Our entire family loves Breckenridge, Colorado, the historic mountain town 90 minutes outside of Denver. Our first visit was in the summertime, but we came back to experience Breckenridge Ski Resort and all the things to do in Breckenridge in winter — and we had just as much fun.
Winter is the busiest time to visit the ski town of Breckenridge, Colorado, so we have some suggestions for planning and making the most of your ski trip, plus some ideas the best Breckenridge winter activities that don’t include skiing.
Here are 25 things to do in Breckenridge in winter that you and your crew are going to love!
FUN ON THE SLOPES
With 5 peaks, 2,908 acres of skiable area, 187 trails, four terrain parks, and Imperial Express – the tallest chairlift in North America, Breckenridge Ski Resort is the place to go for fun in the snow. With so many options for all ability levels, you’ll find something for everyone in your crew here – both skiers and riders.
Breckenridge receives some of the highest snow totals in Colorado each year, making it the perfect place for your Rocky Mountain ski experience.
If you’re a planner, check out their winter trail map ahead of time!
BRECKENRIDGE LODGING & HOTELS
Wherever you decide to stay, for the best deal on any of the ski resorts in Colorado, the key is book early during the season. For winter vacations, you’ll want to book in August. Not only will you have more choices, but once the ski season begins, rates go up.
Shoulder season, like Thanksgiving week, is also a good bet if you want to save some money. Many Denver-area ski resorts, like Breckenridge, have snow through April, so spring skiing is also a time to save some money. You’re taking a chance on snowfall, but if you’re lucky, you’ll get great snow and savings on lodging.
And…may we suggest renting a spot with a hot tub?
Read More: 21 AMAZING COLORADO RESORTS FOR EVERY TYPE OF TRAVELER
SKI BRECKENRIDGE LIFT TICKETS
Once you have lodging situated, another big expense is your lift ticket. Purchase your Breckenridge ski pass before you get to this Colorado ski resort, it will save you money, and guarantee you a spot.
To prioritize the guest experience, Vail Resorts will be limiting lift ticket sales across their 37 North American resorts during the 2022-2023 season. This restriction includes Breckenridge Ski Resort. Purchasing your tickets online early is your best bet.
The Epic Pass grants you unlimited access to many Vail ski resorts, including Breckenridge, all season. There are no blackout dates, and it includes Epic Mountain Rewards, granting you 20% off food, lodging, lessons, rentals and more.
There’s also an Epic Local Pass (with blackout dates) and an Epic Local College Pass (for students). The Epic Day Pass allows you to build your own pass — between 1-7 days — and visit throughout the season. You can also choose access to a group of 22, 32, or all 38 ski resorts.
BRECKENRIDGE SKI EQUIPMENT RENTALS
If you rent from a ski resort, make sure to go the night before you want to ski. Getting equipment can take a while, and you don’t want to eat up your ski day getting fitted.
You can book your ski equipment rentals online in advance. If you know you’ll be renting equipment for 2 days or more, you can pick up your equipment at any of their locations across Breck’s bases or in the village — so you can choose the location most convenient to you!
Don’t want to wait in line for equipment? We’ve made snowboarding a lifestyle, but before we owned our equipment, Ski Butlers was our ski (and boarding) rental service of choice. These guys deliver to your hotel or condo – and pick up- for only a few dollars more than the jam-packed shops just down the road. And the equipment? Best in the business! Check out Ski Butlers on your next vacation!
BRECKENRIDGE SKI SCHOOL
If it’s your first time skiing, or you just want a refresher on your skills, consider spending time in the Breckenridge Ski School. They have lots of great options, depending on what you’re looking for.
For the kids in your group, you can choose Child Group Lessons for kids ages 3-14. They have lessons for all ability levels, whether your child is brand new to the sport or just wants to improve. You’ll also find Child Group Snowboard Lessons as well.
