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Photo: The Broadmoor

5 Holiday Getaways for Denver-Area Families

These Colorado resorts are decking their halls and offering festive activities to help families make memories away from home.

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With the flurry of shopping, cooking, and feasting, it’s easy to lose focus on an important holiday goal: spending quality time with family. But there are plenty of Colorado resorts offering guests a respite from all the hustle and bustle. Here are some unique options for festive family getaways this holiday season.

The Broadmoor | Colorado Springs

A celebration worthy of New York City, right in Colorado

There’s no need to spend money traveling to New York’s Radio City Music Hall when you can stay in Colorado for The Broadmoor’s old-fashioned Holiday Show, featuring Grammy Award-winning artist Debby Boone. Enjoy a feast by the resort’s world-class chefs while listening to an array of seasonal songs, then retire to your room to sleep in style with the Classic Broadmoor Holiday package, which includes one-night accommodation, dinner, and show tickets (on select December dates). Can’t afford a whole night away? Skip the overnight stay and just enjoy dinner and the show. Families opting for a full, festive getaway can also take advantage of additional holiday programming like visits with Santa and special holiday cooking classes. broadmoor.com/holidays

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Gaylord of the Rockies ICE Rudolph holidays
Photo: The Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center.

Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center | Aurora

Home for the “Holidaze”

Enter a world of frosty sculptures, in ICE!, a playground incorporating more than two-million pounds of ice transformed into life-size scenes and characters from the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer tale, and two one-story-tall ice slides. During the resort’s inaugural holiday celebration, families experience the decorated lodge and grand fireplace, plus a variety of unique programming like the exclusive, 75-minute Broadway-musical Cirque Dreams Holidaze, a performance complete with aerialists, singers, and dancers. Other offerings include the Naughty or Nice Escape Room, a Reindeer Games Scavenger Hunt, and Gingerbread decorating, as well as ice tubing, ice bumper cars, and ice skating. Most activities are available through January 5, 2020. gaylordrockieschristmas.com

Great Wolf Lodge holiday
Photo: Great Wolf Lodge

Great Wolf Lodge | Colorado Springs

Swimming and snowy fun under one roof

During the holiday season, there’s more than just a splashing good time at the Great Wolf Lodge’s indoor water park. There’s also the Snowland celebration, from November 29 through January 5, 2020, allowing families to conjure the holiday spirit with daily snow showers in the Grand Lobby, visits from Santa, and plenty of festive activities. Start the day with the ’Twas the Morning Before Snowland version of Yoga Tails (a kid-friendly yoga class that adults can join), then enjoy complimentary holiday cookie decorating before beginning the evening in the lobby’s Hot Cocoa Bar (adult-beverage options available).

Guest can also experience the lodge’s complimentary activities in Frosty Fest, which includes Feed the Yeti, Reindeer Antler Toss, and the Polar Bear Plunge, where kids draw a polar bear on an “ice burg,” then race it down one of the waterpark slides. In addition to two days of play in the water park and Adventure Park for each night booked at Great Wolf Lodge, unless noted, all of the Snowland activities are included with an overnight stay. greatwolf.com/colorado-springs

keystone holiday
Photo: Vail Resorts, Tom Cohen

Keystone Resort | Keystone

Frolic in the world’s largest snow fort

As if a world-class ski resort isn’t enough of a draw, Keystone offers a literal mountaintop playground with the World’s Largest Snow Fort, complete with tunnels, slides, and mazes for all ages. Opening December 14 at the top of Dercum Mountain, the fort is free to guests with lift access.

The resort also launches a monthlong celebration, the Kidtopia Holiday Spectacular (November 23 to December 24), which includes Santa visits and other festive activities. And be sure to check out the legendary Keystone Chocolate Village, located in the lobby of the Keystone Lodge and Spa throughout most of December and the first week of January. Created by Keystone executive pastry chef Gabriel Geers with more than 7,000 pounds of imported chocolate, the “sweet” alpine village contains a working chocolate gondola, cascading chocolate waterfall, and many other winter scenes. keystoneresort.com

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Snowmass carolers holidays
Photo: Snowmass

Snowmass Ski Area | Snowmass Village

A winter wonderland welcoming all celebrations

Part of the Aspen Snowmass resort, Snowmass is located roughly nine miles from Aspen and aims to greet families with all kinds of winter cheer, starting with The Rink in Snowmass Base Village. Free for guests all winter long, you can drive on the rink in ice bumper cars, partake in the Game of Stones curling series, or participate in theme skating nights like disco night.

Starting November 28, Snowmass S’mores returns daily from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the fire pits (free), including a holiday twist, Candy Cane S’mores, featuring chocolate-peppermint bark. Guests can watch as the resort lights up for the holiday season on December 6 at the Snowmass Chapel, where 40 Christmas trees come to life, and Mr. and Mrs. Claus join the party with cookies and hot chocolate. Celebrate Christmas from December 21 through 24 with Santa’s Village in the Collective Lounge in Snowmass Base Village, offering carol sing-alongs, Dickens carolers, and free photos with Santa.

For Hanukkah celebrations December 22 through 30, the first night at Snowmass Base Village begins with traditional prayer, food, and dreidel games. The Viceroy Snowmass also has a menorah in the lobby of the hotel, with Hanukkah cookies and a special lighting ceremony every day at 5 p.m. gosnowmass.com


More Holiday Festivities and Deals

Parade of Lights Overnight

Watch the sparkling lights of this holiday tradition twinkle in your child’s eyes and then stroll a couple blocks to your cozy room at The Westin Denver Downtown. Limited special rates available for December 6 and 7.

Holiday Tea at The Brown Palace Hotel and Spa

Celebrate a Brown Palace tradition with the Holiday Afternoon Tea. Guests enjoy petits fours surrounded by the sights of spectacular holiday décor and the sounds of festive tunes (11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.), running through January 26. Santa and Mrs. Claus will also be stopping in from the North Pole for breakfast on select dates. Call 303-297-3111 for reservations.

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Doughnut Deal for the Little Whos

Enjoy a meal at Edge Restaurant in the Four Seasons Hotel Denver before or after watching a performance of Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical at the DCPA. Kids 12 and under enjoy a complimentary fresh doughnut with fun made-to-order seasonal toppings (with purchase of adult entrée). Complimentary valet parking is included during the show for those eating at Edge Restaurant.

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