Breckenridge youth help town toward sustainable future.

kids activities in breckenridgeKids Make a Difference.  Breckenridge youth help town toward sustainable future.Anyone who believes kids are too young to influence public policy can discard the myth by looking at the 11 year-olds who convinced the Breckenridge Town Council to unanimously pass its Disposable Bag Fee ordinance. These kids are an inspiration to adults and children alike.  By Lu Snyder

Two years ago, the Town of Breckenridge adopted the Sustainable Breck Plan in an effort to ensure the town is sustainable into the future. As part of the plan, the town has chosen ten specific areas in which to take action, including resource conservation, transportation, water and land use. Part of the action plan involved an effort to reduce the number of disposable bags used in town.

According to research, approximately 2- to 3-million single-use bags are used each year in Breckenridge alone. While reducing the number of bags may seem like a simple solution toward a more sustainable community, the town council grappled with how to do so. They considered whether to impose a full ban or to implement fees for plastic bags, but worried that doing so would scare away the visitors so crucial to the towns economy.

kids activities in breckenridgeIn the end, it was a group of local fifth graders that convinced the council to take action.

Four students from Dillon Valley Elementary: Emilie McAtamney, Anna Rose Craig, Elsa Bates and Jacob Brewer, chose to take on the plastic bag issue as part of their Destination Imagination (DI) project. Destination Imagination is an educational competition that gives students the chance to experience the creative process from imagination to innovation.

As part of the project, the children needed to identify a need in the community and take action around it, explains Jennifer McAtamney, Emilies mother, DI team coach and Breckenridge council member.

They decided the biggest need was to do what they can to help the earth, she says. Their philosophy was that if there is no snow, then there are no tourists and then their parents have no jobs.

At the same time, the DI teammates and their classmates were studying the Declaration of Independence at school. This inspired the team to create a declaration against plastic bags and single-use water bottles, eventually turning the declaration into a petition. The fifth graders collected signatures from locals and tourists last winter, during the International Snow Sculpture Championships, a notoriously cold time of the year.

Despite frigid temperatures, the group collected 400 signatures from people around the world who said they were willing, if not eager, to discontinue the use of plastic bags and single-use water bottles.

The DI team presented its findings to the town council in April, urging the council to take action and it did; the council unanimously passed an ordinance to impose a $0.10 fee on single-use bags, including paper. (Thicker plastic bags are not included under the mandatory fee.)

The council was really grappling with this, says Kim Dykstra-DiLallo, Director of Communications for the Town of Breckenridge. Those kids came in and made their presentation and the council said, “You’re right.” Quite honestly, that pushed our town council to make that decision. They influenced a very major decision in the community.

The ordinance went into effect on October 15th. Emilie and her teammates may have completed their DI project but, perhaps inspired by the results of their efforts, they continue to work to make the world a better place. Just days after the fee was imposed, Emilie and her friends stood outside Breckenridge’s City Market, offering complimentary Breckenridge reusable bags to those shoppers that would sign their declaration.

Maybe we could take it farther than Breckenridge,Emilie says, when asked how their success has inspired her. Next step? Perhaps other towns in the county, like Frisco, or beyond.


Win a gift certificate for Fresh Tracks Transportation

FreshTracks_Logo_Smaller Jpeg 2 (1)Fresh Track Transportation is a Summit County transportation company that assists guests with transportation to and from Denver International Airport from Summit County.  They also offer Charter transportation to and from Denver International Airport.

How can you win a gift certificate?  We need photos to use on our website, newsletters and for print publication!

The first 5 people who send photos we can use for the website, newsletters and print will receive a gift certificate!

You need to move fast!  We are looking for Winter Family Photos.

Need more ideas of what we are looking for in photos check out the blog and our newsletters.

Send your photos to

Include your name, mailing address and phone number.

If you have a drop box folder you can send us a link so we can add the photos.

Send any questions to


The Peak School: Independent, Non-profit middle school in Summit County

The peak school in summit countyIf you are looking for a school where your student will thrive and flourish, where teachers individualize their students’ instruction, then consider The Peak School. An independent, non-profit middle and high school in Summit County, The Peak School ensures a challenging, intriguing and student-centered education.

