Winter Park Wrapup + 4-Pack Pass Giveaway!

Over MLK day weekend, my family and I were lucky enough to be hosted by Winter Park resort, as part of a group effort from Colorado Ski Country USA to show off how families can have fun at resorts all over Colorado.

From the get-go I was honest with them about my lack-luster skiing abilities. I mean, seriously – have you SEEN the Terror On The Mountain video? Grace, agility + snow are not words meant to be in my vocabulary.

Luckily, Winter Park has a bunch of other activities for people like me, so Bryan and I did a snowshoe tour while Declan entered his very first day EVER at ski school. (More on that later).

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Bryan has been trying to get me to go snowshoeing for YEARS, he was always the more adventurous one of us.

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What I learned? I LOVE SNOWSHOEING. It was perfect for me. Tromping around in the snow, requiring pretty much zero skills other than the ability to walk like a duck, and taking photos of nature? PERFECT.

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We even saw a porcupine sleeping way up in a tree.

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And here, you can turn your head sideways for the closest thing we got to “Terror On The Mountain Part II.” I think it’s an improvement at least.

After all this snow plowing, we had lunch in the newly-finished village area next to the ski slopes of Winter Park. And I have to tell say – THANK YOU WINTER PARK, for this addition. Because while WP is so close to Denver (an hour and a half), the one other time we had been there, I was frustrated with the lack of restaurants, and particularly the lack of retail near the resort. They now have a nice balance. Sure, they definitely maintained the small-town feel that WP is so famous for – but it’s a nice step into the next century.

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Speaking of the next century and whiz bangy stuff. Remember how Declan was in ski school all day?

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Well, he also had a *GPS tracker* on him, which I know was for safety and all, blah blah blah, whatever, what WE loved was we could log-in on the Flaik (“flake”) website when we got back to the hotel and SEE exactly where he had been on the mountain (actually a ton of places, see below) and how fast he was going (not very).

And as I mentioned above, we were much happier with our dinner choices this time around. A few restaurants have exported from Denver, like Cheeky Monk and Lime, plus comfort food from Doc’s Roadhouse and several other places we didn’t have time to try over the course of the weekend. [Next time.]

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The next morning was all about TUBING. If you have never been, you cannot go to Winter Park and skip TUBING. Have I mentioned we love TUBING. You can probably see in my header right now that we enjoyed the TUBING. But here is one extra special cute-as-hell photo of Declan to convince you. That we like TUBING.

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Oh, and a video as well. Of the TUBING. And the CACKLING. What is up with the CACKLING?

There are *two* TUBING places, one family-owned, the original, which is the first you see and one is Colorado Adventure Park, which is the one we went to this time around and has more things to do. But, I would say both are great, and they exist on the same hill. [So pick whichever has the shortest lines, basically.]

In between all this extracurricular fun, Bryan did manage to get some snowboarding in, and I rode up and down the lifts, taking photos. By the way, people like getting their photo taken on lifts.

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And here comes the part where those of you paying attention to the news will know that I pay attention to the news as well. Intrawest, who has a deal with the City of Denver (the real owner of Winter Park, making it truly “Denver’s Resort”) for operations over the next 50 years is in a bit of trouble. As in they also own Whistler-Blackcomb in Vancouver, the site of the Olympics next month, and plan to auction off *that* resort DURING the big event. Seriously. This was all announced 3 days after we got back from Winter Park. Folks here in Colorado are calm (as we usually are) – but I couldn’t help emailing my rep at Winter Park and offering to auction off *her* resort right here on this blog. Seriously. [She laughed, but declined.]

Now. To bring this all full-circle. For those REALLY paying attention, you will remember that Declan was actually *conceived* at Whistler-Blackcomb on a ski trip on Feb 8, 2002 [Yes, I *do* know the date] – almost exactly 8 years ago. ALSO, you may have heard the screaming in Denver yesterday when it was announced that our very own Editor-in-Mile-Highness, Amber, is headed BACK to Vancouver to cover the Winter Olympics! SERENDIPITY, PEOPLE! The Circle of Life! I feel like holding Declan up like Simba! [And I am really sure Winter Park is THRILLED they picked me as their Colorado snow mama right about now.]

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OK, Aimee. Focus.

What was I talking about?

Oh, yeah! Fun in Winter Park!

The other cool new thing up there is the Fraser Valley Rec Center. Brand new, with huge pool, huge slides inside the pool, and just one huge rule: NO CAMERAS. OK, there are more rules, but that was the one I heard about within 5 seconds of taking my camera out was: NO CAMERAS. I managed to sweet-talk my way into getting a shot or two anyway.

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So, net-net?

Clearly we had a great time. We’ll be back. We liked the convenience of the village, the convenience of their new concierge-esque Custom Delivery Service (as in, for $29 for 4 people, they bring your boots, rental and lesson paperwork and lift tickets to you, NOT KIDDING), the convenience of walking across from the hotel to the slopes, the convenience of having Declan in ski school while we did our thing… can you see convenience is big with me?

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And hopefully we’ll make is convenient for you to get there too. Winter Park is giving away a family 4-pack of tickets through the Mile High Mama’s site. Contest deadline is February 15th, so get over there.


