background img

Travel: Alta is for skiers and families

We are holed away at Alta Ski Area in Utah as the wind and snow howl, the only visibility the distant light of the snowcats grooming the 36 inches of snow from the latest storm…and more is expected the next day. The kids are nervous; they’ve never skied conditions like this. When we arrived, tales were flying from real-life storm chasers of epic powder and the previous day’s “interlodge” where people were required by law to stay indoors as avalanche crews blasted the hanging faces of Little Cottonwood Canyon. One thing is for sure: these kiddos will never forget their first time attempting Alta’s legendary powder.

Many years ago, I worked as the publicist for Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort but here’s my secret: I always preferred skiing its next door neighbor, Alta. Located 45 minutes from Salt Lake City International Airport, Alta is literally a mountain with a skier’s soul and is one of the fewest remaining resorts that bans snowboarders. It’s also one of the oldest ski areas in the country, opening its first lift in 1939 and continuing to evolve while staying true to its roots: deep, unadulterated snow without the fancy bells and whistles. Alta is for purists who don’t care about 5-star accommodations and the nightlife; its magic happens during the day. 

Alta is also surprisingly family-friendly. Beginner and intermediate terrain make up 65 percent of the 2,200 skiable acres. If you’re in the remaining 35 percent expert camp, a joking acronym for A-L-T-A is “Another Long Traverse Again,” a nod to the epic terrain and steep chutes that is only accessible via hiking. 

My family was not able to ski during that first visit. The snow kept pounding and the canyon was closed. Not only were we legally required to stay inside (regular Interlodge) but there was another layer of intensity when we couldn’t go near any windows and doors (Maximum Interlodge). We were disappointed but if you’re going to get snowed in, I highly recommend doing it at Goldminer’s Daughter Lodge where we indulged in the Top of the Lodge restaurant’s cinnamon pancakes with cream cheese whipped cream and had ping pong and pool tournaments in the recreation room, vending machine raids and family challenges in the weight room.

We would eventually return to ski Alta two other times and here are a few things every family should know. 

The Lay of the Land

You’re not in Aspen anymore, Toto. What you won’t see at Alta: Snow bunnies, snowboarders, fur collars or chairlifts that seat more than four people. What you will see: Fluffy, light dry Utah snow. Five rustic lodges. New timers. The “Wild Old Bunch” old timers who’ve skied here more years than you’ve been alive. This place is as heaped in stories and history as its annual 551 inches of snow.   

Alta has two base areas: Wildcat and Albion, and a rope tow that allows you to traverse between the lifts and lodges. Hint: going up (Wildcat to Albion) is a bit tougher than going down. At the Albion Base, you’ll find everything you need: the ticket office, ski school, cafeteria and  Alta Java, a great place to get your morning caffeine fix or homemade biscotti, waffles, fresh made local pastries and lemonade. 

In a broad sense, the resort can be divided into five areas: Supreme, Albion, Sugarloaf/East Blady, Collins and Wildcat.  As a family, we mostly skied off the mid-mountain Sugarloaf Lift (with access to  intermediate and advanced terrain) and the Supreme Lift’s nicely ungroomed blue terrain, challenging blacks and a hike-to in-bounds area with a backcountry feel. Rumor has it this is the most beautiful part of the mountain and we believed it until we stood atop the Collins chair and gawked at Mt. Superior.

If you’re a family of beginners and low-intermediates, stick to the Albion Base’s Albion and Sunnyside lifts with gentle green terrain and where the Children’s Adventure Center, day care and learn-to-ski programs are located. Advanced skiers should base their explorations from the Wildcat Base, using the Collins or Wildcat lifts that accesses some of Alta’s most challenging terrain.

Two Resorts, One Day

If 2,200 acres isn’t enough, buy the One Ticket upgrade, that lets you also ski Snowbird’s 2,500 acres. The resorts share a common ridgeline that stretches a couple of miles from the top of Sugarloaf Pass to Baldy Shoulder with awesome intermediate terrain as well as powder-filled playgrounds only touched by skiers with the dual pass.  The main gate connects the resorts at Sugarloaf Pass atop the Sugarloaf Detachable Quad on the Alta side and via the Baldy Express high-speed quad on the Snowbird side.

Alf Engen Ski School Isn’t Just for Kids

Not all ski schools are created equally but you’re off to a good start if you name yours after Norwegian ski jump legend Alf Engen. Renowned as one of the best in North America, it offers a variety of classes, workshops and private lessons for all ages and ability levels. Nearby is a non-ski daycare for kids 6-weeks to 9-years old that is run by a private, state-licensed operator.

Bode was thrilled with his experience as a Level 6 skier where he learned how to fine-tune his parallel skiing while working on pole plants on more challenging terrain like wide open powder bowls Ballroom and Greely’s on the flanks of 11,068′-foot Mount Baldy

My husband Jamie and I opted to cram in as many runs as we could that morning and rewarded ourselves for our hard work [at play] with Watson Cafe’s delicious burgers, voted Utah’s best 100 percent grass-fed Utah beef burger.  That afternoon, we signed up for their Advanced and Expert Off-Trail Workshop. This 2 1/2 hour lesson is just $85 and we had a great time getting our butts whipped into shape by seasoned off-trail coach, French-Canadian Sylvie. Not only did she give us a fantastic mountain tour of lesser-known areas but she redefined our limits while helping us with our form. And apparently our need for speed.

I later proudly boasted to Jamie: “Sylvie said I’m a very disciplined skier.”

“That’s just ski instructor speak for really slow.'”

Lodging

There’s no better access to Alta than their five unpretentious ski-in, ski-out lodges, each has a distinct character and includes breakfast and dinner.

Goldminer’s Daughter

We stayed at Goldminer’s Daughter Lodge, a solid choice for teens with a recreation, weight room, hot tub and steam room in the basement. If you’re looking for accommodations with more formal activities, many families opt for Alta Lodge and Ruster’s Lodge.  During peak season, they offer free apres ski kids’ programs with supervised play in a game room, some reading or crafts time, peer-to-peer dining, evening movies and even a magician.

Since there’s not much nightlife, guests linger longer in the surprisingly upscale and gourmet hotel restaurants. This communal atmosphere (along with floor-to-ceiling glass windows) makes for a memorable, family-friendly atmosphere. Many who stay at Alta are loyal, returning guests so we felt like we were crashing a reunion…but by the end of our stay, we felt very much a part of it. 

 

Kids ski free at these 22 Colorado resorts

Colorado resorts are committed to providing fun and affordable skiing and riding opportunities for families by offering Kids Ski Free programs across the state. Parents and families can take advantage of free and discounted lift tickets for children, specialized lessons and rental discounts to plan a once-in-a-lifetime ski vacation experience that won’t break the bank.

For the best deal in Colorado, Vail Resorts offers the Epic SchoolKids Colorado Pack, a free program for Kindergarten through 5th graders that provides four days of skiing and riding at each of Vail Resorts’ properties. The program also offers one free first-timer lesson and rental. The lesson is valid for a one-time first-timer lesson at a single resort. The sign-up deadline is each fall. 

Colorado Ski Country USA offers any fifth grader the chance to ski or ride three days at 22 participating member resorts across the state absolutely free. Fifth graders who have never skied or snowboarded are eligible for the 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 6th Grade Passport Program offers four days of skiing at the same 22 resorts for only $105 before November 30, or $125 through the end of the season. 

Below are some Kids Ski Free packages and discounts available at Colorado’s ski resorts. For additional information, be sure to check-out our Colorado Ski Directory that details the cost of lessons, childcare, lift tickets and more. 

