Sometimes last minute trips are fun with a family. We took a very last minute trip earlier this summer to Playa del Carmen and when Labor Day rolled around we realized we had nothing planned, we immediately set about planning something because Heaven forbid we stay around the house and just relax!
Labor Day In Breckenridge
We love the mountains and hadn’t been up much this past summer so we decided on Labor Day in Breckenridge, Colorado, one of our all time favorite towns. Like most towns in Colorado, the Breckenridge area was originally developed for mining during the gold rush (in fact there are still some mines you can tour) and in the past 30 years has become a haven for skiers. It’s absolutely charming, with sweeping mountain views, quaint little shops and plenty of activities.
Our goal for the weekend was really just to relax after a pretty long summer of the kids being “bored” and having “nothing to do” (it’s so hard to be a kid!), and really spend a few quality days together so we set out to do just that! Driving up from Denver only took a couple of hours, which was great and after checking in, we just hung out and made some dinner and watched movies.
A fun Saturday in the mountains
We slept in a little on Saturday (as much as you can with two kids) and had some breakfast while I read up about what was going in town. We found out that Breck, like many ski resorts, has developed a summer adventure park on Peak 8, one of the most popular areas of the mountain for summer and winter activities alike. The adventure park offers all day tickets or individual activity tickets. It was expensive for sure, but we figured we would be spending the entire day there, so we sprung for the all day passes. The park has an alpine slide, a human maze, a zip line (and a smaller one for kids), a climbing wall, a trampoline, a kid’s rope course, a mini golf area and a place for kids to pan for gems. The BEST part of the park is the Gold Runner Coaster, which was somewhere between a roller coaster and an alpine slide. This was by far the best adventure park we have been to in the mountains and we’ve been to a lot!
We spent at least four hours there and the kids loved it. Their favorite part was the kid’s zip line. They have been wanting to try zip lining but have been a little scared and many places require that children are at least 8. This little zip line was small and easy enough for kids of all ages. And the rope course was a hit too.
The only complaint was the cost of the food. It was laughably ridiculous….a hot dog cost $11 and it was the biggest hot dog I’ve ever seen in my life. It was out of the question that the kids could even come close to finish it, even splitting one. And a Pepsi was $5. But the rest of the day was perfect…..the sun was shining, the kids were in good moods and Keith and I were really able to relax and enjoy the mountains in the summer.
Day Two in the Mines
Two years ago, we toured some mining areas in Telluride and loved it, but we were unable to go into the actual mine. In Breckenridge, we discovered an actual mine tour, where you could go into the mountain and really see the workings of a former mine. Sign us history buffs up! The Country Boy Mine, just outside of Breckenridge, offers daily tours and panning for gold experiences. I knew the kids would get a little bored after 20 minutes in a mine but the promise of panning for gold would keep them excited.
The Country Boy Mine was bought by a family a few years ago and they opened tours to the public. The whole area is really authentic and frozen in time and the tour takes you about 1000 feet into the mountain. The guides were extremely knowledgeable and really painted a picture for what miners went through during the gold rush. It was cold and wet and when the guide told us miners wore leather boots and stood in 3 inches of water for hours and hours, the kids were mesmerized. Even more so when he told them many of the miners who carried dynamite charges were children aged 8. It was really eye opening for the kids.
After the excellent mine tour, it was time for some gold panning. Max in particular was really enthusiastic about finding some gold and paid close attention to the tour guide on the ins and outs of finding gold nuggets. Slowly pour the water out of the pan, sift carefully, repeat. Unfortunately the only gold we found was fool’s gold but it was great fun. And there were several donkeys on the property to keep us company.
After our mine tour, we headed back into town for lunch. Labor Day crowds were definitely out and about, which made for great people watching. We had lunch at an all American restaurant named Mother Loaded and enjoyed table side S’mores and headed over to the Great Divide Art Festival. I was really happy to see the kids enjoy all the art for sale. Even Keith was intrigued and kept saying we should start collecting art. For the art lover in me, I was a happy mom! We rewarded them with pastel portraits of each 🙂
After our very full day out, we meandered back to the condo and enjoyed some pool time and, of course, UNO and Apples to Apples. The mountains are so beautiful in the summer and I was so glad we decided to travel the weekend last minute and spend Labor Day in Breckenridge. One day, maybe we’ll own a house there (hey I can dream, right?). It’s such a great town and the skiing is great too! Looking forward to winter now 😉
Looking for a trip to Breckenridge with family? Email me and we’ll work together to find you the perfect place! firstname.lastname@example.org.