This past winter our family went on our first ever White Christmas vacation. We are from Texas and our winters are usually in the mid 60’s with unspeakable amounts of humidity. We had been pestering our Dad for years to take us somewhere cold for Christmas where we could actually see snow! Finally, he conceded. Or…more like my mom booked it and said “hey, we’ve booked a house in Breckenridge, you’re going.” But, surprisingly we all (Dad included) had a really great time. This post isn’t about us though, it’s about YOU! So, if you are interested you can read all about our family trip here.
I am guessing you have a trip to Breckenridge planned soon and are looking for some things to do while you are there. Breckenridge is a beautiful town, especially in the winter. It is definitely worth the trip, but be prepared to fork over some cash for this trip.
Here is my list of 10 Things You Must Do in Breckenridge This Winter!:
1. Ski- $$$
Obviously this is a must. You are in Breckenridge after all. This was the most expensive of the things that we did. My sisters and I did a half day ski school- about $190 a person. However, we were in a class of 4 women and the instructor so it was pretty individualized. Ski lift tickets were also incredibly expensive. If you know you will be skiing, try to purchase your lift tickets 7 days in advance as this lowers the price of tickets significantly. They also offer the opportunity to mail your lift tickets to you which lets you avoid the line at the ticket window. (DO THIS!)
2. Ride the Gondola- FREE
This is one of the few free things we encountered in Breckenridge, so take advantage of it! It’s a short little ride up to the base of Peak 7 and Peak 8. We rode over some cross-country skiers and people snow shoeing. We also saw tons of animal footprints which I thought was probably the most magical part of it all.
3. Visit Continental Divide Winery Tasting Room- $
If you get a chance, make your way all the way down to the end of Main St. for a tasting at the Continental Divide Winery. The place had only been open 7 days when we went. Four tastings with reasonably sized pours for only $10. Can’t really complain much there!
Their wines come from Colorado and California. Cody and I both chose to do the the tasting of Colorado wines cause we were in Colorado. But, they had a fun “Continental Divide Challenge” which was 6 tastings for $15 and you had to guess which wine was from where.
4. Go Tubing- $$
This is a must for the whole family! We tubed at Frisco Adventure Park, just outside of Breckenridge. Tickets were $30 a person for 1 hour of tubing. We purchased our tickets online a day ahead- I would recommend doing this as we went on a Thursday and they were booked until Saturday unless you had pre-purchased tickets.
We arrived about 15 minutes earlier than our scheduled time. At your scheduled time you go into their Yurt where you watch a quick safety video. Then it is out to the tubes! We grabbed our tubes and headed to the magic carpet to take us up to the top of the hill. There were 6-8 different lanes to choose from- I can’t really remember. We never waited longer than 5 minutes to tube. You sit down in your tube, with our without a group of people, and the guys at the top of the hill push you down. Sometimes they spin you, sometimes they don’t! Either way, you are sure to laugh hysterically as you twist your way down the hill at crazy fast speeds. (Or at least it feels like it!)
5. Snowmobiling- $$$
This was by far my most favorite thing we did on the trip. We booked our tour through Good Times Adventures. The staff was so friendly and welcoming, so I recommend visiting them! It is pricey- about $120/driver, a little less for passengers. But it is SO worth it! We got dressed up in these ridiculous snow suits and boots but they kept us SO warm!
Our tour guide gave us a quick rundown of how the snowmobiles work and then we were off. We winded through trails of trees. Snow was piled high, one step in it and you sunk. Snow was falling the entire ride. It was really one of the coolest things I have experienced, especially considering I’m a Texas gal.
We drove to the top of a mountain peak and saw The Continental Divide. It was freezing up there and very cloudy so we didn’t have much of a view, but we didn’t care. The ride itself was worth it!
6. Day Trip to Vail- $$
If you have the time, a drive over to Vail is worth the trip. It is a 50 minute drive through the mountains with gorgeous views. Vail also appeared to have much better skiing trails for us newbies- also a little more expensive too. If you are interested in riding a gondola, don’t ride this one. It’ll cost ya $40 a person to ride. Say wHaT?!?!
7. Walk Around Downtown Breckenridge- $
There are tons of little shops to duck into and get out of the cold. They have a store for everyone- souvenir stores, art galleries, cannabis stores, swanky clothing stores, and farmhouse decor stores (which is where I spent a bit of my time:) )! Tons of local coffee shops, bakeries, and great photo op spots.
8. Sledding- FREE
Grab your hat, sled, and mittens and head out for some free family fun at Carter Park. A cute little park situated behind Breckenridge Elementary. This place was busy, but not too busy for a Friday morning during Christmas Break.
Be prepared to work for this fun though! First you have a steep hike up the icy
mountain hill. Once you catch your breath, walk over to the middle of the peak of the hill. Carefully lay your sled down, get in it, and put your feet up. If someone is around they can give you a push. Then you are OFF!
9. Breckenridge Brewery- $
This was the only “must” on my boyfriend’s list of requests for the trip. He was a good sport and put up with about an hour of me walking around all the stores so it was his turn to do something he wanted. We walked down to the end of Main St. to Breckenridge Brewery. I was expecting to find more of a brewery less of a restaurant, but it was the opposite.
We happened to go during Happy Hour, which was both a blessing and a curse. There was a bit of a wait for a seat at the bar so we had to stand for a little while till we fought some old men for seats. We won ;).
Beers were only $3 during HH. We had a couple and ordered some cheese fries to go along with it. I am not much a beer drinker, but I try them for Cody. I am proud to say that the Avalanche isn’t half bad. My sisters, on the other hand, one couldn’t finish her beer, and the other one took one sip and was grossed out immediately. (It’s important to note that neither me nor my sisters have yet to acquire the taste of beer which would be why we weren’t ecstatic over the beer.)
10. Dog Sledding- $$
The last thing I am recommending, I did not actually get to do because we tried to book too late. Like, the week of. Had we been a smaller group, we may have been okay. There were a few openings for one person which is how my sister did get a chance to go dog sledding.
If you are interested in this, which YOU SHOULD BE, I would recommend booking up to a month in advance. We went through the same company as we did the snowmobiling, Good Times Adventures. In fact, it worked out that she was dog sledding while we were snowmobiling.
The dog sledding groups are max 6 people. There are 8 dogs, each with a specific role and purpose. Two people ride on the sled at all times, one is just riding while the other is “mushing” which is essentially just holding the reins and telling the dogs to go/speed up/etc. The other 4 people are on a sled pulled behind a snowmobile watching the dogs.
These dogs are super smart and know exactly where to go. They are also beautiful animals. We got to see some of the sledding groups take off and it was fascinating. The dogs love their job and are so excited to get going. We could hear them barking in excitement knowing that they were about to head out on the trails. We also ran into my sisters sledding group while we were on the snowmobiles and it was so fun to watch them run with all their might through the trees and trails filled with snow.
What would I do differently?
Had I known more about Breckenridge, I would have done only a couple things differently.
- Travel during off season. The week between Christmas and New Years is their busiest season which means they are able to charge crazy amounts of money for lift tickets, parking, etc.
- Bought lift tickets 7 days in advance and avoided waiting in line for 45 minutes to get said lift ticket.
- Spent a day skiing in Vail.
I think our family is sold on winter trips, even my Dad! While we may not make it back to Breckenridge (simply because we aren’t ones to travel to the same place again) we will definitely be spending another winter holiday in snow!
I hope you found this helpful and enjoy your trip to Breckenridge!
Until next time,