Family Activities that Make Both Kids and Parents Smile
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by Erin Spillane
A family summer vacation in Telluride is a lot like going to summer camp. Sunshine-filled days are action packed, full of adventure in the great outdoors. However, there is no camp mess hall but an abundance of family-friendly restaurants that are perfect spots to grab a sweet treat or refuel at the end of an adventure. Here some activities perfect for family bonding.
Bear Creek Canyon leads to a waterfall and a Telluride Truffle treat
Hiking is never a chore when peanut butter-stuffed pretzels, handmade chocolates and ice cream from Telluride Truffle await hungry hikers. Add to that the spectacular Upper Bear Creek Falls at the top end of this gorgeous hike and you have the makings of a memorable family day out. The 4.5-mile-roundtrip trail begins at South Pine Street and has an elevation gain of about 1,050 feet. Finish back in town and head over to Telluride Truffle just around the corner from the local movie theater.
Bike the River Trail and watch the world go by at Oak
Want to go for a spin? Grab a bike and head west on the nice and easy River Trail. The trail continues out of town onto Telluride’s front yard – the Valley Floor. Depending on how energetic you are feeling, double back at any time. Back in town, go as far as the Gondola Plaza, park your bike and head to Oak. This popular family-friendly eatery offers ridiculously good southern barbecue along with kids’ favourites like chicken tenders and fries. The sunny patio allows adults to sit back and relax while their children have the run of the large grassy area in front of the restaurant.
Discover Telluride’s ghost towns, then discover some ice cream
Explore Telluride’s fascinating history with a 4x4 tour to a high alpine ghost town. Catch some incredible scenic views while your local guide regales you with a mix of local lore and history on a four-hour round-trip journey to the Tomboy mining camp. The tour starts and ends in town, making a post-tour stop at La Cocina for an ice cream and a look through the day’s photos an absolute must.
Ride the Gondola and Snack at Tracks
Hop aboard the Gondola to be whisked along on a journey you and the kiddos will not soon forget. The only transportation system of its kind in North America is partly solar powered, handicap accessible and pet friendly, with jaw-dropping views. Exit at Station St. Sophia, midway between Telluride and Mountain Village, and check out the Nature Center, which has interpretive displays and information, before continuing on the G to Mountain Village. There, Heritage Plaza offers a range of activities for kids including bungee trampolines, water walkers and a ropes course. Grab a nibble at Tracks, whose snacks and sunny patio are family favorites.
Town Park first, High Pie Scoop Shop second
Telluride Town Park is little like the town itself: Wow! The park is home to softball fields, tennis courts, a disc golf course, sand volleyball courts, horseshoe pits, a kids’ fishing pond, the Imagination Station and a smaller playground, as well as a pretty cool 25-yard, six-lane swimming pool with changing rooms. There’s even a short hike through the woods to Lower Bear Creek Falls. A day of fun in the park finishes nicely with a trip to High Pie Pizzeria and Tap Room’s Scoop Shop where smoothies, milkshakes and ice cream will recharge low batteries.