After a crazy, slam-packed December, my husband, two kiddos, and I left our cozy home in Norman, Oklahoma and headed to Colorado for a much-needed week of rest and relaxation in the mountains! We were excited for some major unplugging at the fabulous Outlook Lodge in the sweet little town of Green Mountain Falls.

This picturesque mountain town is sweetly nestled in a gorgeous valley near the base of Pikes Peak, located just 15 miles west of Colorado Springs.

This picturesque mountain town is tucked inside a valley near the base of Pikes Peak, located just 15 miles west of Colorado Springs. There are tons of activities and adventures to explore in the area, and the kids were all abuzz planning our agenda for the week as we got on the road. What they didn’t know was that a big surprise awaited them as we pulled in for lunch at the famous Big Texan Steak Ranch in Amarillo, TX. Our Texas friends were there to join us on our vacay: four adults and five kids – this should be exciting!

After downing a hearty meal (we even got to see a challenger attempting the 72 oz. steak) we were all set for the rest of our drive to Colorado, and we thoroughly enjoyed the scenic views! We pulled into The Outlook Lodge as the sun was setting and were stunned by the surrounding beautiful mountains, and the sweet lake and gazebo at the center of town. A wraparound porch greeted us, complete with rocking chairs to enjoy the breathtaking views and fresh mountain air. We entered into the main house to nestle into our two rooms. The Room 2 Family Suite is upstairs, and the Room 1 Deluxe Suite is downstairs. The Family Suite has a living/game room with an attached sunroom, with serene views of the pine and aspen trees that surround the property – a perfect spot for a nap, or place to snuggle in with a good book! There are also two bedrooms with bunk beds and flat screens in each bed, including DVD players, which was a huge hit with the kids when we enforced “nap time.” The Family Suite also has a master bedroom and gorgeous master bathroom with a glass shower, and an additional bathroom with a tub and shower for the kids to share. The Deluxe Suite has a living room, complete with a bay window and an attached master bedroom and bath. Downstairs there is a spacious living room surrounded by bay windows, and a dining room for 8 – perfect cozy spaces for our large group to enjoy all week!

After getting settled, we made our way to the kid-friendly town bar and grill, The Blue Moose Tavern, for some pizza and much-needed adult beverages. Karaoke night was underway, and the kids had a blast watching the adults try their best Dolly Parton and Merle Haggard impressions!

The next day we enjoyed an awesome breakfast at Green Mountain Fall’s renowned The Pantry Restaurant. This place knows how to do breakfast – it was unbelievable. The kids even tried the infamous Big Mouth Pancake, which was about half the size of the smallest child with us! We enjoyed the surprise snow that began during breakfast and watching the townspeople ice skating on the frozen lake and playing broom hockey! Stones and Bones next door was a fun shopping visit where we had a wide selection of handmade jewelry, wood-turned bowls, artwork, and pottery created by local artists. After getting settled, we made our way to the town bar and grill,

Next, we headed to Walmart in Woodland Park to stock up for the week. The Outlook Lodge has a full-service chef’s kitchen and we had lots of mouths to feed. We headed back to The Blue Moose to sadly watch our Sooners lose to the LSU Tigers in the College Football Playoffs, but it was snowing outside, so who cared?! The kids played in the snow and ran around town – fun times!

The next couple of days we enjoyed shopping in Manitou Springs and Old Colorado City, including a fun trip to Michael Garman’s Magic Town where the kids enjoyed a scavenger hunt throughout the family-friendly miniature city. One day we popped over to the Cave of the Winds for a Discovery Tour where we learned about the history and geology of the cave, while being shown some of its most beautiful formations. The kids loved the tour, especially when they turned off the lights for “total cave darkness” and seeing the 4-foot long “cave bacon,” or ribbon-shaped stalactite – unfortunately, not edible.

In the evenings we enjoyed making dinner at home, playing family board games, roasting s’mores, and telling spooky stories around the fire circle. We also relished in several toasty dips in the hot tub outside The Little Beaver Inn, the sister property next door – guests can share the amenities that both properties have to offer!

The highlight of our trip was a snow tubing day at Echo Mountain, about 30 minutes west of Denver. We made it there in under 2 hours and the road trip was totally worth it! The kids and adults had an absolute blast! We were even able to snow tube down with our whole entire group together: a 9-person human train! I’ve never laughed so hard in my entire life – we will totally be back!

Another fun time was a mommy/daughter day where we scheduled a Tea Party at Glen Eyrie Castle, a gorgeous castle spread across 700-acres right in the middle of the Garden of the Gods, which is also a must-do! There are breathtaking views and countless photo ops. The boys enjoyed some winter hiking in Green Mountain Falls on the sunny side of Mount Dewey while we were away. The trail leads up to a spiritual platform where you can enjoy the scenic vistas of the Green Mountain Falls valley and Pikes Peak in the distance.

Our last night concluded with more fun around the fire circle. The kids even created a special performance for us about our trip, and “cave bacon” made the cut. One last dip in the hot tub, and we were so sad to acknowledge the end was in sight for our magical trip.

I highly recommend The Outlook Lodge for family fun, or even a romantic couple’s escape. The staff is incredibly friendly and helpful, yet you feel like you have the whole place to yourself. Whether you’re in need of adventure, or complete rest and relaxation, this is THE place to stay. And it was the BEST way to kick off the new year! Who knows, this may become our annual tradition!