Earlier this month we found ourselves heading to Aspen, Colorado for a wintery getaway as a family of three. My husband was there for work — a deal-closing celebration with some clients — and Sophie and I were able to tag along! Since we had the baby with us we participated in absolutely zero snow sports (you can read more about that here), but we still had an amazing time in Aspen.
Since most people go to Aspen for skiing / snowboarding, I thought I would share what we packed, what activities we did, plus tips and tricks for visiting snowy Aspen with a <1 y/o! (More details on the full experience here).
ONE MAJOR TIP:
According to the Wilderness Medical Society, your body loses water through respiration at high altitude twice as fast as it does at sea level so be sure to make a point to give your baby more to drink to keep them hydrated when at higher altitudes. Before this trip Sophie was taking 6 oz every ~4 hours; when in Aspen we upped this to 7 oz every ~3 hours. If you have more concerns, please speak with your child’s physician as I am not a medical professional.
WHAT SOPHIE WORE
I will say that unless we were outside, every single building had their heat on blast so if you’re spending your time mostly inside (like we did on this trip) you may not need the heavy-duty snowsuit. I will say that the snowsuit (+ merino wool base layers) kept Sophie so nice and toasty warm and dry! We were really impressed with both the snowsuit and the base layers — hoping Seattle gets some snow before winter is over so that we can use it again because I can’t get enough of our little pink StayPuft marshmallow baby! 🤣
Sophie mostly wore layers (sweaters, mittens, hats, etc.), but we also tucked her under her Sherpa blanket a lot when moving between buildings.
WHERE WE STAYED
We happened to visit Aspen during a fairly busy time of year, being a long weekend (with Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday), so a lot of the hotels were astronomically priced ($1k+ per night!), but Aspen Square Condominium Hotel was a lot more budget-friendly, especially by comparison to those other prices!
It was a cute, clean room with great views, Wi-Fi access, a real functioning fireplace (wood provided!), a furnished kitchenette (which was SO clutch with a baby since we’re always washing bottles), lots of board games, decent amount of seating in the living area (couch, small table & chairs, club chair, barstool chairs), and a little terrace with a table and chairs! The facility also had their own heated pool and hot tub, but only the hot tub was open for our visit and we know that it’s dangerous to put babies in hot tubs so we ended up not taking advantage of it on this trip.
I will say that the underground parking garage situation is tight and there are limited parking spots. They have a few parking spots in the street level lot as well, but it’s not really where you want to be if the weather is wild (the lot turns into an ice sheet if the snow melts and then re-freezes). Additionally, there is only one elevator and it is quite slow / small so just budget your time accordingly if you have reservations at any particular time. You can use your keycard to utilize the stairwell, but that wasn’t an option for us with Sophie’s stroller.
All of that being said, we’d definitely consider staying here again! We had a great experience and I’d recommend it.
WHERE WE ATE
In our experience, the restaurants we chose to dine-in at were happy to welcome babies, but didn’t always have the room to accommodate them comfortably. I am assuming that this lack of space situation in the majority of the restaurants in Aspen is due to the fact that they are located within old buildings which have been renovated with modern finishes, but not expanded the space.
We have the UppaBaby Cruz V2 stroller and find that it’s normally pretty good for the city (can fit through doorways, doesn’t take up more than half the sidewalk, etc.), but it felt very obtrusive in most of the places we visited so we had to collapse the rolling base and put Sophie’s car seat on a chair next to us (which wasn’t the end of the world, it just felt more precarious). Sophie has the ability to sit in a high chair, but we opted not to use them on this trip as we haven’t begun feeding her solids quite yet (will discuss that further in another post).
These are the restaurants that we ate out at and thoroughly enjoyed, but regardless of how accommodating the employees were, having a baby still made for tight quarters.
Info on all of the other places we got food from can be found here.
WHAT WE DID
So, finding activities proved to be pretty tricky because although Aspen is actually pretty family-friendly and there were plenty of things to do with toddlers / kids, there (understandably) isn’t much geared toward families with ~six month olds. This meant that we had to get creative with our activities since we had Sophie with us. I think this would have been more difficult if we had been there longer than our 2.5 day stay, but this length of time actually worked out great for us.
Aspen is actually a relatively small place that is first and foremost a tourist destination filled with [mostly] hotels, shopping, and restaurants. This means that it’s incredibly walkable and visitor-friendly. We are used to walking around Seattle and bigger cities like Manhattan, so this was a piece of cake by comparison.
On Saturday we spent our day walking around town, and guys… it’s really cute. There are SO many stores for shopping! High end designer shops, charming boutiques, and everything in between. We may have done some retail therapy while we were there… we couldn’t resist purchasing two adorable outfits for Sophie at this little boutique (you can follow them on Instagram and message them to make purchases as well!). It was such a successful shopping day and we had such beautiful weather for meandering around town!
Even though the Silver Queen Gondola is used mainly by people who plan to ski or snowboard down the mountain, they also offer sightseeing passes. The unobstructed aerial view of the mountains on the way up / down is breathtaking and the 360° views from the summit were incredible. This was absolutely a baby-friendly activity and a highlight of our trip; we highly recommend it.
We waited too long to make arrangements for a sleigh ride so by the time we called there was no availability left for the busy weekend that we would be in town, but this would have definitely been a Sophie-approved activity.
We had originally planned to do lots of swimming in the hotel’s heated pool, but we found out when we arrived that only the hot tub was available and those temps are way too high for babies so we didn’t get to do any swimming.
Other non-skiing / snowboarding activities that we are interested in for future trips:
Even though we have been snowshoeing before, I’d have felt more comfortable with a guided snowshoe tour of an unfamiliar area, especially with the baby. Not only would having a guide who knows the terrain well be good for safety reasons, but I bet they’d be able to point things out to us that we would have missed on our own and would be able to share more about the area to enrich our experience.
I love tubing! Not a safe activity for babies, but I can’t wait until Sophie is big enough to go tubing with us!
Obviously, Sophie is wayyy too small for ice skating and neither my husband nor I are confident enough in our skating abilities to skate whilst wearing her in her baby carrier, so this is another activity that will have to wait.
Sophie is a tall baby, but she still doesn’t meet the height requirements for the Alpine Coaster, but I definitely think that we could have done this with her.
Ullr Nights sounded like great family fun… just for families with older kiddos.
Happy traveling, friends!
Sending hugs —