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Colorado is one of the coolest states around, drawing in active, outdoorsy families to the Rockies and rivers, lupines, and lakes. Plus, there are some incredible family-friendly resorts tucked away in the state’s most coveted destinations to make family travel easy. Colorado Springs serves up southwestern charm, water slides, and views of Pikes Peak, while Rockies’ resorts keep everyone entertained all four seasons, from incredible ski runs to summertime horseback riding. Plus, there are four national parks in Colorado – Rocky Mountain, Mesa Verde, Great Sand Dunes, and Black Canyon of the Gunnison that are all easily accessible for the adventuresome family.
Whether you’re looking for one of the most friendly ski resorts in North America or inclusive family resorts, Colorado has plenty of options.
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Go ahead, use your outside voice in Colorado Springs. The Pikes Place region boasts the Garden of the Gods Park, Pikes Peak, a zoo, trains, museums, and so much more. The entire family will find something to love, all within driving distance of the area’s best ski resorts, too. Here’s where we would base our explorations.
The Broadmoor presents more activities for families than crumbs in the family van – that is to say, endless. Everyone finds something to love here, from the tennis courts to the water slides, from the spa to the two championship golf courses. After a day of play, everyone can join back up at dinner at one of several restaurants right on site. We suggest having a few cocktails and mocktails at the Pool Café in full view of the Rockies and Cheyenne Lake before sitting down for a meal at La Taverne.
Parents can take advantage of the Broadmoor Nannies service for a bit of adult time. Kids also love the Bee Bunch kids’ camps with activities for the 3- to 7-year-old set and the 8- to 12-year-old crowd. A wide variety of age-appropriate activities include fun lessons and nature walks in the great outdoors, arts and crafts, STEAM activities, and more.
Cheyenne Mountain Colorado Springs, A Dolce Resort
Colorado is grand any time of year – with outdoor activities for all seasons – but we particularly love Cheyenne Mountain Colorado Springs, A Dolce Resort in the summer. This is when the Cheyenne Kidz Camp is at its best, filling the days of kiddos ages 5 to 11 with crafts, science experiments, fitness classes tailored to their age, and cooking lessons.
Sign up for the “Passport to Summer Kidz” package and your little ones will get a backpack stocked with summer gear, a personalized passport to check off when they complete certain activities, and a parting gift. When they’re not enjoying camp, the whole family will love swimming in and sailing on the 35-acre lake, the aquatics center, golf, tennis, basketball and volleyball courts, and the Alluvia Spa and Wellness Retreat.
With a backdrop as magnificent as the Rocky Mountains, Vail already has the upper hand when it comes to family-friendly resort destinations. There’s truly a place for every season here, whether you’re zipping down celebrated ski runs on a bluebird day in January or enjoying a headline outdoor concert at The Amp. Here’s where we would stay in this magical mountain town.
Another ski family favorite, Sonnenalp, offers a ski concierge service, with equipment lockers and a private lounge for pre- or apres-ski. The littlest powderhounds amongst you can gear up for the day, then hit the slopes for their private or group ski school lesson. Year-round, the hotel offers arts and crafts, movie nights, and more through its kids clubs for those between 4 and 10 years old (some activities are included in your stay, while others come with an added fee).
Even in the warmer months, you’ll fall in love with the chalet-style resort’s cozy factor, reminiscent of a Bavarian Alps lodge with its traditional wood furnishings, gas fireplaces, and heated floors. In the summer, you’ll be called to the Championship Sonnenalp Golf Club, as does the outdoor swimming pool and the spa.
If you want to enjoy the great outdoors like you did as a child, visit Aspen. Everywhere you look, there’s fresh-air fun to be had, from hiking and biking to skiing and boarding. Raft, climb, skate, swim – whatever you and your kiddos are into, it’s here. It’s a little like reliving summer camp!
The Little Nell
Maybe you’re vacationing with multiple generations of family, celebrating a big anniversary or graduation. This is the place to splurge. As Aspen’s only five-star, five-diamond property, The Little Nell definitely does not rest on its laurels. There are tons of family amenities (think car seats and strollers); kids’ activities (bike rentals and board games, to name a few); two highly lauded in-house restaurants (element47 and Ajax Tavern); a ski valet team that will secure lift tickets, equipment rental, and more; and idyllic hotel spa; and some of the most inviting guest rooms we’ve seen, with warm tones, a well-stocked minibar, and a gas fireplace.
