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Awesome Deals for Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month in Colorado

So you live in Colorado – and you don’t ski yet? Don’t worry! January is Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month. The month is meant to get you out there – humans weren’t meant to hibernate. This year as a special celebration, Friday January 11 is Learn to Ski and Snowboard DAY! The goal of the day is to have an industry record for most beginner lessons in one day.  
 
Arapahoe Basin. Kids ages 6 to 14 can get a discounted morning class and full day lift ticket for just $100 on select January days. For the adults there is the A-Basin Adult Beginner Lesson Package including half day lesson, full day lift ticket, equipment rental all just $125. (There is also an unlimited Adult Beginner Lesson Package for $250).
 
Aspen/Snowmass. First Day (one day) package includes lessons and special beginner equipment rental for just $244 with advance purchase. But some say it takes three days to really get the hang of it – so they offer a three day program for $599.
 
Beaver Creek. If you took advantage of the Epic School Kids program (offering free passes to K-5th graders). This is the month to take advantage of the free first timer’s lesson (which also includes equipment rental).
 
Breckenridge. If you took advantage of the Epic School Kids program (offering free passes to K-5th graders). This is the month to take advantage of the free first timer’s lesson (which also includes equipment rental). Not all skiing is downhill! The Breckenridge Nordic Center has a bring a friend offer when you confirm reservations in advance you enjoy lunch for 2 after your ski lesson or guided snowshoe adventure.
 
Copper Mountain. First time adult skier and snowboarders can get a full day group lesson at half day rate of just $138.57 (includes surcharge, lift ticket and lesson but not rental equipment). Adult firs timer PM half-day lesson is just $69.28 (again no rental included). Valid through January except blackout dates of 12th, 19th, and 26th.
 
Crested Butte. During the month of January, first time skiers and riders ages 15 and older can sign up for a First Time Beginner Adventure lesson with the Crested Butte Ski and Ride School. This package will include a full-day ski or snowboard lesson, full day adult lift ticket, and 50 percent off a single-day equipment rental package. This offer will be available to first time skiers and riders only, and advanced reservations are required.
 
Eldora. Eldora offers kids the Mountain Explorers Built by Woodward LEsarn to Ski and Snowbaord package for just $169 on non-peak days. Includes lift ticket, rental and lessons with snacks and lunch. Adults can take advantage of the Discover 1-2-3 Lessons for just $169 on non-peak days.  
 
Granby Ranch. Receive a season pass after completing two beginner lessons. Packages are $199 which includes one full day lesson, one half-day lesson, rentals and lift tickets.
 
Keystone. If you took advantage of the Epic School Kids program (offering free passes to K-5th graders). This is the month to take advantage of the free first timer’s lesson (which also includes equipment rental).
 
Loveland. Loveland has one of the best offers out there. Get the 3-Class pass. When you complete three lessons you get a FREE season pass after the third lesson. This offer is good for both adults and kids! 4 & 5 year old 3-Class Passes are $429 and include three full-day lessons with early drop off, lift ticket, equipment rental and lunch. 6-14 year old 3-Class Passes are $399 and include three full-day lessons with lift ticket, equipment rental and lunch. Adult(15+) 3-Class Passes are $412 each and include one full-day Newcomer lesson package and two half-day Master The Mountain lesson packages. Lesson packages include lift ticket and equipment rental.
 
Monarch. Just for Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month, kids age 7 to 12 can get the $73 package that includes lift ticket, equipment rental, and three our lesson (with snack)!
 
Powderhorn. Guest who have never skied or snowboarded can get three days of lessons, rental and beginner area lift tickets for just $169. Skiers have to be 5 or older and snowboarders 7 or older. Or if you have skied before but still want lessons take advantage of Powderhorn’s Fast Track Program offers three days of lessons, three days of rentals, and three all mountain lift tickets for $290 for skiers five and older or snowboarders seven and older. Upon completion of this program, guests will receive a Graduate Card for 20 percent off any additional lessons, rentals, and lift tickets for the remainder of the season.
 
Purgatory. Purgatory Resort offers a special Learn to Ski and Snowboard package starting at $74 that includes two days of lift tickets, rental gear, and full-day beginner lessons. On the third day, participants receive a free lift ticket, 50 percent off rental gear and 50 percent off a half-day lesson. Participants also receive a 50 percent off discount card on lift tickets, rentals and lessons for the remainder of the season, plus save 20 percent on a season pass for the 2018/19 season. Purgatory keeps skiing fun and affordable for families by offering all kids who are in fourth grade and younger a free season pass. No adult season pass purchase required. For more information, visit www.purgatoryresort.com.
 
Steamboat. Aww, I love Steamboat (it’s where I learned). There is a special two day never ever (for anyone first grade and older).  Package includes two full day instruction, gear rental and lift tickets. Package is just $290!
 
Sunlight. Sunlight’s Learn to Shine program is three days of 2 hour lessons, equipment rental and lift tickets. PLUS, you get a free 5-day ski pass one you’ve done’ all the lessons for just $395. (You can take lessons any time you want – days in a row or weeks apart). Or try the Slop & Soak 4-ppakc  which is 4 full day lift tickets and 4 passes to your choice of Hot Springs for just $279. Also if you happen to know a firefighter – they get free skiing & snowboarding  on Wednesdays all season long!
 
Telluride. In January, Get 25 % off if you have never Ever skied or snowboarded. Package includes lesson, lift ticket and rentals.
 
Vail. If you took advantage of the Epic School Kids program (offering free passes to K-5th graders). This is the month to take advantage of the free first timer’s lesson (which also includes equipment rental). Adults can take advantage of Vail’s three consecutive days Never-Ever lessons for just $458. Includes lift and lesson (not equipment).
 
Winter Park. Winter Park will offer the Headway Easy Start Lesson, an adult first-timer ski lesson using Head’s revolutionary program to help participants learn to ski. Lessons will be limited to first-time skiers 14 years and older only and will include a full day lesson, lunch, ski rental equipment and lift ticket starting at $269. May a stay-cation out of it with Winter Park offer of a special vacation package that includes $200 in resort credit. Any family that stays in WPR properties for at least four nights gets a $200 resort credit good for everything but lift access, including food and beverage, lessons, retail and more. 
 
Wolf Creek. We love the Guarantee Learn to Ski or Board initiative. Get an extra hour one on one instruction if after your first lesson you don’t feel confident.
 
Participate in #FirstDayFaces. This social media campaign highlights newcomers’ first day learning – from a professional instructor. You can win a $250 gift certificate from GetSkiTickets, a $250 gift certificate from Liftopia or a $250 gift voucher from skis.com or snowboards.com. Simply post a photo of yourself or friends on your favorite social media platform on your first day learning how to ski or snowboard WITH the hash tag #firstdayfaces.

Why Keystone Resort’s Kidtopia is the Ultimate Festival for Kids

A lot of Colorado’s ski resorts do a great job catering to kids but Keystone Resort has upped the snow-coated ante by creating Kidtopia, a multi-weekend festival for the little ones. Group that with the Kidtopia Snow Fort’s climbable tunnels and turrets and a five-acre mountain lake for skating…and you have a ton of wintry family fun.