The Peak School An Option for Middle and High School students in Summit County  By Rebekah Jordan

With small class sizes of 12 to 16 students, teachers are able to individualize instruction and ensure that students receive the personal attention they deserve. Peak teachers are experts in their fields; 80 percent hold Masters degrees in education or their chosen content area. The school staff provides personalized and innovative instruction across the curriculum, focusing on doing while learning.

The peak schoolThe Peak School offers freedom of curriculum which empowers a deeper way of learning. Students are not simply given information, but rather taught how to develop themselves as learners and citizens. As a member of the Independent Curriculum Group, The Peak School benefits from the collaboration and models of prestigious progressive schools around the country.

The Peak School is a committed community that cares. The school encourages involvement from parents and recognizes the power of being united around a common goal. Each and every Peak family participates in the school community by volunteering, event hosting or program coordination.

At The Peak School, we want students to love school.

The Peak School

40 W. Main Street, Frisco

Rebekah Jordan is the Head of School for The Peak School. Rebekah’s educational philosophy reflects her belief in fostering academic excellence through concept-based mastery and is closely aligned with that of the Coalition of Essential Schools. Rebekah believes that education can and should support students in their development as engaged learners and active members of the community; whether that community is Summit County or the broader world.


Breckenridge Stables Sleigh Rides

sleigh rides in breckenridge coloradoSleigh Rides at Breckenridge Stables

See the slopes of Breckenridge from the comfort of a colorful, custom-built mountain sleigh, pulled by a team of Belgian or Percheron draft horses.

Breckenridge Stables Sleigh Rides is open until March 31, 2014. Scenic sleigh rides with hot chocolate will be available every hour, from 1 p.m. until 8 p.m., seven days a week. Dinner sleigh rides are available at 5 and 7 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday. Dinners include an all-you-can-eat buffet dinner, while listening to a local musician sing and play guitar.

Located in at the Gold Run Nordic Center, between Frisco and Breckenridge, Breckenridge Stables Sleigh Rides‚ open sleighs allow expansive views of the Ten Mile Range and the Continental Divide. Relax before and after your ride in the new heated facilities, which include a fireplace and a full bar.

Sleigh rides operate in all weather conditions, and though blankets are provided for guests, it is very important to dress for the weather. There are sleighs to fit any group: big or small. The largest sleigh holds as many as 28 people.

Reservations are recommended.

Bundle up, folks  we’ll see you soon!

For reservations and information

call 970-453-4438   or visit

Sleigh rides in breckenridge colorado

Birthday Parties at the Vail Athletic Club

kids climbing wall

Kid’s love to climb just about anything and the Vitality Center in the Vail Mountain Lodge has an indoor climbing wall perfect for them.

The Vitality center is located in the Vail Mountain Lodge and part of the Vail Athletic club.

It’s a fresh idea for a Birthday party!

While the kids play and learn climbing skills, the parents can work out in the Vail Athletic Club, sit in the two outdoor hot tubs, relax in the steam room or saunas in the locker rooms, get a massage, take a class or watch the entertainment.

Keep your kids entertained anytime not just birthday’s.

Good news you can stop by in your ski gear and they will provide the climbing gear.  They have an experienced staff to help your children have fun, keep safe and learn a few skills.  They have a 4 to 1 ratio for instructors to kids.

The kids with different abilities and are able to learn at their own level.  There are various elements of climbing that lead to amazing learning experiences.  There are physical, mental and problem solving challenges and opportunities for your child with this climbing experience.

kids birthday partiesThe instructors are dedicated professionals who love their sport and enjoy sharing their excitement and knowledge with the kids.  They are motivated to share their sport, but are highly qualified in climbing and instructing.

The instructors have created drills, games and workout programs, building specific techniques and strengths that encourage a passion for the sport.

If your kids are developing a passion for climbing or want to start learning slowly they do offer Private lessons.

Call to make an appointment for the birthday parties and the private lessons.  970-476-7960 or check out the website

Keystone Ski Resort: What every family needs to know


Photo by Jack Affleck

Keystone:  A Mountain of Possibilities

When Max Dercum founded Keystone over 43 years ago, he knew he was onto something special, a beautiful spot high atop the Rocky Mountains: the perfect place to ski the day away and create lasting memories with friends and family.

Today the tradition continues with three unique mountains featuring scenic groomers, tree-skiing, powder stashes, glades, bowl skiing, Snowcat ski tours and endless opportunities for fun. Let our experienced guides take you on an off-piste, snowcat experience through Independence bowl. Or, our Mountain Top Tour is a snowcat adventure the whole family can enjoy breathtaking views of the Continental Divide are just part of the fun.

Keystone is also home to one of Americas best terrain parks A51, which has a variety of features to fit any level. Plus, Keystone offers night skiing that means we have one of Colorado’s longest ski days so you can make the most of your day on the mountain.

With three mountains, there’s a lot of terrain to conquer at Keystone. Whether you’re just beginning or an old pro, the knowledgeable instructors of the Ski & Ride School will help you accomplish your goals. In addition to traditional lessons, options include a kids-only Ski & Ride School, family private lessons and specialty programs.

tubing in keystone

Photo by Bob Winsett

Kids will love going to Camp Keystone more than ski school; your kids will learn to ski and ride, and they’ll get to participate in an array of on-snow activities, kids nights out theme days and more. In addition to all these exciting activities, your kids can have the same camp counselor every day.

When you’re not on the mountain, Keystone offers a wide range of activities and dining. Take a full moon snowshoe tour or skate ski lesson, view Orion Nebulous from a state-of-the-art observatory, skate on one the largest outdoor Zamboni-maintained ice rink in North America or relax at the blissful Keystone Spa. The full-service spa, located in the Keystone Lodge & Spa building, is host to an indoor fitness studio, outdoor heated pool, sauna, hot tubs, relaxation room, and state-of-the-art specialty treatment facilities.

Experience the lively apres scene and award-winning dining options, including The Alpenglow Stube our intimate restaurant at 11,444 feet, the highest AAA Four-Diamond restaurant in North America. Enjoy other unique experiences like dinner at the historic Ski Tip Lodge and horse-drawn Dinner Sleigh Rides. Giggle your way down the tubing hill at Adventure Point, or explore the Snow Fort located on top of Dercum Mountain.


Photo by Bob Winsett

See a whole different side of Keystone at the Keystone Nordic Center, offering cross-country skiing, skate skiing, snowshoeing, lessons, rentals and guided tours. Take part in special programs like Ladies Day Fridays, Mountain Top Snowshoe Treks, Snowshoe Ecology Hikes and Full Moon Snowshoe Tours.  Don’t miss the fun on the neighboring old-fashioned family tubing hill. Warm up with an all-you-can-eat soup buffet lunch at The Nordic Soup Bistro or relax on the outdoor patio.

Related Blog Posts

Keystone History and Summer

Family Friendly Programming and Apps in Copper, Breckenridge and Keystone Ski resorts in Colorado

VailResorts_KEY8129_Jack_Affleck_HighResNew this Season Copper Mountain, Breckenridge and Keystone Resort introduce family-friendly programming and apps.  By Lu Snyder

The prospect of a new ski season in and of itself is exciting enough for most snow enthusiasts, but local resorts are giving families even more reason to celebrate this year, with new activities, designated family areas and more.

Copper Mountain Ski area

The coaches at Woodward at Copper, the indoor training facility and playground, can teach you to learn as you practice terrain park tricks with the help and security of trampolines, mats and foam pits. Now that Woodwards latest renovations are complete, the progressive learning features includes a new beginner foam pit with 2- and 4-foot jumps.

But Woodward isn’t only about advancing your skiing and snowboarding skills. The training center is also designed for skateboards, BMX and slopestyle mountain bikes.

Sherpa-HeroFamilies new to Copper Mountain will want to check out the resort’s new Sherpa app. The On-Mountain Intelligence App is like skiing with a local, without worrying about catching up. Sherpa gives you hands-free guidance around the mountain, letting you know where you are, where to go and what to do once you get there – locals information collected from lifelong employees, ski patrol and local experts. With Sherpa, you’ll never have to ask for directions again.

Breckenridge Ski Area

Hoping to catch some air this winter? Go for a ride on Breckenridge’s new zipline. Opening this winter, the four-line zipline will carry guests 1,500-feet, alongside the resorts Freeway Terrain Park, at speeds up to 50 miles per hour. It gives big air a whole new meaning.

