Things To Do In Breckenridge, Colorado With Kids

Things To Do In Breckenridge, Colorado With Kids

Are you planning a mountain vacation? Do you need things to do in Breckenridge, Colorado with kids? There’s always skiing, but what else is there to do in winter or even summer? We’ve got you covered! Recently we had the opportunity to visit Breckenridge for a long weekend and had a blast with the kids.

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This past weekend we got a deal on a hotel and decided it would be a fun weekend to explore Breckenridge but not make it a ski weekend. We wanted to relax, hang out as a family, and have fun! There are not a lot of places in the world with a better view than Breckenridge so my arm doesn’t need a lot of twisting to head on up there.

As a kid, I remember heading up to Breckenridge usually in the summer. My favorite thing to do was to ride the alpine slide, or sleds on rails, down the ski slopes. Most of the ski areas around have one as a part of their summer activities to draw in tourists.

Another thing I’ve always loved about the town is that there’s ALWAYS some festival or event going on. The Breckenridge Music Festival is fabulous if you are at all interested in orchestral music. One year, I think I was a freshman in high school, I attended a weeklong music camp and focused on flute and piano all day. Every evening of the camp we attended the nightly music festival performance, and I was in heaven.

Things to do in Breckenridge, CO with kids

8 things to do in Breckenridge, Colorado with kids

This last time we were in Breckenridge, it was the end of the ski season. Still a good snow, but at the very end before it starts to turn to mud. Since we weren’t determined to ski the whole time we were able to find quite a few great activities to do as a family. If you head up I hope you try some of these things to do in Breckenridge, Colorado too!

1. Breckenridge Gondola

First of all, the Gondola. The Gondola is a great thing to do with kids once or more a day because hey, it’s FREE!! During the ski season, it runs from 9 am to 6 pm seven days a week. You can ride from the base parking all the way up with stops at Shock Hill, Peak 7, and Peak 8. It’s great even if you’re not skiing to go up to the top to eat, explore and see the views, check out the new hotels, or to take it up to go snowshoeing.

Eight people can fit in the enclosed gondola cars, and I found everyone in our cars always eager to encourage each other and share their experience so far in town. A lot of the people we ran into were escaping offices in Denver for the weekend and just could not quit smiling they were so happy to be up in the mountains. The Breckenridge Gondola is one of many awesome things to do in Breckenridge, Colorado with kids.

Breckenridge gondola winter view

2. High Line Railroad Park and Playground

189 Boreas Pass Road, Breckenridge

Do you have a Thomas the Tank Engine obsessed child in your household? While my son is not quite so into it as he once was, this High Line Railroad Park was a HUGE hit. On display, just outside in the park, you’ll find Engine No. 9, one of the few remaining narrow gauge engines that once braved the precarious mountain passes. Think Skarloey and Peter Sam. As a bonus, it’s even fitted with a huge snowplow just like Thomas is always grumbling about. If that means nothing to you just move on, but it’s a fun tie-in for young kids! 😉

Breckenridge narrow gauge steam engine

You’ll also find a caboose and various other cars and memorabilia around. It’s so much fun to see the engine detail up close and to try to figure out how it all works. We actually easily explored the area with snow on the ground, and it was a much-needed play time for my kids. The playground next to the trains was a lot of fun, a good way to get in some more exercise and laughter.

3. Stephen C. West Ice Arena

If your kids want to try out some ice skating, head over to the Steven C. West Ice Arena. It’s right next to the High Line Railroad Park and has a ton of fun options for everyone. They’re open seven days a week, but I would call (970-547-9974) or check the website beforehand to verify the daily schedule. However, there are choice activities for the entire family. Join the free skate indoors or outdoors. Maybe you’re into figure skating or want to try your hand at curling! They have something for you!

Ice arena & railroad park, Breckenridge

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4. Carter Park Sled Hill

300 S. High Street, Breckenridge

Are you still looking for things to do in Breckenridge, Colorado with kids? I hope so because this is a good one! We got an insider tip from a woman working at our hotel about this great sledding hill just over at Carter Park. We brought a sled with us, but the hotel also had stacks of them you could borrow while you were there.

Things to do in Breckenridge, Colorado sledding

Many locals use this hill for a fun afternoon of sledding. However, on the day we went out there, the sledding hill had only two other families out there with us. I was shocked because it was one of the busiest, craziest days of the ski season, and the ski slopes were more than a little packed.

Plan to get your exercise because yes, you have to walk back up the hill. It didn’t seem to bother the kids too much, and in fact, they wanted to stay on there into the evening! Unfortunately, my husband wore out pulling the child up the hill in one of the sleds, but while they did that I got to admire the magnificent view. This is a place to see. Have fun!

