January’s Learn To Ski And Snowboard Month Also Means Deals

I’m sort of amazed at how few people from Colorado actually ski/snowboard. Most of the time, the people that are excited to be on the slopes are those that have moved from somewhere else. I’m not certain if it is the perception that skiing is expensive or a hassle (it can be – but you can also score deals, spend great family time together, get exercise and more). And some people don’t do it because they never learned how. January is Learn to ski and snowboard month – so take advantage of these great deals and learn a new sport that can be enjoyed with the whole family. Then when you out of town guests come to town and want to go skiing you will be able to show them how!

 

Junior Trade Program. The best deal in town for kid’s equipment is the Junior Ski Trade program at Colorado Ski and Golf (Ski and Sport/Boulder Deals) locations. The easy-on-the-budget program provides deeply discounted prices on full set-ups (skis, bindings, poles, boots, safety check) for both new and used equipment for children and teens who take advantage of this annual update program. The advantage: annual exchange of equipment “grows” with the kids allowing them to be in the right-sized boots and right sized ski or snowboard. The cost for the entire first season on used equipment starts at $99.99 or starting at $199.99 for a brand new equipment set-up. (Normal single day rental is typically somewhere around $30). For every subsequent season the child participates in Junior Trade through Colorado Ski & Golf, customers get a 50 percent in-store credit on their initial purchase price towards updated and re-fitted gear. Early birds get the widest selection of sizes and brands. The program is available to youth snowboarders at a slightly higher price.

 

Ski Area Programs, Deals and Fun:

  • Arapahoe Basin – First timer lessons (1/2 day) Adult (15+) tickets including lesson are just $70. http://arapahoebasin.com/ABasin/lessons/lssm.aspx#sthash.FOv3MjV3.dpuf
  • Aspen/Snowmass – A true family adventure. For $405 you can get a full day lesson for up to 5 people. The whole family can get a lesson together. https://www.aspensnowmass.com/plan-your-stay/lessons/buttermilk-deluxe
  • Copper Mountain – Ski and Ride University at Copper has an amazing offer. Three lessons (including lift tickets, equipment, close parking and lunch on the 2nd and 3rd days) for $249. After you complete the three lessons – you get a Copper pass for the remainder of the year and an opportunity to buy a season pass for NEXT year at 50% off! Serious DEAL! (The current day rate for one day, just the lift ticket is $150) com/SRSU#sthash.FOv3MjV3.dpuf
  • Eldora Mountain Resort – Eldora is offering two different options. One for kids. One for adults. For the kids, The Start with Woodward Children’s Learn to ski package. At just $159 the day includes a full day lift ticket, all day rental, all day lesson with snacks. The adult package is $149 it includes lift ticket, all day equipment rental and a ½ day lesson (3.5 hours).
  • Keystone – Colorado Residents that took advantage of the Epic School Kids program (free for Kindergarten through 5th Graders – but registration closed in October). Can get their free lesson this month. Adults can take advantage of the Adult Novice Ski lesson Buy 2, Get 1 Free deal. This deal makes it just over $115 a day (Normal walk up rate for Keystone is close to $130 for just the lift ticket. https://www.keystoneresort.com/plan-your-trip/ski-and-ride-lessons.aspx
  • Loveland – All first timer adults and children will receive a free season pass when they complete three Level 1 lessons. http://skiloveland.com/rentals-lessons/3-class-pass/.#sthash.FOv3MjV3.dpuf
  • Monarch – Probably one of the least expensive deals that we have found is the Monarch group lesson at just $55 for ½ day junior group lesson (junior is for kids ages 7-12). skimonarch.com/group-lessons/
  • Purgatory – For packages starting at just $74 you get two days of lift tickets, rental gear and full day beginner lessons. On the third day, you get a free lift ticket, 50% off rental gear and 50% off a half-day lesson. You also get a 50% off discount card on lift tickets, rentals and lessons for the rest of the season.
  • Steamboat – (Where I learned when I was in elementary school there). Get two days of lessons, rentals and lift tickets for just $199 January 9-31. This offer is good for adults and kids older than first grade. https://www.steamboat.com/plan-your-trip/lessons/snowsports-school/2-day-learn-to-ski-or-ride.#sthash.FOv3MjV3.dpuf
  • Sunlight – January 6 Sunlight will celebrate it’s 30th Annual Skier Appreciation Day with $20 lift tickets (all ticket proceeds go to United Way of Garfield County). And take advantage of their Teacher/Studen Appreciation Day on Sunday, January 10 with free lift tickets for teachers and $20 lift tickets for students. sunlightmtn.com.#sthash.FOv3MjV3.dpuf

