Kid Zone Have an epic day off the slopes

  • 7 Memory-Making Activities
  • Snowshoe through tIme
  • Mountain Top children's museum
  • Ready Paint Fire art studio
  • Kidtopia snow fort
  • Ripperoo's village parade
  • Ice skating
  • Frisco Adventure Park

You may have come for the skiing and the snowboarding, but even the most gung-ho kids may need a day or two off from the slopes. 

Luckily, there’s no shortage of super fun, non-skiing, kid-friendly activities when they’re not on the hill at Breck or Keystone

From mellow ice skating to high-energy snow tubing to arts and crafts indoors, here’s a sampling of ways to fill your day and keep the kids happy and engaged.


Snowshoe Through Time

Breckenridge Nordic Center

At the Breckenridge Nordic Center, you can explore on your own or hire a local interpretive guide for snowshoe tours that leave from the center’s grand new lodge. 

You’ll meander through the White River National Forest and culminate at one of several 1880s mining cabins. 

Here, families warm up by a fire and hear tales of miners (in the Halleluiah Hut, miners burned down their gold ore, wiping down the white enamel walls with wet rags to get ever last speck of gold dust). 

On the trail, guides point out moose and fox tracks and you’re likely to spot animals like arctic ermine. 

Back at the lodge, kids get s’mores roasted over an open grill.  

Prices vary, but a guided tour for a family of four might start around $185, depending on ages, plus equipment rental.


Think (and Play) Outside the Box

Children's Museum, Breckenridge Ski Resort

In the Village at Breckenridge, the Mountain Top Children's Museum is a great indoor option geared for 10-and-unders, who can create artistic masterpieces out of recycled materials, pretend to be ski patrollers, and play in a bear cave. 

This winter, the museum is pouring $5,000 into exhibits and upgrades, and new for 2014-15, the museum is launching a program called Kids Day Out, designed for 5- to 14-year- olds who need a break from the slopes—but whose parents don’t. 

It’s like summer camp in winter. 

The program will be run out of a location near the museum with daily excursions, from swimming at the rec center to arts workshops to (naturally) a visit to the children’s museum.


Get Your Paint On

Photo by: @rae_sunshine

Ready Paint Fire has art studios in both Breckenridge and Keystone where you can choose a ceramic piece—maybe a mug or a “funtastic” figurine—and channel your inner Van Gogh.

Kids paint their pieces and the studio fires them in the kiln overnight.

RPF also has pre-sketched canvases for little ones.

The Keystone studio, located in Keystone’s Kidtopia headquarters, offers a drop-off Kids Camp from 9 a.m. to noon, four days a week in winter—a nice option for parents who want to get out and ski.

The cost is $60 a day, including a snack and two projects using clay, paint, or mosaics.


Visit a Frozen Fort—or Build Your Own

Any time the bullwheels are running, families can ride Keystone’s gondola to visit the Kidtopia Snow Fort at the at the top of Dercum Mountain.

It’s the world's largest snow fort, complete with slides, mazes, tunnels, and turrets. 

It’s an awesome and humongous kid magnet and you’ll have to drag your munchkins out of it. 

Want more fort action? 

Several times weekly, kids can build their own snow fort

Show up at the Mountain House base area between 1 and 3 p.m. any Tuesday or Friday (December 13–April 10) to pick up a fort flag and start sculpting. 

Kids can decorate their flag, then use it to “claim” their fort. 

It’s like building sand castles on the beach, but with snow.


Everybody Loves a Parade

Fact: Kids love big fuzzy mascots. 

Join Ripperoo, Keystone’s beloved canine character, and a host of performers in Ripperoo’s Village Parade

The conga line starts at 4 p.m. on Saturdays (December 13–April 11) at the River Run Ski School in Gondola Plaza and heads for Dercum Square Ice Rink for complimentary hot cocoa and cookies.  

A horse-drawn sleigh bed gives a lift to the youngest parade goers.


Ice, Ice Baby

Keystone offers two outdoor rinks for ice skating.

At Lakeside Village, kids can join a pickup hockey game or take a free figure-skating clinic on Keystone’s five-acre lake, the largest Zamboni-maintained outdoor skating rink in North America. 

For a low-key experience, take the kids to the 7,200-square-foot Dercum Square Ice Rink in River Run, where the ice time and the M&M cookies at 4 p.m. are free.


Perma Grin on Your Face and Wind in Your Hair

Pro Tip

The park also has free sledding (not on the tubing track, mind you) and a beginner ski and ride hill serviced by a magic carpet.

You can’t go wrong with kids and tubing.

Simply put, it’s a gas. The Frisco Adventure Park has a tubing hill with six lanes of varying speeds.

If you count adrenaline junkies in your brood, go in the morning, late afternoon or when the mercury dives. 

The colder the snow, the slicker the track. 

The park also has free sledding (not on the tubing track, mind you) and a beginner ski and ride hill serviced by a magic carpet.

At the base of the tubing hill is a 4,000-square-foot day lodge where you can warm up with hot cocoa and snacks.

Here you’ll find grandparents spectating with hot toddy in hand from the Adirondack chairs near the lodge’s indoor-outdoor fireplace.

The Frisco Nordic Center is right next door, with 45km of Nordic and snowshoe trails.

Also based out of the Nordic center is Two Below Zero, a company that offers scenic hot cocoa and dinner sleigh rides.

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