Winter Activities in Breckenridge, CO
The town of Breckenridge offers a rich mining history, and its museums provide a direct glimpse into the past. The Barney Ford House Museum honors Ford, a former slave who became a wealthy and respected businessman in town. Edwin Carter Museum acts as a miniature museum of natural science with its collection of Colorado plants and wildlife Edwin Carter preserved because he was concerned about harmful effects of mining waste on wildlife. Both homes were built between 1875 and 1890 and sit in the town of Breckenridge. Near the end of town, at the intersection of Main Street Breckenridge and Boreas Pass Road (right before the indoor ice arena), sits the Rotary Snowplow Park. The huge machine with a snow-blowing and cutting blade cleared narrow-gauge railroad tracks. There’s also an antique train engine behind it. For more information about tours, visit the Welcome Center.
You wouldn’t know the holidays are over in Breckenridge in mid-January, because not only do town businesses stay lit up with Christmas lights, but also the party looks really is just getting started. In early to mid-January, Breckenridge dedicates more than a week to the Norse god of snow, Ullr. The town kicks off the festivities with an ice-skating session at the Stephen C. West Ice Arena (featuring Ullr himself on hockey skates) and continues trying to appease him (so he’ll bring plenty of snow) through pub crawls, comedy shows, a local dating game, a body art exhibition and zany winter competitions called Ullrympics. Then, the International Snow Sculpting Championships challenges the best snow artists to transform 10- by 10-foot blocks of snow into delicate fine art. The final big winter celebration takes place in April with the Tenth Annual Spring Massive Festival.
Get out and burn some calories! What better place to snowshoe and cross-country ski than a golf course in winter? The gently rolling terrain of the Breckenridge Golf Club makes ideal trails for both activities, with 10 kilometers of trails set aside for snowshoers of all abilities. Snowshoeing is as easy as walking. Rent (or buy) snowshoes at the clubhouse; then hit the trails for a great outdoor workout, with or without poles. Tip: Dress in layers. When the moon is full, sign up for a guided Full Moon Snowshoe Tour through forests and meadows. Winter’s night beauty will amaze you!
Breckenridge is fostering a growing arts community, which hosts Second Saturday Art Walks every month. One of the standout features is the Tin Shop, a resident artist facility that hosts visiting artists who live throughout the nation. Lately, the Tin Shop has brought artists from New York who offer unique techniques, such as blow-drying thinned puddles of paint on canvas or creating found-object sculptures. Artists stay for a couple weeks, up to a month and offer public workshops on everything from painting to jewelry making to trading cards. Nearby, the Robert Whyte House offers art classes for adults and kids, including painting, drawing, textiles and ceramics. The Second Saturdays of each month also feature art galleries throughout town, including Arts Alive!, a co-op that showcases local artists at 500 S. Main St.
Breckenridge is Colorado’s largest historic district, founded in 1859 as a miner’s camp. Relive the lives and legends of the rugged men and women who formed the character of the town with a 90-minute guided walking tour from the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance. Or stroll around town, stopping at the historic spots and museums following maps you can get at the Welcome Center on Main Street. While there, check out the free museum in the attached old cabin. Learn about Breck’s mining past and it’s more recent skiing history through great old photos and artifacts. Don’t forget to visit the infamous Gold Pan Saloon!