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8 awesome adventures for kids of all abilities

Everyone deserves the chance to shine and we love that kids of all abilities are given access to so many wonders in Colorado. Below is a sampling of experiences that showcase the state’s adaptive adventures for all abilities.

Adaptive Sports Center, Crested Butte: This therapeutic recreation program operates year-round and offers a range of adaptive activities including mountain biking, skiing, ice climbing, kayaking and more. It also offers annual family and adventure camps. The center’s programs cater to individuals with a broad range of physical, emotional and cognitive differences.

Experience Colorado’s National Parks and National Monuments Via Wheelchair: Many of Colorado’s National Parks and National Monuments provide wheelchair-accessible touring information. There are special sand wheelchairs for exploring the famous dunes, camping and picnic areas in Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, and there are nearly a half dozen wheelchair-accessible trails in Rocky Mountain National ParkColorado National Monument and Mesa Verde National Park both offer accessible campsites, picnic areas and trails, and audio and/or visual tours.

Inspiration Playground at Spring Canyon Community Park, Fort Collins: Located at the base of the foothills, the 100-acre Spring Canyon Community Park gets rave reviews from parents and kids alike. The unique ADA play area, Inspiration Playground, offers a place for children and families of all abilities to share play experiences, and enables children of various abilities to play independently on the same equipment. Inspiration Playground offers a play surface that allows for wheelchairs, walkers and support braces. This free, outdoor play environment includes safe, state-of-the-art, sensory-rich structures that encourage integration and the development of cognitive, emotional, physical and social skills.

National Sports Center for the Disabled, Winter Park: The National Sports Center for the Disabled (NSCD) has provided adaptive sports lessons in Colorado for more than 40 years. NSCD offers a variety of adaptive lesson opportunities–including skiing, rafting, horseback riding and more–for both groups and individuals. While the Center is headquartered in Winter Park, NSCD also runs programs out of Broncos Stadium at Mile High in Denver.

Olympic & Paralympic Museum and Hall of Fame, Colorado Springs: The first and only U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum and Hall of Fame will open in Colorado Springs in spring 2020. The $90M project will be the most accessible museum in the world with an array of tailored, high-tech exhibits. This world-class attraction will showcase the entire journey of the games from birth in ancient Olympia to current Team USA hopefuls living and training in Colorado Springs every day. 

Steamboat Adaptive Recreation Sports, Steamboat Springs: Since 2007, Steamboat Adaptive Recreation Sports (STARS) has made it its mission to empower and enrich lives through adaptive recreational sports. STARS programs help individuals to discover the outdoors and teach skills to overcome health challenges as well as develop confidence, self-esteem and independence. STARS uses skiing, cycling, therapeutic horseback riding, kayaking and other activities to empower people with different abilities. New in fall 2019, the nonprofit is unveiled the new STARS Ranch, a brand new 13,000-square-foot building that serves as a centralized hub for programming for people with different abilities. 

Visit Colorado’s State Parks: Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) strives to ensure everyone can access the state’s special places and activities. CPW offers the Columbine Pass, which provides reduced park entrance fees to Colorado residents with different abilities. It also offers accessible fishing locations in every corner of the state and offers people with disabilities hunting accommodations and services. Requests can also be made for sign language interpretation and assistive listening equipment in the parks. Visitors searching for wheelchair-accessible trails across the state can access the Colorado Trail Explorer app.

Wilderness On Wheels, Grant: The mission of Wilderness on Wheels, or WOW, is to stimulate the development of access for disabled persons to natural outdoor environments. WOW accomplished this through the construction of a 1-mile, 8-foot wide boardwalk starting at 9,100 feet to the top of a 12,300-foot mountain 60 miles west of Denver near Grant. It is free to hike the boardwalk at Wilderness on Wheels; there are also fishing and camping at the site, as well as overnight cabins. 

Source: Colorado.com
 

Confessions of a non-skier in Colorado

I have a confession to make: I hate skiing.  There. I said it. I’ve lived in Colorado for over 13 years, and I am not a skier. *gasp* Do people like me actually exist? Yes. Yes, we do.

Don’t get me wrong.  I love the ski resorts!  There is so much to do at our wonderful ski resorts that doesn’t involve skiing. I’m just not a big fan of pain, and I never have been.

Even though I hate skiing, I love skiers! A lot of my friends ski. My husband is a skier. My daughter is a skier. I, on the other hand, am not a skier. In all fairness, what I do cannot be called skiing.

There is not that much screaming in skiing.

Every time I ski, things go downhill. Literally.

It all started when we moved here in January 1999.

Freebies and fun for Colorado’s Ski and Snowboard Safety Month

Colorado ski resorts take safety on the mountain very seriously. They have even devoted a full month (January) toward ski/snowboard safety. And each resort does some special events and offers to help highlight it. Guests are encouraged to ask ski area employees for help and assistance if they have safety-related or other questions during their visit in January or at any time during the season.

Colorado Ski Country made a super cute video series focused on chairlift safety starring Penny the Safety Penguin. The videos are geared towards the general public and skiing and riding families and provide guidance and tips for children and adults on how to load, ride and unload a chairlift safely.

Aspen Snowmass has planned a whole month of fun and informative activities to celebrate safety all winter, but in January each of Aspen’s four mountains will dedicate a week to safety education during National Safety Month. Buttermilk will observe January 2 – 8, Aspen Highlands will observe January 9 – 15, Aspen Mountain will observe January 16 – 22, and Snowmass will observe January 23 – 29. Highlights include information on lift safety, avalanche dog demonstrations, staying in control, right of way, safe stopping and observing posted signs and closures. Aspen Snowmass will also host a Safety Tent with avalanche dogs, stickers, and safety materials from the National Ski Patrol.

Arapahoe Basin Ski Area would like you to meet their avalanche rescue dogs in the Safety Village on January 11. Children can earn a Jr. Ski Patrol badge when they show they know the Your Responsibility Code. 

Copper Mountain’s Safety Fest is January 18-19. The events include avalanche dog demos, visits with ski patrol, and prize giveaways including a 2020/21 Copper Season Pass. Guests who visit each safety tent will be entered into a daily-prize drawing with prizes totaling $10,000! Plus, you can enjoy free hot chocolate every day in January by visiting Patrol Headquarters or at Timberline Patrol.

 

Loveland Ski Area will have kid-friendly snow safety education, ski patrol demos, sun safety tips, terrain park safety, helmet information and a Know the Code challenge with prizes January 18-19. It is FREE to participate, find the Loveland Tent in the base of the Basin. Loveland’s ski patrol will have patrol dogs on hand to demonstrate avalanche rescue techniques, conduct beacon demonstrations and talk about avalanche awareness and tree well safety. Loveland employees will be quizzing kids on the Your Responsibility Code and handing out prizes for those that can recite the entire code. The Sport Shop will also be offering discounts on helmets and the Ski & Ride School will offer free helmets with any kid’s lesson package.

Powderhorn Resort invites you to spend the day skiing alongside a ski patroller. The “Ski Patrol Ski Along” program serves to educate guests of all ages about ski patrol and how to safely enjoy the slopes. 

Monarch Mountain offers Backcountry/Avalanche Safety Day on January 11 with backcountry themed events and activities. The day will include a Know Before You Go (KBYG) program, backcountry merchandise vendors, an uphill/downhill event, beacon camp, avalanche dog demos and Colorado Avalanche talks and presentations. On January 18, Monarch will partner with the Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center (HRRMC) and Central Mountain Regional Emergency Medical and Trauma Advisory Council (RETAC) to provide educational information and help with helmet fitting and sunscreen education. 

Steamboat’s Powder the Safety Dog will visit elementary schools for safety talks and will often greet guests around the mountain as well.   

Sunlight Mountain Resort will host their Safety Day on March 2. The event includes a free testing clinic and educational safety booths. Safety is not just conducted on the mountain (which is important) but also sun safety and being aware of how to reduce the effects of being outside in Colorado.

Telluride Ski Resort will host a community safety dinner at 5:30 pm on Wednesday, January 22 at the Telluride Conference Center. There will be raffle prizes if guests visit each of the safety stands set up around the conference center.

Winter Park Resort will enter guests who answer questions about the Responsibility Code correctly to win several prizes including early resort access with patrol, two hours of guided skiing and dinner for two at the Lodge at Sunspot. And Grand County children can submit a poster featuring the Your Responsibility Code with winners receiving the chance to be a Winter Park Junior Patroller for a day.

Wolf Creek Ski Area is hosting a Safety Poster Contest and avalanche drills will be open to the public. First through third place winners will be awarded prizes. Posters will be displayed in the Base Camp Building where the illustrations will be voted on by Wolf Creek staff and guests.

 

 

 

 

Skip the I-70 ski traffic nightmares and travel by train or bus

Winter Sports enthusiasts can enjoy new travel options to Colorado’s ski areas this winter by bus or train. New bus services and added train service make it easier than ever. Residents may also consider air service into Colorado’s eight regional airports for their ski and ride travel. These options provide expert and first-time skiers and riders alike a stress-free journey to the slopes.

And if you still want to brave the crowds? Don’t miss these I-70 Pitstops When You’re Stuck in Traffic. 

Train

 For a fourth consecutive season, the Amtrak Winter Park Express will transport passengers from downtown Denver’s Union Station to the slopes of Winter Park Resort. New this year, the Amtrak train will run every Friday through Sunday every weekend from Jan. 10 through March 29. Fares start at $29 each way for adults and are available at Amtrak.com/WinterParkExpress.

 The daily Amtrak California Zephyr has 6 stops in Colorado including stops in Glenwood Springs, where visitors can catch a shuttle to Sunlight Mountain, Granby where guests can access Granby Ranch or passengers can unload at the Fraser station to access Winter Park Resort.