Arapahoe Basin

Kids Free 2 Ski Pass

Children five and under ski free every day at Arapahoe Basin with a free Five & Under lift ticket from the ticket window. Children ages six to 12 can ski or snowboard for free any two days of the 2017-18 season with no blackout dates through the Kids Free 2 Ski Pass. Register online, at a Front Range ski show or at the mountain by December 18, 2017. For more information, visit www.arapahoebasin.com.

Aspen Snowmass

Kids Ski Free

Children six and under always ski free at Aspen Snowmass. For children ages seven to 12 years old, Aspen Snowmass allows kids to ski free when booking two or more nights of lodging through Stay Aspen Snowmass or renting children’s ski or snowboard equipment from Four Mountain Sports. There is no limit on the number of days children can receive free lift tickets when renting from Four Mountain Sports. The offer is valid January 1 – April 15, 2018. Mention kids ski free when you call 800-290-1326 or visit www.aspensnowmass.com for more information.

Beaver Creek and Breckenridge

Kids 4 and younger ski free

Lift tickets are required and available at lift ticket windows. Note: 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 Vail Resorts’ properties: Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, and Keystone. Sign-up deadline is in the fall.

Cooper

Kids Ski Free

Children five & under always ski free at Cooper, and children six to 14 receive a discount on their daily lift tickets. Cooper also offers children’s group lessons, with several levels of instruction for age and ability, that include rentals for affordable rates. For more information, visit www.skicooper.com.

Copper Mountain

One, Two, Free!

With Copper Mountain’s One, Two, Free! Package, kids 12 and younger ski free with the purchase of an adult two-day lift ticket. The deal also includes additional perks like a third night of lodging free, a third day of rentals free, a free half-day ticket on the day of arrival or departure, and free upgrade to the Secret! Pass for early access and shorter lift lines. Children five and under always ski/ride free at Copper Mountain. For more information, visit www.coppercolorado.com.

Crested Butte

Kids 12 and Under Ski Free

Children six and under always ski free at Crested Butte. All kids ages 12 and under visiting Crested Butte Mountain Resort Nov. 23 – Dec. 15, 2017 and Apr. 1 – 8, 2018 ski or ride free. No strings attached, no parent ticket required, no lodging stay required, no advance reservations, just a free ticket for kids. For more information, visit www.skicb.com

Echo Mountain

Kids Ski Free

Kids five and under ski and ride free at Echo Mountain. The ski area also offers ski or snowboard package rentals for only $29 for kids, plus specialized private and group lessons for kids through Utivity. For more information, visit www.echomountainresort.com.

Eldora

Season Pass Deals

At Eldora, kids age five and under can purchase an alpine season pass for only $29. For more information, visit www.eldora.com.

Granby Ranch

Kids Ski Free

Kids five and under ski free. Granby Ranch also offers child’s ski or snowboard rental packages for only $15 per day. For more information, visit www.granbyranch.com.

Hesperus

Kids Ski Free Every Day Deal, 4th Graders Ski Free

Guests lucky enough to be seven years old and younger get a free lift ticket every day, with no blackout dates. Just ask for the Ski Free Every Day deal at the ticket window. Fourth graders (with report card) get a free lift ticket every day, with no blackout dates. Just ask for the Ski Free Every Day deal at the ticket window.

First Time; Free Lessons.

Hesperus offers first-timers ages seven and older up to three free lessons with the purchase of one full-day, full-price lift ticket for $39. Available every day. For more information, visitwww.ski-hesperus.com

Keystone

Kids ski free

Every day, all season long, kids 12 and younger ski for free at Keystone with no blackout dates. Simply book direct with the resort for two or more nights in one of Keystone’s numerous lodging accommodation options, which span from affordable hotel rooms to family-sized condominiums. Kids 4 and younger ski free with no restrictions. 

Loveland

Kids Ski Free

Children five and under ski free every day at Loveland. Children five and under can also purchase a ski or snowboard package equipment rental for $12.

3-Class Pass for Kids

Loveland’s 3-Class Pass for Kids is for all children, ages four to 14, of all ability levels. When guests pre-purchase or complete three full-day lesson packages, they receive a free unrestricted season pass to keep practicing their skiing or snowboarding skills for the rest of the season. Children’s full day lesson packages include a lesson, lift access, equipment rentals (ski or snowboard), helmet and lunch. For more information, visit www.skiloveland.com.

Monarch

Kids Ski Free and Free Lessons

Children six and under ski free at Monarch. Children between the ages of seven and 12 get a free lesson with the purchase of a lift ticket and a rental package. For more information, visit www.skimonarch.com.

Powderhorn

Season Pass and Lift Ticket Deals

Children six and under can purchase a season pass for only $94 during early-season promotions or $119 all season long. Or, kids six and under can go to the lift ticket window and pay only $18 for a full-day pass. Children 12 and under can purchase an EZ Rider pass for access to the beginner lift for only $12. For more information, visit www.powderhorn.com.

Purgatory

Kids and 4th Graders Ski Free

Kids seven years old and younger ski free every day at Purgatory Resort. Fourth grade students also ski free at Purgatory with proof of grade. For more information, visit www.skipurg.com.   

Silverton

Silverton Winter Sports Club

A local youth program, the Silverton Winter Sports Club provides a season-long introduction to big mountain skiing and backcountry snow safety protocols. While there is a small participation fee for families, the Silverton Winter Sports Club is funded almost entirely by donations, including the support of Silverton Mountain and the Brill Family. For more information, visitwww.silvertonmountain.com.

Steamboat

Kids & Grandkids Ski Free

Steamboat’s Kids Ski Free and Grandkids Ski Free programs enable children 12 years of age and under to ski free the same number of days as their parent, grandparent, or legal guardian when the parent, grandparent, or legal guardian purchase a five-or-more day adult lift ticket. For season passes, one child (12 and under) is eligible to receive a free season pass with parent, grandparent, or legal guardian purchase of an adult Steamboat Season Pass. For more information, visit www.steamboat.com.

Sunlight

Carefree Skier Season Pass

Children age five and younger can receive a free 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.

Ski, Swim, Stay

With Sunlight’s Ski, Swim and Stay package, kids 12 and under ski free. Enjoy a full day on the slopes of Sunlight, a rejuvenating soak in natural hot springs, and a relaxing night’s stay at one of nine participating lodging properties. Packages start at just $99/night. For more information, visit www.sunlightmtn.com.

Telluride

Kids Ski Free

Free lift tickets are available at the Telluride ticket window for children ages five years old and under. Child lift tickets for children ages six to 12 are available online at discounted rates for two or more days of skiing when you purchase at least 48 hours in advance. Telluride also offers children’s ski school lessons divided into programs that offer age and skill specific learning experiences. For more information, visit www.tellurideskiresort.com.

Vail

Kids 4 and younger ski free

Lift tickets are required and available at lift ticket windows. Note: 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 Vail Resorts’ properties: Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, and Keystone. Sign-up deadline is in the fall.

Winter Park

Kids and Beginners Ski for Less

At Winter Park Resort, kids five and under qualify for beginner lift tickets for $10 a day or $30 for the season with no black-out dates. These lift tickets are intended for beginners only and grant access to the Galloping Goose chairlift at Mary Jane. For more information, visit www.winterparkresort.com.

Wolf Creek

Tots and Children Discounts

At Wolf Creek Ski Area, the unrestricted season pass for Tots (children five and under) is only $54, while children ages six to 12 can purchase an unrestricted season pass for $385. For families looking for daily lift tickets, children ages five and younger can purchase a lift ticket for only $6.

