4 Colorado Winter Activities (Besides Skiing)

My family recently went on our first ski trip to celebrate our daughter’s third birthday. We chose to ski in Keystone, Colorado, which is roughly a two-hour drive from Denver International Airport.

While we are no strangers to family adventure vacations, skiing for multiple days straight can be tiresome for anyone. Add young kids to the mix and, without a break, you could be asking for a disaster. We quickly discovered endless options for other outdoor activities for the days we weren’t skiing to add adventure to our vacation, even though it was cold and snowing. Here are four winter activities your family can enjoy in Keystone, Colorado, when you or your kids get tired of skiing.

Snow Tubing

Though we were taking a break from skiing, we still wanted to experience a thrill from the activities we’d be doing. Snow tubing was the perfect addition to our adventure vacation and something our entire family could enjoy. Most tubing locations allow kids 36 inches and up to participate. If not, they may have a smaller tubing hill for shorter kids next to a bigger tubing hill for everyone else. Most of the tubing locations in the area offered various lanes ranging from mild to extreme, so you can decide how adventurous you’d like to be! Prices vary by location, but tubing is offered at Keystone Resort, Frisco Adventure Park and Copper Mountain.

Snow Tubing in Keystone, Colorado Snow Tubing in Keystone, Colorado


Ice Skating

There’s ice skating, and then there is ice skating on a lake. Keystone is home to North America’s largest outdoor ice rink, Lake Keystone. If ice skating on a 5-acre lake isn’t a unique and thrilling family adventure I don’t know what is. You’ll often find figure skaters and even hockey players playing on the lake and watching them is a nice activity on its own.


What better way to enjoy the outdoors during the winter than with the adrenaline that comes with snowmobiling? Children must be at least 4 years old to participate in this activity, so my husband and eldest daughter took on the adventure. They rested their legs from skiing and got to ride around with White Mountains Snowmobile Tours. Not only will your child get the thrill of being a passenger on your snowmobile, but they will also get a chance to drive themselves. During the practice run, mini snowmobiles are provided for kids to drive, and my daughter hasn’t stopped talking about the experience!

Snowmobiling in Keystone, Colorado Snowmobiling in Keystone


Ice Castles

Drive less than 30 minutes from Keystone to Dillon, Colorado, to check out the Ice Castles, an epic annual display of hand-carved icicles. How is this adventurous? There are a ton of crawl spaces for kids to explore. My kids especially loved the ice slides and honestly, I did too! To our surprise there was a fire show when we visited on a Friday night. We later found out the fire show happens every Friday and Saturday night, a nice way to heat up in the cold weather. The opening time varies each year depending on the weather so be sure to check their website for when during the winter season they’ll be open. Tickets often sell out, so they recommend purchasing in advance. Be sure to wear your ski gear to fully enjoy all the Ice Castles have to offer.

Ice Castles in Dillon, Colorado Ice Castles in Dillon, Colorado

While our family really enjoyed skiing, we were so happy to have these other activities to enjoy when our kids needed a break. Winter is not the time to stay indoors, but rather the time to get outside and discover all the cool activities you can do when it’s cold and snowy. As a family from Miami, we were thrilled to have these truly authentic winter experiences.

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About the Author

Monet Hambrick

Monet Hambrick is the mom behind "The Traveling Child," a family travel blog with the motto "if kids live there, kids can visit" that provides tips on how to make family travel easy and affordable. While Monet is an advocate for family travel, she also focuses on couple’s trips, solo travel, and girl’s getaways reminding moms everywhere that it's okay continue to enjoy the things they did pre-kids and to not feel guilty about doing so!