Sledding at Ruby Hill (credit: CBS)
Whether Denver has just had a fresh snowstorm and the kids are off from school or you are looking for some fun activities to enjoy as a family on the weekends, you are in luck. During the winter months, Denver is vibrant and full of activities that are perfect for kids of all ages. From sledding and ice skating to holiday events, there is always something fun to do as a family, and plenty of opportunities to make some new memories and grab some family photos. As you are planning your family outings this winter, here are a few things that should definitely be on your list.
Southwest Rink at Skyline Park
Arapahoe and 16th St.
Denver, CO 80202
Date: Held Nov. 25, 2014 – Feb. 15, 2015
Nothing says winter fun like ice skating, and the Southwest Rink at Skyline Park is free all winter long. If you don’t have your own skates, you can rent them for just $2. This beautiful rink is nestled right in the heart of downtown Denver, making the skating truly scenic and a wonderful family activity without having to drive too far from home. Be careful, however, as the rink can get pretty full on the busy weekend days, so if you want to avoid the crowds, consider heading down on a weekday or weeknight. Then just grab the whole family, bring your skates and have some fun on the ice.
Downtown Denver Holiday Lights
14th and Bannock St.
Denver, CO 80202
Date: Grand Illumination held Nov. 28, lights on display nightly
This annual tradition is one of the best ways to ring in the holidays with the whole family every year. Once the Thanksgiving holiday hits, the huge buildings in Downtown Denver get their holiday makeover, featuring thousands of brilliantly colored, twinkling lights. You can visit during the Grand Illumination and watch for free as the City and County Building is dressed for the holidays or stop by any evening throughout the season to enjoy the lights on your own. If you are looking for a special place to take a great family photo for the holidays, the space in front of the City and County Building is always a great spot for lots of beautiful Christmas-themed photos. Union Station will also be lit up for the holidays, so be sure to visit both iconic structures.
Celestial Seasonings Tour
4600 Sleepytime Drive
Boulder, CO 80301
Warm yourself this winter with the free Celestial Seasonings Tour. Each 45-minute tour takes you on a complete trip through the plant as you learn all about how the teas are blended, packaged and shipped to stores all over the world. You’ll even get to sample some of the delicious teas and have a chance to buy more varieties of teas than you’ve ever seen in your local grocery store. Be warned, however, as the mint room is full of some of the freshest, strongest mint scents, sure to clean out those sinuses. The kids will love seeing the big factory machines working hard as they get to walk through the actual working plant, and parents will enjoy the full, educational experience of this nationally recognized tea manufacturer.
Sledding at Ruby Hill Park
Denver, CO 80223
When the snow falls, that means one thing in Denver – sledding. There are lots of great parks and spots for sledding all over town, but Ruby Hill Park is definitely the biggest and best place of them all. The massive park features lots of great hills, perfect for a day of sledding on fresh powder. After a particularly big snowstorm, it can get a bit crowded, but just be patient and find your perfect spot along one of the many different sledding hills. This is old-fashioned sledding at its best, which means you will have to walk back up those hills yourself, but the fast trip down makes the climb totally worth it.
Deborah Flomberg is a theater professional, freelance writer and Denver native. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.