Guide to holiday events at Colorado’s ski resorts

With the holidays fast approaching, Colorado’s resorts are ready to welcome guests from near and far ready to enjoy the holiday spirit. Colorado ski areas are offering fun, family-friendly events including tree-lighting ceremonies, skiing with Santa, torchlight parades, fine dining and fireworks. Guests can celebrate the winter season and ring in the New Year on Colorado’s world-class snow and terrain. Holiday events and celebrations at ski areas in Colorado include: 

Arapahoe Basin Ski Area

Santa Claus at A-Basin

On Sunday, December 24, Santa Claus and his elf will arrive at A-Basin at 11 a.m. to hand out candy to children in the A-Frame Lodge and Mountain Goat Plaza. After Santa visits the base area buildings he will visit children in the Molly Hogan Learning Area before heading up Black Mountain Express to visit guests at Black Mountain Lodge. Santa will be leaving A-Basin just after 1 p.m. The Summit County Choral Society will be caroling in the base area from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information, visit www.arapahoebasin.com

Aspen Snowmass

5th Annual Tree Lighting at The Little Nell

On Sunday, December 10, this festive, family-friendly event will be held in the courtyard at The Little Nell from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. There will complimentary cookies and hot cocoa, carolers and photo ops with Santa Claus. The Aspen Animal Shelter will be onsite with “reindeer” pups. Guests can donate new and gently worn winter clothing for the Aspen Homeless Shelter.

 Santa’s Village and Carolers

From December 21-24, The North Pole will come to the Snowmass Mall and Base Village, where Santa himself will be available to hear last-minute requests from girls and boys. Complimentary photos with Santa will be offered from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Carolers will stroll through the Snowmass Mall and Base Village December 23-24

New Year’s Eve Fireworks + Torchlight Parade

On Sunday, December 31 from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., Snowmass will ring in the New Year by lighting up the slopes with fireworks and a Torchlight Parade. Skiers and snowboarders ages eight and older will be welcome to ski in the parade, which will begin at 6 p.m., followed by fireworks over Snowmass at 10 p.m. For more information, visit www.aspensnowmass.com.

Beaver Creek

37th Annual Tree Lighting

On November 25, the 37th annual Tree Lighting Ceremony features a holiday poetry contest, ice skating show, and performances by various groups from all over Colorado.

Santa’s Workshop

On November 25, 2017, children of all ages will delight in making Christmas gifts for the whole family, decorating holiday cookies and taking photos with Santa! Santa’s elves will be on hand to help with crafting and photos. beavercreek.com

(Westin Riverfront)

Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa

The Westin Riverfront launched something new this year: The 25 days of Christmas. This celebration features FREE holiday activities–crafts, story time, and s’mores parties, etc.–every day from Dec. 1-25. www.westinriverfrontbeavercreek.com

Cooper

75th Anniversary New Year’s Eve Party

On Sunday, December 31, Cooper will honor their 75 years of operations with a New Year’s Eve Celebration complete with a torchlight parade, birthday cake, balloons and live music. For more information, visit www.skicooper.com.

 Copper Mountain

Christmas at Copper

On Sunday, December 24, Christmas Eve at Copper will bring a visit from Santa himself, as well as a children’s glowstick pageant and a torchlight parade. Guests will be able to close out the night with a Christmas Eve fireworks display.

 New Year’s Eve Dine and Ski

On Sunday, December 31, guests will enjoy the last moments of 2017 by taking the American Eagle chairlift up to mid-mountain where a delicious buffet dinner will be waiting in Solitude Station. After dinner, guests will be able to ski back down the mountain under the light of the moon and stars.

 New Year’s Eve Celebration

On Sunday, December 31, Copper Mountain will say goodbye to 2017 and hello to 2018 with a children’s glowstick pageant, a torchlight parade and a mountainside fireworks display. For more information, visit www.coppercolorado.com

Crested Butte Mountain Resort

Santa Ski and Crawl

On Saturday, December 9, Crested Butte Mountain Resort will sponsor the 5th annual “Santa Ski and Crawl” in hopes of breaking the World Record for the largest number of skiers in full Santa costumes. Participants must be decked out in a full Santa suit to participate in the group Santa Ski. $25 lift tickets will be available for guests in a full Santa suit (top, bottom, hat and beard).

 Torchlight Parade and Santa’s Sleigh Ride

On Sunday, December 24, Crested Butte will begin the holiday festivities as Santa comes down the mountain in a sleigh pulled by a snowcat. Santa will hand out candy canes to children. Guests will be able to stay to watch the Crested Butte Ski and Ride School perform their famous torchlight parade down the front side of the mountain at 5:30 p.m. Photos with Santa will be available immediately following the torchlight parade inside the Spellbound Pizza area next to Butte 66.

 NYE Apres Party at the Umbrella Bar

Starting at 5 p.m. on Sunday, December 31, Crested Butte will offer a new take on New Year’s Eve celebrations. Guests can take a self-guided skin or snowshoe tour to the top of Ten Peaks and warm up inside the Umbrella Bar while watching the fireworks display, which starts at 5:30 p.m. Guests will enjoy appetizers, champagne and dessert as they celebrate the coming of a new year. The event will cost $50 per person. For more information, visit www.skicb.com

 Eldora

Annual Ugly Sweater Contest

On Sunday, December 24, Eldora will host guests in their ugliest holiday sweaters as they host a festive holiday celebration. There will be lots of holiday cheer as Santa leads a group of skiers and riders down the mountain to the deck for hot chocolate, candy canes and fun festive activities for the whole family to enjoy. Guests will be able to participate in the ugly sweater contest and a holiday dance contest. For more information, visit www.eldora.com.

 Granby Ranch

Winter Wonderland

From December 22-24, skiers and riders will be able to celebrate the holiday season with music, holiday treats, Santa, Christmas cookies, card decorating and more.

 New Year’s Eve Party

On Sunday, December 31, Granby Ranch will host a New Year’s Eve party for guests to ring in the New Year on the slopes. For more information, visit www.granbyranch.com.

 Keystone

Santa Claus is Coming to Keystone

 On December 16, 17, 20, 22, 23 and 24, Santa is coming to town. Photo opportunities, skiing, parades, a family-friendly brunch and the Mountaintop Spectacular will highlight his visits. Don’t miss Keystone’s famous snow fort!

Keystone Chocolate Village

Keystone Executive Pastry Chef Ned Archibald utilizes more than 7,500 pounds of imported chocolate for the Keystone Chocolate Village located in the lobby of the Keystone Lodge & Spa from Dec. 21, 2017-Jan. 7, 2018. www.keystoneresort.com

Loveland Ski Area

Santa at Loveland

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 his appearance at Loveland on December 23rd, 24th, and 25th. 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, visitwww.skiloveland.com

Monarch Mountain

Skiing with Santa

Santa will be skiing Monarch Mountain on Christmas Eve, December 24, 2017. Guests who stick around Monarch will be treated to the New Year’s Eve fireworks and torchlight parade. For more information, visit www.skimonarch.com.

 Powderhorn Mountain Resort

New Year’s Eve Celebration

On Sunday, December 31, Powderhorn will host the annual Torchlight Parade, along with a fireworks display, a New Year’s Rail Jam, and live music at the SlopeSide Inn with drink and food specials until 10 p.m. For more information, visit www.powderhorn.com

Purgatory Resort

The Holidays at Purgatory

Purgatory Resort offers a variety of holiday activities to celebrate this season. On Saturday, December 23, guests will be able to attend a free wreath-making class and spend time with Santa and Mrs. Claus, who will visit via horse-drawn sleigh ride, delivering candy canes and taking last minute gift requests. On Sunday, December 24, skiers and riders will be able to spend time off the slopes with a Build Your Own Gingerbread House event and a free Holiday S’mores Party on the beach, while the Slopeside Restaurant will host a Christmas Eve dinner complete with a buffet-style holiday feast, a hot cocoa bar, Christmas Cookie station, and dessert buffet. From December 26-29, Purgatory will be home to Snow Sculptures in the Plaza with world-renowned artist Keith Martin, and on Sunday, December 31 guests will ring in the New Year with fireworks, a torchlight parade and a New Year’s Eve special dinner-buffet with carving stations and decadent desserts. For more information, visit www.skipurg.com.   

