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The Broadmoor: Christmas Paradise in the Colorado Rockies

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The Broadmoor's tagline “If you’ve been here, you know” tells the story. This Colorado Springs resort boasts the longest-running consecutive winner of both the AAA's Five-Diamond and Forbes Travel Guide's Five-Star awards. With such accolades, you might expect a stuffy atmosphere where your children's every erratic move makes you bristle, but it is quite the opposite. The Broadmoor is gloriously family-friendly and I was delighted when I was invited to attend its famous White Lights Ceremony to welcome the holiday season.

The Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, all dolled up for Christmas

The Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, all dolled up for Christmas (Photo courtesy of The Broadmoor)

The Broadmoor – Grand Dame of the Rockies

Since first opening in 1918, this luxurious The Broadmoor has boasted such offerings as the beloved Bee Bunch Children’s Programs (seasonal), distinctive restaurants, indoor/outdoor pools, a playground, an award-winning spa, six tennis courts, 26 specialty retail shops,  54 holes of championship golf and numerous specialty tours, activities and programs for guests of all ages.

Factor in a picturesque rocky-mountain backdrop and it is no stretch of the imagination to see why the Broadmoor has been affectionately dubbed the “Grand Dame of the Rockies.”

Cookie painting with edible fondant, paint and glitter - The Broadmoor

Cookie painting with edible fondant, paint and glitter

White Lights Festivities

Though the holiday merriment extends all December long, attending the White Lights Ceremony over Thanksgiving weekend is an annual kick-off to Christmas my family will always cherish.

Upon check-in, we received a synopsis of activities so long it rivaled my children’s own list to Santa (a major undertaking, indeed). On Friday, there were two Christmas movies in the Little Theater, jewelry making and even silk scarf paining.

Saturday’s holiday offerings were almost overwhelming. From Breakfast with Santa to story time with Mrs. Claus to family bingo to an entire ballroom filled with winter wonderland fun, we had no idea where to begin.

We decided food is always the answer so headed over to Cheyenne Gourmet, a delightful shop brimming with gourmet food, holiday décor and an assortment of impressive cookware. Chef-inspired tastings are offered every Saturday at 11 a.m. and we witnessed the delectable creation of pumpkin crème brulee.

From there, it was a frenzy of activities. Colorado Springs-based Art & Style Baking headed up cookie painting with a variety of holiday-themed shapes and edible fondant, paint and glitter. They even provided each child with a “Cookie Artiste” certificate. As my son sunk his teeth into his masterpiece, he squealed, “It’s like eating a present!”

There are gifts galore at the Christmas House, which is a must-visit during the holidays. The themed rooms are brimming with whimsical snowmen, ornaments and elegant décor. Santa has his very own house and greets families every Saturday from Thanksgiving to Christmas from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. (photos with Santa are $14). During the White Lights Ceremony weekend live reindeer were present, par for the course in the enchanting Broadmoor.

Christmas Fun in the Broadmoor Hall Ballroom

New this year, the resort wisely consolidated many of their most popular holiday activities into Winter Wonderland Family Fun at the Broadmoor Hall’s ballroom. Under a big top of glistening lights and ribbons, my kids built gingerbread houses, decorated Santa cupcakes, built their own Broadmoor bear, got their faces painted, jumped in the bouncy castles, indulged in the hot chocolate station, wrote letters to Santa, did holiday crafts and made their very own magical reindeer food.

Sounds exhausting? It was. But if those few hours we spent in Winter Wonderland Family Fun didn’t ignite our Christmas spirit, nothing could.

Roasting marshmallows before the White Lights Ceremony - The Broadmoor

Roasting marshmallows before the White Lights Ceremony

White Lights Ceremony

The climax of the weekend was, of course, the White Lights Ceremony on the West Terrace at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday. An hour prior, my family purchased s’mores kits from the West Lobby Bar to roast on the outdoor terrace’s fire pit. We were surprised when guests and residents started pouring in early to stake their spot to witness this cherished tradition.

As a live band exuberantly belted out Christmas classics on stage, my kids joined legions of their peers to dance, sing and whirl their green and red glow-stick necklaces. All activity froze when Santa was spotted traversing the bridge. Without hesitation, my 8-year-old daughter darted away like a crazed Santa groupie to follow his arrival with Mrs. Claus and their band of merry elves.

Masters of Ceremony Santa and Mrs. Claus greeted their enthusiasts and started the countdown to flip the switch. And just like that, 250,000 flashes of light set the sky and Cheyenne Lake ablaze. As we marveled at this visual spectacle of the Broadmoor’s perfectly manicured grounds coming to life, we hugged one another and relished in the delighted squeals that filled the night air. And we knew The Broadmoor was one reason this would be one Christmas season we’d never forget.

The Broadmoor Holidays

The Broadmoor has a sundry of Christmas activities that start the day after Thanksgiving and last through Christmas. Join Santa’s elves for holiday stories, Breakfast with Santa, fireside tales with Mrs. Claus, The Broadmoor's Christmas House, ice scriptures or family bingo. The holiday family workshop offers fun for children of all ages including writing a letter to Santa, holiday crafts and movies. For more information, read about the Broadmoor on 365 Atlanta Traveler or take a look at reviews of The Broadmoor on TripAdvisor.

Which holiday activity at The Broadmoor would your family enjoy most? Let us know in the comments!

All photos by Amber Johnson unless otherwise noted.

About Amber Johnson, The Outdoorsy Travel Mama

Amber Johnson is a fun-loving mom of two. After a whirlwind career as an adventure-travel writer and publicist in Utah’s ski industry, she married and moved to Denver where her family loves skiing, biking, hiking and climbing 14ers (14,000-foot peaks). She is the founder of The Denver Post’s Mile High Mamas, writes a regular “Family Cents” column for the newspaper and has been blogging since 2005 (you can find her at Amber is excited to be a part of the Travel Mamas team and looks forward to chronicling her occasionally-painful but always-hilarious misadventures! You can connect with Amber on Twitter as @TheMileHighMama.

  1. cathy Fagan says

    what is Christmas Eve and Christmas Day like at the Broadmoor?

  2. cathy Fagan says

    let us know about spending Christmas Eve and Christmas at the Broadmoor

  3. cathy Fagan says

    What do you have to offer Christmas Eve and Christmas Day for a family Christmas?

  4. Now I want to change my Christmas holiday plans – the Broadmoor looks like so much fun!!

  5. Amber's The Mile High Mama says

    `’Tis indeed. And definitely worth it!

  6. Gorgeous! This place looks like so much fun. I can’t wait until we do things like this with the boys as they get older. This looks like an absolutely beautiful place 🙂

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