Why Keystone

As the largest mountain resort in Summit County with 3,148 acres of bowls, bumps, glades and groomers, Keystone has three mountain playgrounds—Dercum Mountain, North Peak, and the Outback.  One of our most memorable vacations was a family getaway at this resort that is just 90 miles from Denver. Skating. Skiing. A mid-mountain fondue dinner at Der Fondue Chessel.

The bucket list is long here and should include visiting the World’s LARGEST snow fort atop Dercum Mountain, tubing at Adventure Point at the summit of Dercum Mountain and skating at the outdoor Dercum Square Ice Rink (free but skate rentals are extra).

Kidtopia

Skiing and snowboarding are plenty entertaining but an entire festival dedicated to kids that runs for the entire ski season?  Talk about fun!

A smattering of activities occur during the season that include hat include Cookie Time,  Winter Movie Matinee, Meet the Avy Dog (avalanche dog team), Meet & Greet with Ripperoo, Family Snowshoeing 101, Cupcakes and Canvas and Super Snowy Science. But Saturday is when the mountain comes to life with Riperoo’s Village Parade and River Run Fireworks that ignite the winter skies and are viewable from River Run and Lakeside Villages. Not to be missed: Kidtopia Holiday Spectacular (Nov. 24– Dec 24), the 2nd Annual Kidtopia Culinary Festival (Feb. 8-15), Kidtopia Music Experience (March 1-10)! Grab your spatulas and head to Keystone for this week-long celebration of all things food and family fun!

The Mountain

We have achieved a milestone in our family; we are finally able to ski together (insert moment of thankful silence for all those patient ski school instructors who have waged the teaching-our-kids-to-ski battle). Something we loved about Keystone is EpicMix, a cutting-edge smart card that tracks things like vertical feet skied and also offers free on-mountain photos, including free low-res downloads for sharing on social networks including Facebook and Twitter.

Keystone Lake: A Cut of Canada

Most families have some kind of initiation when someone marries into the clan. My American husband received a pair of hockey skates with the explicit instructions that any of our future half-breeds should be born on the blade.

But here’s the deal: a Canuck’s idea of skating is not circling around on some uninspired indoor rink with music blaring in the background. We like wide open spaces and we skate for miles on rivers and lakes. Frozen nose hairs are an added bonus.

Keystone Lake is about as close to the Real Skating Deal as I have come since moving to the United States. The resort boasts their five-acre lake is the largest Zamboni-maintained outdoor ice skating rink in North America. My little clan had the time of our lives cruising around, watching a pick-up hockey game, and marveling at the mountain grandeur as flurries of ice particles glittered in the swirling air. It was the perfect cut of Canada.

Minus the frozen nose hairs.

Kids Ski Free

Kids 12 and under ski/snowboard free with any two-night stay at Keystone’s accommodations. On a positive note, there are no blackout dates, so this deal is one for the taking.

Featured Photo: Jesse Starr

Top holiday events at Colorado’s 21 ski resorts!

In case you were holding off on scheduling your holiday Christmas vacation to ensure Colorado will have snow, don’t delay!

After a Thanksgiving weekend filled with snowfall and with more snow expected through the beginning and middle of December, the holiday season is fast approaching in Colorado. Colorado’s resorts are ready to greet guests with family-friendly activities and events including holiday ice skating, fine dining, fireworks and torchlight parades.  Guests can celebrate the holiday season and ring in the New Year at Colorado’s ski areas whether they are long-time skiers and snowboarders, first-time participants or non-skiers seeking a fun winter destination for the whole family.

Arapahoe Basin Ski Area

Arapahoe Basin will host a variety of family-friendly holiday activities, beginning with a visit from Santa and an elf on Monday, Dec. 24. Santa will bring candy and holiday cheer, and the Summit County Choral Society will be caroling in the base area from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. A-Basin will also host New Year’s Eve in the Mountains, a special lift-served Moonlight Dinner at Black Mountain Lodge. This event will offer guests the opportunity to ring in 2019 with a gourmet dinner by Chef Steven Vlass including lobster, filet mignon and other delicious offerings. A-Basin will celebrate New Year’s Eve with New York at 10 p.m. with live music, a glass of champagne, party favors and a balloon drop. For more information, visit www.arapahoebasin.com.

 Aspen Snowmass

Aspen Snowmass will celebrate Chanukah with events throughout the holiday from Dec. 2-10. The annual Tree Lighting at the Little Nell on Sunday will take place Dec. 9, featuring a city-wide countdown, complimentary cookies and hot cocoa, carolers and photos with Santa Claus. On Saturday, Dec. 15, the festivities will continue with the Snowmass Base Village Grand Opening Celebration. This event will include a live band, food and drinks, and tons of giveaways as Aspen Snowmass unveils the new Limelight Hotel Snowmass, a new restaurant, a children’s game area and a five-story climbing wall.

 On select evenings during the holidays, Elk Camp at Snowmass will host Ullr Nights, a nighttime winter wonderland event including tubing, snowbiking, snowshoe tours, live music, a bonfire, s’mores and the Breathtaker Alpine Coaster.

 On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, the Little Nell will host four-course prix fixe dinners at Element 47, featuring holiday favorites with a gourmet twist perfect for Christmas.

 For New Year’s Eve, Aspen Snowmass will host a torchlight parade and free fireworks show over Aspen Mountain, plus several ticketed events including New Year’s Eve Dinners at Element 47 and Ajax Tavern, luxury private snowcat rides with Clicquot Cats, and the Dom Perignon Party at the Little Nell. For more information, visit www.aspensnowmass.com.

Photo: Telluride Ski Resort; Carl Frey, Winter Park Resort, Copper Mountain; Jeremy Swanson, Aspen Snowmass)

Beaver Creek

The holidays come to life in extraordinary ways at Beaver Creek. Discover the inviting ambiance of an alpine resort designed for you to experience together. From a Wine Dinner at Allie’s Cabin to a lineup of world-class events and fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies every day at 3:00 p.m., cherish your holiday vacation together for a lifetime.

The village lights are spectacular during the holidays and don’t miss Thursday Night Lights, the weekly fireworks and glow stick procession down the mountain. Take a turn on the high alpine outdoor rink and ring in 2019 with family, friends, fireworks and more at the Park Hyatt, with premium open bars, a virtual reality center, delicious cuisine, dancing and more.

Celebrate Winter’s Extraordinary Start longer. When you book 2 nights of lodging, your 3rd night is free. www.beavercreek.com

Breckenridge

Kick-off the holiday season with Breckenridge’s annual Lighting of Breckenridge and Race of the Santas festivities on Saturday, December 8th! Of course, family fun abounds on the slopes but off the slopes, don’t miss the Breckenridge Nordic Center, the alpine coaster, Frisco and Keystone tubing and much more.  www.breckenridge.com

 Cooper

On Christmas Eve, Cooper will host Santa Claus for family-friendly opportunities to ski with Santa and take photos, along with Christmas carolers in the lodge. On New Year’s Eve, Cooper will host live music and a torchlight parade. For more information, visit www.skicooper.com.

