The Broadmoor = Kiddy Heaven

During my career as an adventure-travel writer, my accommodations ranged from the most opulent mountain lodges to the cold, hard ground. And to be honest, I loved them equally.

Until I gave birth.

And then camping involved wrestling young children away from the fire pit and sleepless nights in the tent as they howled like insomniac wolves. Given my passion for the outdoors, I hope to someday return to the extreme backcountry with them. Like maybe when they are 20.

In the meantime, I have been on a quest to find family-friendly accommodations and will highlight a different destination each month.

My latest pursuit led me to The Broadmoor. You know, that one hotel in Colorado Springs that has been the nation’s longest continuous winner of the Mobile Five-Star and AAA Five Diamond Awards. I did an online search for travel reviews and stumbled upon a crotchety old man who described The Broadmoor’s influx of children and activities as “Kiddy Hell.”

It was then I knew it would be my heaven.

We stayed at The Broadmoor for the first time on Saturday. We are generally not 5-star folks but I am a firm believer that the occasional splurge is good for the soul. And it seemed like such a pity to have never been to a legendary hotel practically in our backyard that places such an emphasis on children.

December in particular is a family-oriented month and we dove into a variety of activities, starting with Breakfast with Santa. It was located on a beautiful set in the ballroom complete with Santa, Mrs. Claus, elves and enough calories to last until Christmas. This was my brazen daughter Hadley’s first visit of the season with Santa and she has been prepping for weeks.

But as we approached the stage, she choked. Ever the concerned mother, I thought only of our requisite annual shot with The Man in Red and hissed,

“If you ever want another present from Santa again, you WILL get up there.”

I just wonder how I will convince her to still do it when she’s 20.

Maybe it will be during one of our camping trips.

From there, it was onto cookie decorating, a quick stop in The Little Theatre for a showing of “A Christmas Story,” and the highlight of the day: storytime with Mrs. Claus. I have been to my fair share of children’s shows and storytimes but I have never encountered anyone as engaging and hilarious as Mrs. “Beth Epley” Claus, who has been performing her songs and stories at The Broadmoor for 19 years. She has children who return every year to see her and she was the highlight of our weekend. Well, she and the Kobe beef at the Tavern restaurant. I do have my priorities.

Even though The Broadmoor is 89 years old, it only took Saturday’s storm to leave the expansive grounds looking renewed with a delicious frosting of snow. The snowflakes whirled around us in a flurry of white, like pigment seeping into paper. The children were mesmerized – and cold – so we hit the indoor pool at The Broadmoor Spa.

After splashing around for a while, we stopped to admire our luxurious surroundings as my husband Jamie proclaimed:

“Hadley, this is what it looks like on the other side of the tracks.”

And I am so glad to have caught a glimpse.

(Originally published at Mile High Mamas).

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