Whether you’re visiting family for Christmas or it’s your first winter living in the Springs, this list will definitely give you a few ideas on how to productively spend your time and have fun while it gets frosty outside.
1. Skiing / Snowboarding
You probably guessed it, and honestly, it’s a must if you’re spending the winter anywhere in the state. This season started off relatively slow, but nearby ski resorts have packed on a pretty good amount of powder over these past few weekends. All resorts are about a 2.5-hour drive away from the Springs in average. Pass, equipment rental and lift prices may vary quite a bit depending on the resort.
If it’s your first time, we strongly recommend taking a lesson, this will guarantee more time spent on the actual ski or snowboard, rather than on your face 😊. Most resorts offer half-day lessons, which should suffice to cover the basics and considerably lower your likelihood of eating snow.
The world-renowned Aspen and Vail are the most popular (and pricey) ski resorts in the state. The closest resorts to Colorado Springs are Loveland, Breckenridge and Monarch, and other really popular ones are Keystone and Arapahoe Basin… But, if you’re looking for an affordable resort without the crowds, we recommend giving Eldora or Cooper a try.
If you plan on shredding the whole season and want to get the most bang for your buck, you have to get a season-pass. Check out Epic Pass for pretty good deals that cover several mountains.
Last recommendation: Leave early! Nothing will help you improve more than hours of practice, and considering all mountains are a ways away, in this case, the early bird in fact gets the worm.
2. Hot Chocolate at Poor Richard’s
Poor Richard’s is the perfect place for a cozy date on a chilly night. Not only do they have a widely varied Book & Gift store, but there’s also a restaurant and cafe that, among other specialties, serves an incredibly good hot chocolate. You can order one of three flavors: white chocolate, milk chocolate or spicy (with cayenne & peppermint). Poor Richard’s also has a toy store where you can find all kinds of toys for kids. So whenever you want to sip on some delicious hot chocolate in a warm and cozy bookstore, you know where to go.
3. Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center
If you like animals and support the preservation of wildlife, we know you’ll be into this. Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center is one of very few wolf sanctuaries in the United States. They actively participate in the Species Survival Program by sheltering Mexican Grey Wolves and Swift Foxes, and their mission is to educate the public about the importance of these animals to our ecosystem.
But wait, this is not an exclusively educational experience! You can also take a tour and actually meet and pet some of the animals. So if you were looking for that perfect winter pic to post on Instagram, we can assure you nothing beats a selfie with a wolf… A.K.A: a wolfie.
If you really love wolves and want to play a bigger role in their conservation you can also apply for a volunteer program that consists of 2 days a week for three months. You can find more information here:
4. Kimball’s Peak Three Theater
Looking to stay indoors, watch a movie and have a couple of drinks? Kimball’s is a movie theater in the heart of downtown that has a full bar serving liquor, draft beer and wines by the glass. Also, they use real butter on their popcorn… That and a glass of bourbon while watching your girl’s favorite chick flick should be enough to warm your soul this winter.
5. Hike to Frozen Waterfalls
Waterfalls are common destinations for hikes. It’s always nice to be rewarded with a beautiful sight after hours of seemingly endless walking.
But have you ever seen a frozen waterfall? They’re beautiful in their own silent and peaceful way, and a natural phenomenon worth appreciating. Plus, hiking trails gain new and different scenic views during the winter. It is quite the experience to walk your way into a valley of mountains covered in snow.
Some popular trails to local waterfalls are below:
- Seven Bridges Trail
- Mary’s Falls Trail
- Helen Hunt Falls Trail
- Rainbow Falls
6. Sledding at Cottonwood Creek Park
Winter fun in the city? When it finally snows… head out to Cottonwood Creek Park where you’ll find a super long sledding hill. Just remember to bail before hitting the fence at the bottom and you’ll be alright, like this little girl and her dad: