Breckenridge is the perfect destination for families. Picking out what to do and keeping all family members happy can be difficult, but, if you’ve got kiddos in tow, we’ve got some great options to keep everyone enjoying summer break while creating unforgettable tribe memories. Let this family guide to Breckenridge help you find the best summer adventure for your family.
This family guide can be just the beginning to your ultimate Breckenridge summer family adventure. There is plenty to explore, and we are here to help! Learn more about what to do in the summer in Breckenridge by checking out our activities page.
Summer in Breckenridge is nothing short of perfection. With an average summer temperature of 70 degrees during the day and 50 degrees at night, ample sunshine and long summer days, there is plenty of time to pack in some serious family fun. Most families arrive in the late afternoon or early evening, keeping in mind that the town sits at about 9600′ – over 1 ¾ miles above sea level, we suggest taking it easy on the first night, drink plenty of fluids and ready the family first day.
Day 1 – Explore Easy on Foot
For your families first day in Breckenridge it’s great to start with the easy stuff. You’ve come for the views and cool mountain air, so grab breakfast then head out for an easy hike to get your bearings. We love the Sawmill hike from town to the Sawmill reservoir. There is great shade, very little elevation gains and of course, those incredible Breckenridge views. Even the grandparents in our group all loved the 1.5 mile walk from town – and once at the reservoir, there were plenty of spots to sit and take in the view. For directions to the Sawmill hike and our other favorite hikes to start with check out these easy hikes from downtown. And even though it is an easy hike, always prepare for changing weather conditions and bring plenty of water and snacks for everyone.
Next, explore historic Main Street. You can stay on foot, or try the free Main Street trolley. Younger kids will enjoy this ride, and it has multiple stops on Breckenridge’s main artery. This is a great way to get a little shopping in and see where you want to take the family for lunch or dinner. Also, throughout Main Street is complete with small intimate pocket parks that are perfect for any, “I don’t wanna shop” breakdown. Our favorite park is Blue River Plaza, right in the center of Breckenridge, has a little playground and sits right on the banks of the Blue River.
- Tip: If you are a bigger family, I suggest trying to make reservations when possible or planning to eat early. Many restaurants have outdoor seating in the summer, so an early dinner is another great way to enjoy the perfect weather!
Your first day is also a great day to check out the Breckenridge Creative Arts District – or BreckCreate for short – for afternoon crafts, music and more. This is such a cool town amenity, developed by the Town of Breckenridge to support and promote arts, culture and creative experiences throughout Breckenridge. There is programming for kids and families, and many classes are free or at a reduced price. I especially love the free family concerts and performances in the summer at the Riverwalk Center.
- Tip: Many of the free BreckCreate classes are first come, first served, so check out the schedule in advance so you know what is on your must-do list, then plan around it!
Be Almost Fearless
The BreckConnect Gondola is 100% free in the summer months, children of all ages will get a thrill out of this ride alone – taking off in town and ending up at Base Camp at Breckenridge Ski Resort can be an adventure in itself. Epic Discovery at the Breckenridge Ski Resort is centered around the base of Peak 8, home to an iconic alpine slide and one of the state’s first mountain coasters. Epic Discovery offers interactive exploration “camps” (or zones) to introduce families to our unique mountain setting and have some fun.
The new Alpineer Challenge course is one example of how the ski area is taking their activities to new heights in the summer. Set near the top of the Colorado SuperChair, this challenge course has 15 different challenges, from lightly swinging logs to shoe-to-rope balancing maneuvers so you can choose your own level of adventure.
This is a one-of-a kind challenge course built just for this location to blend into the local environment and is open to teens and adults.
For even more of a challenge, the breath-taking Expedition zip line tour will have you in awe of the views while you zip along above the ski runs of Peak 7 with a private guide. If your kids are younger, there are some great beginner challenge activities (with a cute little zip line) at Kids’ Base Camp, designed just for kids 30-100 lbs.
On some easy hikes, you can take in stunning views and learn about the local history, flowers and animals. All of this makes Epic Discovery at Breckenridge a must-do for anyone visiting the historic mountain town this summer – plan on a full day. You can bring a lunch or eat at one of the three on mountain summer restaurants. Epic Discovery is open daily starting in mid-June (depending on the lingering snowpack) until early Sept. from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Visit Breckenridge.com as summer approaches for reservations and exact operating dates, hours, ticket prices and more.
- Tip: The expedition zip tour should be booked in advance and can take up to three hours. I suggest doing this one in the morning and explore the rest of Epic Discovery in the afternoon. If the zip tour isn’t on your to-do-list, get to Epic Discovery right when it opens to avoid crowds and afternoon rain showers.
Did you know Breckenridge is one of the best places to take kids on a bike ride? There are options for easy, paved rides, and the Town of Breckenridge is continuously expanding and improving its trail system for mountain bikers at every level. Nearly every ski rental shop in town becomes a bike rental shop in the summer, so there are plenty of bikes for every age and ability.