Ski School students both children and adults can share their accomplishments with family and friends using Vail Resorts new EpicMix Academy. The latest generation of the popular EpicMix application that allows Vail Resorts on-mountain guests to share photos of themselves through Facebook and Twitter, the EpicMix Academy allows instructors to certify students accomplishments.

Parents can use the application to track their children’s progress, while instructors can use it to verify a student’s abilities before they start a lesson, maximizing learning time. Students will be awarded special certified digital pins they can share online, along with pins for vertical feet skied, photos and racing medals. Cause if you’re going to brag, it helps to have proof to back up your claims.

Keystone Ski Area

Keystone is a no-brainer for families looking for a winter getaway. With Kidtopia, the family-specific programming that includes the humongous Snow Fort, monthly fireworks, apres-ski kids‚ activities and weekly parades, Keystone makes family time fun easy and, often, even free. But this year, there’s even more reasons for families to celebrate Keystone. Kidtopia has been expanded to include a new, indoors Kidtopia Headquarters, where the fun factor is no longer dependent on good weather.

Schoolmarm, the resort’s renowned 3.5-mile beginner run, is extra family-friendly this year with the introduction of Schoolyard. It’s not a new run, exactly, but with Schoolyard, a portion of Schoolmarm will be a designated beginner and family ski trail, complete with fun features like rock n rollers, banked turns and s-turns.

It gives beginners a sense of how to ski and ride these features in an un intimidating atmosphere, explains Tucker Burton, Keystone’s Communications Coordinator. It’s all about progression.

But likely the family favorite may be Keystone’s new (and free) family front-row parking. No longer will parents with small children have to endure the misery of balancing multiple sets of gear while also guiding whining tots through the often slippery parking lot. If that wasn’t enough reason to celebrate, keep in mind that Keystone also offers wagons and gear chauffeurs to help families haul kids and gear from their car to the lifts and back. Kudos to Keystone.

Calendar of events

Money saving Coupon.icon



Free family outdoor activities in Breckenridge, Silverthorne, Keystone, Copper Mtn and Frisco, Colorado

sledding_W08Free Sledding and skating options for families through out Summit County.  Breckenridge, Silverthorne, Keystone, Copper Mtn and Frisco Colorado.

Slip Sliding Away:  sledding or skating for free for family fun  By Lu Snyder

Enjoying free activities as a family can remind us that sometimes the simple things are the best memory makers. No cost, no crowds, no piles of gear. Just time together talking laughing and making memories.


There’s something about sledding that makes even grown-ups feel like kids again. Maybe it’s the thrill of catching air off the unseen kicker or the hilarity when the sled suddenly dumps everyone face-first in the snow. Perhaps it’s simply the joy of watching your children grin as they speed down the snow, their cheeks rosy from the cold.

Hills abound in Summit County, of course, but if you’d rather not search out your own sledding spot, head to one of the county’s three main sledding hills in Silverthorne, Frisco or Breckenridge.

Families with little ones love Silverthorne’s Rainbow Park for its short, varied slopes and wide views of the rugged Gore Range. The park is conveniently located adjacent to the Silverthorne Recreation Center, with public restrooms and a lobby where kids can thaw out on cold days.

The sledding hill at the Frisco Peninsula is longer, with more time to build up speed, especially if the snow is hard-packed. The climb back up the hill can be too much for some toddlers. Be prepared: you may have to play Sherpa and pull them up instead. If a thermos of hot chocolate isn’t enough to keep off the chill, cross the parking area to the Frisco Adventure Day Lodge for a bowl of steaming soup or a rest on the sofa chairs.

In Breckenridge? Carter Park is a fun sledding adventure, where you may find a haven from the mountain’s cold winds and crowds. The sledding here is fun for all ages. Families with dogs especially love that Carter Park is also home to a one-acre, fenced-in dog park, where Fido can get some play time.


Summit County’s snow and powder gets all the attention, but the ice here is pretty slick, too. And most of it’s free.

You don’t have to pay a cent to skate on Silverthorne’s North Pond Park, Meadow Creek Pond in Frisco, Coppers West Lake, the pond at Gold Run Nordic Center or the ice rink at River Run in Keystone. Sample the options before you pick your favorite.

