Visiting Sun Valley with Kids
Family-Friendly Activities & Childcare Services
There is no question that during any season, Sun Valley is a playground for the whole family. But, let’s talk about what is in it for the kids.
Yes. There are tons of family friendly hikes and bike trails. Check out an outdoor music festival, a weekly story time at The Community Library, or a stroll through Ketchum Town Square which offers a central gathering spot to enjoy scoops of Lee’s Ice Cream or fresh squeezed lemonade. There are swimming pools, swimming holes, 2 world-class skateboard parks, outdoor ice skating, and a fantastic YMCA boasting a rock-climbing wall and an indoor pool with a lazy river and giant slide.
But what if the parent wants some “me time”? The local spa could be demanding your attention. Or, maybe you are tempted to play a round of golf. What can the kids do without Mom and Dad that is safe and awesome? Many things!
Traveling shouldn’t throw the baby’s schedule off! For the wee ones, there are reputable babysitting services available to keep napping on track. There are also drop-in schools that offer supervised playtime and age appropriate activities. Spots book quickly so, it is best to make a reservation ahead of time. These are a few of our top recommended childcare options:
- Super Sitters 208-788-5080
- Big Wood Pre-School 208-726 9053
- Sun Valley Playschool 208-622-2288
Now that you have the kids all squared away…. go ahead and take advantage of some “me time”.
Kid Friendly Activities
No matter what time of year you are visiting Sun Valley there is tons to do with the entire family! From taking in the nighttime skies to having fun in the dirt mountain biking and more, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
The “Wreck” at Atkinson’s Park
If your child is in second grade or higher, the Ketchum Parks Youth Programs are the bomb-diggity! Known to locals as Atkinson’s Park, the “Wreck Center” is located next to Hemingway Elementary in West Ketchum. Atkinson’s Park provides an opportunity for sports and activities Monday through Friday. Whether signing up for the week or dropping-in for the day, these Youth Programs are known for supervised, non-stop kid centric fun! You can provide a lunch or take advantage of the snack bar.
If your child prefers a more active, down and dirty “enviro-tainment program”, consider Idaho Basecamp. IBC will engage your child in the natural world while providing a safe and exciting opportunity to be a kid, to learn and really explore. Certain not to disappoint, Idaho Basecamp offers daily outdoor activities, overnight trips, and extended road trips for thrill seekers ages 4-16 years old. This is definitely a memorable, WOW experience!
Just north of Ketchum, the historic Galena Lodge offers an option for high energy, activity-based summer camps for kids. With Galena’s Youth Adventure Camp, Kids Week and Mountain Bike Camp, the fun seems endless. These programs for kids ages 6-12 years old are known for developing lifelong friendships, memories and adventure skills. Galena camps are well supervised and guided emphasizing respect and appreciation for the great outdoors. Your kids will enjoy activities like mountain biking, paddle boarding, white water rafting, horseback riding, hiking, rock climbing, swimming, and everyday exploring making for a great experience all the way round.
It’s true – on any given night in southern Idaho, you can look up to the dark night sky and be awed by a seemingly endless blanket of stars spreading as far as the eye can see. Yes, you read that right! Millions – no billions – of stars will take your breath away. You see, in October 2017, our little mountain town of Ketchum, Idaho was declared an International Dark Sky Community that is part of the 1400 square mile wide Central Idaho Dark Sky Reserve. One of only 12 designated Dark Sky Reserves in the in the world this stargazing utopia extends north to Stanley and southeast through Carey to Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve.
Ice Skating – All Year
Wait! What? Ice Skating outside in the summer? That’s right! In Sun Valley, Idaho, ice skating is a year-round sport. As a matter of fact, being able to ice skate outside under a clear blue sky or star-filled night brings many summer vacationers to Sun Valley!
Sun Valley’s legendary outdoor rink sits just outside the Lodge at Sun Valley Resort. A terrace for dining separates the Lodge from the rink providing an audience no matter what time of day or night you take to the ice.
Also open daily, the indoor rink at Sun Valley sits further behind the outdoor rink separated by the Sun Valley Skate House. Busy with lessons, competitive training programs, as well as the occasional hockey face-off, the indoor rink is not available for open free skate.
Sun Valley SnowSports School instructors know how to instill a love for the sport while helping you focusing on learning specific techniques and honing your skills. Whether this is your first time on skis or you have skied for years, everyone can benefit from the guidance of a professional ski instructor. The SnowSports School offers group lessons for both kids and adults as well as adaptive lessons, private lessons and specialty programs for kids!
The Two Mountains:
Dollar Mountain offers wide open runs with gentle slopes of variable difficulty. The Smart-Piste™, Terrain-that-Teaches™ learning system, adventure areas, and the terrain park offer the perfect place to start out or advance your skills to the next level. Starting on the Magic Carpet, brand new skiers as young as 3 years old can learn to ski in a fun and supportive class.
Bald Mountain is perfect for more advanced skiers offering uncrowded slopes, short lift lines and miles of off-piste terrain. Runs at Bald Mountain are for skiers from intermediate to expert level.
Summer Camps for Kids
You’ve got your condo booked and your flights scheduled. You have your plans made for golf, hiking, biking, and relaxing at the spa. Now, how to keep the kids busy? Finding meaningful and fun activities for the kids is a top priority. Luckily, there are so many options for summer camps, adventures, and ways to meet friends here, your kids will have no time to get bored. Whether your child in interested in sports, theater, or nature, here are the best resources to make sure your child remembers your Sun Valley summer as the best vacation ever!