 

5th and 6th Grade Passport. Colorado Ski Country is still offering the 5th and 6th Grade Passport. If you have a student in 5th or 6th grades. You can get the best deal in the state! FREE Skiing/Snowboarding (for the 5th graders) Yes, we said FREE! Or just $125 if they are in 6th Grade. In addition to the skiing at the 21 member resorts you get a FREE beginner level lesson which includes equipment rental on the day of the lesson! Sign up online before the end of January.

 

 

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If you’re on Twitter follow me on Twitter (GeeWhy93).  If I find a great deal during the week, I’ll tweet it out.

 

Denver Area Easter Egg Hunts

Eons ago (yeah, I’m that old) my sister and I saw this card that said, “Happy Easter. Happy Spring. Happy Happy Everything!” We joked about it and remembered it. But I have to say – now even years later I still really believe that that statement could not be more true! My family likes to be outside finally in the spring weather. Usually one of the best ways to enjoy that is EASTER EGG Hunts! We have rounded up a bunch for you (most of which are FREE). Nearly every park from North to South will have some sort of hunt.

Friday, March 25

  • Outlets at Castle Rock Easter Bunny Breakfast, Enjoy pancakes with the Easter Bunny in the food court at the Outlets at Castle Rock (5050 Factory Shops Blvd., Castle Rock) from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. FREE
  • Evergreen Park & Recreation District Easter Egg Hunt, Ever hunted eggs in a pool? Come the to the Buchanan Pool (32003 Ellingwood Tr., Evergreen) 5:30 p.m.  Collect eggs in the pool and exchange them for candy and prizes. Start times are slightly different by age – ages 1 to 3 start at 5:30 p.m. (parent must be in the pool with the kids), 4 to 6 start at 5:45 p.m.(parents in the pool is  optional) and ages 7+ start at 6 p.m