 Copper Mountain

Copper Mountain transforms into a winter wonderland during the holidays, including several themed events. Christmas Eve at Copper on December 24 will include a visit from Santa himself, along with a children’s glowstick pageant, a torchlight parade and Christmas Eve fireworks display.

 On New Year’s Eve, Copper Mountain will host a Moonlight Dine & Ski event, offering guests an opportunity to enjoy the last moments of 2018 with a chairlift ride up to mid-mountain, where a champagne toast and delicious buffet dinner will be waiting in Solitude Station. After dinner, visitors can ski back down the mountain on a freshly groomed trail under the light of the moon and stars. New Year’s Eve at Copper Mountain will also feature a children’s glowstick pageant, a torchlight parade and a mountainside fireworks display. For more information, visit www.coppercolorado.com.

 Granby Ranch

Granby Ranch will celebrate the holidays with several days of family-friendly activities. Guests will have the chance to Ski with Santa on Dec. 22-23. On Christmas Eve, guests can enjoy free hot chocolate, a Grand Choral performance around the fire pit and a twilight reading of The Night Before Christmas. Christmas Day will bring a holiday buffet to Granby Ranch.

 Granby Ranch will close out 2018 with an evening of live music and night skiing on Dec. 29, followed by a New Year’s Eve celebration featuring an outdoor bar, a glowstick parade and a fireworks display. There will be a family-friendly party with a DJ and photo booth until 9 p.m. and an adults-only party with midnight champagne toast and alcoholic beverages until 1 a.m. For more information, visit www.granbyranch.com.

 Howelsen Hill

On Sunday, Dec. 9, Howelsen will host a Community Holiday Party featuring tubing, Santa’s workshop, caroling, hot chocolate and cookies. Howelsen will also host two Ski Free Sundays during the holiday period, on Dec. 23 and Dec. 30, giving Steamboat Springs holiday visitors a fun and affordable family-friendly skiing opportunity. For more information, visit www.steamboatsprings.net/131/Howelsen-Hill-Ski-Area.

 Kendall Mountain

Kendall Mountain will be open every day Dec. 21- Jan. 1 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., including night skiing on Dec. 22. Guests can ski with Santa on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24. For more information, visit www.colorado.gov/pacific/townofsilverton/ski-kendall.

 Keystone Resort

Kidtopia Holiday Spectacular offers families an exciting and unique holiday mountain experience November 24 – December 24. It’s packed with every kind of joy-inducing fun imaginable from daily Kidtopia programs and weekly firework displays, to appearances from Santa, the big man himself, in our weekly Saturday Village Parade! It all kicks off at the top of Dercum Mountain when the World’s Largest Snow Fort opens on December 15! Then prepare to be holidazzled when we light the snow fort during the Mountaintop Spectacular on December 22. Everyone who attends can enjoy crafts, hot cocoa, and the chance to take pictures with Santa Clause. It’s a whole new level of Jolly! www.keystoneresort.com

Loveland Ski Area

Every Christmas Santa takes time out of his busy schedule to ski at Loveland Ski Area. This year is no different as Santa will make appearances at Loveland on December 23, 24, and 25. Not only will he be cruising the slopes, but he’ll also visit the Ski & Ride School and Children’s Center to hand out candy to young ones and pose for photos. For more information, visit www.skiloveland.com.

 Monarch Mountain

Monarch Mountain’s Christmas Eve festivities will include a visit from the big man himself, Santa Claus, who will ski Monarch all day. Santa will hand out candy canes and take pictures with guests, who can also try to keep up with him on skis or a snowboard.

 For New Year’s Eve, Monarch will celebrate with the annual torchlight parade and fireworks show. The event will also feature live music, food, drinks and activities for the kids. For more information, visit www.skimonarch.com.

 Powderhorn Resort

On New Year’s Eve, Powderhorn Resort will stay open late and host a holiday rail jam, a bonfire and fireworks. For more information, visit www.powderhorn.com.

 Purgatory Resort

Purgatory Resort will offer a variety of holiday activities, including a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, free wreath-making classes and horse-drawn sleigh rides. Guests will also be able to experience an alpenglow snowshoe tour, view the Snow Sculptures in the Plaza by world-renowned artist Keith Martin, and adults can enjoy special events with craft beer, wine & spirits tastings.

For Christmas Eve, Purgatory will host a special dinner complete with a buffet-style holiday feast, hot cocoa bar, Christmas cookie station, and dessert buffet.

On Dec. 31, guests will ring in the New Year with fireworks and a torchlight parade, a special night rail jam, a 5-course gourmet dinner with wine pairings via Snowcat ride to the Powderhouse, followed by a party to celebrate the New Year. For more information, visit www.skipurg.com.  

Silverton Mountain

Silverton will be open for guests who wish to heli ski over the holidays. Silverton also offers groups the opportunity to rent the mountain for the day, a great option for company holiday parties, charity fundraisers and special events. For more information, visit www.silvertonmountain.com.

 Steamboat Resort

Steamboat Resort will ring in the holidays on Dec. 23 with the Holiday Festival in Gondola Square, featuring Santa on horseback riding down the slopes, cookie decorating and holiday treats, and the stocking scramble followed by a free concert, a torchlight parade and fireworks.

 Steamboat will also host the New Year’s Eve torchlight parade and fireworks as the Steamboat Snowsports School make their way down the mountain by torchlight. After the parade, a dazzling fireworks display will illuminate the sky. The family-friendly Korbel New Year’s Eve Party at the top of the Gondola in Thunderhead Lodge will feature DJ entertainment, food and a and cash bar. For more information, visit www.steamboat.com.

 Sunlight Mountain Resort

On December 21, Sunlight will host demo days plus skiing with Santa. For more information, visit www.sunlightmtn.com.

 Telluride Ski Resort

Telluride will keep the holiday spirit alive with several family-friendly events. On Dec. 15-16, the Holiday Prelude will take over Mountain Village, complete with free ice skating, rides on the Polar Express to the North Pole, Santa’s Village, live Reindeer, a tree lighting and caroling. Mountain Village shoppers will receive some of the best discounts of the year, along with raffles, giveaways, food and drink specials, and more.

 Telluride’s Torchlight Parades will light up the mountainside on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. For more information, visit www.tellurideskiresort.com.

Vail Resort

Vail Holidays is the perfect place for family celebration this holiday season, as the town and mountain come alive with lights, sounds, events and cheer Dec. 5-31. Embrace the holidays with the annual tree lighting ceremony and lantern walk. On New Year’s Eve torchlight ski down and fireworks, ring in the New Year Vail style with the Torchlight Parade, followed by fireworks at Golden Peak. Watch as ski instructors and Vail locals form a train as they ski down Golden Peak with glowing sticks followed by a fireworks display. Holidays is free and open to the public. (featured image) www.vail.com

 Winter Park Resort

Santa will be stopping at Winter Park Resort during his busy holiday schedule on Dec. 15, 22, 23 and 24. He will pose for photos with families and participate in the Christmas Eve torchlight parade on Dec. 24, complete with Christmas carols and hot chocolate, followed by a procession of torch-bearing skiers and riders lighting up the slopes. The evening will conclude with a spectacular fireworks display and snowcats adorned with Christmas colors. For more information, visit www.winterparkresort.com.

