I’m a Denver Native. I know super rare to come across. I’m constantly searching for the best things to do with the boys and staycationing at the Gaylord Rockies is one of our favorite things to do! It’s tucked away by Denver International Airport making it feel like you’re getting away while still being super close to home. If you are booking a flight and have a layover its incredibly close for an overnight stay!
You can view highlights of our time at the Gaylord Rockies here
Best time of year to go?
That is a tricky question because from my experience, it’s amazing all year. It’s a toss up for sure and I’ll go more in depth.
The Arapahoe Springs Resort Pool & Lazy River is so much fun! The boys and I had fun for hours multiple days of our stay back in August for their birthdays. The lazy river is so warm and relaxing. Bladen went down the waterslide too many times to count.
Onto the Cabanas! Living the Cabana life poolside is a vacation in its own self. The pool side attendants really take care of you. You can order delicious food and drinks. We noshed on juicy burgers and virgin Pina coladas! I love the shade and privacy of the cabana, when we need to take a break from the sun. Pool time with kids is somewhat stressful with lugging all of the things am I right?! There is no better way to do the pool with kids than at the Arapahoe Springs Pool! The entire atmosphere is really family friendly which is really important to me. Your cabana gets freshly stocked with water, complimentary fruit and towels upon arrival.
Gaylord Rockies in the summer/fall time is great because of their amazing outdoor pool. Their food is divine. They have an arcade for the kids. A spa for us adults!
There is no better way to do Christmas in Denver than at the Gaylord Rockies. Last year we went to ICE! featuring Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer! One of the coolest (and cold, kept at a wintry 9 degrees) exhibits I’ve ever seen. Carved from more than two million pounds of colorful ice of all of the best parts of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. We dressed warm and wore snow boots because of the ice slides but they provided parkas for the event upon entry.
Watch our ICE at the Gaylord Rockies vlog here!
After we went ice skating!
2020 has been a completely different year but the Gaylord Rockies has a special variance allowing them to still be open. Christmas was NOT cancelled here. In fact there was SO. MUCH. CHRISTMAS.
Two of my favorite things about Christmas is matching family pajamas and watching Christmas movies. Elf is one of our favorites and we were so excited to find out this years theme at the Gaylord Rockies was I Love Christmas Movies.
We walked through the iconic Christmas movies, including ELF™, THE POLAR EXPRESS™, NATIONAL LAMPOON’S CHRISTMAS VACATION™, A CHRISTMAS STORY™, and THE YEAR WITHOUT A SANTA CLAUS™ in their all-new 17,000 sq. ft. multi-sensory exhibit. There was an 8 person group size and their production assistants walked us through this 20-25 minute journey.
Watch our I love Christmas Movies vlog here!
After our I Love Christmas Movies walkthrough, we shopped in the gift shop, decorated gingerbread cookies, wrote letters to Santa and dropped them off into the special mailbox. The entire village is literally magic. Being a parent at Christmastime is such a dream here! With the current safety procedures in place we were not able to dine in at any of their restaurants but get food to go. Which honestly is my preferred way to dine with kids anyway. Staying in our deluxe suite with our full dining room table, made in room dining easy and fun!
After dinner we headed outside to make some complementary s’mores. Walk the lights and do some snow bumper cars!
The next morning we went ice skating which we wanted to allot the most time for since its Bladen’s favorite! The whale trainers were a must have for Eero and I. Bladen is good at skating and pushing Eero around was the best!
Here is a photo of the activities map. There is quite a lot of walking to do and glad we brought the stroller for Eero and to keep all of our coats, camera, water bottles etc. There is a lot to do! You can purchase tickets for one, a few or all of the activities making it the itinerary you want and will work for your family. In addition to the I Love Christmas Movies you can choose from.
- Ice Skating
- Bumper Cars
- Snow Merry-Go Round
- Mrs. Claus Traditions
- Gingerbread Decorating
- Build-A-Bear Workshop
- Photos with Santa
- Sugary Sweet Story-time
- Letters to Santa
The Pool in the winter
The Arapahoe Springs Indoor pool currently requires reservations (I’m sure that will change depending on the regulations). Prior to our stay about a week ahead I received an email to reserve our pool time. Sadly all of the times were booked however the outdoor pool is first come first serve making it easy for an evening swim. We just so happened to stay on two of the warmest days in December yay Colorado! The pool was really warm. I get cold easily. I do not keep my thermostat at 72 degrees haha! The pool was legit warm. We did migrate over to the hot tub which I melted into like a marshmallow in hot chocolate but you can swim and the steam coming off the pool. The outdoor fireplace poolside to warm up to was the cherry on top!
Tips and info:
- Masks are required at all times ages 2+
- They have their cleaning staff wiping down surfaces constantly! I felt very safe being there with all of the protocols in place.
- Be prepared to walk: The resort is big! For example from your room to the pool is a trek. If you have little ones consider bringing your stroller.
- Bring your camera. So many photo opportunities, you don’t want to miss capturing them all
If you want to safely get away for a short or long stay I highly recommend booking your stay at the Gaylord Rockies. Summer, Fall, Spring or Winter you will have a great time I can promise you that. I personally am all about experiences over things. We have made some pretty magical memories here and look forward to continuing our traditions here for years to come.
Any questions you have about our experience please reach out! I am an open book and always happy to share any info!
I am so happy you are here! I’m a boy mama x2, fashion lover, living in Denver, Colorado.