Saturday, March 26

  • Mile High Flea Market Easter Egg Hunt, The bunny has been busy hiding eggs all over the Mile High Flea Market (7007 East 88th Ave, Denver)  Registration starts at 9 a.m. The hunt begins at 10:45 a.m. Lots of candy and prizes. Kids 12 and under are FREE and can participate in the hunt. While you’re there get a FREE photos with the Easter Bunny. Admission $3/adults, kids under 12 FREE. Admission gives you access to acres of shopping, foods and rides.
  • Arvada Area Easter Eggstravaganza,come enjoy over 3,000 eggs and photos with the Easter Bunny! Free. Candelas  – hunt at Maverick Mesa Park (9371 McIntyre Street).
  • Hyland Hills Easter Egg Hunt,Caroll Butts Park, (W 94th Ave & Perry Street, Westminster). Ages 8 and under. Bring your basket. Hunt starts at 10 a.m.
  • Sheridan Recreation Center (3325 W Oxford Ave) Event starts at 1:30 p.m. (actual start times vary by age). After the egg hunt participate in crafts and fun. No registration necessary.
  • Family Sports Egg Scramble. Ready, set, go! The field inside theFamily Sports Dome will be covered with colorful eggs for kids to collect. Each age group will have a chance to search the course first start time is 8:30 a.m. After the hunt play on inflatables and fitness van activities.
  • Children’s Museum of Denver. Jump, hop and bounce from one station to the next at the spring extravaganza! Bunny Trail is filled with all kinds of blossoming fun, springtime art projects, tasty treats and visits with the bunny, Truffles. Festivities begin at 10 a.m.
  • CHUN Community Easter Egg Hunt. 1 p.m. at the Tears-McFarlane House (1290 Williams Street). Hunt eggs, win prizes, and play games.
  • Hippity Hop Easter Trot 5K/10K, Egg Hunt and FREE Kids Cottontail Fun Run9 a.m. Some kids may choose to take a real run…instead of running for eggs…the Cottontail Fun Run may be the best bet. And it’s FREE just make sure to register them beforehand so they can get an official race bib.
  • Prospect Rec & Park District Easter Egg Hunt10 a.m (they recommend you get there early). Tons of eggs and the Easter Bunny will make his appearance at Maple Grove Park (14600 West 32nd. Ave., Golden).
  • Golden Family Easter, enjoy hunting eggs with the whole family in Golden! The hunt starts at  10 a.m. (Get there early). Brightly-colored eggs galore! Parfet Park (10th St. and Washington Ave).
  • Platt Park10 a.m. Find a golden egg and get a prize. Pastries & coffee, too. 1501 S. Logan St., Denver.
  • Highlands Ranch Community Easter Egg Hunt, Northridge Recreation Center in Highlands Ranch will start the egg hunt for kids to 11 year old at 10 a.m. (Get there early). You can also meet the Easter Bunny. The event is outside – rain, snow or shine.
  • Jared’s Nursery Gift & Garden Egg Hunt, THOUSANDS of eggs will be available at Jared’s (10500 W. Bowles Ave, Littleton) starting at 10 a.m.  Start times vary by age.
  • Legacy Chapel Egg Hunt. Legacy Chapel will take over Civic Green Park in Highlands Ranch for a fun egg hunt, lunch, games and more. Register by 11 a.m.
  • North Metro Church Egg Hunt,  Egg hunt is for toddlers through 5th grade kids. Come to the auditorium so that your kid can hunt with their age group. The hunt will take place between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. There will also be a special interactive presentation from Hoops of Hope. (12505 Colorado Blvd., Thornton).
  • Wilmore Outdoor Living Center Egg Hunt,  Children 10 and younger can hunt for eggs starting at 11 a.m.  filled with candy. Come early so kids can line up by age group (711 E. County Line Rd., Littleton)
  • Broomfield Eggstravaganza! 11:30 a.m. March with the Easter Bunny in front of the Bay to John Shaw Field at Broomfield Community Park. After the march, children age 8 and under participate in the Egg Scramble which starts at noon sharp! Children will be divided by age group. (In case of bad weather the hunt is held at Broomfield Community Center). Second Ave. & Main St., Broomfield, 303-464-5501.
  • The Gardens On Havana Hippity-Hoppity Easter Egg Hunt, Kids can collect one egg at each of 20+ participating merchants from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Eggs contain candy, prizes, coupons and even cash! Participating merchants will have a brightly-colored flyer on their front door. Southeast corner of Mississippi & Havana, Aurora.
  • Ridgeline Community Church’s Annual Eggstravaganza,  There will be a giant egg hunt, crafts, games, and an interactive story. Festivities will be 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. (555 Heritage Ave, Castle Rock).
  • Glendale Easter Eggstravganza, Egg hunt at Infinity Park Sports Field (4599 E Tennessee Ave, Glendale) starts at 2 p.m. There will be three special prize eggs! Take pictures with the Easter Bunny.

