Our spring break destination this year was Steamboat Colorado. With the exception of a very sad Baby Sophie, everyone went to the top of the mountain.
Choosing to lug gear for so many people on a ski vacation is never an easy decision. Five pairs of skis, 5 pairs of boots, Ten poles, ten gloves, six hats, and as many long johns and turtlenecks as can be located, borrowed, and acquired. The packing alone makes you want to get back into bed and hibernate. But choosing to return to Steamboat was a no-brainer, based on one simple fact. Kids ski free at Steamboat.
MAXIMIZE SAVINGS BY BOOKING LIFT TICKETS ONLINE
Yes, it’s true. Kids ski free at Steamboat. But I found out on the mountain that the deal is much better online than in person. At the mountain, every 5-day adult lift ticket comes with a free child lift ticket. Compare that to a $260 price tag at Vail for a 5 day child lift pass and you’ll agree that the savings are real.
If I’d booked online, I could have bought a 3 or 4-day lift ticket and gotten free child passes without having to commit to 5 days of skiing. I won’t be making that expensive mistake again!
SLOPES FOR ALL ABILITIES
Beyond the free lift tickets, the mountain has a great network of long and easy trails which are perfect for beginners. The Why Not green trail winds around the entire mountain and takes a good 45 minutes to get through, keeping us off the lift and skiing longer. As the week progressed, and the kids got more confident, we moved on to the terrain parks and the right side of the mountain which is packed with easy blue trails. Steamboat is large enough that we weren’t bored with the mountain after four days of skiing; we discovered new areas every day.
TRUE SKI IN SKI OUT ACCESS
During our last visit two years ago, we stayed at a condo near the mountain, and while the shuttle was convenient, it was still a fair amount of schlepping with three kids, three helmets, five sets of skis, four sets of helmets, not to mention disappearing ski gloves and goggles. This year, we wanted true ski in ski out convenience and we found it at the Steamboat Sheraton. Our skis were stored in the basement and we walked right out onto the gondola line. No shuttle, no schlepping, no stress. Room rates were reasonable at $300 a night.
PLENTY OF DINING OPTIONS
Downtown Steamboat has tons of cute restaurants and shops. We had a lovely lunch at Winona’s and an amazing pizza dinner at Mazzola’s Italian Diner. But most nights, we were too tired to venture off the mountain. Thankfully the Truffle Pig is close enough that you can crawl there and has the most amazing menu: beautiful oysters, perfectly cooked steaks, and cocktails the fanciest Chicago bar would be proud to serve. And although the menu is very elegant, they’re very happy to seat families. I can’t think of a better way to end a spring skiing day than with a nice glass of Malbec and a medium rare Bison tenderloin, and the Truffle Pig made that happen not once, but twice. We’ll be headed there for our next Steamboat vacation!
Our vacation would have been a complete disaster without the help of Jessica Wearren from Steamboat Babysitting. Jessica runs the company which employs 17 babysitters, but she watched Baby Sophie herself for our four days of skiing. She texted us pictures of happy Sophie while we skied the mountain, and took the older kids one by one as they tired of skiing. When the lifts closed, we met her at the bottom of the mountain where everyone was enjoying apres ski hot chocolate. She was flexible, accommodating, and was the extra pair of hands we needed to get the whole family on the mountain. I can’t recommend her services enough. Make sure to call her with 4-6 weeks notice to reserve her services.
We’ll be headed back to Steamboat next year for our next ski vacation. I watched the kids graduate from green to blue slopes, beaming with smiles ear to ear. I even overheard Juju, as she sped by me, screaming, “BEST SPRING BREAK EVER!!!!!” We’ll be counting the days til next spring til we can let loose on the powder again.