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Steamboat Magazine

Three Perfect Family Days

02/20/2015 04:42PM ● By Christina Freeman

Nine-year-old Margaux Shea takes a moment getting to know a new-found furry friend. Photo courtesy Kerry Shea.

Honeystinger Director of Sales Jenn Shea and husband, Kerry, co-owner of McKnight's Irish Pub and Resort Ventures West, have called Steamboat Springs home since 2007. Parents of Margaux, 9, and Claire, 7, they know a thing or two about sharing quality family time in the Yampa Valley.

Day One There's no better way to start a family day off than a homemade breakfast at Creekside Cafe. Fully charged for some outdoor fun, a wonderful way to spend a half-day is dog sledding with Grizzle-T Dog and Sled Works. The scenery is spectacular and kids always love being around the dogs. Warm apple cider and cookies with a hot toddy for grownups makes for a rewarding way to finish.

Home to relax for awhile, then head up to the ski area for an early pizza dinner at Slopeside Grill, before hitting the slopes for night skiing. It can be chilly so extra layers for kids will ensure they have fun.

Day Two After all the action the previous day, indulge everyone with a famous Steamboat breakfast treat. Winona's cinnamon rolls are a crowd-stopper; utterly decadent, and so large you can share. Take the long way, by walking to Howelsen Ice Arena and pass the oldest ski area west of the Mississippi, Howelsen Hill. Don your skates and hit the Olympic-sized rink during open skate time. 

While away the afternoon at Old Town Hot Springs, soaking in the naturally heated pools while challenging each other to scale the outdoor climbing wall. Zip down the water slides or swim some laps.

No doubt everyone has worked up an appetite, so collect the team for an evening at McKnight's Irish Pub. Low-key and casual, families love the game loft, where you'll find pool, ping pong and darts. Stay and play, or meander down a block to the Wildhorse Cinema and catch a flick.

Day Three Spend the morning exploring Steamboat's historic downtown. Take kids on a scavenger hunt at Tread of the Pioneers Museum and learn what it was like living out West all those years ago. Step into the present and experience Steamboat's new and only store just for kids. Check out the gaming area, shop, or have a coffee while they get a mini-me beauty treatment at In Celebration of Kids on Lincoln Avenue.

Bundle up again for an adrenaline-packed afternoon of tubing at Saddleback Ranch on the outskirts of town. It's a blast for all ages, and you don't even need to climb back uphill; all the hard work is done for you. When the snow melts, switch tubing for horse riding, which in our family is always a crowd-pleaser.

Today has been all about the kiddos, so tonight is for Mum and Dad. Hire a babysitter (Steamboat has great options), order pizza in, then go downtown for an adult-only evening. Start the night with dinner and drinks at c.v. bistro, then put on your dancing shoes and boogie to live music at Schmiggity's.