Silverton

New Year’s Eve

Silverton Mountain will offer a New Years’ Eve package December 29-31, including three days of guided skiing, parties each night, lunch and après drinks every day, and more. This package will be offered on opening weekend at Silverton Mountain, so conditions will be untouched and on steep terrain. For more information, visit www.silvertonmountain.com

Steamboat

Steamboat Holiday Festival

On Friday, December 17 from 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., Steamboat will welcome guests to gondola square to celebrate the holiday season Steamboat style. Santa will ride down the slopes on horseback and meet guests at his workshop along with some of his favorite reindeer friends. There will be a stocking scramble and free holiday treats at surrounding stores and restaurants. Additional festivities will include cookie decorating and a special holiday concert featuring the Face Vocal Band. The party will continue after dark with a torchlight parade and fireworks followed by night skiing.

 Torchlight Parade and Fireworks

On Sunday, December 31 from 5:15 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., the Steamboat Snowsports School will treat folks to a spectacular on-snow parade down the mountain lit only by torches. Along with the torchlight parades, a fireworks display will illuminate the sky providing a perfect ending to the evening. Following the Torchlight Parade, guests will ring in the New Year at a kid-friendly event with the Family Fun New Year’s Eve bash at the Steamboat Grand. The festivities will kick off with a family-style buffet dinner in the Grand Ballroom followed by magic, juggling and comedy. Other children’s activities and face painting will fill the time before the 2018 countdown, complete with noise makers and party hats, happening at 9 p.m.

 Korbel New Year’s Eve Party

Guests can join Steamboat for a New Year’s Eve celebration at the top of the gondola in Thunderhead Lodge from 6 p.m. on December 31 to 1 a.m. on January 1. Visitors will dance the night away with DJ entertainment and indulge in a desert bar, chocolate fondue station and small bite appetizers before ringing in 2018. For more information, visit www.steamboat.com

Sunlight Mountain Resort

Shred with Santa

From December 16-17, guests will be able to take a free ride on all the best 2017 skis and snowboards during Sunlight’s annual Free Demo Days. Kids will enjoy free photos with Santa on Sunlight’s West Deck and then enjoy a few runs with the man in red. For more information, visit www.sunlightmtn.com.

 Telluride Ski Resort

Holiday Prelude

From December 16-17, Telluride’s Mountain Village will be transformed once again into the North Pole for this year’s Holiday Prelude celebration. Guests will enjoy a whole day of holidaymovies, train rides, Santa and his workshop, live reindeer, ice skating and children’s holiday surprises around every corner.

 Christmas Eve Torchlight Parade

On Sunday, December 24, guests will be able to watch as Telluride Ski Resort employees meander down the mountain with torches to light up the mountainside.

 New Year’s Eve Torchlight Parade: (Dec. 31)

On Sunday, December 31 skiers and snowboarders will take a run down the mountain carrying blazing red torches. Guests can view parades on both sides of the resort: Town and Mountain Village. For more information, visit www.tellurideskiresort.com.

 Vail

Holidays

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 daily, December 16 through December 31. www.vail.com

Winter Park Resort

Christmas Eve Torchlight Parade

Winter Park’s Christmas Eve celebrations will begin on Sunday, December 24 at 1 p.m. with a visit from Santa in the gazebo, followed by Christmas carolers at 3:15 p.m. At 5:30 p.m., a procession of torch-bearing skiers and riders will begin their way down Lower Hughes trail, followed by Santa Claus and his merry helpers. A spectacular fireworks display and snowcats adorned with Christmas colors will light up the slopes in a Christmas tree formation to conclude the festivities. 

Immediately following the show at 6 p.m., visitors are welcome to attend a Christmas Eve non-denominational service located in West Portal. The service will last about an hour. After the parade or the non-denominational service, guests can enjoy a holiday buffet at Sunspot Lodge. For more information, visit www.winterparkresort.com.

 Wolf Creek Ski Area

Santa at Wolf Creek

From December 24-25, Santa will make pit stops at Wolf Creek while out and about delivering presents. Santa will explore Wolf Creek greeting guests, spreading holiday cheer and handing out candy canes. The Wolf Creek Lodge will serve a Christmas dinner of Cornish game hen and the traditional sides for skiers and boarders celebrating the holiday. For more information, visit www.wolfcreekski.com.

Colorado Family Ski Directory 2017/18

Mile High Mamas is a top resource for planning Colorado family ski/ride vacations. A few years ago, we launched the Colorado Family Ski Directory 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 2017/18

Resort Adult Kids Childcare Ski/Ride School Deals
Arapahoe Basin Ski Area $95 $79 (ages 15-18)l $47 (ages 6-14); Kids 5 and under ski free every day. No. Kids class lessons start at $135 for half-day, $160 for full-day. Multi-week programs start at $335. available for kids of all ability levels, age 3 and up. Arapahoebasin.com. Check out their Snowsports and hot deals pages.
Aspen Highlands $155 $92; 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 $224. aspensnowmass.com; Kids Ski Free program for kids ages 7-12. Details:  (800) 290-1326

 

Aspen Mountain $155 $92; 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

$154*  $106*  Half-day $125; full-day $163 Starts at $229+ beavercreek.com
Breckenridge Ski Area

momreview

$141*  $92 On-site childcare starts at $128.    Starting at $199.* breckenridge.com
Buttermilk

momreview

$155* $92; kids 6 and under ski free No on-site childcare  Starting at $224 aspensnowmass.com; Kids Ski Free program for kids ages 7-12. Details:  (800) 290-1326
Crested Butte Mountain Resort

momreview

$117 Kids 6 and under ski free, Child (7-12) : $64 Teen (13-17) $105 There is a nursery for 2 months to 3 years old. Full-day starts at $130. Group lesson with lunch starts at $175.  skicb.com deals. Kids ski free Nov. 23-Dec. 15; April 1-8, no strings attached
Cooper | Chicago Ridge

 

 $54  $34; kids 5 and under ski free  Childcare $14/hr; $55 for half-day;  $72 for full-day  Child (5-12) all-day Panda Patrol group lessons start at $119 (get 10% off if you reserve online.)  Deals offered at local rental shops, lodges, and grocery stores. Best deals are at skicooper.com.
Copper Mountain Resort $98* Starting at $61. 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 $210. 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 Starting at TBD No on-site child care Group lesson starts at TBD   Eldora.com 
Keystone Resort

 

 $114* Starting around $66.*  Starts at $125 for full day  Pricing starts at $189  Keystoneresort.com
Loveland Ski Area

momreview

$61 $29 – 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: $89 non-peak and $99 peak Monarch ski packages with lodging participants. skimonarch.com

 

Powderhorn Mountain Resort $71 Youth (13-17) $60; Junior (7-12) $35; Child (6 & Under) $18 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 TBD Teen (13-17) TBD; Child (6-12) TBD; Children 7 & under FREE Cost: TBD Half-day lessons TBD (lesson only)
Full Day Packages 6-12 year olds (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 $73 $44. Kids 5 and under ski free No on-site childcare. Starting at $179. GranbyRanch.com
Snowmass

momreview

$145 $92 The Treehouse Kids Adventure Center. Rates start at $174. Offered for kids ages 2-4, 5-6 and 7-12. Rates start at $224 for full day. aspensnowmass.com; Kids Ski Free program for kids ages 7-12. Details:  (800) 290-1326
Steamboat Ski Area

momreview

$145* Youth: $135*; Child: $90*.  Kids’ Vacation Center full-day $139. 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

$66 $45; 5 and under ski free Childcare is $100 full day; $55 half-day; $25/hourly. Super Tots: Full Day lesson, lift, helmet, lunch for ages 4-6 is $155. Half-day is $105.