Bus

 Snowstang Bus Service – New this winter, the Snowstang bus service will provide direct access to ski areas from Denver’s Union Station and RTD’s Federal Station in Lakewood to Loveland, Arapahoe Basin and Steamboat Resort. Roundtrip fares for Loveland and Arapahoe Basin will be $25 for adults and Steamboat will be $40, with 50 percent discounts for children 2-11 and 25 percent for seniors and those with disabilities. There will be 40 days of service to each resort, running weekends from Dec.14 through April 19, plus the Martin Luther King holiday, Jan. 20, and President’s Day, Feb. 17. For more information, click here.

Bustang Bus Service– The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has expanded its statewide Bustang bus service to include Salida as well as daily service to Monarch Ski Area from Dec. 14, 2019 to April 5, 2019. With this expansion, Bustang now serves mountain towns near several Colorado ski areas including Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, Copper Mountain, Echo Mountain, Monarch Mountain, Purgatory Resort, Sunlight Mountain Resort and Telluride Ski Resort. For more information, click here.

Vail Resorts

It’s easy to get to Vail, Beaver Creek, Eagle, Breckenridge, Copper Mountain, Keystone, Aspen or Snowmass whether you’re flying into Denver International, Vail/Eagle County Airport or Aspen’s Sardy Field. Colorado Mountain Express (CME) offers numerous daily departures to and from resort towns. In winter months, there are hourly departures to/from Denver International Airport

And, you don’t need a rental car once you arrive. Ski towns including Vail, Keystone, Breckenridge, Beaver Creek, Aspen and Snowmass are pedestrian-friendly and so much is within walking distance. Many outlying properties offer complimentary van service.

Avoid parking fees and take a break from driving on your holiday and ride CME.

Vail – Vail Village has the largest free public transportation system throughout town, making it convenient and practical to leave your car at home. For full information, including schedule details, click here. Most Vail lodging properties offer a van to the ski slopes if they are not within walking distance or are not ski-in or ski-out properties.

Beaver Creek – Offers complimentary on-call transportation as well as scheduled routes from Village Transportation – read more here.

Breckenridge – Take either the Free Ride transit system operated by the Town of Breckenridge or the free Summit Stage. Breckenridge, Copper Mountain & Keystone are serviced by the Summit Stage, a free county-wide bus service to resorts and surrounding communities. Breckenridge and Copper Mountain provide additional service in town and to the slopes Both transit systems are convenient and free.

Go-I-70 is an organization of 34 political jurisdictions and 5 private sector members proposing Colorado’s Solution for a Better I-70.
Learn More about I-70 Coalition

 Colorado Ski Country Resorts

Arapahoe Basin – The free Summit Stage bus service runs from the park-and-ride lot in Keystone to and from A-Basin. Front Range skiers and riders can also enjoy direct access with the new Snowstang bus service. For more information, click here.

 Aspen Snowmass – RFTA, the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority’s bus system, provides transportation to all four Aspen Snowmass mountains. For more information, click here.

 Copper – Summit County visitors can take advantage of the free Summit Stage bus service. For more information, click here.

 Eldora – The Ski-N-Ride provides bus service from multiple locations along the Front Range straight to Eldora every day of the week during ski season. For more information, click here.

 Loveland – Running on weekends from December to April, the Snowstang bus service offers riders pick up locations at Union Station in Denver or the Denver Federal Center RTD station. For more information, click here.

 Monarch – The Salida Ski Bus provides access from Salida to Monarch. Visitors can also access Monarch with daily Bustang service from Dec. 14, 2019- April 5, 2020. For more information, click here.

 Purgatory – The skier shuttle runs from Durango to Purgatory on weekends and select holidays for $10. For more information, click here

 Steamboat– Guests can enjoy the free town bus system running from town to the resort and other locations. For more information, click here.

 Telluride – The Galloping Goose bus service provides free transportation in and around the town of Telluride, Mountain Village and Lawson Hill. For more information, click here.

 Wolf Creek – Shuttle service is available from Pagosa Springs via the Wilderness Journey Shuttle for $20 one way or $30 roundtrip. For more information, click here.

 

Winter Family Vacation in Colorado: 50+ New Events, Attractions, Lodging Deals & More

 Coming off of one of the snowiest winters on record, Colorado is buzzing with new developments, lodging offerings, unique adventures and special events for the season ahead. With newsworthy offerings including new lift service and terrain on the state’s storied slopes, the Sopris Splash Zone adventure river, the full immersion dog sled experience, the opening of the highly anticipated U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum and Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs, the world premiere of Claude Monet: The Truth of Nature at the Denver Art Museum and an exciting line-up of events and anniversaries, Colorado is the place to be this winter.

Following is a sampling of what’s new in Colorado. 

Exciting New Events, Festivals & Anniversaries:

The Science Behind Pixar Exhibit Debuts at The Denver Museum of Nature & Science, Oct. 11, 2019: This exhibit will provide a unique look into the Pixar process and explore the science and technology behind some of the most beloved animated films and their characters.

Old West Fest, Ridgway, Oct. 11-13, 2019: 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the movie True Grit that was filmed in Ridgway and Ouray County. The first annual Ridgway Old West Fest will celebrate Ridgway’s brief transformation into Fort Smith, Arkansas half a century ago. Festivities will highlight Ridgway’s film, ranching and railroad heritage and celebrate Western arts and culture.

Claude Monet: The Truth of Nature Makes World Premiere in Denver, Oct. 21, 2019 – Feb. 2, 2020: The Denver Art Museum will host the most comprehensive U.S. exhibition of Monet paintings in more than two decades. The exhibition will feature more than 120 paintings that span Monet’s entire career and will highlight the celebrated French impressionist artist’s enduring relationship with nature and his response to the varied and distinct places in which he worked.

Ouray Celebrates 25th Anniversary of the Ouray Ice Festival, Jan. 23-26, 2020This annual ice festival transforms the southwestern town of Ouray into an absolute ice climbing mecca. The Ouray Ice Festival celebrates the growing sport of ice climbing with daily vendor exhibitions, climbing clinics, demo opportunities and the chance to watch some of the world’s best ice and mixed climbing talent compete.

Winter Folk: Music & Photography Showcase Premieres in Longmont, Feb. 7 – March 1, 2020: Winter Folk will take place Friday-Sunday for four consecutive weekends featuring 40 bands such as Brett Dennen, Adam & Ben of Yonder Mountain String Band, Josiah Johnson formerly of the Head & The Heart, Daniel Rodriguez of Elephant Revival and more. The event will also feature multiple photographers in a showcase. Proceeds from the event provide Colorado schools with instruments and allow the Future Arts Foundation to host free youth arts workshops.

The Westin Riverfront’s 10th Mountain Division Ski Trooper Experience, Feb. 18-21, 2020The Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa Avon in the Vail Valley will host an exclusive ski weekend with professional skier Chris Anthony to celebrate and explore the incredible history of Colorado’s legendary 10th Mountain Division Ski Troopers. The experience includes guided ski and snowboard days on both Vail and Beaver Creek Mountains, a snowmobile tour of Camp Hale, a visit to Vail’s Colorado Snowsports Museum & Hall of Fame, a private whiskey dinner featuring 10th Mountain Distillery and much more.

Leadville Chosen to Host the 2020 U.S. National Snowshoe Championships, Feb. 28 – March 1, 2020: The highest-elevation city in North America, Leadville, Colo., will host the 2020 U.S. National Snowshoe Championships and will be the highest-elevation competition in the U.S. Nationals’ history. The course passes through lush lodgepole pine forests with unparalleled views of Colorado’s two highest peaks, Mt. Elbert and Mt. Massive.

Barstool Racing Returns to Minturn March 2020: Each winter “athletes” affix a pair of skis to the base of a barstool and come out to “race” down a snow-covered course in Minturn, just west of Vail. The rules are simple: If it supports a tush, and rolls downhill then it’s “street” legal.

Enticing New Attractions, Activities & Adventures:

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Opens Water’s Edge: Africa Exhibit: Opening in the fall of 2019, this new exhibit will allow guests to waddle alongside penguins, teeter over a hippo yard on a suspension bridge and view an island of lemurs. Other onsite animal interactions include feeding the largest reticulated giraffe herd in captivity, the resident elephants and even a black rhino. 

Colorado Mountain School Offers New Backcountry Programming: Estes Park’s Colorado Mountain School is expanding its winter programming to include a new multi-day development series combining multiple courses into a structured progression and includes mountaineering and rock climbing and, new for winter 2019, will expand to include ice climbing, backcountry and avalanche training.

Estes Park Rock Climbing to Offer New Elkins Snowshoe Tours: Estes Park Rock Climbing has partnered with the award-winning Elkins Distillery to provide a new exclusive package that includes a four-hour morning snowshoe tour in the picturesque backcountry of Rocky Mountain National Park. After the snowshoe tour, a catered lunch will be provided alongside some of Colorado’s finest whisky.

Glenwood Springs’ Hotel Colorado Offers New Historic Tours: The Hotel Colorado now offers Walk Back in Time Historic Tours guided by the “ghosts” of colorful characters from Glenwood Springs’ past in partnership with The Glenwood Springs Historical Society and Frontier Museum. Each character portrayer will share unique and haunting stories of The Hotel Colorado’s history during a one-hour tour.

Sopris Splash Zone Open at Glenwood Hot Springs: Opened in August 2019, the highly-anticipated Sopris Splash Zone is the family-friendly resort’s newest addition to the hot springs, spa and lodge property in Glenwood Springs. It features a fast-moving adventure river for older kids and adults, and a wade-pool with waterfalls for younger children as well as fountain designed for both play and show. 

First and only U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum and Hall of Fame To Open in Colorado Springs: The $90M project will be the most accessible museum in the world with an array of tailored, high-tech exhibits opening spring 2020. Colorado Springs is home to the U.S. Olympic Committee and Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center.  

