This is a sponsored post on behalf of Winter Park Resort about our family ski vacation to Winter Park, Colorado and all of the fun things we were able to do there.
I have always loved the outdoors and traveling and I’ve passed that love on to my kids (ages 11 and 13). As a family, we enjoy exploring Austin as well as traveling to new places. We have taken several road trips as well as a multi-generation family trip to Banff last summer.
We just returned from an outdoorsy winter family vacation to Winter Park, Colorado. Keep reading to find out about family-friendly things to do in Winter Park and some of my tips for getting there and accommodations.
About Winter Park Resort
Winter Park, Colorado is a small town with a ski resort close to Denver. It was just voted the #1 Ski Resort in North America by USA Today readers for the 2nd year in a row!
This family-friendly ski resort is one of the highest places in Colorado with an elevation of 10,700 at the top of the ski area. Along the 3,000 skiable acres, skiers of all ages and abilities get amazing mountaintop panoramic views.
For those that either aren’t into skiing or looking for other things to do, the resort offers a range of winter activities such as snow tubing, ski bikes, snowshoeing, snowcat tours and more.
If you choose to come during the summer, there are mountain bike trails, the alpine slide, ropes courses, and more activities.
My family and I were invited to come to Winter Park Resort during the winter for a family ski vacation. We had an amazing time partaking in a variety of activities that the whole family enjoyed.
This post is your guide to the best family-friendly winter activities at Winter Park Resort.
Watch the video review of our family ski vacation and then read below for more details about each event and activity.
How to get to Winter Park Resort
Luckily, we were able to get a direct flight from Austin to Denver. In a little under two hours, we landed in Denver.
Then, we used the shuttle company, Home James, to drive us to and from the resort. During the two hour drive, we rode in a large van with about eight other people.
Although the road was a bit curvy at times, I managed not to get motion sickness. Perhaps the scenic views helped.
On the way back to the airport our driver acted as a tour guide sharing interesting facts and pointing out things like a herd of buffalo and an old gold mine. That was fun and made the ride seem quicker.
Where to stay in Winter Park
For three nights we stayed at the ski-in-ski-out Zephyr Mountain Lodge in the Winter Park Resort. With two bedrooms and two bathrooms, our condo had plenty of room for the four of us. We made use of the small kitchen for some breakfasts and snacks.
The lodge also had storage lockers for skis and two hot tubs in our building. You could sit in the hot tub and watch the gondola and skiers pass by.
Family Friendly Fun Things to do in Winter Park, Colorado
There are a variety of winter and summer activities. Since we were only there in the winter, I’ll give you some suggestions of fun things to do during this time of year.
Our first activity in Winter Park was the Snowcat tour. We rode the gondola and started our tour at the top of the mountain.
As we sat comfortably in the heated vehicle, we enjoyed getting a little bit of history, beautiful views, and a preview of the trails for our skiing the next day.
We stopped a few times to get out, take a look around, and shoot some photos.
Skiing in Winter Park Colorado
Since we don’t own our own ski equipment we needed to rent some. It was super convenient to have a custom fitting at our condo the night before.
In the morning all of the equipment was ready for us and we had a cubby to store everything.
For our first day of skiing, we had a ski guide.
Kate was super patient, knowledgeable, friendly, and fun. I highly recommend a ski guide if you visit.
Not only did we get to skip the lines, but we also got to explore the best trails for our abilities.
By the second day, we felt even more comfortable exploring the ski trails. There were so many to choose from.
We didn’t get a chance to ski all of the green/blue courses. I mostly stayed on the green with my younger son, while my husband and older son would split off some of the time to check out blue trails and small jumps. It worked out really well for our family. It was easy to meet back up again.
The views while skiing were absolutely beautiful. I took a ton of photos because everything was just so breathtaking.
Dinner at Sun Spot
Within the village and town, there are so many places to eat, but one restaurant really stood out – the mountain top restaurant, Sun Spot.
On our second evening, we made dinner reservations at Sun Spot. To get to the restaurant you take the gondola. Since it was nighttime and the temperature had dropped, blankets were provided for the ride. How nice!
Our family had a delicious three-course meal for dinner at Sun Spot. We had salad or soup, an entree, and dessert. The kids and I had surf and turf and my husband chose prime rib.
For dessert, they served tiramisu, which I love. Unfortunately, my husband and kids aren’t big fans of it. The restaurant was so accommodating and suggested another dessert – soft serve custard with candy toppings. Score!
After that, we rode the gondola back down with the comfy blankets and a beautiful view of the resort and town at night.
Snow Tubing at Coca Cola Tube Park
On day three, my cousin’s family, from Denver, met us for snow tubing.
We took the Cabriolet lift up to Coca Cola Tube Park.
The snow tubing in Winter Park really is fun for all ages. You can choose from one of three lanes and different tubes depending on how fast you want to go.
Then, you have the option to go straight or spin.
At the end of the run, they have a cool tunnel with a moving sidewalk to get you and the tube back up the hill.
In one hour, our group had an average of about four turns down the lanes. Be prepared to spend some time waiting in line. Overall, it was a lot of fun and would be a great activity for those who don’t ski or snowboard.
Within Winter Park Resort there are a variety of shops and restaurants. If you are staying there, you wouldn’t even need to leave the resort. In addition to coffee shops, restaurants, and shopping, there is a small grocery store, a spa, and an ice rink.
There are so many cute places to sit and enjoy the scenery.
We went to the Coffee and Tea Market several times for either breakfast or after skiing snacks.
Apres Ski at Sunspot
Every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 4-6 pm enjoy live music, drinks, and small bites as you watch the sunset from nearly 11,000 feet!
We stopped by the mountaintop Apres Ski after the Snowcat tour and got a few soft pretzels to share.
It was hopping in there with people sipping drinks at the bar and families relaxing after an eventful day of playing outside.
Exploring the Towns of Winter Park and Frasier, Colorado
There’s a free bus service that makes it very easy to get to and from the towns of Winter Park and Frasier.
One night we went to dinner in Winter Park and then grocery shopping at the Safeway in Frasier.
The bus was a few minutes late in Winter Park, but other than that it worked out well.
When it was time to come home, the bus dropped us off right in front of the resort.
A Recommended Family Ski Trip
Our trip to Winter Park was an amazing experience. We were able to enjoy the outdoors and have some quality family time. I would definitely recommend this as a fun vacation for active families that love to be outside.
If you are looking for more family vacation ideas, then check out our trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Angel Fire Resort and Angel Fire, New Mexico Winter Review and Video
Rachel is an Austin blogger, educator, mom, wife, young breast cancer survivor writing about health, saving money, and living a happy life in Austin, Texas.
Rachel has written for HuffPost and Hometalk and has been featured on KXAN, Studio 512, Fox 7 Austin, and CBS Austin.