 Wolf Creek Ski Area

Wolf Creek will host a holiday visit from Santa Claus on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  Santa will spread holiday cheer around the mountain by handing out candy canes while letting the reindeer rest. Wolf Creek Upper Lodge chefs will bake festive Cornish Game Hens with traditional mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans and a choice of dessert.  Pathfinder Bar will also offer festive drink specials. For more information, visit www.wolfcreekski.com.

Colorado Family Ski Guide 2018/19

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.

Colorado Family Ski Directory 2018/19

Resort Adult Kids Childcare Ski/Ride School Deals
Arapahoe Basin Ski Area $105 $85 (ages 15-18) $49 (ages 6-14); Kids 5 and under ski free every day. No. Kids class lessons start at $140 for half-day, $165 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 $159 $106; 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 $159 $106; 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

$161*  $111*  Half-day $125; full-day $163 (2018 prices; 2019 not yet released) Starts at $229+ beavercreek.com
Breckenridge Ski Area

momreview

$147*  $96 On-site childcare starts at $128.  (2018 prices; 2019 not yet released)  Starting at $199.* breckenridge.com
Buttermilk

momreview

$159* $106; 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

$102 Kids 6 and under ski free, Child (7-12): $59  There is a nursery for 2 months to 3 years old. Full-day starts at $135. Group lesson with lunch starts at $170.  skicb.com deals. Kids ski free Nov. 22-Dec. 13
Cooper | Chicago Ridge

 

 $58  $35; 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 $107* Starting at $82. Children 5 and under ski/ride for free. Belly Button Babies & Bakery for daily childcare. Kid’s Night Out is a FREE 3-hour childcare on the condition parents spend at least $30 at the resort. Starting at $239. 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

TBD TBD No on-site child care Group lesson starts at TBD   Eldora.com 
Keystone Resort

 

 $121* Starting around $70.*  Starts at $125 for full day  Pricing starts at $189  Keystoneresort.com
Loveland Ski Area

momreview

$65 $31 – peak child (6-14) rate. Children 5 & under are free Full day with lunch and two snacks is $80. Half day (morning only) with one snack is $65. Hourly rate is $20/hour. Full day lesson with lunch and lift ticket is $129.  skiloveland.com;
lovelandreservations.co
m; liftopia.com. Any child (4-14) that completes three full lesson packages is eligible for a FREE season pass. 
Monarch Mountain

momreview

$89 Teen (13-15) $59, Junior (7-12) $43, Children under 6, Free The Children’s Center Rates: $50 half-day; $90 all-day Group ski lessons: $149 Monarch ski packages with lodging participants. skimonarch.com

 

Powderhorn Mountain Resort $71 Youth (13-17) $60; Junior (7-12) $35; Child (6 & Under) $18

(prices not yet updated for 2018/19)

No on-site childcare Children’s Learning Center starts at age 3.

Group lessons start at ages 5-7, with prices starting at $78 for a half-day lesson.

powderhorn.com
Purgatory Resort $89 Teen (13-17) $70; Child (6-12) $60; Children 7 & under FREE Cost: Half-day $70; full-day $93 Half-day lessons $49 (lesson only)
Full Day Packages 6-12 year olds $89 (lesson, lift ticket, rentals (including helmet) & lunch)  
Purgatory Resort’s website features deals on lodging packages that include discounts on lift tickets. PurgatoryResort.com
Ski Granby Ranch $78 $44. Kids 5 and under ski free No on-site childcare. Starting at $189. GranbyRanch.com
Snowmass

momreview

$159 $106 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

$149* Child (ages 5-12): $99*.  Kids’ Vacation Center full-day $145. 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

$65 $45; 5 and under ski free Childcare is $100 full day; $55 half-day; $25/hourly. Regular ski school: 2 hour lesson, lift, rentals is $105.  Kids 12 and under ski free. Affordable Ski, Swim Stay Packages with Glenwood Hot Springs.

SunlightMTN.com

Telluride Ski Resort $139* $83* (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 $215 for a lesson, lift ticket and lunch for ages 3 to 14.  tellurideskiresort.com
Vail  $161 $111. Kids ages 4 and under ski free.  Small World Nursery offers daycare for children 2 months-6 years starting at $158. The Vail Ski & Snowboard School lessons start at $232. Visit Vail.com and purchase tickets 7 days in advance for best prices.
Winter Park Resort

momreview

$134 Approx. $94. Kids 4 and under ski free. Childcare for kids 2 months to 6 years. Full-day: $134 when you pre-book. Full day lessons for kids (ages 3-14), including lunch, are $179. Call Winter Park Central Reservations for latest deals and special promos.  800-729-7907. winterparkresort.com
Wolf Creek Ski Area  $72 $37. 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, 2019 as our base to compare prices.

Featured image: Loveland Ski Area, Dustin Schaefer

Best Skiing Deal in Colorado: Epic SchoolKids + Epic Pass Combo for Families

Colorado’s ski and snowboard season maybe have [mostly] wrapped up but the time is now to save big for next season!

If your kids are grades kindergarten through fifth grader, don’t delay on registering them for the best deal in town: the  2018-19 Epic SchoolKids Colorado Pack. A family of four, for example, can lock in 16 days of skiing and riding together during the 2018-19 season for less than $30 per person, per day or just over $20 per person, per day at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone.  

  • Ski 16 days together for less than $30 per day with 2 Epic Passes and 2 Epic SchoolKids Colorado Packs
    Two parents can place $49 down now to lock in the best rate for the 2018-19 Epic Pass. And if they have two children that are registered for Epic SchoolKids Colorado Pack, the family of four receives 16 days of skiing and riding together throughout Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone for less than $30 per person, per day during the 2018-19 ski season.
  • Ski 16 days together for just over $20 per day with 2 Epic Local Passes and 2 Epic SchoolKids Colorado Packs
    Two parents can place $49 down now to lock in the best rate for the 2018-19 Epic Local Pass. And if they have two children that are registered for Epic SchoolKids Colorado Pack, the family of four receives 16 days of skiing and riding together throughout Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone for just over $20 per person, per day during the 2018-19 ski season.

What is the Epic SchoolKids Colorado Pack?
This free program provides Colorado elementary school children (kindergarten through fifth grade) with 16 free days of skiing and riding, four days each at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone, and one free first-timer ski or snowboard lesson with free equipment rental. Registration began March 6 and is available for a limited time at Colorado Ski & Golf, Colorado Ski & Sport and Epic Mountain Gear locations throughout the Front Range. Epic SchoolKids does not require any purchase. 