OUT OF TOWN/IN THE MOUNTAINS

  • World’s Largest Easter Egg Hunt (65,000 eggs!) at Copper Mountain, on Sunday, March 27 starting at 8:30 a.m. There are different hunts for kids of all ages, and the first 400 kids to recycle their eggs will receive a prize! In addition the hunt there are other fun activities and events.
  • Beach ‘N Egg Hunt at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area,  Fun for kids that ski and those that don’t! Meet at the bottom of Molly Hogan, at 10:30 a.m. where the Easter Bunny will be hiding a Golden Egg. Two Golden Egg Prizes include a Child’s 2016-2017 Season Pass or a ½ day lesson!!!
  • Golden Bunny Classic Candy Hunt and Fun Race at Winter Park. Winter Park has a fun Egg Hunt planned! The hunt starts at 11 a.m. and the Golden Bunny Ski Race registration starts at 8:30 a.m. Skiers ages 10 and under with a valid lift ticket can hunt for Easter candy on the slopes. Non-skiers under 5 can hunt at the base of the mountain. Kids ages 1-10 print, color and bring your coloring pages to be entered to win prizes.

 

Ski Deals So Great They Will Make You Squeal

Nothing makes me squeal more like a teenager than the two words Snowboarding and Deals. And I will totally go ga-ga when they are in a sentence together! That is why I love Labor Day weekend! The unofficial weekend of ski sales in the Denver area.

Vail Epic Ski Kids. Vail Resorts (Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone) are offering a free pass for Colorado Residents in Kindergarten through 5th Grade. The pass allows kids to ski/snowboard four times at each of their resorts. You must go to a Colorado Ski & Golf, Ski and Sport or Boulder Sports in person with your kiddo to fill out paperwork. You also have to bring a recent photo (head shot) of your kids. The program includes a free first-timer lesson and equipment rental on that day.

Fifth and Sixth Grade Passport. Colorado Ski Country announced it will offer the 5th and 6th Grade Passport again this year. The program is a mail-in program. The fifth graders get three free days of skiing/snowboarding at each of  20 member resorts (Winter Park, Copper, Crested Butte, Steamboat Springs, Eldora, Arapahoe Basin, Aspen, Snowmass, Loveland etc.). Sixth Graders is super inexpensive at just $99 for four days at each of the 20 member resorts. The program includes a free lesson and rental equipment on the day of the lesson. Bonus, this program is also supported by Chipotle and as I recall, they sent out some coupons for buy one get one free at Chipotle too!

Junior Trade. Colorado Ski and Golf (Ski and Sport) locations offer the Junior Trade Program. Basically you purchase ski or snowboard equipment. The budget friendly packages start at just $99 (again this is not season rental – it is you buying used kids sized equipment). Then if you choose to return the equipment at the end of the season (or trade up for a larger size) you get 1/2 the money back. Just to put this into perspective about how inexpensive this is a day rental usually runs just over $25. So it totally pays for itself in four times (and if you return it – it pays for itself in just two times) on the mountain. As your kids grow you can bring the equipment back and get bigger sizes to fit their growth.

SniagrabSniagrab (“bargains” spelled backwards) is the world’s largest ski and snowboard sale, offering up to 90% off original prices on previous seasons’ ski and snowboard equipment, winter apparel and accessories starting Labor Day weekend. The sale features merchandise from top brands. They will also have some fun promotions, the first 250 customers in line on Saturday, September 5 will receive Bonus Bucks ranging in value from $10–$100 to use toward their Sniagrab purchase. One customer will receive $500 in Bonus Bucks. Customers must be in line prior to 7:30am. Spend $300 or more on September 5 or September 6 will receive a Sports Authority cash card (worth $25 when purchase is $300-$399.99; $50 when purchase is $500-$699.99; $75 when purchase is $700 or more). Ten customers will win an Epic Local Pass or Rocky Mountain Super Pass Plus, valued up to $579 per pass. Customers can enter to win September 5–7 only at the Sports Authority Colorado locations listed below. One customer will win a Mountain Getaway Package for Two, that includes a Winter Park Lodge Pass, 2 single-day Winter Park lift tickets, and 2 ski or snowboard rentals at Sports Authority. Customers can enter to win September 5–7 only at the Sports Authority Colorado locations listed below.

