My toddler stood with his tongue pointed to the ski. I was bundled up against the cold in anticipation of our tubing adventure. He just wanted to taste the snow. We’d already hit the slopes of Keystone Resort in Colorado, now it was time to see what else the mountain had to offer families.
Keystone Resort knows that couples, college kids and snow enthusiasts visit their mountain, but they pay particular attention to families through the Kidtopia program. Trust me, I have been to more than one ski resort with my baby and toddler; not all resorts are created equal when it comes to entertaining your little ones. Why was Kidtopia essential to our family vacation success? Here’s just a taste.
World’s largest snow fort
Keystone is in its fifth year of building a massive snow fort with slides and a maze for kids to explore with their parents. This was crucial entertainment while we waited for our turn on the tube hill.
Tubing at Adventure Point
At over 11,000 feet up the mountain, this tube run can boast being the highest tubing facility in the world. The drop may be too much for babies (and scaredy-cat moms), but children over 42 inches tall (yes, there is a height restriction) and their parents can have an amazing hour of fun zooming down the mountain.
If you haven’t guessed already, Keystone loves to do things big. Over by the Keystone Lodge you can skate on the largest Zamboni maintained ice rink in North America, which is actually a frozen lake. There is a hockey rink built on the lake for those who want to shoot a puck around. If you want a smaller ice skating experience you can head to the Dercum Square Ice Rink in River Run. They hand out cookies!
Painting and Pottery
Some days are just too cold and blustery for little ones to play outside, or maybe Mom and Dad need to sit for an hour or two. This is when Kidtopia Headquarters comes in handy. There are daily activities like face painting plus toys for kids to play with, or you can head over to Ready, Paint, Fire pottery shop to paint canvases and ready made ceramics. You will have to let your works of art dry, but they should be ready by the time you head home.
Skiing and snowboarding
Camp Keystone isn’t technically part of Kidtopia, but it really has to be mentioned. Young ski and snowboard students can get dropped off in the morning and picked up in the afternoon for a day filled with snow fun with their peers. Instructors will work on your child’s skills, give you daily progress reports, and make learning more fun than mom and dad could ever make it. Once your kids have their “snow legs” they can join you for night skiing under lights along the family ski trail.
Parade and Fireworks
Every Saturday at 4 p.m. Keystone mascot Ripperoo and his band of friends parade their way through River Run Village before ending at the Dercum Square ice rink with complimentary cookies to end the day. Enjoy dancers, horses and a new float as they entertain old and young after a long day on the slopes. Fireworks cap off the night at 7 p.m. as you enjoy dinner, a bit of night skiing or just take in the view by one of the outdoor firepits.
Having enough activities to keep everyone in the family happy is the key to any successful trip. If a resort makes it easy for me that makes it a winner in my book. As my son ate his fill of snowflakes while exploring the snow fort, I basked in the knowledge that I had chosen a destination that not only I could enjoy, but he could too.
What is your favorite winter destination with kids?
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