When you visit Telluride, you’ll be surrounded by great hikes and things to do. But you MUST take the Telluride gondola up to the Telluride Mountain Village with the kids. The kids will love running around, dining in a gondola, and more in Mountain Village, CO.
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So after spending some time in Telluride, make sure to take the gondola up and over the mountain for some great food, fun, and family time. You’ll love spending a day in the Telluride Mountain Village with kids.
Where is Mountain Village, CO?
While Mountain Village is often referred to as if it is part of Telluride, it is actually its own official city.
Even though it is its own, many people still call it Telluride Mountain Village. One reason may be because it is so close to Telluride. Another reason may be to differentiate it from the many places called “mountain village.”
Mountain village is often the term people use at any mountain town, specifically ski resorts where the restaurant and shopping area is near the resort.
But this town is officially named Mountain Village.
You can drive to Mountain Village by heading out on highway 145 from Telluride and then taking 145 south.
But the best, most fun way to access Mountain Village is to take the Free Telluride Gondola.
View of Telluride from the gondola. Can you see Cornet Falls in the mountain?
Taking the Free Telluride Gondola to Mountain Village
Taking the Telluride Gondola to Telluride Mountain Village is really incredibly easy.
You can catch the gondola just a couple blocks off the main street in Telluride. The gondola station is located on San Juan Ave at Oak Street Plaza.
The free Telluride shuttle will drop you right at the gondola, so don’t worry about trying to park nearby.
Once you arrive, just hop in line and take a ride! Yep, the Telluride Gondola to Mountain Village is FREE to ride.
Once on the gondola, just sit back and enjoy the ride. You’ll be able to take in the view of Telluride from above, and if you look closely, you’ll spot Cornet Falls in the distance against the mountain.
We especially loved this because the trail to Cornet Falls was closed when we went hiking in Telluride, so we loved being able to see it from a distance.
The top of the mountain at San Sophia Station (this is NOT the Mountain Village stop)
San Sophia Station
The gondola makes a stop at the top of the mountain. This is NOT Mountain Village. This is the top where winter skiers and summer hikers and bikers can get off, enjoying the summit of 10,540 feet at the station.
This stop is also where you’d get off to eat at Allred’s restaurant, a highly rated restaurant that is on the nicer side.
Stay on the gondola, and the next time it stops will be Mountain Village.
Telluride Gondola hours
The Gondola is open for summer and winter, leaving about 1 month closed in both spring and fall (mid April to late May and mid October to mid November).
While operating, it is open from 6:30am to midnight each day. Some weekends have extended hours.
Things to do in Mountain Village with Kids
Once you get off the Telluride gondola at the last stop, you’ve arrived in Mountain Village, CO.
This cute town has plazas, shops, restaurants, and family fun throughout. It’s really fun to just walk around and see what you find in Telluride Mountain Village. But if you’d like to plan ahead, here are a few fun things to do in Mountain Village with kids to make the most of your visit.
1. Find a Great Restaurant in the Telluride Mountain Village
There are a lot of places to choose from, including what we voted to be the best pizza in Telluride. Here are a few kid-friendly restaurants in the Telluride Mountain Village.
Head to Crazy Elk Pizza if you are craving some really great pizza. My kids agreed that this was the BEST pizza we had from all the ones we tasted in the area. Plus, inside was a spacious seating area with a few games in the back as well.
For a coffee break, try the Telluride Coffee Company. They also serve up tempting breakfast and lunch fares. Try some tacos, a sandwich, or grab a smoothie on a hot day.
For a really kid-friendly restaurant in Mountain Village, head over to Shake N Dog Grub Shack. This hot dog joint will have something for everyone. They have gluten-free buns, vegan hot dogs, regular hot dogs of course, and so many toppings to make your meal something special.
Another great restaurant for families that serves up casual fare is The Pick, Here you can get burritos or bowls. They have great options even for gluten-free travelers. Their bragging rights point to all their homemade sauces and salsas (like mango salsa!)
2. Take the Kids to the Park in Mountain Village
It’s not the biggest park in the world, but if you’ve been walking around doing some shopping and kids are getting antsy, stop by this little playground in Mountain Village.
You can find Sunset Playground next to Mountain Village Blvd, near the Chondola gondola station.
3. Do some Shopping
If you like to shop, you’ve got options here! The Telluride Mountain Village a a great, beautiful ski village with plenty of luxury or standard shopping.
If you’re just on the hunt for a souvenir t-shirt, that works too.
There are plenty of places to pick something out. There are some specialty places like North Face.
There is also a place called the Sunshine Store. That one is like a nice convenient store. They had a tiny refrigerated/freezer section and typical snack food. They also had a small selection of t-shirts (we bought a few), a few toys and coloring supplies (if your kids need some entertainment at the hotel), and basic non-food items like diapers and bandaids.
You can find the sunshine store by going under the walkway at the Fairmont. It’ll be just a few doors down on the left.
4. Take Bikes to the Telluride Bike Park
Load your bikes onto the gondola and take the family up to the bike park in Mountain Village.
You’ll need to buy tickets to ride the high-speed quad chair. This will take you to many of the great bike trails down the mountain.
The bike park is great for all ages and offers different levels of trails. Bikers can free-ride down, or try one of the more technical runs.
If your kids aren’t experienced, Telluride Bike Park offers clinics and camps for sharpening up your bike skills.
5. Run Around at Reflection Plaza
Right behind Crazy Elk Pizza and the Telluride Coffee Company is Reflection Plaza. Here you’ll find a big turf field, perfect for running around and playing on.
