Beaver Creek – Year-Round Ice Rink, Kid-Friendly
This upscale ski resort is a gem for families in winter or summer. The best place to stay if money is no object? The Park Hyatt Beaver Creek.
Beaver Creek, Colorado, about two-and-a-half hours from Denver, is nestled in the Rocky Mountains. It’s an upscale, gated village with its own ski mountain, a pedestrian plaza, and a shopping area with lots of kid-friendly restaurants and whose centerpiece is a giant, year-round ice rink.
With plenty of family-friendly activities in the winter and summer, this mountain town is a delightful place to vacation with the kids.
Beaver Creek Ski Resort
Hands down, the most luxurious, family-friendly lodging can be found at the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek. The resort hotel is steps away from all the action (though Beaver Creek Village is a sleepy town, so “action” is relative), such as the pedestrian plaza and ski mountain.
The staff here goes out of its way to welcome kids, and little touches—like stepstools in the rooms’ bathrooms and a hotel-dog mascot—make it especially attractive to little ones. Plus, there’s a large outdoor swimming pool and five hot tubs, games and puzzles kids can borrow, and the upbeat Camp Hyatt, where friendly sitters keep kids entertained in a spacious playroom and outdoors with fun field trips.
Mom and Dad just may want to book some time for the kids at Camp Hyatt so they can enjoy the Allegria Spa, which just underwent a $12 million renovation. The two-story, 30,000-square-foot spa features expanded locker rooms, an updated fitness center (including super-cool Kinesis exercise equipment and classes), couples’ treatment and waiting rooms, and a nifty new water ritual called Aqua Sanitas, based on ancient Roman baths and Native Americans’ centuries-old use of Colorado’s healing hot springs.
Unusual and indulgent spa treatments here include the Ginger Peach Deluxe body scrub and the Balancing Hot Oil Wrap. Teenagers and young girls can enjoy their own treatments, such as the Teen Scene (facial, mini manicure, mini pedicure, makeover and $20 boutique credit) and the Prima Donna (for ages 5 to 12; footbath, fingernail and toenail art).
Where to eat
Family-friendly restaurants on the pedestrian plaza include Blue Moose for pizza, Coyote Café for Mexican, and the Beaver Creek Chophouse. The Saddle Ridge Round-Up takes place at least weekly in season (summer and winter) at Beaver Creek. The old-fashioned fun includes a Western-style meal, cowboy music and comedy for all ages. Call (970) 845-5456.
What to do
In the winter, the renowned Beaver Creek ski school offers lessons for kids as young as age 3. Infants and toddlers who are not quite ready for the mountain can play at the Small World Play School. Other family-friendly winter activities include snowmobiling, sledding, snowshoeing, sleigh rides and dog-sled rides. (See your hotel concierge for local outfitters and locations.)
Ice skating on the rink in the middle of the village is just $5 for kids and $10 for adults, with skate rentals available. It’s also not uncommon to find caricaturists, magicians and other street performers on the plaza in the afternoon after the lifts close (and from June through Labor Day).
In the summer, parents can tee off at the Beaver Creek Golf Course. A visit to the summer-only children’s museum is a must. And the whole family can take chair-lift rides up the mountain, hike the many local trails, go horseback riding, try river rafting, play mini-golf, take a jeep tour and check out the climbing wall—a whole host of ways kids of all ages can enjoy the great outdoors together!