5. Ready Paint Fire

Okay, switching gears here. Do you like to paint? Make pottery? Fire things in kilns? Well then! Take a rest from all the outdoor activities and check out Ready Paint Fire. Have you always wanted to make a mosaic or fuse glass together as abstract art?

This place is awesome! Truly, it’s a place to be enjoyed by the entire family ages 3-80. Plan to spend a couple of hours and make a piece of art and share fun and laughter with the family. It’s a very different activity and one the kids can really get into.

Tip: Check the local guidebooks found at most hotels for coupons because there is a studio fee along with different costs depending on what you want to do!

Breckenridge Rail Road Park view

6. Breckenridge Recreation Center

If the kids get sick of the hotel pool or yours doesn’t have one, you need to visit the Breckenridge Recreation Center. After all the fun in the snow switch to warm and water! What kid (or dad) doesn’t like an excellent water slide? It’s obviously perfect in summer too.

If swimming’s not your thing, they also have an indoor rock-climbing wall, gymnasium, racquetball court, indoor track, and aerobic/dance studios. I even heard mention of fencing classes. Check out their website for complete information here. Tempting!

7. Hiking, snowshoeing, and bike trails

Breckenridge is well-known for being great for bike-riding. There are paved trails through town and well-maintained trails all around the area. My family loves to snowshoe, and so in winter, many of the bike trails double as awesome snowshoe hikes. It depends on the age of your kids, but even a short walk or hike can be memorable for them up in the beauty of the mountains. My son tends to remember it for making him TIRED, but you know, it’s good for them! Am I right?!

Breckenridge bicycle path with snow

Just next to the gondola you’ll find one of the paved bike trails, and you can easily get a map of those online, from a local store, or your hotel. For some snowshoe trail options, click here. I remember when I was younger and came up with a good friend of mine, we brought our bikes. Her dad loaded all the bikes and drove us to the top of one of the slopes, and we got to ride our bikes downhill all the way back to town. I thought it was such a good idea, thus avoiding the difficult uphill climb!

8. Dog Sledding or Snowmobiling

When you were young did you read Jack London and imagine you were going to be in that great sled dog race the Iditarod? Scott O’Dell, Jack London, and several other authors I read gave great accounts of the preparation and entire Iditarod experience, and at about age 10 I was determined to participate.


While unfortunately, that dream didn’t come true, did you know there are places where you can at least go dog sledding? Oh, yes, my friend. You too can mush the dogs and pose for an action photo of you seriously fighting the cold and bonding with your trusted sled dogs.

At Good Times Adventures you can take the whole family dog sledding or snowmobiling. This is one of my favorite things to do in Breckenridge, Colorado. For more information see here!

BONUS!

2 Below Zero

I know I said 8, but here’s another possible awesome thing to do in Breckenridge, Colorado with kids! If you head on over to 2 Below Zero you will have an amazing sleigh ride or chuckwagon ride (depends on the season) with a chuckwagon dinner, musical and/or comedy entertainment and fun! The winter sleigh ride is about 2 hours and 15 minutes or so and includes a sleigh ride, dinner, and musical entertainment. My family LOVES these kinds of places, and it’s so awesome to make an event out of your location, its cultural history, and FOOD! 

Breckenridge sunny day, snowy mountain

What other things to do in Breckenridge, Colorado will you try out?

I absolutely LOVE being in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Moreover, the more you get kids out in nature the better I tend to think. Teach them an appreciation of nature, a love of exercise and the outdoors, and they have an outlet for life. So many problems can be solved with a good hike and time to think.

Where are your favorite family vacation destinations to get the family outside and moving?

Low Carb Green Chili Chicken Chowder

Low Carb Green Chili Chicken Chowder

Creamy, hot, spicy, cheesy green chili chicken yum! This low carb green chile chicken chowder is to die for (well, maybe not quite, but close)!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small percentage if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Do you love green chilis as much as I do? This recipe for low carb green chili chicken chowder holds a piece of my childhood and is an awesome comfort food. It’s perfect for fall, but then there’s also that random rain/snow blustery spring day that soaks you to the to the bone and has you calling for the ultimate green chili warm goodness.

Because I grew up in Colorado, I associate fall with pumpkins, apples, spices, corn, and roasting green chilis. In autumn you won’t often find a pumpkin farm or stand that doesn’t also have a chili roaster nearby. Therefore, everyone is always trying to outdo one another with the BEST green chili, pork green chili, green chili salsa, green chili chicken soup, etc. At Thanksgiving in Colorado, you will find in many families it’s not the turkey that’s the most talked about offering, but the green chili! Is Uncle Fred coming this year? He’d better be because he’s in charge of the green chili!

