Spring Break with the family is a time-honored tradition in Breckenridge. Expect lots of fun in the sun on and off the slopes. Spring’s longer days and warmer temps will give you plenty of time to head outside which means more time to try new activities, take part in an event or enjoy a little downtime in the sun. However, Spring Break is one of the busiest times to vist Breckenridge – it really is that great – so you’ll want to do a little prep work to ensure your trip goes as smoothly and stress-free as possible. Our family spring break guide gives you local tips to make sure you know all the ins-and-outs of enjoying Spring Break in Breckenridge.
Goal: Get ready for vacation!
Local’s Tip: Make reservations before you arrive
You already know when you’re coming to Breckenridge and where you are staying. What else do you need? To ensure you your family gets to do all the activities on their bucket list (did we hear dogsledding?) start making activity reservations as soon as possible. If you are reading this article while here, go ahead and call the businesses of the activities you are interested in. They might be able to fit you in, recommend another business to try, or put you on a waitlist. While you’ll want to reserve any guided activities, you can keep other parts of your schedule flexible by planning to try activities that don’t require a reservation. Our list of 100 things to do this winter will give you plenty of ideas but our favorite reservation free activities include snowshoe hikes, visiting museums, going skiing, sledding or riding the trolley. Restaurant reservations partially fall on our reserve ahead list. Many of our nicer restaurants take reservations ahead of time by phone or on OpenTable but the bulk of our restaurants do not take reservations (dining tips below). If you are planning a date night, be sure to hire a babysitter ahead of time. ResortSitters, Care.com, ski resort daycare and Kids Night Out will ensure your little ones are having just as much fun as you are.
Local’s tip – leave the car at home
Direct shuttles from nearby airports to your vacation rental make it easy to get to Breckenridge without renting a car. Once you are here, the best way to explore Breckenridge’s quaint historic streets is on foot. Breckenridge is remarkably walkable, even with kids in tow. Most of our lodging is in walking distance to town or a Breck Free Ride bus stop which will take you to town after a short drive. Many lodges also offer free hotel shuttle transportation around town. Regardless of where you booked, your lodging company should be able to assist you in figuring out easy transportation from your rental. Learn more about going car-free in Breckenridge.
Goal: Plan the Perfect Breckenridge Spring Break Ski Day
With 2,908 acres of skiing and snowboarding spanning five peaks, it’s no wonder Breckenridge Ski Resort is a top spring break destination and, with its base sitting at 10,000ft, it’s also one of the best spots for spring skiing because the snow fares better under spring conditions at that altitude. Combine that with great grooming, and you have a superb spring snow surface for skiers and snowboarders of all ages and abilities.
Local’s Tip: Buy before you arrive to save money
Get the best price and experience by booking lessons and lift tickets in advance at Breckenridge.com. You’ll save time and money by getting this done before you arrive. Half-day privates are also an option. You must book lessons and lifts at least seven days in advance to get the lowest price on tickets. Have questions on where/when to book your lesson? You can also call and talk to a real human who will help you find the best product and price for your family. 888-576-2754.
Local’s Tip: Get Ready to ski the night before
Ensure your first day on the mountain goes a little smoother by picking up rental gear, lift ticket cards, and anything you forgot the night before. Lines will be significantly smaller and you won’t be sweating in your ski gear.
Local’s Tip: Take a family private lesson to skip the lines and perfect your turns.
Did you know you don’t have to split the family up while taking lessons at the ski area? A family private lesson is a fun way to witness your kids’ first turns or just spend the day together improving your skills and learning the best way to navigate the resort together. Because it’s private, you can customize the day for your family’s needs and, as a big bonus during Spring Break, you can skip the lines all day while with your instructor for more time on the slopes!
Goal: Pack as much fun as possible into each day
Local’s Tip: Take advantage of spring’s extra hours of sunshine
One of the reasons locals love spring in Breckenridge is because of the longer days and extra sunshine. In January, we will see about 9.5 hours of daylight, but in mid-March, it is closer to 12 hours. That’s nearly three hours of extra sunlight, which means there is time to go back to your hotel or condo after skiing, rest, and still have daylight for other activities around town. There is so much to explore, you will need it! A few other fun family outdoor activities around Breckenridge to really soak in the warmth include sledding at Carter Park, sleigh rides with Clydesdales, ice skating on the outdoor rink at the Stephen C West Ice Arena, and don’t forget outdoor hot-tubbing (pack your swimsuits!). If your condo doesn’t have an outdoor hot-tub, head over to Breckenridge Recreation Center to enjoy their aquatic area.
Local’s Tip: Don’t Forget PM Plans
The fun doesn’t end in Breckenridge once the sun goes down. There are plenty of evening activities to entertain the kids. Try an escape room, a ghost tour or sign-up to create your own masterpiece at Ready Paint Fire. If dinner is on the agenda for the evening, remember to plan ahead. Many restaurants will have an hour wait this time of year. We recommend putting your name on the list and taking a lap down Main Street until your table is ready. Pick one of the best family restaurants in Breckenridge for off the beaten path locations and entertainment while you wait. If you are looking for a night out sans kids, find a babysitter or send the kids to Kid’s Night Out for a night of fun and entertainment.
