A previous winner of FTF’s Top 10 Getaways for Family Togetherness award, YMCA of the Rockies was honored along with other hospitality, timeshare and eco-tourism businesses that made it possible for families to stay, play, relax, and learn together in a creative and enriching atmosphere. This deserving and popular resort gets a fresh look in 2015.
There’s definitely something special going on when preparations for a centennial celebration include a gathering of recipes from staff and guests, and creation of an alumni network for former employees. The family-like quality of the group of about 900 people who help run the year-round YMCA of the Rockies, with two locations near Denver, Colorado can only provide a testament to its benefits for family guests.
Called the “Mercedez Benz of Reunion Locations” by Better Homes and Gardens, the YMCA of the Rockies has the perfect combination of activities, lodging options, views, wildlife and great staff at their two properties at the Estes Park Center (surrounded by the Rocky Mountain National Park) and Snow Mountain Ranch (surrounded by the Arapahoe National Forest.) In addition, the wildly popular Family Reunion University program, formerly an in-person presentation, will soon be available as video posted on their website. Its goal is to train family planners for a successful event by covering topics such as how to increase family participation, practical advice about what to look for in a reunion facility such as catering options, and suggesting ice breaking events such as hay rides. There need not be a reunion, however, for family fun to happen in this outdoorsy and activity-oriented wonderland.
A list of seasonal family-together activities at the YMCA of the Rockies is almost overwhelming in length. In addition, there are the special occasion family weekends—Winter Festival with ice skating, kid’s activities and a chili cook-off; Memorial Day Weekend Crafts Fair, and a mid-summer Scandinavian festival with a Viking encampment, replica ship and swordsmanship in addition to cooking lessons on how to make paper-thin Norwegian pancakes. Opportunities for outdoor adventure, including tennis, mini-golf, horseback riding and rock climbing seem boundless.
Then there are the everyday kind of activities, which include but are not be limited to swimming in the pool, roller skating in the rink, a fishing lake for kids, sledding, skiing, tennis, horseshoes, a game room with TV and movie rentals, a log cabin museum, campfire ring rental, and ultimate Frisbee. Family togetherness is a focus on scavenger hunts, parachute games, family relay races, beaver walks, and at the Star Lab, a portable planetarium. The Craft and Design Center is not your everyday arts’n’crafts room. Here kids and parents work on projects as varied as silk painting, leather projects, stained glass, basketry and jewelry making in separate areas for families with children under 10 and those with older kids.
Accommodations at the YMCA of the Rockies locations include lodge style rooms, cabin and vacation home options at various size and amenity levels. Lodge rooms have a capacity for at least four people, and cabins and vacation homes range from two to eight bedrooms. All cabins include kitchens with cooking and eating utensils .Additionally, campgrounds and yurts are available for a different kind of rustic experience. Pets are allowed in family cabins at both facilities. Dining is pay-per-meal buffet style, while cabin kitchens and restaurants in town provide additional options. Because of the many options available, Family Reunion Specialists are on hand to help. Please contact them at 800/777-9622.
Rates are reasonable. Many activities require minor deposits and some require fees but these getaways are top value; see website for details.
Photos Courtesy of YMCA of the Rockies.
This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question, and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.