Vista Verde Dude & Guest Ranch to Offer New Snoga & Ice Fishing Experiences: New for winter 2020, Vista Verde will debut Snoga in which the ranch’s yoga instructor guides guests on snowshoes for a short hike out to the rustic Homestead cabin, where a cozy fire and yoga mats are ready to go for yoga class. The ranch will also offer guided ice fishing in a heated shelter where guests can either drill their own fishing hole or observe the professionals.

Major Ski Resort News and On-Mountain Improvements:

The winter 2019/20 season welcomes major upgrades to improve the guest experience at ski areas and resorts across Colorado. 

In Breckenridge, the Peak 8 Base Area is being transformed with new escalators, skier services, and amenities including an outdoor ice skating rink.

Both Crested Butte and Mary Jane ski areas are adding new lifts while Steamboat Resort will unveil a new gondola that will increase capacities and decrease ride times. 

Copper Mountain’s new Tucker Mountain lift will unlock access to 273 acres of expert terrain previously serviced by the Tucker snowcat and backcountry hiking. 

Cooper is significantly expanding terrain and will install a new surface lift. The expansion gives guests access to nearly 100 acres of intermediate and, for the first time in its history, truly expert terrain will be available.

Vail Ski Resort will unveil the first phase of an ambitious snowmaking expansion that will create more reliable early- and late-season conditions with high-quality snow. 

Beaver Creek Resort is expanding its snowmaking system at Red Buffalo Park while showcasing a newly renovated Children’s Ski School and a remodeled Village.

Monarch Mountain celebrates its 80th anniversary with more gladed tree skiing and a new kid-friendly, interpretive ski run. 

Guests to Telluride Ski Resort can experience 40 new acres of north-facing gladed terrain around Lift 9 this upcoming winter. This new tree skiing will be for advanced and expert skiers and will also include new natural features like steep chutes and rock drops.

A $4 million expansion has begun at Sunlight Mountain Resort that will expand gladed tree skiing, add five new hike back runs and an additional 500 vertical feet of skiing in the expert only area. When completed, the entire project will feature a new lift and 100 acres of new terrain. 

Powderhorn Resort will welcome a new food and beverage location in its base area, an Umbrella Bar for visitors to sit back and enjoy. Guests will also have the option of staying slope-side in the new tiny home village year-round.

Purgatory Resort will offer free ski and snowboard lessons to all first-time skiers and riders of all ages.

New Lodging Properties and Major Renovations: 

Grand Hyatt Vail Opens: The Grand Hyatt Vail recently opened marking the first in a U.S. mountain resort destination. The 285-room, ski-in/ski-out resort sits at the base of the iconic Vail Mountain on the banks of Gore Creek and offers guests their own ski lift for convenient access to world-class skiing and snowboarding.

Gravity Haus Debuts in Breckenridge: Gravity Haus will debut in December 2019 and is a ski-in/ski-out boutique property in Breckenridge. Designed to activate a community of like-minded outdoor enthusiasts year-round, Gravity Haus will offer ongoing insider experiences ranging from outdoor excursions to social programming and will feature 60 distinctly curated rooms. Onsite amenities at Gravity Haus will include Dryland fitness and a sports recovery center, expert-led backcountry experiences, a super trampoline, farm-to-cup Unravel coffee, nourishing dining at Cabin Juice, Japanese-inspired onsen and more.

The Hotel Colorado Unveils Major Renovations in 2019: The Hotel Colorado is finishing up major renovations to be completed by winter 2020. Under its new ownership, the hotel is remodeling its meeting rooms, guest rooms and common spaces staying true to its history while implementing state-of-the-art improvements. In the process, there have been some significant historic discoveries.

Kinship Landing to Open in Downtown Colorado Springs: Opening in 2020, Kinship Landing is a new hotel concept that will offer what today’s travelers demand: authentic and engaging travel experiences that connect them to the local community. The boutique hotel will feature a community space to talk about the day’s adventures along with lockers equipped with charging stations and available for gear storage, an inviting bar area and more.

New LOGE Breckenridge Hotel Inspires Exploration and Community: Fully opening in fall 2019 and inspired by the surfing, climbing and camping culture of the ‘70s and the relaxed energy of road tripping with friends, LOGE encourages guests to get out and explore together. LOGE Breckenridge features 38 rooms and a 20-bed hostel, meeting space for 48, bar/café, mountain bike and ski demo center, outdoor stage and common area and fire pits, all next door to some of Breckenridge’s best trails.

W Aspen and The Sky Residences at W Aspen Now Open: Opened September 2019, the new W Hotel and Residences in Aspen offers 88 guestrooms and 11 W-branded fractional residences. Conveniently located at the base of Aspen Mountain, the development features a 12,000-square-foot rooftop bar and pool with expansive views of Aspen Mountain as well as unbeatable ski-in/ski-out access. 

The Little Nell Celebrates 30th Anniversary with Remodel: To mark the 30th anniversary of Aspen’s famed Little Nell hotel, the property underwent an interior renovation of the living room, lobby and the après-ski bar called Chair 9. The hotel will celebrate with commemorative events and happenings that will take place throughout the 2019/20 winter season.

New Hostel Style Lodging Now Available at YMCA of The Rockies: New for fall 2019, the YMCA of The Rockies will offer an additional lodging option to their traditional cabins and lodge rooms. The Hostel at Ranch House will allow guests 18+ to book single-beds in shared rooms. Housed in one of the property’s traditional mountain lodges, guests at the Hostel at Ranch House will have access to a full kitchen, shared living areas and bathrooms. Guests also receive a day pass to participate in all of the YMCA’s activities and facilities.

Enticing Lodging Packages & Amenities:

YMCA Snow Mountain Ranch Full Immersion Dog Sled Experience: New for winter 2020, Snow Mountain Ranch in Granby is offering a full immersion dog sled experience that will provide guests instruction and will allow them to work up to a solo sled ride with a team of dogs on the expansive resort property.

First Tracks/Last Tracks at The Limelight Hotels in Aspen & Snowmass: Offering guests the chance to ski/ride freshly groomed corduroy or powder before Snowmass Mountain opens to the public, The Limelight Hotel’s First Tracks program will take place every Friday beginning January 2020. This service is complimentary and available to the first six guests who register. Additionally, the hotel’s Last Tracks program allows guests to join the ski patrol at both Aspen and Snowmass Mountains to be a part of the Patrol’s safety measures that includes a final “sweep” of the mountain.

Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Celebrates 30 Years with $30K Package: In celebration of Park Hyatt Beaver Creek’s 30th Anniversary, the property is offering an exclusive $30,000 package for two that will include accommodations in the property’s luxurious 1,760 square foot Rial Oxford Suite, lift tickets for Beaver Creek Mountain, rental equipment and a $3K shopping spree with personal shopper at Gorsuch, cat skiing with Vail Powder Guides, a private butler, a sleigh ride dinner to Beano’s Cabin, spa experiences and much more.

Interesting Food and Beverage Offerings:

Double Barrel Club and Rose & Thorn Open in Denver’s LoDo Neighborhood: Opened in September 2019, Rose & Thorn serves upscale international street food with a Latin emphasis and Agave bar. Guests enjoy flavored artisan ice enhanced cocktails from the world’s first Ice Laboratory and explore mouthwatering culinary delites. Located below Rose & Thorn is a 1950’s rum speakeasy where visitors experience the feel and taste of old Havana.

The Collective Opens in Snowmass: The winter 2019/2020 season brings the completion of a build out of the interior of The Collective Snowmass – the Base Village’s new community center. The project includes the construction on mixsix, a new restaurant, bar and outdoor patio by acclaimed Aspen chef Martin Oswald.

.La Nonna Opens in Vail: Executive Chef Simone Reatti serves up authentic Italian fare in his recently opened restaurant La Nonna Ristorante. Nonna, which means grandma in Italian, is both a name and inspiration for Chef Reatti as his own grandmother introduced him to cooking.

Maine Shack Now Open in Denver’s LoHi Neighborhood: Opened in July 2019, Maine Shack is a coastal seafood joint inspired by chef and owner Max Mackissock’s New England roots. The menu offers lobster rolls, New England specialties and more, showcasing a variety of ingredients sourced from the Gulf of Maine. 

Pikes Peak Brewing Company to expand to Colorado Springs: Pikes Peak Brewing Company will expand into downtown Colorado Springs with the establishment of its Lager House, anchoring a new market concept. Lager House will produce small batch, hand crafted lagers and will also offer signature beers from the original brewery established in Monument in 2011. The market will be a community of independent Colorado businesses collectively offering a place to eat, drink, shop and connect.

Sam’s Debuts at the Top of Snowmass Mountain: New for the winter season, Aspen Snowmass introduces a new Italian restaurant located at 10,620 feet at the top of Sam’s Knob on Snowmass. The new restaurant, aptly named Sam’s, is a modern Italian concept that will offer diners sweeping views of the Elk Mountains and a sophisticated, lively dining experience.

Sunday Vinyl to Open Fall 2019: From James Beard Foundation Award-winning team of Frasca Inc., including Master Sommelier Bobby Stuckey and chef Lachlan Mackinnon Patterson, Sunday Vinyl will open fall 2019 in Denver. Inspired by Europe’s vibrant wine bar culture and by Stuckey’s tradition of drinking great wines and listening to an eclectic soundtrack of vinyl albums on Sunday, his day off, Sunday Vinyl will offer a large by-the-glass wine program, a streamlined menu of European classics, and a boisterous vinyl-only playlist curated by Stuckey in partnership with Vinyl Me Please.

Tributary Food Hall & Drinkery Opens in Golden: Opened in August 2019, Tributary Food Hall & Drinkery brings eight carefully curated food and beverage artisans to the heart of downtown Golden. A new concept from celebrated chef Daniel Asher and restaurateur Josh Dinar, Tributary is the town’s first food hall and offers inspired cuisine for diners to sit and savor in a cool, hip environment.

Major News on the Horizon for Spring/Summer 2020 and Into 2021:

Denver Art Museum to Collaborate with Award-Winning Chef, Jen Jasinki on New Restaurant ConceptsOpening in June 2020 and coinciding with the first reopening phase of the DAM’s Martin Building, The Denver Art Museum will debut two new dining options in collaboration with  James Beard Award winner and celebrated Denver chef Jennifer Jasinski. The Ponti will combine art and dining, presenting a locally-sourced and inspired menu with high standards of sustainability. Cafe Gio will offer quick-service, casual dining.

Flying W Ranch to Reopen in Colorado Springs Memorial Day Weekend 2020: After a complete loss during the Waldo Canyon Fire, this western Chuckwagon supper and dinner theater returns to the Pikes Peak region. The brand-new venue will feature the area’s best BBQ and performances by the acclaimed Flying W Wranglers.

The Sheraton Denver Downtown to Undergo $80M Transformation: Slated to debut in April 2020, the Sheraton Denver Downtown has kicked off a transformation that will touch all aspects of the hotel including a new arrival experience, 133,000 square feet in renovated meeting space and 1,231 newly redesigned guest rooms as well as new, world-class culinary and beverage experiences.

Copper Mountain to Welcome Its First Hotel in 2020: Center Village at Copper Mountain will welcome a new hotel in 2020. The anticipated four-story hotel will have 127 guest rooms and offer a mix of two queen beds, king beds and suites. 

MeowWolf Comes to Denver in 2021: Santa Fe’s lauded arts and entertainment group, MeowWolf, will be opening a new immersive arts experience in Denver in 2021. Meow Wolf is comprised of over 300 employees creating and supporting art across a variety of media, including architecture, sculpture, painting, photography, video production, cross-reality (AR/VR/MR), music, audio engineering, narrative writing, costuming and performance.

New Pikes Peak Summit House Experience To Open in 2021: Pikes Peak is one of the nation’s most iconic mountains and inspired Katharine Lee Bates to pen the words to “America the Beautiful.” The new 38,000-square-foot Pikes Peak Summit House complex will include a newly designed and constructed Summit Visitor Center, elevating the experience for visitors who summit the peak via car, bicycle or foot.

Pikes Peak Cog Railway To Reopen in 2021: The Pikes Peak Cog Railway will reopen after a multi-year hiatus for repairs in 2021. The Pikes Peak Cog Railway is one of Colorado Springs’ top attractions and since 1891, has taken thousands of people to the 14,115-foot summit of Pikes Peak.

For more information and travel ideas, visit www.COLORADO.com.

Colorado Family Ski Guide 2019/20

Mile High Mamas is a top resource for planning Colorado family ski/ride vacations. A few years ago, we launched the Colorado Family Ski Guide that focuses exclusively on families–from daily lift ticket prices to the cost of childcare to where to get the best deals. But we’ve taken it one step further! Click the hyperlink for each resort name below for more in-depth details including additional deals, at what ages kids ski free, lessons, family-friendly activities, area attractions for playtime off the slopes and more.

This is just the basic information you’ll need to get started. To give you a true taste of Colorado’s winter, follow our adventures as we visit area resorts this season in our ski section and look for the momreview button below for our fun insider tips and informative narratives.

Also, don’t miss Kids Ski Free + What’s New at Colorado’s Ski Areas

Colorado Family Ski Directory 2019/20

Resort Adult Kids Childcare Ski/Ride School Deals
Arapahoe Basin Ski Area $130 $85 (ages 15-18) $49 (ages 6-14); Kids 5 and under ski free every day. No. Kids class lessons start at $145 for half-day, $175 for full-day. Available for kids of all ability levels, age 3 and up. Arapahoebasin.com. Check out their Snowsports and hot deals pages.
Aspen Highlands $174 $116; kids 6 and under ski free No on-site childcare  Ski and ride school for children ages 5-6 and 7-12. Rates start at $230. aspensnowmass.com; Kids Ski Free program for kids ages 7-12. Details:  (800) 290-1326

 

Aspen Mountain $174 $116; kids 6 and under ski free No on-site childcare Private children’s ski and snowboard lessons offered on Aspen Mountain. Rates start at $615 for a half-day. aspensnowmass.com;

Kids Ski Free program for kids ages 7-12. Details:  (800) 290-1326

Beaver Creek Resort

momreview

$169*  $117*  Half-day $179; full-day $144(2019 prices; 2020 not yet released) Starts at $235+ beavercreek.com
Breckenridge Ski Area

momreview

$157*  $102 On-site childcare starts at $140.   Starting at $191.* breckenridge.com
Buttermilk

momreview

$174* $116; kids 6 and under ski free No on-site childcare  Starting at $230 aspensnowmass.com; Kids Ski Free program for kids ages 7-12. Details:  (800) 290-1326
Crested Butte Mountain Resort

momreview

$109 Kids 4 and under ski free, Child (7-12): $63  There is a nursery for 2 months to 3 years old. Full-day starts at $139. Group lesson with lunch starts at $155.  skicb.com deals. Kids ski free Nov. 22-Dec. 13
Cooper | Chicago Ridge

 

 $62  $39; kids 5 and under ski free  Childcare $15/hr; $49 for half-day;  $89 for full-day  Child (5-12) all-day Panda Patrol group lessons start at $129   Deals offered at local rental shops, lodges, and grocery stores. Best deals are at skicooper.com.
Copper Mountain Resort $109* Starting at $82. Children 5 and under ski/ride for free. Full-day childcare is $159. Kid’s Night Out is a FREE 3-hour childcare on the condition parents spend at least $30 at the resort. Starting at $143.10. Pre-purchase most lessons online and save 20%! Purchase your tickets at CopperColorado.com and save up to 53% on window prices. You’ll also find lodging steals and vacation packages. 
Eldora Mountain Resort

momreview

$129 $79 (ages 5-15). Kids 4 & under ski free No on-site childcare Group lesson starts at $199.  Eldora.com 
Keystone Resort

 

 $128* Starting around $74*  Starts at $134 for full-day  Pricing starts at $189  Keystoneresort.com
Loveland Ski Area

momreview

$89 $35 – peak child (6-14) rate. Children 5 & under are free Full day with lunch and two snacks is $85. Half day (morning only) with one snack is $70. Hourly rate is $20/hour. Full-day lesson with lunch and lift ticket is $149. 

skiloveland.com for discount lift tickets.
lovelandreservations.co
m for Ski & Stay.

https://skiloveland.com/child-3-class-pass/ Any child (4-14) that completes three full lesson packages is eligible for a FREE season pass. 

Monarch Mountain

momreview

$79 Teen (13-15) $52, Junior (7-12) $37, Children under 6, Free The Children’s Center Rates: $50 half-day; $90 all-day Full day $119; half-day $89 Monarch ski packages with lodging participants. skimonarch.com

 

Powderhorn Mountain Resort $79 Youth (13-17) $69; Junior (7-12) $39; Child ( & Under) $19 No on-site childcare Group lessons start at age 8. A 4-hour lesson is $119. powderhorn.com
Purgatory Resort $99 Teen (11-17) $75;  Children 10 & under FREE The Den offers childcare for children 8 weeks to 5 years old. Rates from $70.  A variety of programs are available for kids ages 4+; rates from $70   Purgatory Resort’s website features deals on lodging packages that include discounts on lift tickets. PurgatoryResort.com
Ski Granby Ranch $89 $54. Kids 5 and under ski free No on-site childcare. Starting at $189. GranbyRanch.com
Snowmass

momreview

$174 $116 The Treehouse Kids Adventure Center. Rates start at $174. Offered for kids ages 2-4, 5-6 and 7-12. Rates start at $230 for full day. aspensnowmass.com; Kids Ski Free program for kids ages 7-12. Details:  (800) 290-1326
Steamboat Ski Area

momreview

$155* Child (ages 5-12): $89*.  Kids’ Vacation Center for ages 1-6: full-day $149. Kids’ Vacation Center lessons start at age 3. Prices start at $179 with advanced online purchase. www.steamboat.com or call 800-922-2722
Sunlight Mountain Resort

 

momreview

$68 $45; 5 and under ski free No. Half-day group lesson $125; full-day with lunch $180. Includes equipment, lift ticket and lesson.  Kids 12 and under ski free. Affordable Ski, Swim Stay Packages with Glenwood Hot Springs.

SunlightMTN.com

Telluride Ski Resort $149* $85* (ages 6-12); Kids 5 and under ski free  For infants and toddlers, half-day is $110 and a full-day is $150. Ski/Ride school starts at $220 for a lesson, lift ticket and lunch for ages 3 to 14.  tellurideskiresort.com
Vail  $169 $117. Kids ages 4 and under ski free.  Small World Nursery offers daycare for children 2 months-6 years starting at $173. The Vail Ski & Snowboard School lessons start at $259. Visit Vail.com and purchase tickets 7 days in advance for best prices.
Winter Park Resort

momreview

$144 $99. Kids 4 and under ski free. Childcare for kids 2 months to 6 years. Full-day: $152 when you pre-book. Full-day lessons for kids (ages 3-14), including lunch, are $197. Call Winter Park Central Reservations for latest deals and special promos.  800-729-7907. winterparkresort.com
Wolf Creek Ski Area  $76 $39. Kids 5 and under $6 No Starting at $85 for full day (4 hours) Visit wolfcreekski.com.

*Note: Information and prices are subject to change and most resorts offer discounted rates if you purchase online seven days in advance. Many resorts do not publish a set lift ticket price. When compiling our list, we used the date January 12, 2020 as our base to compare prices.

 

Kids Ski Free + What’s New at Colorado’s Ski Resorts for the 2019/20 Winter Season

 Colorado’s ski areas were busy last spring, summer and early fall working across the state on significant capital infrastructure improvements, new lodging options, dining experiences and more. In addition to improvements that seasoned skiers and riders will enjoy, they are offering a wide variety of guest enhancements and learning options that brand-new skiers and riders or those returning the sport after some time away will be excited about this winter.

Don’t miss our guide to what’s new this season + find out at what ages kids ski free at most of Colorado’s ski resorts. Also, compare prices of childcare, ski and ride school and where to find the best deals at our Colorado Family Ski Guide 2019/20. 

Passport Programs

(Photo: Vail Resorts)

Epic SchoolKids

For the best deal in town, sign up for Vail Resorts’ EpicSchoolkids (deadline was Oct. 13). The Epic SchoolKids Colorado Pack is a free program for Kindergarten through 5th graders that provides four days of skiing and riding at each of the state’s top-ranked resorts: Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, and Keystone. New for the 2019/2020 season, now includes 4 days at Crested Butte! Visit www.epicpass.com

5th and 6th Grade Passport Program

Colorado Ski Country USA offers any fifth grader the chance to ski or ride three days at 22 participating member resorts across the state for free. That’s up to 66 free days on the slopes. Fifth graders who have never skied or snowboarded are eligible for the First-Class program which provides “never-ever” skiers and riders one free full-day beginner lesson and equipment rental at the resort of their choice. All Passport holders also receive one complimentary junior rental from Christy Sports. The corresponding Sixth Grade Passport Program offers four days of skiing at the same 22 resorts for only $110, with prices subject to change. To register for the Passport Program, visit www.coloradoski.com/passport.

Arapahoe Basin Ski Area

After completing a 468-acre terrain expansion into the Beavers and the Steep Gullies last season, including the new four-person Beavers chairlift, A-Basin is continuing to upgrade its facilities. 2019-20 will be the first full season of Il Rifugo, the highest lift-served restaurant in North America at just over 12,500 feet serving charcuterie boards, wine, espresso and stunning views of the Continental Divide. A-Basin will also have newly remodeled bathrooms in the basement of the main lodge.

 For the 2019-20 season, A-Basin has changed its pass partnerships for the upcoming season in an effort to reduce ski and snowboard visits on weekends and holidays and to improve the quality of the guest experience. A-Basin can now be accessed on a limited basis on the Ikon Pass, Ikon Base Pass and Mountain Collective Pass. The only way to ski A-Basin more than 7 days without blackout dates is to purchase an A-Basin season pass for the 2019-20 season. For more information, visit www.arapahoebasin.com.

Ski Free

Arapahoe Basin introduces children to skiing and snowboarding with the Kids Free 2 Ski Pass. Absolutely free for kids between the ages of six and 14, the Kids Free 2 Ski Pass offers two free days of skiing or riding at Arapahoe Basin during the 2019-20 season. Guests can register online or at the mountain by December 17, 2019. All first-time skiers and snowboarders between the ages of six and 14 registered for Kids Free 2 Ski can also receive 50 percent off one full-day, first-timer lesson to help get them started. Children under the age of five ski free every day at Arapahoe Basin. Guests can obtain a “5 and under” lift ticket by bringing the child to the ticket window. 

Aspen Snowmass

Guests at Snowmass can enjoy a new Italian restaurant located at 10,620 ft. at the top of Sam’s Knob. The new Sam’s, a $2.5 million remodel, will feature a modern Italian concept that will offer diners sweeping views of the Elk Mountains and a sophisticated and lively food experience. All Aspen Snowmass food and beverage outlets will be straw-free in 2019-20.

 Visitors to Aspen Mountain will find a new 730-square foot Four Mountain Sports rental shop located in the new W Hotel at the base of Aspen Mountain. The Aspen Snowmass App will also feature increased rewards including a $15 food & beverage credit valid at on-mountain restaurants, $10 credit at Four Mountain Sports, $25 off Ski and Snowboard School lessons as well as exclusive access to all things Aspen Snowmass. Guests may also encounter employees on electric snowmobiles as Aspen Snowmass will introduce Taiga Motor electric snowmobiles into its fleet as part of ongoing sustainability efforts. For more information, visit www.aspensnowmass.com.

Ski Free

To encourage a new generation of winter enthusiasts, Aspen Snowmass offers free lift tickets with an equipment rental from Four Mountain Sports for children between the ages of seven and 12. The package must be booked with lodging through Stay Aspen Snowmass and is valid January 1 – April 21, 2020. Kids aged six and under always ski free at Aspen Snowmass.

(Beaver Creek)

Beaver Creek

With the expansion of Beaver Creek’s snowmaking system at Red Buffalo Park, a newly renovated Children’s Ski School, and a remodeled Village, family experiences will start on Opening Day at Beaver Creek Resort. Beaver Creek Resort is enhancing its early-season terrain offerings through the snowmaking expansion in Red Buffalo Park. The additional snowmaking capabilities at Red Buffalo Park will ensure more reliable early-season terrain in a key dedicated learning area of the upper mountain, with the goal of providing more than 3,300 vertical feet of top-to-bottom skiing and riding on opening day each year. An interior renovation of Beaver Creek’s Children Ski School facilities will improve the guest experience for the entire family, from sales and registration to rental equipment fitting. Additionally, a newly remodeled Village will welcome families for one-of-a-kind events and experiences throughout the season. From the top of the mountain to the heart of the Village, seamless family experiences start on Opening Day at Beaver Creek. www.beavercreek.com/

Ski Free

Children 4 and under ski for free. Please visit any ticket window to collect a $0 lift ticket to access the mountains or visit the Season Pass Office to obtain a pass valid all season.

Breckenridge Ski Resort

The heart of Breckenridge Ski Resort gets a new beat this season with the transformation of the Peak 8 Base Area, elevating the overall guest experience at the primary portal to the mountain. This winter guests will be greeted with a whole new look and feel as they arrive at Peak 8, welcomed by new escalators to help guests move between street-level and plaza-level; brand new skier services headquarters including new locations for resort ticket and season pass sales, the Breck Ski & Snowboard School, and Breck Sports retail and rental store; as well as other guest amenities including an outdoor ice skating rink, coffee shop, new public restroom facilities and new town transit stop for easy and convenient access into town. Over the past several years the Peak 8 Base Area has seen major improvements, with One Ski Hill Place paving the way in 2011 as a new ski-in, ski-out luxury lodging experience. In Dec. 2016, Breck Grand Vacations opened the first phase of the Grand Colorado on Peak 8, with an expansion underway and set to open this winter. Additionally, more exciting developments are on the horizon with the recent approval of a proposed four-star hotel.

Gravity Haus Breckenridge is the adventure destination and social haus for the modern adventurer. Replacing the former Village Hotel at the base of Breckenridge Ski Resort’s Peak 9, the renovated and tech-forward ski-in/ ski-out boutique property will debut in December 2019, featuring 60 distinctly-curated rooms. Featuring a modern alpine design, accommodations include private queen and king suites and ‘all-in-one’ combination suites featuring both bunks and private sleeping areas for families and groups. Designed to activate a community of like-minded outdoor enthusiasts year-round, Gravity Haus offers ongoing insider experiences ranging from athlete-led mountain expeditions to backcountry hut trips. Onsite amenities at Gravity Haus include Dryland fitness and sports recovery center; Backcountry discovery center; a super trampoline; StarterHaus, a new co-working space by Jim Deters; farm-to-cup Unravel coffee; locally-inspired food and drink at Cabin Juice; Japanese-inspired onsen and more.  www.breckenridge.com/

Ski Free

Children 4 and under ski for free. Please visit any ticket window to collect a $0 lift ticket to access the mountains or visit the Season Pass Office to obtain a pass valid all season.

Cooper

Cooper will welcome a lift and terrain expansion for the 2019-20 season featuring a new surface lift and 70 acres of new intermediate and advanced skiing terrain. This will be the first truly expert terrain in Cooper’s history. Cooper will also welcome RFID technology this winter helping guests enjoy a seamless experience. Cooper will have a variety of products for guests of all backgrounds including its First-Timer program, $30 Thursdays and a number of other discounted products. For more information, visit www.skicooper.com.

Ski Free

At Cooper, children five and under ski free every day or can receive a season pass for $10 which covers the processing fee. Children between the ages of six and 14 receive discounted lift tickets and season passes, plus deals on children’s group lessons as low as $69.

Copper Mountain

Opening for the 2019-20 season, Copper Mountain visitors can explore 273 acres of expert terrain on Tucker Mountain with the new Three Bears chairlift. This three-person fixed grip lift, topping out at 12,421 ft, will access terrain that was previously accessible via snowcat or hiking only and provide stunning views of the surrounding area. Guests can enjoy a warming hut at the top of the lift and bathrooms at the bottom.

 Copper Mountain has also begun construction on a new 127-room, four-story hotel with anticipated completion as early as 2020. Located in a portion of the Chapel parking lot, the Creekside Hotel will feature an outdoor patio nestled along West Ten Mile Creek complete with fire pits and hot tubs, giving guests a chance to unwind and soak in the views after a day on the slopes. For more information, visit www.coppercolorado.com.

