Welcome to the “Kids Only” section of our website.
We recognize that children and teenagers traveling either with their families or in organized groups have just as many questions about where they will be staying and what local activities and attractions are available as the adults. This section is geared towards answering those questions as well as providing “insider information” on what not to miss while you’re here.
We also provide a forum whereby you can ask questions and have them answered by one of our resident “parent with kids” experts on staff.
Our website already has a complete locals guide to Winter Park including some great information on winter and summer activities which you should check out, and we’ll be giving you our personal favorites below.
So, let’s get to it.
In our opinion, the complex called Meadow Ridge is tough to beat. Your parents will appreciate the low rates and options ranging for 1-bedroom 1-bath to 3-bedroom 3-bath condos, and you’ll love the clubhouse which we think is the best in the valley.
It has a heated outdoor pool and a giant outdoor hot-tub. Indoors there’s a workout facility, steam room and racquetball courts. In the summer, the huge meadow comes into its own as an area for ball games, Frisbees, kite flying or just goofing around. There are also tennis courts but make sure to use tennis balls specially made for playing at altitude. We’re not kidding!
Best Places to Eat
Grab a copy of the Grand County Menu Guide when you check in, and look for these restaurants:
Hernandos is the place to go for pizza. Yes, there’s a Pizza Hut, but Hernandos uses fresh ingredients and there’s a great atmosphere. Say the owners, “Life’s too short to eat bad pizza”. The unique thing about Hernandos is that the walls (and part of the ceiling now) are covered in “decorated” $1.00 bills. Apparently there are over 20,000 bills now on the walls and you can add yours too! www.hernandospizzapub.com 970-726-5409.
Smokin Moes is a popular restaurant for these in need of BBQ. From pulled pork, bbq beef brisket, bbq grilled chicken and hickory smoked St. Louis pork ribs, to buffalo meatloaf, burgers and steaks and more, Smokin Moes is open for lunch and dinner. They also have a pool table. www.smokinmoes.com 970-726-4600.
Skarkey’s Eatery in Fraser, 1/4 mile north of Safeway, is open for breakfast and lunch, is great for burgers and fries (skip McDonalds for once in your life, would you?) and nothing on the menu is over $10.00! 970-726-8646.
Kid’s Bistro enables your parents to have an evening away during your stay by taking over the duties for the evening. Kids can help prepare a kid friendly, fun, and healthy meal, make slime, play-doh or gak out of pantry staples, and decorate and personalize their own apron and chef hat. www.highcountrycooking.com 970-531-8077.
There are a number of free parks dotted around the towns of Winter Park and Fraser, some of which are “summer only”, but each offer something different.
Hideaway Park is right in the center of downtown Winter Park, next to the Chamber of Commerce (opposite McDonalds). In the winter, there’s a gentle sledding hill – perfect for toddlers, children and adults acting like children. In the summer, the recently constructed skateboard park is revealed which has been an immediate hit with the local kids’ population, and there are also climbing frames and slides for the younger kids.
Wolf Park is a summer play area only and is set adjacent to the railroad, and has a children’s play area (swings, slides, climbing frames, etc) sand volleyball court, basketball hoops, tennis courts, covered picnic area with bbq pits, plus an expanse of grass for other recreation. Located close to our Timber Ridge property.
Old School House in Fraser is also summer only, and has a children’s play area, picnic tables, bbq pit and tennis courts. The Fraser library, offering wireless internet, story times and toys, is located nearby.
Fraser Sports Complex has ice-skating and ice-hockey in winter, and soccer fields, softball, basketball hoops, children’s play area, picnic tables and bbq pits in summer. Also great for kite-flying, Frisbees, ball games. etc.
Best Outdoor Activities
Winter: Aside from world-class skiing and snowboarding at the Winter Park Resort, these activities are sure to please!
* Featured elsewhere on our website, snow tubing is one of the most fun activities to do in the winter months
* There’s an ice-skating rink in Cooper Creek Square (opposite Smokin Moe’s). Rent skates from Christy Sports on the corner.
* Snowmobiling with Grand Adventures is great fun. You’ll need to ride as a passenger with a parent, but it’s still a thrill.
*(Summer too) take a trip to Hot Sulphur Springs, have fun in the regular pools or relax in the natural pools. There are 22 pools in total!
Summer There’s almost more to do here in the summer than the winter. Here are our favorites:
* Winter Park Resort has some really fun stuff going on. With 3,000 feet of dips and swooping turns, Winter Park is home to Colorado’s longest Alpine Slide. There’s also a Human Maze, miniature golf, disc golf, “Leaps and Bounds Bungee”, Gyroextreme, an outdoor climbing wall, chairlift rides. For those adrenaline junkies, check out the mountain bike terrain park!
New this summer are the kids programs!
Here’s an example of the new activities:
S’mores by the Fire A free event every Tuesday – toast your marshmallows until they are golden!
Friday Night Movies: Outdoor free movies at sunset.
T-Bar mini zip line A great kids adventure to get the heart pumping.
Kids Night Out: For ages 4-12 supervised evening programs for indoor and outdoor activities and dinner. Call Guest Services to make reservations at 800-979-0332.
Geocaching 101 Fun for kids of all ages – 21st century treasure hunt on the mountain. GPS rentals are $10.
Mary Jane Mineral Panning Step back in time to the gold mining era for wooden panning troughs of Mary Jane.
* YMCA has an indoor pool, roller skating, miniature golf, climbing wall and basketball/sports hall.
* The Fraser River Trail section from Old Town Winter Park to Beaver Lodge as you come into downtown is a fantastic stretch of paved walkway/bike path, that twists and turns and parallels the Fraser River running north. In addition to being a popular and easy bike trail, because of the gradient, it’s popular among skateboarders and longboarders who usually start at the southernmost point of the trail and ride all the way into town. You’ll either need to get a ride to Old Town, or use the free shuttle bus system to get you there.
Best of the Rest
*Winter Park even has a movie theater - The Foundry – which is located next to the Grand Park Recreation Center and includes a bowling alley. Check out the latest releases in the free local paper.
* Want to rent a movie instead? Both McDonalds and Safeway have those auto-dispensing machines which charge between $1.00 and $1.50 per movie.
* Want to go fishing in summer? Aside from the options highlighted on our fishing page, next to Safeway are the Lions Club ponds which are very popular, or try Bill’s Trout Pond next to Beaver Lodge.
*Trail Ridge Art Company in Cooper Creek Square offers “paint your own pottery“. 970-726-4959.
*Want to design your own t-shirt? Go to Active Images in downtown Winter Park. 970-726-8861.
*Further afield, Grand Lake makes for a great day out. Bumper boats and paddle boats can be rented at the Grand Lake Marina, there’s a beach, Go Karts, miniature golf, bowling lanes, horseback rides, atv rentals and a whole lot more. The Grand Lake Chamber of Commerce is a good place to start. www.grandlakechamber.com.
*Georgetown Loop Railroad has a deep history in Colorado. The railroad loop was completed in 1884 mainly for the transport of freight, ore and passengers to the town of Georgetown, nicked named “Silver Queen of Colorado.” In 1959, which was the centennial celebration of the gold discovery, the Colorado Historical Society began a reconstruction project to restore the railway. Today you can enjoy a ride on a steam locomotive or one of the diesel powered trains through the Clear Creek Canyon, over a replica of the High Bridge, a guided tour of the historic Lebanon Silver Mine and view wildlife. The Georgetown Loop offers specials events (4th of July fireworks ride, Moonlight dinners, wine tasting and much more!) Located off Exit 226 on I-70, this is a great day activity for the whole family. www.georgetownlooprr.com.