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 $119* $79*; 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 $200 for a lesson, lift ticket and lunch for ages 3 to 14.  tellurideskiresort.com
Vail  $154 $106. 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 $229. Visit Vail.com and purchase tickets 7 days in advance for best prices.
Winter Park Resort

momreview

$119 Approx. $79. Kids 4 and under ski free. Childcare for kids 2 months to 6 years. Half day is available for $109, full day is available for $139. 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.
Wolf Creek Ski Area  $70 $36. Kids 5 and under $6 No Starting at $84 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 9, 2018 as our base to compare prices.

Featured image: Loveland Ski Area

23 New Family-friendly Winter Events & Attractions in Colorado

Colorado is heading into a winter filled with new offerings for visitors. From soaring down the mountain year-round on four new mountain coasters, skiing 468 acres of new terrain at Arapahoe Basin and celebrating Snowmass’ 50th anniversary, to exciting hotel and restaurant openings and unique packages and experiences, Colorado is filled with winter fun just waiting to be explored. Following is a sampling of what’s new for the winter season in Colorado. For more information on Colorado, visit www.COLORADO.com

Exciting New Events, Festivals & Anniversaries:

Loveland’s new Winter Wonderlights: This walkable lighting attraction situated in the award-winning Chapungu Sculpture Park at Centerra will launch the weekend before Thanksgiving. The attraction is set to kickoff Saturday, November 18, 2017, and runs through Sunday, January 7, 2018, from 5 – 9 p.m. daily. Each night, visitors will revel in holiday string lights, twinkling bulbs, LED mappable snowflakes, illuminated African stone sculptures, the only 20’ LED mappable Christmas Tree in the state and 30-minute music and light shows each evening starting at 5:30 p.m. In addition to nightly lighting attractions, special weekend programming at the winter event includes: Colorado’s largest inflatable igloo, weekend food and retail vendors, and exceptional performances sprinkled throughout the event calendar.visitlovelandco.org/winterwonderlights

Colorado Welcomes Winter Olympic Experiences: Colorado welcomes the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics with several Olympic experiences. Attend ski and snowboard Olympic qualifiers at the Dew Tour in Breckenridge (December 14-17, 2017) and the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix at Copper Mountain (December 6-10, 2017) and Aspen(January 10-14, 2018), visit the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, train where Olympians train at Woodward at Copper, experience Steamboat’s 2018 Olympic Send-Off Celebration (January 27, 2018) and more. 
 
The Brown Palace’s 125th Anniversary Champagne Cascade, November 19, 2017: Denver’s elegant welcome to the holiday season with a master swordsman who uses a Napoleonic saber to sever the bottlenecks of Moet & Chandon Champagne bottles at the historic Brown Palace Hotel. The Champagne is then poured into the uppermost glass of a two-story, 6,000-glass pyramid, overflowing to the glasses below, creating a dazzling display. The 2017 Cascade will honor the hotel’s 125th anniversary.
 
Snowmass Ski Area Celebrates 50 Years: This winter season marks the 50th anniversary of the Snowmass Ski Area. The season-long celebration includes vintage, 1967 lift ticket pricing of $6.50 on Friday, December 15 as well as a festive weekend of anniversary activities December 15-17 such as a retro party at Elk Camp restaurant, fireworks display, the return of Banana Days, an on-mountain celebration at Spider Sabich Picnic arena and more. Additionally, throughout the season, the celebration continues with new gold signs that mark the original ski trails, monthly fireworks display over Fanny Hill, a new mural in Base Village commemorating the history of Snowmass and more.
 
New Kidtopia Signature Event Series at Keystone Resort: New for 2017-18, the Kidtopia Signature Event Series will feature three distinct events throughout the winter to complement the family experience at Keystone. Events include the Kidtopia Spectacular, a holiday mountaintop celebration from December 15-24; the first-ever Kidtopia Culinary Festival, a celebrity chef event catering to the youngest of foodies from February 9-17; and the Kidtopia Music Experience, rock’n’roll parties, dance parties and more to kick off spring skiing from March 2-10.
 
Cooper Celebrates 75th Anniversary, December 31, 2017: Cooper, a gem resort just outside of Leadville, the highest incorporated city in the U.S., turns 75 this year. In honor of the anniversary, Cooper will hold a 75th birthday party and New Year’s Eve celebration with cake, balloons, a torchlight parade and more.
 
Loveland Launches Winter Wonderlights, November 25, 2017 – January 14, 2018The magic of the holidays can be found at Loveland’s Winter Wonderlights, a new walkable holiday lighting attraction situated in the award-winning Chapungu Sculpture Park at Centerra. From November 25 until January 14, guests will be mesmerized as they stroll through the north end of the Sculpture Park. Holiday string lights, twinkling bulbs, lit trees, holiday characters and illuminated African stone sculptures only found in Loveland will transform a special section of this 26-acre outdoor park into a winter wonderland.
 
Outdoor Retailer Makes the Big Move to Denver, January 25 – 28, 2018: Denver recently announced the city was selected to host the prestigious Outdoor Retailer trade shows for the next five years, which represents a dawning for a galvanized, energized recreation community that will grow from Colorado, fomenting support for public lands, environmental health and the outdoor recreation industry. The first winter market show will take place in conjunction with the Snow Show.
 
2018 Olympic Send-Off Celebration in Steamboat, January 27, 2018: Steamboat is known for having produced more winter Olympians than any other town in the United States. The community celebrates that heritage and prepares to root for the next generation of Olympic athletes at the 2018 Olympic Send-off Celebration. Almost 90 athletes with ties to Steamboat have competed in the winter games and many of these former athletes will gather with 2018 team hopefuls during an evening with athlete autographs, fireworks, interviews and more.
 
Degas: A Passion for Perfection, February 11 – May 20, 2018Appearing for the only time in the United States at Denver Art Museum, Degas: A Passion for Perfection will showcase prolific French artist Edgar Degas’ works from 1855 to 1906. More than 100 works consisting of paintings, drawings, pastels, etchings, monotypes, and sculptures in bronze will be on view. The exhibition will focus on the most prominent and recurring themes throughout Degas’ 60-year career. These include his interest in learning from the art of the past and from that of his contemporaries, a lifelong fascination with the nude, a passion for horses, and his strong interest in opera and dance.

Enticing New Attractions, Activities & Adventures:

Arapahoe Basin Expands Terrain: For the 2017-18 season, Arapahoe Basin will be adding a total of 468 acres to its inbounds skiable terrain, bringing its total acreage to over 1,400 acres. The expansion is one of the only expansions taking place in North America. Construction on the new terrain began this summer, with patrolled and maintained hike-back skiing available starting in the 2017-18 season. There will be 339 acres of lift-served skiing in The Beavers, including intermediate and advanced open bowl and tree skiing. The Steep Gullies will remain hike-back terrain, and will be some of the most technical and challenging in-bounds terrain at Arapahoe Basin.
 
Colorado Welcomes Three New Creative Districts: Colorado Creative Industries recently announced the certification of three new Creative Districts into the Colorado Creative Districts Program. The newly certified districts are Manitou Springs Creative District, Steamboat Springs Creative District and Westwood Creative District (Denver) joining the existing 18 Colorado Creative Districts.
 
