With fantastic ski schools, family friendly restaurants and a wide range of hotels and condos, Winter Park, CO makes for the perfect winter vacation destination, but there is just as much happening in the summer to bring families to the area to play. Check out these seven things families can do in Winter Park in the summer season.
Downhill Mountain Biking: Winter Park Resort is famous for its Trestle Bike Park. Not only are there several different levels of trails, the resort has great guides and lessons in the art of downhill mountain biking. This is not for the faint of heart! The trails are steep and the sun can be strong, but our guide took us down at our own pace with plenty of stops for water and viewing the spectacular mountain ranges to catch our breath. The school is also very family friendly, with bikes and protective gear for all ages. As long as your children can ride a bike, this is an activity that they can enjoy.
Winter Park Resort Alpine Slide: I discovered the alpine slide at Winter Park Resort when I was a child, so when we moved to Denver four years ago, the first thing I wanted to do was take my own kids to enjoy the alpine slide. The slide is the longest alpine slide in Colorado, with plenty of twists and turns, which starts at the top of the Arrow Lift and ends at the bottom. The fun begins when you hop on a chairlift and enjoy the views of mountains, hikers, and wildflowers while anticipating the ride to the bottom. A sled for the return to the bottom of the mountain is waiting when you reach the top. The sled fits into the cement slide and takes you on a wild and windy journey to the bottom, about a five-minute ride. The kids found it fascinating that we were on a ski hill, but not skiing!
Winter Park Resort Adventure Pass: Winter Park Resort has a great summer activity in the form of the Winter Park Adventure Pass. The pass offers full day passes or individual passes for each activity. A full day pass is worth it if you plan to spend the day in the resort. The pass includes the alpine slide, a mini golf course, a bouncy castle, a huge trampoline, a river where kids can “pan for gold” and a human maze. Our favorites are the slide and the trampoline, where the kids are harnessed and able to jump as high as they can. The Adventure Park also has numerous places for lunch, so you can take a break between activities. All in all, it’s a favorite day trip for us from Denver.
Summer Concerts in the Old Schoolhouse Park: Throughout the summer, the valley has concerts once per month at a park in Fraser. The park is a five minute drive from the center of town and offers a small and intimate venue. The music isn’t too loud, making it a great place to bring kids. Although food and drink was for sale, most people brought coolers with their own refreshments, spread out a picnic blanket and enjoyed the music. Bringing a sweater to ward off the chill when the sun dips behind the mountains.
Hiking in Winter Park Resort: A range of hiking trails from beginner to advanced are suitable for any skill level. We found the trail down the main ski hill was doable for both our young children, ages eight and five. We took the Arrow Lift up the mountain and walked down to the bottom. The hike was all downhill, making it easy for kids, and gorgeous – wildflowers, chipmunks, beautiful pine trees and perfect weather. At the bottom, we got a well-deserved soda at Backbowl Soup Company. It was a great first hiking experience for our kids.
The Foundry: The Foundry is a place that has it all- a movie theatre, a bowling alley and GREAT pizza. It is a place that is perfect for families and singles alike and has a friendly vibe everyone loves. The bowling alley is clean, with comfortable couches and big screen TVs over each bowling lane for the sports lover in your family. We met up with some friends and their children. Happily, the Foundry was able to accommodate our group of 12 with prompt and friendly service.
Dinner at Fontenots Seafood and Grill: We love New Orleans, so dinner at a Cajun style restaurant is right up our alley. The restaurant has plenty of room for large groups and the menu is fantastic, with several options for kids. Immediately upon being seated, kids are given crayons and plenty of drawing paper, which is a must for us when we eat out. Both kids gave it two thumbs up.