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Keystone Wagon Ride Dinner – Way More Than a Meal

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I didn't think the Keystone Wagon Ride Dinner in Keystone, Colorado could possibly live up to my high expectations. My family had gone on the Keystone Sleigh Ride Dinner one winter and I thought there was no way the summertime version could compare to the magical, snowy experience I'd had a few years prior. Boy, was I wrong.

Keystone Wagon Ride Dinner - Way More Than a Meal (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Multigenerational vacation fun

Operated by Keystone Stables, the Wagon Ride Dinner is more than just a meal. It is an experience. In a group of 13 people, with ages ranging from grade school children as young as 6, to teens, to adults in every decade from their 30s through 70s; it can be hard to find an activity that resonates with everyone. The Keystone Wagon Ride Dinner did just that.

Roping for fun at the Keystone Wagon Ride Dinner

Roping for fun at the Keystone Wagon Ride Dinner (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

The journey

Your night starts with a horse drawn wagon ride through green valleys speckled with yellow Lupine and other wildflowers, and flanked by Keystone's peaks in all directions. The journey is beautiful and entertaining, as your driver regales the crowd with stories about the horses and Keystone's history.

Be sure to dress in layers and bring hats and gloves for all family members. It can get cold and you will want to spend some time enjoying the outdoors before hurrying inside the cabin for dinner.

Hula hooping at the Keystone Wagon Ride Dinner

Hula hooping at the campsite (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Cowboy games

Upon arrival at the secluded original Keystone homestead, outdoorsy games will keep the whole family smiling. Kids and grown-ups can, and should, get in on the fun. Playing a game of horseshoes, trying your hand at wrangling a faux steer with a lasso, or spinning a hula hoop around you waist somehow intensifies the surrounding beauty. No one will ask to play with a smart phone here.

Playing horse shoes at the Keystone Wagon Ride Dinner

A lesson in playing horseshoes between cousins (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Campfire songs

If the air is a bit chilly, warm up by the campfire and listen to cowboy songs sung and strummed by a local musician. You just might find yourself swaying to the beat and singing along.

Songs by the campfire at the Keystone Wagon Ride Dinner

Songs by the campfire (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Photo opps

The beauty here is so overwhelming, you'll feel like you've stepped into a postcard. Before dinner starts, take advantage of the breathtaking setting by snapping some family photos.

Family reunion at Keystone Wagon Ride Dinner

Our Keystone family reunion vacation group shot (Photo credit: Keystone Stables)

With our multigenerational group, we took turns taking photos of each family unit and asked one of the friendly Keystone Stables employees to take a group shot.

Keystone Wagon Ride Dinner silliness

My dad trying to “rope in” my mom during some photo-taking silliness (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

The photos provide not only a wonderful souvenir of the Keystone Wagon Ride Dinner, but also an opportunity for more family bonding via photo bombs and other silliness.

Keystone Wagon Ride Dinner photo bomb

My brother and his girlfriend getting photo bombed (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Keystone Wagon Ride Dinner fixings

Dinner starts with a salad bar with plenty of tasty fixings. Grab a cold lemonade (included in the price) or belly up to the bar for a cocktail, bottle of brew or cup of wine at an additional charge. Pile your plate with delicious barbecued ribs, chicken, corn on the cob, cornbread and baked beans. But save room for dessert; the deep dish apple pie served a la mode is what apple pie dreams are made of.

Keystone Wagon Ride Dinner salad bar

Keystone Wagon Ride Dinner salad bar (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

After an evening of horsing around, campfire songs and cowboy cuisine, you might feel a little melancholy as you climb aboard the wagon for the ride home. Comfort yourself knowing you can always come back for another Keystone Wagon Ride Dinner or Keystone Sleigh Ride Dinner. If you're like me, the experience will be every bit as magical on your return trip.

Keystone Wagon Ride Dinner campsite

Keystone Wagon Ride Dinner campsite (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Have you ever returned somewhere and worried that it could not live up to your past experience? Did it? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

A Note from The Travel Mama: My family of four received a complimentary Keystone Wagon Ride Dinner for purposes of this review. Everyone else paid full-price. All opinions are mine, as always.

About Colleen Lanin

Colleen Lanin is the founder/editor-in-chief of TravelMamas.com. As the author of her book, "The Travel Mamas' Guide," she teaches parents not only how to survive a trip with children, but also how to love exploring the world with their offspring. Her stories have appeared online and in print for such outlets as the "Today" show, NBCNews.com, Parenting Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, Chicago Tribune, Expedia, San Diego Family Magazine, and more. Colleen gives tips on television, radio, and as a public speaker. She has a master’s degree in business administration with a background in marketing. She lives in Arizona with her husband and two kids.

Comments

  1. Of all the things there are to do in Keystone, the Wagon Ride Dinner is my most memorable one.

  2. This looks like so much fun for families. I love that games and campfire songs are included.

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