Green chili chicken chowder vertical with avocado

Of course, as one of my favorite comfort foods, I’ve created an ooey, gooey, cheesy green chili chicken chowder. This is a fabulous one pot meal, sure to please even the pickiest of families. The only thing you’ll be arguing about is how hot to make it. I personally opt for a good medium, middle of the road because I like some heat, but not too much!

In a hurry?

Scroll down to the bottom for the printable recipe or PIN it here for later!

Green chili chicken chowder for two

How to cook a chicken breast

First of all, you’re going to need to gather your ingredients. What do you find? You’re going to need one pound of cooked, diced chicken. Actually, you can get your chicken several ways. Do you have chicken leftovers? Awesome, chop that stuff up and you’re good to go. Maybe you decided to avoid the whole raw chicken and cooking it at all. In that case, perhaps you went out and bought a rotisserie chicken. That’s a super-easy way to get some great chicken for your chowder.

But let’s just say you happen to have on hand one pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, organic and free-range if possible! How do you cook a chicken breast? It’s really not all that difficult, and it’s a skill everyone should learn.

To begin, get out a baking sheet, and coat the cooking area with olive oil. Take the chicken breasts out of the package and set them on top of the oil. Season each one liberally with salt and pepper on all sides, then drizzle a bit more olive oil over the top and rub it in. Then place the pan in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30-40 minutes, or until the inside temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Remove the pan and immediately cover the chicken breasts with aluminum foil to keep in the heat and juices. Let it rest for at least ten minutes before chopping it up for your green chili chicken chowder. Yum.

Green chili chicken chowder closeup

 

Have you thought about what tools you need in a keto kitchen?

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How to make a low carb green chili chicken chowder

Once you have all your ingredients assembled, including the cooked, cubed chicken, place the Dutch oven or soup pot on a medium-high heat. Put two tablespoons of butter in the pot to melt, then add the chopped onion. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, stir the onion with the butter and cook for 4-5 minutes until it’s soft and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for about a minute more.

Next, pour in 32 ounces of a good quality organic chicken bone broth such as Kettle & Fire Chicken Bone Broth. Once the broth is heated through but not yet boiling, cut in 8 ounces of full-fat cream cheese. Whisk the mixture until the cream cheese is incorporated, and there are no more lumps. After that, put in the chopped green chilis, the salsa verde (green salsa), and stir to combine.

TIP: When buying a pre-made salsa verde be sure to purchase one without sugar.

Then, after the mixture is warmed through and simmering, measure and add in the two cups of Monterrey jack cheese. Whisk the cheese in also so it melts and combines with the other ingredients. All you have left is to add in the chicken and let the green chili chicken chowder simmer for a few minutes (at least 10). Serve in soup bowls and garnish with more shredded Monterrey jack or cheddar cheese, lime with a squirt of lime juice, sliced avocado, and/or chopped fresh cilantro.

Spoon of green chili chicken chowder

Invite some friends over and enjoy!

Invite some friends over or get the whole family to the table! This hearty low carb green chili chicken chowder makes a fabulous meal for the entire family with a definite kick to it. The only thing you may argue about is how spicy to make it. I like it to be a good medium, but my kids like it mild, and the husband likes as much heat as you can get in there.

If you want to accommodate everyone, make a very mild chowder and offer spicy toppings like finely chopped jalapenos, spicy salsa, or even a pepper jack cheese. I personally like a bit of lime juice and chopped cilantro on top with the cheese, and you can also add some sliced avocado. Try this one out, and let me know how it goes with your family or friends! It’s actually super-easy to throw together and a good, filling meal. It’s one of my favorites, and you’ll love it too! Try it today, and your taste buds will thank you!

green chili chicken chowder pin1

Low Carb Green Chili Chicken Chowder Printable Recipe:

Green Chili Chicken Chowder
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 

Creamy, hot, spicy, cheesy chicken chili yum!

Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: American, Gluten-Free, Keto, Ketogenic, Low Carb
Servings: 8
Calories: 390 kcal
Author: Lauren Gonikishvili
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 32 oz chicken bone broth
  • 1 lb chicken cooked and cubed
  • 8 oz cream cheese room temp
  • 16 oz salsa verde (green salsa)
  • 10 oz chili peppers roasted and chopped (or from a can in a hurry)
  • 2 cups Monterrey jack cheese shredded
Instructions
  1. Place the two tablespoons of butter in a Dutch oven or large soup pot on the stove over a medium-high heat to melt.