Ski Free

Copper Mountain offers the One, Two, Free! package for children ages 12 and younger, which provides free skiing with the purchase of a two-day adult lift ticket. Children ages four and under always ski and ride free at Copper. Copper also offers free lift tickets to try the Easy Rider magic carpet in Center Village. Lift tickets are complimentary and must be picked up at the ticket window

(Crested Butte)

Crested Butte

After a brief hiatus, the new Teocalli Lift, a fixed-grip quad, replaces a fixed-grip double chair. The new Teocalli Lift was installed in the summer of 2019 and will increase uphill capacity by more than 50 percent, providing an enhanced level of convenience for guests looking to access the front side of the mountain or lap some of Crested Butte’s sweetest trees. A slight realignment of the lift line moves the top terminal closer to the top of the existing Red Lady Express Lift, improving egress to the can’t-miss, Uley’s Cabin as well as the base area. Increasing convenience and likes on your Instagram account, the new alignment happens to provide a perfect window into the grandeur of the lift’s namesake peak just across the valley.  www.skicb.com/

 Echo Mountain Resort

After opening its tubing hill in the 2018-19 season, Echo is adding a new food truck, Two Mile Pie, near the tubing hill serving pizza, drinks and snacks throughout the winter. Access to the tubing hill will also be more convenient with a new staircase and a new deck outside the rental shop.  In addition to enjoying Echo’s emphasis on a non-judgmental atmosphere, guests can also purchase new pass products like the Night Season Pass or Midweek Season Pass for under $100. For more information, visit www.echomountainresort.com.

Ski Free

At Echo Mountain, kids under the age of six can receive a season pass for free with the purchase of an adult season pass. Echo also offers discounts on season passes for those aged 6-12.

 Eldora

Eldora will roll out new buses in its parking lots this upcoming season to create an improved experience for guests moving between their cars and the slopes. Eldora is also finalizing a rideshare app that will help connect guests in order to facilitate carpooling and reduce traffic ahead of the season.

 Terrain park enthusiasts will be excited about Eldora’s new Zaugg terrain-shaping machine, which will allow the park crew to create consistent and innovative park features all winter long. The rental shop will also feature a new tuning machine helping guests to quickly receive ski and snowboard care and get back on the slopes. For more information, visit www.eldora.com.

Ski Deal

At Eldora, kids ages five and under can purchase an alpine season pass for only $29.

Granby Ranch

Granby Ranch is replacing 5,000 feet of snowmaking pipe for the upcoming season. This will allow Granby Ranch to open all blue runs on opening day of the season, currently scheduled for December 13, 2019. Granby Ranch’s new food and beverage team will be offering specific themed dinner options for guests on Wednesday nights throughout the season. For the second season running, Granby Ranch will also offer groups the opportunity to rent the East Mountain for the evening including night skiing. For more information, visit www.granbyranch.com.

Ski Free

Granby Ranch offers free skiing and riding every day for children ages five and under. Granby Ranch also partners with Grand County Schools to offer free skiing on Fridays with a student ID.

Hesperus

Hesperus will offer College Friday’s this season, giving college students in Colorado and New Mexico schools discounted tickets on Friday evenings to enjoy 100 percent of the mountain. Hesperus also offers first-timers over the age of seven up to three free lessons with the purchase of one full-day, full-price lift ticket. For more information, visitwww.ski-hesperus.com.

Ski Free

Hesperus participates in the Power Kids program, which grants a free season pass valid at Hesperus and Purgatory Resort, to children ages 10 and younger.

Howelsen Hill Ski Area

Ski Free

At Howelsen Hill, children ages five and under pay only $10 for a daily lift ticket, while children between the ages of six and 18 pay only $20 for a full day of skiing or riding. Howelsen will also partner with the Steamboat Springs School District to offer free lift tickets to second graders in the community. Throughout the season Howelsen Hill will also offer Ski Free Sundays. For more information, visit www.steamboatsprings.net/131/Howelsen-Hill-Ski-Area.

Kendall Mountain Ski Area

Ski Free

Children ages five and under ski and ride free every day at Kendall Mountain. Kendall Mountain also offers special lift ticket and season pass pricing for children ages 6-18. For more information, visit www.kendallmountain.com.

Keystone Resort

New for the 2019-20 season are the Keystone Plus Pass and the new Keystone Crested Butte 4-Pack. For $369, the Keystone Plus Pass, with certain holiday restrictions, provides unlimited access to Keystone, unlimited late spring skiing at Breckenridge starting April 1, 2020, and five days at Crested Butte. The Keystone Crested Butte 4-Pack offers any four total days between Keystone and Crested Butte, with holiday restrictions, for only $249.

(Keystone’s Daily Cookie Time)

For the first time ever, this year guests can enjoy one of the longest ski seasons in the country at Keystone and Breck, with skiing and riding operations planned to kick off at Keystone in October and run through Memorial Day at Breck, as weather and conditions permit. This summer Keystone Resort has been hard at work upgrading snowmaking on its opening terrain to a state-of-the-art, automated, energy-efficient system that will assist the resort to operate more productively in narrow early-season snowmaking windows. This investment in snowmaking will also help to position Keystone to be one of the first resorts to open in Colorado and the U.S. each season. With Keystone getting the season started, Breck will close it out with late spring skiing and riding. Following Breck’s announcement last season to run winter operations through Memorial Day moving forward, skiers and riders can celebrate the end of the winter season at Breck’s Spring Finale with access to signature High Alpine terrain offerings throughout May. Thanks to Breck’s elevation, High Alpine terrain and propensity for snow, the resort typically offers exceptional spring conditions for skiing and riding. www.keystoneresort.com

Ski Free

Kids 12 and under ski free every day, all season long with two or more nights of lodging booked direct with Keystone Resort. No blackout dates, no restrictions. Children 4 and under ski for free. Please visit any ticket window to collect a $0 lift ticket to access the mountains or visit the Season Pass Office to obtain a pass valid all season.

Loveland Ski Area

A year after debuting the new Chet’s Dream chairlift, Loveland is partnering with the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Snowstang for the upcoming season. A roundtrip ticket on the new direct bus service will cost $25 with discounts for seniors, children and disabled passengers. Guests can be picked up at Union Station in Denver and the Denver Federal Center. Snowstang will run on weekends starting December 12 and will run through mid-April, 2020 with some holidays.

 Families visiting Loveland for the first time can take advantage of the Family Private Lesson to learn together in a relaxed, non-competitive environment as a family. For more information, visit www.skiloveland.com.

Ski Free

At Loveland, children ages five and under can ski and snowboard for free. For children between the ages of six and 14, Loveland offers a free season pass with the completion of the 3-Class Pass. Children’s full day lesson packages include a lesson, lift access, ski and snowboard equipment rentals, helmet and lunch.

Monarch Mountain

Monarch will celebrate its 80th Anniversary with a new retail location next to the rental shop that will specialize in rental clothes and cold weather essentials for guests that need them. Ongoing tree thinning will allow Monarch to open a new gladed tree run as well as a children’s interpretive run. For more information, visit www.skimonarch.com.

Ski Free

Children under six always ski and ride free at Monarch Mountain. For families who don’t want to visit the lift ticket window for a complimentary child’s pass each day, Monarch also offers children’s season passes for those ages six and under with a processing fee of $20. Monarch also offers discounted lift ticket or season passes for those aged 7 to 17.

Powderhorn Resort

Powderhorn will welcome a new food and beverage location in its base area, an Umbrella Bar for visitors to sit back and enjoy. Guests will also have the option of staying slope-side in the new tiny home village year-round. Powderhorn will also be launching a new app and website in the fall of 2019 to improve the guest experience. For more information, visit www.powderhorn.com.

Ski Deal

At Powderhorn, children ages five and under can purchase a daily lift ticket for $19 or a season pass for $29. Through the Learn to Ski Free program, participants can enjoy free ski or snowboard lessons, with free rentals and a free Easy Rider lift ticket during the time of the lesson.

(Pur

Purgatory Resort

Purgatory will offer free ski and snowboard lessons to all first-time skiers and riders of all ages. Children 10 and younger are eligible for a free season pass through the Power Kids program. Young adults up to 36 will also receive discounted season passes. For more information, visit www.skipurg.com.  

Ski Deal

Purgatory Resort participates in the Power Kids program, which grants a free season pass valid at Purgatory Resort and Hesperus Ski Area, to children ages 10 and younger. Purgatory also offers free lessons to those who have never skied or snowboarded before.

Silverton Mountain

Silverton Mountain will expand its unguided season for the upcoming winter, now beginning March 18, 2020 and running five days a weekWednesday-Sunday through April 19, 2020. This is over a 50 percent increase in available ski days during the unguided season. For more information, visit www.silvertonmountain.com.

Steamboat

Guests visiting Steamboat this winter will enjoy the new gondola, which will expand uphill capacity from the base area by nearly 40 percent. The new gondola will also provide a more seamless experience with gondola cabins flush to the ground allowing riders to walk straight on as opposed to stepping up to get into the cabin. Ride time will be reduced from 12 minutes to under 10 minutes. Also new this upcoming season, Ikon pass holders will have access to night skiing Thursday- Monday from December through March.

 Guests in need of rental equipment can experience the newly refurbished and expanded Steamboat Sports in the base area with an improved rental process and more retail offerings. Visitors can also look forward to a full season of the Taco Beast, Steamboat’s roaming snowcat turned food truck. For more information, visit www.steamboat.com.

Ski Free

Steamboat’s Kids Ski Free and Grandkids Ski Free programs give children 12 years old or younger free lift tickets and free rentals for the same number of days as their parent, grandparent or legal guardian when the parent, grandparent, or legal guardian has purchased a 5-or-more day adult lift ticket and a 5-or-more day rental package.

Sunlight Mountain Resort

A three-phase, $4 million expansion has begun at Sunlight with phase one underway this summer. This will expand gladed tree skiing, add five new hike back runs and an additional 500 vertical feet of skiing in the expert only area of the mountain for winter 2019-20. When completed, the entire project will feature a new lift and 100 acres of new terrain. For more information, visit www.sunlightmtn.com.

Ski Free

Children ages five and younger can receive a free Carefree Skier season pass to Sunlight Mountain Resort. Children five and younger can also ski free every day by visiting the ticket window for a complimentary daily lift ticket. With the award-winning Ski, Swim and Stay Package, kids 12 and younger can ski and ride free.

