background img

The Broadmoor = Kiddy Heaven

posted by:

During my career as an adventure-travel writer, my accommodations ranged from the most opulent mountain lodges to the cold, hard ground. And to be honest, I loved them equally.

Until I gave birth.

And then camping involved wrestling young children away from the fire pit and sleepless nights in the tent as they howled like insomniac wolves. Given my passion for the outdoors, I hope to someday return to the extreme backcountry with them. Like maybe when they are 20.

In the meantime, I have been on a quest to find family-friendly accommodations and will highlight a different destination each month.

My latest pursuit led me to The Broadmoor. You know, that one hotel in Colorado Springs that has been the nation’s longest continuous winner of the Mobile Five-Star and AAA Five Diamond Awards. I did an online search for travel reviews and stumbled upon a crotchety old man who described The Broadmoor’s influx of children and activities as “Kiddy Hell.”

It was then I knew it would be my heaven.

We stayed at The Broadmoor for the first time on Saturday. We are generally not 5-star folks but I am a firm believer that the occasional splurge is good for the soul. And it seemed like such a pity to have never been to a legendary hotel practically in our backyard that places such an emphasis on children.
[photopress:broadkids.jpg,full,pp_image] December in particular is a family-oriented month and we dove into a variety of activities, starting with Breakfast with Santa. It was located on a beautiful set in the ballroom complete with Santa, Mrs. Claus, elves and enough calories to last until Christmas. This was my brazen daughter Hadley’s first visit of the season with Santa and she has been prepping for weeks.

But as we approached the stage, she choked. Ever the concerned mother, I thought only of our requisite annual shot with The Man in Red and hissed,

“If you ever want another present from Santa again, you WILL get up there.”

I just wonder how I will convince her to still do it when she’s 20.

Maybe it will be during one of our camping trips.

[photopress:broadmrsclause.jpg,full,pp_image] From there, it was onto cookie decorating, a quick stop in The Little Theatre for a showing of “A Christmas Story,” and the highlight of the day: storytime with Mrs. Claus. I have been to my fair share of children’s shows and storytimes but I have never encountered anyone as engaging and hilarious as Mrs. “Beth Epley” Claus, who has been performing her songs and stories at The Broadmoor for 19 years. She has children who return every year to see her and she was the highlight of our weekend. Well, she and the Kobe beef at the Tavern restaurant. I do have my priorities.

Even though The Broadmoor is 89 years old, it only took Saturday’s storm to leave the expansive grounds looking renewed with a delicious frosting of snow. The snowflakes whirled around us in a flurry of white, like pigment seeping into paper. The children were mesmerized – and cold – so we hit the indoor pool at The Broadmoor Spa.
[photopress:broadlake.jpg,full,pp_image] After splashing around for a while, we stopped to admire our luxurious surroundings as my husband Jamie proclaimed:

“Hadley, this is what it looks like on the other side of the tracks.”

And I am so glad to have caught a glimpse.

Next month, my travel feature will spotlight Avalanche Ranch.

Amber Johnson
Author: Amber Johnson

Amber is the founder and editor of Mile High Mamas, travel writer and former columnist for The Denver Post. She is a passionate community builder and loves the outdoors. She has two awesome teens and is happily married to a man obsessed with growing The Great Pumpkin.

You may also like
  • comment avatar Mitch McDad December 10, 2007

    Very cool. We were there a couple of weeks ago for the tree lighting. It was a zoo, and very different weather. I have a similar picture to yours but sans the snow.

    We happened upon Mrs Claus after the story time was over and my girls got some one on one time with her, it was hysterical.

  • comment avatar Gretchen December 10, 2007

    My husband and I had a weekend getaway there about two years ago (wrote about it, too). I was astonished how many children were running around. We talked about bringing them some time, but we’d need two rooms. I’d be in one, he’d be in the other. And that wouldn’t be any fun.

    If you’re interested, here’s my take on the Broadmoor experience:

    Part 1:

    Part 2:

    I’d love to go back sometime. My parents spent one night of their honeymoon there. It’s a storied, gorgeous place.

  • comment avatar Amber Johnson December 10, 2007

    Thanks for the references, Gretchen. I hope folks check them out!

    Mitch – the tree lighting sounds like a blast! I am glad to hear Mrs. Claus was in her element. 🙂

  • comment avatar Eva December 10, 2007

    I had NO idea they were so child-friendly. I definitely need to put them on my “must-stay list!”

    Fun review, Amber.

  • comment avatar Loralee December 10, 2007


    Seriously, though? I was totally disappointed that it wasn’t the hotel that they filmed “The Shining” in.

    ‘Cause that would have been hilarious.

  • comment avatar Amber Johnson December 10, 2007

    Loralee – I am laughing at your comment because just today there was a feature in the paper about Estes Park’s “Stanley Hotel” and I caught myself wondering if there were any kid-friendly activities.

    Besides scaring the crap out of them. 🙂

  • comment avatar Lisa December 10, 2007

    Gorgeous photo!

  • comment avatar Joan Dalton December 10, 2007

    That sounds like fun! I’ve always wanted to stay at the Broadmoor and you’ve just inspired me to make it an annual event with my family.

  • comment avatar Kari December 10, 2007

    Like everyone else, I never thought of The Broadmoor as a “kid” destination. I will have to rethink our next getaway.

    Well written, Amber!

  • comment avatar jen December 10, 2007

    Tom and I have stayed at the Broadmoor several times, for the Colorado Music Educators Convention. It’s going to be a few years before I take my cherubs there though. I have visions of what replacement costs would be for lamps and such, and since I like sleeping at night, well…it’ll be a few years. ; ) But I LOVE going there, I always just feel so pampered.

  • comment avatar Coordination Queen December 10, 2007

    Wow. That is absolutely gorgeous. Sounds like a fun place to take the kids.

  • comment avatar SJ December 13, 2007

    Gorgeous photo! I love just going to the Broadmoor and walking around, it’s fantastic all year round!