Festivals and deals are enticing to late-season skiers and snowboarders

By Eileen Ogintz
Tribune Content Agency
Taking the Kids

Blue skies, stellar mountain views, sunshine, music and plenty of swag.

Welcome to spring festival season at mountain resorts. At Copper Mountain Resort in Colorado, about 75 miles from Denver, on a recent Saturday, everyone was smiling, grooving to the music of the Lil Smokies — the adults, the kids, even it seemed, all the pooches in the audience.

Welcome to Subaru Winter Fest, which draws mountain lovers for the music, the swag (beanies and insulated mugs), free demos, the chance to meet avalanche dogs and snacks (s’mores! Kate’s Real Food, coffee and hot chocolate!)

A pooch wearing Subaru swag at WinterFest - Copper Mountain Feb 24, 2024
A pooch wearing Subaru swag at WinterFest – Copper Mountain Feb 24, 2024

“It’s just super fun,” said Melissa McAdams, enjoying her third WinterFest. “And I really like the swag.”

“A lot of energy,” said Michael Bryan.

“The mountains are so beautiful,” added Loati Bullo. “…Everyone is so friendly … and here for a good time!”

Subaru will host additional WinterFests in California (Sierra-at-Tahoe March 23 to 24) Utah (Snowbird April 5 to 7) and Oregon (Mt. Bachelor April 12 to 14). They are among the many spring celebrations and festivals at snow resorts around the country.

Those here were given $5 tokens to designate a charity for Subaru to donate as part of their “Share the Love” campaign, including Operation Warm that connects underserved youth with community resources, SheJumps that creates outdoor experiences for girls and women and Wasatch Back Country Rescue which provides rapid avalanche and winter- related mountain rescues.

Green Mountain Inn entrance in Stowe Vermont
Green Mountain Inn entrance in Stowe Vermont

Many think spring on the slopes is the best – warmer temps, blue sky days and this season, plenty of snow, as well as late- season deals with some resorts, including Breckenridge, open at least until mid-May – Arapahoe Basin into June.

There are also some of the best deals of the season. The Limelight Hotels in Aspen, Snowmass and Ketchum, Idaho, for example, have deals up to 25 percent off four nights.

Skiers and snowboarders who own a valid 2023-24 winter resort season pass anywhere can get a 50 percent discount on Jackson Hole, Wyoming lift tickets March 18 to April 14. Receive up to $400 off your airfare per person when you book your round-trip flights, lodging and a qualifying activity through Jackson Hole Resort Reservations by March 31, 2024.

Ski.com touts savings of more than 50 percent on spring packages, among them to Park City, Utah. You can also search by budget ski trips.

On the East Coast, Town Square Condos in Waterville Valley are offering a third night free while The Green Mountain Inn in Stowe, Vermont, offers a 20 percent discount on midweek lodging.

Then there is all the fun off the slopes. From March 17 to April 22 there’s Breck Spring Fever, which boasts that it’s “the biggest spring party in the Rocky Mountains” with daily events on the mountain and off.

Steamboat celebrates the end of the ski season (April 1 to 14) with Springalicious, complete with free music and the Cardboard Classic. Think racing down a trail in a homemade cardboard craft made only from cardboard, glue, string, water- based paint, tape and other decorations.

From March 2 to April 13 there’s a Canyons Village Spring Concert series at Park City Mountain in Utah. Also in Utah, celebrate Alta’s Snowflake Festival March 25 to March 31 (learn to make tie dye in the snow).

Aerial view winter recreation and sports in Copper Mountain in Colorado
Aerial view winter recreation and sports in Copper Mountain in Colorado

In Vermont, celebrate 24 Hours of Stratton (March 16 to 17) and play on the slopes under lighted trails into sunrise. The proceeds benefit the Stratton Community Foundation. There will be a team costume contest, vertical uphill challenge, outdoor glow dance party, tubing, fireworks, music and more.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming, with 308 inches of snow this season, celebrates spring with a free two-day music festival April 5 to 6 with free concerts in March on Saturdays on the Road to Rendezvous.

You don’t even need to head up the mountain. Many don’t at the Taste of Vail (April 3 to 6), one of the country’s top food and wine festivals, this year celebrating its 32nd season. There will be winemakers from 58 top wineries, tasting on the streets of Vail, mountaintop tastings with gourmet food, and much more. And like other spring mountain festivals, there is a charitable component: Taste of Vail has partnered with CHOW, an organization that supports wellness within the hospitality industry, working to make changes that will support workers in the hospitality industry.

Copper Mountain, with 2,450 acres of varied terrain and a new upscale mid-mountain lodge, has$99 lift tickets purchased online in advance with a portion of the proceeds going to benefit nonprofit organizations. Long popular with Denverites and those who live on the Front Range, Copper is attracting IKON passholders from around the country. At Copper, there are kids free packages as well as those with the third-night free.

“It’s our go-to mountain with the kids,” said Tom Terrell, who has two young kids.

“I love the family vibe,” said Christen Zuvka, who grew up skiing here but now lives in Chicago. “The mountain has a lot to offer.”

Never more than in spring.

(For more Taking the Kids, visit www.takingthekids.com and also follow TakingTheKids on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram where Eileen Ogintz welcomes your questions and comments. The fourth edition of The Kid’s Guide to New York City and the third edition of The Kid’s Guide to Washington D.C. are the latest in a series of 14 books for kid travelers published by Eileen.)

©2024 Eileen Ogintz. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.