Planning a ski vacation with the kids for the first time? Keystone, Colorado is an excellent choice! Keystone Resort is one of the most family-friendly options in Co. With so many things to do in Keystone, and skiing lessons to take advantage of, it’s hard not to have fun. If you’re coming with kids or grandkids then here are some great activities that will keep them entertained while ensuring they get their full quota of winter sports. We decided to give our daughter the gift of learning to ski for her 3rd birthday. We landed on Keystone as her bday destination after searching for the best family-friendly ski resort options in Colorado.
Not only is Keystone ranked as one of the best ski resorts in North America by Ski Magazine. The slopes offer something for everyone from beginners all the way up to experts who want more challenging runs and steeps. Keystone also offers plenty of family-friendly activities like tubing down beginner trails as well as options to rent snowmobiles or ATVs. After spending four amazing days at Keystone Ski Resort and two days taking lessons at Keystone Ski School I can confidently say Keystone Ski Resort is one of the most family-friendly best ski resorts in Colorado for families! Here’s everything you need to know about planning a trip to Keystone Ski Resort.
How to Get Cheap Flights to Denver
Flying can be a large expense, especially when traveling with kids. The flight cost alone can break the bank, not to mention other expenses like hotels and car rentals on top of that! When traveling to Keystone ski resort you will need to fly into Denver International Airport. We paid a total of $410 round trip for our family of four to fly from Fort Lauderdale to Denver on Spirit Airlines. You can get cheap flights to Denver by scoring a flight deal or if your dates are flexible you can use Skyscanner to search the cheapest time to fly to Denver.
Related: Tips on flying with babies and tips on flying with toddlers.
How to Get from Denver to Keystone
Keystone Ski Resort is 95 miles from Denver International Airport. You can get to the resort by renting a car or by booking a shuttle from Denver to Keystone. Since we were traveling during the winter and aren’t used to driving in snow being from Miami we decided taking from shuttle from Denver to Keystone would be best.
We booked our shuttle from Denver to Keystone with Epic Mountain Express and were very pleased with their service. They were on time both ways with pleasant drivers and free wi-fi on the shuttle. Epic Mountain Express offered car seats free of charge so we didn’t have to travel with ours. If you need to travel with car seats because of how you’re getting to/from the airport at home here are tips on traveling with a car seat.
Keystone’s Resort Lodging
Staying at Keystone Resort with kids can be expensive, but they do offer a few affordable options. One of the reasons Keystone Ski Resort has earned a post on Ski Magazine’s list is because of their accommodations and being so family-friend. Just because we have kids, doesn’t mean that we don’t enjoy winter skiing in Colorado. While some of the other ski resorts in CO aren’t kid-friendly it’s nice to know we have a place we love where we can let loose and just have fun!
The options for Keystone Resort Lodging are endless. We spent our 4 nights at Keystone’s Dakota Lodge in a two-bedroom two-bathroom condo with a fully equipped kitchen, fireplace, and balcony.
In addition to condo-style rooms, Dakota Lodge has ski lockers and a year-round hot tub and heated pool. Soaking in the hot tub after skiing is a very popular activity and we gave it a try. If you’re doubtful know that it feels so good once you’re in but getting in and out is very chilly!
Kids Ski Free at Keystone Ski Resort
Yes you read that correctly! If you are staying at any of Keystones Resort Lodging for at least two nights your kids 12 and under ski free for one day. Each additional night booked equals an additional day of skiing. This does not include lessons at Keystone Ski School but if your kids are comfortable on the slopes this is a great savings.
I am not sure if they enforce this as we have younger children, but one thing to be conscious of if your child is older between 10-12 is they may ask for proof of age to participate in their kids ski free program. A passport or birth certificate will work. Also, to claim your kids ski free lift passes you must have proof of lodging with a room key.
Keystone Ski School
Keystone Ski School is one of the main reasons we choose to take our daughter here for her birthday. Kids can start participating in Keystone Ski School at 3 years old as long as they are potty trained. Lessons at the kids Keystone Ski School last from 9AM-3:30PM and include lunch, snacks and multiple breaks for the kids to stay warm and play in the snow. Our kids participated in the Ultimate 4 Ski lessons where there are four students to one instructor. They loved it but skiing can be tiring for kids. When they’re ready for a break check out these other four winter activities to do in Colorado that your kids are bound to love.
My husband and I also took ski lessons and the adult ski school at Keystone is just as amazing as their kids ski school. Adult lessons don’t start until 10:00AM giving you plenty of time to check-in and say bye to your kids taking lessons. We also took group lessons and your lessons in this booking option are based on skill level. If you’ve skied before but aren’t too sure of your level when you start your lesson don’t worry. Once your lesson starts your instructor will evaluate you and if they feel you need to move up or down a level they will get you to the right instructor. While a lunch break is taken during lessons they don’t include lunch so that will be an additional cost.
For our second day at Keystone Ski School we took a family private lesson and it was great spending the day together. However, if you have varying ski levels know the lesson will be catered to those least skilled. This means those most skilled won’t be hitting any of the bigger slopes if members of your family are beginners. If this applies to your family and you want something catered to each person level skip the family private lesson. It’s cold on the slopes so make sure you family stays warm with this Ski Trip Packing List.
