Celebrate Mother’s Day in Durango

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Mother’s Day can be a tough one to celebrate with new ideas every year, so everyone defaults to brunch. Brunch, brunch, brunch. And don’t get us wrong — we love a good brunch, especially with mimosas, a Bloody Mary and/or bacon. But there are so many other ways to celebrate your mom in Durango this Mother’s Day. And what do moms want most of all? To get to spend time with the people they love, to be appreciated, and, of course, to have you put away your dang shoes.

Here are some non-brunch ideas for things to do in Durango this Mother’s Day that Mom will love.

Mother’s Day Train

This Mother’s Day, book a seat for Mom on the Durango train! The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad’s Mother’s Day Train Adventure departs Durango at 8:45 a.m. on Sunday, May 13, takes passengers on a scenic journey through the Animas River Valley and the San Juan Mountains to Silverton. There, passengers can disembark for a two-hour stint in the picturesque Victorian-era mining town before boarding to return to Durango. On the trip back, mothers will receive a fresh flower and a chocolate treat and can sip on some special Mother’s Day rosé while listening to strolling musicians play in the passenger cars.

Art Experiences

The Art Experience in downtown Durango has several art classes and painting parties planned Mother’s Day weekend (although none on actual Mother’s Day). Take Mom out for an early celebration with the “Owl Painting Party” Friday night. During the two-hour event, an instructor will walk painters through the process of an acrylic painting from start to finish. Other options include a watercolor painting class Saturday evening and an acrylic pouring workshop Saturday night. Acrylic pouring is extra cool, and participants will create up to three different pieces of acrylic poured art!

Another artsy option is the Annual Spring Gallery Walk on Friday, May 11, in downtown Durango. The evening will kick off with an opening reception from 5-7 p.m. at Sorrel Sky Gallery with Colorado artist Edward Aldrich. Several downtown art galleries will be open 5-9 p.m. for visitors to explore and enjoy.

 

Shopping

Maybe you’re like me and your early tween mother-daughter bonding experiences involved retail therapy. Which, sometimes meant you needed actual therapy afterward, but hey. Some of my fondest memories are shopping with Mom, so you may want to take Mom shopping this weekend — and you have plenty of options. In addition to the great everyday shopping in historic downtown Durango, you have some special shopping options this weekend.

The Durango Farmers Market opens this Saturday for the summer! The Farmers Market is every Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon in the parking lot of First National Bank of Durango at 259 W. Ninth St. Peruse local produce and products including fruits, veggies and herbs, local meats, cheeses and eggs, and handmade arts, crafts and jewelry.

Also, on Mother’s Day, the Durango Flea Market is an open-air market every Sunday in the La Plata County Fairgrounds parking lot. Shoppers will find everything they’re looking for (and plenty they’re not but need anyway): antiques, housewares, clothing, jewelry, toys, sporting goods, food and who knows what other treasures!

All of these options are close to — you guessed it — us, the Durango Econo Lodge Inn & Suites! We’re located at 20th Street and Main Avenue in Durango, so we’re within blocks of downtown and nearby restaurants, shops and galleries. If you want to treat Mom to a weekend away, or bring her for a visit, we’re one of the best hotels in Durango. Book your room at the Econo Lodge Durango today!

Durango Train: Narrow Gauge Day

Durango Train Narrow Gauge Day
Photo: Durangotrain.com

Train season has arrived in Durango! Well, technically, every season is train season in Durango, but the time has come for the Durango train to start running all the way to Silverton for the summer.

The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad begins its 137th year of continuous train operations between Durango and Silverton. The train first started running the route in 1882. Every winter, the train stops running the full route to Silverton and instead offers scenic rides to Cascade Canyon wye, which is “train talk” for a place to turn locomotives or trains around, then returns to Durango.
During the summer, passengers can do the full round-trip route to and from Silverton or opt to take the Durango train one way (up or down) and a bus back to shave some time off the journey.

Narrow Gauge Day

May 4th is Narrow Gauge Day for the Durango train! Come out to kick off another year of Durango-to-Silverton train service at the depot in downtown Durango. This year marks the 20th anniversary since American Heritage Railways bought the Durango train, so this year’s festivities will celebrate that anniversary.
Things get crackin’ with the annual free picnic from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, May 4, at the Durango depot in downtown. Volunteers will be grilling hot dogs and serving up chips and soda. Snoopy will be making an appearance to say howdy to kids and kids-at-heart. And The Bar D Wranglers will be singing some amazing tunes, so don’t miss out!
Two recently renovated passenger cars — the premium Nomad and standard Coach 333 — will be on display as well as some locomotives and other railroad equipment. Guests Durango_train_arriving_depotare welcome to take tours and visit the D&SNG Railroad Museumto explore the

exhibits and check out a crowd favorite: the model train. If you haven’t been for a while, you can’t miss the museum’s new 600-gallon aquarium that houses Colorado River Cut Throat Trout!

