What to do in Breckenridge when you’re not on the mountain
Plan your winter activity wish list
If spending the day on the mountain isn’t for you, there’s still a plethora of ways folks can have fun in Breckenridge this winter without heading to the ski resort.
The town of Breckenridge’s recreation department has multiple facilities to offer a variety of ways to connect with the local landscape without the crowds of the ski resort.
Breckenridge is home to two Nordic centers: Breckenridge Nordic Center on Ski Hill Road below Peak 8 and Gold Run Nordic Center at Breckenridge Golf Club, which is open with limited terrain. Both centers offer snowshoeing and Nordic skiing, and Gold Run offers fat bike rentals, as well.
Scott Reid, director of recreation for the town, said the centers have various groomed routes and that skiers and bikers are kept on separate trails. He said there are options for beginners to get involved at the centers, too, including rental gear and instructors so folks can take a lesson.
“It’s much more of a natural experience and gives you a little bit more connectivity to nature,” Reid said. “It’s a great way to get really good exercise and fresh air and enjoy the assets that our community has. As a community, the town of Breckenridge has worked really hard to try to provide a number of options for a family that may come to town.”
The town’s recreation center is also open year-round and includes an indoor playground for kids, a pool, a rock wall and more.
For those looking for a free activity, Breckenridge has two sledding hills. Carter Park has been home to a sledding hill for many years, but the town also opened Runway Sledding Hill on Airport Road last year. Both sledding hills are open with limited snow cover, and the town will maintain and groom both locations once there is enough snow.
“There are lots of ways to get people out and enjoying the magnificent backdrop that we have and the great winter weather that we get,” Reid said.
For folks who have their own equipment, Reid said the town will groom large portions of the recpath to ski, bike, snowshoe or walk on once enough snow has fallen. The town of Breckenridge grooms the path from the recreation center to Summit High School, and the town of Frisco grooms it from the high school to its Nordic center.
“You can basically ski from the Breckenridge rec center all the way to Frisco and back,” Reid said about the recpath when there is enough snow.
Tessa Breder, director of community affairs for the Breckenridge Tourism Office, said dog sledding is one of the most popular activities to entertain people of all ages. Good Times Adventures on Tiger Road offers dog sledding for $140 per person, and snowmobiling tours are scheduled to open for the season Jan. 11.
“We see a lot of people that come in skiing for four days and have a couple of days off looking for things to do and have no idea that they’re able to go dog sledding,” Breder said. “So many people don’t even know that these unique opportunities are there for them.”
Also on Tiger Road is Golden Horseshoe Sleigh Rides, which will take you through the White River National Forest on a horse-drawn sleigh.
“Those are particularly great because they’re entertaining for literally every age, which is unique up here,” Breder said.
Breder also said Breckenridge Nordic Center offers snowcat adventure tours that involve going to a historical hut, sharing hot chocolate, eating s’mores and storytelling around a fire.
Learn something new
The Breckenridge Heritage Alliance also does several historic tours around town. Its newest — the Bawdy Breckenridge tour — takes folks around the historic buildings, sharing stories about the buildings’ history and what remains of that history today.
If you’re looking to stay inside and bring out your creative side, Breckenridge Creative Arts offers a variety of classes, workshops and events throughout the winter. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required for all BreckCreate events.
BreckCreate also hosts a series of date nights where couples can enjoy some creativity, education and a drink. Tamara Nuzzaci Park, CEO and president of BreckCreate, said activities can range from painting your own ceramics to learning how to salsa dance.
Another regular event is Second Saturdays, which takes over the Arts District campus on the second Saturday of each month from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“Usually, our guests start at Old Masonic Hall and then go on a creative journey for whatever is being offered for free in the various structures on the Arts District campus,” Nuzzaci Park said. “It always includes fun crafts for kids and is very family oriented.”
Want to keep learning? BreckCreate offers a variety of group and private classes for painting, photography, ceramics, glass blowing, drawing, sewing, textiles and more.
“Breckenridge has a great fabric of opportunities for people to engage if your kid is afraid of the ski mountain or it’s not your thing,” Nuzzaci Park said. “Creativity sets the imagination free and allows you to focus for a minute and really enjoy the time underneath that spectacular mountain range you have here.”
This story originally published in the winter 2021-22 edition of Explore Breckenridge & Summit County magazine.
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