Off-the-Slopes Winter Fun

Four fun mountain activities if you're not a skier

We spent Christmas in Arizona, where they put stocking caps on cactuses and hang blinking ornaments on short palm trees. It’s different, and while swimming on Christmas eve is nice, I love the snow, and this year, the Rocky Mountains have a lot of it.

Like many people who live in the mountains and who visit, I don’t ski. I tried for many years but never enjoyed it fully. It probably didn’t help that I started skiing at age 27; a lot of people, including my husband, learned so early he doesn’t remember the learning process.

When I am in the mountains, which is frequent, while the husband skis, I look for other things to keep me occupied and to my delight, I have no problem finding ways to entertain myself off the slopes.

Ice Skating

Mountain Village,Telluride. Photo by Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer

Ice skating has become a popular pastime at ski resorts across the Rocky Mountains and beyond. Places like Keystone Resort offer day and night skating on its two rinks. The Snowmass Village Ice Rink offers $3 skates, public skating, hockey and open skate.  

Telluride has two rinks, one in town and one in mountain village. Telluride Town Park includes both outside and indoor skating and there’s no prettier place to take a twirl on the ice.


Frisco Adventure Park Tubing Hill. Photo by Todd Powell

The latest and greatest in ski resort fun is the tubing hill. From Copper Mountain to Purgatory Resort, everyone has embraced the tubing hill. I can’t wait to try the one at Winter Park Resort this January.

One of the best places to tube in Colorado this winter is at the Fraser Tubing Hill. Located just an hour and a half west of Denver, this family attraction has thrills that will last a lifetime. As safe as riding a bike, tubing is an activity anyone can do.

Sleigh Ride

The Golden Horseshoe Tour Company, located just minutes outside of Breckenridge, is a wintertime delight for the entire family. If you want to go dashing through the snow, this is the place to visit. There are scenic rides or ones that conclude with dinner theater. For anyone looking for the perfect engagement outing this winter, this outfitter offers private romantic sleigh rides.


Frozen Dead Guy Days Coffin Race

Ullr Fest is a celebration of the Norse God of Snow, so of course, it’s a real party. This four-day event involves throwing frying pans and one of the best winter parades in the Rocky Mountains.

Durango’s Snowdown has snow in the name, so you know it’s a celebration of winter and the white stuff. It takes place annually every February and is an event that the locals love. I plan to be there this year to see it in person, and so should you.

Internationally renowned, Frozen Dead Guy Days is so close to Denver and Boulder that they bus people to this festival held in the tiny village of Nederland. It’s an end-of-winter celebration unlike any other. The three-day fest hosts 30 live bands, a coffin race, a frozen t-shirt contest and so much more craziness.

Categories: The Heidi Guide