Meet MP’s 2021 Aspen Staycation host
Mother of two
President and Managing Broker
Engel & Volkers, Aspen
WHEN YOUR DAY OFF MEANS
BOOKING A BUILT-IN BABYSITTER
(In other words, planning
a playdate with your friends and theirs)
Whether you have had a busy week at work or are just coming into Aspen for the weekend, let me alleviate the dilemma of whether to spend quality time with the kids or hang out with friends who you hardly get see. Why not do both while enjoying the amazing outdoors that we all live here for? Here are some Aspen Staycation activities to keep the kids entertained (built-in-babysitter) so you can relax and have fun, too.
Pour a cup of coffee and text a few friends to see who is up for some fun. In the summertime, water is almost always on our agenda. Here are a few of our favorite places to make a splash:
Paddleboard the Stillwater Wetland Area at the Northstar Nature Preserve
Up Highway 82, right outside of town. Parking is extremely limited. Use the Wildwood Lane launch site to drop off SUPs and gear. Leave at least one adult in charge of kids while the other takes the shuttle car to one of three designated parking areas off of Highway 82. Walk back along the gravel and boardwalk East of Aspen Trail. From start to finish, depending on how much time you stop and play along the way, this float can take 2-3 hours.
Tip: If you don’t have an SUP or the time for a longer adventure, you can bike the East of Aspen Trail to the South Gate entrance and play at the public access beach. (Or find rental and shuttle service info at MountainParent.com)
Also, please note: dogs are not allowed at Northstar.
Picnic at Herron Park.
(a.k.a. the “River Park’’)
A popular spot in the summer where the kids are bound to run into other kids. The shallow water is perfect to cool off in the midday sun. Make sure to pack water shoes and dry clothes.
When the kids were smaller, we would hit up the “Kids Play” Beach at the John Denver Sanctuary, perfect for young toddlers. (Pack: kids’ swimsuits, toys and hats because there is a lot of direct sun.)
If water isn’t the main attraction for the day, here’s another thought. Take the gondola to the top of Ajax and do the Nature Trail hike, which is easy for kids. The Sundeck is open for food and beverages when you get done.
Get a to-go lunch from one of the restaurants on the mall near “Tooth Park” (Wagner Park playground) so the kids can play and you can have downtime with friends on the big open field.
Su Casa for Mexican food.
Aspen Pie for pizza.
The Red Fox Frozen Yogurt Stand and Aspen’s famous Dancing Fountain are a skip away if you need to cool off in the summer heat.
Victoria + CO Espresso & Wine Bar is nearby for adults needing some afternoon coffee to keep up with the kids.
The Pitkin County Library reopened in May for walk-through service after being closed for 15 months due to COVID. If our community can remain in the “Blue,” we can look for parent-child storytime, summertime reading for children of all ages, and other planned events to come this summer. Until then, however, the doors are open for you to browse for a limited window of time, make a selection and be on your way. You and your child might choose a favorite title for naptime today.
If you are still in the “naptime” years, I’m sure we can all relate to that feeling that this much-needed respite can sometimes feel as if it cuts the day in half? If so, here’s a way to turn this daily ritual into an adventure while also planting the hiking spirit in your kids at a young age.
Lani White Trail is an off-shoot of the lower portion of the Hunter Creek Trail. It’s an easy walk or bike ride from town. Look for a spot where you can build a fort or pitch a hammock to relax by the water. Nothing is more relaxing for babe or for Mom or Dad.
Head to the Lawn at the Benedict Music Tent with your picnic basket in tow. Keep in mind that (due to social-distancing measures this year), the lawn area where guests typically spread out picnic blankets will not be free, as it has been traditionally. Reservations for pods of up to four people are required. Inside the tent, a vaccinated-only section will be monitored by a HIPAA-compliant phone app that patrons will download to qualify for special seating.
Tip: Be Sure to sit in the very back so the kids can play without disrupting the audience inside. Ride bikes if you can – parking is limited. If you have time to kill before the music starts, ride around the peaceful paths at the adjacent Meadows Resort.
After the music is over, ride your bike to Ajax Tavern to enjoy the late sunset/evenings. Sip your wine from your patio table while watching while the kids get that last bit of energy out running around the base of Ajax and playing in the sandpit.
Cheers! Here’s to a fun-filled Aspen Staycation. We can celebrate living in a small, bikable, walkable town with so many places to go and things to do with dear friends and our precious children.
Engel & Volkers, Aspen (where Summer Berg is the president and managing broker)
MEET OUR LOCAL FRIENDS
MP’S 2021 STAYCATION HOSTS: