Winter Park, CO Free Music Thursdays

Free music Colorado MountainsFree Colorado Live Music

Winter Park, CO will be hosting free Music Thursdays in Hideaway Park in downtown Winter Park.  These are completely free shows and are just a blast to attend.

The shows start at 6PM and go till around 8PM and there are usually good crowds and lawn chairs are provided by The Winter Park Chamber of Commerce.  It is always fun to pack a picnic dinner and some adult beverages and here a little live music in one of the most s[spectacular settings that you will ever hear live music. These shows are very kid and dog friendly and are well attended by both locals and visitors alike.

This year there are some pretty well known names on lineup that includes Opie Gone Bad and Hunker Down, a Winter Park favorite.  The first show is June 24th and last is August 12th.

Here is the lineup and dates:

June 24: Samantha Fish
July 1: Boa & The Constrictors
July 8: Opie Gone Bad
July 15: Wendy Woo
July 22: Quemando Band
July 29: Rob Drabkin
Aug 5: Soul School
Aug 12: Hunker Down

Again the performances take place in Hideaway Park right on US Highway 40 in town.  Look for the big moose on the north side of US 40 and take a right.  The park on your left.  Pack a picnic , the kids, some drinks and head out for some music and a great friendly atmosphere.

The last two years the weather has been great with mostly sunny skies and no wind.  It does get a little chilly as the sun sets so be sure to bring a jacket if you are planning on staying past dark.

Come up and make a weekend out of the show with some great biking at Trestle Bike Park on Friday and maybe a hike or Colorado mountain golf on Saturday and then some mountain biking on Sunday.

Winter Park, CO Memorial Day

kid fishing in Winter Park ColoradoWinter Park, Colorado Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day weekend is here.  The start of official summer season and the weatrher is going straight from winter to summer.  The weekend weather looks good with no precipitation in the forecast and almost all of the winter snow melted.

Looking for something to do up in Winter Park?  Well there are lots of options this year with the weather looking the way it is.  Here are some of your choices:

Fishing in Winter Park Lakes - We have a bunch of lakes here along US 40 and almost all are stocked with fish your you and the little ones. These small lakes are perfect for the kids to try to hook a big one.  They are also good for the young at heart to try to snag a few.  The one lake at the entrance to Rendezvous is supposed to be a Rendezvous owner only lake but it seems to me anyone can just walk on up and catch a few (it is a very well stocked lake).

Mountain Biking at RendezvousSome of the lower elevation riding here in Winter Park and the snow is all gone, there is a little mud though. This is my favorite riding in Winter Park with some rllong hills and some great flat trail along streams and a few water crossing spots.  It is some very fun biking for just about all levels depending on what trails you take.

Take a Drive Over Trail Ridge RoadThe road will be open by the Friday before Memorial Day and it should make for a spectacular day to check out Rocky Mountain National Park.

Come and enjoy a Winter Park Restaurant with lots of deals going on.  Deno’s, The Sushi Bar, Back Country Grill are all offering big discounts and some great food. 

Yes summere is officialy here so come on up to see all the beauty up here.  Winter Park Resort base are operations do not open until June 12 but the a lot of stuff do do up here until then. 

Rocky Mtn. Nat. Park Opening Day May 28, 2010

 

Summer is on the way and nothing announces it’s arrival better than the opening day at Rocky Mountain National Park. May 28th, 2010 will start the summer season for the Alpine Visitor Center located on the Continental Divide on Trail Ridge Road.  Crews are hard at work clearing the pass to have it open in time.  Be sure to make the drive over the divide this summer, the views are incredible. You might even see some wildlife too.

Winter Park Resort Alpine Slide

Colorado alpine slide

Summer Activities in Winter Park, CO

For those of you that are alpine slide lovers there is some very good news from Winter Park Resort.  There will be all new sleds for the slide this year.

Colorado’s longest and most exciting two-track Alpine Slide is located under the Arrow chairlift with viewing from the base area.   Both tracks are 3,030 feet long with 26 linked turns.  New this season, guests will ride in style on new, state of the art, alpine sleds.  Cost is $15, children 5 and under are free.

The Winter Park base area will open for summer fun on June 12, 2010.

If you haven’t ridden the alpine slide or more importantly taken your kids to ride the slide you are missing out.  we took our almost two year olds last summer and  they were thrilled with the ride.  For those kids a little older the alpine is especially thrilling .

