Photo: Purgatory Resort
“Things to do in Durango: The Christmas Break edition” is sort of like the 1995 movie “Things to do in Denver When You’re Dead,” except with a more festive title. And a lot less Andy Garcia.
But still, there’s no need to kill yourself trying to figure out how to keep sugar-powered kiddos entertained during the long, school-less stretches of winter break. Whether they’re your kids or the nieces and nephews who will be visiting from out of town (may we suggest having them stay with us at the Durango Quality Inn? You won’t regret it), here are some fun kid-friendly winter activities when you’re looking for things to do in Durango over Christmas break.
Purgatory’s Snow Coaster Tubing Hill offers three lanes of high-speed downhill tubing for the whole family. (Children 6 and older can ride a tube by themselves, but children 3-5 must ride with an adult.) Tubers must rent a tube from Purgatory before hiking to the hilltop and screaming down the snow-packed tubing highway. Tubes are $10 per hour to rent, and tubers cannot bring their own sleds or tubes to use the tubing hill. Purgatory also has lights on the hill for evening tubing fun! Call 970-385-2168 for more info.
Hesperus Ski Area also has a tubing hill with walk-up access to groomed trails. Tubers can rent tubes by the hour at the ski area, which is a short 15-minute drive west of Durango on U.S. Highway 160. Call 970-259-3711 for more info.
Chapman Hill is a great in-town alternatives that offers a great downhill slope for snowsports of all kinds: skiing, snowboarding and tubing. Two tow-rope lifts make getting to the top of the ski hill a bit easier, and day pass prices range from $4 to $12 based on age.
Another in-town option that’s free is the tubing hill in Buckley Park in downtown Durango. Tubers can bring their own tubes and sleds and go for a few runs, just like in the good ol’ days. When you’re done and famished from all the fun, just walk a couple blocks to one of the amazing restaurants in downtown Durango
There’s nothing quite as postcard-perfect for Christmas break as going ice skating in Durango. In addition to the ski hill, Chapman Hill skating rink is a small, in-town spot for ice skating. In the wintertime, skaters can enjoy access to a refrigerated outdoor ice rink, which is used for rollerblading in the summer. Skaters can take advantage of all the amenities the Chapman Hill pavilion offers, including concessions, restrooms, room rentals and a sitting area.
Sure, a sleigh ride through the forest may not be a casual afternoon activity to keep the kids busy on a long, school-less stretch of wintertime, but there’s no denying that a sleigh ride in Durango is a memorable and festive outing for the family. Two nearby outfitters offer sleigh rides. Every evening, Buck’s Livery harnesses up teams of Belgian and Percheron draft horses to pull sleighs of 10-12 people through the winter landscape of the San Juan National Forest. Ben and Mindy Breed opened Buck’s Livery in 1983, and the stables are located just across and north of Purgatory Resort on U.S. Highway 550.
Rapp Corral offers a range of sleigh rides and tours on its five different sleighs, which include options for romantic two-person rides and group outings on large horse-drawn sleighs that can carry up to 10 strapping adults. (Rapp Corral will use more than one sleigh to accommodate larger groups.) The corral, which opened in 1984, is located about seven miles south of Purgatory Resort, just off Highway 550.
While you’re visiting Durango for the holidays, no need to search high and low for Durango hotels: Quality Inn Durango is the place to be. We’re on the north end of town, right on Main Avenue, so we’re a quick drive to downtown, or it’s easy to get out of town to head straight north to Purgatory Resort, Buck’s Livery and Rapp Corral. Book your room with the Quality Inn Durango today!