Whether you call it après-ski, happy hour or simply “time to eat,” stopping at the end of a ski day for some sustenance is a fun necessity for hungry families.
It’s a nice time to take a break together, dry out, warm up and enjoy some hearty family time, especially during the holidays.
Mac and More Mac
If you’ve got starving kids, Colorado’s ski resorts know just what they need: Mac ‘n’ cheese.
Although the full table-service menu is still under wraps, the word is out that a specialty of the newly renovated (and family friendly) 6th Alley Bar & Grill at Arapahoe Basin will feature macaroni, or as a resort rep put it, “Mac ‘n’ Cheese. Bake. Awesome.”
Just west on I-70, Copper Mountain gets in on the mac ‘n’ cheese trend with tasty noodles at Copper Red Hots. For kids and adults with more sophisticated tastes, they’ve got “add-ons” including feta cheese and spinach. Need something fast and simple? $5 will get you a Copper Red Hots hot dog, a soda or a beer.
Speaking of Dogs
Hot dogs indisputably make for quick, tasty eats, although most of us usually don’t think of these basic sausages as gourmet. Well, they do in Snowmass.
Adjacent to the Snowmass Mall, just steps beyond the Westin Resort, the Bar at Wildwood is a funky neo-60s hot spot with comfy couches, ski movies on the big screen, board games at each table and yes, gourmet hot dogs, with adventurous toppings (and 10 New Belgium beers on tap for mom and dad).
The nearby Ranger Station is another hot spot for New Belgium beverages, and offers delicious fresh lemonade and Bavarian Pretzel Rolls with dipping sauces (our favorites: cinnamon-sugar and the local mustard sauce), among other tasty treats.
Moving one step up the gourmet ladder brings us to Telluride’s Tomboy Tavern in Mountain Village.
In a nod to Telluride’s rich mining history, there’s a mining theme, but the miners of the last century would have been hard-pressed to recognize much beyond the beer. Favorites include the pork schnitzel sandwich, nachos and truffle fries, served indoors or on the outdoor heated patio.
Keeping it Active
While some families are looking to eat, others just want to keep the action going, even after the lifts stop turning. For active folk, local recreation centers in Aspen and Silverthorne are great options with indoor pools, waterslides and hot tubs.
Other options to look for at many resorts are tubing and ice-skating.
Copper Mountain also offers the Alpine Rush Zip Line (weekends only) and Woodward at Copper for freestyle training and practice on skis, boards, bikes and more.
How about night skiing? Beginning December 20, Steamboat opens up the Christie Peak Express from 5:30-8:30 on selected holiday and weekend evenings. In between runs, warm up and enjoy food and drinks at either the Slopeside or the Bear River Terrace, both at the base area.
Want to combine activity with eating? The Five Mountain Tavern in Winter Park’s Vintage Hotel is adjacent to the tubing hill.
Fuel up the kids on (you guessed it!) mac ‘n’ cheese and send them back out into the elements. Join them for the laughter and fun, or stay cozy indoors enjoying the only full-service bar on the resort. For an appetizer, try the mini-angus sliders.
Feed the Sweet Tooth
If its sugar you crave, check out the new Paradise Pizzeria and Ice Creamery at Durango Mountain Resort. Destined to be a family hotspot, the Paradise serves up hand-tossed pizza (and more), local beers (and more) and locally crafted, artisan ice creams and unique topping from Honeyville, a local honey farm. They even serve ice cream cocktails for adults.
There’s a play corner for the groms, ski movies for the teens and a brand-new patio to catch the sun’s last rays.
During the holidays, the Paradise will be screening favorite Christmas movies, offering a hot chocolate and s’mores bar and serving a special New Year’s Eve family feast.
The Sweet Spot in Mount Crested Butte offers a similar mash up of cocktails, food, sugar and fun. The arcade (featuring skee-ball) and the candy store are big draws for kids young and old.
If you’re looking for something more low key, the Montanya Distillery in Crested Butte has a kids’ nook with toys, dolls, paper, crayons and more to keep your kids comfortably happy while you take a distillery tour and enjoy live music accompanied by award-winning cocktail
Helmet Safety – A Good Idea
Colorado Ski Country USA supports the use of ski and snowboard helmets and encourages you to educate yourself on the benefits and limitations of wearing them. Helmets provide added protection when you fall, but wearing a helmet doesn’t give you permission to ski or snowboard faster or more recklessly.
