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Top photo courtesy Deanna TreVizo/Sunlight Mountain Resort

Slopeside Fun for Families

Check out what’s happening on the slopes this ski season.

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With 28 ski and snowboard resorts throughout Colorado, from renowned resorts to hidden gems, there’s something for every age and skill level this winter. Here’s a look at what’s new and exciting for Centennial State families during the 2018-2019 ski season.

Alpine Activities Around Aspen

Visitors to Buttermilk will find the newly constructed Fort Frog debuting this winter, which kids can only access via ski or snowboard. A wooden, frontier-style kids play structure includes lookout towers, a jail, a swinging bridge, a saloon with a candy bar, a post office, and a turbo twister slide. Additionally, the Ski & Snowboard Schools of Aspen Snowmass are continuing Kids Mountain Explorers, offering kids a weeklong adventure camp with the same group of kids skiing or riding together every day under the tutelage of a pro-caliber coach.

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Kidding Around in Keystone

Kidtopia at Keystone provides families free experiences and activities daily throughout the season—both on and off the snow. Highlights of the program include the village parade and fireworks, family game nights, hands-on-learning activities, ice cream parties, and meet-ups with Keystone’s Ski Patrol rescue dogs. The program’s crown jewel is the world’s largest snow fort, located at the top of Dercum Mountain. The fort is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; free with a valid season pass, lift ticket, or scenic ticket. Kidtopia Signature Event series returns with the Kidtopia Culinary Festival (February 8-19, 2019) and Kidtopia Music Experience (March 1-10, 2019).

Mastering Terrain in Telluride

Telluride Ski Resort’s beginner area, The Meadows, was recently upgraded into a world-class learning facility, which includes a 320-foot, covered-surface lift. Families and beginners will enjoy the freedom of learning in wide open space without feeling crowded. The resort also offers discounted passes for high school- and college-age guests: Junior Pass (ages 13-18) and Young Adult Pass (ages 19-24).

Vail Resorts EmmaVail Resorts Epic Mountain Assistant

Families visiting any of the Vail Resorts—Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, and Keystone in Colorado—this winter can carry the world’s first digital on-demand guide to the resorts in their pocket. Just text Emma, a virtual-reality Epic Mountain Assistant, questions about topics like trip planning, ski school, weather, lift line wait times, and on- and off-mountain dining and activities, and she will text back real-time answers. Emma launches at Keystone in time for opening day, November 9, and the other resorts later in the season. Guests will find the number to text at snow.com, once Emma has gone live.

More at Monarch

Monarch Mountain, situated on the Continental Divide at Monarch Pass about 20 miles west of Salida (and roughly 155 miles southwest of Denver), offers 54 trails, two terrain parks, and an extreme terrain area, Mirkwood. Kids ages seven to 12 can sign up for a 3-hour, half-day junior lesson for $79; include rentals and a lift ticket for $119. New this season: the Monarch Tubing park is open to all ages—tubers must stand 36 inches tall—and tickets are sold by the hour.

No-Strings Skiing at Crested Butte

Buckle up those boots and enjoy slopeside savings for kids age 12 and under, who ski or ride for free at Crested Butte Mountain Resort (November 22 to December 13, 2018 and March 30 to April 7, 2019). No lodging or parent ticket required. Kids age six and under ski free all season long.

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Ski Cheaper at Ski Cooper

One of the state’s most affordable ski resorts for families, Leadville’s Ski Cooper (29 miles south of Vail) offers full-price lift tickets at only $56 for an adult and $35 for children ages six to 14 (free age five and under). Celebrate the resort’s heritage on March 1, 2019, at the 10th Mountain Ski Down, which pays homage to the area as the training site for the 10th Mountain Division before they went to WWII. Enjoy a military parade of veterans, descendants, and current military skiing down the mountain bearing flags.

Slopes and Soaks at Sunlight

Located 12 miles south of Glenwood Springs, Sunlight Mountain Ski Resort offers a full day of skiing for about half the cost of larger resorts. Not only can families park for free and walk to the lifts, there’s also a terrain park and groomed cross-country and snowshoe trails that are free to use. Enjoy the area’s mountains and hot springs by purchasing the Slope-n-Soak 4-Pack, which provides four lift tickets and day passes to either Iron Mountain Hot Springs or Glenwood Hot Springs. Package prices range from $199 to $299.

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