Cozy al fresco dining at Sakaba, a sushi restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch. (Provided by The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch)
Norwegians have a term for outdoor time, regardless of the weather. Friluftsliv or open air life will take on a new meaning in 2021.
Here in Colorado we are certainly used to gathering together on powder days and hitting the slopes. We’re no strangers to après-ski culture either. Other cold weather activities have previously been more difficult to come by.
Get ready for Rooftop Winter Games, alfresco dining with 360-degree views, and bundled drive-in movies to kick off your winter indoors. And don’t forget the opportunity to have a drink or two amid the elements. In Norway they would call this utepils or outside beer. (Don’t worry: Colorado’s version also includes wine and spirits.)
Here are nine detached options for outdoor living in Colorado, including some if you want to warm up (safely) indoors.
An alpine globe in front of the Telluride restaurant La Marmotte. (Regina Mariano, provided by Alpenglobe)
The latest trend in outdoor dining structures? Alpine globes made in Utah that look like snow globes but are inverted. From inside, you can watch the snow around your private observatory. You can already find them in Colorado at Boulder’s Frasca (over $ 170 per person), in Tellurides La Marmotte (over $ 95 per person), and outside of Ember and Piante in Breckenridge. But we feel like we’ll see more of this soon.
frascafoodandwine.com, lamarmotte.com, emberbreck.com, piantepizzeria.com
A Retro Fashioned from äprāˈskē, a new winter pop-up bar in Louisville. (Provided by Switch)
After the village
After raising $ 30,000 for local charities with the Miracle popup last month, the owners of Bittersweet Cafe in Louisville are once again transforming their courtyard into a new 1980s-themed après-ski bar called Apra Ske. “It’s what you would get if you crossed a Swiss chalet with an 80s disco and a neon romper suit,” says a publication. Expect “gnarled” craft cocktails like the Retro Fashioned (Eagle Rare Bourbon and smoky-flavored Demerara sugar) and the ski hut like a soft pretzel with sausage and bacon and cheese dip. ($ 5 per person to reserve, which then goes to charity; food and drink are separate)
The upstairs bar at Brass Tacks on Blake Street is available for private parties this winter. (Annie Dent, provided by Brass Tacks)
A private bar
The Brass Tacks building on Blake Street dates back to 1863, and you’ll feel like you’re drinking in your eclectic great-aunt’s attic as you climb up to the second floor. You can reserve the Loft Lounge area with a small group of friends (but be aware of the current group size and the Denver household gathering restrictions). Then it’s straight to the bar and counter for professional cocktails and snacks (for example, order a Paloma with nachos). Booking is free with a minimum of $ 300 on weekdays (higher and fluctuating on weekends).
brasstacksdinebar.com; To make a reservation, send an email to [email protected]
For a warming date night, visit a local winery and book a private tour and tasting for two. Infinite Monkey Theorem offers you and your date a wine tour with four wines to try, a meat and cheese board, and local chocolates for dessert ($ 89 per pair). Meanwhile, the Carboy Winery offers tours and tastings at its three facilities (Denver, Littleton, Breckenridge) for $ 60 per couple. At the Denver location, visit the Bubble Barn to see where the brand’s Colorado sparkling wines are made, and then try five different styles in the tasting room.
Ice stock sport on the roof of the Halcyon Hotel in Cherry Creek. Après in the clouds continues throughout the winter with games, cabanas and night stargazing. (Provided by Halcyon)
Après in the clouds
The Halcyon Hotel in Cherry Creek has redesigned its roof with winter cabanas, cold-weather games, snacks, and beverages. Of all the options available, you probably want to book the ice stock rink first. You and three friends have 90 minutes to drink Coors Light, Modelo, or Snowmelt (US $ 100 / four people) using a bucket.
“What could be nicer than putting your friends in a cage and giving them axes?” According to Class Ax Throwing’s winter pop-up Sweaty Yeti, “Nothing!” This outdoor space in Elyria Swansea features guided group games with fire pits, cocktails and beers. Groups of up to three people pay a flat toss fee ($ 99.99 for 1½ hours), while groups of four or more pay $ 32.99 per head.
Entrance (with goats!)
First we did yoga with goats. Then we did everything with goats including going to the movies and leaving them in the car with us. So far, Rocky Mountain Goat Yoga has shown Neverending Story, Zombieland and Dumb and Dumber with goats hanging around. So you go to the drive-in and they’ll give you a goat to watch for the duration of the movie ($ 50 per car). You can even go for Valentine’s Day, with a goat as a third wheel.
A look at the Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch with its own chair lift and all sorts of fancy winter activities. (Provided by The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch)
Hotel to get lost
One of the more secluded hotels in Colorado (with a price tag to match), the Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch has its own chairlift so you can take your travel pod to the slopes. Once you’ve come down the mountain, be sure to check out the heated terraces with views and fresh sushi (among other things), as well as cocktails to pair with. You can also reserve a table in one of the property’s private dining rooms. (Guest rooms start at $ 750 / night in high season)
The view from the fire pit and deck of Evergreen’s Juniper Mountain House. (Ailin Rachael Hyde, provided by Juniper Mountain House)
A whole inn
If a small bed and breakfast is faster, you can always book a room or rent a cabin that is just far enough from town. We watched evergreens Juniper Mountain House. Recently renovated, it has five guest rooms and a spacious deck with a hot tub and fire pit. You can have a drink from the honesty bar, play a board game or play a game of pool. Private hiking trails around the property make for peaceful (but cool) morning walks. (Rooms start at $ 175 / night; the entire lodge rents for $ 1,010)
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