Everyone knows Aspen, Colorado is a haven for great skiing, but there is so much more to do there. You should experience Aspen with children and create wonderful winter vacation memories there, just don’t forget to think outside the box. This day takes you through some of the great options off the slopes so you can take a day off or break this up over a longer stay and enjoy great experiences along with your snowy ones.
Address: 100 Puppy Smith Street, Aspen, CO 81611 (Hallam Lake Center)
Phone: (970) 925-5756
Hours: Monday – Friday, 9 AM – 5 PM
Admission: Free of Charge
Take a break from the slopes and enjoy the beauty of Aspen’s mountainside environment when you aren’t whizzing by it. ACES (as it is locally known) is an amazing facility that will teach you and your children much about the local wildlife, as well as what can be done to protect it. The facility offers the best of both worlds as tours are self guided (they will supply you with a backpack and books/guides free of charge), however staff is on hand to answer any questions. If you ask nicely, a nature expert will guide you on a private hike, often for an hour or more. The Hallam Lake center is centrally located and with over 25 trails, it is a great winter option. Here you can learn about tracks and see a wide array of animals, big and small, through borrowed binoculars. If it is too cold for you, head inside and enjoy the indoor displays as well as an indoor trout stream!
Address: 637 East Hyman Avenue, Aspen, Colorado 81611
Phone: (970) 925-8050
Hours: Tuesday – Sunday, 10 AM – 6 PM. Closed Mondays.
Getting There: 3 minute drive from last stop, or a quick half mile walk if you’re up for it.
Admission: Free of Charge
The Aspen Art Museum was recently overhauled and expanded, making its contemporary collection an even more impressive. The new facility promises to be significantly more exciting for families than past iterations. This community focused museum hosts a range of exciting programs, ranging from guided tours and lectures to fun activities and workshops for kids. Check their calendar for a list of upcoming events. The building itself is quite striking and something to behold, and that is before you enter to find exhibits dedicated to modern art, architecture and minerals. Leave large bags behind as you will not be permitted to walk the museum with them and can save time by not having to check them.
Address: 470 Rio Grande Place, Aspen, CO 81611
Phone: (970) 925-9313
Hours: Performance Times and Shows Vary, Consult Schedule
Getting There: 2 minute drive or less than a half mile to walk from last stop
Admission: Varies with show and seating area, see here to purchase tickets.
This is a community theatre of the highest quality. Its small and intimate size means that there isn’t a bad seat in the house. However, it also means that shows can sell out so try to plan ahead. Not all offerings will be appropriate for families but at a given time there should always be something the kids can see. Check for current listings. There are a number of great restaurants in the area to grab a bite before or after the show or just sip some nice hot cocoa amid beautiful Aspen scenery.
And Coming Soon: Cooking School of Aspen
Besides great skiing, Aspen is a cultural mecca and a community that supports great art and, more recently, great food. The boom of new restaurants has led to the construction of the new Aspen Cooking School, set to open in 2005. The facility will boast great new restaurant space and run classes and workshops that families should check out when visiting the area.