear River and Umbrella Bar has happy hour from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM, and it's the perfect place to get lunch or breakfast. The Truffle Pig has drink specials, good food, and live entertainment in a fun casual atmosphere.
Also, Rye has happy hour from 2:00 PM to 7:00 PM every day. If you're staying at the Steamboat Grand, you can get après-ski drinks delivered right to the pool for some family fun.
Also, check out the Cabin, Routtie's Barbecue, Timber and Torch, and T7T Grill.
Steamboat Springs Night Skiing
Thursday through Sunday, Steamboat Springs offers night skiing from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM on five trails in the winter season. It takes place in the Gondola Plaza, and you'll also find various equipment rental stores and the lift ticket office here too.
Other Winter Activities
The winter activities are endless in Steamboat Springs. There's ice skating, rides in a hot air balloon, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snow bikes, and much more.
You can go snow tubing in multiple places, and if the weather is bad, take the kids to the local museums and on various historical tours. Plus, you won't want to miss taking the family on a sleigh ride.
There’s no better time to soak in the hot springs, and people love the snowmobile tours. Also, take the family for a scenic ride in a gondola so you can see the beauty of Steamboat springs from above.
One of the things Steamboat Springs is known for is their natural, geothermal hot springs. While there are two main hot springs you can visit, Steamboat is actually one of give stops on a much larger Historic Hot Springs Loop. This loop is 720 miles long and in Western Colorado.
In Steamboat Springs, you can enjoy two of the 19 hot springs in the loop – Old Town Hot Springs and Strawberry Park Hot Springs.
We enjoyed Strawberry Park Hot Springs, which is a natural and beautiful outdoor setting complete with several pools in which you can soak. It is a bit out of town, so it requires a shuttle or a car. You can also visit the Old Town Hot Springs in the center of town, which includes a waterslide.
The hot springs are a significant part of Steamboat Spring's history and residents, including Native Americans who enjoyed their healing and spiritual qualities. It is a must do, especially during the winter, to relax your muscles after all of the skiing.
There is some hot spring etiquette you should be aware of before visiting the springs to ensure you enjoy a family-friendly experience.
Other Things to Do in Steamboat Springs – Off-Slope Activities
There are many off-slope activities to do in Steamboat Springs, too, such as:
- Dog sledding
- Sightseeing in a helicopter
- Horseback riding in the snow
- Ice and fly fishing
- Visiting F.M. Light & Sons – the western store in town to get a great cowboy hat, western boots or western wear
- Shopping in Downtown Steamboat Springs
- Visit Strawberry Springs or Old Town Hot Springs in the center of town
- Get a view of Steamboat Springs from above in a hot air balloon.
And much more.
Steamboat Springs Ski Rentals
Not everyone who goes on a family ski vacation has all the equipment they need. Let's face it, traveling with skis and all that gear is not easy on top of everything else on your ski trip packing list.
So we often rent our skis for destination ski vacations like Steamboat Springs, because there are plenty of shops that rent equipment to vacationers. Many are located in the Gondola Plaza, like I mentioned above.
We took advantage of Ski Butlers, who came to our condo rental and fit us for our boots and skis right at our property. They are very convenient.
By filling out some information in advance, they will come with a few sizes of ski boots, skis, and poles, as well as the tools they need to adjust your bindings. And without leaving your condo, you will have all of your gear ready to hit the slopes the next day.
Lift Ticket Prices
You can buy single or multi-day lift tickets during the winter season, depending on the number of days of skiing you plan on doing.
Tickets are available for purchase online or at the ticket office. If you order your ticket online, there are several pick-up kiosks around the mountain.
From November to April, you can get a single adult ticket for one day for $205, and it goes up from there. Night skiing tickets range between $49 to $59, depending on the day of the week.
You can also purchase an Ikon Pass, Ikon Base Pass, or Ikon Session Pass 4-Day good for skiing in multiple places all around the world. Use Ikon passes for skiing at Tremblant, QC, Blue Mountain, ON, June Mountain, CA, Copper Mountain Resort, CO, Skibig3, AB, and more destinations.
Where To Stay at Steamboat Springs
There are many hotels, condos, and bed and breakfasts where you can stay in Steamboat Springs. Many of these have ski-on/ski-off locations. Here's the best places to stay in Steamboat Springs.
- The Torian Plum – condos that can be rented through VRBO
- Sheraton Steamboat Resort Villas – This is a premium vacation rental resort.
- The Victorian B&B – The Victorian B&B is a quaint luxury B&B
- Homewood Suites by Hilton Steamboat Springs – These suites include a kitchen, which is very handy, so you don’t have to go out to eat every day.
