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Before you even step foot on the slopes or into those snug-fitting ski boots, it’s important to have a plan for your family ski vacation. We’ve done the homework for you and talked to real moms in Summit County for the best advice for you, to help you and your family make the most of your family vacation with these tips for a trip to Breckenridge.
Tips for a Trip to Breckenridge:
1. PLAN: Get a game plan in advance
Anna Grovac McGoff recommends: Plan ahead and use your arrival day to get ski passes, rental gear, etc. Make reservations for dinner to minimize long waits, call MountainTot Sitters (970-331-1763) for a babysitter to enjoy an adult night-out, and have some fun off-day activities lined up (like the Children’s MountainTop Museum, Breck’s Art District, Ready Paint Fire, or a Spa Day for mom!).
If the weather isn’t cooperating, head indoors. The Breckenridge Recreation Center is the perfect spot for a cold, snowy day with heated indoor pools and plenty of classes and activities. Check their schedule in advance.
2. LET GO and don’t expect perfection
Yes, you should plan in advance and try to mitigate as many issues as possible ahead of time. However, you need to also accept – and embrace – the fact that this IS a ski (snowboard) vacation, which means there are plenty of variables out of your control. Like the weather. Make sure you check, check and re-check the weather before and during your trip.
According to veteran ski school instructors, let go of the notion that your kid will be the next Lindsey Vonn on their first day of skiing. It’ll take years and years and years of practice (and a hefty investment in skis, boots, race fees, coaching) for that to happen. Instead, let your kids go at their own pace. Take a break BEFORE they get cold, hungry or have to go to the bathroom. And, if you’re really itching to really ski the steeps or bowls, enroll the little ones in ski / ride school and go explore.
All in all, just enjoy the slower pace of mountain life.
3. BUNDLE up
Brianne Snow recommends layers and then more layers.
Start with good base layers. Invest in quality long underwear and socks. Warm and dry kids lead to less whining and meltdowns. Then, bundle up with a fleece layer topped off by waterproof snow pants and a jacket. Don’t forget the mittens. Most moms (and kids) prefer mittens for the little ones over gloves because they tend to keep fingers warmer. It’s not a bad idea to pack a few hand warmers into your pocket just in case – for you or for your little ones.
And, as Kelley Usborne wisely suggests, take a trip to the potty BEFORE you start bundling up the kiddos (and yourself).
5. DO IT ALL, but don’t forget the naps
You want to pack it all in. We get it. In between the skiing, building snowmen (and women) and making snow angels, make sure you schedule in some down time for the kiddos – and for yourself. If your little ones still take naps, stick to your schedule and work around their nap times. If you have older kids, it’s still a good idea to plan for quiet time in between all the activities. A ski vacation tends to wear out the entire family. There’s nothing better than hot chocolate breaks snuggled up on a sofa in front of a roaring fireplace followed by a long nap for the kids and you.
6. HIGH ALTITUDE tips
Remember that Breckenridge is located at 9,600 feet above sea level. That means you’ll need to drink lots of water, apply lotion to your drier-than-normal skin, need to wear sunglasses off the slopes and googles on the slopes, slather on sunscreen and keep an eye on everyone for the early signs of altitude sickness.
According to Kelley Usborne: Googles and eye protection we are super close to the sun and eyes get forgotten and can be burnt bad…sunscreen is also crucial…waterproof outer layer….especially in the gloves…DO NOT USE COTTON as a base layer (the layer closest to the skin)….always make sure u go pee before u suit up:) hot coco is better with milk than water:)
7. DINING OUT
Don’t be afraid to dine out with the kids. Breckenridge has plenty of family-friendly options. Make sure you pack tissues for runny noses and some games or books just in case you end up on a wait list. Better yet, call ahead or book a reservation in advance on Open Table.
Kate Noonan Berg recommends to stop by Clint’s on Main Street. Clint’s is a great place to grab coffee, hot chocolate and yummy treats, and then check out Peekaboo Toys. They have a great play area in the back of the store.
Share your tips and recommendations with us at #UnitedByBreck.