This Colorado ski resort has some of the best deal for families, both on and off the slopes.
Copper Mountain is easy to get to from Denver, either for a day trip or longer ski vacation. It sports a state-of-the-art training facility, as well as skiing to keep all levels entertained. Plus, it offers some of the best family-friendly deals and activities in Colorado for a well-rounded and memorable winter escape.
What to do on the slopes?
One of the reasons that my family loves Copper so much is because of the size; there’s nearly 2,500 skiable acres with an equal number of beginner, immediate, and advanced terrain. There’s plenty of easier runs to keep me and my daughter busy, while my husband conquers the moguls. If we ever decide to join him, Copper offers lessons specifically to perfect mogul skiing called Bump Busters Mogul Camps. It’s one of only a handful of resorts that offer these classes, so it’s a reason that I’ll return here for sure! Copper also offers ski and ride lessons, both private and group; plus there’s a terrain park to show off those tricks! One-day lift ticket cost: Youth (5 and under) Free; Youth (6-12) $85; Adult $150.
KidTripster Tip: Check online for substantial discounts. Or better yet, buy your lift tickets as part of a Copper Mountain lodging package, and you’ll be guaranteed the lowest lift ticket prices.
KidTripster Tip: Don’t wait in line on those busy ski days. For $30 extra per day, you can upgrade your lift ticket to the Secret! Pass. It gets you access to the mountain 15 minutes before anyone else and your own dedicated lift line. On those super-packed days, this upgrade can keep your family moving on the slopes instead of waiting in lines. You also can score the Secret! Pass for free, if you buy your lift tickets as part of a Copper Mountain lodging package.
KidTripster Tip: Want to track and map your runs? Download the Sherpa app. There’s also audio features to enhance your Copper Mountain experience.
What to do besides sking?
Tubing, snowshoeing, ice skating, and cross-country skiing - oh my! Copper’s Tubing Hill is located in the East Village and cost $26 to $32/hour, depending on the day. Book your ticket online in advance for a discount. Riders must be 36-inches tall. For those not quite tall enough, head over to Critterland at the bottom of the tubing hill. With an outdoor playground, tube carousel ride, mini houses, and a mini tubing hill, there’s enough to keep even the most curious of toddlers busy for hours. And the best part is the $10 kid ticket is good all day, so you can go inside to warm up and then head back out for more playtime; adults are free.
The Woodward Cooper Barn is an indoor mega gym, the only of its kind in Colorado. Kids can practice those ski and snowboard jumps into large foam pits and on trampolines. It offers specific classes or you can just drop in for a session to check it out. Show your lift ticket at the door for a discount on your first visit.
Lace up those skates and take some turns on the West Lake Ice Skating Rink in the Center Village. Skate rentals are just $10 bucks.
KidTripster Tip: Don’t miss out on this great family deal: spend $40 at any Copper shop or restaurant and get a free skate rental (Monday to Thursday).
Copper also offers snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, as well as sleigh rides, dog sledding, and snowmobiling. When it’s time to relax, unwind with a massage or facial at the Copper Mountain Spa and Athletic Club.
Where to eat?
Camp Hale is a great spot to grab breakfast before hitting the slopes. It has hearty breakfast sandwiches, coffee, and delicious pastries. Sometimes the line can be long, so it’s worth sending one person to stand in line, while another drops the kids at ski school or daycare.
Endo’s Adrenaline Bar and Grill is perfect spot for dinner. It’s lively, which means no one will hear your kids throw a tantrum. It has several big screen TVs for that big game and arcade games to keep impatient teenagers entertained. It also serves breakfast.
My absolute favorite spot to grab a bite is Mountain Melt. This small space i Center Village is dedicated to all things cheesy, including grilled cheese and mac-n-cheese. Opt for a classic cheese sandwich or spice it up with lobster or buffalo chicken. Who doesn’t love warm cheese on a cold day?!
JJ’s Tavern over in East Village is a hopping spot for après ski with live music and happy hour specials. It also has the best lunch in my opinion. Try the waffle fries; they won’t disappoint.
And for a sweet treat, stop at Sugar Lips for made-to-order mini donuts with tempting toppings. Need I say more?
KidTripster Tip: Craving a night alone? Copper has great deal for parents: Kids’ Night Out. If you spend $30 at any village restaurant, Copper provides three hours of free (yes, you read correctly) daycare for kids, ages 3 (and potty-trained) to 12, from 5:30 to 10:00 p.m. (Wednesday-Saturday). Best to book in advance.
Photo courtesy: Tripp Fay
Where to stay?
Copper has three villages, all accessible by a free resort shuttle. Center Village is where you’ll find the daycare, ski school, rentals, and most of the restaurants. Stay here, if you want to be close to everything and have a true ski-in/ski-out experience. West Village is within walking distance and has an assortment of condos to fit any family’s size and budget. East Village also has ski-in/ski-out options and will get you close to Super Bee Lift, Tubing Hill, and Critterland, plus rentals and a restaurant. There are a few hotel-style rooms, but most are condos with full kitchens, perfect for cooking your own meals to save money. Rates start around $215/night.
KidTripster Tip: It pays to book directly with Copper Mountain. Your reservation gets you free access to the Copper Athletic Club. It has an indoor saltwater pool, a huge hit with my toddler! It also has hot tubs and fitness rooms. It’s in the same building as lodging check-in and has its own stop on the free resort bus loop.
Photo courtesy: Tripp Fay
Copper Mountain is about a 1-1/2-hour’s drive from Denver. Just hop on I-70 West. The exit is about 15 minutes past the Eisenhower/Johnson tunnel.
KidTripster Tip: Watch the ski traffic, if you’re heading back on Saturday or Sunday. It quickly stacks up starting around noon, so it’s worth staying one more night, if you can. Plus, a lot of places offer Sunday specials, so why not enjoy one more day on the slopes?
Amy Sward is a four-time Emmy Award winning journalist who lives in Evergreen, Colorado, with her husband and newly-skiing daughter.