Fifty things to do in Breckenridge this winter
Aaaaah, Breckenridge! How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. Literally. Without further ado, I present, fifty things to do in Breckenridge in the winter, organized somewhat haphazardly.
On the Mountain
- Ride the Imperial Express because how else will you get to 12,840 feet above sea level without breaking a sweat?
- Pioneer Peak 6. Sure, Breck’s newest addition came online last season, but relatively few of the country’s skiers have yet sampled its 543 acres of powdered bliss.
- Hit the Freeway but only if you’re an expert park and pipe rider. Breck’s biggest terrain park is renowned amongst the pros. Don’t be surprised if you catch sight of an Olympian honing her craft.
- Strike a pose with EpicMix, the on-slope professional photographers stationed all over the mountain (look for their lime green outfits) eager to snap your image. Pony up at the end of the season for the photos—they make great memorabilia.
- Chow down. Depending on your mood, you could dine at a white tablecloth restaurant or pile up a cafeteria tray with some of the best French fries above sea level. Breck’s got a lot of on-mountain dining options. My favorite: The T-bar, and not just because I love quirky cocktails. The bustling scene and good vibes here (not to mention great food) are why I return.
- Shake your groove thing at the base of Peak 8, especially in the spring, when live bands set up at the top of the Breck connect gondola. Because who doesn’t love dancing in ski boots?
- Take a lesson or camp at Breckenridge’s renowned Ski and Snowboard School. With a range of specialty camps, including some great ones for women, and some of the industry’s best instructors, this is the place for a tune up.
- Coast your way down on the Gold Runner Alpine Coaster, located at the base of Peak 8 and dropping 2,500 feet.
- Dine under the stars with a Starlight Dinner at TenMile Station. Arrive via a sleigh ride towed by a Snow Cat, and the prix fixe meal is delicious.
- Relax at the Rejuvenation Spa at One Ski Hill Place, a luxurious, full-service spa.
In Town, Family Friendly
- Visit the Barney Ford Victorian Home to see how an escaped slave, civil rights leader, and prominent entrepreneur fared in Breckenridge back in the day.
- Ski through the woods at Breckenridge’s inspired Nordic Center. With 32 kilometers of cross-country skiing trails, 15 kilometers of snowshoe trails, and a spacious, warm, and welcoming lodge, this is a great spot to spend an entire day.
- Swim, climb, meditate, and more at the Breckenridge Recreation Center, one of the best public indoor recreation facilities for all ages in the country.
- Explore the Edwin Carter Discovery Center, beloved by kids and adults alike.
- Scare yourself with the “Ghostly Tales” tour of Breckenridge, which explores the darker side of Breck. Info: 970-343-9169.
- Chug a choo at the Highline Railroad Park, where you can visit Engine No. 9, a narrow-gauge locomotive that served Breckenridge for more than 50 years, see a rotary snowplow, and play on the railroad-themed playground.
- Walk through history on the “Historic Walking Tour” through Breck’s nationally recognized historic district.
- Search for gold on a guided snowshoe tour through the historic Iowa Hill Mine Site.
- Engage and inspire kids at the Mountain Top Children’s Museum.
- Fire engines abound at the Red, White, and Blue Fire Museum, homage to Breck’s all-volunteer fire department, formed in 1880.
- Go Wild at the Wild West Tour, held daily at 11 a.m. in the Historic District. Cost is $10, info: 970-485-2894
In town, adult-only
- Belly up to the myriad bars at the “Behind Swinging Doors Saloon Tour,” which will take you to the Breckenridge Distillery and teach you about the town’s historic saloons.
- Party at one of Breckenridge’s more than 30 bars or nightclubs. With live music, drink specials, and lounges that range from crazy to classy, there is truly something for everyone here.
- Satiate yourself at one of Breck’s more than 65 restaurants.
- Entertain yourself at a live play at the Breckenridge Backstage Theater.
- Unleash your inner Viking at Ullr Fest, January 13-16.
Cheap or free
- Sled at Carter Park, one of the more popular public parks in town.
- Ride the Breck Connect Gondola from town to Peak 8, especially if you have a toddler who loves riding gondolas.
- Stretch at the Meta Yoga Studio.
- Ice Skate at the Stephen C. West Ice Arena
- Fire it up at Ready, Paint, Fire Ceramics.
- Savor a latte at the Cool River Coffee House, one of the best in town.
- Peruse the art, clothing boutiques, galleries and jewelry shops downtown.
- Learn at the Summit County Library, which has a children’s room, reading events, and more.
- Admire the snow sculptures that appear throughout town during the Budweiser International Snow Sculpture Championships, January 18-February 7.
- Spice it up with a cooking class from the Colorado Mountain College.
- Rise above it all (and bundle up) with a hot air balloon ride.
- Gain a new perspective with a helicopter tour.
- Throttle it up with a snowmobile tour.
- Mush on a dog-sledding tour.
- Skip lift lines with a private guide or private lesson from the Breckenridge Ski and Snowboard School.
- Sleep in a cabin in the woods on a 10th mountain division hut trip. Reservations required.
- Conquer five peaks in the Five Peaks Ski Mountaineering Race, considered the highest and one of the toughest randonee races in North America.
- Suffer in the Breckebeiner 60-K Nordic race, March 21.
- Bike in snow with die-hard fat bike fans.
- Bike, skin, and ski in Breckenridge’s Imperial Challenge, a longtime local spring rite of passage.
- Indulge at Breckenridge Cheese and Chocolate.
- Quaff a chocolate stout at Breckenridge Brewery.
- Enjoy a well-deserved gourmet treat at Mary’s Mountain Cookies.
- Sip complimentary spirit samples at the downtown tasting room of Breckenridge Distillery.
– Rachel Walker