5 Family Fun Things to Do with Kids in Denver for Winter

Denver with Kids: Things to Do in Winter

There are so many things to do with kids in Denver that it’s hard to pick only five family-favorite. Denver or as many called ‘Mile High city’ is an active metropolitan city with endless of fun family-friendly things to do year round. Our first visit in winter of 2011 left us with a great impression that so far is one of our favorite destination for our winter break.

When I researched for our ski trip to Colorado, I knew we want to spend a few days in Denver after the trip so I have compiled a short list of fun things to do with kids in Denver for winter vacation that we couldn’t miss. Don’t forget to check out Visit Denver (the official Denver travel and visitor bureau) for ideas and family-friendly itineraries. These are top 5 family-friendly things to do with kids in Denver that we planned for our Denver trip.

5 Family Fun Things to Do with Kids in Denver

 

Outdoor Ice Skating Fun

 

Denver with Kids: Things to Do Skating Skyline Park Ice Rink

During winter, there are several outdoor ice skating rinks in Denver area that kids can enjoy throughout winter season. We chose to visit the Southwest Rink at Skyline park. With the cost of only $2 skate rental fee or FREE if you bring your own skate, you can’t beat this low-cost fun in downtown Denver.

Denver Attractions

There are several kid-friendly attractions in Denver that are highly recommended by locals. Denver Zoo is a big hit for my family travel blogger friend, Jennifer Close author of Two Kids and A map site, who just recently relocated to Denver. She loved how close in proximity she felt to the animals. The downtown Denver Aquarium is another great option especially the option to dine at the Aquarium restaurant while surrounds by a variety of marine life. Kara Williams, author of The Vacation Gals, recommended Downtown Aquarium as one of the activities for kids in Denver among other family-friendly attractions.

Dinosaur Ridge

Not exactly in Denver but within the driving distance, Dinosaur Ridge caught our eyes as one of the unique place to visit that we don’t normally have a chance in our own city. And what kid doesn’t like to put on the explorer hat and pretend to be Indiana Jones for a day. You can hike the trail, take the tour which is highly recommended and visit the visitor center. Kids will have a chance to touch the real dinosaur bones. This is a great gem just right outside Denver.

Red Rocks Amphitheater

The Red Rocks amphitheater is a popular spot especially during summer when there are outdoor concerts and movies for visitors to enjoy. Red Rocks open year round so during the winter months, you can still visit the visitor center and take in the majestic views.

The Rocky Mountain National Park

 

Denver With Kids- Rocky Mountains Park-1

A side trip from Denver to the Rocky Mountains national park is definitely worth a drive. During winter months, there will be less outdoor activities but it’s still enough to entertain the whole family. Driving to the mountains can be challenging so make sure that you check the weather forecast and road conditions before taking the trip. We enjoyed a small hike at the Bear Lake trail head. Even for a non-hiker, you can do a short walk to the lake and enjoy a breathtaking view of the surrounding area.

Do you have other family fun activities in Denver to recommend? Leave a comment or link to your post.

Ski with Kids: Family Deal ‘Kids Ski Free’ @ Keystone Ski Resort

Family Ski Trip: Ski with Kids @ Keystone Ski Resort

Our family learned to ski together the first time last season and it had been one of the fun experience we have done together. Ski with kids can be a fun family vacation with the right planning. We picked the perfect family friendly ski resort at Keystone Ski resort in Colorado for our first lesson and I couldn’t be more satisfied with all the learning and improvement my kids had done last year.

When I heard the latest announcement from Keystone Ski resort about their latest promotion ‘Kids Ski FREE at Keystone Resort. Every Day. All Season Long. No Blackouts.‘ I couldn’t wait to share this awesome ski deal with you guys.

Here is the official information from Keystone:

As simple as childhood itself, Keystone’s Kids Ski Free program removes the red tape and fine print, allowing all children 12 years of age and under to ski and snowboard free every day, all season. The program has no blackout dates and is available on all weekends and holidays, a rarity in the ski industry. To qualify, families must stay two or more nights in one of Keystone’s numerous owned and operated accommodation options, which span from luxury hotel rooms to cozy ski-in/ski-out condominiums. Families big and small are able to take advantage of the offer, as there are no restrictions on the number of children per adult. Reservations must be booked through http://www.keystoneresort.com/?cmpid=PARPR0008 or toll-free at (877) 204-7889.