Telluride Ski Resort

Guests to Telluride can experience 40 new acres of north-facing gladed terrain around Lift 9 this upcoming winter. This new tree skiing will be for advanced and expert skiers and will also include new natural features like steep chutes and rock drops.

 Guests can also download Telluride’s new app that includes up-to-the-minute lift status information, snow reporting, trail status, an interactive trail map, push notifications and more. For more information, visit www.tellurideskiresort.com.

Ski Free

Telluride offers free daily lift tickets at the lift ticket window for children ages five and younger. Telluride also offers season passes to those 5 and under for $25. Discounts are available for those aged 6-24 on daily lift tickets and season passes

Vail Mountain

Vail has just kicked off the first phase of an ambitious snowmaking expansion project– the largest in Vail Mountain’s history– that will enhance the skiing experience beginning with the 2019-2020 winter season by allowing for more diverse terrain to be open earlier, creating more reliable early and late-season conditions with high-quality snow, and improving existing snowmaking technology to be more energy and water-efficient. Vail’s extensive snowmaking upgrades and expansion taking place this summer will help to ensure a pre-Thanksgiving opening day each year. Nearly 200 acres of new and enhanced snowmaking terrain this season (in addition to our current 431 acres of snowmaking terrain) will provide guests with earlier access to higher elevation terrain, a broader variety of trails, access from two base areas, and improved early season ski school terrain.  www.vail.com

Ski Free

Children 4 and under ski for free. Please visit any ticket window to collect a $0 lift ticket to access the mountains or visit the Season Pass Office to obtain a pass valid all season.

Winter Park Resort

A new 6-person Sunnyside chair will be installed for the 2019-20 season, replacing the old 3-person fixed-grip chair in one of the most popular areas of the resort. The $6 million upgrade will reduce ride time from eight minutes to under four minutes and reduce lift lines at the bottom of Parsenn Bowl. For the first time, Winter Park will also offer guests guided off-mountain adventures like nighttime experiences or backcountry skiing or riding. For more information, visit www.winterparkresort.com.

Ski Free

Winter Park’s Kids Ski Free program offers free skiing and riding for children ages 12 and younger with the purchase of Winter Park lodging and a 3-day adult lift ticket. Blackout dates apply.

Wolf Creek Ski Area

Wolf Creek will celebrate its 80th birthday this winter. A new run, Orion’s Beltway, will offer beginners and intermediates a new option when exploring the mountain. The new Powderroom will offer seasonal pass holders the option of renting a locker for the season. The Raven’s Nest, a modern two-story restaurant located at the top of the Raven Lift, will be upgraded with a new sunroom in the lower level. The remodel will open space and create a more vibrant area for the new Raven’s Grill Café including a new menu. For more information, visit www.wolfcreekski.com.

Ski Free

Each season, Wolf Creek hosts a “Know the Code” safety poster contest. The annual safety poster contest invites elementary, junior and high school students to illustrate one or more aspects of the Responsibility Code. Wolf Creek staff and guests vote on the posters, and first through third place winners in each division are awarded a free ski day with immediate family members

Family Travel: 40+ Holiday Vacation Ideas in Colorado

For a romantic snowy getaway or a winter wonderland family vacation, destinations across Colorado offer opportunities to create holiday memories to last a lifetime. These holiday travel itineraries will have visitors of all ages dreaming of sugarplums in no time. 

Also, don’t miss Denver guide to the holidays: Santa Arrivals & Christmas events

Aurora 

Stay and Play at Gaylord Rockies in Aurora

Transformed into a holiday wonderland, Gaylord Rockies features a variety of seasonal activities, live entertainment and grand décor. Gaylord Rockies showcases Colorado’s alpine charm and offers an all-in-one vacation with luxury amenities, eight restaurants, an indoor water complex, spa and salon and state-of-the-art fitness center.  

Guests can experience Cirque Dreams Holidaze, a critically-acclaimed Broadway musical and new Cirque adventure wrapped into the ultimate gift for the entire family. Performances begin Nov. 22, 2019 and run through Jan. 4, 2020. Gaylord Rockies also presents ICE!® featuring Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, an experience with two-story ice slides and larger-than-life ice sculptures that tell Rudolph’s story in this winter wonderland carved from more than two million pounds of colorful ice.

Breckenridge

Where to stay: Gravity Haus

Gravity Haus Breckenridge is a completely renovated ski-in/ski-out hotel located at the Base of Peak 9 and opening in December 2019. With 60 distinctly curated rooms and a host of amenities tailored to the modern outdoor enthusiast, Gravity Haus embodies the crafted Colorado experience.  

Ways to play:

Lighting of Breckenridge and Race of the Santas – Dec. 7, 2019

The first weekend in December begins Breckenridge’s annual transformation into a sparkling holiday scene. The Race of the Santas is a jolly event with hundreds of Kris Kringle look-alikes racing along Main Street. Guests can watch as Santa uses his magic to light up the town for the season. The festive day also includes a holiday dog parade and meet-and-greet with Santa.

Ullr Fest – Dec. 11-15, 2019

This annual festival celebrates Norse mythology and features a downtown parade and bonfire, a town-wide talent show, the Ullr Ice Plunge, ice skating and fat bike racing. Attendees often dress in Viking-themed garb.

New Years Eve Celebration– Dec. 31, 2019

Guests can ring in the New Year with a bang and a boom at Breckenridge Mountain Resort. Breck hosts an on-mountain Torchlight Parade, Reggae on the Blue and more than 100 bars and restaurants to take the celebration into 2020.

Breckenridge Sleigh Rides – Ongoing

There are few better ways to get in the holiday spirit than via a horse-drawn sleigh ride. In Breckenridge, visitors can choose from scenic sleigh rides, dinner sleigh rides and even a sleigh ride that features dinner and a show.

Colorado Springs 

Where to stay: The Broadmoor

This iconic five-star and five-diamond property offers impeccable service in a gorgeous location that incorporates the spirit of the West. Plus, the Broadmoor decks the halls with spectacular gingerbread house displays to add to the festive atmosphere.

Families looking for a luxurious getaway can book Cloud Camp at the Broadmoor, which is available for either a three- or four night stay over the Thanksgiving or Christmas holidays. The holiday package includes reservation of the entire camp, including the main lodge and all seven of its guest rooms. All meals, beverages and alcohol are included, and Cloud Camp’s staff and culinary team will ensure that no need goes unmet.

Ways to play:

Cripple Creek Gold Camp Christmas – Dec. 13-14, 2019

Cripple Creek, a historic gambling and mining town, offers Lighted Headframe Tours that give visitors the opportunity to visit the area’s historic mines decked with impressive light displays. Tours begin at the Aspen Mine Center and a shuttle will transport guests through the lighted headframes and arrive in Victor for the Victor Parade of Lights and the Victor Gold Bowl. Self-guided tours are also available.

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s Electric Safari – Dec. 6, 2019 – Jan. 1, 2020

Tis the season for lights, animals and holiday cheer at America’s only mountain zoo. Guests can take in nearly one million sparkling lights illuminating the night, then stop in and see Santa. Select animal exhibits are open during the event.

30th Annual Colorado Springs Citywide Kwanzaa Celebration – Dec. 26-28, 2019

Kwanzaa celebrates the best and highest of the values, history, culture, philosophy and achievements of African people (living in America and in other parts of the world). Held at the Hillside Community Center, this three-day celebration of family, community and culture is presented by the Kuumba Cultural Collective of Southern Colorado.

Santa’s Workshop at the North Pole – Open year round

This Christmas-themed family amusement park has delighted families for more than 60 years and is a year-round regional staple that is extraordinarily special in the winter months. Guests enjoy holiday music in the quaint village, gift shops with unique selections of toys and gifts and Santa’s House for a chance to greet the jolly old elf himself. Plus, amusement rides suitable for guests of all ages can be enjoyed throughout the park.

Denver 

Where to stay: The Brown Palace Hotel & Spa

The Brown Palace Hotel & Spa is Denver’s premiere hotel for the holidays with gorgeous décor and a prime downtown location. This historical hotel has hosted almost every U.S. president since 1905 and offers six on-site restaurants. Plus, it hosts the annual Champagne Cascade to kick off the holiday season on Nov. 24, 2019.

Ways to play:

Blossoms of Light at Denver Botanic Gardens – Nov. 29, 2019 – Jan. 3, 2020

The Gardens’ signature event for more than three decades, this annual holiday lights extravaganza transforms the York Street location into a twinkling winter wonderland. This year brings fresh and exciting new features including a 360-degree immersive light experience.

The Nutcracker presented by Colorado Ballet – Nov. 30, 2019 – Dec. 29, 2019

The Colorado Ballet performs The Nutcracker for the 59th season this year. This holiday classic sells out every year and is performed at the beautiful Ellie Caulkins Opera House in the heart of downtown Denver.

Ice Skating at the Downtown Denver Rink at Skyline Park – Nov. 26, 2019 – Feb. 16, 2020

Families can take a spin on the ice for free at this outdoor, public rink in downtown Denver. This affordable, family-friendly activitiy gives kids and adults alike the chance to try something new with lessons on Saturday mornings—plus Friday night DJs, Saturday night concerts and Sunday afternoon family entertainment.   

Farolito Lighting and Pinecone Ceremony at Tesoro Cultural Center– Dec. 1, 2019

Tesoro ushers in the holiday season and honors a member of the community who has enlightened the hearts and minds of others. Feel the warmth and watch as pinecones are tossed into the courtyard fire, sending good thoughts into the night sky. Sing along to carols from the 1830s and 1840s with music students from the Colorado School of Mines and other strolling musicians. Enjoy Mexican hot chocolate, hot cider and traditional biscochitos.

