How to Plan a Family-Friendly Colorado Winter Vacation

Planning a family-friendly Colorado winter vacation? Keystone has snow forts, sleigh rides, tubing, and ice skating, plus skiing and snowboarding.
Posted February 14, 2024

Are you looking for the ultimate Colorado winter vacation? In Keystone, you'll find tons of winter activities such as sleigh rides, snow forts, tubing, and ice skating, in addition to skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and a host of other winter sports. It's the perfect destination for a Colorado family vacation you'll never forget.  


Tips for Planning an Unforgettable Winter Family Vacation 


If you want to experience a vacation full of winter adventures that the whole family will enjoy, you'll need to make sure the kids are engaged and entertained. Here are three tips for ensuring that everyone will have a great time: 


  1. Find a place with plenty of kid-friendly activities. These can include all the classic winter sports, but should also include some signature activities especially designed for families to enjoy together. In addition to skiing and snowboarding, Keystone offers family-friendly activities such as snow tubing, ice skating, sleigh riding, and snow fort exploring. 
  2. Choose a resort that offers children's ski and snowboarding lessons. Keystone has world-class instructors who specialize in teaching kids how to ski and snowboard. 
  3. Make sure the resort has lots of restaurants with kid-friendly foods and beverages. Some resorts are more bar-oriented, but Keystone has a wide variety of family-friendly snack and dining venues. 

Why Keystone Is Great for Colorado Winter Vacations 

Every season, Keystone is transformed into a 3,149-acre wintertime playground with tons of activities for adults and kids of all ages. 

Here's a look at some of the wintertime activities you and your family can enjoy at Keystone: 


Keystone is popular with skiers around the world thanks to its three unique mountain peaks, each offering a wide range of slope styles and difficulty levels. And if you're new to skiing, Keystone offers a variety of beginner to advanced ski lessons for children and adults, taught by world-class professional instructors. 

For beginners, these lessons are held on Keystone's famous "bunny slopes," which are specially designed on some of Keystone's easiest terrain. You can choose between group or private, one-on-one lessons — plus, you can select morning or afternoon sessions, depending on your vacation schedule.   

Whatever you choose, you and your kids can have fun while learning to ski in a relaxed, festive atmosphere that makes learning enjoyable. 


Keystone offers beginner to advanced snowboarding lessons for kids and adults. These courses are taught by trained professionals in a convivial atmosphere that's relaxing and fun. 

As with Keystone's skiing lessons, you can choose between group or one-on-one private lessons. You can also choose between morning or afternoon sessions for your convenience. 

Sleigh Rides 

What's a Colorado winter vacation without a sleigh ride? Keystone offers a magic-filled sleigh ride experience that you and your kids will never forget. You'll enjoy an hour-long trip into the stunning, snow-filled Soda Creek Valley, riding in a magnificent red wooden sleigh pulled by majestic Percherons and Belgian Draft horses. 

You can also opt for the sleigh ride/dinner package, where you and your family can enjoy an authentic Rocky Mountain dinner by a roaring fire, accompanied by authentic cowboy music and storytelling. 

Snow Forts 

Keystone is famous for its two signature Snow Forts — including the world's largest mountaintop snow fort on Dercum Mountain. You and your kids can explore these magical snow structures and then enjoy a cup of hot chocolate or a snack at one of the nearby eateries. 

Ice Skating 

Keystone has two popular ice rinks that the whole family can enjoy. At Lakeside Village, you'll find North America's largest Zamboni-maintained ice rink, located on a five-acre lake. Plus, at Dercum Square, you and your kids can enjoy ice skating and warm up afterward by a cozy fire with snacks and drinks. 


With its high elevation (10,804 feet), Keystone has stunning views wherever you look, making it ideal for scenic snowshoe hikes through the Keystone Nordic Center. You can choose between easy or more challenging terrains and even join a snowshoeing group for an organized trek across the snowy peaks. 

Mountain Tubing 

Keystone has a world-class, multi-lane tubing hill located at the top of Dercum Mountain. Plus, it's equipped with state-of-the-art outdoor lighting, so you can go night tubing as well. 

One of the best things about tubing is that it doesn't require any lessons or skill — you just get in the tube and cruise down the hill. This makes it a wonderfully relaxing way to spend a fun-filled hour or two with your family. 

Family Equipment Rentals at Keystone 

If you don't have any snow gear or are unsure what to get, relax — Keystone has you covered. No matter where you are, you'll find plenty of equipment rental vendors nearby. So whether you're interested in skiing, snowboarding, tubing, snowshoeing, or just sitting down and enjoying the views, you'll find outerwear, gear, and equipment for all kinds of activities, for kids and adults of all ages and sizes. 

And if you decide that you'd rather buy your equipment and snow wear, you'll find an abundance of outerwear and equipment retailers located throughout Keystone, providing everything you'll need for a perfect Colorado winter vacation. 

Food, Fun, and Après-Ski at Keystone 

After an exhilarating day on the slopes, nothing's more fun than experiencing Keystone's relaxing après-ski and nightlife. You can choose your favorite spot among cozy cafés, lively bars (with live music), or relaxing lounges with roaring log fires. Here's a look at three of Keystone's most family-friendly eateries: 

Bighorn Bistro and Tenderfoot Lounge 

Located in Keystone Lodge and Spa, the Bighorn Bistro dining room offers gorgeous views of Lake Keystone and upscale food in a comfortable setting. The seasonal menu always has a variety of inventive dishes, and there’s a wine list to match. Looking for something more fast and casual? Stop at the connected Tenderfoot Lounge and Bar for a drink by the fireplace. 

Mountain House Dining 

A locals' favorite for an invigorating après-ski, Last Lift Bar offers craft beers, signature drinks, and a wide range of hot and cold beverages for kids and adults. You'll also find a great selection of classic bar foods to enjoy, while you listen to some of Keystone's best live music. 

Conveniently located along the slopes, this mountainside food court offers a variety of food venues with everyone's favorites. Mountain House Café has it all, from pizza and chili to burgers, fried chicken, salads, and deli sandwiches, plus refreshing drinks for everyone in your family. 

9280 Sake House 

Craving something hot after a day on the slopes? 9280 Sake House is your destination for a steaming bowl of comfort food, right in the heart of River Run Village. Pair fan-favorite miso ramen with some hot sake and you’ll be warmed up in no time. 

At Keystone, you and your kids can experience the ultimate Colorado winter vacation in a winter showplace filled with family-friendly venues. Once you've made some amazing family memories at Keystone, you'll want to keep coming back for more. Be sure to visit to find out more about all the winter sports, restaurants, and entertainment venues Keystone has to offer.