Start with a hearty breakfast at a local spot then head up to Boreas Pass Rd. (If you don’t have a car, ask the shop or your lodging folks how to get a ride to the trailhead – it is too steep for beginners to ride up.) This nice, wide dirt road was once the path for the train, and even has an old pump house about 3 miles in for a nice spot to turn around or rest with a packed lunch. The views of the Ten Mile Range are perfect for a family photo and there is also great shade along the way.
If your clan isn’t ready for dirt quite yet, jump on the Blue River Rec Path and ride around town, following the Blue River. Bring a lunch and pull over at any point to take a break and refuel.
Visit our biking page for more information on rides of all levels. If you’re a nervous novice, there are places in town who offer mountain bike lessons, including Breck Bike Guides and Breckenridge Ski Resort.
Rest of Rain Delay Day
It’s hard to believe, but there are some days that are less sunny than others in Breckenridge (though the sun shines more than 300 days a year here). If you’re in the mood for a less physical day or want to spend some time exercising your brain, there are plenty of options in Breckenridge. For kids 10-years-old and younger, the Mountain Top Children’s Museum has hands-on exhibits that rotate throughout the year, letting kids use their imagination while learning.
Did you know that Breckenridge miners uncovered the largest piece of crystallized wire gold ever found in Colorado? It weighed 13.5 pounds and got the nickname Tom’s Baby from miner Tom Groves who carried his find wrapped like a baby. Want to learn more facts about Breckenridge’s gold rush history? Breckenridge Heritage Alliance might be the perfect fit for your little curious mind or sign up for a mine tour at the Country Boy Mine and not only will you learn more about the mine, but families can also try panning for gold—there are even some burros to meet.
If your interests are a bit more artistic than atavistic, then head to the Breckenridge Arts District. With a wide variety of interactive arts workshops, you could spend an afternoon playing with clay, improving your photography or even learning about glass blowing. Also the Breckenridge has a world class recreation center has a indoor pool complete with the Summit Plummet water slide and indoor rock-climbing wall.
Make a Furry Friend
It’s no secret that we love our dogs in Colorado and in Breckenridge, you can see what makes them so hardworking (and loveable) at a dog sledding tour. Yes, even without snow, these dogs love to pull. In the summer, you’ll ride behind the team in a specially equipped cart.
No matter the season, it’s a unique treat to see these amazing sled dogs in action.
For even more animal fun, check out the Breckenridge Stables. Here, you can take a horseback riding tour with an equine friend—saddle up and you can explore the alpine environment in style. They’ve got over 100 horses and wranglers are prepared to match riders with a horse that best meets their ability. Although this is a nose-to-tail ride, riders will experience creek crossings, ponds and incredible views of town and the Continental Divide.
Or, if finding a fishy friend is more your style, Breckenridge is home to world-class fly fishing and several angling outfitters who’ll help you experience your very own family fish story. It’s all catch and release here, so everyone remains friends at the end.
Take Me to the Water
Adventurous kids love the thrill of whitewater rafting. Breckenridge sits within easy distance of several rivers, each of which offers different experiences and levels of difficulty. Choose from mellow, full-day float trips to high-adrenaline trips during high water season. Our Breckenridge water activities page has all you need to know. If you’re ready to start planning a raft trip, check out these tips for planning a great whitewater outing as well as The Best Kept Secrets of Breckenridge Rafting.
Summers in Breckenridge
It may be cliché, but there really is a reason that while most locals in Breckenridge came for the winter, they stayed for the summer. Like so many wonderful things in life, you can’t predict it (summer may show up in May or it might wait until mid-June); you can’t control it (snow in July? Sure.) and you have to take advantage of it before its gone. In Breckenridge, summer means packing as m...
There’s no bad time to visit Breckenridge, but there’s something extra special about summer. Bluebird skies and more hours of sunshine create a magical, golden time that begs to be savored. While a check-list of experiences is a fine way to go, why not take a more laid-back approach and carpe solis (seize the sun)? There are plenty of opportunities to get out and soak it up, whether you prefer...
Despite Breckenridge's reputation as a mountain destination that features endless amounts of activities, boating in Breckenridge is one of the most highly underrated activities of the bunch. There are double-digit ways to get out and enjoy the water in the Rocky Mountains....
The Breckenridge Golf Club has three championship nine-hole courses: The Bear Course, The Beaver Course and The Elk Course. All three nines are Jack Nicklaus signature courses. Panoramic views of the snow-capped Colorado Rockies can be seen from every hole. Dense wooded areas give way to open native grassland and wetland areas where it’s not uncommon to spot wildlife during your round. Seeing a...
A tired dog is a happy dog, hence the creation of Summer Dog Sledding. Those same adorable sled dogs need to be exercised just as much during the summer as the winter. Swap the winter sleds with carts and scooters, and let these highly trained furry athletes show you around the backcountry trails of their stomping grounds....