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Yes, Colorado is the Best Kid-Friendly Skiing Location

There’s no joy in the world quite like seeing the grinning face of your youngest family member, after they’ve conquered a snowy slope for the first time. Skiing is a sport unlike any other, as it can be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities in equal measure. Throughout Colorado, it’s not unusual to see a preschooler cruising down the mountain with all the elegance of a seasoned pro, because skiing has become a normal part of their family’s routine!

There’s one small ski town in Colorado where children tear through powder with as much ease as they walk – Steamboat Springs.

To many, Steamboat Springs is known as a winter paradise, home to endless outdoor adventures. In fact, the Steamboat Ski Resort is known worldwide as the very best place in the world for novice skiers to tackle the slopes for the first time. But to Steamboat locals? The resort’s Olympic heritage is what compels young skiers back to the mountain year after year.

That’s right, in Steamboat Springs the local kids dream of becoming winter Olympians. It’s not a far-fetched notion, as over 100 Olympic heroes have originated from this modest town.

Thanks to the multi-million dollar investment into the mountain, improved facilities, and the Kids Ski Free program (where under 12s get a free lift ticket when their parent, grandparent, or legal guardian purchases a five-or-more day adult lift ticket), Steamboat Springs has never been more accessible for children to try skiing for the first time.

Introducing children to this incredible sport at an early age opens up a lifetime of enjoyment, a deep respect for mountains, and a legacy that can be passed down the generations. We want to share with you the most kid-friendly skiing experiences in Steamboat Springs, so that you and your youngest companions can start making unforgettable slopeside memories this winter season.

Kids Ski Gear Rentals in Steamboat Springs

A child in a helmet and ski goggles smiles

In the early days of your child’s skiing journey, we recommend renting all the gear they need. This will ensure your young snow shredder has access to the highest quality equipment at a fraction of the retail price. Not only will this be kinder on your wallet, but you won’t have to worry about your kids outgrowing their gear next season!

Young skiers need perfectly fitting boots, clothing, and equipment, to ensure that their first time on the mountain is both fun and safe. Even on their very first run, you can rest assured that your young companion is decked out in the very best kit on the market.

Our favorite kids ski rentals in Steamboat Springs:

  • Switchback Sports – for a high-quality ski equipment rental for children under twelve years old, look no further than the Junior Ski Package at Switchback Sports. This package includes skis, boots, and poles, with a heavy discount if you reserve your kit in advance!
  • Ski Haus – if you’re looking to hire gear for yourself as well as your little one, check out the Kids Ski or Ride Free rental package at Ski Haus. Kids under 13 years old, who fit into junior sized equipment, can secure free skis, boots, and poles when an adult pays full price on any rental package for five or more consecutive days.
  • Steamboat Ski & Bike Kare – short-term ski gear rentals are made super easy with the Kids Ski Free package. Kids as young as three years old can be kitted out right on the mountain, as the Ski & Bike Kare building is located next to the main ticket office. Complimentary kids skis, boots, and poles can be obtained when you or your spouse rents a ski package for four or more days.

Kids Ski Classes in Steamboat Springs

A child skis across a snowy landscape

There’s nothing stopping you and your little snow shredder heading to Gondola Square for a few practice-skis before checking out the green runs. However, if you’d like your child to have some professional input that will give them the confidence to enjoy the mountain to its fullest potential, then we recommend booking skiing classes with the following facilitators.

  • SnowSports School at Greenhorn Ranch – for world-class instruction on purpose-built terrain, booking classes at the SnowSports School is a no-brainer. The ski lesson provider, known as Snow Operating, uses the innovative Terrain Based Learning® approach to ensure new skiers have a successful and enjoyable learning experience. MiniBusters ski and snowboarding programs are available to children aged five to six years old, with kids aged seven to 17 enrolling in all-ability ski lessons. Confident and experienced kids aged 13 to 15 can enroll in the Pro Development Program.
  • Happy Camp – the fun isn’t only reserved for school-aged children, as the team at Happy Camp provide ski lessons for kids as young as two and a half! The happy campers ski for two hours per day, and fill the rest of their time playing games, watching movies, and eating delicious lunches, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Kid-Friendly Slopes in Steamboat Springs

A child on skis walks away

Steamboat is a premier family friendly ski destination thanks to its range of green runs that are perfect for novice skiers (and aren’t boring for seasoned snow sports enthusiasts!)  Steamboat Ski Resort is the ideal choice for all-age snow adventures because its famed Champagne Powder® Snow is perfect for learning to ski.

