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A Haven of Family-Friendly Events in Colorado

Planning a family-friendly vacation can be tough. With so many ages, personalities, hobbies, and preferences to cater for, deciding on a destination that meets all of your family’s requirements might feel impossible. But here in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, we have the answer to your family vacation conundrums.

Located in the upper valley of the Yampa River is an enchanting town named Steamboat Springs that welcomes families to enjoy a year-round calendar of events suitable for all ages.

Whilst Steamboat is renowned for its beginner-friendly skiing and luxurious outdoor adventures, there’s so much more to this town than snowy slopes. As a functioning town with a vibrant and welcoming community, the area is known as an ideal all-season vacation destination for families with children. From full-blown community celebrations, to intimate local events, our Rocky Mountain home is a paradise for those seeking to make long-lasting memories with their kids or grandkids.

Here at The Astrid, we like to ensure that family-focussed vacationers, like you, are able to enjoy time with their loved ones without worry. That’s why we’ve curated this list of the best family events in Steamboat Springs, so that you can mark them on your calendar for 2024.

The Winter Carnival

A cowboy riding a horse pulls a child on skis along a snowy road

Ask the local Steamboat kids what their favorite event of the year is, and they’ll tell you it’s the Winter Carnival. This all-age event takes place every February as a celebration of Western heritage and Steamboat’s long standing tradition of winter sports.

The iconic festivities at the Winter Carnival are something that has to be seen to be believed. From children skiing down a snow-covered main street – whilst being pulled by a horse – to skiers jumping through fiery hoops, you’re bound to see something you’ve never witnessed before!

This multi-day annual event is a Steamboat staple, guaranteed to create lasting memories for your young companions.


Two people in a cardboard sleigh zoom down a snowy slope

As the winter season comes to a close, Steamboat locals truly know how to make the most of what’s left of the snow. Every April, the Steamboat Ski Area plays host to the Springalicious® multi-day extravaganza!

This annual event is famous for its belly-laugh-inducing activities, including cardboard vehicle racing (for juniors and over-18s), pond-skimming championships (which is so crazy it can hardly be described with words), and free music concerts.


Fourth of July

A cowgirl rides on horseback carrying the USA flag through a parade

If you’re looking for an authentic cultural experience for your family, look no further than the annual Fourth of July celebration. Patriotism meets old-school fun at this spectacular community event, with a high-energy parade followed by a ski jumping competition at Howelsen Hill. Yes, you read that correctly, ski jumping in the summertime!

The Steamboat Fourth of July parade is a completely unmissable event, giving families of all ages the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in Steamboat’s distinctive Western culture. You can expect to see cowboys on horseback (and bull-back), enormous red fire trucks, magnificent dancers, rollerski racing, and a variety of creative performances from members of the local community.


Art in the Park

A group of happy children painting outside

This beloved Steamboat tradition draws in families from all over the country to enjoy a festival of visual art, live entertainment, delicious food, a market, and more! Art in the Park takes place annually in July, and offers free entry to anyone who wishes to attend.

This event is particularly family-friendly, with a variety of children’s crafts and activities available to participate in. Adults can browse the array of unique craft stalls and art vendors, and enjoy a refreshing beverage in the beer tent.

Once you’re little ones have has their fill of arts and crafts, take them for a cooling dip in the Yampa River which runs alongside the event.


Calf and Ram Scramble

A young cowboy swings a lasso as he follows behind an adult cowboy.

Immerse your young guests in Steamboat’s historic ranching roots, by taking them to the family-friendly rodeo event at Steamboat Pro Rodeo at Brent Romick Arena

The Steamboat Pro Rodeo Series takes place every Friday and Saturday night from July through August in Downtown Steamboat Springs. After watching skillful professionals engage in bareback riding, team roping, and steer wrestling, the kids are invited to test out their cowboy and cowgirl skills.