We have seen many Kids Ski Free deal before in the past so what makes this deal different from other deals. Let’s see.

No Blackout dates for Kids Ski Free Deal

This is HUGE! We (especially families with school age kids) know all too well that we have limited choices of ski weekend we can take with our kids and mostly those will fall in during the holiday weekend. Most of the time, the discount or deal from other ski resort will have blackout date during the busy holiday weekends that will prevent us from taking advantage on the deal. Keystone ski resort must have read our mind because this deal has NO BLACKOUT DATES. That’s right! You can take advantage of this deal even when you want to ski during Christmas break, President day weekend or any other holiday weekends.

Kids age 12 and under Ski for Free

Many of the ski deal for families have lower age limit. So with the age limit up to 12 years old, many of the pre-tween kids can truly enjoy skiing with the rest of the family.

No Restriction on Number of Children per Adult

Most of the time, the kids ski free deal often tie to the adult lift ticket. For us a family of 4 with 2 kids, we rarely have any issue with that. One adult ticket will get one free kid ticket. But how about a larger family with 4 kids or the family that the other parent doesn’t want to ski? Keystone ski resort program takes care of all that restriction. It doesn’t matter how many kids you have. As long as you book a room within Keystone resort via their online booking or call center within the maximum occupancy per room, you will have your free kid lift tickets waiting for you upon your check-in.

Available Through 2012-2013 Winter Season

One more wonderful thing about this deal is that you have the whole season to plan for your trip. That’s why I feel obligated to share this family ski deal here. Most of the time, by the time I publish the post, most deals will be gone. But with this deal, you can take advantage of the discount anytime this season.

So if this doesn’t convince you to take a look at the deal, check out below our posts from our past visit to Keystone Ski resort to help you learn about their resort, ski school and other fun things to do at this family-friendly ski resort in Colorado.

Ski with Kids Memorable Experience @ Keystone Ski Resort

Family friendly accommodation at River Run Village – Keystone Ski Resort

Keystone River Run Village Ski Resort with Kids

Outstanding Ski School for Kids (and Adults) at Keystone Ski School

Family Ski Trip: Ski with Kids @ Keystone Ski school

More Than Ski, Fun Things to Do @ Keystone Ski Resort

Also check out Mother of All Trips #BackToSki week for more ski related posts.

My Dream Vacation for Less: Spring Family Vacation at Breckenridge

Family Ski Vacation in Breckenridge

As many part of the country are still battling the cold and snow, we at the Q Family already are dreaming about our next adventure in Spring and Summer. Our recently family ski trip to Keystone resort put the Colorado mountain resorts on the map for us and Breckenridge is one that we want to visit on our next family vacation.

It’s without a doubt that Breckenridge is well known for winter sport and ski family vacation that comes with quite a price tag for family who looks to travel on a budget. However, there are many ways to enjoy great family spring vacation for less. As we are dreaming about our next spring adventure, we would like to share with you how we plan our next family vacation for less!

Home Away from Home

Home Vacation Rental

When travel with kids, accommodation is a big factor in make or break your dream vacation. Choosing the right type of accommodation for your family is crucial part of travel planning.

We always look for vacation home rental as our first option. Most home rental provides extra room for family so we are not on top of each other. The homey atmosphere provides kids (and adults) a more relaxing environment after a long day of activities or fun in town.

Breckenridge has a lot of lodging types to choose from. With a quick search on Homeaway for Breckenridge, we know we will have no problem finding the right place to stay for our family.

Friends Make Travel more Fun

Another way to help save on your next family trip is to make it a group affair! We recently took a quick long weekend getaway during the holiday break with a group of friends who also have kids that are in the same age range as our kids. The cost of home rental is considerably lower than renting traditional hotel room in the same area.

At dinner time, we enjoyed our dinner as each of the family showcase their favorite dish. Kids had a blast because they had friend to play with. So we know that if possible our next spring vacation, we would love to go with our friends again.

Feast fits for the King

Keystone River Run Village Room Kitchen

Food is a big part of our life and we wouldn’t have enjoyed much of our vacation if food is blah.. So to have our own full kitchen during our vacation is a big plus and one that we always love!

Cooking during vacation doesn’t have to be painful or too much work. We plan simple family favorite meal that everyone loves. The time to prepare and cook our meal is typically shorter than the time we wait at a restaurant. Plus kids can be kids and running around the house until the dinner is ready instead of having to sit quietly (most of the time) in a restaurant.

One Last Run on the Slope

Spring in Atlanta means warmer weather and short sleeve shirt. But in Breckenridge, it means discount rate from ski resort for the end of the season discount. The resort season doesn’t end until mid April so it’s a great chance to enjoy winter sport while the rest of the country flock to the warmer destinations.

Photo credits: Breckenridge

This post is sponsored post. Bought to you by: 

HomeAway offers the world’s largest selection of vacation home rentals that provide travelers with memorable vacation experiences and benefits, including more room to relax and added privacy, for less than the cost of traditional hotel accommodations.  Make memories where you stay, not just where you go.  HomeAway.com – let’s stay together.

 

Keystone Ski Resort with Kids: Wonderful Stay for Family at River Run Village

Keystone River Run Village Ice Rink

With the amount of family ski trip posts, I hope you won’t get bored about this. We have so much information to share about our first family ski trip experience that I know other families who are thinking about it will find useful. Seeing that we don’t live in the Northern part of the country, planning a ski trip is a daunting task and it’s not cheap. However, with good pre-trip planning, you and your family can enjoy family ski vacation on a budget.

Lodging Options in Keystone Ski Resort are Endless

On our Keystone Ski trip, we stayed at the River Run Village condominium. For first time visitor, choosing the right accommodation to stay with your family can be overwhelming. Keystone Ski resort offers various type of lodging from vacation home rentals, condominiums, bed & breakfast and inn.

Keystone River Run Village Room Kitchen

For family vacation, I found that renting from condominium type lodging is the best value. Not only, we have extra space for all the ski equipments, we also have kitchen that we can prepare breakfast, lunch or even dinner (if we have energy left after a long day of skiing) to help save on family ski vacation.

Inside the Dakota Lodge

Keystone River Run Village Living Room

Within River Run Village, there are multiple buildings for accommodation. We stayed at the Dakota Lodge that is right in front of the brand new Dercum Square outdoor ice skating rink. Unlike hotel, the setup for rooms in Dakota Lodge is more apartment type with separate living room, dining room and full kitchen. After picking up our ski equipments, the extra space came in handy. If you stay in a small room, there is also locker to put your ski equipment on the first floor.

Deluxe Mountain-Inspired Decoration

Keystone River Run Village Room Bedroom

Our 2 bedroom condominium is beautifully decorated with mountain-inspired theme. Each bedroom has comfortable bed that we fell asleep as soon as we hit the pillow. All standard amenities, towels, soap, shampoo, hair dryer, are provided. With 3 flat screen TVs in our unit, everyone (for once) doesn’t have to fight over what channel they want to watch. And yes, internet connection is FREE and fast. I have to say though that with a full day of skiing, I hardly touch my computer except to check out our photo from EpicMix.

River Run Village: Great Location for Family

Keystone River Run Village Ski Resort

Within Keystone Resort, there are multiple areas for lodging. The River Run is a PERFECT location for families especially ones with beginner skiers. With its central location right at the base of River Run Gondola and the Summit Express chair lift, we don’t have to take a bus or get in a car to get on the slopes.

The Keystone Ski & Ride school and the Ski rental facility are also within walking distance from the River Run Village making it’s a breeze to pick up our ski equipments and drop kids off at their school.

Keystone River Run Village

All in all, the stay at River Run got a thumb up from Miss J!

Thank you Keystone Ski resort for providing our family with complimentary accommodation, transportation and some dining during our stay.

Denver with Kids: A Room with A-Mazing View at Homewood Suites by Hilton Denver International Airport

Denver with Kids Homewood Suites by Hilton Hotel

During our recent family ski vacation in Colorado at Keystone Resort, we spent a few nights in downtown Denver with kids before heading up to the Rocky Mountain National Park. I have been searching for family friendly accommodations that is also within our budget in Denver. Yes, many online forum recommended staying in downtown Denver. But, with kids in tow we actually like to stay out of downtown in the area where we don’t have to worry about finding or paying for parking. We also prefer to  have grocery stores within driving distance.