More information about the Epic and Epic Local Passes:

  • Epic Pass™: Ski unlimited and unrestricted from opening day to closing day for only $899. The Epic Pass pays for itself in just over four days of skiing or snowboarding. Enjoy full access to Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin in Colorado; Park City in Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood at Lake Tahoe; Stowe Mountain Resort in Vermont; Afton Alps in Minnesota; Mt. Brighton in Michigan; Wilmot Mountain in Wisconsin; Whistler Blackcomb in Canada; and Perisher in Australia for the 2019 season. New for the 2018-19 season, Epic Pass holders will receive seven days of skiing or snowboarding with no blackout dates at Telluride in Colorado and at Resorts of the Canadian Rockies (Fernie Alpine Resort, Kicking Horse Mountain Resort and Kimberley Alpine Resort in British Columbia, Nakiska in Alberta, and Mont Sainte Anne and Stoneham in Quebec), and five total consecutive days with no blackout dates at Hakuba Valley’s nine ski resorts in Japan. The Epic Pass also grants limited access to Les 3 Vallées, Paradiski and Tignes-Val D’Isere in France; 4 Vallées in Switzerland; Arlberg in Austria and Skirama Dolomiti in Italy. A child pass (ages five to 12) is $469.
  • Epic Local Pass™: For $669, receive unlimited and unrestricted skiing or riding at Breckenridge, Keystone, Arapahoe Basin, Wilmot, Afton Alps and Mt. Brighton with limited restrictions at Park City, Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood, and Stowe, plus a combined total of 10 days at Vail, Beaver Creek, and Whistler Blackcomb with holiday restrictions. New for the 2018-19 season, Epic Local Pass holders will receive five total consecutive days with no blackout dates at Hakuba Valley’s nine ski resorts in Japan. The Epic Local Pass pays for itself in just over three days. A child pass (ages five to 12) is $359.
  • $49 Down Now, Pay the Rest Later. For a limited time only, a $49 down payment now guarantees the lowest price for Vail Resorts’ Epic pass products, including the Epic and Epic Local Pass options, with the remainder due in the fall.

We’ll see you on the slopes!

Photos: Jack Affleck 

Epic SchoolKids: Sign up begins now to ski free next winter!

The Epic SchoolKids Colorado Pack is the best ski deal in town. Period.

This free program for Kindergarten through 5th graders provides four days of skiing and riding at each of the state’s top-ranked resorts: Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, and Keystone. 

You may think “sixteen days of skiing but what’s the catch?” Nothing! There are a few black-out dates during holidays but otherwise, these passes are completely free. This program also includes one free first-timer ski or ride lesson with equipment rental.

To Register:

1. Visit a Colorado Ski and Golf, Colorado Ski and Sports or Epic Mountain Gear location today to enroll.

2. Child must be present to register

3. Parent brings a copy of child report card, student ID, birth certificate or passport

4. Parents can pick up their child’s pass at the resort ticket window upon their first resort visit

Don’t delay on this. Vail Resorts hasn’t announced the date sign-ups will end but it is always well before the ski season begins.

Have Questions? Visit the Epic SchoolKids Colorado Pack FAQ for more information. Registration deadline is Oct. 8, 2018.

Passes for Adults

Kids aren’t the only ones who get to have fun. The following are ideal season pass options for Colorado skiers and snowboarders next winter. 

  • Epic Pass™: Ski unlimited and unrestricted from opening day to closing day for only $899. The Epic Pass pays for itself in just over four days of skiing or snowboarding. Enjoy full access to Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin in Colorado; Park City in Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood at Lake Tahoe; Stowe Mountain Resort in Vermont; Afton Alps in Minnesota; Mt. Brighton in Michigan; Wilmot Mountain in Wisconsin; Whistler Blackcomb in Canada; and Perisher in Australia for the 2019 season. New for the 2018-19 season, Epic Pass holders will receive seven days of skiing or snowboarding with no blackout dates at Telluride in Colorado and at Resorts of the Canadian Rockies (Fernie Alpine Resort, Kicking Horse Mountain Resort and Kimberley Alpine Resort in British Columbia, Nakiska in Alberta, and Mont Sainte Anne and Stoneham in Quebec), and five total consecutive days with no blackout dates at Hakuba Valley’s nine ski resorts in Japan. The Epic Pass also grants limited access to Les 3 Vallées, Paradiski and Tignes-Val D’Isere in France; 4 Vallées in Switzerland; Arlberg in Austria and Skirama Dolomiti in Italy. A child pass (ages five to 12) is $469.
  • Epic Local Pass™: For $669, receive unlimited and unrestricted skiing or riding at Breckenridge, Keystone, Arapahoe Basin, Wilmot, Afton Alps and Mt. Brighton with limited restrictions at Park City, Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood, and Stowe, plus a combined total of 10 days at Vail, Beaver Creek, and Whistler Blackcomb with holiday restrictions. New for the 2018-19 season, Epic Local Pass holders will receive five total consecutive days with no blackout dates at Hakuba Valley’s nine ski resorts in Japan. The Epic Local Pass pays for itself in just over three days. A child pass (ages five to 12) is $359. 
  • Keystone A-Basin Pass™: The best deal for unlimited skiing in Colorado, the Keystone A-Basin Pass offers access to Keystone and Arapahoe Basin with limited holiday restrictions. The pass is $349 for adults and $249 for children (ages five to 12).

Visit our ski guide today to plan your ski vacation!

15 Affordable Family Spring Break Adventures in Colorado

Spring in Colorado offers sunshine, powder, ideal temperatures and a wide array of spring break deals for family adventures throughout the state. From swooshing down the slopes of iconic resorts such as Aspen or Vail or some of Colorado’s gem resorts such as Purgatory and Monarch Mountain to indulging in a true western experience at any one of the state’s dude and guest ranches, springtime in Colorado showcases a variety of experiences for a memorable spring family getaway.

Staying in Denver? Don’t miss these 50 Spring Break Activities, divided by geographic area. 

Spring Ski Discounts:

 Aspen Skiing Company. Known for it’s four diverse mountains, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk and Snowmass, Aspen offers a variety of terrain for any kind of skier or snowboarder. This spring, the resort is offering the Perfect Storm Package, allowing visitors to buy four days of skiing and get a fifth day free. With this package, skiers will also receive a resort card with deep discounts on everything from dining to shopping. The package is available until March 31. From April 1-15, the resort is offering 40 percent off a minimum of two-day lift tickets.
 
Beaver Creek. Skiers and snowboarders who visit Beaver Creek this spring will discover one of the best times to visit with longer days to enjoy the resort’s 1,832 skiable acres and traditionally warmer weather to partake in on-mountain and village events and activities. Stays of one to three nights can save up to 10 percent on lodging; stays of four to six nights can save up to 20 percent; and stays of seven or more nights can save up to 30 percent. For the best lodging rates, visitors should consider The Pines Lodge, A RockResort, The Osprey, A RockResort or one of Beaver Creek’s two- or three-bedroom premium condos, many located slopeside or within walking distance to the lifts.
 
Crested Butte. Crested Butte, a quaint 1880’s mining town, offers a charming historic-town feel with a ski resort that includes a thousand plus acres of terrain ranging from beginner and intermediate groomers to extreme glades and steeps. This spring, visitors can take advantage of three nights of lodging and three-day lift tickets for the price of two for stays between March 16 and April 8. For families looking to indulge in a family spring ski vacation, Crested Butte Mountain Resort offers all children ages 12 and under free skiing and riding from April 1 through April 8.
 