If the whole family wants to take lessons together, consider taking Private Ski Lessons or Private Snowboard Lessons that are customized to your group or family, for up to 6 people.
Adults aren’t left out of the learning fun. Adult Group Ski Lessons and Adults Group Snowboard Lessons are also available.
The newest addition to the ski school is the All-Terrain Program for kids ages 7-14 who are comfortable on blue runs or above. Kids can make new friends while taking on an ATP Challenge!
If you live nearby, season-long lessons are also available, and usually begin registration in mid-September.
Full-day lessons and full-day group lessons for children will include lunch. Participants will be responsible for bringing or purchasing their own food in private lessons, group lessons for adults, and season-long and specialty lessons for children.
Space is limited and spots can sell out, so it’s best to book these lessons online in advance.
BRECKENRIDGE NORDIC CENTER
Another way to experience the slopes in Breckenridge is by making a visit to the Breckenridge Nordic Center. Here you can enjoy Nordic cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, Snowcat adventures, lessons, and more.
Enjoy the peaceful woods and amazing mountain views while exploring some of the over 2,000 acres of ski trails. They offer equipment rentals, Nordic skiing lessons, and snowshoe adventures.
For a totally unique snow adventure, consider a Guided Snowshoe Adventure. At the Nordic Center, the guide will lead you on a 1-hour snowshoe hike while giving you information on the local ecology and history of Summit County. You can also take part in a Guided Group Snowshoe Adventure.
Self-guided snowshoe trips are also popular, and there are many well-marked trails to choose from. A complimentary Trail Pass is included in all Guided Snowshoe and Lesson pricing.
Snowshoe Tours are available 7 days/week for all ability levels.
After a day on the trails, stop by the lodge for some hot chocolate, drinks, food, and more.
GOLD RUN NORDIC CENTER
With classic and skate cross-country ski trails, snowshoe trails, fat biking, sleigh rides, ski lessons for all abilities, a newly remodeled clubhouse, and a well-stocked shop, the Gold Run Nordic Center promises a great time for all.
You’ll find plenty of amazing trails, equipment rentals, lessons and so much more at Gold Run Nordic Center.
Perfect for all ability levels, you’ll find breathtaking mountain views along with other fun activities. There are even dog-friendly trails here!
Want to explore more of Breckenridge? Try one of these fun tours!
- Tour Vail and Breckenridge with your phone. Discover the foothills of the Rocky Mountains around Boulder, Vail, and Breckenridge while enjoying the convenience of a smartphone audio self-guided tour connected to your vehicle’s stereo system.
- Take the Ultimate Mountain Tour from Denver. This is one of the most diverse, full-day, guided mountain tours of the Rocky Mountains. Explore the old mining town of Breckenridge, Red Rocks Park & Amphitheater, cross the Continental Divide & more.
- Explore between Vail or Breck and Denver. Using your smartphone and vehicle’s stereo, enjoy a sight-seeing, fact-finding, trivia-answering adventure on this self-guided driving tour along Interstate 70 between Denver and Vail or Breckenridge.
WAYS TO PLAY OFF THE SLOPES IN BRECKENRIDGE
Although Breckenridge is arguably one of the best ski resorts in the Colorado mountains, one of the many reasons we love Breck is that it’s not just a contrived ski resort, but a real working, breathing town with a history beyond the snow.
There is a lot to do in the town of Breckenridge beyond just playing on the mountain at the Breckenridge Ski Resort. Here are 20+ things to do in Breckenridge in winter off the ski slopes.
BRECKENRIDGE WELCOME CENTER
The best place to start a visit to the town of Breckenridge is at the Breckenridge Welcome Center. In addition to information about all the things going on in Breck, they have an awesome (and free!) museum.
Located in the heart of town, the Breckenridge Welcome Center is located on South Main Street. You’ll find everything you need to know about your trip to Breckenridge here — from dining and shopping to activities on the mountain and beyond.
