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Looking to take your family on a ski trip, but only have a few days? Copper Mountain, Colorado is a great choice for families. Flights into Denver are plentiful and affordable. Chicagoans can easily get a round trip ticket for just $150. Just over an hour after landing in Denver, you could be on the slopes of one of Colorado’s most popular, yet affordable, ski resorts.

Right now, Copper Mountain is running an unbeatable promotion for families. Spend at least two nights in any of Copper Mountain’s three pedestrian-friendly villages, and for each adult lift ticket purchased, four kids ski free and get complimentary breakfasts.


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If your kids are still learning to ski, you might want to invest in a lesson at Copper Mountain’s terrific ski school. My daughter loved the warm greeting upon arriving, the fun activities and riding the magic carpet.

Another kid-friendly perk at Copper Mountain— kids can ride the magic carpet for free, without even having a lift ticket.

There’s plenty to do off the slopes at Copper Mountain as well. Got an extreme skier or snow boarder, but don’t want an extreme injury? The Woodward at Copper Barn is an indoor tricks facility where kids can practice their moves in a safe environment before trying them on the mountain. Using foam snowboards, trampolines and foam pits, instructors at The Barn will give your powderhound a crash course in how to take their sport to the next level safely.

While adults enjoy apres-ski at a cozy pub with a fireplace, teens will enjoy congregating at another Copper Mountain favorite— The Cage. Half retail shop, half hangout, The Cage has a gaming area with X-box, foosball, ping-pong and a vintage arcade. Woodward’s The Cage is right in the heart of Copper’s Center Village, making it easy for the adults to have dinner or a drink while their teens and tweens relax at The Cage.

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There are plenty of lodging options as well. We stayed at Copper Springs lodging in Copper’s East Village. They have ski lockers, free underground parking, a small fitness center, pool table and two hot tubs… plenty to keep us all entertained. Our condo was stylishly decorated in Native American/western furnishings and had large flat screen tv’s and a fully equipped kitchen. My idea of vacation means not cooking, so we had dinner right across the street at JJ’s Rocky Mountain Tavern. The $8 cheeseburger on their menu was huge, big enough to satisfy my 12-year-old!

Also across the street from us was Copper Mountain’s terrific tubing hill. The price is a bit steep (26.50 for kids and adults) but it’s mountain of fun! You ride up on a conveyor belt lift, instead of having to walk up the hill. Then hold on tight as you race down the hill!

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To ease the cost of the ski vacation on the family budget, Copper Mountain also has what they call the kids night out promotion. Spend $30 in any of Copper Mountain’s three Villages— on food, drink or in the shops, and you get a free ticket for either the tubing hill, zip line or ice skating. copper skating 500Copper Mountain has plenty of other activities off the slopes for adults as well— a spa, charming shops, great happy hours and a good selection of restaurants. It all makes for a fun yet affordable Rocky Mountain adventure.

photos: courtesy of Tripp Fay, Copper Mountain

Disclosure: Copper Mountain Ski Resort hosted the author and her family for puposes of this review.

Andrea Guthmann is a freelance journalist focusing on family travel. She spent many years as a writer/producer for WTTW-TV, the PBS station in Chicago. Her travel stories have appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Parent and on-line travel sites.

A native Floridian, Andrea’s now a big (windy) city mom of 3, who range in age from pre-school to high school. She loves sailing Lake Michigan and visiting the world class museums and restaurants in her sweet home Chicago. Being a scenery starved city girl she loves escaping to the outdoors during vacations and is working hard to raise 3 happy campers.