Our favorite kid-friendly slopes include:

  • Swinger – this quiet run is an ideal place for kids to practice their carve turns because it’s often overlooked by skiers walking to the base area.
  • Rough Rider Basin – this is a ski run like nothing you’ve seen before. Encourage your young guests to embrace Steamboat’s ranching town roots as you ski through a mini-town. This area is filled with pretend cowboy saloons, a sheriff’s office, a jail, and a general store! This trail features lots of small jumps for kids to practice on, guaranteeing plenty of giggles.
  • Why Not – true to its name, this run is ideal for kids who are feeling spontaneous! Why not take the Gondola up to the top of Mount Werner and ski gently down the trail, stopping to read wildlife signs along the way. Arrive back at base for a quick rest before heading to the next slope.
  • Broadway – this unmissable run has small jumps, perfect for young skiers to practice their new moves! The family photo opportunities along this run are unmatched – with incredible views in every direction, you’ll definitely want to bring a camera.
  • Lil’ Rodeo – this fantastic snow sports park features entry-level boxes, jumps, and half pipes for your little adrenaline junkies! The kids will leave here feeling like superheroes.

Family-Friendly Après Ski in Steamboat Springs

A mom, dad and child clink glasses over a meal

After a long day shredding the ‘pow, there’s nothing better than telling your mountainside stories over a refreshing drink and delicious food. Steamboat Springs offers a range of après ski locations, ranging from luxurious to old-school and authentic. Après ski is a time-honored tradition that people of all ages can enjoy together.

Out of all the tasty choices on the mountain, these are our favorite kid-friendly après locations:

  • T Bar – situated at the base of the Thunderhead lift, is a friendly gathering place renowned for its bustling après-ski culture, ultra relaxed atmosphere, and belly-warming meals. Ski up to a picnic bench, park your gear, and choose from a selection of hearty dishes and cool drinks. T Bar offers a robust kids menu with everything from cheese pizza to PB&J, guaranteed to refuel your little snow buddy.
  • Après Burger Bistro – true to its name, this friendly après-ski location is known for its delicious burgers. The carefully curated dinner menu at Après Burger Bistro incorporates local, fresh ingredients, guaranteed to fill your belly after an exhilarating day on the mountain.The kids menu offers simple yet flavorsome dishes for your young companions, with a cookie for dessert included.
  • The Range Food & Drink Hall – this two-story haven of culinary delights features four diverse food vendors all under one roof. It’s the best place on the mountain for groups with differing tastes seeking a kid-pleasing après-ski spot. Simply find a cozy seat on the lower floor, scan a QR code to order your meal, and pick up your order at the kiosk once it’s complete. For diners looking to enjoy their meal at a slower pace, the upper floor offers a full-service dining experience with food served at your table. No reservation is required, enabling you to grab an après-ski treat the moment you feel those mountainside hunger pangs!

“Pack Your Skis Kids, We’re Going to Steamboat!”

It’s no secret that Steamboat Springs’ vibrant history, welcoming community, and array of amenities have elevated this mountain town from local-ski-hub to world-renowned winter vacation destination. Here at The Astrid, we think there’s no place on Earth better to introduce your kids to skiing than on Steamboat’s snowy slopes.

With super-cool gear rentals, skiing classes led by experts, and plenty of restaurants to keep your little ones full, Steamboat Springs is guaranteed to become a much-loved vacation spot for your family. In fact, you’ll feel mysteriously compelled to return season after season… Because that’s just what happens down here in the Yampa Valley. “Come for the winters, stay for the summers!” as the locals say.

Here at The Astrid we’re making it possible for you and your family to enjoy everything Steamboat has to offer all year round, no matter if the sun is shining or the slopes are covered in snow. Our exclusive residential community is being built with your family in mind, helping you to enjoy mountainside adventures with complete ease and luxury.

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