In 2022, you’ll find a new exhibit upstairs in the welcome center called “60 Years of Breckenridge Ski Resort History in 60 Objects.” You’ll see objects from 60 years of the resort’s history — everything from skis and snowboards to clothing and trail maps. It’s definitely worth a stop!
Formerly known as the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance, Breckenridge History preserves and shares the history of the area via tours, museums, hikes, exhibits, and more.
Tour one of the free local museums to learn more about the people who previously called this historic mining town home. Kids will especially love a visit to High Line Railroad Park, where they’ll find an original narrow-gauge engine and other railroad artifacts. There’s also a themed playground here.
There are plenty of great tours to take part in, as well. Consider the Lomax Mine Site and Gold Panning tour, or hike the Golden Horseshoe Tour, and learn more about one of the most fertile mining areas.
Taking a tour or exploring their museums is a great way to learn more about Breckenridge’s past.
FREE SLEDDING HILLS
If you’re looking for some inexpensive wintertime fun, then check out the free sledding hills in Breckenridge.
The new Runaway Sledding Hill on Fraction Drive is free and is located near the free parking lot on Airport Road and along the popular Breckenridge Free Ride bus loop. It’s a walk-up man-made hill that’s sure to guarantee you’ll have a fun day. Porta potties are on site.
You’ll also find a free “sled shed” at the Runaway Sledding Hill. It’s kind of like the “Little Free Libraries” except with sleds, and you return them when you’re done for the day. If they don’t have any, you can also buy a sled of your own at City Market or the Breckenridge Market.
Carter Park also offers a free sledding hill. Located just four blocks east of Main Street, this walk-up sledding hill has just the right amount of steepness. Parking on-site is limited, but bus and lodging shuttles drop-off nearby.
INTERNATIONAL SNOW SCULPTURE CHAMPIONSHIPS
Creativity abounds at the beginning of each year in Breckenridge when the International Snow Sculpture Championships come to town!
This world-renowned snow competition comes to Breckenridge every January. You’ll see teams from around the world hand-carving 25-ton blocks of snow into works of art — and it is truly amazing to see. Using only hand tools and their creativity over the course of five days, these artists spend around 94 hours constructing the sculptures.
If you’re in town during the competition week, or the week following, make sure to stop by historic downtown Breckenridge to see the temporary outdoor art!
A visit to the Breckenridge Distillery is a must-do activity. Visit the distillery itself for a tour, stop by the tasting room on Main Street, or grab a bite to eat at their restaurant.
The restaurant is open Wednesday-Sunday and offers lunch, happy hour, and dinner. Distillery tours are offered every Sunday, and concludes with a tasting of their bourbon whiskey. After Hours Tours are also available.
Stop by for a complimentary tasting of two of their spirits. Your choices include Breckenridge Bourbon, Breckenridge Vodka, Breckenridge Gin, Breckenridge Pear Vodka, Breckenridge Chili Chile Vodka, Breckenridge Espresso Vodka, Breckenridge Spiced Whiskey, Breckenridge Spiced Rum, Aquavit, and Breckenridge Bitter.
The Founder’s Lab offers an immersive tasting experience featuring flights and more.
FAT BIKE RIDING
“What is fat bike riding?” you may be wondering. Basically, it’s when you dress like a skier, but ride like a mountain biker. Fitted with 4.8″ tires, fat bikes are a great way to explore the trails of Breck in a new way.
The Gold Run Nordic Center offers fat bike rentals and trails. Bikers can also take advantage of the free, groomed Blue River Recreation path between Breckenridge and Frisco. There are also additional groomed trails in the iconic Golden Horseshoe.
There are also fat biking tours in Breckenridge at the Gold Run Nordic Center. Ridden even offers fat bike tours that lead to a local distillery or brewery.
Dog Sledding in Breckenridge? Sign us up! This backcountry adventure would be a great and unique way to explore the area.