Don’t forget: For any guided activity like sleigh rides, book in advance of your trip so you can get a time that works best for your family.
Goal: Explore Town
Main Street looks magical when it’s snowing.
Local’s Tip: Spend some time exploring Main Street’s shops, activities, and restaurants.
No trip to Breckenridge is complete without a day to explore Main Street. It’s just shy of a mile long, perfect for a light afternoon or evening stroll through the hub of town. I recently rode the free Main Street trolley with a two-year-old for an entirely new perspective of our main thoroughfare with all his wonder and giggles. With many stops along Main Street, the trolley is easy to catch, is an entertaining ride for wide-eyed toddlers, and is a sneaky way for parents and grandparents to save their legs for skiing. This is a must for any visitor (and even us locals), and with the longer spring days, there is plenty of time to explore.
Here are some key stops on Main Street for families.
Go Early: Since other families had the same idea you did to come to Breckenridge for Spring Break, try going earlier in the day to some of these places to avoid wait times.
- Ready Paint Fire! – More than just a paint-your-own pottery studio, Ready, Paint, Fire! is a place to create all kinds of art projects on pottery, canvas, with mosaic or glass. I love the Breck-specific options for a unique spin on local souvenirs. They also serve beer, wine, and other snacks Tip: If pottery is your choice, make sure to allow for a 48-hour turnaround on the kiln.
- Downstairs at Eric’s Arcade – The Mayor’s popular sports bar is also home to a mini-arcade. My family loves to come here to play vintage Ms. Pack-Man and Galaga, just a few of the 25 games located just outside the restaurant.
- Mountain Top Children’s Museum – With mountain-themed play areas and exhibits, young kids will absolutely love this place: They even have a ‘bear cave’ filled with stuffed teddy bears! It is fun, affordable, and just for children 10 and under.
- Fuzzywigs Candy Factory – With more than 400 varieties of candy from store-made fudge to nostalgic hard-to-find sweets, you and your kiddos will love this little candy store tucked away on Main Street, just across from the Breckenridge Welcome Center. And since you are burning so many calories with all the outdoor adventures you are having, go ahead and splurge!
Local’s Tip: Get off Main Street and explore the Arts District
If you have set aside a day to explore Main Street, this is also a great day to check out the Breckenridge Creative Arts District (BreckCreate for short) for afternoon crafts, music, and more. This is such a cool town amenity, developed by the Town of Breckenridge to support and promote arts, culture, and creative experiences throughout Breckenridge. There is programming for kids and families, and many classes are free or at a reduced price. I especially love the Second Saturday arts and crafts workshops for families. Learn more at BreckCreate’s website.
Plan Ahead: Many of the free classes are first come, first served, so check out the schedule in advance so you know what is on your must-do list, then plan around it.
Goal: Let Someone Else Do the Cooking
Local’s Tip: Eat dinner earlier
Finding a family-friendly spot for eating out in Breckenridge can have its challenges, especially since many restaurants in town don’t take reservations. The best way to navigate this during spring break is to go for an early dinner. Places like Fatty’s Pizzeria, Downstairs at Eric’s and Mi Casa are family-friendly staples in town with large enough tables for a party of six or more. If you can make a 6 p.m. dinner, you will increase your chances for a shorter wait time. Another tip: If your family is bigger than six, think about splitting up into two tables; that will help the restaurant seat you faster as well. Other strategies include, hitting up happy hour for pre-dinner snacks, arriving at least an hour earlier than you’d normally eat or visiting one of the off the beaten path restaurants on our family restaurant guide.
Local’s Tip: Plan ahead before heading to the grocery store
One of the great things about Breckenridge for families is the abundance of condos and vacation home rentals. This provides a nice home-away-from-home base for your family and the opportunity to eat in for many of your meals. To stock your rental, a trip to the local grocery store is necessary and during the height of spring break, it can also feel like a chapter from “The Hunger Games.” In this scenario, pick one or two people to represent your family at the grocery store. Our two grocery stores are not built for Easter Sunday and can easily feel congested during peak visitation times, so this tip is crucial to your success! Sending only a few family members keeps you from adding to the congestion, saves you time and money (because your family isn’t there to pick up random items), and provides the reason that your family members back at the condo should unload the groceries when you get back.
Local’s Tip: Go Green
You don’t need to buy copious amounts of bottled water. Our local tap water is as close to the source as you can get, plus if it’s good enough for some of the country’s best bourbon, it’s good enough for you! Bring water bottles for everyone to refill as needed, saving more money and plastic bottles from littering our beautiful Breckenridge. Finally, bring your own shopping bags because Breckenridge has a bag fee at the grocery store and at any retail shop on Main Street. Many lodging properties will have one you can get upon check-in, and many are sold around town and at the grocery stores.
So many of us locals learned to ski and snowboard with our families during spring break, fostering a passion and love for the outdoors that brought us back to live here. We hope your family discovers a similar love for Breckenridge and you keep you coming back for generations! If you have any additional planning questions call or stop by our Breckenridge Welcome Center or send us a message on social media.