There are lots of things to do at the Winter Park Resort base for the young ones and those that are just young at heart.  Winter Park Resort summer activities and attractions include lift-accessible mountain biking, Colorado’s longest Alpine Side, Amaze’n Human Maze, Leaps & Bounds Bungee, Rock ‘n Roll Gyro, Zephyr Express chairlift rides, Outdoor Climbing Wall, Mountainside Mini Golf, an 18-hole mountaintop disc golf course, eateries and shops.

Get up to Winter Park this summer and beat the crowds and the heat and have a little fun with the whole family.

Winter Park Resort summer activities and attractions include lift-accessible mountain biking, Colorado’s longest Alpine Side, Amaze’n Human Maze, Leaps & Bounds Bungee, Rock ‘n Roll Gyro, Zephyr Express chairlift rides, Outdoor Climbing Wall, Mountainside Mini Golf, an 18-hole mountaintop disc golf course, eateries and shops.Winter Park Resort summer activities and attractions include lift-accessible mountain biking, Colorado’s longest Alpine Side, Amaze’n Human Maze, Leaps & Bounds Bungee, Rock ‘n Roll Gyro, Zephyr Express chairlift rides, Outdoor Climbing Wall, Mountainside Mini Golf, an 18-hole mountaintop disc golf course, eateries and shops.

Hot Sulphur Springs, CO. Mineral Baths

Mineral baths near Winter Park ColoradoMineral Baths Near Winter Park Colorado

Hot Sulphur Springs, CO is not the most original name out there but a telling name it is.  Hot Sulpher has been relaxing travelers for many, many years from as long back as the Ute Indians were running things up here in this part of Grand County.

The first inhabitants of the springs were the Ute Indians who used the hot springs for many years. The Utes believed in the healing qualities of the waters and referred to them as “big medicine” and “magic waters”, and bathed themselves, their horses and dogs, children and women in the water, in that order! The Ute Indians often set their winter hunting camps beneath the natural shelter offered by the bluffs enclosing Byers Canyon, which adjoins our property. In 1840 William Byers, for whom the canyon is named, became the first white man to discover the hot water at our little town, which he named Hot Sulphur Springs. Byers recognized the economic potential of the baths and the surrounding area. With the aid of the U.S. Cavalry and the courts, he acquired the land, somewhat deviously, from the Ute Tribe.

The resort has been continually operational for 140 years and in the 1920’s to 1950’s was one of the most popular hot springs resorts in the Rocky Mountain States. In 1997, after our extensive renovation, the Ute tribal spiritual leader blessed the waters at our opening ceremony that almost 1,000 people attended. The Ute Indians are welcome to use the springs once again. We are blessed by enjoying renewed recognition and attendance and are considered one of the best natural hot mineral springs resorts and spas in the country.

The mineral baths at Hot Sulphur Springs are a great place to spend a day.  It is nice kid friendly and a perfect place to relax after a day of skiing.

Here is a discount coupon for the mineral baths.  If you need transportation out to Hot Sulphur Springs be sure to call Curt at Valley Taxi.  They do run taxis out there and bring you back as well.

So, if you need a little relaxation in the Colorado Rockies look no further than the mineral baths in Hot Sulphur Springs.

SpringsThe first inhabitants of the springs were the Ute Indians who used the hot springs for many years. They believed in the healing qualities of the waters and referred to them as “big medicine” and “magic waters”, and bathed themselves, their horses and dogs, children and women in the water, in that order! The Ute Indians often set their winter hunting camps beneath the natural shelter offered by the bluffs enclosing Byers Canyon, which adjoins our property. In 1840 William Byers, for whom the canyon is named, became the first white man to discover the hot water at our little town, which he named Hot Sulphur Springs. Byers recognized the economic potential of the baths and the surrounding area. With the aid of the U.S. Cavalry and the courts, he acquired the land, somewhat deviously, from the Ute Tribe.

Cross Country|Nordic Skiing at Devil’s Thumb Ranch

When guests ask where they should go for a special meal, I always reply “Tabernash Tavern or Devil’s Thumb” and I’ve been to both several times. But one thing I have somehow missed for years is the main reason people go to Devil’s Thumb in the winter – cross country skiing (those who know what they are doing call it Nordic skiing).
Devil's Thumb Ranch

Ma & Pa hoofin' it at Devil's Thumb

Devil’s Thumb is the largest Nordic center in the Rocky Mountains with 100km of trails. My mom had her knee replaced last summer so alpine skiing isn’t an option and we wanted to get out of the house last week when my parents were visiting. So, we got out my parents’ 20 year old cross country skis and took a short drive over to Devil’s Thumb on a gorgeous bluebird day.

