This family-friendly ski resort is worth the extra drive from Denver, and it has sweet surprises both on and off the mountain.
Beaver Creek’s motto is “Not Exactly Roughing It,” and you’ll undoubtedly feel pampered from start to finish. The resort has 24 lifts serving more than 1,800 acres. With more than half the terrain being either beginner or immediate trails, you’ll find the entire family can find something to please their skis or boards. If you’re learning, Beaver Creek boasts the “Ivy League of Ski Schools” for kids and adults. For the tiny ones not yet ready for the slopes, the resort has a day care for kids up to 6 years old but be sure to make reservations in advance.
KidTripster Tip: If you need a pick-me-up during the day, head to the top of Strawberry Park Express lift and hit the Candy Cabin. This vintage candy shop has everything from old-fashioned soda to bulk candy. Kids love it, and if you pack some candy in your jacket, the sweet treats can last all day long.
Photo courtesy: Jack Affleck
What to do besides skiing?
In the center of Beaver Creek Village, the large ice skating rink appeals to kids of all ages. You can bring your own skates or rent them at the walk-up booth. Parents can cozy up next to one of the nearby fire pits and watch their kids take the ice while drinking a hot cup of cocoa. There’s also free family snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, dogsledding, and on-hill story time for kids (ages 3 to 6).
Photo courtesy: Jesse Star
Where to eat?
Blue Moose Pizza is your casual dining mecca. Located east of the ice rink in the main village, this Italian joint serves up New York-style pizza along with appetizers and salads, plus beer and wine for the adults. The entire table top is covered with white paper, so kids can color and stay entertained. When the weather is nice, be sure to grab an outdoor patio spot for some great people watching!
KidTripster Tip: Keep your eye out around the village during the afternoon. You’ll see chefs holding trays of delicious, fresh-from-the-oven, gooey chocolate chip cookies. My kid runs back for seconds (and so do I)!
Photo courtesy: Jack Affleck
Where to stay?
The Charter is located just steps from the main village. It has ski-in/ski-out access (perfect for families juggling kids and gear), game room, kid-friendly indoor pool, and on-site rentals. You can book condos with multiple bedrooms to meet your family needs, and each condo has a fully-equipped kitchen and washer/dryer.
Beaver Creek is exactly two hours from Denver. Though other Vail Resort areas - like Keystone and Breckenridge - are closer, Beaver Creek is far less crowded. You’ll make up the extra 45-minute drive on the mountain and have the whole family skiing most of the day instead of waiting in long lift lines.
KidTripster Tip: If you’re flying back home on a Sunday, make sure to leave very early. In the height of the winter months, traffic along I-70 can back up quickly. Consider staying over Sunday night and flying home Monday instead. A lot of hotels now offer a Sunday night stay for a fraction of the cost of a weekend stay.
Looking to spend some time in Denver? Click here to see KidTripster's top 10 recommendations for family-friendly activities.
Amy Sward lives in Denver with her husband and her 2-year old cookie monster on skis.