Heading out west for a family ski trip? Here's my guide to the best kid-friendly ski resorts in Colorado for families!
As the only downhill skier in our family of four, I can't tell you how excited I was when my husband agreed to join me for a family ski trip in Colorado!
With only one prior lesson in his pocket and zero lessons in our kids' pockets, we decided there was no better plan to learn how to ski than the fresh and fluffy snow covered mountains of Colorado.
If the thought of getting on a long plane ride with little ones sounds a bit intimidating, it can be but you just need to be prepared!
To kick off our winter adventure in Colorado, we decided to fly directly to Denver to avoid multiple flights and layovers. Of course, most ski towns in Colorado have their own regional airport so that is also always an option.
In fact, when I went to Aspen recently I flew right into the local airport which was just 10 minutes from downtown. With little ones, however, we decided to stop in Denver then head west from there.
The first ski friendly resort I recommend is Winter Park Resort which you can access by train directly from Union Station in downtown Denver. A great way to escape the I-70 traffic, the Winter Park Express offers one way tickets starting as low as $29. You can leave Denver at 7AM and arrive in Winter Park by 9AM. How cool is that?
In addition to accessibility, Winter Park Resort offers a wide variety of kid-friendly lodging options. We stayed in a two-bedroom condominium at Zephyr Mountain Lodge which came complete with bunk beds, a full kitchen and two separate bathrooms. If you're a mom with small boys you will understand why this was so magical.
We even had access to hot tubs located just steps away from our condo. Don't worry if it's cold and snowing outside, these babies are nice and hot all year round.
As mentioned, I'm the only skier in our family so all three boys were enrolled in ski school during our visit to Winter Park Resort.
Even if you're not new to skiing, Winter Park Resort offers private guides who can take you around the mountain and show you the ins and outs. Although I've been skiing since I was seven, skiing in the Midwest on tiny hills is very different from the mountains out west. I was so grateful for my private guide who not only showed me around but gave me some great points on improving my skiing as well.
While skiing out west can be a bit intimidating, I actually found it a lot easier than skiing the icy hills of the Midwest or east coast. Boasting more than 300 days of sunshine and 300 inches of snow a year, there's a reason why Colorado skiing is so popular.
Of course, there are plenty of family friendly dining options all throughout Winter Park Resort. Be sure to check out their complete dining guide here.
My second recommendation for a family friendly ski resort in Colorado is The Steamboat Grand located in Steamboat Springs, roughly two hours Northwest of Winter Park Resort.
If you wish to fly directly, the Yampa Valley Regional Airport is just 17 miles from Steamboat Springs. You can read more about flying to Steamboat Springs, Colorado here.
Once again, my husband and both of our boys enrolled in ski school for the day. I particularly was blown away by the attention to detail and high level customer service we received from the Steamboat Resort ski school staff and highly recommend their lessons.
My boys were all smiles at the end of their day and in just two days of lessons they were already learning how to make turns on the bunny hill.
As an added bonus, I was able to hit the slopes solo and enjoy some of the best ski conditions of my life - a luxury I wouldn't be able to enjoy were my boys not in such good hands with the talented ski school team.
Pro Tip: After a long day of skiing, I highly recommend popping in to Truffle Pig Restaurant right at the base of Steamboat Mountain for après ski snacks and drinks. The truffle fries are not to be missed!
If you're looking for things to do after your day on the slopes, be sure to head into downtown Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Lined with quaint shops, restaurants and boutiques, this charming old Western town is still very much that: an authentic Mountain town.
Lucky for us, our visit overlapped with Winter Carnival, a celebration of Steamboat's western heritage which highlights their tradition of winter sports.
My kids were blown away with all of the unique events ranging from kids being pulled on skis behind horses down a snow-covered main street, to the Lighted Man at the Night Show Extravaganza who's battery-powered suit weighs 70 pounds. Winter Carnival is definitely an event worth seeing at least once in your life!
I'm not a mind reader, but if this photo is any indication I'm pretty sure this won't be our last family ski trip to Colorado.
What are your favorite family-friendly ski resorts? I'd love to hear from you.
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