I rented equipment from a guy who said he grew up alpine skiing in Vermont but explained that cross country skiing was actually the first “skiing” sport and beat alpine by about 500 years.  Renting was cheap – maybe $15 and equipment seemed pretty nice to me. And the best part is it felt we had the place to ourselves. He said it’s only “busy” on weekends but busy to them is like April 30th at the resort (hint: resort closes April 18th).

Meadow Trail

We had lunch at a picnic table overlooking the trails (brought it with us) and then got started. We went slowly but soon got the hang of getting in the rutts (I’m sure there’s a more proper name but that’s what we called them) made by the custom snowplow that grooms the trails and cuts in 2 rutts so you can steady yourselves.  We skied for about 2 hours and it was just beautiful. Stayed on the Meadow Trail to Wapiti then Broken Barn and back on Ranch Walk. All flat, but over bridges, down a few small little hills, gorgeous scenery and a nice workout. Ten minutes into it, we wished we were as smart as the guy who passed us wearing shorts and a t-shirt. It was HOT. And my dad and I forgot face sunscreen so we looked silly for a few days afterwards. But, other than that, it was really a wonderful day.

If you need an alternative to downhill skiing for the young or the old, or just want to take a break and enjoy the peaceful serenity of Colorado in the wintertime, head over to Devil’s Thumb Ranch and find out what “classic” vs “skate” skiing is.  Plus, it’s cheap. Adults are $18 a day and kids 12 and under and the grandparents are only $8 a day.  Got little ones? They even have chariots so you can pull them along with you for $20.  Definitely wear shorts and a t-shirt if you’re going to pull that off.  

 Bring your lunch, some water, sunscreen!, and enjoy!  Or try the moonlight nordic skiing and have a drink or a full dinner afterwards. 

Wells Fargo Easter Egg and Candy Hunt Winter Park, CO

Winter Park Wells Fargo Easter egg huntWinter Park, CO Easter Candy Hunt

Looking for something fun to do with the kids for this Easter?  Winter Park Resort is hosting the Wells Fargo Easter Egg and Candy Hunt April 4th.   This is a great way to get the kids outside and enjoy some fresf Colorado mountain air.

There is also the long running tradition of the Bunny Race.  Winter Park Willie and the Easter Bunny deliver holiday fun with an on-mountain candy hunt in Discovery Park as well as a base area egg hunt for children under 5. The “Bunny Race” has been an Easter tradition for more than 30 years for children ages 10 and under. For more details, call the Guest Information Hotline at 970.726.1564.

Come out and see the Easter Bunny in his mountain garb.  Will he be hard driving bump skier like the picture above or is he the docile type hanging about the base pretending to be a skiing bunny?

Easter Candy and Egg Hunt Schedule:

11:45am: Younger non-skiing “hunters’ (ages 5 & under only) meet the Easter Bunny in the Zephyr Plaza near the Slopeside Mountain Adventure Center, and wait for the candy hunt to begin.

11:45am: All “skiing candy hunters” head to Porcupine & Bobcat Trails in Discovery Park to assemble and wait for Winter Park Willie. Children must have a valid lift ticket to access hunt.

12pm: The “hunt” begins! Parents may assist younger children to look for candy.

There is also the Golden Bunny Fun Race:

8:30-11am: Race Registration at Guest Services in the Balcony House. Parents must pre-register each child to race before 11am.

12:15-1:30pm: The untimed, FUN RACE begins at the top of Lower Village Way trail. Children will race in no particular order. Racers may take as many runs as they wish until the course closes at 1:30pm. Children must have a valid lift ticket to access race course.

This is a great way to celebrate Easter and get out of the hose and enjoy the Colorado Rockies with the little ones.

Devils Thumb Ranch Birthday Party

Winter Park Colo horse ridingKids birthday Winter Park CO
Devils Thumb Ranch Pony Ride Birthday Party

Having twin 2 1/2 year olds we are starting to get our fair share of birthday party invitations.  Nicholas and Willem have now been to two birthday parties.  The first at Grand Park Rec Center in the gymnastics room was fantastic.  The second was a birthday party out at Devils Thumb Ranch and it was one cool party.  They definitely didn’t do birthdays like this when I was three.

