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With warm (but not hot) days, incredible views, and tons of activities and events, Breckenridge is sure to be the perfect destination for you and your family this summer. While picking out what to do and keeping all family members happy can be tricky, if you’ve got kiddos in tow, we’ve got you covered. Let this family guide to Breckenridge help you find the best summer adventure for the whole crew.
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. Because most families arrive in the late afternoon or early evening, keep in mind that the town sits at about 9600 feet. That’s over 1 ¾ miles above sea level, so we suggest taking it easy on the first night, drinking plenty of fluids and getting settled in. Try hitting up Main St. to find a great family restaurant, or take a visit to the O2 Lounge to get acclimated.
Day 1 – Explore Easy on Foot
For your family’s 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 the 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. Throughout Main Street, you’ll find 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 unique playground that sits right on the bank of the Blue River.
- Tip: If you’re a bigger family, try to make reservations when possible or plan to eat early. Many restaurants have outdoor seating in the summer, so an early dinner is another great way to enjoy the perfect weather- plus Happy Hour for the adults!
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. We love the free family concerts and performances in the summer at the Riverwalk Center. Cartwheels on the grass anyone?
- 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 free in the summer months, and children of all ages will get a thrill out of the ride alone. It takes off from the middle of town and brings you up to the Base Camp at Breckenridge Ski Resort’s Peak 8. Epic Discovery, home to an iconic alpine slide and one of the state’s first mountain coasters, offers interactive exploration “camps” (or zones) to introduce families to our unique mountain setting and have some fun. Pick a few activities or get an unlimited pass for the whole day!
The resort is taking their activities to new heights in the summer with the recent introduction of the Alpineer Challenge course. Set near the top of the Colorado SuperChair, the course has 15 different challenges, from lightly swinging logs 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 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. If you’re planning on a full day, you can bring a lunch or eat at one of the three on mountain summer restaurants at the top of the gondola. Epic Discovery is open daily starting in mid-June (depending on the lingering snowpack) until early September 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. Try this one in the morning and explore the rest of Epic Discovery in the afternoon after lunch. If the zip tour isn’t on your to-do-list, get to Epic Discovery right when it opens to avoid crowds and the possibility of 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.
Rainy Day Activities
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.
- Tip: Rain showers typically occur in the afternoon around 2 or 3 p.m. in the summer. Try to plan your outdoor activities in the morning if possible, but if the forecast calls for rain, don’t worry! Showers are usually quick and the skies clear up within minutes. Just make sure you pack that rain jacket to be safe!
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? Check out Breckenridge Heritage Alliance for museums and tours like a guided adventure through the Country Boy Mine. Not only will you learn about the mine, families can also try panning for gold—there are even some burros to meet.
If your interests are a bit more artistic, head to the Breckenridge Arts District which offers a wide variety of interactive arts workshops, classes and events. You could spend an afternoon playing with clay, improving your photography or even learning about glass blowing. Breckenridge also has a world-class recreation center, complete with an indoor pool, slides and hot tubs. Once you’re done swimming, be sure to try indoor rock-climbing wall or the new tennis center.
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.
- Tip: These huskies love attention, so be sure to give them some cuddles after you’re done riding.
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 explore the alpine environment in style. They’ve got over 100 horses and experienced wranglers who are prepared to match riders with a horse that best meets their ability. Riders will experience creek crossings, ponds and incredible views of town and the Continental Divide.
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
The whole family will love the thrill of whitewater rafting through canyons in areas not easily accessible other than by boat. 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.
- Tip: While teens may love the larger rapids that can feel as fast as a roller-coaster ride, there are also slower rapids that are more like a Huck Finn paddle for younger kids. Almost every company has many options depending on skill level (or how much you want to get wet)!
Of course there is way more to be done, but this family guide can be your starting point to planning your ultimate Breckenridge summer family adventure. Learn more about what to do in the summer in Breckenridge by checking out summer activities.