11 of the best sleigh rides and ice skating rinks around Colorado
Colorado is one giant outdoor playground, and it’s time we release our inner kid and make the most out of these cold months ahead.
Kids and families don’t need to get cabin fever once the temps drop. Throw on the long underwear and extra pair of socks, gloves and all that good stuff and head out the door to go ice skating or on a sleigh ride through Colorado’s gorgeous wintry landscapes.
From cowboy meals to double axels, make this winter one to remember for years to come. And if all else fails, spike that hot cocoa, mom. Location: 1601 Arapahoe St., Denver Hours: Nov. 22-Dec. 18, Monday-Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday & Saturday from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.; and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Extended hours Dec.19-31: Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday
and Saturday, 10 a.m.-11 p.m.; and Sundays, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Price: Free with a $2 skate rental fee Website: Downtowndenver.com/southwest-rink-atskyline-park
Every child needs to experience outdoor ice skating in Colorado during the winter. They don’t need Nancy Kerrigan skills to love it (did we just date ourselves?). Even if it means a couple bruised knees, the outing will be something they’ll talk about for years to come. The Southwest Rink at Skyline Park makes for a phenomenal time — and it won’t break the bank, either. If you’re worried about keeping your little ones up while you’re still shaky on your skates, don’t fret. They have awesome skating aids that the kids can hold on to while they’re on the ice. And heck, maybe you can snag one for yourself. In addition to skating, they also have live music on select dates (check the website). Lace up your skates and check it out on Friday, Dec. 30, from 7 to 9 p.m. to enjoy Eef and The Blues Express.
Sleigh rides at Sombrero Ranches
Location: 1895 Big Thompson Ave., Estes Park Hot cocoa sleigh ride prices: $35/adults; $30/kids ages 6-11; $15/kids ages 3-5; Under 3 are free Dinner sleigh ride prices: $65/adults; $45 ages 6-11; $25 for kids under 6 with meal; $10 for kids 3-5 with no meal; $5 for kids under 3, no meal, seated on lap in the sleigh Hours: Sleigh rides depend on the snow (check the website). The season typically runs from Thanksgiving to Easter, and the rides go out daily at noon, 1:30, 3:30 and 7 p.m. Dinner sleigh rides are at 5:30 p.m. Website: Sombrero.com
Sombrero Ranches has hot cocoa sleigh rides and dinner sleigh rides. It’s up to you with what you decide to do! The horse-drawn sleigh ride goes through snowy meadows near Estes Park. The family will enjoy hot cocoa near the old Rowley Homestead. It’s a quick ride back to the stables, and they’ll provide blankets and encourage lots of caroling to make it even more memorable. Call for reservations (970363-9510) or book online.
WinterSkate in Downtown Louisville
Location: 824 Front St., Louisville Hours: Monday-Wednesday, 2-7 p.m.; Thursday, 2-10 p.m.; Friday, noon-10 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Price: $5/adults; $4/children ages 4-12; $3/military, seniors and college students (with valid ID). Skate rentals are $4. Website: Downtownlouisvilleco.com/winterskate/
The rink in historic downtown Louisville is a bit smaller than other outdoor rinks, but it’s a quaint experience and kids have always loved it. WinterSkate is an old-fashioned ice skating rink with concessions to warm you up, skate rentals and classic holiday music blasting from the speakers to get you into the spirit. And, hey, having less room to fly across the ice when we completely fall isn’t necessarily a bad thing. After you’re done skating, you can take a short walk and buy the kiddos a pizza at Lucky Pie just down the block. Ice skating, hot cocoa and pizza? Our childhood dreams come alive. Adulting isn’t too bad after all.
Skate in the Park
Location: Acacia Park, 115 E. Platte Ave., Colorado Springs Hours: Dec. 5-9, 4-9 p.m.; Dec. 10 & 11, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Dec. 12-16, 4-9 p.m., Dec. 17-23, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Christmas Eve, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Christmas Day, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Dec. 26-30, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; and New Year’s Eve, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Price: $10/person, includes skates. Children 4 and under are free with paid adult. Military members get $1 off with valid ID. Website: Downtowncs.com/ experience-downtown/skateat-the-park.html
Start practicing your triple axels for rink time at Acacia Park in Colorado Springs. OK, who are we kidding? If we manage to ice skate without falling once, we call that a win. Open daily, this is a goto for locals and visitors alike. For special dates, check out the website. A few notables: On Dec. 17 from 1 to 3 p.m., the kiddos will love the chance to skate with members of the Colorado College Tigers hockey team. On New Year’s Day, they’re offering a $1 off deal if you sport your Broncos pride by wearing orange and blue. But save this date for sure: Skate with Team USA on Jan. 7 from 10 a.m. to noon. They’ll be there signing autographs and skating with the public. Way cool!
Winter Nordic Sleigh Rides
Location: 6061 Tiger Road, Breckenridge Hours: From Dec. 22 through Jan. 3, 5 and 7:30 p.m. departures; from Jan. 4 through March 31, 6 p.m. departure Price: $84-$88/adults; $60/ kids (prices vary depending on which sleigh ride package you choose) Website: Coloradosleighrides.com/
Hop aboard a large red sleigh and enjoy a familyfriendly winter ride as you’re pulled by horses throughout the Swan River Valley, just a few miles from Breckenridge. Nordic Sleigh Rides offers a couple of different options, from dinner theater rides, dinner rides, or just scenic daytime rides. Whichever package you choose, your kids will remember the experience for years to come. We highly recommend choosing a dinner theater ride. They’ll serve hearty mountain food, yummy drinks and treats that kids of all ages will enjoy at the 1860’s mining camp dining hall. The theater performance will delight everyone as you eat and enjoy the togetherness time.