  2. Cook the chopped onion in the butter for about 4-5 minutes or until softened.

  3. Add the garlic and continue to stir over heat for a minute more.

  4. Pour in the chicken bone broth and heat until nearly boiling but not quite.

  5. Cut in the cream cheese and whisk until smooth.

  6. Add the jar of salsa verde and the chopped green chilis.

  7. Whisk in the 2 cups of Monterrey jack cheese. Continue to whisk over the heat until no lumps remain.

  8. Add in the cubed chicken and let simmer for 10 minutes.

  9. Serve in bowls topped with shredded cheese. (Monterrey jack, cheddar, or both!)

  10. Optional toppings: avocado, lime juice, freshly chopped cilantro.

Keto Coconut Lime Dessert Mousse

Keto Coconut Lime Dessert Mousse

Creamy with a punch of lime! Can you believe this fabulous coconut lime dessert mousse is keto? Sugar-free, low carb, and gluten-free, you can even make it vegan if you wish by subbing a vegan gelatin like agar powder!

This post contains affiliate links which means I receive a small percentage if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Lately, I’ve been in a citrusy spring sort of mood. We’ve had fabulous 70s and sunshiny weather so the kitchen’s been full of lemons, limes, and all citrus scents! These always have the desired effect of getting me in the mood for spring and summer weather. Citrus not only wakes you up but is generally cheerful and refreshing.

Did you know lime in particular also has cleansing benefits great for purifying? So that means it can purify your skin, the air, get creative! Moreover, in my book, it also means it’s a great choice for a dessert! A coconut lime dessert? Yes, please!

Coconut lime dessert mousse side view with lime slices

Low carb coconut lime dessert mousse

To be honest with you, I came up with this dessert more as a snack for myself. I’d envisioned it for the warm mid-afternoon time when you need a little treat to hold you happy until dinner. I discovered that others in my family quickly snap them up as well (as long as I don’t tell my son they’re sugar-free!). So I thought about it, and in a pretty dish, I decided they’d make a very nice dinner or late lunch dessert. Do you know what? I was right!!

In a hurry?

Need the recipe now? You can scroll through my fabulous tips and stories to reach the printable recipe card at the bottom! Or PIN it for later here!!

Coconut lime dessert mousse close-up overhead

We use quite a bit of gelatin collagen protein around here for summer desserts. It’s a good option when you want to get away from ice cream or something frozen. Be choosy about your gelatin to get the most health benefits! Do some exploring, but try to use a grass-fed gelatin similar to this one: Great Lakes Gelatin, Certified Paleo Friendly, Beef Gelatin Collagen Protein. Collagen is amazingly good for you and helps out with skin and hair health. It can reduce joint pains and other inflammation, heal the inside walls of your gut, and so much more! Hey! That covers a ton of my extended family’s health issues so I know I need to take huge advantage of this beneficial ingredient. There are a lot of ways to eat it I’m just now starting to explore.

Note: If you eat vegan, you can make the recipe substituting a vegan gelatin. I would suggest agar powder, although I haven’t tried it that way. Let me know how it comes out if you do!

How to make a keto coconut lime dessert mousse

First

To make your coconut lime dessert, first, you’ll want to gather all your ingredients and kitchen supplies. The recipe makes six servings so get out six ramekins or other pretty individual dessert dishes. Here’s another hint! If you’re not serving them for after dinner and they’re just for snacks, I’ve been known to put them in glass containers with snap-on lids for easy storage in the refrigerator! Then they wait for me to grab them for a quick mid-afternoon snack. I love it!

Coconut lime dessert mousse vertical overhead

Second

Once you have all the ingredients out, take out a saucepan and a medium-sized bowl. Usually, the full-fat coconut milk comes in a 13-14 ounce can, and you will use the entire thing. Also, it will separate in the can so pour about a fourth of a cup of the liquid portion in the bowl with a tablespoon of gelatin. You may have to use a spoon to dig through the solidified coconut milk to get to the liquid, but don’t worry! It’s there!

Next

Mix together the gelatin and 1/4 cup coconut milk in the bowl for the gelatin to soften then turn your attention to the saucepan. In it, pour one cup of unsweetened almond milk and the rest of the can of full-fat coconut milk. Heat this mixture on a medium-high heat until the solid portion has melted and the milks mix together to nearly boiling, but not quite.

Then

After that, take the saucepan off the heat and add the teaspoon of vanilla. Pour the milk mixture into the gelatin and whisk it together. Continue to whisk and add in the sweetener (I use Swerve confectioners but use the sweetener of your choice). Now you’re going to add your lime flavoring. I personally like to use 4-5 drops of lime essential oil, but I know many people do not keep those on hand! It’s just so easy, and I admit it’s great if you’re trying to get your coconut lime dessert in the fridge in a hurry.

However, if you’re going to use a fresh lime, zest and juice it. Then, add both the zest and juice to your milk mixture. Now, right here I think, milk? Lime?! Together? That will curdle! But don’t worry, you’re using coconut and almond milk in your coconut lime dessert so it’s not going to be a problem.

How to get mousse bubbles

You can tell already this is not your normal coconut lime dessert mousse recipe. So how do you get those delightful little pockets of air in your mousse? Well, in this case, there’s this magically wonderful appliance called a blender. I’ve talked about how much I love my high powered blender in other blog posts so I won’t proliferate on the subject today. Only this – I LOVE my Vitamix and use it practically every day! If you don’t have a high powered blender you can use a regular one, but you may have to blend it a little longer to get those awesome bubbles!

Coconut lime dessert mousse with tea towel

Blend the mousse on high speed for a good 40 seconds or until you can see bubbles forming and everything is well mixed. This will also break up any lumps of sweetener or larger pieces of zest that may otherwise be tempted to sink to the bottom. If it’s not well combined and quickly put in the refrigerator, it can separate.

Once it’s had a good blending, pour six equal portions into your serving dishes. Chill it in the refrigerator for at LEAST two hours to set. Before serving, sprinkle a good teaspoon of unsweetened shredded coconut on top along with more zest and a half a slice of lime for decoration. I like it just like that, but you could also whip up 1/2 a cup of heavy cream with 1 tablespoon of sweetener for topping if you wish.

Want more keto recipes?

Try this amazing low carb skillet breakfast hash!

Low carb skillet breakfast hash

Benefits of dessert

What are your favorite summer desserts? I love to get ideas and play with them to make them keto. This is selfishly for myself, but also for others eating a ketogenic diet to enjoy! In addition, the bonus with using a sweetener like Swerve or monk fruit is you still get to enjoy those desserts while staying sugar-free! Pretty desserts have great benefits in improving my mood and making my stomach happy.

So imagine yourself now, sitting outside in a beach lounge chair. You have a fabulous floppy sun hat, the sea or a lake in the distance, and a good book, like my current read, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. You’re calm and happy and friends are coming over for dinner. You’re not worried! You have the meat and grill ready, the table’s set, and the rest is in the fridge ready to go, including your beautiful coconut lime dessert mousse!

Now, if you please, list your favorite desserts in the comments you’d like to see with a new keto makeover!

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or medical practitioner. Please consult your own physician for any medical advice. I share only what has worked for me and the recipes I love!

Coconut lime dessert mousse

Keto Coconut Lime Dessert Mousse
Prep Time
15 mins
Total Time
2 hrs 15 mins
 

A creamy low carb coconut lime dessert or snack with a refreshing punch of lime.

Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American, Gluten-Free, Keto, Low Carb
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 131 kcal
Author: Lauren
Ingredients
  • 1 can canned coconut milk (full-fat) 13-14 oz.
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tbsp unflavored gelatin grass-fed
  • 1/2 cup sweetener confectioner's style (Swerve or monk fruit)
  • 3 tbsp lime juice (or use 4-5 drops of lime essential oil)
  • 1 tbsp lime zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp shredded coconut unsweetened
Instructions
  1. Prepare 6 ramekins or dessert dishes.
  2. Add about a fourth of a cup of the liquid portion of the coconut milk in a bowl with a tablespoon of gelatin.
  3. Mix it together for the gelatin to soften.
  4. In a saucepan, heat the rest of the coconut milk and 1 cup almond milk on a medium high heat until nearly boiling. The solidified coconut milk will melt down and mix with the almond milk.
  5. Take it off the heat and add 1 teaspoon of vanilla.
  6. Pour the mixture into the bowl with the gelatin.
  7. Whisk together the gelatin and milk.
  8. Then whisk in the 1/2 cup of sweetener.
  9. Mix in the lime essential oil or zest and juice.
  10. Pour the mixture in a high power blender and blend on high for 40-50 seconds.
  11. Divide the mixture evenly between the 6 dessert dishes.
  12. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  13. Just before serving, sprinkle about a teaspoon of unsweetened shredded coconut on each as well as a bit of extra lime zest for color (optional).
Recipe Notes

Fat and calories per My Fitness Pal.

Family Camping Checklist And Must Haves

Family Camping Checklist And Must Haves

Now is the perfect time to be talking about family camping preparations because hey it’s just decided to start SNOWING! Do you know what? I’ll let you in on a little secret. Go ahead and go through your family camping checklist. There’s never a bad time to plan for a camping trip, and I’m in Colorado so since it’s 25 degrees Farenheit right now, tomorrow it should be 74 again, right? Because that’s what happens here!

