With the 20015 FIS World Alpine Ski Championships at Beaver Creek in town, we headed up to our family's condo this weekend to catch some of the races and get my kids on skis for the first time to check out Beaver Creek Ski School.
The first thing you see after heading up the hill is the gorgeous view of the creek as you head in over the covered bridge to walk into Beaver Creek Village. The 3-6 year old kids ski school is directly up the escalator from the ice rink, next to the Ford Theater (named for President Ford, who loved Beaver Creek and lived in the Vail Valley until he died).
The village is idyllic- as you walk to ski school (or after you drop off the kids), head into Remini Gelato for one of the most delicious lattes you'll ever have- they also make amazing crepes, pastries, and have phenomenal gelato.
The base of Beaver Creek Ski Area is gorgeous. While watching the kids at ski school, this was our view! The ski school magic carpet area is tucked into a little aspen grove, and the back of the area has lots of fun wood cutout characters for the kids to see.
Since our kids are little, they started out on the "magic carpet" at the Okee Dokee Corral- a nice, gently sloped area that is fenced in for the little kids.
The area blasts lots of fun pop hits, so all the kids and instructors dance to lighten up the mood and keep them wiggling and having fun. It was so fun to catch my kids dancing in line!
They got the kids right up on skis and moving from the start. It is so impressive to me how quickly kids learn- my son was doing turns by the third day!
I was seriously impressed with the instructors at Beaver Creek. Two of my really good friends used to instruct there, so I knew they had great teachers- but it's so special to watch your own kids on the ski hill! My kids came in complete novices- we had some cheap plastic skis they used for about five minutes during one snow storm and haven't put on since- and hadn't ever really done any real skiing.
Bridget did have a bit of a meltdown on the second day (she loved skiing, but hated walking to and from the magic carpet and wanted to be carried- little diva!), but the staff was really patient and loving with her. They played with her and helped distract her, and got her smiling again quickly. There were some kids who had meltdowns, but the instructors handled it really well. I was nervous putting my just under 3 year old in ski school (they technically need to be 3 at Beaver Creek, but let Bridget in since she's pretty close), but they were awesome.
And seriously.... how cute is this?? I could watch her all day long in her little ski girl getup! Especially as she smiled with a big, toothy grin and declared- "MOMMY!!! I'm a ski racer! I go FAST!!!". So freaking adorable!
This is one of the first real structured things we've done for a vacation- and it made me really excited to get the kids into skiing more. We're going to look into lessons at a resort just outside of Boulder a little closer to home, and continue to come up to Beaver Creek a few times a year. I am so glad we finally took the plunge and put them in ski school! I grew up skiing with my family on weekends and have such great memories of family ski trips- I can't wait to make the same great memories with my kids.
After a long day on the slopes (or watching kids on the slopes), you have to hunt down one of Beaver Creek's famous "chefs" that pass out the most delicious chocolate chip cookies! They pass them out at the beginning of the ski day and every day at 3:00pm.
It's become one of our favorite traditions- along with the Champagne toast at the Beaver Creek Chophouse at 3:00 for mom and dad! (Order some truffle fries and their French 15- and you'll swear you're in heaven.)