Itinerary: A Weeklong Family-Friendly Winter Escape

A horse pulling a sleigh.

For families with children, no matter their age, it can be difficult to find a trip that everyone agrees upon. But in Grand County, there are plenty of ways to make sure everyone enjoys the perfect family-friendly escape, with just the right amount of adventure sprinkled in. Here’s our favorite way to spend a winter week in Grand County, and it’s sure to keep the whole family happy! Depending on the weather and where you stay, move around the days to best suit your family.

Day 1

On your first day in town, check into your chosen accommodations in one of our unique towns: Grand Lake, Granby, Winter Park, FraserHot Sulphur Springs or Kremmling. Pro tip: Check out our specials and packages for the best deals on family-sized trips! Weekday stays typically have lower rates and smaller crowds.

Once settled in, explore the town. Whether you shop at the base of Winter Park Resort, peruse up-and-coming art galleries in Kremmling, find a local gem on the main street of Hot Sulphur Springs, walk the boardwalk in Grand Lake or explore unique shops in Granby, there’s plenty to see for an afternoon to help get oriented in your new home for the week! Learn more about shopping in each town. For dinner, find a local comfort food restaurant before turning in early for the night to prepare for an epic second day in Grand County.

Day 2

Get up and head into Winter Park and the Fraser Valley. Grab breakfast in town at Carvers Daytime Eatery + Bar then try your hand at dog sledding. The whole family will get to explore the Winter Park and the Fraser Valley backcountry with an experienced guide and musher. A can’t-miss opportunity? Ask to take the reins for part of the ride! 

After spending the morning with your new furry friends, head back into town for a delicious New Mexico-style lunch at The Ditch on 40, then spend the afternoon at one of our local recreation centers to keep warm. The Grand Park Community Recreation area offers fitness classes in addition to a pool, lazy river, climbing wall and more. End your day with some good old-fashioned pizza at Elevation Pizza, whose homemade dough, signature sauce and high-quality ingredients satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. After your afternoon and evening of play, turn in early — tomorrow will be an early start!

Day 3

On your third day, wake up before the sun to head into Fraser to catch a hot air balloon ride, where a continental breakfast is included. Available all year long, depending on weather conditions, this hot air balloon ride goes up with the morning sun and soars above Winter Park and the Fraser Valley, presenting you with magnificent views of Grand County and the nearby Rocky Mountain National Park.

Skim above the treetops or soar high in the sky while you search for wildlife and take photos of this unique perspective of the area.  Then, head into town for lunch to warm up — even though it’s a little warmer up in the sky, it can still be chilly! Try a local favorite like Sharky’s Eatery, which offers breakfast favorites like benedicts all day and lunch options all afternoon.

After lunch, spend the afternoon sledding or tubing at one of our incredible hills. Between the breathtaking views and the heart-pumping thrill, you won’t want to stop!  Then, head back into town for a relaxing evening of dining, shopping or watching a movie. This would be a good night to take advantage of a hot tub if your accommodations have one!

Day 4

Head into the town of Granby and grab breakfast at Mid Town Café and get ready to spend an active day at Snow Mountain Ranch – YMCA of the Rockies. On top of a variety of year-round family-friendly activities, Snow Mountain Ranch offers some of the top activities in the Rockies including fat biking and nordic skiing. 

Spend the morning riding bikes outfitted with snow tires along the trails of Snow Mountain Ranch to see what the new fat biking craze is all about. Explore natural forests, snow-covered meadows and more on Snow Mountain Ranch’s 40 kilometers of groomed trails. One thing’s for sure — a morning spent biking will work up an appetite! 

Grab lunch at Buckboard Grill at Snow Mountain Ranch to get indoors and warm up a bit. When you’re ready, head back out to go for a sleigh ride at Snow Mountain Ranch. Snow Mountain Stables offers a 45-minute sleigh rides complete with a bonfire and hot chocolate. Hop in a sleigh with your loved ones, snuggle under some cozy blankets and enjoy the serene outdoors in this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

After your activities have concluded for the day, head back into town to grab some award-winning green chili and guacamole at Maverick's Grille.  After dinner, find a local movie theater or live performance venue if you still have some extra energy before turning in for the night.

Day 5

A trip to Grand County wouldn’t be complete without a day of skiing! With lessons for the kids available at all of our skiing locations, parents or more advanced teens can head out on their own so everyone can find the experience they are looking for.

Spend the day at Winter Park Resort or Ski Granby Ranch for some amazing downhill fun that’ll last all day long. Or if you're more interested in cross-country skiing, head to Grand Lake for some of the top cross-country trails in the area including Randall's Romp at the Grand Lake Nordic Center. Can’t decide where to go? Here’s our guide to ski and snowboard schools so you can choose based on your family’s needs. 

Day 6

Today is the day to wind down to round out your vacation. First, head back to Granby and stop into Fat Cat Cafe for breakfast. Everything on the menu is fantastic, or if you're there on a weekend you can opt for the all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet. 

Then, head to Hot Sulphur Springs Resort for the morning, where you can soak in one of 22 mineral hot spring tubs and relax. While you’re there, consider getting a spa treatment like a massage, facial or body wrap to truly melt your stress away.

After a morning of bliss, head back into town or toward a local ice skating rink to grab lunch. Then, spend the afternoon ice skating at one or more of the seven rinks around Grand County. For dinner, head to the Dean Public House located in one of Grand County's historic buildings.  Then, turn in and spend the night together as a family playing games and sipping hot chocolate at your hotel or resort.

Day 7

On the final day of your week-long vacation, head to Kremmling for a quick breakfast and cup of joe at the quaint Big Shooter’s Coffee. Fuel up for a morning of snowshoeing near Kremmling at Rabbit Ears Pass. Try to do the 3.7-mile route clockwise for an easier trek. Take in views of the Yampa Valley and the Flat Tops for a great day of hiking on snow in the Rockies! Depending on your travel plans, you can spend another afternoon sledding or tubing, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing or simply enjoying the small mountain towns with the whole family.