In Colorado, skiing and snowboarding are a major part of the local lifestyle. In fact, during the winter, when local school children have gym class, it often takes place on the mountains. As such, the majority of the Colorado ski resorts are family friendly. However, some do a better job at it than others. In order for a resort to be truly family friendly, it should have a dedicated, as opposed to a token, children's ski school, child care and special child-themed slopes. Additionally, since the family can often include nonskiers and snowboarders, it should also have enough off-slope activities to amuse these family members.
Breckenridge is a superb family ski area. Riperroo, the Disney-like resort mascot, entertains children on the lift lines and might even join them in their ski lesson. Breckenridge offers special children's programs, all-day daycare, and a "sick and sad" room for kids who find that they just don't like the ski school experience. There's a children's museum near the slope, and the Victorian town has a variety of free museums and other off-slope activities. The Breckenridge Recreation Center offers Kid's Night Out, which consists of dinner and a variety of fun activities. It's much cheaper than hiring a babysitter.
Breckenridge Ski Resort
P.O. Box 1058
Breckenridge, CO 80424
Snowmass is the most family friendly of the Aspen group of resorts. Casual attire is acceptable at dinnertime, and lodging is less expensive than it is at the other Aspen mountains. Snowmass recently completed the Treehouse Adventure Center, which features a variety of kid-friendly activities. Nonskiers can take a short, free bus ride to the Town of Aspen, which features an exciting variety of art galleries, performances and lecture series.
Snowmass Ski Resort
P.O. Box 1248
Aspen, CO 81612
The cowboy hats you see in the Town of Steamboat are real. This is true cowboy country. As such, it provides a variety of interesting off-slope activities. Strawberry Park Hot Springs is fun for apres ski, and on cold days, kids will appreciate the Steamboat gondola.
Steamboat Ski Resort
2305 Mt. Werner Circle
Steamboat, CO 80487
Article Written By Lisa Mercer
In 1999, Lisa Mercer’s fitness, travel and skiing expertise inspired a writing career. Her books include "Open Your Heart with Winter Fitness" and "101 Women's Fitness Tips." Her articles have appeared in "Aspen Magazine," "HerSports," "32 Degrees," "Pregnancy Magazine" and "Wired." Mercer has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the City College of New York.