Durango

Where to stay: The Rochester Hotel

The Rochester Hotel in downtown Durango is a historic property built in 1892. This hotel is family owned and operated and the downtown hotel’s warm, friendly service and convenient amenities ensure guests have a pleasant and memorable stay in the charming community of Durango. 

Ways to play:

THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad – Nov. 14, 2019 – Jan. 2, 2020

The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad offers THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride that brings the classic children’s story alive through the chefs, conductor and all of the beloved characters from the tale. Santa visits each car and chefs on-board lead guests in specially selected Christmas carols. Plus, all little ones aboard receive a special gift from Santa.

45th Annual Holiday Arts & Crafts Festival – Dec. 8, 2019

This annual fest brings together a variety of creative vendors from the surrounding four corners with handcrafted arts and crafts for sale to help visitors find the perfect gift for everyone on their shopping list. From homemade jellies, sauces, dips, and treats, to blown, fused and stain glass, embroidered art, clothing, holiday decor, barnwood pieces, pottery, body and beauty products, Native American ware and so much more.

Santa Claus on the Mountain at Purgatory – Dec. 21, 2019

Santa and Mrs. Claus will be on the beach at Purgatory giving out candy canes and finding out who has been naughty or nice. After a day of skiing, tubing, sleigh rides and more, enjoy the festive holiday atmosphere in the base area.

Georgetown 

Where to stay: Hotel Chateau Chamonix

This European-style, boutique hotel is set along beautiful Clear Creek. The charming chalet lodging offers superb guest services including a welcome glass of wine upon guests’ arrival.

Ways to play:

Santa’s North Pole Adventure on the Georgetown Loop Railroad – Nov. 16, 2019 to Dec. 24, 2019

The Georgetown Loop Railroad offers festive holiday experiences for travelers. Families can experience Santa’s North Pole Adventure from mid-November until December 24. On this train ride, Santa passes out presents, treats and goodies to the little ones. Join Santa and his helpers aboard decorated, enclosed, heated coaches throughout the holiday season until December 24, 2019. Santa’s North Pole Adventure is a round-trip train ride that lasts approximately 50-60 minutes.

After Santa retires on December, the train kicks off its Victorian Holiday Celebration from Dec. 26, 2019 through Jan. 6, 2020.
60th Annual Georgetown Christmas Market – Dec. 7-8 and Dec. 14-15, 2019

Each December the town of Georgetown transforms for two weekends into a bustling Christmas scene reminiscent of Christmas of long ago. In Georgetown, Christmas hasn’t changed in 100 years: roasted chestnuts, holiday shopping, horse-drawn wagon rides through the historic district and wonderful sights and smells. Visitors enjoy appearances by St. Nicholas in his traditional dress and the daily procession of the Santa Lucia. Carolers in Victorian costume, dancers and other family entertainment provide hours of memorable performances.

49th Annual Christmas at the Hamill House – Dec. 14 and Dec. 21, 2019

The home of silver baron Willam Arthur Hamill is decorated in Victorian splendor for the holiday season for all adults to enjoy. Open from 6 to 9 p.m., the annual celebration ceremony includes the lighting of the Christmas Tree, story and presentation of the Yule Log, a reading of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,’ libations, small plate buffet to feast on the Wassail Bowl Punch with toasts to all.

Loveland

Where to stay: TownePlace Suites by Marriott

Located at the hip, new Foundry district, this hotel opened in 2019 and is part of the city’s long-term vision to revitalize the historic downtown region. The hotel features an indoor pool, lounge, fitness center and access to The Foundry’s eateries and entertainment options.

Ways to play:

Loveland’s Winter Wonderlights at Chapungu Sculpture Park – Nov. 15, 2019 – Jan. 1, 2020

Revel in the holiday glow at Loveland’s Winter Wonderlights, a unique holiday lighting attraction at Chapungu Sculpture Park in Centerra, the only permanent exhibit of Zimbabwe stone sculpture in the U.S. Enjoy holiday lights, illuminated African stone sculptures and a nightly light and music show featuring a 20’ LED Christmas Tree. Guests can enjoy special entertainment, activities, giveaways and more, including Colorado’s largest inflatable igloo. New for 2019, Santa and Reindeer from Loveland’s Jessen Reindeer Ranch will be available during weekends in November.

Downtown Loveland’s Festival of Lights – Nov. 22, 2019

Visitors can step into the magic of the holidays with the traditional Downtown Loveland tree-lighting ceremony and 4th Annual Festival of Lights. The free Festival of Lights, presented by the Loveland Downtown Partnership, brings holiday music and activities, Santa and Mrs. Claus, kids area and performance stage, holiday spirits beer garden, horse-drawn carriage rides, local food vendors and local holiday shopping.

Centerra’s New Year’s Eve Bash – Dec. 31, 6 – 9 p.m.

Ring in 2020 at northern Colorado’s signature lifestyle and shopping center – Centerra. From 6-9 p.m., enjoy family-friendly activities and ice skating and fun at the Promenade Shops at Centerra. A celebratory fireworks show is scheduled for 8 p.m.

Leadville

Where to stay: Tennessee Pass Sleep Yurts

Tennessee Pass offers a unique experience with sleep yurts, a cookhouse and Nordic center on the property. The luxury sleep yurts are outfitted with soapstone wood stoves, down comforters, handcrafted log beds and kitchenettes. Lunch and dinner room service and morning breakfast baskets are available. Overnight stays include passes to 27 km of groomed cross-country ski and fat biking trails.

 Ways to play:

Leadville Parade of Lights – Dec. 6, 2019

Leadville will host its annual Parade of Lights the evening of Friday, Dec. 6, 2019. Santa and Mrs. Claus will join many other brightly lit floats and groups in a parade down Harrison Avenue, through the heart of the National Historic Landmark District. Guests can warm up with hot cocoa and cookies on the Courthouse lawn. 

Ski with Santa at Ski Cooper – Dec. 24, 2019

On Dec. 24, 2019, Santa will make a stop at Ski Cooper before his big night. Skiers can take photos with Santa, who will be skiing with the kids in the beginner area.

Snowmobile Trails Abound at 10,200 Feet – Ongoing

Snowmobiling is one of the most thrilling ways to experience America’s snow-lined backcountry. And Leadville, with its abundance of snow and national forest land, is the quintessential snowmobiling destination. Snowmobile enthusiasts can find level tracks for beginners, rolling terrain for intermediates and hair-raising deep powder for advanced riders. 

Steamboat Springs 

Where to stayThe Steamboat Grand

Located just steps from the chairlift, the Steamboat Grand is festively decorated for the season and offers a variety of lodging offerings for parties of all sizes including hotel rooms, studios, condos and penthouses.

Ways to play:

Santa in His Study on Main Street – Saturdays from Dec. 7-21, 2019

Families have the chance to visit Santa in his study on Main Street. Little ones can pose for a cost-free photo and give Saint Nick their wish list in-person. Santa can be found from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. or children can leave a letter in his mailbox while he’s off duty.

Steamboat Holiday Festival – Dec. 22, 2019

Guests can celebrate the holiday season Steamboat-style in Gondola Square as Santa rides down the slopes on horseback. The stocking scramble offers free holiday treats at surrounding stores and restaurants. Additional festivities include cookie decorating, story-time and a special holiday concert. The party continues after dark with a torchlight parade and fireworks followed by night skiing.

Torchlight Parade and Fireworks – Dec. 22 and 31, 2019 

The local SnowSports School treats holiday guests to spectacular on-snow parades down the mountain lit only by torches. In conjunction with the torchlight parades, a fireworks display will illuminate the sky providing a perfect ending to the evening.   

For more holiday travel ideas, visit Colorado.com.

Ski Deals at the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Expo

Ski Season has begun! Yes, we had to re-learn how to drive in the snow last week – but with that came the opening of Colorado Ski Season (Congratulations Arapahoe Basin on being the first this year).

Now that the areas are open what about your gear? The Colorado Ski and Snowboard Expo is back for the 28th year. All the fun of skiing and snowboarding brought inside (to the Colorado Convention Center) and deals galore. Deals + Ski Season = Happy Gretchen! This year, the event will take place October 25-27 (Friday from 12 noon to 10 p.m.; 10

Grab some really great savings. Save up to 70% on winter apparel, skis, boots, bindings, snowboards, and more. This isn’t the cheap stuff either – it’s the top brands in winter gear like Atomic, Salomon, Burton, Dalbello, Head, K2, Liberty, Nordica, Obermeyer, Volkl and so many more. Honestly, these are probably the best deals Denver has ever seen! 

In addition to the awesome deals – there is also a ton of fun for kids – with activities and entertainment. (One year I looked up and my son was on a stage amidst a twinkie eating contest – which he promptly won and then never ate a twinkie again). The show will have a ton of vendors with products for outdoor recreation, and many of Colorado’s mountain resorts will be there with last chance early season pricing on season passes and lift ticket packages. See what’s happening at the Expo

Tickets are just $15 for adults but you can save $3 by purchasing online and using promo code COOCT. Kids 12 & Under are FREE. Plus, with each purchase you get a $10 gift card from Get Ski Tickets.

Epic SchoolKids: Sign up NOW to ski free LATER

Sure, we’re in the throes of a toasty summer but now is the time to act to save BIG on the slopes for later. 

The Epic SchoolKids Colorado Pack is a free program for Kindergarten through 5th graders that provides four days of skiing and riding at each of the state’s top-ranked resorts: Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, and Keystone. New for the 2019/2020 season, now includes 4 days at Crested Butte!

The program also includes one free first-timer ski or ride lesson with equipment rental.

Visit your nearest Front Range Epic Mountain Gear store to enroll today!

Have Questions? Visit the Epic SchoolKids Colorado Pack FAQ for more information.

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Mom and Dad: who says kids get to have all the fun? While your little ones are skiing free, join them on the slopes with the Epic Pass and Epic Local Pass!