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OK, and also, I really had to let you know about all the FREE stuff going on up there every night of the week as well. Oh, and if you are ever going up for some TUBING, you know who to call.

WINTER 2009-2010 FREE ONGOING FAMILY ACTIVITIES

MONDAYS
ICE-SKATING LESSONS
TIME/DATE: Saturdays – Wednesdays, December 19 – mid-March, 4:00 – 5:00pm
LOCATION: Village Ice Rink & Gazebo

TUESDAYS

ICE-SKATING LESSONS
TIME/DATE: Saturdays – Wednesdays, December 19 – mid-March, 4:00 – 5:00pm
LOCATION: Village Ice Rink & Gazebo

WEDNESDAYS
ICE-SKATING LESSONS
TIME/DATE: Saturdays – Wednesdays, December 19 – mid-March, 4:00 – 5:00pm
LOCATION: Village Ice Rink & Gazebo

THURSDAYS
KIDS’ NIGHT OUT
TIME/DATE: Thursdays, December 17 – April 8, 5:30 – 8:30pm
LOCATION: Kids’ Ski & Ride School – Blue/Green Rooms

DISCO SKATE NIGHTS
TIME/DATE: Thursdays, January 7 & 21, February 4 & 18, 6:00 – 8:00pm
LOCATION: Village Ice Rink & Gazebo

FRIDAYS

COWBOY SING-A-LONG
TIME/DATE: Fridays, December 18 – April 10, 4:00 – 5:00pm
LOCATION: Village Gazebo

MINI RAIL JAM SERIES
TIME/DATE: Fridays, January 15 – March 19, 4:30 – 6:00pm
LOCATION: Bouncer Terrain Park near Discovery Center

SATURDAYS

FIRESIDE STORY-TELLING
TIME/DATE: Saturdays, January 9 – March 27, 3:00 – 4:00pm
LOCATION: Discovery Center Plaza

ICE-SKATING BLADE CAPADES (GAMES)
TIME/DATE: Saturdays – Wednesdays, December 19 – mid-March, 4:00 – 5:00pm
LOCATION: Village Ice Rink & Gazebo

MEET WINTER PARK WILLIE
TIME/DATE: Saturdays, December 12 – April 10, 4:00pm – 5:00pm
LOCATION: Village Gazebo

SUNDAYS

FREE ICE-SKATING LESSONS
TIME/DATE: Saturdays – Wednesdays, December 19 – mid-March, 4:00 – 5:00pm
LOCATION: Village Ice Rink & Gazebo
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P.S. If you need to see ALLLLLLL the Winter Park photos, here is a slideshow. I warn you. There are a bunch of us TUBING.


*cross-posted at Mile High Mamas today

This article has 33 comments

  1. TCRPMG

    What a great way to spend some quality time with the family! I don’t ski either, but the tubing part looks like a blast. Your pictures are amazing!

    As a new reader (and avid photographer) would you mind sharing what camera you use? I am curious to see what is producing those amazing shots. Other than your great eye, of course.

  2. mediamum

    I totally love your post here, Aimee! I hadn’t seen Terror on the Mountain before – so glad you linked it in. It had me truly LOLing. All your pictures are amazing, as usual, and most importantly, you really let us know about those little details that make a trip like this so much better for a family, but that don’t get highlighted enough by the resort marketers. I want to go now! (And yes, let’s TUBE)!!

  3. Anonymous

    The photos are great as usual – but what a fun story to go with it!!! I am so glad you are sharing more of your travels in your blog. – m

  4. outsidevoice

    Man. I’ve been trying to plan a trip to WP for a month now and I don’t think there are dates that will work. This is KILLING ME. SO great.

  5. fruitlady

    Looks like a blast! Bummed we weren’t there with
    you!!

  6. Tree

    You have made me more excited for our trip to Telluride in two days! Just wish that we could blink and be there without having to fly throudh Denver and Montrose.

    Super great pics, as usual!

  7. tarable

    I love you. And your non-graceful, photo-taking ways.

    That is all.

  8. Sizzle

    I really want to try snowshoeing – this is the second post I’ve read about it this week. I need to try!

    Though tubing always looks like a blast.

  9. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    Sizzle – SECOND best???? 😉

  10. Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah

    I totally entered the contest. Can you believe I never been downhill skiing or snowboarding in my entire life?

    I guess that is the downside to growing up in Florida.

  11. zenrain

    I’m so glad you liked snowshoeing! So when are you gonna make it up here to showshoe with me?? or XC ski?? I KNOW you’d love it!

  12. MPPs Mom

    Love hearing your perspective on travel places. I can add this to the list of places to try if we make a trip to CO. Thanks for doing the review, really hope to see more family friendly travel reviews in the future too!!

  13. zipper

    what fun!thanks for sharing.

  14. Melissa Taylor

    You take the best photos, Aimee – it makes me want to ski and get cold, which normally doesn’t entice me in the least. Well sold!

  15. Isabel Kallman @AlphaMom

    Love those tubing shots! So want to go tubing.

    Also, I’m going to the Olympics on behalf of P&G. I need a formal intro to Amber. Squee!

