Time and money—two things that can be wasted when planning a family reunion. If you’ve been at the helm of organizing a reunion, you understand all the work and money that can go into it. Not to mention the agony of trying to coordinate lodging, activities and dining for the whole crew, and making sure everyone is happy.
Why not tie the whole package up with one nice, all-inclusive bow? No, not a super pricey, luxury all-inclusive resort; but rather an affordable, exciting destination nestled amongst beautiful mountains. YMCA of the Rockies is a gift waiting to be unwrapped. The organization offers two authentic Colorado locations—the Estes Park Center and Snow Mountain Ranch—situated among the Continental Divide and Rocky Mountain National Park. At either of these locations, you’ll find lodging, activities and dining accommodations, all in one place. Convenient, simple and affordable.
What activities are there for reunions at YMCA of the Rockies?
Reunions are all about bringing family together, creating memories you can laugh, cry and reminisce about for years. These are precious moments, especially if you have family located all over the country—or even the world. You want to make it extra special, and the pressure is on you to make sure everyone is entertained and happy. Host your family reunion at YMCA of the Rockies, and relieve that unnecessary burden. There are activities galore at both locations, you’re sure to find something for everyone—and it’s all included in your stay,
At YMCA of the Rockies Snow Mountain Ranch, adventure awaits your family reunion at every turn. If you’re visiting during the warm seasons, you can test yourself—and partake in some family bonding—on the Challenge Courses, complete with high and low ropes courses that will push you out of your comfort zone. If your family enjoys heights, they can soar through the sky on one of YMCA of the Rockies zip lines, accompanied by well-trained staff.
Get your heart pumping on a whitewater rafting ride with MAD Adventures, which offers easy half-day, vigorous full-day or all out overnight river rafting. For something a little less intense, try a leisurely day of canoeing at Gaylord Reservoir. You can also take the excitement onto dry land with a hiking expedition, some horseback riding or mountain biking—it’s all here!
Even when there’s snow on the ground, the fun doesn’t stop at Snow Mountain Ranch. Families can rush through the powder yelling “mush” on a thrilling dog sled ride, winding through open meadows with breathtaking views of the mountains. If your group is large enough, you can secure a private dog sledding package. For those in your group looking to get some exercise, try snowshoeing. You can spend a full or half-day exploring the miles of trails—and getting a great burn while you’re at it. The kids in the family can spend some time at the sledding and tubing hill, flying down the snow and racing back up to the top to do it all over again. If it gets too cold outside, you can take the fun inside and splash around in the pool or test your skills on the indoor climbing wall.
The Estes Park Center offers many of the same activities as Snow Mountain Ranch, as well as some of its own unique options. The fitness junkies in the group can relax and unwind during a therapeutic yoga session in the fresh mountain air; while the history buffs explore the Dorsey Museum, housed in a 1924 guest lodge with period room settings and rotating exhibits showcasing the history of the YMCA, Rocky Mountain National Park and more. As you’re planning your visit, consider taking in a concert or two. The Estes Park Center hosts Summerfest, offering free concerts featuring artists from all over.
Whether you host your reunion at YMCA of the Rockies in the winter or summer, you will have plenty of activities to choose from, your family will never get bored.
YMCA of the Rockies family-dining options
You can’t have a family reunion without food. Family gatherings just aren’t complete unless you have many lively conversations around the dinner table—where else can you reminisce about the snowshoeing adventure you had that day or the relaxing afternoon spent at the spa? YMCA of the Rockies offers family reunions a multitude of dining options.
If your reunion is staying in lodge rooms, you will be enrolled in either an American Meal Plan that includes breakfast, lunch and dinner, or a Modified American Plan that includes just breakfast and dinner. Your family will dine on everything from sausage and green chili scrambles and French toast to baked trout with lemon amandine sauce and orechetti pasta with tomato basil sauce. Throughout the day, your crew can stop in to the main dining room and enjoy an all-you-can-eat-buffet—at YMCA of the Rockies, families will never go hungry.
For families that choose to stay in the large Retreat cabins, a la carte meals from the buffet are available to order, or you can stop into the specialty cafes and grab a meal to go. In the summer months, YMCA of the Rockies offers summer cookouts in their pavilions, where your family can munch on delicious barbecue while enjoying the gorgeous scenery.
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Reunion-friendly lodging at YMCA of the Rockies
The Reunion Cabins at YMCA of the Rockies are perfect for large family reunions of 15 people or more. These are available year round, and include all the amenities your family needs for some memorable quality time together including kitchens, dining rooms and living areas, fireplaces and more.
If you have a smaller group, or don’t want to deal with maintaining a house or cabin while on vacation, then you can try the Lodge Rooms. There are three lodges at Snow Mountain Ranch and four at Estes Park Center. Each room in the lodges can sleep between five and six guests, and your family has easy access to the lounge areas with TVs, games and books, and the dining halls.
True family bonding takes place in the outdoors over an open fire. You can reserve a campsite at Snow Mountain Ranch, and spend your nights sleeping in a tent under the stars with your whole family snoozing right next to you. For those who don’t want to deal with setting up tents, you can rent a Yurt, a new way to camp with a platform tent and a wooden frame. They can sleep up to six people, with one queen bed and two bunked beds. Campsites and yurts are available only from Memorial Day to the last weekend in September.
How do you get to YMCA of the Rockies?
Located near Winter Park, Rocky Mountain National Park and Grand Lake, Snow Mountain Ranch is just a short drive from Metro Denver and the Denver International Airport. Families flying in from out of state can rent a car and drive about two-and-a-half hours to arrive at the ranch, or they can arrange transportation from the airport on a shuttle. Estes Park Center is located near the town of Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park, and is about an hour-and-a-half drive from the airport.
Organizing a family reunion can be tiresome and expensive. By the time you’ve researched all the different destination possibilities, compared rates and evaluated the attractions, you feel drained. Get your energy and enthusiasm back and select YMCA of the Rockies for your next family reunion. Beautiful scenery, fun-filled activities, convenient dining and comfortable lodging, it’s all here in one place and at a reasonable price. You really couldn’t ask for more.