Monarch Mountain. Monarch Mountain ski area, known for it’s deep snow, tree skiing, crowdless slopes and more, sits atop a mountain pass in the Sawatch Mountain Range. Getting the family on the slopes for the first time is easy and affordable at Monarch. Visitors buying a lift ticket and rental package for the kids, ages 7-12, receive a free ski or snowboard lesson. This special has no black-out dates and is good for the rest of the season.
 

Purgatory Resort (Durango). Springtime at Purgatory Resort offers fun celebrations and activities for all ages. Visitors can get airborne with the Big Air Bag Jump, experience a fun tubing event during Uncle Clyde’s Run & Slide, build a cardboard derby and ride it down the hill during McDonald’s Cardboard Derby contest or make a splash with the annual Pond Skimming contest.  For a parents’ night out, take a scenic snowcat tour with breathtaking views or savor a unique culinary experience with the Snowcat Dinner Excursions. From now until April 30, guests can enjoy two nights of lodging at 25 to 40 percent off and get the kids’ lift tickets for free when parents buy two adult two-day lift tickets.

Ski Cooper (Leadville). Famous for being the former training site for the 10th Mountain Division, the legendary World War II ski troops, Ski Cooper now offers it’s sweeping runs to families at an affordable price. For families that are beginning to ski or advance skills while on spring break, Ski School packages include Panda Patrol (lift ticket, rentals, full-day lesson and lunch for $199 per child) for the kids and the First Timer Program (lift ticket, rentals and a two-hour lesson for $89) for the adults.
 
Ski, Swim, Stay (Glenwood Springs). Available through March 31, visitors to Glenwood Springs can ski or board at Sunlight Mountain Resort for the day followed by a soak in the world’s largest hot springs pool at Glenwood Hot Springs Resort. The Ski, Swim, Stay package starts at $150 and includes lodging at Glenwood Hot Springs Resort, unlimited hot springs pool access, one Sunlight Mountain lift ticket per night, per adult and one free lift ticket for kids ages 12 and under per paying adult.

Spring Break on the Ranch:

C Lazy U Ranch (Granby). C Lazy U Ranch, conveniently located two-hours northwest of Denver just past Winter Park Ski Resort and Ski Granby Ranch, offers a complimentary daily resort shuttle for skiers, a kids program for ages 3-17, a luxury spa and limitless outdoor activities, most of which are part of the inclusive rates. The C Lazy U Spring Break Package runs March 12-31 with a two-night minimum stay requirement.  The inclusive package covers lodging, gourmet dining, kids programs, horseback riding, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, a tubing hill and ice skating along with all equipment and guides.  Rates are $366 per adult, per night and $232 per child, per night.
 
The Home Ranch (Steamboat Springs). Set amid the timeless beauty of the Elk River Valley, The Home Ranch is an all-inclusive, 14-room luxury guest ranch that sits on 4,000 acres of private property at an elevation of 7,200 feet. Families can “play in the snow” this season as The Home Ranch debuts a Spring Break Ranch Vacation from March 1 – 24, 2018 that combines backcountry skiing, snow tubing, winter horseback riding, snowshoeing, and gourmet cuisine in a Rocky Mountain hideaway. After a day “playing in the snow,” families can relax over gourmet meals in the Main Lodge or retreat to their private cabin where a soothing hot tub and wood-burning stove await. Rates begin from $765 per night for two persons plus tax with a two-night minimum stay required.
 
Vista Verde (Steamboat Springs). An all-inclusive Colorado luxury dude ranch located just north of Steamboat Springs, Vista Verde has a diverse offering of activities, amazing food, a spa and stunning views. The ranch offers personalized service that comes when you mix AAA Four Diamond amenities with Western hospitality. Families visiting the ranch can gather for meals and share experiences together while at the same time splitting up to pursue different activities during the day. Vista Verde’s spring dates have been extended until March 31. Rates starting at $1,350 per person and families of four or larger that book a seven-night stay will receive a complimentary snowmobile ride for all guests of driving age.

Family-Friendly Lodging Packages:

Destination Residences Snowmass.Celebrating its 50th anniversary this winter, Snowmass offers Destination Hotels spacious condominiums for families wanting to spend quality time together. Ski-in/ski-out is available in the private retreat along with adventures such as dog sledding, horse drawn sleigh rides, alpine coaster rides, tubing under the stars and more. In celebration of the spring season, Destination Hotels is offering 25 percent off  Snowmass condo rentals for stays through April 15. Prices vary based on the size and location of the condominium.
 
The Broadmoor (Colorado Springs). Celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, The Broadmoor remains an iconic resort offering unparalleled luxury, outdoor adventures and endless activities for the whole family. Take a spring break getaway this year at The Broadmoor with a special package including classic accommodations per night (upgrade options available), a discount on golf green fee, kids 10 and under eat free with a paying adult, discount on the adult ticket price at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and a 25 percent discount off of published suite rates. Package prices start at $125 per person based on double occupancy. 
 
The Maven Hotel at Dairy Block (Denver). At Denver’s new Maven Hotel at Dairy Block, families can indulge in an urban overnight in a unique Journeyman Bunkroom featuring a modern twin bed built over a king bed.  LoDo’s newest industrial-chic hotel caters to curious kiddos with an inviting lobby featuring dozens of interesting Colorado art pieces, antique pinball machines in the Poka Lola Social Club and an Airstream trailer that serves breakfast. Starting at $359 per night, the Maven’s Family Fun Found package includes accommodations, four passes to the Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus, to-go breakfast from The Maven’s Airstream and more.
 
YMCA of the Rockies (Estes Park). Recently named “Best Family Resort in America” by USA Today’s 10Best Reader’s Choice Awards, YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park provides a unique setting on 800+ acres bordering Rocky Mountain National Park and daily activities including archery lessons, horseback riding, an arts and craft center and, new this year, a 370-foot-long zip line. Spring visits at YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park offers beautiful hiking opportunities with YMCA’s experienced guide masters, and visitors coming over the March 1-4, 2018 weekend will be able to check out the 3rd Annual Family Mountaineering Weekend, featuring family snowshoe hikes, backcountry ski meet-ups, outdoor winter survival trainings and more. Rooms start at $99 per night.
 
For more information, visit www.colorado.com.

3 Awesome Colorado Timeshare Resorts for a Family Ski Vacation

You’ve rented hotel rooms, condos and cabins for your Colorado ski vacation but have you ever considered a timeshare? Find out why this is a great option.

When searching for family-friendly accommodations in Colorado, you may think you need to sacrifice luxury and amenities to ensure you get the space and comfort you need. When in fact, it is possible to have all the comforts of home while having access to the fantastic offerings of an upscale resort when you buy or rent a Colorado timeshare.

Regardless of the size of your family, timeshares are available in cozy studios all the way up to four bedroom suites. These suites will also come with features like full kitchens for your cooking convenience, spacious living areas for family game night, dining rooms for enjoying meals prepared en-suite, and multiple bathrooms to make getting ready for the day a breeze. Not to mention, you’ll enjoy dozens of resort amenities like swimming pools, spas, fitness centers, hot tubs, and restaurants. The majority of Colorado timeshares are located right within the state’s most popular ski resort, making it incredibly convenient to access the slopes. With so many resorts to choose from, here are the top three timeshare resorts for a family ski vacation in Colorado.

