In mid-July, our entire family of five flew to Denver, Colorado, to spend a long weekend at the new Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center with my sister and her family (they live less than an hour away from the resort). We had a very fun weekend at this gorgeous resort and we are all hoping to make this an annual summer tradition!
Travel to Denver
After driving to the Orange County airport airport, flying to Denver, walking to the airport light rail station (and arriving just in time to watch the train pull out of the station, not to return for another 30 minutes), taking the 11:30pm train to a station closer to our hotel, and then riding a midnight shuttle with three sleeping children from the train station to the hotel, we arrived. Whew. We checked into our room and then collapsed into our beds.
On our first full day in Colorado, we explored the massive resort. Dan described this resort as something Cabela’s would build if they built hotels. The resort is so big that there is an app dedicated just to helping people find their way around it. Think Vegas hotel big.
My sister and niece joined us and we spent our days at the resort enjoying the massive pool facilities – multiple pools, hot tubs, water slides, lazy river, splash pad, and water fountains. The kids had a blast, as did we! As everyone knows, kids can swim for like 10 hours straight, and ours (especially Vivian, who no longer naps, and is a pretty good swimmer for a 5 year old) are no exception. Our kids were too little to go down the two big indoor water slides (us adults went down them, though!), but Vivian loved going down the outdoor water slide by herself. When we got tired of one pool or slide or fountain, we moved on to another. Or, the adults got a frozen drink and watched the kids play in a different pool area. This resort had so many pool amenities and catered to family fun – we were wowed, for sure. The girls even got to go to two “dive-in” movies at the pools in the evenings after dinner.
I think that my fondest memories of our pool time at the resort are the afternoons spent with Vivian and my sister while everyone else napped and when William fell asleep on me as we floated the lazy river.
When we needed a break from the water, we grabbed some clubs and went putt-putting. Each child had a…um…unique approach to getting their golf ball into the holes. Vivian’s technique helped her score a hole-in-one, though, when we also went putt-putt golfing at the Denver airport while waiting for our return flight home!
Alice in Wonderland Adventures
The resort was hosting a “Summerfest” event themed with Alice in Wonderland. Alice and her friends hosted a daily “Splash Party” at the pool with a lot of fun games (that Vivian loved to watch other kids play, but refused to participate in herself). We also went to breakfast with Alice, the Mad Hatter, and the White Rabbit. And we all marched around the resort searching for and solving clues in the Cheshire Cat’s Colorado Adventure Scavenger Hunt (one of Vivian’s favorite activities on this trip).
When we weren’t exploring, swimming, golfing, or scavenger hunting, we were, well, mostly eating! We ate at the resort’s Monte Jade, Vista Montagne, Mountain Pass Sports Bar, Rockies Marketplace, and Arapahoe Springs Bar & Grill restaurants. They all were good and they all were expensive! On Saturday night, our brother-in-law brought s’mores ingredients to the hotel when he visited and we quickly roasted marshmallows over one of the outdoor firepits at the tail end of a storm.
Before checking out, we, of course, had to get a picture of these four cute kids. They’ll be reunited again in August in Ohio and again in September in California, which makes my heart very happy.
After a whirlwind, yet relaxing (if that’s possible?!), three days, we again took the shuttle back to the light rail back to the airport back to California back to our truck and back home to our beds.
Like I said at the beginning of this post, we LOVED the Gaylord Rockies Resort and hope to go back again next year. If you’re looking for a one-stop travel destination with kids, we highly recommend checking this place out!