Also, if you’re not familiar with the annual Durango Cowboy Gathering, you should be — and now you can be because they’ll be at Narrow Gauge Day to tell you about the festival coming up in October.
Free tree seedlings will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, so get there early to get your free tree, courtesy of owner/CEO Al Harper.

Ride the First Train of the Season!

You can ride the first (or second) train of the season to Silverton on Saturday, May 5. Board the first train departing Durango at 8:45 a.m. or the second one at 9:30 a.m. — the first Silverton passenger trains of the 2018 season. Costumed interpreters will be on board strolling from car to car, entertaining passengers with stories and historic tidbits.

Stay with us!

The Durango Econo Lodge Inn & Suites is located at 2002 Main Ave., a straight 1.2-mile shot north of the Durango depot in downtown. We’re a quick drive or an even easier trolley ride to downtown Durango and the Durango train depot. Come for Narrow Gauge Day, stay to ride the first Silverton trains on Saturday and spend Sunday exploring the town! Book your room at the Econo Lodge Durango today!

Durango Whitewater Rafting

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Springtime means birds and bees, budding trees and allergies — dang, we’re poets over here at the Durango Econo Lodge Inn and Suites. But spring is also the season for Durango whitewater rafting.

As the snow melts off, the rivers rise — and that means it’s time to go rafting on the Animas River.

The Animas River is one of the prime rafting rivers in Colorado. Visitors of all ages and abilities can go whitewater rafting on the Animas because the river offers a wide range of rapids, from family-friendly to technical and somewhat terrifying. (OK, “terrifying” is a subjective term.)

The Lower Animas is better for easy floats because that stretch is less intense than rapids found on the Upper Animas. Depending on water levels and time of year, the Lower Animas is usually rated Class 2 to Class 3 rapids. Rafters will float along some nice, calm stretches while still getting to bounce through some exciting (but not terrifying) whitewater, such as the Pinball, Smelter and Santa Rita rapids.

Newbies may want to think about their options before taking on the Upper Animas River. This 12-mile stretch of river ranges from Class 3 to Class 5 rapids as it winds through the narrows of Animas Canyon, past several of the San Juan Mountains’ 13,000-foot peaks. When the water is running high, the Upper Animas ranks as one of the nation’s most advanced stretches of commercial river. Adrenaline-pumping rapids on the Upper Animas include sections called “Dinner Gorge” and “Lunch Box.” Yikes.

Durango is the perfect home base for your whitewater rafting trip. Water levels are usually highest in May and June, but now is a good time to start planning your Durango rafting trip because floats do fill up. There are simply too many Durango rafting companies to list, so we won’t try, but there are some darn good ones to choose from. It’s kind of impossible to go wrong.

While you’re in Durango for your whitewater rafting trip or your summer vacation, you should stay with us at the Econo Lodge Inn and Suites Durango! We’re one of the best Durango hotels and getting even better under new ownership. We’re located on Main Avenue, just a short drive or quick trolley ride north of downtown Durango and only 30 minutes south of Purgatory Resort. So book your room with the Durango Econo Lodge today!

Celebrate Easter in Durango!

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Ah, Easter. Eating the ears off your chocolate bunny. Licking the center out of a Cadbury egg. Dying Easter eggs, hunting Easter eggs, cracking open plastic Easter eggs to find jellybeans and chocolate goodies inside. If you’re looking for things to do in Durango to celebrate this Easter, look no further because we rounded up the best Durango Easter happenings for your egg-hunting pleasure!

Ski-Easter at Purgatory Resort

Let’s just say the “SkiEaster” Bunny comes early at Purgatory Resort. Start your Durango Easter celebration early with Ski-Easter at Purgatory Resort, the resort’s own special way to celebrate the day. Ski-Easter kicks off at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 24, with a little kids’ Easter egg hunt on the tubing hill. Children will be divided into appropriate age groups to go find Easter eggs, which the SkiEaster bunny hid all over the hill. (Each group will hunt for different colored eggs to keep it even-Steven.) The event it open to kids of all ages!
New this year is an Easter egg hunt ON THE MOUNTAIN. Crazy, eh? This is a full-on, ski-in egg hunt. Take Lift 1 and head over to Animas City. There you’ll find an Easter egg hunt right in the terrain park. Once you arrive, step out of your skis or snowboard to race each other on foot through the park to find the eggs. Get on Lift 1 no later than 10:55 a.m., then follow Sa’s Psyche or West Fork over to arrive at Animas City in time for the hunt, which starts at 11:15 a.m. sharp.
Other Ski-Easter activities include a ski-through chocolate station from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. thanks for Rocky Mountain Chocolate Co. Just ski over to the picnic table at the bottom of El Diablo. Durango Joe’s will also be serving up free coffee and cocoa at a special Easter tent on the ski beach, so grab a hot beverage on your way to the lift!

