Enjoy Your Summer With Events For Families In Summit County, Colorado

Many people think of Summit County's resort areas as primarily for winter skiing. What you might not know is that those same resorts are excellent locations to take your family for the ultimate, stress-free family vacation during the summer months as well.

Get the kiddos out for a hike! With abundant hiking trails in the area, you can find the perfect day hike for any level.

Get the kiddos out for a hike! With abundant hiking trails in the area, you can find the perfect day hike for any level.

There are numerous opportunities to enjoy day trips to the unique vistas that the mountains provide. Activities such as rock climbing, biking, hiking, ATV trips, rappelling, whitewater rafting, horseback riding and boating are just a small sample of the summer activities that the mountains have to offer. Do a little research online or contact one of our local visitor centers and you'll be well on your way to a great Rocky Mountain adventure. Read on for more information about how Summit County can provide you with the perfect destination for your next family trip.

All summer long, there are tons of special events and ongoing activities that are perfect for families. Here are three top-notch providers of fantastic family friendly activities and entertainment:

Keystone

During the summer, Keystone offers a variety of fun family-friendly options. Keystone is also home to Kidtopia, with free daily activities for families such as nature hikes, face painting, arts and crafts, outdoor movies and more. Each year brings expanded offerings, new themes and even more entertainment. River Run Village, which is populated with great restaurants and shops, is a great area for the whole family to stroll around and enjoy a beautiful summer day in the mountains.

Breckenridge

In Breckenridge, ride the free gondola up to check out exciting activities for all ages, like an elevated roller coaster, a zip line, alpine slide, a maze, gold panning, a climbing wall and a bungee trampoline. In addition you can find guided hikes, 4x4 tours, Segway tours and bike rides. 

The Mountain Top Children's Museum, which works hard to provide a safe space to explore educational and creative activities, is another great stopping point for younger families. Geared toward children under 10, it has a great staff and quality programming. It even includes an easily accessible Kid's Night Out for parents wishing to have a night out on the town, which is convenient because it is located right in the heart of Breckenridge near shops and restaurants.

Frisco

If you happen to be in Frisco during the Fourth of July, you won't want to miss their legendary town celebration. You can begin the day with a pancake breakfast, follow-up with a local parade, enjoy bands all day long and then finish off with a spectacular fireworks show over the Frisco Bay Marina.

But if you miss out on that celebration, Frisco is still a glorious place to spend a summer day. Several hiking trails and recreational paths are located right in town, a free historic park and museum, water activities at the Frisco Bay Marina and many shops and restaurants that cater to younger visitors. Frisco's Main Street is relatively calm and quiet with an easygoing vibe perfect for all ages.

With the gorgeous views, the extensive activities, and the family friendly resorts, your family can have a wonderful summer vacation in the heart of the Rocky Mountains.

Stay Healthy While You Travel - Consider the Elevation

No one wants to be sick on vacation. Your time off work is supposed to be time when you can relax and rejuvenate. Since you don't want to waste your valuable vacation time feeling miserable, it's important that you do everything you can to stay healthy while you travel.  

Of course, you can do the normal things. Get plenty of sleep in the week leading up to your trip, take some vitamin C, wash your hands often, and try to stay away from people who are contagious. All of these little things will help you prevent illness before your vacation begins.

However, when you are traveling to the beautiful mountain communities of Summit County, Colorado, you also need to keep in mind how the elevation might impact you. Some people start to feel sick because of the increased elevation, but there are things you can do to minimize your risk.

First, stay hydrated! Your body releases more fluids at higher elevations so you'll need to drink more water to compensate and avoid headaches.

Speaking of fluids, you might want to go a little easier than normal on alcoholic beverages. Alcohol hits you harder at higher elevations, so wait and see how you feel before you have a second drink.

If you have even a slight cold, consider taking a decongestant before going to a higher elevation and before coming back down from a higher elevation. When you are congested, your ears will have a more difficult time popping to equalize the pressure as you change elevations. If you've ever experienced ears that are stuffed up, it is pretty annoying and uncomfortable.

If you know you're prone to altitude sickness, check with a doctor before your trip to see if there is a medication that could alleviate altitude sickness. Hopefully it won't be necessary, but you will be so glad you have it if you need it! Ibuprofen can also help if you find yourself with a headache from the elevation.