Colorado Field Guide Launches: The Colorado Tourism Office (CTO) introduced a new initiative aimed at inspiring travelers to explore the state’s hidden gems and carry their dollars to less-visited destinations in the state. The itineraries, which include specific recommendations for things to do and places to eat and stay, are housed on Colorado.com in a brand-new trip planner built from the ground up for Colorado by Utrip, an artificial-intelligence-based destination discovery and planning platform.
 
Copper Mountain Opens The Rocky Mountain Coaster: This fall, Copper Mountain opened its new alpine coaster that will span 5,800 feet. With a vertical drop of 430 feet on an average grade of 10.9 percent, the Rocky Mountain Coaster will provide an exciting activity in both the summer and winter months.
 
Cross Country Ski Association Offers Punch Pass: Cross country ski across 13 Colorado resorts with the Cross Country Ski Association (CCCA) Punch Pass. The CCCSA punch pass is similar to having a season pass, but instead of just one resort, ski across several resorts throughout the state. The pass includes 12 trail passes at six resorts and great lodging, rentals and tour discounts at the other seven resorts.
 
Ouray Hot Springs Pool Unveils $10.6 Million Renovation: Ouray Hot Springs has undergone a $10.6 million renovation and recently unveiled the finished product in time for the springs’ 90th birthday. One of the many goals of this project was to make the hot springs more accessible, secluded and inclusive for all visitors, while maintaining the pool’s historic oval shape. New additions joined the two soaking pools, which opened in May as the first leg of the renovation. Other add-ons and improvements include new shallow and hot sections, an overlook, activity pool, slides, lighting and more.
 
Powderhorn Mountain Resort’s New Ski Patrol Ski Along: Get the ultimate insider’s guide to Powderhorn with the new Ski Patrol Ski Along. Ski 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. The ski along is open to all ages and starts at $75 per person.
 
Purgatory Resort Opens New Mountain Coaster: Opening in late 2017, Purgatory Resort in Durango will feature a new mountain coaster that will be accessible right from the base area and will operate during both winter and summer seasons. The coaster will be 4,000 feet in length with a 300-foot-vertical, and will feature nine switchbacks and one loop, giving guests another fun activity snow or shine.
 
Snowmass Opens New Breathtaker Mountain Coaster: With a target opening of December 2017, the Breathtaker Coaster will feature a 5,700-foot-long track with a total ride time of seven to nine minutes. The coaster will span 410 vertical feet with the speed controlled by the rider, but there will be anti-collision technology for safety and a tandem option for small children.  The Breathtaker will be open for both summer and winter operations in which the coaster will wind through the trees between Gunner’s View and Sandy Park ski trails on Snowmass Mountain.
 
Steamboat Ski Resort Debuts Outlaw Mountain Coaster:  Steamboat’s new Outlaw Mountain Coaster descends more than 400 vertical feet with a riding length of more than 6,000 linear feet, making it the longest mountain coaster in North America. The track will be in the vicinity of Christie Peak Express lift and rise between 4 and 40 feet above the ground with dips, waves, turns and 360-degree circles.
 
New Intro to Alpine Touring Program at YMCA Snow Mountain Ranch: This new ski program is geared toward those who want to learn the basic skills needed to have a great day touring the backcountry.  The tour focuses on how to use modern Alpine Touring equipment, and touches upon the basic principles of how to use an avalanche beacon, shovel and probe.  This program is perfect for those who have always wanted to see what it’s like to ski on their own outside of the resort.
 
Zen Compound Expands into Denver Market with Groundbreaking Facility: This fall, San Francisco artist-deejay-entrepreneur Paul Hemming will open his second Zen Compound, a groundbreaking facility that divides four distinct but related concepts into a single space: ECO-SYSTM, a co-working space for artists and musicians; Mirus, a gallery hanging pieces from locals as well as internationally-known artists; Hive, a unique coffee bar; and Temple Nightclub, an innovative club known for its programming, production feats and legendary hospitality.
 

Winter Park Express Train Expands Service: The Winter Park Express, which reopened in January 2017, will expand service to select “First Fridays” of every month. In 2018, the train will run every weekend from January 5 to March 25 with additional Friday service on January 5February 2, and March 2- 27 total days, which is four more days than last season. Ticket prices have been lowered to $29 one way on select departures.

Deals: Fall Ski Deals, Colorado Art Fest and More

Do your kids complain that they have to study things in school have no application in real life? Mine too. That is why I was intrigued when I heard about the XQ Super School. With the concept that the world around us has changed dramatically but the concept of American High School has not changed celebrities, parents and educators are coming together for a discussion. The live event will be on several major television networks on September 8. Kids deserve a choice to have their voice be heard and have some choice in their learning.
 
Winter is Coming. No, I’m not talking about the line from Game of Thrones. I’m taking about the awesome deals that you can get for yourself and your kids in the fall for the upcoming ski season.
·         Vail Resorts (Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, and Keystone) are once again offering their Epic School Kids. Four free days at each of the resorts, one beginner ski lesson and equipment on the day of the lesson. You need to take your kids to a Ski and Golf/Ski and Sport/Boulder Sport location along with proof of them being in Kindergarten through Fifth Grade.
·         Colorado Ski Country’s Passport is back as well. Register your 5th or 6th grader for their free pass. The pass includes most of the state’s ski areas (that is at 21 awesome Resorts). 5th graders get to try three times at each resort, 6th graders pass has a very minimal fee (of just $105) but you get 4 times at each of the resorts. The pass also includes a beginner level lesson and equipment on the date of that lesson.
·         Nobody loves kids like Crested Butte. All kids ages 12 and under visiting Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR) Nov. 23 – Dec. 15, 2017 and April 1 – 8, 2018 ski or ride for free. No strings attached, no parent ticket required, no lodging stay required, no advance reservations, no purchase of a bottle of wine (though it’s not a bad idea), just a good ole free ticket for the littlest rippers. We’re also proud to say, kids ages six and under ski free at CBMR all season long.
·         Junior Trade lets you score a deal on rental gear for kids. Purchase a used setup (both ski and snowboard setups available) at Colorado Ski and Golf (Ski and Sport OR Boulder Ski Deals) locations for around $100 use it all season long. Feel free to trade it back in if the kids grow out of it mid-season. Then, bring it back in the spring for 50% money back.
·         Looking for a deal on ski wear? Look no further than Ski Rex at Colorado Ski and Golf Locations or Powder Daze at Christy Sports locations this weekend! Save up to 70% off (some of last year’s fashions).  Even though these deals were advertised as a Labor Day sale they both return for another week or so.
 
Family-friendly Race Discount. Getaway 5K-10K is a new race series being held on Sunday, Sept. 10 at Cherry Creek State Park in Aurora.  It includes a Kids Fun Run, 1 Mile Family Walk, 5K and 10K as well as a Finish Line Party, Kids Zone and Festival. It’s all about family fun with a beachy theme! Mile High Mamas has an exclusive discount code for you: SunFunRun3C.  The code provides 15% off race fees. That’s approx. $6 off the 5K and $7.50 off the 10K. Go to Getaway 5K-10K to sign up!
                                          
Golden Glass Treasure Hunt. Starting September 1 through September 30 find a beautiful one-of-a-kind glass orb in the great “Golden Glass Orb Treasure Hunt” in Golden, Colorado. They promise the orbs will be placed somewhere in plain sight in Golden city limits.  “Finders” are “keepers” of these treasures, handcrafted by local artisans.  Plus, each orb has a special tag and instructions of how treasure finders can register your orb at the Foothills Art Center, where you get a certificate of authenticity and entered in a drawing on Oct. 2 to win a $200 gift card to be used at select spots in Golden. 
 
prAna Discount. Where do you prAna? There’s no place more glorious than Kenosha Pass in the fall and don’t miss our guide to Colorado’s best leaf-peeping! Also, get 15% off your next prAna purchasehttp://www.prana.com/ with discount code MHMAJ15. Offer valid until Oct. 3, 2017.  
 