- Residence Inn by Marriott – These suites provide plenty of room for the whole family, and they even have social events.
- Club Wyndham Steamboat Springs – This hotel is just a few miles from the resort and offers one, two, or three-bedroom suites.
- The Steamboat Grand – This is the area’s unique hotel with beautiful hotel rooms and studios, condos, and penthouses with kitchens.
- Holiday Inn Steamboat Springs – The Holiday Inn is another affordable option where kids 18 and under stay for free. Up to two kids per family under the age of 11 eat for free from any on-site restaurant.
Also, consider renting a condo through VBRO. Many are close to the slopes, so you can ski in and ski out.
Where to Dine in Steamboat Springs
There are plenty of great family-friendly restaurants in Steamboat Springs but here are a few you don’t want to miss.
- Dude and Dan's: A great family restaurant and sports pub with a kids menu, beers on tap (for the adults) and an arcade!
- Creekside Grill and Cafe: A great breakfast and brunch spot.
- Salt and Lime: A delicous authentic Mexican.
- Mambo Italiano: A snug, casual Italian restaurant with housemade pastas.
- Taco Beast: The Mountain-side version of a food truck, this snowcat restaurant serves four different types of unique and delicious tacos.
- T Bar at Steamboat: A delicious slope side restaurant perfect for apres-ski with American dishes, pub food, and drinks.
- Johnny B. Goods: Fun, 50's style diner that serves breakfast, lunch and diner.
There are plenty of restaurant options from Mexican to Sushi to Italian and more. Plus, there are grocery stores in town and shuttles that can take you there if you don't have a vehicle.
We also like to bring our road trip snacks that are great for quick meals and snacks. If this trip to Steamboat Springs skiing with kids is a road trip for your family, you’ll love these kid-friendly road trip activities.
Getting To Steamboat Springs
Steamboat Springs is one of the most accessible resorts in the State of Colorado, as the Yampa Valley Regional Airport is only a short drive away. Six major airlines have non-stop flights from 16 different airports.
Hayden Airport is even closer, and you can fly in and easily rent a car at either airport. You can also take a shuttle, bus, or taxi from either airport to the resort too.
We recommend renting a car. There are some shuttles from the airports, and there is a shuttle to and from the resort areas to Steamboat Springs town center. But, having your own rental car, you can have the freedom to come and go as you please and explore the area with other excursions.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Is Steamboat Springs good for kids?
Yes, in fact, Steamboat Springs is one of the best places to visit for a family vacation. It's the perfect destination for people of all ages, from grandparents to single people to families with kids.
Steamboat's little piece of the Rocky Mountains is a winter paradise for people looking for a great ski vacation for families. There are endless fun vacation activities for everyone.
Is Steamboat Ski Resort Good for beginners?
Yes! Steamboat has over 2,965 acres with trails for all skill levels. You'll find trails for advanced adventurous skiers and beginner trails for inexperienced skiers.
Is Steamboat Springs worth skiing?
Steamboat Springs is definitely worth skiing, and it's known for its exciting and fun tree trail skiing and the sheer number of tree trails. Many vacationers say it's the best tree skiing anywhere.
The tree trails are not marked, so be vigilant when you’re skiing with kids.
Is Steamboat hard to ski? Is Steamboat easy to ski?
About 40 percent of the 2,965 acres that make up Steamboat Springs are rated as difficult. A blue square marks the harder trails, and one of the most popular trails experienced skiers like is the Rainbow Trail.
But don't worry, there are plenty of trails for beginners too. These trails are marked with a green square. Families can ride the ski lift and ski together or split up to hit the trails each person wants to ski.
Is Steamboat Springs expensive to ski?
Steamboat Springs is a bit more expensive than some other places to ski in the United States. The average single-day ticket is about $199 but can be as much as $225 during the peak season and holiday weekends.
It is also on the Ikon pass, so if you plan to ski at other Ikon properties, you can save money.
Final Thoughts on Steamboat Springs Skiing with Kids
Steamboat Springs is one of the biggest ski mountains in Colorado and the most family-friendly of all. If you're looking for the perfect ski vacation for your family, you'll love this little resort town that packs in a ton of family fun.
It's one of my family's favorite places to ski, and there's so much to do other than skiing that no one will get bored.
If you're looking for other great places to ski, check out my posts on two of our favorite ski resorts in Vermont – Sugarbush Resort and Okemo Mountain Resort, or some of my favorite ski resorts in New Hampshire.