Each spring, the Colorado ski town of Breckenridge becomes a sleepy village. Shops and restaurants hang signs on the door announcing temporary closures, ski lifts come to a standstill, and resorts are quiet, while everyone waits for the snow to melt. This, known as mud season, is a fantastic time for families to visit Beaver Run Resort in Breckenridge.

Beaver Run Resort

Beaver Run Resort in Breckenridge, Colorado. Photo by Heidi Gollub.

Breckenridge, Colorado, like many ski towns, offers a wide array of activities to entice families to visit during summer months. But, if you sneak in a visit just before the the kids get out of school for summer, you can get an amazing deal on lodging and craft your own action-packed Colorado vacation! I recently planned a mud month mini trip to Beaver Run Resort in Breckenridge with my family, and we had the time of our lives.

After deciding to book a Breckenridge getaway in May, I heard over and over that I should wait until later in the summer to visit. I was told the landscape would be ugly as the snow melted, turning the ski trails into a muddy mess. I was told there would be little for my children to do, since summer programming wouldn’t start until June. I was told that Breckenridge would be a ghost town.  Awesome. We went anyway. It turned out to be one of our most memorable family trips ever!

Nine reasons to book an off-season stay at Beaver Run Resort

Save on Airfare

Thanks to a ticket sale this past March, I was able to purchase tickets for my family to fly from Austin to Denver the weekend before Memorial Day, for $35 a piece. This alone was reason enough for me to plan a Colorado adventure!

Have a Sprawling Luxury Resort all to Yourself

Beaver Run Resort in Breckenridge Colorado

Kids get their own hot tubs at Beaver Run Resort in the off-season! Photo by Big Family TMOM Heidi Gollub.

Beaver Run Resort is a huge hotel and conference center that is designed to accommodate a tremendous amount of foot (and ski, and snowboard) traffic. There is a huge indoor/outdoor heated pool, a second heated outdoor pool, six hot tubs, a fitness room, a game room with pool and foosball tables, an arcade complete with an indoor mini golf course, a steam room, and a dry sauna… all of which my husband, four kids, and I had to ourselves when we visited during the week of May 20. It was glorious. My husband said it was like renting a castle for the weekend, we had so many luxurious amenities to enjoy in peace. Well, relative peace; my energetic boys delighted in hopping from one empty hot tub to the next!

Breckenridge, Colorado

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Get a Huge Room for a Steal

April, May and October are the most affordable months to visit Beaver Run Resort. Room rates are at an annual low, which is particularly great if you have a large family like mine and want to get more space for less dollars per night. Normally, when on vacation, I cram my crew into a small hotel room to save money. But, on our recent visit to Beaver Run, we were spoiled with an incredible two-story suite that boasted a full kitchen, a dining area with seating for nine, a living room with pull-out sofa, two bedrooms (upstairs!), three televisions, and two bathrooms. The kids all proclaimed that it was the coolest hotel room they had ever seen. And, at 1,224 square feet spread across two levels, I have to agree!

To make the deal even sweeter, Beaver Run Resort offers complimentary wifi and free wood delivery (be sure to request a room with a fireplace!). Rooms with kitchens come fully stocked with everything you need to cook your own meals: pots, pans, microwave, full-size fridge, coffee maker, toaster, glasses, cutlery, and even dish soap and detergent for the dish washer. You can buy supplies at the onsite Skywalk Market, or head into town for groceries. Then, make a fire and enjoy a family meal around your very own dining table.

Enjoy A (Very) Late Checkout

When Beaver Run is at low occupancy, the Resort is more flexible with checkout times. During our stay, we were offered a checkout time of 2 p.m., since there was nobody checking in immediately after us. This was fantastic, because it gave us an extra day to enjoy the pools! We had so much fun on our last day, I booked the room for another night (and was offered the 2 p.m. checkout again).

Take a Ski Run Trail Ride with Breckenridge Stables

Breckenridge Stables trail ride near Beaver Run Resort. Photo by Big Family TMOM Heidi Gollub.

Breckenridge Stables trail ride near Beaver Run Resort. Photo by Big Family TMOM Heidi Gollub.

Timing was in our favor when we arrived the day after Breckenridge Stables opened for the season. Melting snow had been cleared off ski slopes near Beaver Run Resort, and some of the Stables’ 100 horses had been brought to Peak 9 for the start of four months of trail rides. We were delighted to learn that even our three-year-old could join in the fun on a 90-minute trail ride up the mountain. It was a unique way for us to explore the Rockies!

Historic Hike with the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance

Breckenridge Heritage Alliance Hike

Breckenridge Heritage Alliance Iowa Hill Gold Miners Hike. Photo by Big Family TMOM Heidi Gollub.

Since I had taken the kids out of school for this trip, I wanted to sneak in a bit of educational fun. A historical hike with the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance was just the ticket. My whole family enjoyed the relaxed 90-minute Iowa Hill Gold Miners Hike, and learned quite a bit about life as a Colorado prospector in the 1800s as we trekked up the mountain. Many mining artifacts are displayed on the hillside, and our expert guide, Ronnie, did an excellent job of explaining the various techniques used for gold panning during our 1.5-mile hike. It is now illegal to pan for gold in the national historic mining district in Breckenridge, but Ronnie sure did tempt us by mentioning that only 20% of the gold in Colorado has been discovered.

Have the Town to Yourself

Breckenridge Colorado

Breckenridge, Colorado. Photo by Big Family TMOM Heidi Gollub.

There is something to be said for being seated immediately when you go out to eat! Sure, not every establishment in Breckenridge was open for business during our stay, but we had an enjoyable breakfast at Columbine Cafe, pizza lunch from Beaver Run Resort’s Skywalk Market, and dinner (plus games in the restaurant’s arcade) at Downstairs at Eric’s. After dinner, we took a stroll along the Blue River and saw a beaver out for an evening swim.

Whitewater Rafting

Rafting in Buena Vista, Colorado

Rafting on the Arkansas River in Colorado. Photo by Big Family TMOM, Heidi Gollub.

There are a quite a few options for river rafting near Beaver Run Resort. On the recommendation of the Breckenridge Colorado Tourism Office, we headed off to enjoy a mild and scenic half-day excursion on the Arkansas River with Performance Tours (coupons here). Rafting season was just kicking off–orientation for new tour guides was scheduled for the following weekend–so our family was treated to a personal tour with an experienced guide. We had so much fun; my boys even had the chance to jump in the freezing cold river (which they regretted, but it made for some great photos of their shocked faces).

Skiing at Arapahoe Basin

Dillon Colorado

Arapahoe Basin ski lift. Photo by Big Family TMOM Heidi Gollub.

Ski season had ended in Breckenridge, but after several people mentioned that Arapahoe Basin was still open for skiing until early June, we drove the half-hour to check it out. Sure enough, avid skiers were flying down the mountain, wearing t-shirts! We didn’t have time to ski, unfortunately, but we did pay to ride the ski lift. At the top of the slope, we played in the snow awhile (having the required snowball/iceball fights), and enjoyed the panoramic views before heading back down.

Of course, now that we have had a taste of mountain life, we are eager to get back to Colorado as soon as possible. If you have the chance to visit Breckenridge, I encourage you to go. Adventure awaits, no matter the season!