Children aged six to 12 gather in the arena for a thrilling Calf Scramble. A calf is let loose in the arena, and the kids chase it to snatch a ribbon off of its tail. Children under five can also take part, but are invited to chase a gentle sheep instead of a calf. The winners receive prizes fit for a young cowboy or cowgirl, such as belt buckles and jeans.

If making unforgettable memories is at the top of your priority list, the Calf and Ram Scramble event is a must-do activity for your family.

Tiny Tots Tennis

A toddler looks through a fence to a tennis court

If your young companion is a little Pete Sampas or Serena Williams in the making, head over to Steamboat Tennis & Pickleball Center for Tiny Tots. Little ones aged three to five years old will play fun games whilst improving their agility, balance, and coordination. 

This event occurs weekly on Wednesdays throughout the year, where your small tennis prodigy will develop a consistent underhand toss and how to apply a proper ground-stroke technique. Spaces fill up fast as tennis enthusiasts all over Steamboat are eager to pass on their passions to the next generation.

Attending the Tiny Tots event with your kids or grandkids is the perfect opportunity to lay the foundations for a rich family legacy as you begin to make precious memories to last beyond your lifetime.


Family Events at the Bud Werner Memorial Library

A grandmother reads a story to her grandsons

Not only is the Bud Werner Memorial Library a must-see historical sight in Steamboat Springs, it’s also a bustling community hub offering family-friendly events almost every day of the year!

Mondays – Start the week right by taking your littlest companions to Crafty Tales at 10:30 a.m. Kids aged two to five years old, accompanied by an adult, are invited to listen to a story and make a fun craft related to the story’s theme.

Tuesdays – Broaden your little one’s musical horizons by encouraging them to sing, dance, and explore instruments at the Music and Movement event. The program begins at 10:30 a.m. and runs between 20 – 30 minutes long.

Wednesdays – Your kids and grandkids are in for a busy morning! Adventures and Obstacles begins at 9:30 a.m. where kids are invited to tackle an obstacle course and enjoy adventurous stories. The popular Pages to Play event begins only one hour later, where toddlers are able to explore a sensory project related to a fun story.

Thursdays – Babytime at 10:30 a.m. is a fantastic opportunity to nurture a special bond with the beloved baby in your life. Sing, dance, bounce, and clap together with your young guest, and be sure to stay around for bubbles at the end!

Fridays – Your little ones will enjoy a weekly storytime with songs, rhymes, and more at Friday Favorites, starting at 10:30 a.m. This event is followed by Family Game Night at 4 p.m. which is a chance for adults, teens, kids, and toddlers to enjoy classic board games together.

Sundays – As the perfect way to end the week, Sunday Stories at 10:30 a.m. welcomes kids aged one through five years old to a morning of stories and songs, all with the goal of fostering a love of books in your child.

Santa Saddles Up

Santa waves, whilst riding a grey horse

Steamboat Springs is the best place in Colorado for a family-friendly Christmas, as the local community rounds off the year from a special visit from the man in red. You may think that Santa travels by sleigh, but here in the Rocky Mountains, Santa Saddles Up!

Every year at this much-loved event, Santa rides on horseback into the resort from the Torian Plum Area right down the slopes into the heart of Steamboat Square. Immediately following the ride, Santa will be available on the Steamboat Stage to visit with your young guests and take pictures!

Year Round Family Events in Steamboat Springs, Colorado

The locals here in Steamboat love sharing their ranching town traditions with visitors, especially families with children. Passing on the authentic Western traditions that underpin this community is extremely important, and we’re confident that the next generation of little cowboys and cowgirls will make some truly special memories on your next family vacation to Steamboat Springs.

At The Astrid, we pride ourselves on staying up-to-date with local family-friendly events, and handpicking the very best ones to share with our exclusive community. We also love to extend personalized invitations to our own private events.

To join our community, simply provide us with your name and email address. By doing so, you’ll be invited to join our exclusive mailing list. As part of this list you’ll gain access to insider information, behind-the-scenes content, and a highly personalized email experience reserved only for members of The Astrid community.

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