PEANUTS™ The Easter Beagle Express Durango Train

Peanuts The Easter Beagle Express aboard the Durango Train is an annual Durango Easter tradition, and there’s no better way for you to celebrate Easter with your little kiddos. Hop aboard the Peanuts Easter train Saturday, March 31, for the special themed trip to Cascade Canyon. During the ride, attendants will be on board to help children as they enjoy games, crafts, music and prizes. An on-board musician will meander between two Easter-themed passenger cars playing songs and reading the “It’s the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown” story to the kids.

At Cascade Canyon Wye, everyone can get off the train to take pictures with beloved Peanuts characters. After the train ride, kids can participate in an Easter egg hunt at the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge museum! All Peanuts Easter train passengers will also received a souvenir mug. This Durango train excursion is wildly popular, so make sure you book your tickets today!

Durango Easter Egg Scramble

The annual Durango Easter Egg Scramble is a hugely popular (and free!) event, and this year won’t disappoint. The Easter Egg Scramble will be held at 9:45 a.m., Saturday, March 31, at Smith Sports Complex at 1480 E. Eighth Ave. in Durango. The Easter Bunny will make a special appearance to start off the egg hunt for each age group, which will range from toddler to 8-year-olds. Kids can also take pictures with the Easter Bunny! Be sure to bring your basket to carry all your eggs and goodies, but leave your pets at home (pets are not allowed).

If you’ll be visiting Durango over Easter weekend or will be hosting family for the holiday, be sure to book a room (or two or three) with us at the Durango Econo Lodge Inn and Suites! Guests rate us among the best hotels in Durango, and we’ll be sure the Easter Bunny knows where to find your room. Book your stay today!

Cardboard Derby at Purgatory Resort

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Photo: PurgatoryResort.com

The Cardboard Derby at Purgatory Resort is a quintessential ski town event. It’s wild. It’s crazy. It’s silly. It’s snowy. It’s a final fling before spring brings Closing Day to Purgatory. That was some great rhyming, eh?

Here are the details:

  • What: McDonald’s Cardboard Derby
  • When: 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Saturday, March 17, 2018
  • Where: Purgatory Resort, tubing hill, #1 Skier Place, Durango CO 81301

The McDonald’s Cardboard Derby at Purgatory Resort is a classic winter

competition you won’t want to miss! Build your derby racer out of cardboard and duct tape only, and hope it holds together as you slide down the slope on Purgatory’s tubing hill.

Teams and individuals alike will compete in cardboard craft made entirely of corrugated cardboard, paperboard and duct tape.

Here are the rules:

  • Registration is required, and participants can register up until the day of the event (although its gets progressively more expensive, so register by March 8 to get the low, low price of $10)
  • Build your cardboard craft before derby day.
  • Your derby vessel can use only the following materials: cardboard, duct tape, string, twine and paint. Judges will inspect each entry at check-in to ensure that it complies with the rules.
  • Contestants will navigate the course one at a time. It’s a derby, not a race.
  • The objective is to make it to the scoring zone at the bottom of the hill.
  • Everyone must wear helmets.
  • Children younger than 6 must co-pilot with an adult. Children under 3 may not participate.
  • Each vessel may only be used by one participant or team.

The prizes:
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Judges will rate each cardboard craft based on:

  • Proximity to the scoring zone
  • Creativity of concept and design
  • Enthusiasm

Judges may award prizes for any or all of the following:

  • Funniest derby vessel name
  • Largest derby vessel
  • Loudest competitors
  • Slowest vessel
  • Most colorful derby vessel
  • Most creative vessel
  • Best costumes

Prizes will be awarded in the following categories:

  • Solo Pilot — 16 and under
  • Solo Pilot — 17 and over
  • Team — 16 and under
  • Team — 17 and over
  • Team — Adult and Kid
  • Local Business Sponsored Vessel

You can also take advantage of Econo Lodge Inn and Suites Durango’s sweet ski deal the night of the derby: “Pay to Stay, Ski for Free.”

If you book a room with Econo Lodge Durango for $95 or more, you get a free adult lift ticket to Purgatory Resort (formerly Durango Mountain Resort). You’ll receive one free adult pass for every night booked. We partnered with Purgatory to dish up this deal, which is good for the remainder of the season!

Because we’re located on Main Avenue (aka US Highway 550), getting to Purgatory is as simple as turning north out of our parking lot, staying on the road for 30 minutes (26.1 miles exactly) then turning into Purgatory.

Our “Pay to Stay, Ski for Free” package is based on availability, so book your room today to get this deal. Guests must book directly at Choicehotels.com, or by calling us at (970) 247-4242. Blackout dates are Feb. 17, Feb. 18 and March 10-16, but you can spend your post-Derby night with us and get your lift ticket for the next day for free.