There’s nothing more beautiful than wintertime in the mountains. The snowcapped mountains and fresh powder on the ground make for a fun day of playing outdoors followed by warm evenings by the fire. Getting together as a family is a wonderful reason to go up to the mountains for a weekend of fun (although there’s never any need to have a reason to go to the mountains when you live in Colorado).
Just a few weeks ago we headed up highway 36 from Denver to the YMCA of the Rockies, just outside Estes Park to celebrate my sister’s 16th birthday as a family. During the winter months traffic into the mountains can get a bit crazy, being able to enjoy the mountains without having to fight ski traffic is always a plus.
Even after a heavy snow, the trip from Denver took just an hour and half to get to the YMCA campus, perfect for a car loaded with teenagers in the backseat.
Now that we’re grown and out of the house, its hard to get all our schedules to align so we can get together as a family for a weekend away. When we do, having space for us all to sleep without having to do a ton of planning is the ideal time together.
The YMCA of the Rockies is the perfect place to get together as a family, especially since we could stay in a loge with a few rooms for us all to spread out. With 6 adults in the family the double bed rooms in Emerald Lodge are ideal for everyone having enough space and rooms near by one another. They also have cabins or vacation homes on property for bigger groups or those who want to have a more private gathering.
The cafeteria serves three meals a day so theres no need to cook and a full calendar of activities are available to keep you busy during your stay.
We started the day playing out in the snow and then warmed up in the Craft & Design Center where we could choose from t-dye, ceramics, mosaics, jewelry design and a whole variety of other projects.
After grabbing lunch we picked up some skates at the Sweets Memorial Building and went out to the frozen lake for outdoor skating before checking out some board games to enjoy by the Lodge fire after dark.
Staying together was the perfect family celebration for my sister’s birthday, giving us just enough of a break to really enjoy the time before we had to head back to Denver on Sunday. With no dishes to wash and everything we needed a short drive on campus, it was a relaxing adventure that everyone was able to enjoy.
Disclosure: The YMCA of the Rockies invited us to join them for a weekend stay in one of their lodge rooms. All opinions are my own.