Budget-Friendly Winter Fun in the Colorado Front Range
I always get incredibly excited to go home to the massive rocky mountains… especially in the wintertime when snowflakes fall, sun still shines and the people are fired up for some powder skiing. Now that I live away from the mountains the buzz is just that much more exciting when I do come home. One of the greatest things about leaving this place has been that every time I do go back I am always planning adventures and remembering the fun places I like to go, in order to make the most of my time. This winter I came up with some of my favorite things to do around the Boulder area in the winter. But these are definitely transferable activities to many other place!
- Go ice skating downtown. The outdoor rink this year is right next to the gorgeous tea house on 13th Street so dinner and skating is very convenient and extra special. The city also definitely out did itself on the lights this year. Nearly every tree was covered, even in the park, and the rink looks right out at the park, so going at night is a must.
- Take a tour of the Celestial Seasonings Tea Factory. This is definitely a must for both locals and tourists. Celestial Seasonings sells its tea throughout the country and even overseas and it’s based in the outskirts of Boulder, CO. It’s great because the tour is entirely free and you get a tea sample as your tour ticket. There is also a great cafe and shop. The tour itself is actually pretty interesting. It is definitely way better if you go while the factory is working (a weekday usually) because it’s pretty amazing to see the robots at work and the huge scale of it all. While you wait for your tour you can drink as much tea as you want.
- Ski (downhill and backcountry)!! Definitely a given as many people come to Colorado to do just that. Where you definitely depends on skiing/boarding experience and on the amount of money you are willing to spend. It is definitely an expensive sport and becomes that much more expensive when you have to find lodging and rent gear. So how do we make this one budget friendly? There are definitely some ways to make this more affordable however it is definitely the most expensive adventure on this list. First, choose the ski area wisely. Places like Vail, Beaver Creek and even Breckenridge and Keystone are definitely more expensive. They are definitely bigger but individual lift tickets cost way more than the small areas like Arapahoe Basin or Eldora. Unless you are getting the Epic pass it gets so expensive with tickets along at the big areas. The nice thing about the smaller places (A-Basin, Eldora, Ski Cooper) is that their cheaper and they are not resort ski areas which means everyone stays in the towns nearby which may seem inconvenient but will save you lots of money! The last way to save some money is to check out rental companies before you go. Most of the time there are way cheaper rental options further away from the ski area, so if you plan on renting for several days at a time, this may be a much better option for you. Backcountry is also a great alternative, if you have experience and want to save money. With big snows people backcountry ski, even in the foothills.