Those factors lead us to Homewood Suites by Hilton Denver International Airport. We have stayed at various types of accommodation and Homewood Suites by Hilton remains one of top family friendly hotel in our opinion.

Convenient Location to Explore More of Denver

With the convenient location near the Denver International Airport, we were able to not only enjoy exploring downtown Denver but venture out to other surrounding area. The hotel is right by the interstate highway that lead to other cities like Colorado Springs, Aurora and Golden.

There are many chain restaurants like Outback Steak House, Ted’s Montana Grill or Applebee’s nearby which make it very convenient for us to grab a quick meal or have a special dinner night.  If you want to get your own groceries and cook in the room, there is Safeway within short driving distance.

AMAZING View from the Room

Denver with Kids: Mountain View

The majestic view of the mountain range as a backdrop to Denver is one of the best feature of this city.  Homewood Suites Denver International Airport took advantage of the view. Our room is facing the mountain and I never got tired of waking up to this view. Now I understand why Denver residents are so active. The mountain just beckons them to go out and enjoy wide range of outdoor activities

Extra Space with Everything You Need and Want

Denver with Kids Homewood Suites Denver Airport - Living Room

When travel with kids, we try to avoid staying at a typical hotel room because of the space. That’s why I love Homewood Suites by Hilton. With a suite room, we have extra space so we won’t be on top of each other. We all know how sibling love each other so much that they can’t invade each other personal space. The two-bedroom suite provides ample space for us to relax at the end of the day and gives us privacy from the kids with separate living room and kitchen area.

Denver with Kids Homewood Suites Bedroom

After spend the day doing what you do, it’s nice to know that you can rest easy in a bedroom that is clean and comfortable.  The room is spacious and has a flat screen tv that allowed me to kick back and watch my shows while Mr. Rojo and the kids watched their shows on the other tv’s.  We definitely don’t get this at home.  Did I mention the view from the room?  Oh yes.  I already did.  Just wanted to make sure you got that point.

Denver with Kids Homewood Suites Free Wifi

As a geek family, internet connection is something we need prefer. And it’s nice to have free internet connection at an acceptable speed to catch up with family and friends online at the end of the day.  Mr. Rojo is the crazy one who always likes to check the speed.  He never tells me the numbers but he had a big grin on his face after testing the speed and proceeded to go watch his online videos.

Denver with Kids Homewood Suites Kitchen

The kitchen is small but efficient. We didn’t cook any meal in the room but it’s nice to be able to have a full size refrigerator to put our drinks and fruits for late night snacks. The full service of the hotel included them putting the dishes in the dishwasher for you and running it. It’s something that I didn’t even know that they do. It’s nice not to have to worry about too much cleaning when travelling because I know many of my friends don’t like staying in VRBO because they don’t want to clean when they are on vacation! Well, at Homewood Suites you get the best of both world, the space of the VRBO and the service of the hotel.

Perfect Amenities with Family in Mind

Denver with Kids Homewood Suites Indoor Pool

Other services and amenities from Homewood Suites are also perfect for family. We love the complimentary hot breakfast, the type where you get real scramble eggs, make your own waffle and enjoy hot coffee.

The indoor swimming pool is perfect for kids to use up those energy from a long day of travel or for parents to get a quick me time at the hot tub. The exercise room looks very nice… yes, look nice because admit it we are not gonna exercise during our trip. I’m exhausted most of the time at the end of the day because of the thin air of Denver… or.. is it because I’m too lazy to exercise.  You pick.

Great Value for Budget Conscious Family

Yes, you might not be in the middle of downtown Denver. But I don’t see the benefit of staying in downtown. We would have to pay for parking fee and most hotels in downtown will cost more. The saving itself is totally worth an extra drive. It’s also not so bad when we have a great view to drive to downtown Denver when we want to explore.

At the time of our visit, room rate ranged from $99-$250 (based on date and availability). The extra space, free parking, complimentary breakfast, free internet connection and convenient location make Homewood Suites by Hilton Denver International Airport a great option for family who want value without sacrifice the luxury. Make sure to check out hotel special for any promotions or discount rate.

Disclosure: We received media rate from Homewood Suites by Hilton Denver International Airport. This post is based solely on my experience and my opinion without any outside influence. I will not write about a place we will not stay ourselves.