The holiday season may be over but there is still plenty of winter fun to be had at the Gaylord Rockies. We spent last weekend playing all day and all night during our stay—with both indoor and (of course our favorite) outdoor activities. The Gaylord Rockies Winterfest runs from January through end of February and is open to both guests and non-guests. Last year we did Winterfest for Emerson’s birthday and loved it so much we tried to get a last-minute room to stay the night, but the hotel was full. So, this year we were sure to make plans to stay the night so we could be the last ones closing down the festivities! We were also the first ones opening the activities at 10am so it was a loooong and fun day of play. There are plenty of activities to keep the whole family busy, but these are our top 5 that can’t be missed!
Thank you to The Gaylord Rockies Resort for hosting us, all opinions are my own.
The Gaylord Rockies hotel is located in Aurora, Colorado. Conveniently located 15 minutes from the Denver Airport and is known as the “gateway to the Rockies.” It’s also a local favorite for staycations.
What are the 5 Must Do Activities at Gaylord Rockies Winterfest?
1) ICE SKATING AT GAYLORD ROCKIES WINTERFEST
Ice skating was the whole family’s number one activity! Tickets for ice skating give you unlimited access to the rink all day, so it’s one of the best values if you are looking for a full day of fun. I probably put on and took off those ice skates 7 or 8 times within the hours of 10a-8p. We were the first to get on the ice at open and the last to get off the ice at close. I love the little “whales” that they use for learning because they can also be used to push the kids around. But only offer this up if you want a workout! I was sore the next day! It was fun to see the kids improve from the morning to the evening and the setting got even more beautiful as the sun went down.
2) SNOW TUBING HILL AT GAYLORD ROCKIES WINTERFEST
Snow tubing was my personal favorite as I always enjoy something that makes me squeal and laugh like I’m 5 years old. I have video proof that I will not be sharing here! But it was so fun!! It is also sold as unlimited for the day, which makes it a must do. There are 4 lanes so you can go side by side with your family and while it’s not a long hill like some of those in the mountains, it still picks up speed. You do need to lug the tubes up on your own, but it was easy enough for us to drag them up the ramp and we did this on repeat for many hours!
Pro Tip: The tubes go faster and farther once the sun goes down and the water freezes on the track! I highly recommend staying for the evening to enjoy the Winterfest under the festive lights and to really fly on the tubes.
3) CAMPFIRE & S’MORES AT GAYLORD ROCKIES WINTERFEST
Winter evenings are the best for cozying up by the fire. Plus this outdoorsy family loves camping and smores always reminds me of quality family time in the outdoors. On your way to the S’mores lawn, but sure to take the “scenic route” through the LIGHT! Walk.
4) WINTER SWIMMING AT THE GAYLORD ROCKIES
The pools at the Gaylord Rockies are the highlight of the hotel stay. They have an indoor pool with two waterslides that wind down from a tower. They are legit. There is also a fun “island,” splash pads, and large family hot tub that the kids enjoyed. The kids can also join in on Frost’s Poolside Meltdown—which are winter-themed games led by the Gaylord pool staff. While the indoor pool was perfect for the winter weather, we actually preferred the outdoor pools because they are heated, and we got them all to ourselves! The freezing temps contrasting with the warm pool gave off a hot springs vibe that was dreamy. The outdoor pool area also has a lazy river, but that Is closed for the winter. There is an outdoor slide that was open in the daytime (but frozen at night so they had it closed). There is a poolside bar and a Kona Ice truck so even though it’s not summer, it sure felt like it with that Colorado sun and 40-degree temps.
5) WINTER ART STUDIO AT GAYLORD ROCKIES WINTERFEST
Have you ever painted in a cave before? I had never and it was a fun experience. The Gaylord’s inside décor is outdoor themed and gives you all of the Colorado feels, even while indoors. We kicked off our weekend with painting and the kids loved it. A winter themed fairy helped get them set up with easy canvas templates like hot chocolate and snowflakes. Or you could choose to “free paint” which is what we did—which meant both kids painted rainbows and I attempted the famous Maroon Bells.
EVEN MORE ACTIVITIES AT THE GAYLORD ROCKIES WINTERFEST
We weren’t able to squeeze all of the festivities, but as you can see from the below Winterfest Map, there are far more to choose from—from live animal encounters to snowdrift mini golf! If only we could have stayed a week!
Our Overall Gaylord Rockies Resort Experience
I was extremely happy with our entire stay at the Gaylord Rockies Resort. The Winterfest activities made for a jampacked day, but the resort itself worth the trip. It’s a great spot for out-of-town guests who are looking for a stop close to the airport, on the way to a ski trip, or summer hiking trip. The Colorado feel of the resort is evident from the second you walk in. They have done such a great job in creating an outdoorsy feel inside. Even though the Rocky Mountains are in the distance, the views from afar are highlighted by the giant windows as you enter. The rooms are thoughtfully designed with luxury touches. There are family friendly rooms with separate bedrooms, pull out couches, and even bunks. If you are looking for a family friendly vacation, staycation, girls’ trip, romantic retreat or a solo getaway, the Gaylord Rockies will not disappoint!