Ice skating on Evergreen Lake
Location: 29612 Upper Bear Creek Road, Evergreen Hours: Dec. 17 is the tentative opening date. Dec. 22-Jan. 8, 8 a.m.-8 p.m.; Christmas Eve, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; Christmas Day, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; New Year’s Eve, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.; and New Year’s Day, 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Price: $7/adults; $6/youth ages 4-17; $5/seniors and military members; kiddos 3 and under are free Website: Evergreenrecreation.com/facilities/evergreen_lake_house/hockey_skating.htm Additional information: Call the ice skating and hockey hotline to make sure the rink is open before heading out the door, 720-880-1391
As if being in the gorgeous mountain town isn’t stellar enough, ice skating on Evergreen Lake takes the cake. It’s the largest Zamboni-groomed outdoor ice rink on a whopping 8.5-acre stretch of ice with 11 pond hockey rinks and a huge public skating rink. And it’s only 30 minutes outside of Denver, so you don’t have to battle that crazy I-70 traffic for too long. It’s a short distance to downtown Evergreen, too, so when you hang up your skates head over to fill your stomach at one of the local restaurants.
Old Fashioned Outdoor Ice Skating in Boulder
Location: Teahouse Plaza, 1780 13th St., Boulder Hours: Monday-Wednesday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Thursday-Friday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Price: $9/adults; $8/children 12 and under; $7/seniors (65+), college students and military members; $4/children 3 and under Website: Bceproductions.com/winterskate Additional information: Call 303-604-1010 to check ice conditions before heading out the door.
After a 4-year hiatus, downtown Boulder will be getting its ice rink back. It will be located right next to the Dushanbe Teahouse and by the “Snow Much Fun!” light display in Central Park and the Civic Area along Boulder Creek. You’ll be able to chassé with the kids all winter long. And a bonus: If you plan on going back again, they offer a snazzy punch card that will save you 20 percent in the long run. An adult punch pass is $72 for 10 visits (with skate rental), and a child pass is $64. The only thing missing? Well, Channing Tatum would be nice, but that’s wishful thinking.
Dashing Thru The Snow Sleigh Rides
Location: 85 County Road 5101, Fraser Hours: Both group and private rides leave four times daily at 12:30, 2, 3:30 and 5 p.m. Prices: $35/ages 12 and older; $30/children ages 5-11; 4 and under are free Website: Winterparksleighrides.com/
Dashing Thru the Snow is located about 15-20 minutes from Winter Park Ski area. Belgian horses Mike, Barney, Toni, Lucky, Bart and Babe are ready to make your wildest winter dreams come true as you hop aboard one of their sleighs with your family. You’ll love dashing through the secluded woods during the sleigh ride, and the kids will really love what comes afterward: hot cocoa and marshmallow roasting around an old-fashioned campfire. Proparenting tip: OK, Clark Griswold. Dashing Thru the Snow highly encourages not using GPS to find their location. It’ll steer you in the wrong direction. Visit the website for proper driving directions.
Rink at Belmar
Location: The Plaza at Belmar, 439 S. Teller St., Lakewood Hours: Through Jan. 8, Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Price: One hour skate limit per admission at management’s discretion. $9.50/ adults; $7.50/children 12 and under; $5 military service members; $5 skating without rental. Helmets are offered free of charge. Website: Belmarcolorado.com/events/rink-belmaropens-nov-17-2016
Put down your holiday gift list and your to-do list and take the kids ice skating at Belmar. Thousands of sparkling white lights create a canopy of holiday love around the rink each winter, which is bound to spark that inner child in you. Located at The Plaza at Belmar, the ice skating rink also includes seasonal events like Skate with Santa Saturdays, Pawoliday Pet Photos and more.
Saddleback Ranch Sleigh Ride Dinners
Location: 37350 RCR 179, Steamboat Springs Hours: Monday through Saturday with 5:15 p.m. pick-up at condo. Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays during peak season. Price: $90/adults; $60/kids ages 6-12; $30/kids ages 1-5 Website: Saddlebackranch.net/
Taking a sleigh ride at night with your family cuddled close to stay warm is something every Coloradan should do every winter. Saddleback Ranch offers quite the country charm. After a 30-minute sleigh ride to the Double Dollar Lodge, guests will be greeted with hot cocoa, warm apple cider and a home-cooked meal by the resident cowboys. And bonus, mom and dad: They have a full bar! Family fun tip: Make a whole vacation out of this adventure. Not only do they have breathtaking sleigh rides, they also have a tubing hill, snowmobile tours and winter horseback riding. Fun!
Beaver Creek Ice Skating
Location: Beaver Creek Village Hours: Open daily noon-9 p.m. until April 22 Price: $15/adults including rentals; $10/children for ages 12 and under including rentals Website: Beavercreek.com/events-and-activities/iceskating.aspx
This is one of the best outdoor ice rinks Colorado has to offer. Not only is it located in lovely Beaver Creek Village, but they also go all out with ensuring families have as much winter cheer as possible. They serve hot chocolate chip cookies daily at 3 p.m. and also have plush couches and warm fire pits near the rink to stay cozy and warm. They also step up the fun game with American Jukebox Skate Night on Sundays. Want more holiday fun? Visit where you can take the kids to see Santa in Colorado, stroll through a holiday light event or bookmark one of these festive gatherings to enjoy over the season.
Seven-year-0ld Fiona Andrews, center, gets a little help from her mother, Amy, as they and others ice skate at the Southwest Rink at Skyline Park in downtown Denver.
Justin Iacovetto drives a team of Belgian horses on an old-fashion sleigh ride during the Saddleback Ranch Cowboy Christmas and Sledding Party.