A few weeks ago, I was invited to experience Keystone Resort with a child. The goal was for myself and other writers to experience and cover Kidtopia, a series of events offered all year long for kids of all ages, both on and off the snow. My son, who just turned 13, was just at the cusp of the age requested to attend the trip, but was prime material for both them and myself in terms of covering the resort. For one thing, he loves to ski. For another, he loves traveling and experiencing new things and he’s totally open to a jam-packed agenda. The two of us looked forward to this trip for months and when the time came to leave, he packed up his belongings very carefully.
The last time we traveled alone together was to Palm Springs. We had an amazing time, riding in a jeep in the desert, taking a tram to the top of the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains, going on water slides. He decided he wanted to move to Palm Springs during that visit and I decided I’d one day to follow him. We learned a lot about each other on that trip and I had been waiting for another experience like this for some time.
Traveling to Keystone
Taking my kids alone on trips with me has become an integral part of my motherhood. Besides, it’s travel that reconnects me with parts of my pre-motherhood self. Plus, it gives us time to bond on an entirely different level away from our routine and daily obligations. The fact that this was another west coast trip was exciting to both of us. Colorado was a new state, a new adventure for him. It was nearly as good as a new passport stamp, which he has grown to love getting.
The flight was painless – we both watched movies, read, and got some good shut eye after waking up at 5:30 to leave by 6. When we got to the airport, we quickly got our bags and jumped aboard a shuttle. Keystone is 90 minutes, or more depending on traffic and number of stops, from the airport. All in all, it took nearly a day to get there, but given the time difference, we arrived by 2pm.
Where We Rested Our Head
He was ready to rip, and I was determined to make the few days about one thing and one thing only: him. After checking into Hyatt Place Keystone (formerly the Inn at Keystone), we looked around and got familiar with our digs for the next few days. The hotel, which opened in early 2018, is located between Lakeside Village and River Run Village, was both convenient to everything, reasonable, and comfortable. We had our free Wi-Fi, a daily hot breakfast, lovely linens on the bed, three hot tubs which we utilized frequently, and my favorite and most needed appliance: a Keurig coffee maker.
Skiing at Keystone
My son is a skier, so our first day was spent on the mountain. We were offered a private lesson through Keystone’s Family Private Lesson together so we attempted it though he left midway through the lesson to do more serious skiing. David, our instructor, was exceedingly patient and careful, and we were able to at least start the day skiing and learning together. The lesson definitely helped me hone my skills, and though I didn’t manage to ski down the mountain as I usually do, I feel confident that I’ll benefit from it next time I hit the slopes.
We also went tubing down the mountain, at the Adventure Point Tubing Hut, which was spectacular. The trips down are short and sweet but exhilarating. We went ice-skating in Lakeside Village, supposedly the largest rink in North America, a fact that made my son even more interested. He’s actually quite good – as good as he is a skier, he is also good at ice-skating.
And how was the mountain? It’s one of the best and well-known ski resorts in the country, if not, the world, with 3,000 acres. There are a lot of lifts, restaurants and space on the mountain so the crowds were bearable. The show was fresh, and the trails varied by level and terrain.
Kidtopia – Fun For Everyone
We were there to also experience and explore Kidtopia, a program featuring a variety of free, daily family offerings such as arts and crafts, scavenger hunts, a village parade and fireworks, and the world’s largest snow fort on top of the mountain. We were lucky to be there during several special Kidtopia events that really made our weekend more special. We watched the parade, we went to a Carnival Bounce Party with bounce houses, we experienced the bounce castles and decorated cookies, ate cotton candy, . and got to watch Celebrity Kid Chefs Amber Kelley and Juliana Malfitano, as seen on Food Network, make dinner – not just make dinner but pasta and chocolate mousse. This was definitely a highlight of our trip.
The weekend was truly a bonding experience. For my son, it was a chance to get them good outdoors time in, including his favorite sport, and explore a new part of the country he’d yet to visit. For me, it was a combination of all that and more, as it gave us time to check in with one another, and for that, I’d visit Keystone again.
Disclosure: I was a guest of Keystone Resort, as was my son. We were there to cover Kidtopia and I have covered this resort for various publications. Stay tuned for those links!