These precautionary measures, combined with generally taking it easy for the first few days, will make your time in the mountains much more enjoyable. 

A Gift Shop Hopping Guide to Frisco, Colorado

If you enjoy shopping, there's nothing quite like checking out the gift shops in a new location or revisiting an old favorite. If you're headed to Summit County, Colorado this winter, the two primary Main Street shopping areas are Frisco and Breckenridge. There's also the Outlets at Silverthorne, as well as some shops at Copper Mountain and Keystone resorts.

Our shop, Frisco Fun & Formal, is located right on Frisco Main Street, and we absolutely love being there. You'll find a slow pace and small town atmosphere, free parking, and a good variety of independently owned shops without being overwhelming.

At our gift shop on Frisco Main Street, we sell this locally-made card that has a photo of Frisco Main Street.

At our gift shop on Frisco Main Street, we sell this locally-made card that has a photo of Frisco Main Street.

Here are a few tips for making the most of your shopping time on Frisco Main Street:

Check out the Options

Not all gift shops are created equal: some carry a wide range of items (like us!) while others are more specialized. In Frisco, you'll find books, toys, jewelry, souvenirs, antiques, candy, accessories and clothing for the whole family. Decide what interests you most, and get hopping!

You might also want to start with a list of people you are shopping for, think about the kinds of shops you need to visit, and keep track of what you've purchased as you go. If you see something along the way that you're interested in but not quite sure, you can also jot down the item, price and name of the shop so that you can come back later.

Look for the Local Angle

Obviously gift shops in popular vacation spots highlight activities and features of the local area. In Frisco you'll find all types of skiing and mountain-centric items. Some of our favorite items here at our shop are coasters, ornaments and picture frames made from local beetle-kill wood.

Visiting our local gift shops is a fun way to support small independent businesses and keep things thriving so there will continue to be plenty of great places to browse.

Make the Most of Your Shopping Time

As you're on your gift shopping adventure, make sure you don't fall victim to hunger or dehydration. Low blood sugar does not make for an enjoyable shopping trip. Give yourself plenty of time so you can eat and drink along the way as needed--that way you won't feel rushed when browsing. Frisco Main Street has plenty of great options for food and drinks, whether you need a quick pick-me-up or want to sit down for a nice meal.

We hope to see you this winter on Frisco Main Street. Happy shop hopping!

Summit County: A Premier Vacation Destination

Guest post by Deanna Reid

Whether you crave a trip filled with outdoor adventure or a peaceful, relaxing week in a breathtaking mountain setting, consider a vacation to Summit County, Colorado. Located in the beautiful Colorado Rockies, Summit County offers countless year-round activities--even some very unusual ones! Here's a glimpse into why thousands of people make this area their vacation destination.

Simply going for a walk on the rec path in Frisco is scenic and fun!

Simply going for a walk on the rec path in Frisco is scenic and fun!

ACCOMMODATIONS  

No matter what your budget, you can find the ideal place to stay. From a small budget hotel to the five world-class ski resorts giving you the ultimate in luxury accommodations, you will be cozy and warm while enjoying the stunning views of the Rockies.

OUTDOOR WINTER FUN

Let it snow! Skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, sleigh rides, ice skating, and hockey can keep you moving. The problem will be trying to fit all of these exciting experiences into your vacation. For some unique frozen fun, try snowkiting, ice climbing or dogsledding. That will be a story to tell your grandchildren about one day!

SUMMER FUN

The mild summers in Summit County provide the ideal background for days spent outside in nature. Hike the mountains, fish the streams, go camping, raft the rapids, or bike the scenic roads. Don't forget to step away from the mainstream and try something new. Go balloon riding, go on a cattle drive, or try paragliding. You will be the life of the party when you give your play-by-play description of your exploits!

SHOPPING FUN

There are no massive, impersonalized shopping malls where all products seem the same in each store. Instead, you will find quaint shopping areas full of unique products and friendly employees. Shop for local souvenirs, hand-made jewelry and art, or ski gear. Visit the local outlet mall for great discounted buys.

FOOD FUN

What is more pleasing to the soul than good food? In the local towns and resorts, look for the handmade candy shops or for locally-produced treats. Enjoy a mouth-watering dinner at a 5-star restaurant or sample some local cuisine. If you are searching for an unconventional dining experience, try taking in a chuckwagon dinner and wild west show or treat yourself to fondue.

