Keystone loudly declared itself "the" ski resort family destination last season with the debut of Kidtopia, a recurring children's festival awash with activities.
"Keystone is going back to being kid-friendly," says longtime employee and Kidtopia Headquarters Manager Jessica Schneider. "It's the new old."
Kidtopia lives up to its grand name, with five separate family weeks and a signature event featuring child-oriented concerts, games (limbo, anyone?), kid-participation parades, and an activities tent with options such as snowmaking experiments, face-painting and winter crafts. Kidtopia's themed events -- last season's offerings included a Western BBQ (complimentary cowboy hats for all), nighttime Disco Tubing and an Aloha Lunch Skate -- and details such as free midafternoon hot chocolate and cookies by the firepit further assure you that Keystone
knows how to keep little ones happy.
The Kidtopia kingpin, however, is a giant mountaintop snow playground, which appeared last season in the form of a two-story snow fort. Kids -- and more than a few young-at-heart grown-ups -- crawled through tunnels, skidded down snow slides, discovered hidden trails and perched on an ice throne in this shimmering snow castle.
If you miss the Kidtopia weeks, don't despair: The playground is open to the public through most of the winter. Plus, Keystone offers other family attractions, including tubing (try it under the lights) and snowbiking at Adventure Point (on top of Dercum Mountain), ice skating on Keystone Lake, sleigh rides through Soda Creek Valley and welcoming faces everywhere.
"We've talked about going other places, but the people are so friendly here," says Kim Erickson of West Des Moines, Iowa, a Keystone regular and mother of Ellie, 8, and Cole, 6. "There are a lot of families here, so we feel like we fit in."
-- Kellee Katagi