Breckenridge from a mom’s perspective

Family skiing

Breckenridge is great for families. I should know.

I grew up in Colorado and learned to ski at Breckenridge. My first turns were on Peak 8, and I spent formative years in both the town and on the hill. My summers were spent eating ice cream and tromping through the hiking trails on the ski hill and then terrorizing the town with my friends. As a kid, there’s nothing comparable to storming the streets of “your” town, and barging into every single T-shirt shop like you own it.

When I was a teenager, I tried my hand (unsuccessfully, it’s worth noting) at passing for a few years older than I was—not that I could pull a fast one on those seasoned bartenders at the Gold Pan Saloon. I grew up and became a better skier, swapping Breck’s blues for the T-bar and eyeing the high alpine bowls as test pieces for my new skills.

Now, I’m a mom of two young sons, living in Colorado, and I have an entirely new appreciation for Breckenridge—both the mountain and the town. Year-round, Breck is a family refuge. It’s a cliché, but it’s true: Breckenridge is a great place to raise kids.

I think that even though I don’t live there. And I’m comfortable saying that because I take my family to Breckenridge as frequently as possible. So, without further ado, here are the eight things that make Breckenridge awesome from a mom’s perspective:

1. The Mountain Family on Peak 8

If you’re reading this, chances are you know that Breckenridge is a terrific resort made up of four peaks and 2,358 acres. With ample powder stashes, groomed corduroy, terrain parks, high-alpine bowls, and epic tree skiing, this resort keeps us entertained and challenged throughout the day. It’s also got a world-class ski school, and as soon as my sons are old enough, I’m signing them up for Breckenridge Bombers, a multi-week, progressive ski school/camp.

2. Peak 8

Does that sound vague? Well, it’s not. Ever since Peak 8 morphed into the resort’s epicenter, with the opening of One Ski Hill Place, a Rock Resort, the T-Bar, the resort’s only slopeside, full service bar, and One Ski Hill Grill, this terminal for the BreckConnect gondola is a destination in itself. It’s the perfect meeting spot if one of you is on the mountain and the other is in town with the kids; little ones love riding the gondola from town, and—at least according to my three-year-old—the hot chocolate at One Ski Hill Grill is the best.

3. The Superpipe

My husband likes to complain that he was born 25 years too early. Usually he says this when we’re watching jibbers huck their bodies unfathomable heights from Freeway’s 22-foot Superpipe. Personally I’m glad that age is going to keep his skis firmly planted on the snow. But I’m also glad my sons can watch these astounding athletes. Maybe one of my boys will be inspired to test gravity in the same way when he’s older (and maybe I’ll actually be able to summon the courage to watch). At least they can start at Trygve’s Park to get a feel for the park and pipe.

4. Condo central

We have never had a hard time finding a place to stay at a reasonable price. From the multi-bed, refrigerator-equipped rooms at Peak 9’s DoubleTree by Hilton to the budget lodging at the QuickSilver super chair, we’ve always booked through the Breck website and never been disappointed. (Maybe we’ll splurge on the four-star One Ski Hill Place when the kids are old enough to appreciate fine linens).

5. The Breckenridge Distillery

Clearly this is a treat for grown ups only. Hey—a mom can let her hair down! Especially when she’s drinking the smooth and malty whiskey and trying to fit in with the hipsters sipping their concoctions.

6. The Poor Man’s Spa

Summer or winter, the Breckenridge rec center is an affordable place to burn energy (parents know exactly what I’m talking about here) if the weather’s keeping you inside. The rec center features lap and leisure pools, sauna, steam room, and two hot tubs with five star views of the Tenmile Range (adult day pass: $15; under-18 day pass: $7.50).

7. Mountain culture

No, I’m not being ironic. Breckenridge’s Downtown Arts District includes the Breckenridge Theatre, home to the Backstage Theatre Company, the Robert Whyte house, the Quandary Antiques Cabin and Ceramic Studio, the Fuqua Livery Stable and the Tin Shop. The western anchor is the Riverwalk Performing Arts Center across the Blue River. That’s a lot of concentrated culture.

8. Summer

Even though it keeps snowing in the high country, summer is just around the corner. I promise. And with summer comes rafting, mountain biking, hiking, and climbing. Not to mention the Peak 8 Fun Park. I had a blast on alpine slides when I was a kid. Now I can’t wait to bring my three-year-old on Breck’s alpine superslide.

— Rachel Walker