To describe a dream vacation to Summit County in one word: FUN! 

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day in Summit County, Colorado

When it comes to celebrating the big holidays, any major city or town will have fun events happening. Christmas is Christmas no matter where you are in the country. However, minor holidays, like St. Patrick's Day, can be celebrated very differently depending on where you are. Some towns don't have any official events to celebrate the Irish in all of us. Other cities go all out with parades, pub crawls and plenty of wild Irish fun around every corner.

Need something green to wear? How about these fuzzy moose socks?

Need something green to wear? How about these fuzzy moose socks?

Summit County, Colorado tends to go all out for the wearing of the green. It so happens that the holiday falls right in the middle of our spring break season and being a resort area, there are usually lots of people ready to hit the town even when St. Pat's falls in the middle of the week. You'll see people hit the slopes at all of the local ski resorts in crazy leprechaun costumes. Many local restaurants will serve traditional Irish dinners including corn beef and cabbage or shepherd's pie. The Irish pubs are usually packed, and other bars will serve green beer and offer great discounts on Irish whiskey. (Keep in mind that drinking alcohol at high altitudes is an entirely different experience, so you might want to take it a little easier than you normally might on this holiday.)

Of course, half the fun is just seeing the way the Irish Spirit travels all throughout Summit County. Many businesses decorate for the holiday and sell special St. Patrick's Day inspired items that would be a wonderful souvenir of the year you spent St. Patrick's Day partying with the mountain folk! (Be prepared, mountain folk know how to party!)

Be sure to wear your green prominently to avoid friendly pinches, and book your hotel early if you want to enjoy St. Patrick's day in the sun and snow. It so happens we just got tons of new snow, and we are expecting some sunshine the next couple of days. So it's a great time to come visit!

If you need a little something green to enhance your St. Patty's outfit, we have green socks, green t-shirts, and plenty of green jewelry!

Five Creative Winter Date Ideas in Summit County, Colorado

Snowy weather offers the perfect excuse to cuddle up with a special someone in front of a fire, enjoying a seasonal movie and a cup of hot cocoa or glass of wine. 

But winter is also when Summit County comes out to play. If you're a couple who prefers to pursue adventure, there are tons of fun winter activities to do together in Frisco, Breckenridge, Keystone and the rest of Summit County. Check out these ideas for some creative wintertime dates.

Super cool fire art in Breckenridge

Super cool fire art in Breckenridge

1. Cuddle Up for a Sleigh Ride

From mid-November through mid-April, Frisco-based Two Below Zero offers dinner sleigh rides. The 2 1/4-hour event features a scenic sleigh ride, a three-course, home-cooked meal, and live entertainment. The sleigh company even offers vegetarian and gluten-free options with advance notice, and wine and beer is available for purchase.

If you're not in the mood for dinner, you can also enjoy a scenic ride with hot cocoa (spiked with Peppermint Schnapps for adults). And for a special fee, schedule a private, 45-minute sleigh ride that seats up to four -- maybe a romantic double date is in your future?

2. Enjoy a Winter Stroll on Frisco Main Street

Whether it's a sunshiny day or a frosty winter night, Frisco's Main Street has a small-mountain-town charm that's hard to beat. We leave our holiday lights up for months, because it usually remains a winter wonderland throughout much of April.

Frisco also hosts events throughout the year, like Wassail Days, when businesses all over town  serve up hot spiced cider, known as wassail, for 10 days each December. Each business has its own secret recipe, and visitors are encouraged to try at least 12 to earn a commemorative mug.

Along with the wassail, you'll enjoy events like a tree-lighting ceremony on historic Main Street, soup tasting and ugly sweater contests. And, of course, walking between the shops, restaurants and galleries that offer wassail is the perfect time to get in some hand-holding.

3. Explore Together While Cross-Country Skiing

With four Nordic centers in Summit County, there are miles upon miles of cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails. Unlike snowboarding and downhill skiing, these two slower sports offer plenty of opportunities to pause and take in the gorgeous scenery of winter -- preferably together and in a secluded location.

Pack a thermos of hot cocoa and enjoy a chilly outdoor adventure at the resort of your choice. When you've had enough of the winter air and solitude, head to a nearby restaurant at one of the resort centers or nearby Frisco or Breckenridge to warm up.

4. Take in Breathtaking Works of Fire and Ice

Downtown Breckenridge is another charming mountain locale, just a short 15-minute drive from Frisco. A block from Main Street, the Breckenridge Arts District is exploding with events, workshops and performances, providing an ongoing schedule of activities that could make for an excellent date. 

Every year in late January and early February, the International Snow Sculpture Championships are held in Breckenridge. Artists' incredible creations grow out of the snow to create a surreal, fascinating outdoor gallery. In recent years, the competition has coincided with Breck Create's Fire Arts Festival, a four-day exhibition by fire-themed performers, artists and sculptors, musicians and artisans. 

5. Celebrate With Your Valentine Under the Moonlight

After a fun day of activities, it's time to relax and enjoy a delicious meal at one of Summit County's many restaurants. If you happen to be in town for Valentine's Day, be sure to make dinner reservations in advance. Many places have special menus just for Valentine's. At Copper Mountain's Solitude Station you'll find a romantic selection of fine wines and cheeses, caprese, a delicious buffet dinner and miniature desserts. Dinner is served with one alcoholic drink or hot cider and live music. Then, ski back down the mountain to enjoy an evening in the village.

The natural beauty, snow-capped peaks and historic buildings make Summit County, Colorado a romantic setting for couples to take a break from the hectic pace of life and have fun together. These are just a few ideas for romantic winter dates--the possibilities are pretty much endless!

Spending Valentine's Day in Frisco, Colorado

There's something undeniably romantic about slipping away to a mountain town for the weekend. When you pair the charm and beauty of the Rocky Mountains with a romantic holiday like Valentine's Day you simply can't go wrong.

Add your photos to a Frisco frame as a reminder of your romantic getaway.

Add your photos to a Frisco frame as a reminder of your romantic getaway.

Valentine's Day in Frisco, Colorado is magical. Frisco is home to a couple of beautiful bed and breakfasts, the Frisco Lodge and the Frisco Inn on Galena. Neighboring mountain towns also have many bed and breakfasts to choose from, or you could find a condo rental or hotel room nearby.

You can spend your day skiing, sledding, snowshoeing or ice skating in multiple locations all over Summit Country. You could rent fat tire bikes, fly down a tubing hill, try out snowkiting, ride on a dog sled or go snowmobiling. Don't forget that the Keystone ski resort offers night skiing as well, in case you want to take in the stars while you fly down the slopes.

For extra romantic points, you can even arrange for a horse-drawn carriage ride or sleigh. Sleigh rides are available in Frisco and Keystone, or go for a carriage ride in the charming town of Breckenridge. Remember that for Valentine's Day you will want to plan ahead and book dinner reservations, lodging accommodations and some activities with plenty of notice.

Of course, the best thing about spending Valentine's Day in the romantic mountain town of Frisco is the memories you will make. You don't have to do anything elaborate or spend a lot of money to enjoy all that Frisco and the surrounding area has to offer. Lounge in a coffee shop, go for a walk on the rec path, or just stroll up and down Main Street and soak in the charming atmosphere of downtown Frisco and the snow-capped mountain peaks.

Colorado Marijuana Laws Explained

Colorado has legalized marijuana for recreational use within its state borders, but what exactly does that mean? If you're planning a visit, take the time to learn the rules and regulations, because you are responsible for knowing them. Pleading ignorance won't get you off the hook if you break the law.

On November 6, 2012, Colorado voters passed Amendment 64, the piece of legislation seeking the legalization of marijuana for recreational use by adults. But just as alcohol has strictly enforced laws, the regulation of legal marijuana does as well in an attempt to make the transition to legalization as smooth and safe as possible. If you're planning on visiting the Centennial State, here are some important aspects of Colorado marijuana laws that you should be aware of:

  • Age - Just as you must be 21 years old to purchase alcohol, you must be 21 years old to purchase, possess, and use recreational marijuana in Colorado. Furthermore, it is illegal to give or sell recreational marijuana to minors.

  • Stores - For those who are 21 years and older, recreational marijuana can only be purchased at licensed retail stores. A simple online search will yield many stores around Colorado that sell recreational marijuana. However, the state allows marijuana stores to operate from 8 am to midnight and cities can opt to implement more restrictive hours than the state. For example, Denver stores are required to close by 7 pm, whereas Aurora allows their stores to operate until 10 pm.

  • Possession - Adults (Colorado residents and non-residents) 21 and older are allowed to possess up to 1 ounce (28 grams) of recreational marijuana at a time. However, a key difference regarding the purchasing amounts makes it legal for residents to purchase 1 ounce in a single transaction and only 1/4 ounce (7 grams) for non-residents. The law was created this way to help combat the exportation of marijuana by non-residents to states where recreational marijuana is still illegal.

  • Consumption - If you meet the criteria of being able to purchase and possess recreational marijuana, the law regarding consumption applies to all residents and non-residents of Colorado. To put it simply, you cannot consume marijuana in any space that is deemed public, regardless of form (i.e., flower, edibles, concentrates). This includes but is not limited to transportation facilities, schools, entertainment venues, parks, sidewalks, roads, restaurants and bars. Recreational marijuana is intended for private, personal use only. If you have to ask if a location is public or private, it's probably safe to err on the side of caution and assume that it is not an appropriate place for consumption.

  • Consequences - Penalties for violating marijuana laws within the state's borders can range from a fine to a possible jail or prison sentence. Additionally, it is illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana and it can result in a DUI, just like alcohol. If a police officer suspects you're intoxicated, a blood test can be administered and anyone with 5 nanogram or more of delta 9-tetrahydrocannabiinol (known as THC) per milliliter in whole blood (CRS 42-4-1301) while driving can be arrested for DUI.

Laws aside, make sure you check with the owner of the property where you will be staying. Just because it's legal to smoke marijuana in a private home, if you're renting a condo and smoking isn't allowed, you may have a tough time finding a non-public venue where you can legally smoke. Understand your situation and plan accordingly, and please show respect for property owners who are renting out their homes so visitors can come enjoy a vacation in the beautiful Rocky Mountains!

Whether you're living in Colorado or just visiting, it is important to be informed about the Colorado marijuana laws regarding recreational marijuana use. If you find yourself in a situation where you're not sure what's legal versus illegal, always err on the side of caution with respect to the law!

Adjusting to High Altitude -- Tips for a Smooth Transition

So you're planning a trip to the Colorado mountains--welcome to our favorite place in the whole entire world! There is so much to see and do here in Summit County, you might feel like you want to jam as much into your time here as possible. But take it easy at first and give yourself a chance to adjust if you aren't accustomed to the higher altitude.

View from the top of Breckenridge Peak 6 at 12,300 feet

View from the top of Breckenridge Peak 6 at 12,300 feet

The 9,000+feet altitude is no joke here in Frisco, Breckenridge, Copper Mountain and the surrounding area. Even visitors from the Mile High City of Denver often feel the effects. Adjusting for the difference in altitude should be taken be very seriously. People who fail to do this sometimes add an unexpected trip to the hospital to their itinerary. But most people can prevent unpleasant effects by taking a few precautions. Here are a few tips that we believe will foster a smooth adjustment and make your trip an enjoyable one, allowing you to focus on the beauty and adventure of Colorado.

Water, water, WATER

The first and foremost rule when adjusting to a higher altitude is to stay fully hydrated. You'll want to drink WAY more water than normal, and make sure to drink water before you feel thirsty. Increasing fluids such as water and Gatorade, while avoiding or limiting caffeine and alcohol, especially for the first few days of your trip, can help your body adjust to the altitude change. 

Rest, rest, REST

One of the most important factors in successfully managing a change in altitude is a proper amount of rest. Travel can be exhausting anyway, and your body will work harder to adjust to the higher altitude, and will therefore require more rest. So prepare for each day by getting a good night's sleep, and allow a day or two extra at the beginning of your trip for some extra shut-eye.

The Importance of Iron

Before leaving home, consider speaking with your doctor about increasing your iron intake. While too much iron is toxic, the right amount can really help when it comes to increasing your stamina for sight-seeing and activities you're planning.

Break out the CARBS!

This is not the time to worry about your carb count. Consider the altitude adjustment an excuse to eat more carbs. Not only will the increased carbs help you make better use of the oxygen, but it will also give you that energy boost you might need for the first few days.

