Ski country is full of unique dining experiences, from restaurants with a view to fireside fondue. But nothing tops off a day of good skiing like returning to the slopes after hours. The crowds are gone, the stars come out, and the mountain glows with a peacefulness that just doesn't happen during normal operations. One of our favorite winter escapes is the Moonlight Dinner Series at Arapahoe Basin in Colorado. A short 68-mile drive up from Denver, A-Basin has long been a playground for locals who love the mountain's laid-back vibe, fun steeps, and high-altitude snow. And when we say high, we mean it. A-Basin sits at 10,780 feet and the summit tops out at 13,050, allowing for an extra-long ski season (the resort usually opens up in mid-October and doesn't close until June). And with the Moonlight Dinner Series, which happens approximately once a month from December through May, guests can enjoy the high-alpine environment and indulge in a hearty meal at the same time. We've got 6 reasons why these dinners need to make your to-do list, stat.
6. You can work for your dinner: Two times a year (for the first dinner in December and for the last dinner in May), A-Basin invites guests to skin or snowshoe to mid-mountain. Lift service isn't offered at these two dinners (the lifts run for all of the other events), and you'll join the rest of the diners trudging up the hill. But it's worth it. Not only do you get in a quick workout before you eat, but you also get to ski down afterwards, which is really fun.
5. You can make a weekend of it: The dinners are always held on Saturday evenings, so take advantage and add the event to your weekend lineup. We suggest skiing at A-Basin, but you've also got Loveland, Keystone, and Breckenridge just a few miles away.
4. It's a moonlit adventure: How often do you get to be on the mountain at 11:00 pm at night? Believe us, everything is cooler by moonlight.
3. Everyone loves them: The Moonlight Dinner Series may not be all that well-known outside of A-Basin's tight-knit community, but that doesn't mean it's easy to get a table. Everyone loves the dinners, with some diehards attending almost all of them. Make your reservations early because the dinners sell out fast.
2. Each night is a different theme: This year's dinners include "A Night in Bavaria," a beer maker's dinner with Odell Brewing Company, "A Night in Spain," "A Night in India," and "A Night in Italy." So pick whatever strikes your fancy or try them all!
1. It's simply gorgeous: Curbed Ski is no stranger to ski-town beauty; we spend all of our time hopping from the gorgeous Tetons to the rugged Cottonwood Canyons. But even we were floored by how gorgeous the views are from the Black Mountain Lodge. On a clear night, the moon is so bright you won't need a flashlight to see the surrounding awe-inspiring peaks. And even if it's snowing (lucky you!), there's nothing better than tucking into a meal with snowflakes swirling outside.
That's it Curbediverse! Head over here for the full schedule and to make your reservations. There are still a few spots left for the May 2 Randonee Dinner. Can't make it this year? Make it priority for next winter.
· Arapahoe Basin Moonlight Dinner Series
· High-Quality Technical Lessons at Arapahoe Basin [Curbed Ski]
· 3D Map of A-Basin Shows Off Steeps & Blue Cruisers [Curbed Ski]
· The Top Five Places for Spring Skiing [Curbed Ski]
· Colorado Boosts Vail Resorts' Profits, Tahoe Lags Behind [Curbed Ski]