11 of the best sleigh rides and ice skat­ing rinks around Colorado

The Denver Post - - LIFE & CULTURE - By Erica Boni­face South­west Rink at Sky­line Park

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.

He­len H. Richard­son, The Den­ver Post

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.

Tyler Ar­royo, As­so­ci­ated Press file

Justin Ia­cov­etto drives a team of Bel­gian horses on an old-fash­ion sleigh ride dur­ing the Sad­dle­back Ranch Cow­boy Christ­mas and Sled­ding Party.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.