This post contains affiliate links which means I make a very small percentage if you click through and purchase something. All opinions are strictly my own!

Family camping checklist, campfire pin

Let me first tell you what can happen on a badly planned family camping trip. Last summer we decided on a whim to grab that camping site that had just been released on the website in Rocky Mountain National Park at the Moraine Park Campground. What luck! That place is crazy busy in the summer and we hadn’t booked ours months in advance. We threw the tent, some food, and the kids in the car and set off to enjoy the mountains.

The BAD Camping Experience

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my Rocky Mountains, but what ensued was NOT a pleasurable experience. I did NOT use a family camping checklist. Our campsite was in the middle of a group of sites in the large campground, although at first, we didn’t think it was too close to others. We got our tent up and sent the kids to look for pinecones and bugs. Unfortunately, there’s not a river or lake or a lot to do at that campsite, and we were sort of pinned in. We’d forgotten our normal card games and had to drive out of the campground to do much hiking or other activity.

That night the ground was hard, the hole in our camping mattress painfully evident. Not that we could sleep anyway because it was so cold one of the people at the next campsite turned their car on and ran the heater ALL NIGHT. YES!! All night the hum of the car and the burr of it when the heater came back on caused none of us to get much sleep. By morning we were so tired, grouchy, and picking at one another that we picked up things and went home. It was not like a bear attacked our food and destroyed our campsite, it was just NOT the ideal family camping trip in nature.

SO what did that teach us? PLAN, PLAN, PLAN!! With kids, my sanity revolves around checklists and planning and preparing for every eventuality. Of course, so many people’s personalities are different, but even a little planning can’t hurt!

Prep the kids and test your gear with a trial run

Rocky Mountain National Park tree view

What do you mean by a trial run you may be thinking!? I mean exactly that. If you haven’t used your camping gear for a while, pull it all out and build up a grand event for the kids to CAMP IN THE BACKYARD!! Ooh! Try out some of your favorite or new camping recipes modified for your kitchen, but take it outdoors to eat in camping chairs by the tent. Test out your headlamps, flashlights, even the camp stove if you use one. Also, I like to shake out the tent and sleeping bags to air them a bit and make sure they’ve all been cleaned since the downpour and mud slosh of the last trip!

Another thing that I love about a backyard campout is that it’s a great trial run for the kids! If you have young ones who’ve never camped before it can be scary. In the backyard, it still can be but with easy access to the house. Once the tent and set up is more familiar to a child, they will be more comfortable with it in a foreign setting, your desired campground. Baby steps, right?

Family camping checklist picture, campsite

Reserve your campsite in advance

If you are headed to a national park or a popular campground, be sure to book your campsite online in ADVANCE. The Rocky Mountain National Park campgrounds open up reservations six months in advance, and if you’re planning to go there I suggest you book it as soon as you can.

First, choose your campground. What activities are there around for the kids to do? Do you want to be by a good fishing spot, a lake or a river? Do you want to be close to accessible hikes or areas for wildlife viewing? Or do you just want a space to hang out, play cards, talk, and hang out around a campfire? Some campgrounds even have games like horseshoes, putt-putt, and other things children like to do. Do you need electricity and a bathroom? Decide, what is it you want out of the campsite area?

Second, study the campground map and look at the campsite pictures if there are any. Are you a family that likes to be in the middle of things among a lot of people at a party or more separated with space and a good view? Book your campsite accordingly! If you’ve never been there, consult someone who has or Google reviews for the specific campground. Another thing, be sure the review is recent so you know there hasn’t been a fire or attack of pine beetles or something to drastically change the area!

Third, book your campsite on-line! Find the website for the campground you’ve chosen and get your reservation booked!!

Love to go hiking with your kids?

Check out these awesome Estes Park, Colorado hikes for kids and family!

Estes Park hikes for kids, mountain with golden aspens

Camping Gear

When you’re looking at gear for a camping trip a lot of it depends on the length of time you’re going to be camping and what exactly you’re wanting to do. I’ve admitted I’m no longer a hardcore, a week at a time camper with kids, but I do like a two-night trip. When you do your trial run fun backyard campout you can determine what gear you still may need to get. I would really LOVE to have this entire awesome new tent setup from Cinch!, with solar charging hookups and super easy setup and takedown. However, for our short-term camping, our old tent will probably do just fine! What kind of tent’s on your family camping checklist?

Cinch!

I highly recommend downloading my family camping checklist. You can write all over it, add things, and cross things off as you need. As a mom going in a million directions I know I need something written down clearly defining the next step. Truly, I’ve learned because I’ve had too many experiences where I’ve said oh, I’ll remember that! And then, of course, I don’t, and it gets left in the storage area in the basement.