Ski Rex. Friday, September 4 through Sept 20th you can snag great deals at the front-range Colorado Ski and Golf locations. (There are great ski deals but even if you are not a skiier there are great clothing/coats too). Gound Zero (the biggest location for the sale) is the Aurora location. Plus, there will be fun for kids (little wannabe snowboarders), Burton’s Riglet Park, a learn-to-ride obstacle course for little tykes, will be set up at the Aurora location on Sunday, Sept. 6 with instructors and representatives to guide kids through their first snowboard sliding experience along an artificial snow surface with mini bumps and ramps. On Saturday and Monday of Labor Day weekend, Strider will offer a kid’s bike course for tiny tykes to get their first cycling experience on the pedal-less bikes that allow small children a gentle introduction to riding a bike. Discounts can be as big at 70% off! For even better deals and coupons visit:  www.skirex.com.

PowderDaze. Christy Sports hosts PowderDaze saving you up to 70% off. The sale will be at the Christy Sports in Littleton at  8601 W Cross Dr next to the Southwest Plaza Mall.Open 10am – 8pm Daily, August 28 through September 8 with all Ski gear, Board Gear and Apparel! Plus, exclusive pass/lift ticket deals available at Denver Powder Daze Only!

Lift Ticket Deals. While I mentioned the great school aged kids pass deals above, there are some great deals to score this weekend only for adult tickets too! (These are special deals or rates for Labor Day weekend only).

  • Copper Mountain. 4-packs for $159 with a 5th Day FREE! (Non-transferrable, no blackouts)
  • Winter Park. 4-passes for $179 with a 5th Day FREE! (Non-transferrable, no blackouts)
  • Arapahoe Basin (A-Basin). Elevation 4-pass at $139 (ages 15–69) with a Bonus Friend Ticket FREE! (Non-transferrable, no blackouts). and they sell transferrable Four Packs are $159.
  • Steamboat. A 3 Day restricted pass at $149 valid 10/26/15 – 4/10/16. Black out dates are 12/26/15 – 1/10/16. Restrictions: Limit one pass per person. Non-transferable photo pass. Quantities are limited and price subject to change. Must be present to purchase. Pass not valid for Summer 15 or 2016 gondola rides. Passes and unused days are non-refundable. Credit or Debit Cards only.
  • Crested Butte. 6 Pack (for the price of a 4 Pack) 5 Winter 15/16 Lift Tickets, plus 1 summer 2016 lift ticket, just $129! Tickets are transferable.
  • Eldora. 4-Pass is just $149 (no blackouts or restrictions, non-transferable) and Mtn Explorer Full-Day Kids Package: $69
  • Loveland. Unrestricted 4-Pak:= just $129. Includes 4 lift tickets.No restrictions and no blackouts. ($10 off online price when you purchase at one of the sales).

Maybe when you get some great deals, you will squeal too. (And then we can jump up and down squealing together). Or I’ll see you in the mountains!

A Night In India via Arapahoe Basin Ski Area

I have been trying to find a time to attend the special Moonlight Dining series at Arapahoe Basin for several years now. Ever since I heard about it. The ski area hosts a monthly special Moonlight meal at the Black Mountain Lodge at mid-mountain. Most skiers know that the last lift of the day happens at 4 p.m. Then everyone is in some sort of race to clog up I-70 with loads of traffic. I wasn’t really sure what to expect – but open for anything.

We headed to Arapahoe Basin around 4:30 p.m. Check in time is at 5 p.m. This particular dinner was lift served (not all of them are) so we had a choice, we could either take the lift up to mid-mountain, hike up, snowshoe up, or skin up. We chose to hike. It was a beautiful night with the full moon up and the sun just setting. I do want to warn you that hiking in Uggs (which I did) is not the best choice of footwear (I did have hiking boots – but chose to leave them in the car – not so smart). It is a winter hike. By that I mean, wear all the winter wear you would when you are going skiing. You will need to have those ski pants on, jacket, gloves and a hat. It is a hike! So be prepared with a bit of water too. (I downed a gallon of water when we got to the top because I forgot that detail).

