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Looking for the best family ski resort in Colorado? Look no further than Kidtopia Keystone!
If you’re considering a trip to Colorado for the winter, Keystone Resort is the place to be! They have all the makings for a great winter getaway — even for non-skiers.
From where to stay in Keystone to what to do while you’re there [spoiler alert: Kidtopia at Keystone is on the list], here is everything you need to know about a winter vacation at Keystone resort with kids!
[If you’re looking to get off the resort, we’ve got you covered with a full list of things to do in Keystone CO year round!]
- Why Choose Keystone, CO
- Things to Do at Keystone Resort
- How to Get to Keystone Resort
- Where to Stay in Keystone
- Watch Our Entire Trip on YouTube
Why Choose Keystone, CO
There are a lot of ski resorts in Colorado [click here for a list of the best family ski resorts in Colorado] so it can be difficult to narrow down all the options. Trust me, we’ve been there and we totally get it. We looked at every single resort in the state of Colorado. However, now that we are back from our Keystone Resort trip, I’m super confident in saying that we picked the right one!
Keystone Resort has a ton of selling points but here were our main deciding factors:
- Keystone Resort is within driving distance of Denver and is really easy to get to.
- The elevation in Keystone, CO is lower than in neighboring resorts like Breckenridge. A few thousand feet can make a world of difference in how much you enjoy your trip.
- The sheer amount of amenities they offer families is amazing. Seriously. AMAZING! With Kidtopia Keystone, there will be no “Mommy, I’m booooooored” comments at Keystone Resort. [Insert all the praise hands here]
- They offer licensed daycare services at the resort for kids from 2 months the 6 years old.
- At Keystone, kids ski free. Skip trips are pricey so any discount is worth its weight in gold. [Book directly through the hotel and stay two nights or more to get this fabulous deal]
Things to Do at Keystone Resort
There’s one word that makes Keystone Resort one of the best family ski resorts in Colorado: Kidtopia!! Kidtopia Keystone is a series of events around the resort that caters exclusively to families with kid-friendly activities and amenities.
Their life-sized snow fort is arguably the highlight of Kidtopia at Keystone. It is the largest snow fort in the world and is practically a castle made of snow.
You The kids can climb, explore, and rule their snow kingdom all while taking a break from the slopes. It is open to kids [and their parents] of all ages anytime the mountain itself is open to foot traffic. Just be sure to have a lift [or scenic] pass so you can visit it on top of Dercum Mountain.
TIP: If you just want to climb the mountain to participate in Kidtopia be sure to purchase a scenic gondola pass instead of a lift ticket. It is significantly cheaper and will still grant you access to all the mountaintop fun.
Keystone’s Kidtopia also has daily cookie time where kids are served warm cookies, a Kidtopia Headquarters stocked with toys and games [and indoor heat!], scheduled craft activities for all ages, a resort parade featuring Riperoo the resort mascot, fireside cocoa and coloring, winter movie matinees, firework displays, and so much more!
Best of all, all of these things are free [YAY!] and do not require any advance registration!
Ski [or Snowboard] the Slopes
There are plenty of skiing and snowboarding opportunities for everyone in the family at Keystone! Plus, at Keystone kids ski free! Just book your lodging directly with the resort and stay two nights or more. Make sure to grab a lift pass with your lodging reservation too for additional savings then take to one of the many trails available.
If you’re a beginner or just want to work at your own pace with the kiddos, Keystone Resort has a family ski trail designed especially for families. They also feature a learning area where you can practice your moves before hitting the big slopes.
Keystone Resort provides a handy map of their ski trails here.
Equipment rentals are available on the resort with pickup conveniently located by the lifts. They rent skis, boards, and poles through rentskis.com.
Take a Ski Class
Keystone Resorts offers all kinds of classes — private or group, child or adult — in just about every combination you can think of. If you will be there for multiple weeks, you can even sign the kiddos up for a skiing program like the Kroozers for accelerated skill development.
You can get more information on Keystone Resort’s class offerings here.
Non-Ski Activities at Keystone Resort
Visiting a ski resort without actually skiing is more common than you’d think! If hitting the slopes isn’t your thing — no worries! Keystone Resort has you covered! Here are some non-ski activities at Keystone Resort:
- Snowshoeing at the Keystone Nordic Center
- Snow tubing at Kidtopia Keystone
- Ice skating at Dercum Ice Rink in River Run Village or at Keystone Lake in Lakeside Village
- Mountaintop Cat Tour in a snowcat
Note: this is so on my travel wish list! If you and your family take a Mountaintop Cat Tour, PLEASE leave a comment and tell me all about it!
