Disclosure: In return for our honest review my family and I were guests at the YMCA of the Rockies for a weekend of fun. All opinions are our own.
Over my birthday weekend we had the opportunity to escape from the city life and enjoy the weekend away at the YMCA of the Rockies which is located in Estes Park Colorado. After the months of holiday craze we were all really looking forward to this time away to enjoy the beautiful Rocky Mountains and some great time as a family reconnecting and making memories.
After our visit to the YMCA at Snow Mountain Ranch last summer we have become really pro-YMCA visits. The whole set up is perfect for our family. Well, honestly, every family because there is literally something for everyone and it is super family friendly and easy on the budget too.
What is the YMCA of the Rockies?
YMCA of the Rockies, located near the town of Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park, is an ideal vacation, reunion, wedding and conference destination. The best part about this weekend getaway is how easy of a drive it is, even in the winter.
You can fill your day and nights at Estes Park Center YMCA with so many programs and activities. Every season brings fun and excitement for the entire family. Whether you are looking for adventure or a relaxing stroll, we can set you on your way.
That picture is of our home away from home for the weekend! It was fantastic and the views were breathtaking!
There are a number of different options for lodging when you begin planning your trip to YMCA of the Rockies. We stayed in a 3 bedroom cabin with a fireplace. This was the perfect size for the four of us as well as my good friends Lauren and Jared and their 2 small dogs. Yes, well-behaved pets are allowed in 2 to 5 bedroom cabins, campgrounds and yurts and must be leashed at all times when outdoors. We are not a dog owning family but I do know how important that option is for those that do have dogs!
Like I said, this was the perfect size for us. The living space, dining area and kitchen was HUGE! We enjoy a number of meals together at the large table while enjoying a warm fire. It was so nice and relaxing.
These pictures do not do this cabin justice. It was clean and well taken care of and that was awesome to walk into. So relaxing! The cabin has dishes for you to use during your stay as well as linings. This truly makes packing so much easier.
As I said there are a number of different options when looking at lodging including lodge rooms that are similar to hotels, large reunion cabins, yurts and 2-5 bedroom cabins.
One of the reasons why we love staying at YMCA locations is that not only do they have so many budget friendly lodging options but there are activities that can keep your entire family busy for days! Just like we did during our Snow Mountain stay, we were on the go enjoying those activities the whole time at YMCA of the Rockies.
Keep in mind when you are planning your trip that the seasons do make for different activity options. During the winter the activities that are on site and mostly free to all who are guests of the YMCA include: archery, campfires, crafts, Dorsey Museum, games, hiking, ice skating, snowshoeing, roller skating and pool fun.
While the girls got their crafts on, the boys went to the indoor archery space. This was Jude's second time doing archery and once again he excelled at it. He really does enjoy this activity and I see him doing well in the future with it. Jeremy told me that the instructor did amazing with Jude. Gave him instructions and help but also let Jude try it all on his own.
He was so proud of his shots! I love seeing him like this. He felt accomplished the whole day and he talked all about his experience.
Once we all recovered from crafts and archery we walked around the property a bit and then enjoyed some lunch in our cabin. Once lunch settled we surprised the kids by taking them to the indoor pool to swim! I must say, packing for this trip was a challenge - snow gear and swimming suits!! So much to think about but with the help of having linens and kitchen supplies at the cabin for us to use really was a lifesaver!
Oh and for those of you who think swimming in the middle of winter, even in an indoor pool, sounds cold...you are so wrong. This pool was so warm!! It was fun to be in the pool playing with the kids and looking out the big glass windows seeing the snow fall. Man, we are so lucky to live in this beautiful state!
One of the evenings we took advantage of the on site dining hall and enjoyed the yummy food for dinner. Children 6 and under are free so that again is so helpful when vacationing on a budget. Not to mention the food was great and they had a special Kids Corner filled with my kid's favorite - MAC AND CHEESE!! They were so happy! YMCA for the win!
Planned activities are available through out the day, when you check in, you will get a program bulletin that will list those options. Some options are movies, volleyball games, campfires, and even Bingo. We decided to join the Bingo fun one night. It was so fun! Jude LOVED it and it was so great to see so many families of all sizes and ages having fun with one another. A getaway like this truly allows you to connect and have fun with your family and friends.
Because my kids love all things crafts we decided to take a second trip to the craft and design center but this time we all did some Tie Dye!! Once again, the staff was so great with the kids. Teaching them how to create certain designs and colors on their shirts. It was a great experience and we all ended up with some pretty awesome Tie Dye creations!!
I just have to share some beautiful scenery pictures for you all too. Honestly, this area was so beautiful and I have seen a lot of great mountain areas in my life as a native. Maybe it was the freshly fallen snow and the cozy fire burning in the fireplace but wow! I was lucky enough to celebrate my birthday while at the YMCA of the Rockies and it was a great way to ring in 33! Something that we may need to do for years to come.
Teagan found a playground and even though it was freezing out she HAD to go play! I love kids. They know how to have fun and laugh. They keep us young right?
You cannot help but laugh at this crazy girl!! Love her and the memories that we all made together.
The Long House includes a gym area that is huge!! The evening we visited we saw a number of different activities that all ages were participating in - basketball, volleyball, dodge-ball and even hacky sac! Seeing all of these kids playing, moving, laughing and having fun was a great thing to see. So many of our kids are used to entertaining themselves by sitting in front of a TV or tablet. This was a refreshing view. YMCA knows how to do it!
We decided to take the kiddos roller skating one evening. Miss Teagan, our daredevil, caught on with little help and anxiety. She was dancing and skating around the rink with no problems. Jude, on the other hand, is a bit more reserved. It took him a while to get comfortable but once he did he really did have a great time.
So many options for us to all try new things while staying at the YMCA of the Rockies.
Side note - yes, he has face paint on his face. When we were visiting we also attended the Estes Park Winterfest that was great too! A must visit for sure! Great food, beer, wine and kids activities like an indoor tubing hill! Seriously, our weekend away in Estes Park was amazing!
We did not go ice skating due to my overly anxious son thinking about a recent accident on a pond in Colorado. The pond was so pretty though, seeing families out enjoying the skating rink was great. Maybe in a few years we will be out there too!
Every morning we would walk out to this amazing view from our wraparound deck. Breathing in that fresh Colorado Mountain air will totally reset your mind. A perfect way to close out the first month of 2016.
The YMCA of the Rockies is a great venue for many events too. We saw so many open conference rooms that would be a great place to host a conference or meeting. The views would have your guests so happy to join you! We learned about some large reunion cabins that we have no considered as an option for when our family from out of the country visit us. So many options!! There is no reason for you not to plan a trip to this location!
I know I have totally overwhelmed you with photos but this one pretty much sums up why we will be coming back to YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park. These two overly active kiddos sat on these couches and read their books for over an hour one afternoon. That doesn't happen...ever! The fire was crackling, the snow was falling and these kids were reading. Peace and quite and connecting. Perfection.
Have you visited YMCA of the Rockies or any other YMCA location?