Kidtopia Keystone, An Epic Program for Kids at Keystone Ski Resort
While Keystone Resort Lodging is great for families, Kidtopia is what really sets Keystone Ski Resort apart from the rest, making it the Best Ski Resort in Colorado for Families. We have never stayed at a resort that went so above and beyond for their smallest guests. Upon check-in each child is given a backpack with special welcome items just for them!
Free Daily Kidtopia Events at Keystone Ski Resort
Each day there are daily Kidtopia events at Keystone Ski Resort and they are all free! These events include a create your own milkshake social, matinee movie, family snowshoeing, painting class and cupcakes, crafts and face painting, and Saturday night fireworks. Every Saturday Kidtopia Keystone has a Village Parade. The parade starts at Keystone Ski School and ends at the Decrum Ice Skating Rink. Kids can participate by either walking in the parade or sitting in the float. Of course it ends with tons of high-fives and cookie galore!
Kidtopia Headquarters and Child Care Services
Another reason Keystone Ski Resort is the best ski resort in Colorado for families is their child care services. Kids ages 2 months to 6 years old can be dropped off for babysitting from 8:30AM-4:00PM. This allows parents with kids too young to ski or who aren’t interested to enjoy the slopes worry-free. The child care is inside Kidtopia Headquarters located right outside of Keystone Village making drop off before skiing very convenient. There are multiple play rooms so not to worry, your kids will not be bored.
Kidtopia Snow Fort and Playgrounds
What child wouldn’t be excited about a snow fort! Well Kiptopia has one at the top of Decrum Mountain and it’s kid heaven. There are crawl spaces, slides, and even ropes to climb. The only downfall is you have to take the gondola to access it which requires a lift ticket. If you’re only skiing one day make sure you visit the Kidtopia snow fort on that day.
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If your child rather play on a traditional playground Keystone Ski Resort has got you covered. There is a playground right outside of Keystone Kidtopia Headquarters. In addition to this playground we also saw another one in Keystone Village. Kids cannot be slowed down by snow!
Kidtopia Keystone Tubing
If your child is too young to ski or they just need a break the tubing offered at Keystone Ski Resort is the perfect option. While most tubing locations require you to be a minimum of 42” or taller Keystone made it a point not to leave out their shortest guests. The resort offers two locations where kids 42” and under can enjoy tubing at Keystone. Just another well thought out consideration making Keystone with kids the absolute best!
One option is the bunny hill at Adventure Point Tubing where the big tubing hills are. Tubing here is free for kids 42” and under. Just grab a tube from the check-in area for the big hill tubing. Unlike the paid Keystone tubing there is no time limit and you can stay as long as you’d like. This area is great for families with kids of varying ages. Taller kids can go down the seven tubing hills while you push your shorter child down the bunny hill. Everyone is still in the same area so you can keep an eye on your older children. If there are two adults you can also easily switch out taking turns going down the big hill while the other adult tends to your younger child.
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The other tubing location is at Keystone Nordic Center. Here the entire family can go down the hill together. While it may not be as thrilling as Adventure Point Tubing it is still a whole lot of fun. This spot is especially perfect when there is only one adult in your party and you don’t have any children that meet the height requirement for Adventure Point Tubing. You and your children can link tubes and all go down the hill together and no one is left out.
Things to Do Near Keystone Ski Resort
Visit the Ice Castles
Dillon, Colorado is only ten minutes from Keystone Ski Resort and we visited one evening for to check out the Ice Castles. It’s basically an ice playground for kids with crawl spaces, ice slides, and a variety of ice sculptures. There is even a fire show on Friday and Saturday nights. As the sculptures are all made from snow/ice and it’s an open air display the time it opens each winter is dependent on the weather. Check out their website to see when they’;; be open this winter season. 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
Snowmobiling is such a fun activity and there are plenty of options near Keystone. We went with White Mountains Snowmobile Tours as they drop off and pick up right at Keystone Ski Resort. Kids are able ride with an adult starting at 4 years old. For kids 4-6 they only changed $30 as opposed to the full price. During the tour there is an opportunity for the little ones to drive their own mini snowmobile. This was definitely the highlight of the tour for my daughter.
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Keystone Key Resort Goes Above & Beyond For Kids
If you’re looking for a ski destination that will suit your family, Keystone Resort in Colorado is the perfect location. From amazing ski instructors at Keystone Ski School to family-style rooms at Dakota Lodge to Kidtopia, it is well worth the drive from Denver to Keystone. Keystone’s Kidtopia program makes it one of the most kid-friendly resorts around, and with all those slopes with snow guaranteed on tap, this resort has everything you could want from an A+ winter getaway. We had an amazing time and can’t wait to return to Keystone Ski Resort! Did you find this article helpful? Please share it!
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Rumbling Chopsticks says
Looks like you had lot’s of fun with your family out there! The resort looks so beautiful! I can only imagine how cold it was, but once your in the slopes enjoying yourselves you warm up quickly!
Thanks again for sharing your post! I just love reading about traveling with kids, you give me hope for when the day comes for my husband and me! 🙌😉
Love this article. I am from Miami and just started traveling with my boys more…even switched to the school setting to have more travel days with them. Your blog will be very helpful!