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If you’re an outdoor adventure-loving family that thinks mountains are the perfect playground, bump Frisco, Colorado to the top of your must-visit list. Located in the heart of Summit County a little more than an hour from Denver, this picture-perfect Rocky Mountain town is a delight. With a quaint, walkable Main Street tucked in between the Arapahoe National Forest and the shores of Lake Dillon, Frisco is a small-town destination packed with big-time family fun. Check out our favorite things to do in Frisco, CO with kids!
After spring and summer at home turned into the start of the school year at home thanks to Covid-19, I decided my family needed a change of scenery. With almost no planning, we hopped in the car and started a two-day trek to Colorado. My kids packed their laptops to continue remote learning on the road, but my ultimate goal was to get them off of their screens. Colorado was made for socially-distanced adventures, so I was excited to explore a few new-to-us mountain towns.
A former mining town nestled high in the Rocky Mountains, Frisco was our first weekend getaway in Colorado. It was also our favorite. The water was clear, the hikes were easy, and the mountain views from the bike paths and skate park were breathtaking.
With outdoor activities galore, these are my favorite things to do in Frisco, CO with kids.
Explore Miles of Shoreline
There’s no better way to start the day in Frisco than by watching the sun come up over the Dillon Reservoir.
From the huge windows of our gorgeous Frisco Bay Club Condo, we drank in the view over coffee before venturing out to explore. The lakeside recreation path was steps away from our front door, so we hopped right on—the kids riding scooters and skateboards. I thought I might enjoy a morning run, but I didn’t get very far. The deserted rocky beaches were too enticing. We had to stop at each one along the path to watch the boats, laugh at the chipmunks, and try skipping stones.
The reservoir is such a stunning spot, my husband compared it to Queenstown, New Zealand. We were all a little surprised by Frisco’s serene beauty, especially in the early morning hours.
Enjoy a Family-Friendly Hike
The Dillon Reservoir recreation area is huge, varied, and scenic at every turn. And, it has the added benefit of being relatively flat, so hikes are manageable even for little kids. My 7-year-old loved the long 5.5-mile Frisco Peninsula hike along the Lakeshore Perimeter Trail, starting at Frisco Adventure Center and circling the disc golf course until we arrived down at Frisco Bay. I got a surprise sunburn (just two days after it snowed), but it was worth the effort for the views!
A hit with my 12- and 14-year old boys was the easy walk to Rainbow Lake. This 1.5-mile down and back hike took us through a wetland on a boardwalk, along a winding trail laden with tree roots (no strollers here!), and through aspens yellowing for fall. The arrival at a clear beaver pond was the reward, so we took oof our shoes and played in the icy water before heading backing down the trail.
Stop for a Snack Downtown
Kids are always hungry, so on our walk back to town from the Rainbow Lake trailhead, I called Butterhorn Bakery & Café and ordered lunch.
By the time we arrived on Main Street, the bakery texted that my order was ready for pickup. I popped in to grab our bags filled with yummy wraps, sandwiches, cookies, cupcakes, and fruit tarts. Boy, were we in for a treat! We took this best picnic ever along to go spend the afternoon at Frisco Adventure Park.
Try a Sky High Skate and Bike Park
Frisco Adventure Park on Recreation Way is the prettiest outdoor park for adrenaline junkies I’ve ever seen. My boys, avid skateboarders, declared the newly renovated 28,000-square-foot skate park to be the coolest in the United States. After scarfing their delicious lunch and Butterhorn Bakery treats, they raced off to skate for two hours straight.
While they were occupied, my 7-year-old and I marveled at the biking daredevils—some as young as 3—and she played on the rock-climbing structures nearby.
In warm months, all activities at Frisco Adventure Park are free. Just bring your own skateboard, bike, or Frisbee.
When it snows, you can go cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, try ice fishing, reserve seats aboard scenic sleigh rides or chuck wagon rides, sled down the free sledding hill at the Frisco Nordic Center, and make a reservation to go tubing down a 1,200-foot tubing hill.
We hope to return to enjoy all of those winter adventures. I’d love to snowshoe across miles of trails with Rocky Mountain views.
Eat Your Way Through the Pedestrian Promenade
Guess what? After two hours of super fun physical activity, my boys were hungry again. So, we headed back to Main Street.
I love the downtown area of Frisco. This summer, the town made three blocks of Main St, from 2nd to 5th Avenue, a pedestrian- and bike-only area, with open-air dining and shopping.
Greco’s was offering open-air patio dining, which looked lovely, but we opted for carryout. Armed with piping hot New York-style pizza and Chicken Parmesan, we drove the five minutes back to our lakeside condo and stuffed our faces before passing out hard. A day well spent!
Get Out on the Water
Getting out on the lake is easily one of the best things to do in Frisco CO when the weather is warm. Frisco Bay Marina offers a host of flat-water activities, from kayaking and canoeing to fishing and stand-up paddleboarding.
Just be sure to make a reservation, because boats are snapped up quick on weekends. We were lucky to secure kayaks for the whole family and enjoyed a peaceful paddle across Lake Dillon.
Not many mountain destinations located more than 9,000 feet above sea level are also home to lake activities. So, this experience really is incredible.
My boys were able to operate solo kayaks for two hours without getting tired, while my daughter was happy to ride tandem with my husband. All of us enjoyed stopping for small picnics and checking out islands along the way.
Soak up a Little History
Back to Main Street! My daughter was keen to visit the Frisco Historic Park & Museum that she had seen on our last jaunt through downtown. This indoor/outdoor museum is free, so I was happy to oblige.
Several log cabins sit on the property and are open for a self-guided tour of Frisco’s history as a silver mining town. We popped in and out of the structures and got a taste of the town’s past.
Try the Rocky Mountain Coaster
One of the great things about Frisco is that it serves as a hub for many other mountain communities, including Copper Mountain, Silverthorne, Breckenridge, Keystone, Vail, and Arapahoe Basin. These towns each have their own attractions to enjoy.
We took advantage of being 15 minutes from Copper Mountain to pop over for the afternoon. My kids loved all the summer activities, from riding the scenic chair lift to spraying each other on the bumper boats. But the unanimous favorite was the Rocky Mountain Coaster. At 5,800 feet long, it is one of the longest alpine coasters in North America!
Bike to Breckenridge
After bidding farewell to our fabulous lakeview condo (sad to leave without trying the hot tub), we hit the road to Breckenridge. We drove the short 20 minutes, looking longingly at the paved mountain bike trails the whole way. Next time, we’ll be sure to bike the 10-mile Blue River Bikeway to Breck!
Ski Hop from Resort to Resort
We can’t wait to return to Frisco in the wintertime to take advantage of all the nearby ski resorts. As the hub of the complimentary Summit Stage transport service—which takes guests to Breckenridge and Keystone—the town of Frisco will be a great home base for winter family fun.