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Family camping checklist preview

Family Camping Food

Food! There are so many fun camping recipes on Pinterest I encourage you to find a few new ones to please the family. As a kid, I still remember how much fun it was to wrap my packet of food up in foil and throw it in the fire to cook. How in the world did the adults let me do that?! As a strict rule follower, it was a great release and rebellion for me without really rebelling. Of course, there’s always a traditional s’more to be had as well!

If you are wanting to cook with a campfire or just sit around one, always check for fire restrictions or bans at your campsite before you go!

With food, plan out your days. What will you eat for each meal? What are your snacks? Will it spoil or need to be kept iced? There are a lot of things to think about with food, and my preferred short trips make it a lot easier than a couple week campout, although that is totally doable also.

Another thing to think about is how you can keep your food away from the wildlife in the area. Can you contain it at night so the bears don’t sniff out your camp? (Often there’s a locked “bear box” assigned to campsites to keep food if that’s a problem in the area). Maybe you can tie all the food in a bag up in a tree or in your car? Although, I’ve heard of bears getting into cars as well! Talk to the ranger or campsite director about best practices in regard to food storage.

PLEASE! When you plan out your food, remember you also have to cart out all your trash or find an appropriate receptacle for it!! Leave nature and your campsite as it was when you found it!

Tent camping in the Rocky Mountains

Things to do while camping

I mentioned this briefly before, but think about what things you want to do with the kids or friends while you’re there. Find out what’s available and what will work for you all to do. Add the necessary items to your family camping checklist.

  1. Where are the best nearest hikes?
  2. Can you fish in the area? Who all needs a fishing license?
  3. Can you boat or kayak?
  4. Bring card games to play during a downpour in your tent!
  5. Frisbee, baseball, soccer, or other sports
  6. Plan a nature scavenger hunt for the kids.
  7. Give the kids an old camera and tell them to take pictures of as many different: leaves, pine cones, bugs, birds, animals, or whatever’s around, they can. My son LOVES this and can do it for hours.
  8. Create a nature journal. This is more my daughter’s style. She loves to draw and write about the things she sees. I don’t like to give it too many rules so she can be creative, but you can give suggestions. Why don’t you draw all the flowers, butterflies, or animals you find? Can you imagine a story about that tree and write it out?

Family camping trip, kids hiking

What’s left on your family camping checklist?

Family camping and camping on your own or with friends are two ENTIRELY different animals. I used to love to pack in all my gear and tent on my back 5 miles or more to the backcountry campsite where there wouldn’t be anyone else around. Peaceful. Quiet. Serene.

Add young kids to that equation, and you are headed for a disaster of high magnitude!! Now, as a family, our ideal camping experience is 2 nights at a campground site. In addition, this site is close enough to walk back to the car, but separated enough from the other campsites so you still feel the peace of the great outdoors.

You can have an amazing experience, but it does take some patience and planning. And flexibility, which is what I always have to work on!! I hope you printed your family camping checklist and will use it this summer!

Get your family outside and run! Soak in the sun and stare at the stars. Give it a chance, and planned properly with a family camping checklist, you will LOVE your time and memories made.

Now here’s a question for you! Where are some of your favorite family camping spots all over the world?

 Family camping checklist preview1

Easy Low Carb Skillet Breakfast Hash

Easy Low Carb Skillet Breakfast Hash

When it’s one of those weeks, what do you make for a super quick and easy breakfast or even dinner? I love one pot and skillet meals because they’re easy, and you don’t have to wash a million dishes. This easy low carb skillet breakfast hash came out of my need to throw something low carb together really quickly. Also, I needed it to be a filling and substantial meal without having to pull together a lot of other sides.

This post contains affiliate links and I receive a small percent if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Do you ever have one of those weeks? You know the kind. You have a million things planned to accomplish in the couple of hours the child is in preschool a few days a week, extra kids to transport home from school, to karate, and to swimming. Then the automatic ice maker breaks and shoots water all over your freezer, which then, of course, turns to ice. Next, the car battery dies, and you can’t go anywhere until you beg someone to come jump it for you. Then suddenly, the older child gets sick and is home from school for two weeks (and in our case the third week in the hospital!). Somehow, none of the stuff you’d had planned to do on your to-do list ever gets done!

PIN it for later here!!

Super easy low carb skillet breakfast hash

This is exactly the time you need some quick and easy low carb skillet breakfast and dinner recipes on hand to comfort and calm you down! I’m a huge fan of simple meals you can pull together quickly with only a few ingredients. So let’s try one, shall we?