Colorado Art Fest at Castle Rock OutletsOn September 9 and 10Outlets at Castle Rock is inviting locals to the 28th Annual Colorado Artfest! The two-day gathering will celebrate Colorado’s rich artistic culture and feature work from 170 different artists from all over the country, including photography, painting, drawings, sculpture and much more. Attendees will also be able to enjoy delicious food and beer from local vendors while interacting with many of the featured artists.
 
Belmar Italian Festival. Celebrate the sights, sounds and flavors of Italy during Festival Italiano at Belmar September 9 & 10, 2017! Festival Italiano at Belmar, a two-day event, celebrates Italian culture featuring the finest Italian food, wine, and artisan vendors, Children’s Grape Stomp, performances by the flag throwers from Florence, Italy, a free two-day open bocce tournament, and live entertainment on multiple stages, strolling performers + more!  
 
Consignment Sales. Mile High Mamas has once again compiled a list of all this season’s best consignment sales.  
 
Childhood Cancer Awareness. September is childhood cancer awareness month. There are many things you can do to help lend your support including: buying elephant themed items at Kneader’s (including a delicious cookie or an amazingly huggable white elephant), shaving your head for St. Baldrick’s. But read about my chat with my friend who’s daughter now is a cancer survivor!
 =======
Email me if you know of any great Denver deals!
Don’t want to miss any of Mile High Mamas’ contests and events? Be sure to sign up for our weekly email newsletter so you can forward these great deals to your friends.
If you’re on Twitter follow me on Twitter (GeeWhy93).  If I find a great deal during the week, I’ll tweet it out.

Deals: Free skiing for kids, Labor Day deals

I consider myself a true Colorado Girl. That means that I really do like both the summer AND the winter. I am happy for the warm sunny days of summer and the hiking and outdoor fun that we can have – I am equally as excited when winter comes around and that we are able to have fun outside still. I love to snowboard – and if you’ve not heard, Colorado has a fantastic program where kids can try out the sport for FREE. Yep – a favorite sport (snowboarding) paired with a favorite word (FREE).
 
Winter is Coming. No, I’m not talking about the line from Game of Thrones. I’m taking about the awesome deals that you can get for yourself and your kids in the fall for the upcoming ski season.
·         Vail Resorts (Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, and Keystone) are once again offering their Epic School Kids. Four free days at each of the resorts, one beginner ski lesson and equipment on the day of the lesson. You need to take your kids to a Ski and Golf/Ski and Sport/Boulder Sport location along with proof they are in kindergarten through fifth grade.
·         Colorado Ski Country’s Passport is back as well. Register your 5th or 6th grader for their free pass. The pass includes most of the state’s ski areas (that is at 21 awesome resorts). Fifth graders get to try three times at each resort, 6th graders pass has a very minimal fee (of just $105) but you get 4 times at each of the resorts. The pass also includes a beginner level lesson and equipment on the date of that lesson.
·         Junior Trade lets you score a deal on rental gear for kids. Purchase a used setup (both ski and snowboard setups available) at Colorado Ski and Golf (Ski and Sport OR Boulder Ski Deals) locations for around $100 use it all season long. Feel free to trade it back in if the kids grow out of it mid-season. Then, bring it back in the spring for 50% money back.
·         Looking for a deal on ski wear? Look no further than Ski Rex at Colorado Ski and Golf Locations or Powder Daze at Christy Sports locations this weekend! Save up to 70% off (some of last year’s fashions).
 
A Good Find.  A Good Find is launching in the Denver market! This modernized listing site allows users to buy and sell their stuff, used goods like baby items, furniture etc. to their local market. It’s a way for people near each other to buy and sell locally. This online local marketplace built for 2017, with safety and security baked in from the beginning: cashless payments (no more stacks of cash when meeting a stranger), internal messaging, and a sleek user interface.  There are three kinds of accounts: Free (5 listings per month), Professional (25 listings per month) or Marketplace (unlimited item listings). However, AGF has given me an exclusive promo code, MHMAMAS, which gives you a free professional account for life!
 
Labor Day in Denver. There are so many activities going down for the official end of summer! Our 18 fun events include A Taste of Colorado, Festival Italiano, the Colorado State Fair and so much more. 
 
Family-friendly Race Discount. Getaway 5K-10K is a new race series being held on Sunday, Sept. 10 at Cherry Creek State Park in Aurora.  It includes a Kids Fun Run, 1 Mile Family Walk, 5K and 10K as well as a Finish Line Party, Kids Zone and Festival. It’s all about family fun with a beachy theme! Mile High Mamas has an exclusive discount code for you: SunFunRun3C.  The code provides 15% off race fees. That’s approx. $6 off the 5K and $7.50 off the 10K. Go to Getaway 5K-10K to sign up!
                                          
Golden Glass Treasure Hunt. Starting September 1 through September 30 find a beautiful one-of-a-kind glass orb in the great “Golden Glass Orb Treasure Hunt” in Golden, Colorado. They promise the orbs will be placed somewhere in plain sight in Golden city limits.  “Finders” are “keepers” of these treasures, handcrafted by local artisans.  Plus, each orb has a special tag and instructions of how treasure finders can register your orb at the Foothills Art Center, where you get a certificate of authenticity and entered in a drawing on Oct. 2 to win a $200 gift card to be used at select spots in Golden. 
 
Home Again Movie Screening. You and your girlfriends are invited to an advance screening of Reese Witherspoon’s HOME AGAIN, on Wed. 9/6 in Greenwood Village. Visit www.gofobo.com/MileHighHomeAgain for your chance to download complimentary passes. (While supplies last, passes admit up to 2. Passes do not guarantee admission as theater is overbooked. ARRIVE EARLY!) #HomeAgainMovie in theaters 9/8.
 
Parade of Homes.  My Grammy used to call them “Wowee Houses” as we would drive what we thought were mansions. But now, we get to actually go in these homes. Your home showcase summer tradition, the Parade of Homes is your go-to local home show and design houses tour. This free event is a wonderful opportunity for potential home buyers and anyone interested in home remodeling and design to get new ideas and inspiration.
 
Arc Thrift Labor Day is a well-deserved day of rest…and a day to get 50% off at the annual Arc Thrift Stores’ Labor Day Sale! Amazing deals on clothes, shoes, coats, and household items – and more! – can be found at all 26 Arc Stores across the Front Range. Click here for Arc store locations.www.arcthrift.org/location
 
Risas Dental. While some of us will be enjoying the last summer holiday off, the dentists and staff at Risas Dental and Braces will be donating their time for its 6th Annual Labor of Love event. On Monday, Sept. 4th from 8am to 12pm, patients at each of the five Denver-area locations can select from one of four free services, including: Basic Teeth Cleaning; Cavity Filling; Tooth Extraction; Complete Exam with X-rays. Labor of Love kicks off with music, fun activities for kids, and complimentary breakfast for attendees waiting in line. Patients in line before 8am will be guaranteed treatment. No appointments will be required or accepted.  For more information regarding Labor of Love, visit: http://bit.ly/2vBce9n or risasdental.com  
 
MindCraft Makerspace Learning LabMindcraft Learning Lab introduces their afterschool program for kids 1st through 8th grade. Every after school session begins with 1:1 conversation with the student – prioritizing assignments and setting goals for their time at the Lab. The facilitator will provide guidance and check for quality and accuracy for all completed assignments. When all goals are met, students engage in educational games that support math literacy and reading and then the fun begins.  If time allows, your kids will be allowed to explore tinkering, gaming, coding and keyboarding in a self-directed and exploratory manner. 
 
