Winter makes The Mile High City sparkle. There's plenty of snowy fun this year, from a Winter Brew Fest to a rare winter concert at Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre. Denver is also the world's largest après ski town. It's a great place to gear up, find deals and acclimatize before you hit the higher Rocky Mountain ski slopes of Colorado. You can even ride a ski train from the city to the slopes via the new Winter Park Express.
SOUTHWEST RINK AT SKYLINE PARK
WHEN: Nov. 22, 2016-Feb. 14, 2017
WHERE: Southwest Rink at Skyline Park, the corner of 16th and Arapahoe
Take a spin on the ice - for free! Grab your family and friends and head to 16th and Arapahoe in downtown Denver to the Southwest Rink at Skyline Park! Skate rentals are $2 - or bring your own pair and skate for FREE! Free days for kids will take place throughout the season. Look for regularly scheduled entertainment and activities each week including: Friday night Djs; Saturday morning skating lessons; Saturday night concerts; and Sunday afternoon family entertainment.
ICELANTIC'S WINTER ON THE ROCKS
WHEN: Jan. 27, 2017
WHERE: Red Rocks Amphitheatre
Don't miss the annual Icelantic's Winter on the Rocks, a rare winter concert at one of the world's most iconic venues, Red Rocks Amphitheatre. This year's headliner is Zedd, with Anderson Paak & the Free Nationals and Lil Dicky completing the lineup.
WINTER BREW FEST
WHEN: Jan. 27 & 28, 2017
WHERE: Mile High Station
Toast the winter season at Winter Brew Fest. This annual event at Mile High Station celebrates craft beverages from around Colorado and other U.S. microbrews and feature; live local music, food, and other vendors. Cheers!
WINTER BEAUTY IN DENVER'S PARKS
The Mile High City boasts more than 4,000 acres of traditional parks and parkways, which include 2,500 urban natural acres. In the winter, they take on a wondrous glow, offering opportunities for cross-country skiing, sledding and snowshoeing. Stroll through City Park during this season and take in gorgeous views of the skyline, framed by the Rocky Mountains. Cheesman Park positively glitters in winter, with large snowy expanses stretching out in front of you. Snowball fight, anyone?
WINTER FUN AND NEARBY SKI SLOPES
Located two hours or less from most Front Range ski areas, Denver has always been the gateway to Colorado skiing and boarding.
Winter Park Resort is nestled at the base of the Continental Divide at the east end of the Fraser Valley. As the closest major destination resort to Denver, Winter Park offers easy access to skiers arriving at Denver International Airport from hundreds of domestic and international points. Just two hours from the airport, the surrounding mountain expanses and breathtaking scenery at Winter Park give visitors the impression that they are far away from the hustle and hassle of city life. If you don't want to drive, hop on the Winter Park Express ski train for a memorable ride through a stunning landscape.
One of the largest ski resorts in the world with more than 5,200 acres of open terrain, Back Bowls spanning seven miles, and the most groomed terrain on the planet, Vail has been the ideal winter destination for skiers and snowboarders for more than 50 years. Besides being one of the favorite ski destinations in the world, Vail features everything from Ski & Snowboard School to on-mountain events, shops and spas, numerous dining options and luxurious accommodations. Vail is a mountain resort like nothing on earth.
LOVELAND SKI AREA
Just 53 miles west of Denver on I-70, Loveland Ski Area is super-close to Denver and averages 400 inches of snow annually. Loveland's location offers unique skiing possibilities you simply cannot find at other ski areas. There's no glitz here. For over half a century, Loveland has been long known for some of the best skiing and snowboarding conditions in Colorado. At Loveland you get 1,365 diverse acres of terrain and breath-taking views from the second highest chairlift in the world, high atop the Continental Divide. Whether you need to escape from the city for a day of riding and a night of good food, Loveland won't disappoint. Daytripper packages are available including lift ticket, equipment and clothing rental. Ski school lessons are available for all abilities and schedules.
Seventy miles west of Denver, in Summit County, Colorado, you'll find Keystone Resort. With 131 trails, 235 inches of snow, more than 3,000 skiable acres, and 20 lifts, Keystone delivers a truly world-class mountain experience, all within a short drive from Denver and the Front Range. At 11,640 feet, Dercum Mountain is home to long, open runs and perfect groomers to keep you cruising all day - a great place to start for beginners and intermediate skiers and snowboarders. For those who crave big air, Keystone's A51 Terrain Park will not disappoint. Named a top-ranked park by Freeskier and Transworld Magazines, this is the place to be for shredders and jibbers. Looking to explore Denver by day and Keystone at night? The mountain offers not only the largest night skiing operation in Colorado, but the longest ski day as well, operating from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
ARAPAHOE BASIN SKI AREA
Known for its excellent snow and extended ski season (the longest in Colorado), Arapahoe Basin Ski Area (or "A-Basin" to locals) is 68 miles from Denver, with killer views. A-Basin's acclaimed terrain and laid-back vibe make it a favorite for experts to beginners. Half of the mountain is above timberline with open-bowl skiing and snowboarding through spring and into early summer. One of its signature runs, Pallavicini, is one of Colorado's longest and steepest trails. Family-friendly features include two learning areas, a full-service Snowsports School, on-site rentals and three dining locations. On sunny days, you might want to lounge on "The Beach," a stretch near the Early Riser parking lot that backs up to three lower-mountain chairlifts.
ELDORA MOUNTAIN RESORT
A favorite among locals due to its convenient location — only 21 miles from Boulder and 47 miles from Denver — Eldora Mountain receives 300 inches of snow per year. Eldora boasts Colorado's best snowmaking system. Coverage is 100 percent of groomed terrain, more than any other resort in Colorado. Eldora also holds the distinction of being accessible via public transportation — you can take the bus from Boulder up the mountain for a mere $4.50 one way.
Ski and Snowshoe Tours
Take a ski, snowboard or snowshoe tour of Colorado's world-class ski resorts or experience the gorgeous backcountry and let someone else do the driving and planning. Aspire Tours will pick you up from your hotel in Denver and show you an amazing time with experienced guides. Trips usually take 9-10 hours and are perfect for those who have limited days to enjoy the famous ski country.
Outfitting in Denver
Denver is a great place to outfit before you head up into the hills. One of the local supermarket chains, King Soopers, sells lift tickets at a small discount. REI is one of the largest sporting goods stores in the nation, offering a full range of ski, snowboard, cross country ski, snowshoeing and winter clothing. Denver boasts more winter sports stores per capita (and has the highest number of skiers per capita) of any city in America, and big city competition makes the prices much cheaper than the mountains.