Easy low carb skillet breakfast hash

Start with a pound of ground sausage. My daughter LOVES sausage so it’s often a go-to item in our house when I can get a good quality meat. I generally prefer a spicier Italian sausage; however, I want the child to eat it too so we have to compromise! Usually, I either make this with a good quality mild Italian sausage or just recently we tried it with the breakfast sausage from our ButcherBox.

ButcherBox offer

What is ButcherBox you say? Why it’s only the most convenient way I’ve found to get amazing meat. It’s 100% grass-fed beef, free-range organic chicken, and heritage breed pork delivered directly to my doorstep. We order a box every couple of months, and right now you can get:

2 FREE filet mignon, FREE bacon + $10 off if you click on my link here! Yes, I did just write/say FREE bacon and filet mignon.

ButcherBox March

Jump on over to their website or check out the unboxing video and blog post I did about our first box, my first ButcherBox unboxing event.

Back to the easy low carb skillet breakfast

First

First, melt a tablespoon of coconut oil in a 10-inch skillet (I prefer cast iron) on a medium-high heat. Then, take your pound of Italian or breakfast sausage and cook it through to brown. If your sausage is in the casings just remove those and break the meat inside apart to cook. Next, you can either chop up half a cup of green pepper or if you’re super short on time grab the already chopped green pepper out of the freezer. As a mom often in a hurry, I ALWAYS buy the frozen bags of chopped green pepper and have them ready to go in my freezer.

Then

Cook the green pepper with the sausage until the green pepper is soft, just a couple of minutes. Then add in the bag of cauliflower rice and pizza sauce and stir to combine. I absolutely LOVE the fact you can find riced cauliflower so easily now. I used to make it myself, and let’s just say it was not a time-saving or efficient process. There are many brands out there now you can buy frozen and ready to go. Awesome.

Vertical low carb skillet breakfast hash corner

Next

It will take about five minutes for all these ingredients to combine, cook, and get happy. Next, are you waiting for more directions?? Can you believe it’s basically already done and ready to go? The cauliflower will absorb the flavors so add salt and pepper to taste. To be honest, I don’t find it necessary to add salt and pepper if the meat was well seasoned to begin with. If it wasn’t you may want to add other spices as well, but that’s up to you!

After that, I’ve found melting a cup of shredded cheddar cheese over the entire skillet is quite delightful, but is optional. I’ve made it both ways many times and both are good. Last, chop up some green onions.  Serve portions with a good dollop of sour cream and the chopped green onions prettily over the top.

Easy low carb skillet breakfast hash closeup

This makes a great meal on its own, but if you want you can also fry or scramble up some eggs to serve on the side. Then get yourself a strong black coffee and a big glass of water, and you’ll be ready to tackle your day! Now see, wasn’t that super easy?!

Do you eat low carb or keto? What should you plant in your garden?

Keto vegetable garden, tomatoes

What do you like to eat for a low carb breakfast?

If you follow a keto diet like I do, an easy throw together meal can be a lifesaver. Breakfast is simply what I call my first meal of the day whether it be at 6 am or after my exercise class at 10 am. It breaks my fast, and I tend to rotate between low carb muffins, high-fat smoothies, bacon and eggs, or an easy low carb skillet breakfast like this one. For me, planning and preparation are huge, and I love my lists and meal plans! However, I’m always up to try something new! What are some of your favorite keto breakfasts?

Printable Recipe:

Easy Low Carb Skillet Breakfast Hash
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
12 mins
Total Time
22 mins
 

An easy keto skillet perfect for breakfast or dinner! 

Course: Breakfast, Main Course
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Keto, Ketogenic, Low Carb
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 319 kcal
Author: Lauren
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil or olive oil
  • 1 pound Italian sausage or breakfast sausage
  • 1 14 oz jar pizza sauce (no sugar added)
  • 1/2 cup green pepper chopped
  • 1 12 oz bag cauliflower rice frozen
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 3 tbsp green onions chopped
  • 3/4 cup cheddar cheese optional
Instructions
  1. Melt the coconut oil in the skillet over medium-high heat.

  2. Brown the Italian sausage. Cook until done.

  3. Add the chopped green pepper and stir. Cook for 2 minutes or so until green pepper is soft.
  4. Pour in the jar of pizza sauce and cauliflower rice.
  5. Stir together and cook for about 5 minutes until the cauliflower is warmed through and absorbs some sauce.
  6. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and chopped green onions sprinkled over the top.
Recipe Notes

6 carbs per My Fitness Pal. Calories and carbs do not include cheddar cheese.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or medical practitioner. Please consult your own physician for any medical advice. I share only what has worked for me and the recipes I love!

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