When we arrived at mid-mountain the stars were beautiful and the Black Mountain Lodge had been transformed from some cafeteria style utilitarian feeling hut to an elegant lodge complete with real linens and silverwear. There was lovely atmosphere including a local musician who played guitar and sang songs. It was a little bit of older rock and roll – but certainly set the entertainment mood. The bar was open (lots of people drinking a bit of wine). Chef Rybak came out of the kitchen and addressed the group (of almost 100 people) what they had prepared. He also said that this was the first time they had done Indian food so he felt that he really pushed his staff.

Black Mountain Lodge all set for Moonlight Dinner Series.

Black Mountain Lodge all set for Moonlight Dinner Series.

Chef Rybek

 

The meal was four courses including Hors d’Oeuvers; Soup & Salad; Entrees and Desserts. Each of these were delicious in their own right. I liked the idea that they didn’t go overboard when it came to spices (and I know that a lot of Indian food is very spicy). We had made a decision to try a little bit of everything. This also meant that we would have a LOT of eating to do! (Give me a challenge…)

Hors d’oeuvres included: Freshly made Paneer with dried fruits & nuts; Onion Bjajias; Fresh Coconut Chutney; Vegetable Samosas; Onion, Mango & Peanut Chaat; Spiced Potato and Chickpea cakes; Skewered Chicken Tikka; Cucumber & Yogurt; Goan-style Mussels.

My favorite was the Paneer (the mounds at the bottom of this picture). Paneer is like a soft home-made cheese that is served with naan bread, dried fruits and nuts).

Hors d'Oeuvres at Moonlight dining at Arapahoe Basin

Hors d’Oeuvres at Moonlight dining at Arapahoe Basin

Soup & Salad: Spiced Cauliflower Soup; Mango, Tomato and Red Onion Salad; Spinach and Mushroom Salad; Naan bread

This must have been my favorite course. I honestly loved every one of the things on this course. I hear that Cauliflower is the vegetable of the year (like Brussel Sprouts have been for the past couple years).

Entrees: Tandoori Masala Lamb Chops; Fresh Tomato and Onion Chutney; Pea and Mushroom Pulao; Sweet and Sour Pineapple; Balti Chicken Vindaloo; Masal Chana; Dhal with Roasted Garlic; Mango Chutney; Monkfish and Okra Curry; Hot Lime Pickle; Vegetables with Almonds.

All of this was good for different reasons. I would say my favorite was the lamb. It seemed to have a perfect flavor crust and was cooked perfectly. If I was going to go back for more or wish I could order one item on it’s own, it would be the lamb.

Entrees plate at Arapahoe Basin Moonlight dining

Entrees plate at Arapahoe Basin Moonlight dining

Dessert :Creamy Rice Pudding; Carrot Halva; and Drunken Oranges – which also had a ginger cookie. (I totally forgot to take a photo of this because I was so darn full and was complaining about how my pants don’t fit anymore).

I was sort of disappointed in the desserts. But I was also sort of glad I was. I was so full of all the other meal. The fact that the desserts weren’t my favorite – I didn’t have to feel bad not cleaning my plate.

We had left it up for discussion if we would hike back down or ride the lift. We opted to “slide” back down. We didn’t have sleds (and we didn’t steal any trays – despite someone suggesting that). So we slid down the mountain on our butts. It was totally fun. There were parts when we got going pretty quickly others we had to stand and get to the next steeper part of the mountain.

I will go back for certain next year. I will try another theme (they also have Italian, Bavaria, New Year’s Eve, Spain and Randonee). http://www.arapahoebasin.com/ABasin/mountain/bml-dinners.aspx They sell out quickly so I better check my calendar now! Who wants to go with me?