Looking to get away from the crowds? Located on the north end of Silverthorne, the large pond at North Pond Park is removed from the hustle and bustle, but conveniently equipped with a warming hut and bathrooms. Friscos Meadow Creek is also rarely, if ever, crowded, but can be chilly on frigid days, with no place to hide from the cold.

Gold Run Nordic Center is located in a scenic, quiet valley between Frisco and Breckenridge, with the comfort and convenience of the Clubhouse nearby. Rentals are available on a limited basis.

At West Lake or Keystone’s Dercum Ice Rink, you may be lucky enough to have the ice to yourself, but likely not for long. Still, skating in the midst of a passerby can add to the fun and festiveness. On top of that, you’ll have the option to rent skates or walk a short distance to coffee or a restaurant.

Consider it: a day making memories free of stress, free of crowds and free of cost. How can that not make you smile? You might find it’s even better than a day on the slopes.



Carter Park: 300 S. High Street  (by the elementary school)


Park by the Frisco Nordic Center and follow the signs to the sledding hill


Rainbow Park, just north of the Silverthorne Recreation Center

Skating (free)


Gold Run Nordic Center, 200 Clubhouse Drive, off Tiger Road


West Lake, in Center Village,

just a short stroll from the lifts


Meadow Creek Pond: 828 Meadow Drive (behind Wal-Mart)


North Pond Park, Hamilton Creek Road (near Silvethorne Elementary)

These activities have risk of bodily harm or even death. Often they are unsupervised by professionals. Always use proper safety equipment and attempt under strict adult supervision. These are only suggestions by The Parents Handbook, please consult local professionals before attempting.

Money saving Coupon.icon

Click on the icon for Tubing Coupons in Summit County


Indoor activities in Breckenridge and Silverthorne Colorado

breck.rec.1What to do off the Slopes  By Lu Snyder

Whether you have a family who doesn’t ski, you want a day off from the slopes or you’re looking for something to do after the lifts stop running, there is no shortage of options from which to choose. From Silverthorne to Breckenridge, from Keystone to Copper, from high-energy to mellow, from creative to cerebral, we’ve got you covered.


The Breckenridge and Silverthorne Recreation Centers offer a medley of recreational options, but most families head there for the pool. The little ones love splashing in the shallow kiddie pool and slipping down the slides, while older kids might start a game of water polo. Meanwhile, parents can sneak a few minutes in the hot tub to soothe sore muscles and battered bodies.


At Breckenridge’s Mountain Top Children’s Museum, families with kids 10 years old and younger can create artwork, learn about the human body and local wildlife, experiment with colors and construction, play with their imagination and more. The various stations ensure that no one is bored, but it might mean you should plan to spend the entire day there.


Even young kids can appreciate history, especially if it involves fire trucks, trains or skis. In Frisco, the Schoolhouse Museum gives children a glimpse into what schools were like almost 150 years ago. Bring some quarters for the train and check out some of the local wildlife (don’t worry, they’re stuffed) while you’re there. Over in Breckenridge, the Red,White & Blue Fire Museum displays firefighting equipment and uniforms from more than 100 years ago and the Summit Ski Museum offers a peek at vintage skis and equipment.

Coupon for Silverthorne Rec Center

Related Blog Posts

Lake Dillion Theater Company

Summit County Info on Autism and Dyslexia

Lake Dillion Theatre Company: Youth Theatre Workshops

scapin_26The Lake Dillon Theatre Company is proud to offer a wide range of theatre education programing including workshops for youth ages 7 to 14, and for teens.

What do witches, mermaids and rock stars have in common? They are just a few of the characters that local youth get to embody in the Lake Dillon Theatre Company Youth Theatre Workshops.

These workshops are an exciting way for kids to learn teamwork and self-expression skills while having a great time and making new friends.

The impact is more than a chance to have some fun over the winter. Professionally designed performing arts education can have a lifelong impact. Drama activities improve reading comprehension, and both verbal and non-verbal communication skills.

In fact, according to a study by the National Endowment for the Arts, students involved in drama performance coursework or experience outscore non-arts students on the SAT by an average of 65 points in the verbal component and 34 points in the math component.

cb3The best news is that this kind of learning is fun and brings the entire family together. Students in our youth and teen programs present free performances for their families and for the community at the end of each session.

More information about the Kids programs