While the idea of spring break may conjure up images of sunbathing on a white sandy beach, another white, expansive landscape calls to many people: the snowy slopes of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. After flying into Denver, head west on Interstate Highway 70, north on State Highway 9 through the Arapaho National Forest and west on U.S. Route 40 to reach Steamboat Springs in about three hours.
Simply called Steamboat by locals, this small town’s year-round population is about 12,000. But come winter, more than 100,000 tourists visit from around the world to explore the area’s nearly 3,000 skiable acres and 165 trails. Luckily, there likely will still be plenty of snow during spring break, as well as great deals, especially in the April shoulder season. Steamboat offers activities for everyone, from the youngest bunny-slopers, to daredevil teenagers and even to adults craving a relaxing escape.
Spring Break With Young Children
With silky-soft snow, Steamboat is a great place for your wee ones to learn to ski. Start them at the Kids Vacation Center, which offers on-the-snow programs for kids as young as two. Just outside the center are five lifts just for kids and two beginner teaching areas with special “Magic Carpet” lifts. If your children already know their way around a ski slope, bring them to Rough Rider Basin’s kids-only area, featuring a dedicated lift, tepees and a frontier-style fort. If you’re planning on buying a 5-day or more lift ticket for yourself, choose the Kids and Grandkids Ski Free program, which allows children age 12 and under to ski free for the same number of days.
After a full day on the slopes, feed hungry tummies at Johnny B. Good’s, a ’50s-style diner in downtown Steamboat. Choose from warming diner classics like meatloaf dinner and open-faced turkey sandwich topped with mashed potatoes and gravy, or kid-friendly options like chicken fingers and grilled cheese. Adults can top off their meal with a tasty homemade alcoholic milkshake in flavors like the grasshopper or nippin’ nanners, which is made with bananas and banana liqueur.