UPDATED: 6/2/14

Breckenridge kicks off summer each June with Kingdom Days, the town’s annual heritage celebration, and the opening of the summer gondola and Fun Park. This year, the party takes place June 13-15. Check out a few of our favorite events below.

Breckenridge Summer Kickoff Picks

1. Outhouse Races & street party: June 15
The centerpiece of the Kingdom Days celebration, Breck’s Outhouse Races (yes, it’s that kind of outhouse) began as a way for the community to have a little fun with history. Teams from Breckenridge, Denver and beyond build commodes on wheels to race along the downtown streets. In a community that houses an ATM in a real (and, not to worry, refurbished) outhouse, what else would one expect? Win $500 for first place, $300 for second and $200 for first. Register your outhouse here. The races have evolved into a street party and barbecue with live music from The Luv  Brothers. Let Dad take a day off the grill (it’s Father’s Day!) and bring him out for beer specials and food. Check out Outhouse Race photos and video.

Where: Main Street
When: Sunday, June 15. People’s choice voting 1–2 p.m. Races begin at 2 p.m.

The Breckenridge Summer Fun Park opens June 14 for the 2013 season. Photo courtesy Breckenridge Ski Resort

The Gold Runner Coaster is one of many offerings at the Breckenridge Fun Park, which opens June 14, 2013. Photo courtesy Breckenridge Ski Resort.

2. Breckenridge Fun Park and gondola: Opens June 13
A gondola ride (free) alone offers potential for animal sightings from high above the Cucumber Gulch Wildlife Preserve. Winter or summer, it offers excellent views of town and mountains without the work of hiking uphill. For those that prefer a little more adventure, the gondola leads straight to the Breckenridge Fun Park.

The Gold Runner Coaster offers the thrill of the alpine slide without worry of disconnect; attached to roller coaster track, the gravity-fueled cart lets guests go full speed through the twists and turns. A variety of kids’ activities – bounce house, bungee trampoline, mini golf, etc. – keep families occupied. Guided hiking or 4×4 tours showcase the natural wonders of the mountains. And guided mountain bike clinics teach the adventurous to navigate trails on two wheels.

Where: Access the gondola from town at Breckenridge Station, 150 Watson Ave. The gondola brings guests to the base of Peak 8 and the Breckenridge Fun Park.
When: Summer operations begin Friday, June 13. Check the website for Fun Park hours, activities and ticketing.

Offered by the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance, historic tours include the downtown walking tour, haunted, saloon and cemetery tours. Photo by Carl Scofield

Offered by the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance, historical tours include the downtown walking tour, and haunted, saloon and cemetery tours. Photo by Carl Scofield.

3. Walking tours and museum open house hours
From an escaped slave-turned-prominent businessman to the town’s original naturalist, Breckenridge’s founders led lives full of stories worth telling. Hear the stories at historical homes and town museums, which offer free admission during Kingdom Days. Museums include the Barney Ford House Museum, Edwin Carter Home, Summit Ski Museum and more. Walking tour prices vary, and some require reservations. Choose from the Tombstone Tales at Twilight, saloon tour, haunted tour and downtown walking tour.

Where: Throughout town; visit the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance website for museum locations and directions
When: Free museum admission will be offered Friday through Sunday, June 13-15. Tour dates and times vary; visit the Kingdom Days website for details.

Gold Panning is one of many activities that take place during Kingdom Days, Breckenridge's annual heritage celebration. Photo by Carl Scofield

Gold Panning is one of many activities that take place during Kingdom Days, Breckenridge’s annual heritage celebration. Photo by Carl Scofield.

4. Family Activities
Breckenridge was a mining town long before skiers saw promise on the peaks. Founded in 1859 by prospectors in search of gold, the town was inadvertently excluded from some copies of the U.S. maps and became known as “Colorado’s Kingdom” until 1936, when it finally became incorporated.

See that rich history come to life with a weekend of family activities. In addition to the tours and museum open house hours, families can learn to pan for gold, see the workings of a historic mine site and create make-and-take art in the Breckenridge Arts District.

Where/when: Various times and locations; visit the Kingdom Days website for details.

There is no better way to kick off summer than the Breckenridge Town Party!

Kick off summer with the locals at Breckenridge’s Town Party. Photo by Carl Scofield.

5. Town Party: June 13
Breckenridge’s burgeoning art scene and rich historical offerings make for a diverse downtown. But we still like to party. What better way to celebrate summer than with an official Town Party? Gather for food, music, beer and a town photo.

More weekend events: Ride the Rockies rolls into town on Thursday, June 12. To celebrate, locals have lined up entertainment — DJ DC, Chris Daniels & The Kings, and more — from 1:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Riverwalk Center. Food will be available until about 6:00 p.m. and the beer flows while the music plays. All are welcome to join. Food and drink prices vary; entertainment is free.

The National Repertory Orchestra opens its summer season June 14 with a concert at the Riverwalk Center. And, the Sunday Market traditionally kicks off the same Sunday as Outhouse Races.

Can’t make it for kickoff? Check out some of Breckenridge’s most unique activities and places to see anytime this summer, via MtnTownMagazine.com.