NOTE: For an updated list of events and happenings this summer check out this post about the best summer events for 2016.
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 19-21. Check out a few of our favorite events below.
Breckenridge Summer Kickoff Picks
1. Outhouse Races & street party: June 21
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? Cash prizes are awarded for first, second and third place, as well as People’s Choice, Best Costume and Best Outhouse. Register your outhouse here. The races have evolved into a street party and barbecue with live music, face painting, kid train rides and more. 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 21. People’s choice voting 1–2 p.m. Races begin at 2 p.m.
2. Breckenridge Fun Park and gondola: Opens June 12
A gondola ride (free) alone offers the 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.
At the Fun Park, the Gold Runner Coaster offers the thrill of an alpine slide without the 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 at the Fun Park for hours. 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 12. Check the website for Fun Park hours, activities and ticketing.
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 19-21. Tour dates and times vary; visit the Kingdom Days website for details.
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.
5. Town Party: June 19
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. This year, the Arts District is joining the festivities and offering free kids’ activities.
Where: The Lawn of the Riverwalk Center
When: Friday, June 19. 4:30 – 9 p.m.
If you can’t wait for Kingdom Days to celebrate summer, you’re in luck. The National Repertory Orchestra opens its season on June 13 at the Riverwalk Center. The Town and Breck Create celebrate the debut of Old Masonic Hall, a multi-use art space that’s part of the historic Arts District campus, with a Creativity Crawl throughout downtown Breck on June 13. The same night, the Town will host a fete for the new Skateboard Park and Turf Field at the Breckenridge Recreation Center.
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.