With its 3,000 acres and 3,000 feet of vertical abutting Colorado’s Continental Divide, as well as night skiing and one of the best terrain parks in the nation (complete with a tyke-friendly area called Easy Street), Keystone is one of the most family-friendly ski resorts in the world. But there’s far more to do with kids in tow than ski (grab your free Adventure Passport at check in, providing an array of free and discounted activities, from snowbiking to fudge-making). Following are a few activities offering fun for the whole family.
Ice Skating Keystone Lake
Take a break from the slopes and live out your Olympic fantasy, be it scoring the game-winner, ice-dancing or carving like Apollo Ono, at 5-acre Keystone Lake, the largest Zamboni-maintained outdoor skating rink in North America. Centrally located in the heart of Lakeside Village, the rink is surrounded by shops, restaurants and hotel rooms, with a well-lit Christmas tree in its center and holiday lights lining the perimeter. Practice your figure-skating moves or join a pick-up hockey game, then retire to the adjacent lodge and bar for a hot toddy. Ice skating is part of Keystone’s Adventure Passport activities, so look in your passport pamphlet for your free coupon.
Tube at the Top of the Mountain
Let inner-tubes take the place of your skis for a spell at the tubing facility at Adventure Point at the top of the River Run Gondola. Take your pick from five different lanes, including two new ones added just this year, and get ready to answer your attendant’s question up top: “Spin or straight?” If you answer “spin,” get ready to twirl faster than the disco ball spinning overhead. At the run’s bottom, you’ll be whisked back up for another on a special treadmill lift. Up top you can view pictures of your run on a computer screen, though it will be hard to improve your smile on your next run.
Explore the Nation’s Largest Snow Fort
What’s winter without a snow fort? Kids love exploring, and there’s no better place to do it than at the Ultimate Snow Fort atop River Run Gondola and Dercum Mountain. Open day and night, the immaculately sculpted castle comes complete with a snow dragon, drawbridge, lookout towers and special ice-throne, letting your kids crawl into tunnels and then come sliding down any number of snow ramps to parents waiting below. Just be prepared for them to want to watch Shrek afterward.
Snowcat Ski with the Kids
If your kids are intermediate or better skiers, take them for the trip of a lifetime aboard a snowcat. That’s right, at the top of the Outback Express lift, you can board a snowcat daily, where, for only $5 a piece, you’ll get whisked up another 400 vertical feet to an in-bounds land of gentle bowls and glades nestled beneath the towering Continental Divide. Ask nicely and your kids might even be able to ride shotgun up front with the driver, making their eyes as wide open as the terrain.
Take Part in Kidtopia
Designed as a series of long, fun-filled family weekends, Kidtopia is a festival for all things toddler, offering everything from face-painting and performances to tubing, fireworks and parades. Kids can participate in activities including a glowstick parade down the mountain, special arts and crafts stations (including jewelry-making, painting and making snow in a test tube); a BBQ night on top of the mountain; a parade in the village led by Keystone’s Mascot Ripperoo; live music; a glowbug skate night; tours of the Ultimate Snow Fort and lift-accessed disco tubing; and more. The events are held over Christmas, President’s Day, Martin Luther King Day, mid-March and Easter.