A Family Guide to Planning Your Winter Getaway

Dreaming of a snowy getaway for your family? A ski trip is one of the best ways to embrace the cold winter and create a memorable trip for families of all ages. But it can also be a lot of work to organize - figuring out where to go, where to stay, gathering all the gear, and planning on and off mountain activities takes time and energy. Don’t get so overwhelmed you freeze in your tracks. A little advanced preparation for your winter getaway will ensure you enjoy your vacation, soak up the mountain air, and savor the memories. We are here to help! 


Find a family-friendly ski area: 


While planning a family-friendly winter getaway, choose a resort tailored to making skiing enjoyable for everyone. Beaver Creek Resort in Colorado has it all - an accessible beginner area, fun kid-friendly on-mountain activities, and plenty of challenging terrain for advanced skiers. 


The Haymeadow Park is a perfect area for beginners at the base of the mountain with easy lifts and terrain to improve ski skills. Need a quick break? A nostalgic ice cream parlor at the top of the Haymeadow Express Gondola offers tasty treats when you need to give those little legs a rest. Additionally, there are numerous kids activity zones around the mountain, including skiing through teepees and covered wagons, and slow areas with features to work on advancing their skills in a safe environment. Cap off the day with complimentary warm chocolate chip cookies at 3 PM in Beaver Creek Village. 


Book a room:


Resort towns offer a variety of lodging options, but if you’re looking for an authentic mountain experience, The Inn at Riverwalk is close to all the adventure, yet away from all the crowds. 


Located just minutes away from Beaver Creek Resort, The Inn at Riverwalk offers an ideal location in Edwards. With the river rushing outside the back doors and local shops and restaurants steps from the front doors, embrace the Rocky Mountain lifestyle, sacrificing none of the conveniences. Choose from well-appointed king or double queen rooms as well as one and two bedroom condos that feature modern amenities. Additionally, a complimentary gear garage allows guests to check out outdoor equipment and indoor games. Refuel anytime of day with a 24 hour self-serve Lavazza coffee bar featuring lattes, hot cocoa, and herbal teas. Or relax in the outdoor pool and hot tub situated on the Eagle River. Whatever your needs, The Inn at Riverwalk is the perfect family base camp for a ski vacation. 


Free hotel shuttles run daily to Beaver Creek Resort, eliminating the hassle - and expense - of parking.


Purchase pre-season ski passes:


The Epic Pass offers access to skiing and riding at dozens of resorts around the country. If this is your only ski trip of the year, the Epic Day Pass is the best value. Purchase up to 7 flexible days of skiing at 65% off compared to lift tickets when secured before the ski season. For the best pricing, book passes early in the year. These deals are only available pre-season.


Are you looking to build your kid’s confidence on the snow? Enrolling in ski school is a great way to teach new skills in a fun environment. These programs fill up fast! Book well in advance if you’re interested in ski or snowboard lessons for your child, ages 3-15. 


Reserve your rentals:


Let’s be honest, skiing entails a lot of gear. Between skis, boots, poles, a helmet, and all the cold weather layers, it’s a lot to juggle. To eliminate some of the stress, reserve ski and snowboard gear in advance. This ensures you have your top choice for winter goods and it’s ready to go when your family arrives. The Kind Bike & Skis offers high quality ski and snowboard rental options for the whole family. Conveniently located walking distance from the Inn at Riverwalk, guests receive a 20% discount off all rentals.


Dress for success:


Wearing the right gear while skiing can make or break the day - there’s nothing worse than cold and cranky kids on the mountain. Plan your packing around layers that can be adjusted with the changing temperatures. Start with a wicking top and bottom base layer, followed by an insulating layer, such as a fleece and/or down jacket, and topped with a waterproof snow jacket. Additionally, don’t forget snow pants, warm wool socks, a face mask, waterproof gloves, goggles, and a hat for each family member. If you want to be the hero on the ski hill, bring a small backpack to stash extra layers, hand warmers, and snacks. 


When you arrive at your destination and need (or want) any additional winter items, Ptarmigan Sports is a local’s favorite for outdoor clothing, gear, and accessories. 


Plan a rest day:


Unless you’ve been ski training all year, your family will probably need to plan a day off the hill. Skiing and snowboarding are hard work and letting your legs recover will reduce the likelihood of injury. Luckily, there are plenty of family-friendly winter activities to take advantage of in the Vail Valley. 


Nova Guides offers snowmobile tours out of the historic Camp Hale. Join a full or half day Top of the Rockies tour with spectacular 360-degree mountain views at 12,500 feet plus lunch. Looking for a self-guided adventure? Rent a snowmobile and explore their expansive trail system on your own. Passengers on double sleds should be 9 years or older and anyone over 16 can drive their own sled. Either adventure you choose, guests at the Inn at Riverwalk receive 15% off all winter activities at Nova Guide.


Hiking isn’t reserved just for the summer months. Grab complimentary snow shoes from the gear garage and head out to the trails. There are miles of trail options close by to explore a peaceful winter wonderland. 


Temps drop too low to venture outside? Check out Eagle Climbing + Fitness, an indoor climbing facility that has top rope, lead climbing, and bouldering routes for all ages and abilities. Whether you’re a beginner or veteran climber, there is a challenge for everyone to enjoy. 


Tap into your creative spirit at Alpine Arts Center. Located in Riverwalk, drop-in for art activities such as painting, crafts, pottery, and more. Or check out their calendar for weekly class offerings for a variety of kids and adults programs. 


Schedule time to relax and recharge:


Vacation should leave you feeling recharged and refreshed. It’s tempting when you’re in a new destination to pack in as much as possible, but mountain life is just as much about slowing down as it is adventuring outside. Schedule some down time throughout your vacation to enjoy your surroundings. Soak and splash with the kids in the riverside pool and hot tub. Browse through stores where the locals shop and eat while receiving exclusive discounts. Borrow some board games and spend quality (or competitive) time around the table with the ones you love. Or end your evening sipping on hot chocolate by the outdoor fire pit. 


When you stay at the Inn at Riverwalk, you can have it all - an unforgettable adventure packed trip and a relaxing vacation that embodies the spirit of the mountains. Book your winter vacation now.