KEYSTONE - The Keystone Snow Fort is now open - and just in time for Christmas.
Last year, the fort opened in February. Keystone spokesman Ryan Whaley said the fort was such a hit last year that the resort opted to bring it back this year - just bigger and better.
The castle-like snow sculpture sits atop Dercum Mountain and beckons children inside to play. It features lights interwoven with the stones carved from a large, packed pile of snow. There are snow slides, towers for children to climb, tunnels, blocks and balconies. Whaley said the snow fort designer spends slightly more than two weeks with a shovel, saws and other carving tools to shape it.
Guests with a current lift ticket, season pass or foot passenger ticket have unlimited access to the fort.
It's the centerpiece of Kidtopia, a festival for children and families that starts the week between Christmas and the day after New Years Day and lasts throughout the ski season. Many of the activities and programs are free, some of which require a chairlift or admission ticket.
Some of the Kidtopia events include s'mores, hot cocoa and kettle corn by the fire, meeting Keystone's avalanche dog, checking out the ice carving display or the chocolate village, disco tubing on the tubing hill, fireworks, a glowbug skate night, live music, arts and crafts and more.
Other Kidtopia dates are Jan. 14-17, Jan. 29-30, Feb. 18-21 and March 12-20.
For more information, visit www.keystonekidtopia.com.