My father is from a Norwegian family so family ski trips were always a big part of my childhood. Skiing is such a wonderful family bonding experience that I always enjoyed as a kid… nothing beats the fresh air, stunning mountain scenery, and sharing memories with the people most special to you. Now that I'm a mother, it's important to me to continue that tradition with my own children. We try to take an annual ski trip, and this year we chose the beautiful resort of Beaver Creek, Colorado. We had been to this resort once before with two of our three children and loved it, but this year was our 4-year-old's first time on skis and I knew Beaver Creek would be the perfect mountain for her. With the manicured slopes of Bachelor Gulch to the intermediate trails of Larkspur to the bumps of Grouse Mountain, it's no wonder why skiers of all levels travel to this mountain with their families.
Beaver Creek offers many varieties of ski lessons depending on your individual ability and interests. My kids spent a couple days in group ski school lessons and then did one day in the more private Ultimate Four experience. It's truly remarkable how quickly young children learn and advance in the sport, especially when learning from such capable instructors! If you have little ones who get tired or aren’t quite able to keep up with the rest of the family, the resort also offers half and full day care for children aged two months to five years old at the Small World Play School.
This year I opted to do something I had never done before in all my many decades of skiing: I decided to try snowboarding. My 8-year-old son has always wanted to try snowboarding and it was the perfect opportunity for the two of us to learn something together.
Since we had no experience, we booked a private half-day snowboard lesson through Beaver Creek Mountain. I have rarely seen my son this excited about something besides his birthday or Christmas. When I asked him what he was looking forward to the most with our snowboard lesson, I expected him to say that he couldn't wait to learn how to "shred" or do board tricks, but his answer shocked me. He simply said, "Mom, I can't wait to try something new with just you and me together." It was awesome that this 1:1 time with my child was special for the both of us.
We rented our gear, which was quick and easy, and met our Instructor, Dave Thompson, at the base of the lifts. Dave was kind, patient and very interested in teaching us the sport in the safest way possible. Contrary to what most skiers, who have never tried boarding, think - we were rarely on our bottoms! Dave taught us the fundamentals of snowboarding including the equipment, how to get in and out of the board, how to stop, get off the lift, make turns, and develop confidence. It was so fun for my son to see me learning something new alongside him. We had so many laughs comparing our progress with each other. Our half-day lesson was the right amount of time to grasp the fundamentals of the sport and we were boarding down smaller hills by the end of the 3-hour instruction. I highly recommend to any parent that you take the time to learn skiing or snowboarding with your child. It was a highlight of our vacation for me and my son. If you are interested in a boarding lesson at Beaver Creek, please request Dave because he was fantastic!
In addition to our time spent improving our skiing and learning to board, there are so many other winter activities to enjoy at Beaver Creek. All the kids loved the afternoon we spent tubing, especially my youngest because it was her first time.
Another highlight for the kids was the afternoon we skied over to Beaver Creek's new mid-mountain Candy Cabin, which is designed to be like an old fashioned candy store with barrels full of salt water taffy, caramels and other delicious treats. If they didn't get enough sugar there, the kids always made sure to be down the mountain around 3 p.m. when the Beaver Creek resort hands out complimentary chocolate chip cookies to any and all.
In the evening, the resort has so many incredible dining options to chose from. We had dinner at Zach’s Cabin our first night high up Beaver Creek mountain and the only way to get up to the restaurant is with a scenic open-air sleigh ride. The starry ski surrounded us as we rode up the slope; it was the perfect ending to a busy day of skiing on the mountain. One night, my husband and I ate at Beano’s Cabin while the kids stayed in with a babysitter. We loved the four-course dinner and live music performed by an acoustic guitarist. We also ate as a family family one night at Toscanini at the base of Beaver Creek Mountain, which serves incredible authentic Italian fare. We also took the kids to the Chop House where the restaurant has a magician perform on weekends.
As far as where to stay, for this trip we opted to book a condo at the Hummingbird with ski-in-ski-out access in Bachelor Gulch, but Beaver Creek has many beautiful resorts and condos in the greater area that can accommodate a large variety of group sizes and budgets.
A vacation to Beaver Creek is a great way to bring the whole family together in the winter. No matter how experienced you are with skiing, you will enjoy all there is to do within the resort. I loved seeing my kids make progress in their abilities on the mountain. We are looking forward to making more memories at the resort in the future.
- For more information on Beaver Creek or to book a trip, contact Kendra at firstname.lastname@example.org.