Steamboat Springs offers an abundance of family-friendly activities year-round, making it an ideal destination for a fun and memorable vacation with the kids. During the winter months, families can hit the slopes at the Steamboat Ski Resort, which boasts a variety of terrain suitable for all ages and skill levels. For those seeking off-mountain adventures, snow tubing at Howelsen Hill or taking a horse-drawn sleigh ride through the picturesque Yampa Valley are sure to delight. In the summer, families can explore the great outdoors with hiking and biking on scenic trails, fishing or tubing in the Yampa River, or enjoying the many parks and green areas in downtown Steamboat. Here are some of our recommendations for the top family-friendly activities in Steamboat.

Skiing, Snowboarding, and Snow Tubing

Hit the slopes at Steamboat Resort, which is well-known for its trademark champagne powder and diverse terrain suitable for all skill levels. With kid-friendly ski lessons and supervised play areas, families can enjoy a day of winter fun together. Families can also experience a downhill thrill with an afternoon of snow tubing at both Howelson Hill and Saddleback Ranch, complete with tow lifts – all the fun of sledding without the hike back to the top!


There are several family-friendly hiking trails in the Steamboat area that offer different levels of outdoor exploration. The stunning Fish Creek Falls is a highlight, with a short gravel path leading to a beautiful 280-foot waterfall and longer trails leading to other scenic viewpoints of the upper falls. Other popular family hikes close to town include the 1-mile Vista Nature Trail with spectacular views and the flat Spring Creek Trail which winds through the trees and ends at a picturesque pond.

Hot Springs

Old Town Hot Springs in downtown Steamboat

Soaking in the natural hot springs is one of the most popular attractions in Steamboat Springs and should be on every family’s list! You have two unique options for hot springs in Steamboat. Nestled in a secluded forested area about 7 miles from downtown, Strawberry Park Hot Springs offers a serene and relaxing experience for visitors of all ages, with a rustic ambiance surrounding mineral springs averaging 102°(F). In downtown, Old Town Hot Springs is a family-friendly hot springs facility featuring multiple hot spring pools with temperatures ranging from 80 to 103°(F), as well as a lap pool, a climbing wall, and a water slide for added fun.

Steamboat Springs Winter Carnival

Join in the festivities at the annual Steamboat Springs Winter Carnival held every February, featuring exciting events like ski jumping, cross-country obstacle races, and a spectacular night show complete with fireworks. It’s an iconic celebration honoring the town’s rich heritage, community spirit and love for winter sports. The week-long event also features a variety of games and contests, opportunities to meet athletes and food vendors stationed throughout downtown Steamboat Springs.

Alpine Slide

The Howler Alpine Slide is a must-visit attraction for families! This exhilarating slide runs down Howelsen Hill, with customized sleds descending over 2,400 feet while riders enjoy expansive views of the Yampa Valley. Younger riders are empowered to control their own sled while riding down the hill, making this a perfect family activity.

Horseback Trail Ride

Enjoy the stunning natural beauty of Steamboat on a guided horseback ride through the mountain trails. With fully trained horses and options for winter and summer rides, this activity is the perfect way for the whole family to explore the area, no matter the time of year.

Yampa River Botanic Park

Yampa River botanical park in Steamboat

Discover the beauty of native plants and flowers at the Yampa River Botanic Park. Tranquil pathways wind through meticulously landscaped gardens showcasing a diverse array of plant species native to the Rocky Mountains. This facility is a great way for families to enjoy a peaceful moment among the vibrant colors of nature or participate in educational workshops centered around plant identification and conservation in the region. This park is accessible from the Yampa River Core Trail, a picturesque path that flows through the heart of Steamboat Springs, offering opportunities for wildlife spotting and family picnics amidst stunning natural landscapes.

Indoor Family Fun

Active families will love the indoor rock climbing at Steamboat Climbing Collective, including open gym hours, private lessons and kid-friendly programs. For a relaxing night of family fun, head to the Snow Bowl where you can have a friendly family bowling competition and enjoy some great food too. The downtown shopping district also has some unique shops to explore, like the quirky Old West outfitter F.M. Light & Sons, a Steamboat institution since 1905, or the lively Steamboat Fun & Games, where kids will love the candy selection and arcade games.

Family-Friendly Dining

Steamboat Springs offers a ton of family-friendly dining options to satisfy every palate (even the picky eaters).

  • Big House Burgers is a family-owned restaurant specializing in mouthwatering burgers made with locally sourced beef and creative toppings. Families can choose from a variety of specialty burgers, and the expanded kids menu has a range of options including dessert sundaes.
  • The Yampa Ice House offers a unique dining experience, combining rustic charm with modern cuisine. Situated in a historic building right on the Yampa River, guests can enjoy delicious meals crafted from locally sourced ingredients. There’s also a kid’s menu for the little ones. The outdoor patio features astro turf, a stage for live music, lawn games, and plenty of places for kids to have fun in the summer months!
  • Slopeside Grill serves up classic American fare at the base of Mount Werner, where families can soak in the gorgeous surroundings. While there is no dedicated kids’ menu, the variety of pizza, sandwiches and appetizers will satisfy even the most choosy palate.
  • Mambo’s is known for its authentic Italian cuisine and friendly service. Families can feast on hearty pasta dishes, wood-fired pizzas, and classic Italian specialties. The cozy atmosphere and welcoming staff make it a favorite dining spot for visitors and locals alike.
  • Creekside Café & Grill is a charming restaurant located along the Yampa River, offering scenic views and a relaxed ambiance. The menu features a variety of breakfast and lunch options, as well as a kids’ menu. Don’t miss the outdoor patio, where you can soak in the beautiful surroundings.

With an array of family-friendly activities and accommodations, there’s no shortage of adventure and fun waiting to be discovered in Steamboat Springs. After a day of exploring, retreat to your own Steamboat vacation rental, where ample space, fully equipped kitchens, and cozy amenities will make you feel right at home. Book your vacation rental today and start planning your unforgettable family getaway to Steamboat Springs!