Keystone Resort, just 75 miles west of Denver, is the ultimate family resort destination and has long been the place where kids rule! Kids 12 and under ski free at Keystone with a two-night stay in a Keystone property. That’s a big perk, but there’s so much more.
The ski resort boasts more than 3,000 acres of skiable terrain including three peaks, five above-tree-line bowls, night skiing and an in-bounds cat skiing program. Keystone puts families first, and still offers plenty to challenge and entertain adults. Here are 17 ways the whole family can enjoy a ski vacation at Keystone!
Keystone Calls it Kidtopia
1. Family Ski Lessons: Many of us have kids who just don’t enjoy group lessons with other kids, or even private lessons away from mom and dad. Keystone’s family ski lesson offers the perfect solution. It’s also ideal because you are with your kids, observing how and what the instructor is teaching them so you can carry those concepts forward.
2. Those Little Red Wagons: Functional, adorable, and sanity-saving, the red wagons will get your gear and your little ones through the village with minimal whining!
3. The World’s Largest Snow Fort: An easy gondola ride up the mountain, even the smallest in your family can enjoy this unique experience. Kids can play to their heart’s content through this amazing, frozen fort complete with tunnels, slides and mazes.
4. Riperoo’s Parade and Fireworks: The Keystone mascot, Riperoo, pops up all over the mountain and is happy to pose for pictures. He also leads a parade through River Run Village. After the parade, get some dinner, then sit by one of the firepits and enjoy the fireworks show!
5. Daily Cookie Time at Dercum Ice Rink: Enjoy a free, fresh-baked cookie, then go ice skating.
6. Behind-the-Scenes Chocolate Tours with Keystone’s Very Own “Willy Wonka”: Take a break from the slopes one morning to tour executive pastry chef Ned Archibald’s workshop and make delicious treats of your own to take home. No golden ticket required; these Chocolate Tours are free to attend.
7. Pajama Family Brunch: Children are treated to their own private dining room complete with adult supervision, entertainment, games and buffet. Parents enjoy a traditional brunch with bottomless mimosas.
8. Meet the Avy Dogs: Kids can pet the friendly avalanche dogs and learn how they are trained to save lives in case of an avalanche.
9. Dog Sledding: Mush! This exhilarating experience puts you in driver’s seat as you lead a real dogsled team through gorgeous mountain scenery.
10. Giant Snowball Launch: Put your skills to the test with Keystone’s giant snowball launch area, complete with targets and prizes.
11. Starquest: Each week Keystone Science School provides a lesson activity, with the chance to view celestial objects up close and personal and explore the winter constellations.
12. Tubing: If you’ve never been tubing, you’re missing out. Spin down a slick hill, then ride the people mover back to the top.
13. BBQ on the Mountain: Have lunch at Labonte’s Smokehouse. Get your pulled pork, chili, and cole slaw, and savor it at a picnic table slopeside.
Fun for Mom & Dad
One of the things I love about Keystone is its focus on keeping families together – because that is what a family vacation is all about! But if parents do want a little fun on their own, Keystone has the following to offer:
14. Outback Shuttle: Instead of hiking to your favorite expert terrain in The Outback bowls, ride up on a snowcat. Reservations aren’t required, just $10 in cash.
15. Savor the Slopes: A rotating showcase of Keystone’s Signature Restaurants with food, wine, beer and spirits samplings.
16. 9280′ Tap House: The deck is the place to be apres-ski for nachos and beer.
17. Alpenglow Stube: For a more romantic evening out, head to this restaurant at 11,444 feet. The views are stunning and the food is AAA Four-Diamond rated.
Where to Stay
Lodging options at Keystone include homes, townhomes, lodges, condos, and hotel rooms. For maximum convenience, River Run Village offers a location that can’t be beat – just steps from the gondola and right in the heart of the Village with access to restaurants, shops and activities. It’s wonderful to be able to walk to your condo at the end of your ski day instead of driving or taking a shuttle. Staying on-site also allows little ones to call it a day without forcing the whole family to leave the snow.
Keystone Resort is one of a kind for family ski vacations.
Disclosure: Some of my lodging and experiences were provided by Keystone to facilitate this story. All opinions are my own.