  16. Bryan

    I have to concur with all that is stated above (except I’m not going to Telluride in two days). It was a blast. I have been to Winter Park a bunch of times over the years both with and without Dex, and the changes there are a big deal to me.

    The skiing and terrain have always been great (Winter Park + Mary Jane = COOL), but with the family, it was the little things that made trips a day-long ordeal where I wished for the movie Ishtar, instead of a fun day on the slopes that I always dreamt of. For example, there are wagons all over the place to put your kids and their gear in to make it easier to get around. Dads (AKA sherpas) listen up, no more carrying kids, their gear, wife’s gear, lunch, diaper bag, plus your gear. At least at the base. Down the slopes you may be sherping again.

    From our snowshoeing tour, our forest guide Forrest talked about the winter stuff and the summer stuff to do. Down hill hiking and biking are on my to-do list for the hot months. Take the lift up, and follow the paths back down. It’s the good 2nd half of climbing a 14er, without the HAPE (bad bad bad).

    You have NO IDEA how happy it makes me to see Aimee enjoy a winter setting. Really. We have been experiencing winter every year since before I can remember, enjoyness was on her face. Love it. And to eat dinner with a boy who had a great day at ski school, too? {{{Joy}}}

    Oh, did you know they have tubing? With LIFTS back up. Dads (sherpas), again, take note

    On a scale of 1 to Orange, I give this trip an Orbital Venus.

    BTW, did you know the spell check suggestion for Telluride is Luridness?

  17. Miranda

    Wow Aimee what a great post! Thank you so much for the great info. I’ve been wanting to go snow shoeing for years and now I know that we definitely need to get ourselves up to WP.

  18. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    Jennifer – re no cameras, they said it was because of liability issues of taking photos of other people in bathing suits – ? As far as I have researched it, when you take pictures of people in public places, there is a certain expectation that people will have their photo taken since they are in said public place, which is why editorial does not have to get clearance for photos like you do when you are selling images. However, I am not sure if the Rec Center was a private facility or not, in which case, they have the freedom to make the rules as they see fit.

  19. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    P.S. My husband Bryan is hilarious. Have I mentioned that before?

  20. Jenny, the Bloggess

    Gorgeous! The pictures jump off the page.

  21. Jyl Johnson Pattee

    If I win that contest, let’s take our families together and you and I can go up and down the ski lift together and talk while you take pics. Sounds like a grand plan to me… oh! as long as we can go to the lodge and have hot cocoa. 😉

  22. Deb

    Wow!! Those photos and your fun make me feel down right neglectful that my poor Florida boys have only seen snow once.I really need to prioritize this type of trip, seriously.

  23. Jennifer, Playgroups Are No Place For Children

    That looks like an amazing time!

    Just curious, why don’t they allow cameras in the waterpark area?

  24. imelda

    You look like you had a FANTASTIC time! I wish I already lived in Colorado so we could do something like this.

    Beautiful photos as well!

  25. Anonymous

    Love, love love your story and, of course, your pictures! It certainly looks like you had a fantastic time…..

    Love,
    Pata

  26. Anne

    What a great reap… looks like a wonderful trip. Of course, the pictures are awesome!

  27. RobbieLee at Chickiedee

    Those images are fabulous! I live in Denver, CO and love being so close to the mountains! Thanks for sharing!

  28. Jim

    Awesome post, Aimee. I love Winter Park and stayed at the ski in/ski out condos a year before last. Must admit I was a little frustrated with the restaurant scene, but they have made a ton of improvements mountainside since then. Also, super that you included all the details on how to get the most out of a weekend in the Rockies. I will point potential out-of-state visitors to this post if there is any doubt as to where they should go. And as always, your photos are AMAZING. They definitely capture the spirit of what Colorado is all about!!

  29. mamabirdsblog

    Woohoo!! Our favorite resort! No one was conceived there, but still pretty darn special to us. Hubby moved there from New Orleans and was a ski bum for a year or two, & it’s where I learned to snowboard! Very familiar with all the same terrain Declan did. We’ll be up there for the Superbowl watching the game w/all of Danny’s WP buds that night & of course, tearing up the slopes during the day! Can’t wait!!

    Loved your write-up! Definitely a win-win!

  30. Xtian

    Terror on the Mountain was THE. BEST. !!! Scared the beejeebus outa me!! OK no, but I laughed my arse off. =) And psst – I think Dex should model. You three are so photogenic and I’m so jealous. =) Luvs ya.

  31. Jessica

    OMG, I can’t believe I missed this. What a blast. Makes we want to get on skis RIGHT NOW.

  32. Maggie, Dammit

    I’ve been wanting to try snowshoeing for YEARS. I think you’ve finally given me that nudge I needed. How awesome!

  33. Suzy Carroll

    I am Suzy with The Winter Park Tour Center (snowshoe and snowcat tours), just wanted to let you know that the guides are here to answer any of your questions about our tours and anything else we can help with for that matter.
    Call us on 970 726 1616 or of course go to the Winter Park website,skicolorado.com and look under activities…….
    Come see the other side of a ski resort, we look forward to showing you.

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