● By Christina Freeman
Steamboat ladies Katie Gaylord, Peggy Aigner, Alison Harris, Carol Lockwood Schmidt, Alicia Pride, Maggie Ann Tucci and Beth Aigner spend a fun morning tubing. Photo by Andy Kennedy.
ON AND OFF THE MOUNTAIN
Steamboat Springs is simply one big playground, especially for our younger visitors. Whether here to stay or here for the day, the area has a handful of all-time family favorites to share.
BUMP N SKATE
Hop in a bumper car then strap on your skates for a two-hour session at the Olympic-sized Howelsen Ice Arena. $16 includes 15- 20 minutes in cars, then skating for the rest of the session. Open stick and puck sessions also available, a big hit with junior ice hockey fans. www.steamboatsprings.net / 970-879-0341
Head for Saddleback Ranch or Howelsen Hill and spin your way down the snowy hill on your inner tube. Lifts take tubers back to the top again so there’s no excuse for not maximizing the downhill thrill. www.tubingsteamboat.com / 970-819-8010 www.saddlebackranch.net / 970-879-3711
A quintessentially Steamboat event, Hitchens Brothers Wednesday night jump series is worth a visit whether you plan to take part or watch. Free to participants, training and warm up starts around4 p.m., finishing with pizza and cookies for entrants in Olympian Hall after the competition. Novices and beginners welcome. Wednesday evenings Jan. 14, Jan. 28, Feb. 11 and March 11. www.sswsc.org / 970-879-0695
ROUGH RIDER BASIN
Located on the mountain, this kids’-only ski terrain offers a dedicated lift, tipis, a frontier fort and beehive. Perfect for younger skiers needing a break from exploring the big hill. Access included in ski area lift pass. www.steamboat.com
KIDS ADVENTURE CLUB
Open to kids from 2 to 15, KVC – as it’s known locally – offers a vacation center with indoor play area and dedicated on-mountain ski and snowboard instruction. The club is open evenings during night skiing plus New Year’s Eve. www.steamboat.com / 970-871-5390
CLIMBING WALL AND POOL
Tired of the snow? Head to the Old Town Hot Springs and take on the challenge of the climbing wall alongside the outdoor pool. The best part about falling is warming up in the pool below. Swim in the naturally heated waters, or soak in pools of various temperatures. Towel rental and childcare is available. Day pass required for entry. www.oldtownhotsprings.org / 970-879-1828