Pull on those cowboy boots and put on your cowboy hat, it’s rodeo season! This year’s rodeos offer fun for the whole family, with opportunities to practice mutton bustin’, listen to concerts, and more western fun. Here’s what we found out about Colorado’s family-friendly options for rodeo fun this summer.
June 12-August 21
The Snowmass Rodeo is in its 46th year of Western tradition, serving up barbecue every night before the family-friendly rodeo. Activities include mutton bustin’, a calf scramble, roping dummies, a mechanical bull, and a horse bouncy house. Kids ages four to seven under 50 pounds can take part in the calf scramble—a contest to grab ribbons from the calves’ tails and return them to the Arena Official for an award—but all participants receive a prize. Mutton bustin’ is a crowd favorite for kids ages four to seven, who must hold on to a woolly sheep. Participants must sign up for these events ahead of time at the rodeo. The gates open at 5 p.m. and the rodeo starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for ages 11-15, and free for kids age 10 and under. 2735 Brush Creek Rd., Snowmass Village.
Thursdays, June 20-August 15
Now in its 18th year, the Beaver Creek Rodeo Series offers nearly a month of entertainment in the Vail Valley. Every Thursday night, professional riders take center stage while attendees are invited to take part in a range of interactive events like mutton bustin’ for the kids or a team burro race for brave teens and adults. The calf scramble is free every Thursday night for kids ages five to 10, and the first five kids to pull a ribbon off of a calf’s tail win a prize. Little ones, age three and older, can take part in mutton bustin’ for $25. In addition to fun competitions, the Beaver Creek rodeo offers family-friendly food vendors, a mechanical bull for Mom and Dad to try, and face painting. Tickets are $22 for adults, $12 for kids ages 13 to 17, and free for kids age 12 and under. Beaver Creek Village Plaza, Avon.
June 26-July 7
The 98th annual Greeley Stampede rides into town from June 26 through July 7 with fun for the whole family. Along with the SuperStars concert series and PRCA Pro Rodeo series, stop by the Kids Korral and watch the XPOGO Stunt Team, and Swifty Swine Racing Pigs. Listen to live music on the free Extraction Park Stage, seek thrills at the carnival, and watch the longhorns during the daily Parade in the Park. Tickets are $15-$20 for age seven and up, and $5.50 for kids age six and under. 600 N. 14th Ave., Greeley.
June 21- August 10
“Steamboat was a ranching town before it was anything else,” says John Shipley of the Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo series. To honor its ranching roots, this rodeo focuses on ranching competitions like steer wrestling, bareback riding, team roping, and bull riding. For families, the rodeo series offers a ram scramble with kids ages five and under competing to grab the ribbon off the belly of a small sheep to win a buckle and gift card to FM Light and Sons. For bigger kids, ages six to 12, the calf scramble is more their size, racing after a calf to win a Wrangler gift card and a belt buckle. Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for kids, and free for kids age six and under. 401 Howelsen Pkwy., Steamboat Springs.
Overlooking the Rocky Mountains, the Rooftop Rodeo is celebrating another year of boot-stompin’ fun July 8 through 13. Gates open at 5 p.m. each night, and guests of all ages can enjoy live music, food, kids activities, and vendors. A Behind-the-Chutes tour kicks off at 5 p.m. each day, and from 5 to 6 p.m. kids ages five to eight can register for a chance to compete in that evening’s mutton bustin’ competition. The rodeo itself kicks off at 7 p.m. each night. The Rooftop Rodeo parade is Tuesday, July 9 at 10:30 a.m. in downtown Estes Park, and features bands, horseback riders, rodeo royalty, trick riders, and more Western Flair. Rodeo tickets are $15-$30, except on Tuesday, July 9, when kids tickets are only $5 in celebration of Roxanne Harris Family Night. 1209 Manford Ave, Estes Park.
Cattlemen’s Days promises the same kind of boot-stomping entertainment that Gunnison pioneers enjoyed, but on a grander scale. During the week, check out the many 4-H and livestock shows, where kids get to meet all kinds of animals like sheep and goats, and see dog and cat shows. Thursday to Saturday the family-friendly rodeo will have different themes and fun for kids like mutton bustin’ before ending with a grand parade on Saturday. Tickets are $20-$25 for adults, and $5-$10 for kids age 12 and under with purchase of an adult ticket. 275 S. Spruce St., Gunnison.
Operating since 1897, Cheyenne Frontier Days is the world’s largest outdoor rodeo and Western celebration. Located just under two hours north of Denver, families can enjoy free pancake breakfasts, attend star-studded concerts with guests like Tim McGraw, Keith Urban, and Miranda Lambert, or head out to the Carnival Americana for indulgent fair food and games. This year, the rodeo schedule will be in a tournament format, culminating in the semi finals on July 26 and 27 and finals on July 28. During the week, check out the Indian Village, where kids can make crafts or head out to the Old Frontier Town to meet with Old West characters before stopping by the petting zoo. Tickets are $17-$27. 1210 W. Eighth Ave., Cheyenne, Wyoming.
What started in the 1940s as a trail ride up Lookout Mountain to Buffalo Bill’s grave has now expanded into the largest community festival in Golden. This year, the fest will put on events like Cody’s Wild West extravaganza, a 90-minute experience for the whole family with an all-female horseback riding team, traditional Irish pipes and drums, and a grand opening flag ceremony with an American Bald Eagle on July 27 at 12:30 p.m. On July 29, head out for mutton bustin’ for kids ages five to seven. Free admission. Downtown Golden, 11th St., Golden.