Ashcroft Ghost Town

Ashcroft Ghost Town

Ten miles south of Aspen Exit Highway 82 to Castle Creek Road

970 925-3721

Guided tours June, July, August Tues-Sun at 11am and 1pm

Admission charged.

This town offers a glimpse into “the good old days” through the remains of a once flourishing town. The boarded up log cabins don’t look as cozy as they do in western films. It’s clear that they were drafty and far from energy efficient. Ashcroft is the remains of a once booming silver mining town which once was home to 2500 people and supported two sawmills, two newspapers, a school, and 20 saloons. It was, at that time, larger than Aspen. It is an interesting area to explore. There are also picnic facilities. Be sure to bring a camera.

Aspen Center for Environmental Studies

Aspen Center for Environmental Studies

100 Puppy Smith Street

970 925-5756

Mon-Sat 9-5

Admission charged

Members free.

Inside the ACES building, children are invited to use binoculars and watch the birds through the large picture windows. There is also a “touch table” with interesting objects and a room with microscopes set up for the study by visitors of insects.

Outdoors, there is a self-guided tour to lead the participant on a step by step hike past a golden eagle, great horned owls, beavers and interesting vegetation. There is also a scavenger hunt checklist designed to encourage children to interact with the environment through which they pass.

Aspen Ice Garden

233 West Hyman Avenue

970 920-5141

Daily; hours vary seasonally. Closed mid-April through early June.

Admission charged. Skate rental extra.

Year round skating call for schedule with daily public sessions on its rink.

Aspen Mountain Silver Queen Gondola

Aspen Mountain Silver Queen Gondola

At the base of Aspen Mountain

970-925-1220

Open part-time from late May – mid-June and September – early October.

Call for days and hours.

Fee charged.

The Aspen Mountain Gondola can carry as many as 6 people for the smooth, scenic ride to the 11,212 foot peak of the mountain in 18 minutes.

Naturalists from the Aspen Mountain Nature Center await visitors at the top for a 45 minute guided tour along marked trails. The hike is easy, but it is necessary to adjust to the altitude. The naturalist explains the plants, trees and wildlife found there. The remains of a miner’s cabin built more than a century ago are also part of the tour. The guide pays particular attention to children and has activities for them which engage their interest. Water and sunscreen are provided.

Aspen Center For Environmental Studies

Hallam Lake Wildlife Sanctuary, 100 Puppy Smith St., Aspen

970/925-5756.

Children and adults alike will enjoy this wildlife sanctuary and research center. The facility sponsors snowshoe walks with naturalist guides in winter, and backyard-wildlife workshops that teach children to create a mini-sanctuary in their own yard. In summer there are bird-watching hikes and Special Little Naturalist programs for four- to seven-year-olds, which include nature walks and arts and crafts.

Independence Ghost Town

15 miles east on SR82

970-925-3721

Guided tours June, July, August 11am and 1pm.

Small admission fee for tour

Remains of the Roaring Fork Valley’s mining community. It boomed during the gold discoveries of the 1870’s and closed up in the decline of the mines in the late 1890s.

White River National Forest

White River National Forest

970-925-5756

10 miles south, off State Route 82

Road closed to all but vehicles with camping permits: 8-5

Otherwise, Open for tour buses only

Tour leaves downtown Aspen every 20 minutes daily 9-4 mid-June-Labor Day

Combination ticket for round trip tour and Silver Queen Gondola available.

Silver Circle Skating

433 East Durant Avenue

970-925-6360

late October – mid April daily 10 – 10. 90 minute sessions

Admission charged. Skate rental additional

Located in the heart of Aspen, this rink is popular with residents and visitors alike. Skating under the lights at night.

Wagner Park Playground

West end of Hyman Avenue Mall in central Aspen.

Swings, slides and a jungle gym provide a great break from shopping for the whole family!

Wheeler-Stallard House Museum

Wheeler-Stallard House Museum

620 W. Bleeker St., 970/925-3721

Small admission fee.

Jan.-Mar. and mid-June-mid-Sept., Tues.-Fri. 1-4.

Built in 1888. Victorian life is the focus of this museum, which displays period memorabilia collected by the Aspen Historical Society. Of particular interest to elementary school age children is the children’s playroom which is furnished with games and toys of the period including an indoor croquet set.

The museum offers tours for children: call ahead for specific times. Very small children should probably be taken to alternative attractions during the Wheeler-Stallard House tour by the older children in the family, as there is no touching, no running, etc.

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