Over the course of the past several seasons, more and more skiers and snowboarders are wearing helmets on the slopes, a trend that has increased steadily according to the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA). In fact, an overwhelming majority of adults and children wear helmets while skiing and snowboarding and about 90 percent of children nine years old and younger wear helmets, according to NSAA. At some resorts, helmets are mandatory for children taking lessons as part of ski and ride school, and many resorts offer daily helmet rentals. (continue reading…)
Ski Cooper becomes just the latest Colorado Ski Country USA resort to open, with a 30-inch base and 100% of its 400 acres open for skiers and snowboarders to enjoy this Saturday and Sunday. Ski Cooper will open for the season next Saturday, December 14.
For 2013-14, Ski Cooper has a great pass product: The XP Pass looks just like a season pass, and entitles the holder to four days on the slopes, with no restrictions and no blackouts. The four days can be used anytime during the operating season, and do not need to be used consecutively. At $99, pass holders will pay just $24.75 per day.
By Kristen Lummis, braveskimom.com
What’s a good ski day? While you might know your answers, would your kids say the same thing?
I wanted to know, so recently, I took a completely unscientific, haphazard poll and asked kids what they think makes a good ski day.
I asked kids ranging in age from 5 to 17.
I asked kids who ride, kids who ski, and kids who would rather not do either, but who put up with it because their parents make them. These were kids from across Colorado, some of whom live in ski towns and some who only ski a few times each year.
Here are their answers.
Colorado kids are discriminating skiers. They don’t like ice. They do love powder. They don’t like crowds. They think moguls are the bomb. They divide on tree skiing. For some, there’s nothing better. For others, being above the trees, or on a wide, fast groomer, is preferable.
“The best ski day is when I can ski steep, wide open hills with a little bit of powder on them for going fast!” explained one second grader.
Colorado kids like a challenge. “Double black diamond runs” make some very, very happy. One mentioned “hucking big cliffs,” while another described his perfect day as “when the snow barely makes a noise when you turn and the jumps are good!”
And then there are those who simply love to ski, no matter where or under what conditions. “Skiing is always good,” explained one 14 year old boy. “Even when the snow could be better, I always have fun.”
Friends Equal Fun
While they care about the snow conditions, Colorado kids are also all about the company they keep. Who they ski with is as important as what they are skiing. One teen put it this way, “I have fun, even when the snow is bad, as long as I’m with good people – not necessarily my family – but good people.”
Another girl mentioned “laughing with friends” as the best part of her day. “You mean on the lifts?” I asked. “No laughing all day long,” she replied.
Food: Fuel or Bribery?
Food also plays a big role in the perfect skiing or snowboarding day. Many parents are familiar with plying their kids with food to get them to do something and skiing parents are no different. Ski moms and dads have been promising hot chocolate to balky young skiers for as long as skiing and hot chocolate have existed.
“Just one more run. I promise. Then we’ll get some hot chocolate.”
Well, the kids are onto us, especially the little ones. They’re working the system. Hot chocolate remains a perennial favorite, but other tasty rewards include Gatorade at lunch after an especially good run and the promise of ice cream on the way home. For one five year-old girl, “choosing a big candy bar at the end of the day” is her favorite part of a family ski day.
Fuel? Bribery? Or après ski in training?
Powderhorn Mountain Resort is celebrating the holidays a little early this year, with the announcement of an early opening on Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013. Powderhorn originally was scheduled to open for the 2013-2014 season on Dec. 12, 2013. (continue reading…)
By Kristen Lummis, braveskimom.com
This summer, Jake Ziemski, an avalanche technician at Arapahoe Basin, was chosen as the Colorado Ski Country USA “Patroller of the Year.”
With this honor, Jake becomes the seventh A-Basin patroller to receive this award. He joins Ryan Evanczyk, currently the snow safety director, Patrick O’Sullivan, the resort’s risk manager, Rebecca Hodgetts, Tnoy Cammarata, the A Basin ski patrol director, Kelly Deeter and Leif Borgeson.
Clearly, A-Basin has a long and strong tradition of on-mountain safety.
Parents are often concerned about safety when their kids start skiing. Even if they ski or ride themselves, it’s easy to imagine accidents happening. The same is true for biking, football, and even ballet. It’s easy to let your imagination run wild.
Luckily, it’s also easy to prevent most accidents and mishaps. Here are some safety tips from Jake Ziemski, the Colorado Patroller of the Year.
These tips are for everyone, not just parents and not just kids, They are good advice for anyone out in the mountains enjoying a ski day. (continue reading…)
Are you interested in becoming a medal-winning winter athlete? Then take a trip on US Highway 40 to Steamboat Springs and head to Howelsen Hill Ski Area, which is now open for the 2013-14 season. Located just across the Yampa River from downtown Steamboat Springs, Howelsen holds a unique place in the history of skiing: It has sent more skiers to international competition than any other area in North America. (continue reading…)