(Grand Timber Lodge)

Grand Timber Lodge is located in the heart of beautiful Breckenridge, and is host to fun activities for the entire family such as ice skating, sleigh rides, train rides, dog sledding, family movie night, and more. Tucked right between Peaks 8 and 9 of the Breckenridge Ski Resort, you will love the ski-in/ski-out access out on the Snowflake Light. If you need some adult time, send the kids to the arcade while you have a tasty cocktail at the Lodgepole Bar and Grill, or indulge in a rejuvenating massage at the Refresh Spa. After a long day, your gorgeous accommodations will help you to relax with a fireplace, flat screen TVs, and deep jetted bathtubs.

Grand Lodge on Peak 7 is situated just steps from the Independence SuperChair and is also located right inside of the BreckConnect gondola route for ideal convenience whether you are looking to ski or explore Breckenridge from above. With a Grand Lodge timeshare, you and your family can enjoy features like games and movies at the family fun center, dining at the Sevens Restaurant, sledding, skating, and snowmobiling. Lodging is available in sizes all the way up to a four-bedroom with plenty of room for everyone. King and queen size beds will make the kids feel like royalty, and the private balconies allow you to overlook the gorgeous peaks at all hours. 

Mountain Valley Lodge makes it easier than ever to access powdery slopes and the charm of downtown Breckenridge. Kids can splash in the outdoor heated swimming pool while adults overlook in the peace and relaxation of the whirlpool spas. The resort also offers daily activities for all ages, a fitness center, and rugged surrounding trails for snowshoeing or cross country skiing. Mountain Valley Lodge is also just 40 minutes away from Keystone, where you can enjoy a night time skiing outing that everyone will love. Villas are cozy, but well-equipped with a full kitchen, living room, dining area, and whirlpool tub. 

Colorado timeshare resales and rentals are the best way to ensure you can enjoy a lavish getaway for a price that is significantly below retail. You can shop the secondary market online, from the comfort of your home and rent a Colorado timeshare through a private owner to get a taste of what the timeshare lifestyle is all about. Alternatively, buying a timeshare resale won’t only save you thousands on a lifetime of great vacations, but they are a fantastic way to ensure you make time for family getaways and make a memories that will last forever.

Visit the Centennial State more easily and affordably with a Colorado timeshare. Learn more about Colorado vacations today by checking out SellMyTimeshareNow.com. 

Additional Resources

25 of Colorado’s diverse winter accommodations

Colorado family ski directory

Kids ski free at these 22 Colorado resorts

In partnership with Mile High Mamas

Family Travel: 24 Hours in Grand Valley

This is me:

And these are my kids:

Let’s do a recount:

  • 1 of me
  • 2 of them

Oh. And we all ski.

Here’s what taking two kids skiing all by yourself looks like:

  1. Pack the gear.
  2. Pack the snacks.
  3. Check the gear. Realize you packed ski helmets for exactly no one. Pack the ski helmets.
  4. Separate children who can’t seem to stop fighting even though it’s 9pm and they should be in bed.
  5. Check the snacks. Realize you packed a lot of applesauce…and nothing else. Add a few cheese sticks and Clif Kids bars.
  6. Threaten the children that if they don’t go to sleep RIGHT NOW, no one in this house will ever ski EVER AGAIN.
  7. Realize you forgot to put the skis on the car. Put skis on the car.
  8. Prep the coffee for the next day.
  9. Crash in to bed.

And all of that is BEFORE you even wake up two sleepy kids, drag them out of bed, drive them to the ski area, dress them in snow clothes and ski boots (PLEASE. Somebody make a ski boot that is easy for children to put on by themselves. Anyone? Anyone?), and actually get them on the hill.

And that’s what made our recent trip to Grand Junction and Powderhorn so…easy and relatively simple.

I’ve wanted to ski at Powderhorn for ages and when Hazel, the 8-year-old, told me at the beginning of the ski season that she wanted to try skiing other resorts, Powderhorn was at the top of the list. It’s an easy two hours away from our home in Gunnison. It’s relatively small and accessible. And the best part? You can stay in warm and dry Grand Junction and still spend the day skiing wide open runs on uncrowded snow. Now THAT is my idea of a perfect ski trip.

By the time I pulled into the Residence Inn in Grand Junction on Saturday evening, I was ready for a glass of wine and a comfy bed. I was NOT ready to put two irritable and tired children to sleep. The cookies at the front desk saved my sanity and my patience. The breakfast buffet in the morning, full of boiled eggs (my 4-year-old’s current obsession) and fruit loops made my kids-and me- very happy. The bed was quite comfy too.

After a truly spectacular drive up to Powderhorn from Grand Junction, we parked right in front of the lodge.

Let me repeat that: WE PARKED RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE LODGE.

This is step one to an awesome ski day with kids- make the walk to all of the services about 10 feet long, at most. Powderhorn was winning from the minute we arrived.

The kids and I spent the first few hours cruising up the high speed quad and down Stagecoach, the meandering green run that delighted 4-year-old Tygh and sent Hazel looking for bumps, jumps and swooshes. We were greeted on every lift ride, we never felt threatened by aggressive snowboarders and we had sweeping views of the Grand Valley below.

Honestly? Skiing with my two kids has never felt so easy.

After lunch, Hazel took off to spend her afternoon on her Ski Patrol Ski Along. On our lift ride to meet the ski patroller she was going to shadow, we met the ski patrol director who regaled us with tales of owning a bike shop in Fruita, helping to build mountain bike trails in the valley and the skiing history of Powderhorn, this year being the area’s 50th anniversary and all.

Can I say this? I have never once- not once- had a similar conversation with a ski patroller at my home ski area, which will currently remain unnamed.

During Hazel’s Ski Along, she helped in an injury transport, rode in a snowmobile, hung from the ski patrol shack ceiling in a harness and closed down the mountain.

Hazel was the happiest 8-year-old I have ever seen.

Meanwhile, Tygh had grown tired, which is known to happen to skiers who are 3 feet tall. He and I headed for the lodge, which not only provided kid toys at the ready, but also ample space to play with his own toys. I pulled out the laptop, wrote a paper and generally reveled in the fact that the whole day seemed impossibly easy.

Don’t let all of those pictures on social media fool you: skiing alone with two children is hard, hard work. It is exhausting and you will often wonder if it is all really worth it. I am here to tell you, it IS worth it. Places like Powderhorn remind you that it will never be completely effortless, but it can be easIER. It can also be fun and beautiful and yes, sometimes even relaxing.

Eryn Kaiser lives, works and plays in the Gunnison Valley. You can read her writing on her blog, Gunny Girl, or find her on Twitter,Instagram or Facebook.

Deals: Learn to Ski & Snowboard Month, Stock Show Free Day & More

We are already a week into the new year. This year, I didn’t decide to do any kind of resolution. Instead I have chosen a list of eighteen things I want to get done in 2018. Some of these things are super simple (I want to take a Pilates class), or pay off my credit card (I don’t really carry much of a balance), but some take a lot more….I’m going to take a big international trip. What would you put on your list of eighteen?
 