Reflection Plaza has both shops and restaurants nearby, plus it is home to a few events throughout the year.
In the wintertime, Reflection Plaza turns from a field to an ice-skating rink in Mountain Village.
6. Hang out in Heritage Plaza
The Heritage Plaza is the plaza you come to soon after you get off the gondola. Basically, it’s the core of the village, as it is the base of the chairlifts and gondola. It’s the same place with the gondolas sitting stationary in the plaza (noted above).
We enjoyed the live music being performed in the plaza and hanging out. It just felt like a nice, summer day in the mountains as everyone walked around relaxed and enjoyed the music.
7. Catch a Movie Under the Stars
For the perfect, relaxing thing to do in Mountain Village with kids, catch a movie on the weekends in the great outdoors!
During the summer on Saturdays from mid June to early August, you can head to Reflection Plaza and enjoy an outdoor movie on the big screen. Bring a blanket at sundown and enjoy the still mountain evening with a bit of entertainment.
Reflection Plaza is where the turf field (noted above) is. It’s a nice area with a few fire pits for those cool mountain nights.
Movie selection varies, but are typically family-friendly movies. Kids will love them, as well as adults.
8. Find Some Treasures at Market on the Plaza
Every Wednesday throughout the summer, Telluride Mountain Village hosts a local market in Heritage Plaza. Local artisans come with their hand made products and growers bring their produce.
Markets are always a fun way to find something unique. We weren’t here on a Wednesday to experience it, but we love checking out local markets in other mountain towns, like Steamboat Springs.
9. Play a Yard Game
When you get off the gondola and walk into the first open area, you’ll find a few yard games. There are a couple corn hole sets as well as a large Connect 4 set.
My kids love Connect 4, so having it life size was a real treat.
There are benches around the games which are perfect for families cheering on each team in corn hold.
10. Play some Disc Golf in Mountain Village
In order to play disc golf, you’ll actually need to hop on another gondola to get to the course. As you get off the Telluride gondola, hop onto the Intercept gondola right next door.
This gondola will take you to Market Plaza. Right across the street is an 18-hole disc golf course. Grab a scorecard and get started!
The course is free to use, but you’ll need equipment to play with. You can rent a frisbee at Telluride Outfitters right by hole 1.
11. Enjoy a StoryWalk in Mountain Village with the kids
StoryWalk is something we discovered in Crested Butte and it’s really fun!
Basically on a Story Walk, you walk a very easy trail with kids. A story is provided and encased along the way, allowing you to read 1 or 2 pages and then walk some more on the trail until you find the next pages.
It’s a great way to keep kids motivated while hiking.
Mountain Village and the local library provide a new story each month along the trail, which is just over a half-mile long.
To access the story walk in Mountain Village, you’ll need to take the second gondola to Market Plaza. You’ll walk along the Boulevard Trail back to Reflection Plaza at the first/main area of Mountain Village (where the first gondola drops you off).
12. Eat in a Gondola
Find a casual restaurant where you can take your grub to-go. Then head to Heritage Plaza in front of the Fairmont and enjoy your meal from inside a gondola.
It’s stationary, so you won’t be traveling while eating. The gondolas have requested rules on them, simply asking that if it’s busy that you limit your time to allow others an opportunity for this unique dining experience.
13. SUP on Elk Pond
Elk Pond is a great place to take kids Stand Up Paddleboarding in Mountain Village. It’s smaller than a lake so they don’t get too far, and it’s nice and gentle. It’s the perfect beginner place to stand up paddle.
I recommend bringing your own paddleboard (we have used our paddleboard so many times that it’s paid off compared to how many times we would have rented one).
But if you don’t have one, you can rent one at Telluride Outfitters.
Elk Pond is located near Market Plaza. You’ll need to take the second gondola to get there, but if you are hauling your own SUP, you may want to drive.
14. Try Something Adventurous with Telluride Outfitters
Telluride Outfitters is located in Mountain Village and they run a lot of different adventure tours in the area. Rent a Jeep, go on a RZR tour, rent a SUP, or even book a white water rafting trip.
Taking an adventure is a great way to really experience the area and get some fun memories in during your visit to Mountain Village.
Where to Stay in Telluride Mountain Village
Plenty of people stay in Telluride and take the gondola to Mountain Village for a day trip. But if you are wanting to stay in Mountain Village for easy access to mountain biking or skiing (or any other activities), there are some really wonderful choices for lodging in Mountain Village.
There are two main hotels in the main Mountain Village area.
For a slightly more affordable hotel in Mountain Village, check out the Mountain Lodge Telluride. It’s every bit as beautiful with an outdoor pool and mountain lodge feel. They have large condo-style rooms for large families up to 7, and even individual cabins for families up to 10 people.
Map of Telluride Mountain Village
It can get confusing planning out where to go around Mountain Village, so here is a map of Mountain Village to get your bearings a little. Note where the different gondolas and plazas are.
The lower part is where the second gondola drops you off. This gondola is necessary to access the story walk and disc golf course.
Sorry, it’s a bit hard to zoom in, but gives you a general idea.
In the lower part of central paved area with a small green island…that is Reflection Plaza. The large paved area near where the two red lines (gondolas) come together is Heritage Plaza.
Final Thoughts on Visiting Mountain Village with Kids
There really are a lot of fun things to do in the Telluride Mountain Village with kids. Ride the free Telluride gondola to arrive in this beautiful destination. Then pick a fun activity, like a nice family-friendly walk while you read a story, or going on a fun family adventure while you spend your time in Mountain Village.
Whatever you choose, you’ll see that visiting Mountain Village with kids is a lot of fun and a must-do when in Telluride.