Use the Buddy System

Finally, it is important for you and your traveling companions to know what to look for when it comes to altitude sickness so that you can watch out for one another. This is especially important if you are planning to do any snow sports, hiking, climbing, or other outdoor activities. Some of the signs of altitude sickness are dizziness, lightheadedness, headaches, nausea/vomiting and fatigue.

In short, what all of this advice really boils down to is moderation in everything (except water--go crazy with your water intake). Make moderation your motto for the first few days of the trip, and allow your body to show you its needs and limits in regards to rest and hydration, as well as exercise and activity.  A few days of slowly easing into the vacation will benefit you in the long run, and help make this your best vacation yet!

Fun Things To Do With Kids in Frisco, Colorado

Frisco may seem like just another small Colorado mountain town at first glance, but the fun that awaits families is truly one of a kind. If you are planning a trip, or attending an event in the area, there are many fun options for kid-friendly fun. With so many ways to keep your kids entertained (and educate them in the process), the biggest challenge will be choosing what to do first.

Frisco's rec path is easy for kids and bikes, and accessible for strollers, yet scenic enough to feel like you're in the woods.

Frisco's rec path is easy for kids and bikes, and accessible for strollers, yet scenic enough to feel like you're in the woods.

Dillon Reservoir is a must-see stop during summer. This body of water provides endless amounts of entertainment in the form of boat rentals and lessons, fishing pole rentals, a small sandy beach and a scenic water taxi which travels between the Dillon Marina and Frisco Bay Marina. If you take the taxi, make sure to stop off and enjoy the park overlooking the reservoir on the Dillon side. The kids can play while adult visitors sit back and enjoy the breathtaking views. 

If you are looking for adventure, look no further than the Frisco Adventure Park. The park offers snowshoeing, cross country skiing, sleigh rides and tubing in the winter. In summer there's a skate park, bike park, disc-golf course and wagon rides, in addition to hiking and camping.

Cross country skiing at Frisco Adventure Park

Cross country skiing at Frisco Adventure Park

Frisco also is home to a great recreational path where you can ride bikes or walk in several directions, and there are hiking trails easily accessible from right in town. The Visitor Information Center at the corner of Main and Third Avenue is a great resource for trail maps, rentals, shopping, dining and events.

After taking in all that the mountains and lake have to offer, it's time to relax and enjoy a stroll down Frisco's Main Street. Packed with unique stores and restaurants, there is truly something for everyone. Stork & Bear Co. and Foote's Rest Sweet Shoppe are a couple of perennial favorites with the younger crowd, and Little Bears Boutique carries new and consignment clothing and gear for little ones.

Frisco is also home to a free museum right in the heart of town, the Frisco Historic Park & Museum. Open year-round, it is the perfect place to meander with the kids and explore mountain life in times past. Featuring a schoolhouse, chapel, a kid's zone, and many historical artifacts that have been donated over the years, the museum is a great place to stroll around and leisurely take in history.

Whether vacationing in Frisco or merely visiting for an event, there are plenty of options for families to make the most of their time in Colorado, any time of year!

Frisco, Colorado is One of the Coolest Towns in the USA

We're not surprised--we always knew Frisco was super cool.

But now our opinion has been validated by The Matador Network in their list of the 20 coolest towns in the US. 

Besides being literally "cool" due to the elevation, Frisco's coolness is multi-faceted. The town made the list for its proximity to endless recreational activities, a walkable main street, live music, locally-owned businesses and great restaurants.

Visitors, second homeowners, and locals peacefully coexist in this impossibly quaint alpine playground complete with a pedestrian-friendly main street.

Frisco makes a great hub for visiting the various ski resorts in Summit County. It's centrally located, and the free Summit Stage bus route goes to Copper Mountain, Breckenridge, Keystone, Silverthorne and Dillon. In the summer and fall, there's the rec path, hiking trails, rivers and Lake Dillon. The town is also home to several festivals, art fairs and special events throughout the year.

Frisco is a coveted spot for visitors, part timers and locals who enjoy having the lake, the shops on Main Street and their favorite restaurants and bars all within walking distance. It's just a great place to be any time of year. If you're looking for outdoor adventure combined with a laid-back atmosphere, Frisco is one of the coolest places around.