When it comes to creating unforgettable family memories during the winter season, Colorado’s ski resorts offer a plethora of options. From enchanting events tailored to kids to specialized ski trails designed for the little ones, Colorado is the ideal destination for your family winter escape. Here is an extensive list of Colorado ski resorts, each with its unique family-friendly offerings:
At Crested Butte Mountain Resort, the Mountain Adventures Camp provides an opportunity for parents to hit the slopes for some skiing or snowboarding while the kids engage in skill-building activities and make new friends over three days. The resort features dedicated trails for kids, including one meandering through the trees, as well as a miniature Elk Avenue, complete with facades for kids to ski through and play in. Kids can even navigate a bear cave, Forest Service lodge, and gold-mining building.
On select nights during the ski season, Elk Camp, Snowmass’ on-mountain restaurant, transforms into a nighttime winter wonderland known as Ullr Nights. This includes Ullr’s Ghost Ship made of snow with lights and a slide, a Viking sledding hill, snowshoe tours, as well as s’mores and hot chocolate by the bonfire. Snowmass Village is also home to the Treehouse Kids Adventure Center, offering themed playrooms and child care services, along with ski and snowboard lessons. Many evenings, kids can gather for Old West storytelling and marshmallow roasting by the campfire.
Beaver Creek is renowned for its innovative 3pm cookie program, where warm cookies are served at the end of a day on the slopes as guests head to après-ski activities. In addition, there are Thursday-night lights (featuring a glow-stick ski procession followed by fireworks), a tubing hill, and ice-skating.
Keystone Resort’s Kids Ski Free program allows little ones to hit the slopes when their families stay for two or more nights. Families can also enjoy Kidtopia activities, including face painting, fort building, scavenger hunts, cookie hour, disco tubing, and more. For added convenience, there’s Free Family Front-Row Parking, just steps from the gondola. Keystone offers additional family amenities like wagons and gear chauffeurs to assist with gear transport and the Family Ski Trail, where kids can ski with Keystone’s beloved mascot, Riperoo, and potentially meet the resort’s avalanche rescue dogs.
Winter Park boasts the Coca-Cola Tubing Park, open into the evening and offering hot chocolate, four tubing lanes with a conveyor lift (ideal for tired ski legs), and a warming hut. Amtrak has also reintroduced its route between Denver’s Union Station and Winter Park Resort, providing a relaxed, two-hour journey to the slopes, focusing more on family time and less on driving.
Kids aged 3 and up can embark on ski and ride lessons as part of Vail’s Ski School, with Naturalists from Walking Mountains Science Center providing slope-side nature lessons about the surrounding Rocky Mountains. Tubing and scenic gondola rides offer perfect family outings, and The Nature Discovery Center provides free snowshoe tours that are both fun and educational for ages 10 and up. To refuel after a full day, the family-friendly Bistro 14 awaits.
Copper Mountain offers the Family Free Time program, providing free ice-skate rentals with a $40 purchase in the village. The resort’s tubing hill is accompanied by Critterland, featuring a tubing carousel, mini tubing hill, a snow den with tunnels, and other pint-sized activities. Woodward Copper’s Barn, an indoor playground with year-round ski, skate, and bike programs, offers ramps, foam pits, and fly-bed tramps for all skill levels to practice tricks for their next mountain descent. For some friendly competition, Copper Mountain offers the Alpine Rush Zip Line, allowing two riders to soar side-by-side 30 feet above the West Lake ice skating rink at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour.
Known as Ski Town U.S.A., Steamboat Springs is one of the best family ski resorts in North America, both on and off the slopes. The resort offers an ideal learning environment for kids and families with kids-only magic carpet lifts, private full- and half-day lessons for the entire family, and the Sunshine Family Trail featuring Snow Monsters, Steamboat Olympians, and other characters along the way. The Red Wagon program eases the burden of families transporting gear to and from the slopes. Once you return to your lodging, you can have groceries delivered and enjoy a hassle-free family dinner without putting your ski boots back on.
Purgatory, formerly Durango Mountain Resort, offers the Power Kids Season Pass for free to children aged 12 and under. The Polar Express returns to the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, providing a Christmas-themed train ride where kids wear their PJs, enjoy hot cocoa and cookies, and participate in a reading of the Polar Express before visiting the “North Pole,” where they are greeted by Santa and his helpers, Christmas carols, and a Sleigh Bell gift. Purgatory also offers winter tubing, allowing you to zoom down snow-covered hills with your little ones against a backdrop of stunning mountain views.
Breckenridge offers a wealth of wide, gentle trails at the base of Peak 8 and Peak 9, providing ample space for novice skiers to begin at a comfortable pace. Off the slopes, you can enjoy ice-skating, an Alpine slide, a mountain-top children’s museum, numerous family-friendly dining options, and various activities. Breckenridge also participates in EpicMix, a mobile app that tracks your family’s skiing statistics, such as vertical feet covered, completed lessons, lift rides taken, and more, giving you plenty to boast about when you return home. For older kids skiing without their parents, the app will keep you informed about their last check-in location on the mountain, provided they wear their EpicPass.
A few miles south of Glenwood Springs, Sunlight Mountain Resort covers 680 acres of skiable terrain, featuring one of the longest runs in the state. Affordable and welcoming, it’s an excellent place for honing your skiing skills. After a day on the slopes, you can head to the Glenwood Hot Springs Pool to relax and splash away any sore muscles. Sunlight also offers a Family Snowmobile Tour, short enough to keep everyone engaged, lasting one to one and a half hours. These are just a few options available at Colorado’s smaller ski areas to make your winter vacation memorable for the whole family
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The beautiful mountain town of Breckenridge, CO is located about 80 miles west of Denver. Also known as “Colorado’s Kingdom”, Breckenridge is a town rich in history, culture and events. It is also home to the world-renown Breckenridge Ski Resort, which boasts 2,908 acres of skiable terrain across 5 mountain peaks.
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