I think we can all agree that most of us love winter in Colorado because we get to hit the slopes. But there are those weekends where making the long drive on I-70 just doesn’t fit into the game plan. Here is a list of unique ways to get out of the house and enjoy our state with friends and family. As you make mid-week and weekend plans, be sure to put these outings on your list!

Sledding

By now you’ve probably heard that Ruby Hill is closed for the season. The city is in the process of making the park more recreational in the warmer months and in doing so, have put up fencing at the bottom of our beloved sledding hill. Don’t fret, there are many more options for you and your tube. Check out Barnum Park located at 360 Hooker St. in Denver if you want to stay close to the city. Have little ones or maybe you’re a beginner? Veterans Park offers a sweet little hill for the less adventurous. For the more serious thrill-seekers, take a drive to the Dutch Henri tubing hill in Leadville. They offer tube rentals and FREE sledding for tube owners. They boast hills for beginners, advanced and the intermediate enthusiasts! Finally, there is Sledding Hill Park in Littleton located at South Kipling Pkwy and West Ken Caryl Ave. There is limited parking so prepare to walk a bit, but the hill is worth the journey!

Ice Skating

Ice Skating in the heart of the city, is one of our family’s favorite traditions during the winter months. For this we love the Southwest Rink at Skyline Park on 16th and Arapahoe.  Skating is FREE and you can rent skates for just $2. They are open seven days a week through Feb. 14th.

If you want to escape the city, Evergreen Lake House (29612 Upper Bear Creek Road (Log building at the lake)

Evergreen,) allows you to connect with nature on a large frozen lake. It is divided into several small rinks, so there’s plenty of room to start a pick-up hockey game of your own! They have a snack bar and hot cocoa in the lodge for half-time. We love the breakfast burritos, but feel free to pack your own lunch!

Winter Hiking

Roxborough State Park is a great option for winter hiking.  When the massive red rock formations are dusted with snow, this place turns into a winter wonderland. A State Park fee is required.

If snowshoeing is your game, then you won’t want to miss the Emerald Lake hike in Rocky Mountain National Park (Bear Lake Rd., Estes Park). This mellow three and a half mile hike takes you past three lakes only to end with

a gorgeous view of Emerald Lake and Hallett Peak. The terrain is majestic and the hike is rated easy, so this one works for the entire family! Don’t have snowshoes? Rent from Estes Park Mountain Shop on Big Thompson Ave.

If walking is more your speed, try a Denver Story Trek! Explore and learn more about our city with a self-guided tour of the historic landmarks including museums, homes and parks.  There are dozens of Story Sites and Treks to choose from. You can call for your audio guided tour or simply download the audio file and get exploring!

Visit www.denverstorytrek.org for more details.

Explore the Cosmos

Take part in a 60 year Denver tradition by exploring the night skies through the Alvan Clark-Saegmuller telescope at DU’s Historic Chamberlin Observatory (2930 E. Warren Ave, Denver).  These “Public Nights” hosted by the Denver Astronomical Society are every T/Th evening at 7:30pm. These nights begin with an informative astronomy presentation followed by telescopic veiws of the moon, stars, planets and galaxies etc. These shows are designed specifically for the “non-astronomer” who wants to learn more about the universe, so bring the whole family!

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