Family Travel: 7 lucky reasons to visit Keystone this summer
posted by: Amber Johnson
Since Keystone Resort’s inception of Kidtopia (a.k.a. the coolest free kids programming in Colorado), I’ve become a huge fan of the ski area. With easy access to Denver–just 75 miles away– and surrounded by the 2.3-million acre White River National Fore, Dillon Reservoir, a fabulous network of trails, popular mountain towns Breckenridge, Frisco, Silverthorne and Dillon, you will never lack for entertainment. Here are our favorite summer finds.
Kidtopia. From June 9 to Sept. 3, Kidtopia offerings such as nature hikes, kite building workshops and Wild West nights allow families to enjoy creative experiences that provide added ways to enjoy the resort. The summer Kidtopia schedule can be found at www.keystoneresort.com/activities/kidtopia-summer.aspx. There are plenty of freebies, too, including a free scenic ride for kids 12 and under and if you’re staying at the resort and the Kidtopia Children’s Theatre in the Quaking Aspen Amphitheatre is free on Fridays.
Friday Afternoon Club. Who says entertainment has to be expensive? The whole family will enjoy Friday Afternoon Club from 1-7 p.m. atop Dercum Mountain. Friday foot passenger lift tickets up the River Run Gondola are free, and there are complimentary outdoor games like cornhole, slacklines and horseshoes, food and drink specials and live music (4-7 p.m.). And the views? They speak for themselves.
Keystone Science School. Did you know one of Colorado’s top outdoor education programs is located nearby? Keystone Science School offers fabulous overnight and day camp options for kids that offer multiple adventure days, community service opportunities, and specially-designed curricula geared toward campers of all ages. We opted for the overnight Discovery Camp for my son. While he had the time of his life learning, making friends and having adventures, Mom and Dad had a grand time on our first kid-less vacation in years.
Adventure Point Summer SNOW Tubing Hill. Is all this heat getting you down? Get a taste of winter atop Dercum Mountain for summer snow tubing. This is Colorado’s only summer tubing operation on real snow, and it’s truly a can’t-miss experience. Coupled with fantastic views from 11,640 feet and complete with a conveyer lift to bring you back to the top of the hill for run after run, whether you’re a kid, or just a kid at heart, this is a memory-making experience.
Outdoor Recreation. Where do I even start? Apparently, right outside the door of our SummitCove condo because that is where we accessed the Summit County Paved Recreation Path System, a paved network of 70+ miles of trails that connect Keystone, Dillon, Frisco, Breckenridge, Copper Mountain and Vail. You could spend a lifetime exploring the hiking and biking trails in White River National Forest. Sapphire Point is a 1.5-mile round-trip stroll to an overlook of Dillon Reservoir, hemmed in by the Gore and Tenmile mountain ranges (along with several tipi structures for kids to explore along the way). Another favorite for families is Lily Pad Lake near Silverthorne and for stupendous views of high-altitude peaks, park atop Loveland Pass (11,990 feet) and follow the spine of the Continental Divide.
The Others. If you still need a reason to visit Keystone this summer, here are several: Cupcakes and Canvases, Bike-In Movies, Kidtopia Kids Theatre, festivals such as Snake River Festival and Cirque D’Wheels, Model Boat Regata. If those don’t keep you busy, try Lakeside SUP, paddle boating, kayaking, GPS Geo-Cache Adventure, miniature golf, sail boat rentals, a water taxi to Frisco and dinner wagon rides. With all these adventures, you’ll need some good walking shoes so don’t miss these resources.
Lodging. We have overnighted in a variety of places in Keystone but no one has a more well-rounded selection than booking through SummitCove Vacation Rentals. On our recent trip, we stayed in two very different properties and locations: Lakeshore, an older property with gorgeous views of Keystone Lake, and The Springs near the base of River Run Condo.
When you request a property for many vacation rentals, you are assigned the unit but with SummitCove, their website shows each individual property, with the bedding set-up as well as amenities. For a family, this is a dream because you can be can be very specific about needing king-sized beds, kid-friendly amenities or even certain views–it’s all there on the website. I highly recommend The Springs, which was not only elegant with a soothing fountain in the entryway but also has a killer pool area with a small waterslide, hot tubs, a playroom and even a home theater room. Allegedly. When I tried to peek in, I got shut down by a group of 6-year-old girls who were very committed to their viewing of Moana. Good thing there were several other areas to keep me entertained.
For additional information about Keystone, including their many summer festivals, go to keystoneresort.com. SummitCove offers many ways to save on your next stay so be sure to check-out their Deals page.