Good Times Adventures offers dog sledding tours along a 6-mile trail. You’ll get a chance to run the dogs, ride in the dogsled, and follow along in the passenger sleigh with the guide. So much fun!
GOLDRUNNER ALPINE COASTER
Take a break from skiing to ride the GoldRunner Alpine Coaster!
Race down the mountain on 2,500 feet of elevated roller coaster track as you enjoy a thrilling journey around and through the forest. Ride single or with a friend, managing your own speed through the hairpin curves.
Read More: HAVE FUN AT BRECKENRIDGE ALPINE SLIDE & EPIC DISCOVERY (SORT OF) THEME PARK
BLUE RIVER PLAZA
Outside the Breckenridge Welcome Center is the Blue River Plaza, which has a play area for toddlers and small children.
This is also the gathering spot for the town of Breckenridge. You’ll find ample seating, so you can take in the beauty of the mountains. Many restaurants and shops are nearby.
ENJOY HAPPY HOUR ON THE BLUE RIVER
There are so many amazing restaurants in Breckenridge, but taking the family can put a dent in your budget. Thankfully, many of the best restaurants also have incredible happy hours. Bonus: folks coming from the East Coast are ready to eat early anyway!
Try Twist, Mi Casa, or the Breckenridge Brewery!
SHOPPING IN BRECK
Breck has lots of fun and unique locally owned shops and restaurants, so if you need a break from the slopes, this is a good way to while away a few hours. My two favorites are Marigold’s Farmhouse Funk and Junk, and Ole Man Berkin’s Bookstore. If you need a card to send to your ex who just broke up with you, Berkin’s is the place to find it.
The town of Breckenridge has several art galleries, in fact, it was here that I fell in love with the work of Atlanta artist Houston Llew.
Try the Breckenridge Gallery, Raitman Art Galleries, or Art on a Whim Gallery in downtown Breckenridge.
Breckenridge is home to some special events throughout the year — including in the winter!
We’ve already mentioned the International Snow Sculpture Championships above, but you can also find the Lighting of Breckenridge and the Racing of the Santas (ha!) in December, and the Ullr Fest, celebrating Ullr, the Norse god of snow!
The rivers around Breckenridge don’t freeze over, so even in the winter, fly fishing is a popular activity.
Trout fishing along the Lower Blue River at Dillon Dam and at The Dream Stream on the South Platte River are popular options in the winter.
BRECKENRIDGE REC CENTER
The Breckenridge Rec Center is a hidden gem. There is an indoor pool with a zero entry for little ones and a lap pool for swimmers. In addition, there is a water slide, lazy river, rope swing, basketball nets, and a climbing wall.
You can get day, week or monthly passes.
The Stephen C West Ice Arena is on the southside of town and offers fun ice skating opportunities. You can take a lesson, or visit during the public sessions. Skate rentals are offered here too.
Ice skating is held daily on either the indoor or outdoor (October-April) rink.
VISIT THE BRECK MUSEUMS
The town of Breckenridge has several historical museums including the Barney Ford House Museum and Edwin Carter Museum. If you have kids, the Mountain Top Children’s Museum is a must visit!
At Mountain Top, you’ll find fun interactive exhibits, including a STEM Lab and a Tot Spot for your littlest explorers.
THE BACKSTAGE THEATRE COMPANY
Trade in the snow…for a show! The Backstage Theatre Company is the oldest theater company on Colorado’s western slope, and has shows year-round.
You’ll find plays, musicals, camps and classes offered here. Definitely check out a show here when you’re in town if you can — they’re regional award winners for a reason!
MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR TRIP TO COLORADO
- YOUR COLORADO VACATION
- HAPPY HOURS: 14 Best Breckenridge Happy Hour Deals For Families
- VAIL: 33 Sensational Things To Do In Vail
- ASPEN: 18 Best Things To Do In Aspen For Year-Round Fun
- DENVER: 43 Best Things To Do In Denver That You’ll Love
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