Colorado’s Best: Raft, Balloon & Ride Horses With Your Grandchild

Set out on the adventure of a lifetime as you and your grandchild raft the Yampa River, horseback ride through aspen forests and sail above Colorado in a hot air balloon!
Rating (4.88)
Program No. 4946RJ
6 days
Starts at
1,749 / ADULT
1,299 / CHILD
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6 days
5 nights
13 meals
5 B 4 L 4 D
Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Steamboat Springs, CO
Rabbit Ears Motel

Activity note: Motel check-in available from 3:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration and Orientation, Dinner. After you have your room assignment, join us at 5:00 pm in the motel meeting room to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing the up-to-date schedule that reflects any changes, other important information. Orientation-The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. The motel is across the street from the hot springs complex for which daily complimentary passes will be available. This is a Road Scholar Grandparent program. Grandparents are responsible for their grandchildren. If/when separate age group activities are conducted concurrently, program staff will supervise. Children are never to be left unsupervised. Periods in the schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: In the motel conference room, we’ll have a buffet with soft drinks, juice, lemonade, coffee, tea, water included.

Evening: At leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

River Ecology, Yampa River Rafting, Hot Air Balloon Workshop
Steamboat Springs, CO
Rabbit Ears Motel

Activity note: Walking approximately 1/2 mile total throughout the day; level ground, sidewalks. Driving about 10 miles roundtrip; approximately 1/2 hour total. Getting in/out of rafts; rafting approximately 6 miles; about 1 hour, depending on water level.

Breakfast: At the motel, we’ll have a breakfast buffet featuring a variety of hot and cold items, plus milk, juice, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: In our classroom we’ll learn about the local river ecology and watershed from our expert staff. Next, we’ll travel by vans to the raft put-in location where we will meet our local rafting experts for a safety and technique orientation before climbing in our rafts and setting out on a beautiful river adventure. We’ll experience the excitement as we raft through rugged scenery and exciting rapids. If the river is below a certain water level, rafts are no longer allowed and we will take an expert-led tubing trip down the river instead, one of the most popular local activities.

Lunch: At a popular local restaurant, we’ll have a buffet meal with soft drinks, lemonade, iced tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: In our hotel meeting room with our expert staff, we’ll experience a fun and informative presentation focused on hot air balloons. Each family will then build their own hot-air balloon prototype. Later in the week, we will put these to the test and watch from below during our own "test flight.”

Dinner: In our meeting room, we’ll have a buffet meal catered by favorite local restaurant, with soft drinks, lemonade, iced tea, water included; other beverages not available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. You may wish to visit Steamboat's Old Town Hot Springs, located directly across the street from our motel. Complimentary admission tickets will be included each day. The hot springs facility features warm and cold pools, natural hot tubs, a poolside climbing wall, and water slides.

Hike Fish Creek Falls, Mesa Schoolhouse
Steamboat Springs, CO
Rabbit Ears Motel

Activity note: Walking approximately 1.5 miles total throughout the day; level ground, sidewalks. Driving approximately 20 miles roundtrip; about 1/2 hour total.

Breakfast: Light motel buffet.

Morning: We’ll travel by motorcoach from the motel for our hike, during which we will discover the 280 foot-high Fish Creek Falls. The hike is about a 1/2 mile roundtrip on an established trail with beautiful scenery, wildflowers, hummingbirds, and a great diversity of trees.

Lunch: By the river a short walk from the motel, we’ll have boxed lunches.

Afternoon: We will take our motorcoach to the historic one-room Mesa Schoolhouse and experience student life at the turn-of-the century, during which we’ll learn from a local historian about historic toys, recess games, Routt County school history, and more. How is your school experience different from what your grandparents experienced? We will have a fun afternoon activity to be announced.

Dinner: At a favorite local restaurant, we’ll enjoy a plated meal, with soft drinks, lemonade, coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: We’ll then enjoy a supervised pool night at the Hot Springs. For any grandparents who would like a quiet evening after the fast-paced programming we've had so far this week, our staff will supervise the grandchildren tonight at the Hot Springs so that you can rest or enjoy the shops of downtown.

Launch Tissue Paper Hot Air Balloons, Horseback Ride
Steamboat Springs, CO
Rabbit Ears Motel

Activity note: Walking approximately 1 mile total throughout the day; level ground, sidewalks. Driving approximately 60 miles roundtrip; about 1 hour total. Getting on/off horses; riding approximately 8 miles; about 2 hours.

Breakfast: Light motel buffet.

Morning: It's time to test out the hot-air balloons we made! It is sure to be a highlight when the balloon you and your grandparent(s) made soars in the air above you and the other group members. Later in the morning, we will experience the best of Colorado's west on horseback. At a local, working ranch we will gather at the coral for a safety talk and riding instructions by the wranglers who operate it. Ride through the beautiful mountain scenery and enjoy the sounds of the forest!

Lunch: At a local general store in the valley, we’ll have boxed lunches.

Afternoon: Next, we’ll transfer to the Tread of Pioneers local museum for a scavenger hunt and a chance to win a prize. Grandparents and grandchildren will enjoy a self-led exploration of the museum with local museum historians available to answer any questions.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like in downtown Steamboat Springs. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Evening: At leisure.

Hot Air Balloon Ride, Steamboat Lake State Park
Steamboat Springs, CO
Rabbit Ears Motel

Activity note: Walking approximately 1 mile total throughout the day; level ground, sidewalks. Driving approximately 65 miles roundtrip; about 1.5 hours total.

Breakfast: Light motel buffet.

Morning: We will take a short motorcoach ride to our lift-off spot, then float above the valley in a hot air balloon with spectacular vistas of the Flat Tops Mountains. One group will ride in the balloon first while the other groups follow along as the ground crew takes photos and watches from below. After the balloon lands each time, the groups will switch. As we experience a hot air balloon ride, we’ll reinforce what we’ve learned throughout the program and enjoy some educational commentary given by our balloon pilot while in flight. Please Note: Hot air balloons cannot fly in excessively windy conditions for safety reasons. Although cancellations happen infrequently, it remains a possibility. While alternate activities can vary based on date and other options available, alternate activities in the past have included a visit to Steamboat Resort for a scenic gondola and thrilling mountain coaster ride.

Lunch: At a comfortable location of your individual choice, we’ll have our boxed lunches.

Afternoon: Boarding our vans, we’ll travel to beautiful Steamboat Lake State Park for some interpretive exhibits and an owl pellet dissection led by the interpretive rangers. Activities include looking for crayfish! We will then stroll down to the Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo.

Dinner: At the rodeo grounds, we will enjoy a plated traditional BBQ plated meal from the menu, plus soft drinks, lemonade, iced tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Next, we will enjoy part of the rodeo culture of Steamboat Springs from well before the town was established over 100 years ago, which is still every bit as dynamic and exciting today. We’ll then return to the hotel. Be sure to prepare for check-out and departures in the morning.

Program Concludes
Steamboat Springs, CO

Activity note: Motel check-out by 10:00 a.m.

Breakfast: Light motel buffet. This concludes our program.

Morning: If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!

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