Like Jackson Hole or Aspen, Telluride is as famous for its celebrity visitors and high-priced real estate as for its picturesque mountain setting and snowy winter slopes. For families, though, this little mountain town has a wealth of resources for education and fun -- many of which you’d be hard-pressed to find in bigger cities.
The Telluride School District (tellurideschool.org) covers kids’ educational needs from preschool through high school. Kids get lots of personal attention in small classes -- Telluride is a small town, and the high school total enrollment falls below the 200-student mark. The Telluride Mountain School (telluridemtnschool.org) uses a Montessori curriculum for younger students, then transitions to a college preparatory curriculum heavy on outdoor education and experiential learning for middle school and high school students.
Telluride’s library, the Wilkinson Public Library (telluridelibrary.org), offers book clubs, homework help, cooking classes and more for kids and families in the Telluride area. New residents need to bring in identification and proof of address to get a library card. Families can spend a lot of time at Telluride’s Town Park (telluride-co.gov), which includes a kids’ fishing pond, a toddler playground separate from the playground for older kids, horseshoe pits, a skate park, ice skating rinks, a sledding hill and courts for tennis, volleyball and basketball. In summer, you can check out equipment, including fishing poles, tackle, tennis balls and softball bats, at the park, making spontaneous playtime easier.
For a small town, Telluride has an impressive selection of kids’ activities. Kid-friendly classes such as the art and skate program, which combines morning art lessons with an afternoon on the ice skating rink, and drop-in art workshops, make the Ah Haa School for the Arts (ahhaa.org) a fine option for families. Music-loving kids can channel their inner rock stars at the Rock and Roll Academy (rockandrollacademy.com), which offers after-school classes and summer day camps. It’s not cheap to attend, but kids who are passionate about cinema will love living in the town that hosts the Telluride Film Festival (telluridefilmfestival.org). Budding scientists will be thrilled with the roster of science classes, including Crazy Cooking Chemistry and Silly Slime and Polymers at Their Prime, at the Smithsonian-affiliated Pinhead Institute.
Sports and Recreation
Kids can take advantage of Telluride’s winter weather at the Telluride Ski and Snowboard Club (tssc.org), which has teams for figure skating, skiing and snowboarding. Winter sports can be a little expensive, but the club has annual swaps and used equipment sales that are worth checking out. For summer activities such as hiking, boating and mountain biking, check out classes at the Telluride Academy (tellurideacademy.org). You can register for after-school programs or summer day camps.