Keystone, in the heart of Colorado’s legendary ski country, is the one of America’s best winter resorts for kids, reports Eileen Ogintz in an article for Chicago Tribune Travel. With its amazing kids-ski-free offer (for kids under 12, with a two-night stay), night snow tubing, village parades and boundless Kidtopia activities, Keystone is the family place to be this ski season.
With fun-filled, kid-specific activities planned every day, Kidtopia is the key to your kids getting the most out of their snow vacation. The Snowfort, back for its 5th year, is just what it sounds like—a massive, whimsical snow structure, with lots of climbing areas and tunnels. There’s a firework show every Saturday night, December 21st-March 29th, and a parade through the village every Saturday, during the day, led by Riperoo, Keystone’s official mascot. At the Dercum Square Ice Rink, you’ll find complimentary hot cocoa and s’mores daily. Snow tubing is a unique Keystone treat, during the day or under the lights at night: jump over hills, twist around, and smile until your cheeks hurt. Let your little ones discover their inner Picasso during Kidtopia’s 2-hour art class. And finally, take advantage of Kidtopia’s Parents Night Out, a welcome break for everyone: dining and entertainment for you, kid-geared activities for them!
Camp Keystone Ski School
Kids have ample opportunities to improve their skiing, and if they’re booked for three or more days of lessons, they’re guaranteed the same instructor each day. And at the end of a day of ski instruction, parents have the chance to join their child in a “Mom, Dad and Me” private lesson, alongside their child’s instructor.
Lift tickets for kids can be more than $60 each at major snow resorts, but at Keystone, kids ski free all season long, whether you have one child or four. “It’s definitely one of the best values out there right now,” stated Ski.com’s Dan Sherman. He explained to Ogintz that a family of four could stay and ski for four nights and three days for under $1,400. Last season alone, the resort provided more than 25,000 Kids Ski Free tickets. (Find deals at Ski.com.)
Easy to get to
Keystone is just 90 miles west of Denver International Airport with 800 lodging options to choose from. Plus, they try to make everything as easy as possible for families, including a new family-parking zone close to the gondola, and golf carts and wagons to tote your kids and all your gear.
Keystone piloted the National Restaurant Association’s Kids Live Well initiative, consisting of healthier kids’ meals with less fat, salt and sugar. Gone are the days of overpriced greasy burgers and fries, the resort’s executive chef, David Scott, told Ogintz. Their replacements? Chicken tacos and teriyaki chicken noodle bowls.
More to do besides skiing
Off the slopes, check out the street performers, giant checkers and chess games with kid-sized huge pieces, a Bavarian-themed fondue restaurant with a live polka band, two ice-skating rinks, cross-country skiing at the Nordic Center, snowshoeing and snow-biking at the top of the mountain.
Not to be missed: drinks and snacks at the historic Ski Tip Lodge, home of the first owners of Keystone, Edna and Max Dercum. Originally a stop on the stagecoach route, it’s now a bed and breakfast famous for its multi-course gourmet dinners.
Ski trips, Ogintz enthusiastically reports, work for families no matter how old the kids—especially when there is so much for everyone to do, whether or not they choose to ski!