Beaver Creek has long been a favorite Colorado ski resort for families. New programming dubbed Beaver Creek Loves Kids emphasizes the resort’s family-friendly nature even more with special events that take place during peak winter holiday weeks. Fun activities include Disco Skate Nights, Family Friday Afternoon Club and Rail Jams. Teenagers aren’t left out of the fun with Beaver Creek Loves Teens events, such as a Pizza & Snowshoe Party and Teen Trick Class at an Anti-Gravity Center. (Can adults sign up?! The trampoline center sounds cool.)
Even if you aren’t at the resort during peak family-vacation times (Christmas holidays, President’s Day Weekend and spring break weeks), Beaver Creek always rolls out the red carpet for kids with ongoing events and activities, as we found during our late January stay. Events are detailed on “This Week @ Beaver Creek” flyers found at lift-ticket desks and other places around the resort. Check out the schedule for kid-friendly activities like on-mountain story time, a glowstick ski-down that ends with fireworks (!) or complimentary family snowshoe tours. This coming weekend is focused on adult fun, with the Beaver Creek Food and Wine festival taking place January 26-28. But I’m certain more kid programming will return for the rest of ski season and again in the summer months!
I saw firsthand last weekend how Beaver Creek appeals to families. Here’s a peek:
Family FunFest: Under white tents in Beaver Creek Village, my tweens played carnival games to earn tokens that they could turn in for prizes. This took place from 4 p.m. to 5:30 on Saturday afternoon, and it was an entertaining way for visiting kids to pass some time after the chairlifts closed for the day and the dinner hour arrived.
Chocolate-chip cookies every day at 3 p.m. Toward the end of the ski day, chefs in white hats share platters of freshly baked cookies with guests at the base of the mountain. Like flies to honey, everyone flocks to the sweet treats! Somehow my kids each nabbed two cookies; daughter snagged one that had fallen into (clean) snow!
Haymaker Tubing Hill: This tubing adventure — with a covered conveyor belt lift so you don’t have to schlep your tube up the hill — is ideal for younger kids, say, ages 4 to 7. My 9- and 11-year-olds found it a bit tame, compared to the much steeper tubing runs at Vail and Keystone. The Beaver Creek tubing hill is for kids who are 36 inches or taller; there are even small tubes for preschoolers (unlike the other Vail Resorts hills that only have big tubes and are for anyone 42 inches or taller). When we were at the hill last weekend it was snowing, so that slowed our rides down; it’s faster in the late afternoon when the sun’s out and the chutes get a bit slick with melting snow.
My kids actually had more fun playing in neighboring Marmots Maze — a series of plastic slides and big tubes through which children (and adults) can crawl. The game became, “Let’s run down the hill, on the slides and through the tubes and try to beat Dad to the bottom.” Indeed, it was all fun and games until my daughter slipped and smacked her leg at the top of a slide. (No harm, no foul; just a bruised shin.) Marmots Maze is open to families who have paid for tubing ($29 per person for an hour); Children’s Ski School participants also go and play in the maze when they need a short break from the slopes.
Ice skating. Our plan for Saturday called for some late-afternoon skating at the huge ice rink right on the Beaver Creek Village plaza, but the bruised leg coupled with the dumping snow, we decided to pass. It’s open daily through the ski season from noon to 9 p.m., with skate rentals available (only $5 entry if you bring your own skates). Here’s a shot of the ice rink I snapped before it opened, and before the flakes started to fall.
Ski School: My kids didn’t ski last weekend, but we saw plenty of munchkins enrolled in the Children’s Ski & Snowboard School. The Ranch at the top of the Buckaroo Express is the new 4,000-square-foot on-mountain center (where the kids in group lessons eat lunch) surrounded by awesome beginners’ terrain. At the very base of the ski mountain, the littlest ski school participants can sample the slopes via a magic-carpet ride before even hopping on a lift. Group lessons are available for kids ages 3 to 14, and during holiday periods, teenagers can meet others their age at teen group lessons (otherwise, ages 15+ are grouped with adults).
With all of the family-friendly activities and programming at Beaver Creek it’s hard not to have fun at this upscale alpine resort! My family certainly had a ball on our Beaver Creek weekend getaway, and I’d recommend it to others in the winter months, for sure.
Thanks to Vail Resorts for providing tubing tickets!