Things to do in Keystone Colorado other than Ski
My husband and I just returned from a mini Christmas Vacation with our 14-month-old son in Keystone Colorado. We usually go skiing about once a year to various ski towns. But this year, being 8 months pregnant and bringing along our toddler, I knew our annual ski trip was going to be much different. Obviously skiing was not an option for me nor baby James. So while planning the itinerary for this winter vacation, I was in need of activities to do other than ski. While researching mountain town’s in Colorado, I came across Keystone. It seemed that Keystone Resort prided themselves as Colorado’s kid-friendliest resort. And they also had loads of activities for adults and little ones that didn’t require skis. Here’s 12 things to do in Keystone Colorado other than ski. (Some activities are geared more towards babies and kids than others.)
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**Mom Tip: I got James this baby snowsuit (click here) that was PERFECT for adventuring out in the snow everyday. This is an absolute must for any babies winter
There are lots of hiking trails in the Keystone area. But one we particularly loved was in Dillon, just minutes outside of Keystone Colorado. Check out Sapphire Point Overlook for an awesome view and a short hike with mountain views and lake views. We loved it so much we actually hiked this trail on 2 different days. It was perfect for a daytime activity with a little one.
Hot Tubs & Heated Pools (or just chill at the SPA)
At 8 months pregnant, the doc said hot tubs were out of the question for me. But luckily our cabin also came with access to a heated pool. If you are looking for a fun family activity that doesn’t require ski boots, be sure to double check that your condo or VRBO/Homeaway comes with “heated” pools. Many will also have spa amenities (music to a pregnant girl’s ears). We stayed at the Willows which had an amazing view plus access to a heated pool. The Springs, however, based on research, is another great option when traveling with little ones. This condo was my first choice, but was unfortunately booked for the days we needed. It came equipped with a heated pool, 2 hot tubs, a spa, a wading pool for babies, and an indoor children’s play area.
Explore River Run Village via Red Wagon
One of my favorite things about River Run Village in Keystone Colorado are the red wagons. There are hundreds of them scattered about the village providing parents a more fun and easier option of hauling their kids and ski equipment around. Anyone can use them at no charge. James loved riding in the wagons and I loved not having to bring my massive jogging stroller all the way from Arkansas.
Ride the Gondolas
I’m a sucker for views. No matter what place or destination I drag my family to, you can best bet, I’ll be dragging them to the highest point of that location on every-single-trip. That’s where you find the best views! Luckily for Will, the “highest” location came via gondola rather than by foot this time. If you aren’t skiing, you can buy a “foot pass” at the base of Keystone Mountain next to the River Run Gondola. This allows you on the gondola up to the top of Dercum Mountain where there is a restaurant as well as access to another gondola that takes you to another part of the mountain with more scenic views. On the day that Will went skiing, James and I met him around lunch time at the top of the mountain using our foot pass (under age 2 is free). Grab a cup of hot chocolate for the gondola ride and enjoy the views!
Scenic Sleigh Rides
Keystone, along with many other mountain towns in Colorado offer Scenic horse drawn Sleigh Rides. Unfortunately it was an activity we didn’t get to try because we ran out of time but based on reviews seemed like a fun thing to do outside of skiing. Here’s a link for more info.
Nordic Center has snow tubing for all ages including babies and toddlers. For bigger kids you can head to Adventure Point in River Run Village that has snow tubing as well as other fun activities with steeper hills. We tested out the Nordic Center on our first day in Keystone Colorado. Unfortunately this was also the day James was adjusting to the altitude along with having a bad reaction to the sunscreen I just put on him. So our tubing fun was cut short. The folks at the Nordic Center were very understanding about our situation and gave us a credit to come back anytime for free. The hill was perfect for babies as it was a gentle slope and easy to walk back up carrying the the tube. Will would sit in the middle of the tube with James on his lap.
Right now one of the ways James lets us know he is excited is by yelling “Bah!!!” He’s 14 months old…what do you expect? The second we walked into this place, we heard this sound non-stop for about 15 minutes. Kidtopia Headquarters is located next to the Dercum ice skating rink in River Run Village. Complete with toys and games galore and scheduled activities such as face painting, it’s a perfect place to escape the cold air for a bit and let the little ones play. It’s free entry for all ages.
Kidtopia Parade, Cookie Time, & Fireworks
On Saturdays, starting at 4pm, Ripperoo’s Parade makes its way through River Run Village and ends with free cookies and hot cider at the Dercum Ice Rink. Afterwards enjoy the fireworks from anywhere in the Village. They shoot them from the top of Dercum Mountain.
Kidtopia Snow Fort
On Saturday night we visited the top of Dercum Mountain to explore the world’s largest Snow fort! Access to the fort is free with a valid season pass, lift ticket, or scenic ticket. Take the gondola to the top and play on the slides, climbing nets, tunnels and castle towers. Fun for all ages! Afterwards have dinner or drinks at the summit mountain restaurant right next to the fort. The snow fort is open daily from 9am to 4pm all throughout the ski season. Since it was Christmas, they were having a special night time festival where the fort was lit up with Christmas lights. They also handed out free hot chocolate and cookies along with pictures with Santa inside the summit mountain restaurant next to the fort. I would double check the schedule for night hours if you go at a different time of year. Here’s the link to all Kidtopia activities in Keystone Colorado along with schedule information.
Der Fondue Chessel
We didn’t get to try this one out mainly because I forgot to make a reservation. Der Fondue Chessel is a Bavarian Beer Hall/Restaurant at the top of the mountain in Keystone Colorado. You take 2 gondolas to get to the top where they serve fondue and a 4 course meal and have live entertainment. Based on reviews, it can either be an amazing experience… or not so much since it can be about $100 or more per person. I think with the right expectations (by that, I mean, knowing it may be one of the more expensive meals of your vacation) it could be fun for the whole family. If you do go, let me know your thoughts in the comments below! Would love to know for our return trip in the future 🙂
There are 2 ice skating rinks in Keystone Colorado. One in River Run Village and a much larger one in Lakeside Village. We were lucky enough to stay at the Willows in Lakeside Village where ice skating was just outside our front door. Not only is ice skating a fun activity to do other than skiing, but for us it also provided hours of entertainment from our window seal INSIDE our cozy cabin. James could stare for hours at the skaters. See below for the view from our condo.
Snow Shoeing/Snow Mobiling
Another two activities we didn’t attempt but worth mentioning. Will and I have done a snow mobile excursion before….just in another Colorado ski town. And it was an awesome experience! Keystone offers these excursions too as well as snow shoeing through designated trails in the mountains. Something you might look into for something to do in Keystone Colorado other than ski.
If you are like me, simply chilling by the fire with a glass of wine and a view of a snow covered mountain out the window is all I need to have a great time. My husband, however gets antsy without things to do on vacation. Although he did go skiing one day, this list helped fill the hours on the rest of the days of our non-ski-cation. If you have tiny travelers in tow (particularly under age 3), you can still have an amazing time. Click here for my post on 5 Tips for a Successful Colorado Winter Vacation with a Baby!
Did I miss anything? Have you taken your little one to the mountains? Fill free to leave a comment below.