My oldest son has a goal to ski every month this year. Good goal for a ski obsessed kid! [See this 12 year old’s ski video] So this weekend my husband took him to St. Mary’s Glacier to get in his August skiing. It turns out skiing has become a great opportunity for father-son bonding. It’s also great overall family bonding, but this was of the father-son genre. The take home for our family – It’s the Process that Matter Most, Not the End Result!
Hiking with all the gear!
Taking it all in!
Kai and Dad on the way up…
The process is so much more than making the turns – but it includes the turns! The process is talking about open ended questions on the way up the mountain to the destination. The process is getting on the pack and loading it up with boots and skis and gear and stuff, then putting said pack on this 12 year olds back and hiking up about a mile to get a few turns. A mile up hill. A mile to find just enough snow to make those necessary turns that he committed to earlier this year.
Sometimes the skiing happens at #Vail or #Breckenridge or #CopperMountain, but in the summer it has happened by earning his turns. I’ve got to believe this process helps create grit in my son! Grit that will help him in get through the tough parts in his life. Grit that he will call upon when he needs to hike that last mile or finish that tough homework assignment. There is nothing as important as having grit, so when Kai tells me about his experience and how it was tough but he did it, I take a deep breath that fills me up inside. I know the process and these experiences will fill him up in the end.
Take Homes from this Adventure:
Follow your passion
Do it even when it’s tough
Enjoy the process
Find a way to bond – something you enjoy doing together!
Skyler biking on the Rose Pedal trail in Beaver Creek.
Our family loves heading to the mountains! We are avid skiers and at least some of us love mountain biking. Sometimes on long Boulder rides our kids complain, but when we take them to a resort where we take the chairlift up, they always enjoy themselves!
Recently we headed to Beaver Creek for a conference my husband was attending and decided to take our nine year old. We love the entire Vail Valley for it’s ski potential, but it is easy to forget that this area is bustling in the summer with so much to do! There were families everywhere enjoying all the recreation options, sitting by a fire pit in the heart of Beaver Creek Village eating pizzas they picked up, making s’mores, ice skating, biking, hiking, swimming, etc… And these resorts know how to make it easy!
What can you do at ski resorts during the summer?
Mountain Bike: You can head up hill on your own or you can take the chairlift up and bike down. With kids we always choose the later. They love finding the fun trails down. They also enjoy eating up on the mountain! There were so many kids there! The really young ones were playing in sand box at the top of the lift, others were exploring, eating at the restaurant, or getting ready to hike or bike. Our favorite mountain biking trail was the Rose Pedal. We did this at least 4 times.
Hiking: There are endless hiking options in the Beaver Creek area. Hiking on the mountain gives you endless options for hikes for all levels. The flowers are amazing and the views are spectacular! Our favorite hike in that Vail Valley is Booth Creek Falls in Vail.
Ice Skating: They keep the ice rinks open all year around. So lace up your skates and take a twirl. The kids love this in the early evening!
Roast Marshmallows/Make S’mores: Beaver Creek is renowned for their warm cookies after a long day of skiing. In the summer if you stay at a hotel the warm cookies turned to s’more makings by the outdoor fire pit. Yummmmm!
Activities: Kids [and adults] can try their hand on outdoor climbing walls, a putt putt golf course, and much more.
Swimming: Take a dip with your kids, slope side. My son loved swimming after a long day of biking, hiking, & playing!
Things to consider for your visit:
Lodging: You can rent directly from any of the hotels in Beaver Creek, or try Vail On Sale, a discount lodging site for Vail and Beaver Creek. You can always enjoy Beaver Creek via a VRBO [Vacation Rental By Owner] deal. This option can net you a condo or house which might work best if you have a larger group.
Mountain Biking & Hiking: Purchase chairlift tickets for yourself and your bike onsite or here. It looks like the prices are the same if you purchase ahead of time or right when you need them. Often I find waiting with the kids is best because I just never know what might come up. Kids under 12 are FREE!
Activities: There are events and concerts happening all year around. To find out what is happening at Beaver Creek check in here.
Yesterday we got out for a really fun bike ride with the kids along the South Boulder Creek Trail. I think this one is appropriate for most ages as long as your child is steady on dirt paths. The ride started at Marshal Road right off of Broadway heading South out of Boulder. There is plenty of parking along the road. The South Boulder Trail connects to the Bobolink Trail as it heads under South Boulder Road. Both trails are relatively flat, meandering at times, but generally perfect for most kids.
The ride started with both of my kids begrudgingly getting on bikes. But really as soon as they hit the trail they forgot about their initial feelings and cruised along. We headed out along the wide dirt path and meandered over bridges, under a road, along agricultural land with cattle, along South Boulder Creek and the beautiful trees lining the creek, & checked out some cute prairie dogs [kept our distance]. The kids had a great time! We stopped as often as we wanted along the creek for them to throw rocks, climb trees, or walk along the irrigation pipes. The whole path is a playground.
I will definitely be adding this trail to my Top 5 Bike Rides for Kids in Boulder!
Distance: 2 miles along South Boulder Creek Trail to the connection with Bobolink [out and back]. If you take the trail all the way to Bobolink Trailhead add 1.5 miles from the tunnel under South Boulder Road.
Difficulty: Easy to moderate [only because it is all on dirt trail, so some biking proficiency is helpful]
My kids are fascinated with money. For kids it is a constant source of questions: Can I buy that? Is it too expensive? Why can’t we buy that $500 toy? If you are reading this blog I know you get it. I thought it would be great for my kids to see how money is made and so we toured the Denver Mint this Monday. Touring the Denver Mint is a fun, free activity for kids in Denver.
History: The Denver Mint produces the most coins in the United States. They have a long and storied history that is part of the gold rush throughout the Western United States. The building is impressive–old and beautiful. It also holds a LOT of gold.
Experience: If you are like our Boulder family you know you are doing something special because you are going to the big city: Denver! You stand in line and get checked in by security much like the airport. Immediately you realize this is serious business and your small group [20 people] move into the building to check out some displays. The displays are somewhat interesting, but not overwhelmingly so because they are not hands on. Two tour guides take you through a few different rooms that hold displays. They also explain what is going on below you through the windows: they are making coins of all kinds. This is captivating! They are rolling out the coins we use daily. There were kids of all ages on our tour who seemed interested in the experience.
Logistics: You have to make reservations ahead of time on their website. They book far in advance, but if you can keep checking back and sometimes things open up.
Time: 30+ minutes
What we liked most: Seeing coins made and hearing the old lore about the Mint
What we liked least: The tour was short. It was not hands on.
Recommendation:We recommend going if your kids are seven  or older. Younger ones can go, but this older group will actually enjoy it the most.