Disney’s Frozen. The smash hit makes its pre-Broadway debut in Denver. Be among the first to see it! Inspired by the hit award-winning film, Frozen features more music, incredible stagecraft, and the epic story you love — now told as a full-length Broadway musical. Tickets starting at just $30. 
 
Consignment Sales. Mile High Mamas has once again compiled a list of all this season’s best consignment sales.  Next week’s sale: Haute Tots. 
 =======
Email me if you know of any great Denver deals!
Don’t want to miss any of Mile High Mamas’ contests and events? Be sure to sign up for our weekly email newsletter so you can forward these great deals to your friends.
If you’re on Twitter follow me on Twitter (GeeWhy93).  If I find a great deal during the week, I’ll tweet it out.

Epic SchoolKids: 16 free ski days for kids!

As we started our family ski weekend, the kids couldn’t contain their excitement, and were ready to go first thing in the morning! I still hadn’t had my coffee, but their enthusiasm perked us all up for our day with Epic SchoolKids. We planned a ski weekend and experienced all the mountain has to offer for families, and I learned a few things too! For example, did you know that the Epic SchoolKids program offers 16 free ski days for kids in grades K-5th Grade at four Colorado resorts (4 days each): Keystone, Breckenridge, Vail and Beaver Creek?

On the day of our epic ski adventure, it was super easy to get both kids registered and fitted for equipment for lessons. From the moment we walked towards the ski school, until we picked them up, my husband and I both commented what a well-oiled and organized machine Keystone Ski and Ride School is. Our eldest wanted to try snowboarding and was a first time snowboarder. She had a blast! She said after a couple more lessons, she will be a boarder.

My husband and I also reconnected while the kids took their lessons. We hadn’t skied together like this in several years! After lessons, and lunch (included for the kids with their lessons), we skied the terrain together as a family. It was fun, and we could not keep up with the kids. They are way too fast for us. Long ski runs at Keystone made for a tired and exhausted family at the end of the day, so be prepared for worn out kiddos and adults.

Since our family was at Keystone, we loved eating at the top of the Summit, and enjoyed some breathtaking views. We also explored other parts of Keystone Resort, including tubing for the first time. Our kids didn’t want to stop tubing, and our little daredevil, our youngest, wanted to keep going even after her one hour was up with the tube. Check height requirements, and make sure to bring soft-sided boots (not ski boots), and you can even go down tubing as a group. The kids also crawled through and enjoyed the mountaintop snow fort. I took the gondola down because I was completely wiped but my little skier wanted to ski down with Daddy.

Epic School Kids Keystone 2017 from Deadline Motion Works on Vimeo. See full video at this link

If you are planning a family ski weekend and want to avoid the stressful I-70 traffic to/from Denver, check out lodging specials. We really enjoyed relaxing the night before the big ski day adventure in our condo, and regrouping again after our epic ski day. The private condo unit, not affiliated with Epic SchoolKids, was a short walk to Mountain House and ski school and made our lives easier with equipment, the kids, and the fatigue that set in after all the fun we had. It is nice to have a property close by to eat, change clothes (it was pretty hot when we went, so de-layering was a must), or just relax for a bit in the jetted hot tubs. I find that staying an overnight or two truly makes the epic adventure complete.

All in all, our family had a successful, fun trip, and we loved everyone we met. We reconnected as a family, did something new, and shared lots of laughs before returning to reality. The kids’ final comment on our drive home said it all, “when can we do that again? I hope soon.”

That was nice to hear, rather than hearing, “are we there yet?!”

=====

Epic SchoolKids FAQs

To learn more, read FAQs on free lessons for first time skiers and epicpass.com/ColoradoKids for updates. The instructions for getting the kids signed up are all here, and are super easy, if you have not done it yet. For our Mile High Mamas’ military readers, the Liberty Pass is available through Snow.Com at snow.com/epic-pass/military, and offers the best deal to our military and their families. You can check with your local ITT office or call the resort.

*Ratna blogs as Get Clued In! on her blog at getcluedincolorado.com. She was selected to blog and promote the Epic SchoolKids program on behalf of Vail Resorts, in exchange for a post and social media promotion. The opinions expressed here are her own, unbiased, and not attributed to Vail Resorts.

Kids ski free with the Rocky Mountain Super Pass+

Get the best deal of the season!

Do you miss powder days in the Rocky Mountains? Remember that feeling you get when you score first tracks through untouched snow? How about the rush of excitement when you rode down your first black diamond? Oh, and you know that sense of accomplishment after a full day of exploring a mountain is something special.

Now, share that feeling with the whole family! Give your kids a winter they will always remember, not to mention treat yourself to some much needed time in the Colorado Mountains!

For the 2017/18 Ski Season, you can get a Free Kids’ Pass with every purchase of an adult Rocky Mountain Super Pass +. That means for $529 (the lowest price of the season), you can get access to 5 Colorado Mountains on BOTH sides of the divide for you and your lil’ ripper! That’s a savings of up to $319 per pass. For a family of four (two kids/two adults), it is just $1058 for endless entertainment November through April. Plus, this year you can get your Rocky Mountain Super Pass + for only $50 down when you sign up for the 6 month payment plan, making it even more affordable to make lifelong memories with your family. Today is the last day to get that steal of a deal, as tomorrow RMSP+ goes up $70.

So why not make plans to spend this ski season in winter wonderlands? Ride unlimited at Winter Park ResortCopper Mountain, and Eldora Mountain, with six days at Steamboat, three days at Crested Butte, and three days at Alyeska Resort.

The Kids Ski Free promotion ends 5/31, so buy now to make sure your kids learn the joy of chasing powder. In partnership with Mile High Mamas. 

Do It For the Kids-Rocky Mountains Super Pass Kids Ski Free

Spring may just be starting to bud under the remainder of this year’s snow pack, but before you know it the kiddos will be recapping their memories from summer camp, school will be back in session, and you’ll be sorting helping decide between Princess and Pirate costumes for Halloween. No sweat! Parents are THE experts at staying two steps ahead, and this spring we have an idea that could get you more than 2 seasons ahead!

The Rocky Mountain Super Pass + re-launched their Kids Ski Free Program for the 2017/2018 Season. Yeah, you read that right- FREE! With the purchase of a qualifying adult pass, like the RMSP+ which costs $529, you get a free child’s season pass for kids 12 and under. That’s a savings of up to $319 per pass, and offering significant savings, with a family of four (two kids/two adults) paying just $1058 for entertainment November through April.

This family time option will give kids, parents, and your wallet something to be excited about! Not to mention, this year’s passes also offer a payment plan- $49 down and 6 monthly payments, June through November. Get extra brownie points for scoring this deal early before the price goes up $70 on 4/11.

So while you’re checking off summer activities, buying school supplies, and booking trips to the pumpkin farm, add a major money saver to the to-do list for winter, too! You and your little rippers will have access to FIVE Colorado Mountains on BOTH sides of the Continental Divide, making it easy to chase the snow days. You’ll be two powder turns ahead all ski season long.  Ride unlimited at Winter Park Resort, Copper Mountain, and Eldora Mountain, with six days at Steamboat, three days at Crested Butte, and three days at Alyeska Resort.

The Kids Ski Free promotion ends 5/31, so buy now and you’ll be adding up this deal before the kids are hitting the books in math class and asking you for algebra help.