Posted by JanL on November 30, 2016
Planning to spend your time in the Colorado mountains during the holidays this year? Perhaps you own or are planning to buy a vacation home in the Breckenridge area or other mountain resort area and have visions of what that life will be like during the holiday season.
Here is an insider’s collection of some of the most fun, memorable, and unique mountain experiences to consider when planning out your holiday season in Colorado. Try one, or go on an experience marathon – and give me a call if you decide you want to relocate here to experience the fun all year!
From old fashioned snowball fights to high altitude adventures, there are numerous ways to enjoy the snow in the Colorado mountains. Clearly alpine skiing and snowboarding are the main attractions in Summit County with 5 world-class resorts within a half hour including Breckenridge, Keystone (both owned by Vail Resorts), Copper Mountain (owned by Intrawest), Arapahoe Basin and Loveland Ski Area. And Vail and Beaver Creek are just about a half hour drive over Vail pass. Each has their unique terrain, on-mountain dining experiences, and personality. But don’t stop there! Consider snowshoeing, which is essentially hiking in the snowy forest – (not to worry, the bears are hibernating). Or try dog sledding, snowmobiling, cross-country/Nordic skiing, a sleigh ride dinner, lift-served tubing, or old fashioned sledding.
Earlier in the month of December, the Dew Tour arrives in Breckenridge for a raucous week of ski and snowboard talent, movies and live music throughout town. Come back (or stay!) for the ever-popular International Snow Sculpture Championships January 24th – February 5th.
Ice is abundant during the winter here near Breckenridge, but the Dillon Reservoir is a question mark on how thick the ice is by late December. So head to Breckenridge’s Ice Arena to get in some hockey, figure skating, or just good fun slipping around trying to skate. Keystone Lake is shallower and is usually frozen by now, so head there for a festive outdoor experience including a holiday lit tree on a small island in the center of the lake and hot cocoa to finish off the fun. North Pond in Silverthorne also freezes up for skating but there are no facilities to rent skates there (like the other two) but it’s a little more intimate and you can see the stars. As the Dillon Res freezes, you can rent kite boards to sail along the ice and catch air. Copper Mountain also has a small lake near Center Village with skate rentals and lots of places to warm up nearby.
Speaking of warm ups, there are many steamy ways to warm up during your holiday adventures. Hot tubs are ubiquitous throughout the mountains, so check with your lodge or head to the rec centers to use theirs. Warm up around the fire in your condo or rental, and most hotel lobbies include a fireplace for ambiance. Outdoor fire pits at Keystone River Run are great for huddling around with a coffee or hot cocoa, you can do the same in the Town of Breckenridge and Copper Mountain.
Breckenridge’s Carter Dog Park is the best place to run your pups off leash and wear them out so they’ll relax by the fireplace along with you. Finish spoiling them with a trip to A&A Pet Supply or Chuck & Don’s, both in Frisco, so they can pick out their special treat or toy.
Take the kids to the Mountaintop Children’s Museum for some learning and interactive playtime – it’s a really cool facility that’s always changing their exhibits. Peak-A-Boo Toys on Main Street Breckenridge has candy, toys, games, and a play area in back – grab a coffee and spend some time there. You’ll walk out with a unique toy or two and the kids will feel super satisfied with their day. Of course ski school is one of the best ways to entertain the kids, enhance their skiing abilities, and wear them out with all the fresh air, exercise and entertainment they can handle. And Keystone’s Kidtopia offers kids movie matinees, a giant snow fort, scavenger hunts, and much more.
From the theater to family game night to shopping, there are dozens of ways to huddle indoors and enjoy the snow falling through the windows. Breckenridge offers Ready, Paint, Fire on North Main Street which is a painting and pottery studio that hosts individuals, groups, and events to paint your own canvas or create your own pottery piece which can be a great remembrance of your trip. The Breckenridge and Silverthorne Recreation Centers offer great swimming pools, water slides, work-out facilities, group exercise classes, and Breck even offers a rock climbing wall. How about stretching it out at Meta Yoga, where their dozens of innovative and restorative classes get you feeling all Zen in no time? Massage, nail, and facial studios abound – try a couples massage to get re-connected with your honey.
There are two movie theaters in Summit County – the Speakeasy in Breckenridge which leans toward independent films and serves beer, and the multi-plex in Dillon which focuses on first run films. For live theatre, the Lake Dillon Theatre (soon relocating to new digs in Silverthorne) and the Breckenridge Backstage Theatre offer solid local live performances. Lakeside Bowling in Dillon has been refurbished and includes TV’s for watching sports, pool tables, and video games. There are a couple of new Escape Rooms – one in Breckenridge and the other in Frisco, which can be fun with a family or group. And don’t forget the numerous art galleries and Breckenridge Creative Arts events and workshops like silversmithing and ceramics studios.
And finally, there is always shopping! Primary Summit shopping districts are the Silverthorne Outlets, Frisco Main Street, and Breckenridge Main Street. There are souvenir and t-shirt shops of course, but also home décor, fashion, shoes and boots, kids toys and clothes, sportswear, books, and sports equipment (mainly skis and snowboards in the winter and bikes in the summer).
Finally, there are oodles of dazzling holiday events and celebrations throughout the Summit County area throughout the holidays. Tree lightings, Breckenridge Race of the Santas, Frisco Wassail Days, Ugly Holiday Sweater Challenge, carolers, historic tours, Santa visits, horse drawn carriage rides, and just strolling through the brightly lit, festive, and snow-covered streets of the charming towns of the Colorado mountains is enough to get anyone in the spirit of the holidays.