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The world’s largest snow fort, fireworks, and a visit from Santa: Can Saturday night get any more epic? Little rippers (and their parents) should make their way to the top of the 11,640-foot Dercum Mountain at Keystone Mountain Resort on December 17 from 5 to 7 p.m. for the inaugural Kidtopia Mountaintop Spectacular, which has activities that run from December 16 to 18.
The giant party kicks off the seasonal opening of Keystone’s mountaintop snow fort. At 4 p.m. on Saturday, Kidtopia mascot Riperoo will lead a reverse parade from the Dercum Square Ice Rink to the River Run Gondola Plaza. Families, including little ones who aren’t ready to click into skis quite yet, can then ride the gondola to the top to enjoy the rest of the night’s festivities. Just don’t wait at the base for too long—you won’t want to miss the lighting of the snow fort, or the fireworks launched from the very peak you’ll be standing on. “This is a great way for families with kids of all ages to have a mountain experience,” says Russell Carlton, Keystone’s senior communications specialist. “How often can kids experience anything like this on a mountain at night?”
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The rest of the evening’s free activities include tubing (with a reservation), meet-and-greets with the resort’s avalanche dogs and patrol, cookie decorating, and visits with Santa Claus. You can also mix in some night skiing, if that’s in your repertoire.
Once you cruise back down in the gondola—or take the last run of the night—return to River Run Village for another fireworks display before turning in for the evening. You can bet your kids will have sweet dreams after this high-elevation night on the mountaintop.
Bonus: Don’t miss a tour through Chef Ned’s chocolate workshop. Ned Archibald, Keystone’s executive pastry chef, has been building the resort’s epic, 5,000-pound chocolate village for more than 20 years. He’s giving visitors a look into his Willy Wonka-esque kitchen on Friday, December 16 and select dates throughout the season. Tours take place from 9–11:30 a.m. at Keystone Conference Center, 633 Tennis Club Rd., Dillon; free
If you go: Keystone’s Kidtopia Mountaintop Spectacular takes place Friday to Sunday, December 16–18. Find out more at keystoneresort.com. Purchase of a scenic lift ticket is required to ride the gondola and access Saturday’s mountaintop events. Avoid the lines by buying them at the ticket window before the start of the parade. Adults: $19, children 5–12: $12, kids four and under are free