- Sleigh Ride through Soda Creek Valley
- Playground fun in River Run Village [located right near the bridge that leads to the gondolas]
- Relaxation and pampering at the Keystone Resort Salon & Spa
- Snow biking with Adventure Point [$49 with a valid lift pass and $60 without]
- Snowmobile tour with White Mountain Tours [price varies but bring cash for a tip and to purchase pictures after the tour is complete]
How to Get to Keystone Resort
The closest major airport to Keystone Resort is Denver International Airport. If you’re coming from Denver, it is a straight shot west down I-70 to Highway 6. It’s about 90 miles from the airport and 70 miles from Downtown Denver. Barring major traffic, you should be able to get from the airport to Keystone Resort within an hour and a half.
There are a number of private shuttles that will get you where you’re trying to go but if you’re up for it, I highly recommend driving. The highways are kept pretty clear and it is an easy enough drive — even for non-snow driving Texans like ourselves.
We drove a 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander and it was absolutely perfect. Not only was it spacious enough for the girls to stretch out [and fall asleep] but it also had optional third-row seating with enough room to fit all our luggage. Beyond that, driving gave us the flexibility to make pit stops along the way. It’s a scenic drive with tons of cute little towns in between so you will want to stop! Plus, the cost of the shuttle for a family of four far outweighed the cost of a car plus a tank of gas.
However, the shuttles do offer a degree of convenience. Most will pick you up right at the terminal and drop you off at Keystone Resort’s front door. Here are a few Denver to Keystone Resort shuttle options:
- Epic Mountain Express: $59-$79/person each way
- Summit Express: $65/person each way for 1-2 passengers; $55/person each way for more than 3 passengers
- Mountain Shuttle: $59+/person each way
Whichever option you pick, be sure to read Keystone Resort’s very helpful guide to getting to Keystone Resort from Denver here.
Where to Stay in Keystone
Areas of Keystone
Figuring out where to stay in Keystone can be a bit of a challenge so here is our cheat sheet. Keystone Resort is divided into several villages:
- Lakeside & Conference Village
- West Keystone
- Mountain House
- River Run Village
- East Keystone
- Keystone Ranch
They’re all equally fabulous but if you’re visiting with kids [or even without them] River Run Village is where you want to be. River Run is the hub [or downtown] of Keystone Resort and houses the lifts up to Dercum Mountain, a large chunk of the dining establishments, Dercum square ice skating rink, the customer service office, and more.
The million-dollar question: if you are comparing lodging options and River Run is more expensive, is River Run Village worth the extra money? My answer: Yes. There is less walking and shuttle taking which can be a lifesaver if you’re hauling equipment and kiddos. It’s also where we found the majority of the fun things we got into so it is definitely the first choice in where to stay in Keystone.
Lakeside Village is a great alternative option. In fact, that is where we stayed during our visit. It is home to Keystone Lake [hence the name]- a 5-acre lake that doubles as an ice skating rink in the winter. It is also where you will find the Keystone Adventure Center in Lakeside Village with bike and boat rentals and seasonal activities.
However, any of the locations are a great choice so choose what fits within your budget! There is a shuttle system throughout the property to get you where you need to go. Also, if you decide to drive, parking is free so you can always drive from village to village.
Keystone Resort has a wonderfully helpful map with all of the villages and their amenities here.
Why You Should Book Directly with Keystone Resort
Booking your stay directly from Keystone Resort comes with a number of perks including:
- Kids 12 and under get one night of free skiing with a two-night stay plus one additional free day of skiing with each additional night booked [Example: stay 3 days, get 2 free days of skiing]
- Free night skiing on the night of your arrival
- Free ice skating admission
- 20% off ice skating equipment rentals
- Free yoga class at Studio K
- Early access to River Run gondola on Friday morning if you stay on Thursday night
- Complimentary access to Nordic trail
The savings are pretty significant when you add them up! That is why we chose to book directly through the resort and recommend you do too. It is also why there are no affiliate lodging links in this post. Unless you find one heck of a deal elsewhere, save your coins and book directly with the resort!
Watch Our Entire Trip on YouTube
Have you been to Kidtopia at Keystone Resort? Leave a comment or question below!