Exxon and Shell BOGO Ski Tickets. Buy 10 gallons or more of gas at a participating Shell or Exxon Station – Get a Buy One Get One Free Ski ticket voucher. Take that voucher to one of the participating ski resorts (Copper, Crested Butte, Powderhorn, or Sunlight). When you purchase one adult lift ticket you get one free.
 
 
Cherry Creek North Sidewalk SaleShake off the post-holiday blues with a little retail therapy at the InSidewalk Sale in Cherry Creek North! What better way to kick off the New Year than getting awesome deals at your favorite businesses? Don’t miss the Cherry Creek North InSidewalk Sale starting Monday, January 15 through Saturday, January 20 at over 30 participating businesses throughout the area.
 
IHOP All You Can EatBreakfast lover? We have a delicious deal for you – All You Can Eat Pancakes! To celebrate their 60th anniversary and show appreciation for you, take advantage of  limitless pancakes for $3.99! Dig into unlimited orders of freshly made, world-famous Buttermilk Pancakes now through February 12th. Fulfill your pancake craving!
 
Denver Preschool Program (DPP) will host its 6th annual Preschool Showcase on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018 – 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Dahlia Campus for Health and Well-Being (3401 Eudora St., Denver, CO 80207). The Showcase is a valuable, once-a-year opportunity for families to FIND and compare quality preschool options, DISCOVER the dollar amount they can get in tuition support from DPP, and APPLY for tuition support.  Spanish translators will also be on-site to communicate these benefits. Plus, it is fun for the whole family including: Free food and refreshments; family-friendly activities and entertainment including dental screenings and story time readings; Online Preschool Locator demonstrations; and photo opportunities with a Minion or two.
 
Stock Show free day. The National Western Stock Show is Jan. 6-12, 2018 and will have a FREE grounds admission day on Tues.  Jan 9. As a Colorado tradition every January, the National Western Stock Show attracts more than 600,000 people each year. It is the premier livestock, rodeo, and horse show in the nation, but this event brings more to Denver than just cattle and horses. It’s full of family fun and events for all ages! You can visit. nationalwestern.com for a full calendar listing.
 
Mammoth Lacrosse. My daughter plays lacrosse and it is a totally fun game to watch! Even better, The Colorado Mammoth have a very special Kids Take Charge game on January 13. Atult single game tickets are 25% off with promo code ADULT. Plus, all the entertainment will be aimed at the kids. Kids size fun!  Visit Altitudetickets.com.  
 
Einstein Bros. Bagels. Mondays through the Month of January, Einstein  Bros wants to get your week started right. Get 13 bagels for just $7.
 
Pretzelmaker. Grab a pretzel at Pretzelmaker for just $1 every Tuesday through January.
 
Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month. January is Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month which means…get out there and try it!
·         Arapahoe Basin Ski AreaArapahoe Basin Ski Area will host a Safety Village in Mountain Goat Plaza on Saturday, January 13 and Sunday, January 14 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. For more information, visit www.arapahoebasin.com.
·          Aspen SnowmassAspen Snowmass will host its annual safety week January 25-31, 2018. The week will include activities such as interactive safety booths, a ski patrol meet and greet, avalanche dogs, lift operations trivia, terrain park safety demonstrations and more. For more information, visit www.aspensnowmass.com.
·          CooperGet your Cooper posters, rack cards and business cards with the slide in control steps. Cooper will also host an educational Safety Scavenger Hunt for children with prizes. For more information, visit www.skicooper.com.
·          Copper MountainFor the month of January, Copper will open its ski patrol duty stations for guests to come by for some free hot cocoa, some insider tips from the pros, and the possibility of meeting an avalanche dogs. Participate in the annual SafetyFest, a weekend of safe skiing and riding education, demonstrations and giveaways. For more information, visit www.coppercolorado.com.
·          Crested Butte Mountain Resort.Avalanche Safety Demonstrations. Crested Butte will hold avalanche safety demonstrations weekends throughout January (depending on snow conditions). Meet the avalanche dogs weekends in January. For more information, visit www.skicb.com
·         EldoraLearn slope-safety awareness during January. Eldora employees will be handing out Know the Your Responsibility Code stickers and cards, Smart Style stickers, and a Freestyle Terrain User’s Guide to guests every day of the month. Guests who show a knowledge and aptitude for on-snow awareness will win special giveaways donated by sponsors, and Eldora will also offer retail promotions and giveaways to raise awareness. In addition, Eldora will host a safety poster contest for kids 12 and under. For more information, visit www.eldora.com.
·          Loveland Ski Area. Loveland Ski Area will host a safety education weekend on Saturday, January 13 and Sunday, January 14 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Guests can stop by for kid-friendly snow safety education, ski patrol demos, terrain park safety, helmet information and a Know the Your Responsibility Code challenge with prizes. There is no cost to participate, and Loveland Patrol Dogs will be on hand as Ski Patrol provides avalanche information including how to use of beacons and outdoor winter safety. Prizes will be available for guests who can recite the Your Responsibility Code. For more information, visit www.skiloveland.com.
·          Monarch Mountain. Monarch will host events for guests to engage with the Your Responsibility Code, Monarch’s Ski Patrol, backcountry skiing safety tips, avalanche awareness, children’s helmet use, terrain park safety and more. For more information, visit www.skimonarch.com.
·          Powderhorn Mountain Resort. Ski or ride with a professional Ski Patroller and learn some of the tools of the trade such as safety, transporting, and caring for guests on the mountain. Guests of all ages will learn about the role of ski patrol, their importance to the resort, and what it takes to work in the ski industry. Participation will cost $75 per person for two hours or $95 for four hours. For more information, visit www.powderhorn.com.
·          Sunlight Mountain Resort. Sunlight Safety Day (March 3) includes a free testing clinic, educational safety booths and discounted pricing on 2018/19 lift tickets. For more information, visit www.sunlightmtn.com.
·          Telluride. Telluride will host events and activities designed to educate skiers and riders about safety. Events will include an avalanche dog demonstration, a children’s safety poster contest, visits to local schools for safety talks, a Safety Bingo Scavenger Hunt, “Know Before You Go” avalanche education classes and more. For more information, visit www.tellurideskiresort.com.
·          Winter Park Resort. Winter Park Resort will host a contest during January for local elementary through high school children to take part in a special poster contest. Students will create a poster depicting some aspect of the Your Responsibility Code. On January 19, the winners of the contest will be announced in a ceremony at West Portal, and on January 26, the winners will get a chance to be a “Patroller for a Day” with Winter Park’s Professional Ski Patrol. For more information, visit www.winterparkresort.com.
·          Wolf Creek Ski Area. Wolf Creek’s annual safety poster contest will invite elementary, junior and high school students to illustrate one or more aspects of the Your Responsibility Code. Posters will be displayed in the Base Camp Building where the illustrations will be voted on by Wolf Creek staff and guests. First through third place winners will be awarded a free ski day with immediate family members. For more information, visit www.wolfcreekski.com.