One of Colorado’s most accessible, convenient and scenic playgrounds, Winter Park and the surrounding valley is also one of the most affordable and family friendly destinations. Here are some ideas for winter fun for $15 or less. Pick your favorite and start playing!
Explore Cross-Country Skiing & Snowshoeing Trails
Winter Park’s hiking and biking trails aren’t just for summer. After the snow falls, they transform into tranquil snowshoe and cross-country ski trails. Stop by Winter Park’s Information Center to learn about free trails in the Arapaho National Forest. Try snowshoeing the wilderness in Rocky Mountain National Park!
Cost: Free. Rentals are available at local outfitters.
Hit the Tubing & Sledding Slopes
Fun, free sledding awaits at the Hideaway Park Sledding Hill in downtown Winter Park. Sleds are available at the hill and are checked on the honor system. On the other side of the Fraser Valley, the Grand Lake Nordic Center offers both free sledding and tubing. The center is open to the public and is a favorite of families with little ones.
Cost: Free, including tubes and sleds.
Skate the Day Away
Winter Park boasts two ice skating rinks that are free but for rentals. Skate the rink at Cooper Creek Square and then warm up with a cup of hot cocoa by the fire pit. Or visit the skating pond at the Village at Winter Park Resort, where free skating lessons are offered every day from December 11 to March 31 from 4 – 5 p.m.
Cost: Free. Skate rentals, available next to both venues, run $10 – $15/hour.
Spend a Fun Day Indoors
For some inexpensive indoor fun, head to The Foundry Cinema & Bowl and have a meal while you bowl or watch the latest blockbuster. Or grab your swimsuit and spend the day at the aquatic center at the Grand Park Community Recreation Center in Fraser, where a pool, a lazy river, a water slide, and a play structure for kids, as well as a whirlpool, a sauna, a steam room and much more await.
Cost: Movies are $10, bowling is $12/person/hour ($9/person/hour from 4 – 6 p.m.) and food starts at just $6.50 at the Foundry. A day pass at Grand Park Rec Center is $11/adult (less for kids).
Visit Snow Mountain Ranch, YMCA of the Rockies, and go roller skating, rock climbing or enjoy their Craft Shop, projects range from $1 to $25.
Take a Peek into Colorado History
Discover early life history in the Fraser Valley at Cozens Ranch Museum, housed in the first ranch and stage stop in the valley. Then head to Grand Lake’s Kauffman House Museum and tour the last of the early Grand Lake log hotels in existence and peruse its collection of original furnishings.
Cost: Cozens Ranch Museum is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors (62 and older), $3 for students and free for children under 6. Kauffman House Museum is $5 for adults and free for kids 12 and under.