The party started out at the stables at Devils Thumb Ranch and driving up the stables are just so impressive.  We walked up and there were two of the biggest horse that I have ever seen teamed up and ready to go in their bridles.  We were offered hot chocolate and cowboy hats for the kids.  Next thing you know we are heading out on sleds pulled by the massive horses.  We took a little trip to the grazing pastures and were able to let the kids get up and close with the horses.  After some petting and playing with the horses we made our way back for a lunch around a few campfires that ended with the kids roasting smores on skewers provided by Devils Thumb.  It was then time for the little ones to take a pony ride (Willem is above on the pony enjoying himself).  The party then ended with birthday cake in the stables.

What a great idea for a little ones birthday.  The kids were able to get up and close to some impressive animals and be outside and enjoy the morning.  It was also interesting for the parents and we were able to see another side of Devils Thumb Ranch.

Have a birthday coming up for a youngster?  Check out Devils Thumb Ranch for your party.

Winter Park, Colorado Movies

Winter Park CO moviesWinter Park Colorado Movie Theater

We had a chance to get out this past Saturday night and go see my first movie here in Winter Park, Co in a long while, maybe 10 years or so.  The Silver Screen Cinema is in the same location and feels the same as long ago but the sound has improved and overall it is not a bad place to take in a flick.

We were able to get out of the house and see one of the wife’s favorite, Johnny Depp, in the new adaptation of Alice in Wonderland.  It was a fantastic movie with great special effects and all kinds of weird animals and Alice shrinking and growing and shrinking.  I’m sure this is one movie that would have been better in 3D but the Silver Screen Cinema is not a 3D screen.  Still the movie was great and it was nice to get out of the house on a Saturday night.

The Silver Screen Cinema, from what I’ve heard from WP locals, kinda of has gotten a bad rap.  I wholeheartedly disagree.  The complaints I have heard are the sound isn’t good and the seats are uncomfortable.  I can say the sound was more than satisfactory and the seats, while having some years on them, did not bother me one bit.

What I did like about the cinema was the small town local feel I got.  From the people to the whole setup it screams small town, laid back , Colorado ski town movie house.  No, there are not 24 different screens to see 24 crappy movies and there aren’t whole floors of video arcades to separate you from your money.  It is just a small town movie screen with small town folks taking in a show on a Saturday night.

If you need stadium seating with latest techno this and techno that head to Denver for your movie.  But if you want a nice low key evening, the Silver Screen Cinema can’t be beat to take in a showing of Alice in Wonderland.

Winter Park Resort Skiing For Kids

Teaching Kids to Ski at Winter Park Resort

We had our third day out with the twins on the slopes at Winter Park.  The day wasn’t as nice as last week but we captured Nicholas and Willem in action on video.  The plan was to head up the Gemini lift and spend a few hours at Discovery Park with the boys but when we got to the resort the snow was falling and the wind was a howlin’.  No problems!

We headed over to Sorenson Park and made about six quick runs down.  Willem skied all the way down a few times and Nicholas perfected his hard right turn to slow down.  I don’t think he means to make a hard right turn but lets give him the benefit of the doubt, he is only two.  All in all it was a very successful day and the boys are now excited to go skiing.

Next week we will take the first lift ride up to Discovery Park and make a few turns up there before we head down Turnpike.  Oh Boy, Turnpike is making my back hurt just thinking about all of the bending over.

Anywho, we are trying to get the boys comfortable on skis this year before we put them in ski school next year.  I think we are well on our way and I hope the  Nicholas and Willem do truelly enjoy the skiing and it’s not just the M&M’s that we are bribing them with.

Here is Winter Park Resorts description of their ski school for three year olds:

JUST BECAUSE I’M THREE

The main focus for the day is skiing, but a full day of skiing can be a lot for three year olds. Your 3 year old will learn about skiing and may also enjoy activities such as outside snowplay, arts & crafts, Adventure Sled rides. Children must be potty trained and willing to participate.

Guests without reservations may enroll their 3-year-olds on the 2nd floor of the Winter Park Kids Ski & Ride School.

Kids Ski & Ride School – Daily Lessons
Just Because I’m Three
Price
With Rentals

One Full Day
$120
$135*
3-Day Consecutive Full Days
$299
$335*
Additional Days After 3 Full Days
$100
$115*
Half Day PM Lesson
$100
$115*
Includes: lesson program, helmet and real-time GPS powered by Flaik.
Basic Info:
• Registration available until 9am.
• Classes meet in the Kids’ Ski & Ride School3rd floor between 8:45am and 9:15am
• Full Day lessons run from 9.30am to 3pm and include lunch.
• Half Day lessons run from 12:30pm to 3pm and are sold day-of if space is available.

Winter Park Kids’ Lesson Season Pass for $1299!