Colorado Style Picnics Are Fun For Kids

Colorado Style Picnics Are Fun For Kids

Snowshoeing Fun With the Family

Snowshoeing Fun With the Family

Looking for fun things to do with your kids?

Try a Colorado style picnic.

In the winter when the snow is on the ground in town there isn’t a lot kids can do for fun. The roads are covered with ice and snow so biking and other normal activities are out of the question. Sure you can load them up and head to bowling, movies or other indoor activities but that gets expensive and it doesn’t qualify as “outdoor activity.” It will amaze you what you learn about yourself, your kids and family in general when you get into nature. Unplug and go have some fun. I guarantee you your kids will be tired and learn something new every time you go out in the forest in the wintertime. Summer is not the only time of year to get out and hike.

Here is what we do to have active fun and save money.

We pack sandwiches and snacks and head to the mountains. We pack our snow shoes and warm clothes and we are off.


  • Sandwiches for 4 people made at home = $5.00
  • Snacks for 4 people + $5.00
  • Bottled water from my tap = $0.00
  • Gas up and back $20.00

What to bring:

  • Snowshoes – Small investment but they last for years and can be sold later. Or you can rent them from REI. The last time we rented them it was about $4.00 for the day.
  • Warm clothes – Typical snow day clothes. Mitten, boots, hats and thick socks. Goggles if it is snowing.
  • Thermos with hot chocolate for after or during the walk.
  • Poles only for bigger kids and adults.
  • Blow up sled for smaller kids. Your day will last longer if you have a place for small kids to ride.
  • Hand held GPS if you plan on going for hours.

We generally go snowshoeing when it nice and sunny but occasionally we’ll hit the trail in a snowstorm. I highly recommend a GPS or compass. I’ve seen tracks disappear in heavy snowfall in a matter of an hour. Be mindful of the time and your surroundings. Always know where you are and where you need to go. The vast majority of trails around here will have fresh traffic on them so finding your way out is generally not an issue.

About the blow up sled. I bought a $5.00 blow up sled (pictured top right my daughter sitting in it.) with an upright back on it for my 3 year old daughter wot ride in. I attached about 20 feet of rope to it and made one large loop. I put he her on the sled, take the large loop over my head and secure it around my waist. It is amazing how easy it is to pull her on this sled. She weighs around 35 pounds and I can barely feel her behind me.

Having fun snowshoeing.

Having fun snowshoeing.

Great places to snowshoe with kids.

1. Kenosha Pass. Take 285 which is Hampden Road South out of Denver to the top of Kenosha Pass. I believe the ride is about an hour depending on where in the Denver Metro you live.

We generally take a left off 285 into the parking area and drive back to the main parking area near the bathrooms and picnic tables. Easy parking and easy access to the trails from here plus the added bonus of bathrooms.

2. Ski Cooper. That is Cooper not Copper. Drive up to Ski Cooper and park across the street from the main entrance. There is a relatively flat hike that starts from the parking lot and winds down into a meadow around some beaver ponds and then back into and through the forest.

Kenosha has picnic tables and bathrooms so that is nice but we generally find a nice sunny warm location and plop down for a nice picnic and enjoy the day. As I said before. It is amazing what you can learn about yourself, your family and especially your children when you unplug and get back to the basics. Sitting down and watching the forest as the winds blow and observing small animals as they scurry around makes a great way to picnic.

Tips for snowshoeing with kids.

Picnic Colorado Style

Picnic Colorado Style

  • Keep them warm. I’ve snowshoed with my 3 year old daughter in negative 14 degree weather in Steamboat Springs and since she was dress properly she actually fell asleep in her little sled.
  • Up at Kenosha Pass the forest service sometimes has piles of wood that is just laying around on the ground. My son and I have used these piles of wood many times to build small cabins or a lean to that he can play in. It is also an easy way to give a kid a lesson on back country survival and they won’t even know they are learning while playing. Isn’t that the easiest way to teach?
  • If you are lucky enough to snowshoe during a blizzard take advantage of it. We will make our picnic under a large evergreen. Pick any spruce that has good cover and pine bowes that you can easily squeeze under. Sit and have lunch under the tree. This is also a good survival lesson but have them sit quietly and listen. It will baffle you to hear just how loud a snow storm really is. You can hear the flakes hitting the trees and ground.
  • Try to let your kids figure out what type of animal left the tracks that they will see in the forest. “Name that track” is a fun game to play in the forest.

You might also enjoy this article about snowshoeing with kids.

So, just because it’s cold don’t think you have to do indoor activities. Get your kids and family out of the house and enjoy some snowshoeing. Call me if you need more details info or directions. I know many other great spots to go as well and I’m happy to share. Steven Beam 303-941-4663