This is a place where it would seem everyone has stepped out of the pages of a magazine for how happy, healthy, and serene they appear. We love this university town for its proximity to all manner of outdoor recreation (many within easy access from the downtown core); the charming pedestrian-friendly Pearl Street Mall; the many healthful dining options; and the overall laid-back, friendly ambiance. Here’s where we take our family.
Omni Interlocken Hotel
Conveniently located northwest of Denver on the way to Boulder, the Omni Interlocken Hotel is easily accessed from both cities and from the Denver International Airport. The resort’s expansive setting allows families to spread out while still being able to pop over to Boulder for dinner or a walk through Chautauqua Park at the foot of Boulder’s iconic Flatirons. There’s a 27-hole championship golf course here, but families seem to gravitate toward the two huge pools, the yummy contemporary American cuisine at Meritage, the hiking and biking paths that start nearby, and the kids’ amenities (including backpacks just for them that are already packed full of activities).
Stay smack in the middle of downtown Boulder, just steps from the Boulder Creek Path and the Pearl Street Mall at one of the most historic hotels in America. Play one of the Hotel Boulderado scavenger hunts and set out with the kids to discover clues throughout the hotel that tell its story. Opened in 1908 as the first luxury hotel in Boulder, it retains its grand personality even today in its Victorian-inspired guest rooms, with plush furnishings (yet modern touches!) and huge windows with sweeping views of the Flatirons and Rocky Mountains. From here, it’s easy to explore plenty of activities in Boulder on foot or by bike, and just as convenient to set off for further explorations in the surrounding area.
Telluride tires kids out. Really that’s all we needed to say to sell you on it, right? Adventuring families love it here year-round. Summer means hiking, biking, relaxing in town, hiking through wildflower-strewn meadows, trying out a ropes course or a bungee trampoline, or even attempting gold mining. When the frost comes, it’s time to cozy up for a sleigh ride, go ice skating, ride the gondola to endless ski and snowboard runs, go cross-country skiing through the quiet forest, or giggle your way through an evening of snow tubing. Here’s where we’d rest our pleasantly weary heads at day’s end.
The Peaks Resort & Spa
Maybe we should preface this by saying The Peaks Resort & Spa has one of the largest on-site resort spas in the state. Earn your “me time” as you whiz down the two-story waterslide with the kids, then make your way over to the spa for an alpine-inspired treatment (or three). Kids love the game room, the indoor/outdoor pool, tennis courts, and more, while parents love the concierge’s adept assistance at arranging everything from whitewater rafting to hot-air ballooning in the area. Rooms and suites are spacious and boast both complimentary Wi-Fi and fabulous mountain views.
Check out these 8 incredible Colorado family-friendly resorts, from ski-in/ski-out mountain hotels to historic inns.
Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort and Spa
For avid skiers and snowboarders, the Beaver Creek Ski Resort is a winter wonderland. If you’re here for the alpine runs, stay at Park Hyatt Bever Creek Resort and Spa for easy access to the lifts. Amenities of note include spacious guest rooms (most with private balconies), on-point customer service, a family game room, daily s’mores cookouts, a heated outdoor pool and hot tubs, a full-service spa, and – especially fun in the summer – an outdoor playground with lawn games. Fuel up at the 8100 Mountainside Bar & Grill. This upscale paradise is one of the nation’s best family ski resorts and well worth the splurge.
Sheraton Steamboat Resort Villas
With a full kitchen, laundry facilities, and a balcony or patio in most condos, Sheraton Steamboat Resort Villas is a great place for your whole family to spread out. From this home base in Steamboat Springs, you’ll have ski-in/ski-out access in the winter (the resort is right next to the Christie Peak Express), plenty of golf, hiking, and biking in the summer, and a heated outdoor pool and huge hot tubs open all year round. The friendly staff can arrange reservations at several dining options, as well as family-friendly activities, from rock climbing and river tubing to skiing and snowboarding lessons.
Whatever time of year, from toddlers to teens, your family can use these recommendations to explore one of the most beautiful areas in North America.
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