About two hours from Denver and just past Vail is an elegant family-friendly ski mountain and village, Beaver Creek Resort in Avon, Colorado. The intimate alpine village is walkable with upscale galleries, boutiques and lodging right on the mountain. Covered bridges, glowing fire pits, sleigh rides, artisan chocolates and fine dining all beckon families to visit this snow paradise. Despite all its posh though, we were surprised to see how much it caters to families and children. We broke down all the highlights for families to experience at Beaver Creek with the family.
If you’re looking for a family friendly mountain resort in Colorado that will please adults, provide ideal skiing and snowboarding while also entertaining the kiddos, then look no further than Beaver Creek. We just got back from a quick 3-day vacation and were surprised by all the activities geared toward children. Here is a VIP guide for what to eat, see and do during a Beaver Creek family ski trip.
Where to Eat at Beaver Creek with the Family:
Talons Restaurant located on the Beaver Creek mountain was recently named as one of Travel & Leisure’s “America’s Best Ski Resort Restaurants” and features a European-inspired gourmet menu.
Another spot on the hill is Mamie’s Mountain Grill, located at the top of Bachelor Gulch Express Lift. It’s DIY eating here. Order a burger and you can grill it yourself. They have a number of grills that are ready to go with all the necessary accouterments, plus grill attendants to assist with any questions. Delicious and a unique way to spend lunch on the mountain with incredible views.
Take a Sleigh Ride to Dinner
For a decadent experience, make a reservation at Beano’s Cabin & Sleigh Ride. The only way up to this fine dining restaurant is via an open air sleigh ride up the mountain pulled by a Snowcat tractor. Come on, how cool is that? I’d recommend making an early dinner reservation like at 5:30 or 6 p.m., so there can still be light for your ride up to take in the views of the mountain, and then have darkness on your way down so you can observe the stars. Although blankets are provided, still dress warmly and be prepared to snuggle.
Once you enter the restaurant, wooden burning fires will warm you up. You are presented with cubbies filled with slippers to put on for extra coziness. Dinner here is not cheap; though it’s definitely a splurge, the experience is worth it. Without drinks, a 5-course menu is $129 per person for adults. Children under 13 may enjoy a 3-course children’s menu for $75. I was actually surprised at how many children were there considering the price, but all the kids seemed to enjoy it as well. Reservations are required.
Après Ski Options
For après ski options for adults, check out The Met, which has wine dispensers for a self-serve wine vending machine, only one of three in all of Colorado. Choose from 16 wines, with eight whites and eight reds.
I also found heaven in a cup when I ordered the “Mounds Bar” at The Osprey Fireside Grill. It’s a hot cocoa with Malibu rum and whipped cream. Great way to warm up.
What to Do in Beaver Creek with the Family
While you’re on the hill, I would most definitely recommend visiting the Candy Cabin with or without the family! Simply ride up the Strawberry Park Express Lift (right out the back door of The Osprey resort). The small wooden Candy Cabin is straight ahead once you get up top.
The Cabin is known for their chocolate ski boots, dark chocolate snowflakes and chocolate covered caramels made by local chocolatier Michael Mootz of the Colorado Candy Company. Another cool fact – the general manager of the Candy Cabin, Nina, has candy in her genes. Her great-grandfather was the CEO of the Willy Wonka Candy Company. Like a kid in a candy store, I delighted in stepping out of my skis for a bit and selecting from the different taffy and vintage candy treats. What a treat, literally!
Every Thursday is Thursday Night Lights & Fireworks – a glow stick ski-down for kids with fireworks as the finale. Registration starts at 5 p.m. at the kids ski school. The ski-down is by the Buckaroo Gondola at about 6 p.m. Fireworks begin shortly after that and can be viewed from the village even if you’re not participating in the ski parade. Great for kids and spectators.
Even if you’ve retired for the day, be sure and get back outside at 3 p.m. as Beaver Creek chefs serve free hot chocolate chip cookies every day at that time. The resort serves 500,000 cookies annually!
Other Outdoor Activities
Ice Skating – In the center of Beaver Creek Village, there is an outdoor Ice Rink for some family fun, or enjoy the plush couches and warm firepits that line the rink. There are weekly events like American Jukebox Skate Night on Sundays.
On Tuesdays and Sunday afternoons join the Buckaroo Bonanza Bunch Children’s Theater at The Ranch for Story Time on the hill at 2:15 p.m. No skis, boards or lift ticket needed!
Free Snowshoeing! Also on Tuesday’s for families and explorers age 6+, enjoy a complimentary nature snowshoe tour with a Nordic Center guide. Complimentary snowshoes are even provided, while hot cocoa and cookies await your return. Reservations are required and can be made by calling (970) 754-5313.
Where to Stay at Beaver Creek with the Family
We booked too last minute to shop for a good deal, but we lucked out and stayed at The Osprey, a Rock Resort offering ski in and out access with a lift just outside our window. The hotel also has an outdoor pool and hot tub, which is a must for when I go skiing. Nothing better than soothing muscles in the warm heat after a long day of skiing.
A little farther away from the village there is The Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa at Beaver Creek. This resort has gondola access to the mountain, a kids club and suites for more room. Since I love SPG hotels, I’ll definitely check this out next time.
Also, for another family-friendly Vail-resort option do read my Tips for a Breckenridge Family Ski Trip!