This weekend we spent a night at YMCA of the Rockies and had an extraordinary time as a family. There are so many fabulous things to share about this as a must go-to family spot! I am exited to share my top five from this chilly January visit to the YMCA in Estes Park, Colorado. Please not that while this post is sponsored by YMCA of the Rockies, the opinions and experiences are my own. We have been to visit in the late spring year after year with our Girl Scout service unit but this was our first time as a family AND our first time in the winter. We are definitely going back because we didn’t get to do nearly all of the things we wanted to.
First, the location is gorgeous. We stayed in a lodge surrounded by mountains, trees and wildlife. The air is so clean and the breeze felt so refreshing. We were lucky enough to get a little snow while we were there which was super fun and oh so pretty. Here is me in the wild.
Here is my best shot of the deer.
I went to the Tree Garden early in the morning and was mesmerized by the magpies. There were so many together playing and chasing each other. I stood really still and one came right up to where I was and perched on a bench. It was a bit magical really. While I was there, I read the sign about the tree garden. It made me think of one of my Girl Scouts, Isabel. She has a beautiful voice and sings in her choir.
There are so many things to do at the YMCA of the Rockies but I have to say that my favorite activity is the Mootz Family Craft and Design House. Being a professional artist and designer, I love that this place has so many options. We spent the majority of our day creating mosaics. All four of us picked the perfect starter pieces and went to work.
We worked until lunch time and then took a break to dash over to eat. This leads right into the third amazing thing about the YMCA of the Rockies. The food is outstanding and best of all, there are gluten free options. If you follow my blog, you already know that I have Hashimoto disease. I cannot have gluten. I felt so special and noticed by the extent to which the YMCA of the Rockies is looking out for this community. They even had a special stand of treats for gluten free visitors! I got to meet the chef and tell him how much I appreciate him!
We went back to the craft house and finished up our mosaics. I loved every step of making mine so I took photos. Here is what I did for all of you crafty followers who might want to make a mosaic.
- I painted the piece pink then added white and red dots.
- I added clear glass pieces to cover the surface leaving tiny spaces in between. I used glue.
- I added white grout to the entire surface getting it into the cracks.
- I wiped the excess grout off and packed the love monster to take it home.
- I put it up in my studio!
Then we walked around and decided to play miniature golf. We played IN THE SNOW. This is my fourth favorite thing about this trip. Even in the chilly and snowy weather, we got to be a family OUTDOORS doing things we love. Zoe and Ryp tied for first place.
There are a lot of reasons to visit the YMCA of the Rockies but my fifth reason to visit in the wintertime is the fireplaces. They are everywhere. The fireplaces (indoor and outdoor) create such a feeling of warmth and connection. Here is a photo of the one inside our lodge and the one outdoors too.
I love the main fireplace in the registration building too. We didn’t get to spend any time here really which means we must go back, soon!
No matter where you love, the YMCA of the Rockies is place that you should consider adding to your bucket list. The staff is fabulous. The accommodations are comfortable. The food is excellent. The location is gorgeous. The drive from Denver is only about two hours. If you decide to travel in, let me know. I would love to come say hello!
I am so grateful to the YMCA of the Rockies for hosting us. This little bit of family times really means a lot in the big picture.
PS: The sixth (and should really be first) is that this trip supports my marriage in so many ways. But that….that is another whole post!