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Winter Fun is Never Too Far Away at Painted Prairie

One of the best things about living in Painted Prairie is just how easy it is to get to the mountains for some winter fun. With easy access to the I-70 corridor, you could be riding, skiing, sledding, or even dog sledding in the morning, and back home in front of the fireplace the same night. Sledding hills, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing all offer a great way to exercise and experience Colorado’s amazing outdoor lifestyle! So, let’s hop in the 4Runner and take a ride up to Colorado Ski Country and explore everything there is to do this winter season. 

Ski, Bike (yes, bike) and Snowshoe in Breck

Whether you are a hard-core backcountry shredder or a newbie still working on your snowplow, Breckenridge is the place for you. Experts and novices will easily find the trails and runs to match any adrenaline level. About an hour and a half away from Painted Prairie, Breckenridge is more than just a ski town. Art museums, restaurants and miles of trails have made this Summit County gem the spot to play for many Colorado natives and visitors. 

Gold Run Nordic Center is a great place to rent a fat bike, grab some snowshoes, or strap on those cross-country skis because this spot has something for everyone. Open daily from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm December through March, the center is the perfect place for all ages and experience levels. 

Winter is the perfect time to be a tourist in your own state, especially if you live in Colorado. Check out Colorado Tourism’s Breckenridge page for more information about vacations and additional activities in town. is a great place to explore not only what to do in the winter, but check it out for summer, fall, winter and spring!

Dog Sledding

Feeling a bit more adventurous and willing to drive a bit further to try out new things? Get your “mush” on with these dog sledding guides.

Monarch Dog Sled Rides is a small, family-run operation based in Salida that hosts private and personalized dog sled tours. Choose between sitting comfortably in the sled or taking the rein and leading your own team with a guide. With a max weight limit of 1000 lbs., 6 adults can enjoy the ride.

Situated just south of Steamboat Springs, Snow Buddy Dog Sled Tours is a family-run dog sled company operated by Sarah and Dan Piano in Oak Creek that takes you into the heart of the Flat Top Mountains.

Established in 1974, Krabloonik offers fine dining and a dazzling two-hour trip through the Snowmass wilderness, less than a mile from Snowmass Village by Aspen. Each sled, which is pulled by eight to ten Alaskan huskies, can carry two adults and a small child, in addition to the guide.

Want to explore more dog sledding guides, visit Uncover Colorado has a great list of hot spots for locals and tourists throughout Colorado. 

Sledding and Tubing Hills

We checked with the Colorado Tourism Office again to find the best places to tube and sled throughout Colorado. Check out a few of our top picks.

A great value compared to some of the tubing areas at big ski resorts, Snow Mountain Ranch in Winter Park is run by the YMCA of the Rockies. You’ll find a great tubing hill and views of the surrounding mountains that will knock your mittens off. Next to the tubing hill is an ice-skating rink pavilion, and you also have the option to buy a YMCA day pass for use of the Olympic-size swimming pool and indoor climbing wall to make a full day of fun.

Get ready to scream your face off at our Keystone Resort’s Mountaintop Tubing Hill - it's a winter rite of passage. Enjoy our multi-lane hill, complete with a convenient lift for more laps per hour. The smiles and giggles are totally free and uncontrollable during this classic family activity that truly is fun for all ages. 

Copper Mountain’s tubing hill, like those found at most major ski resorts in Colorado, is a well-equipped fun zone, complete with four designated tubing lanes. A “magic carpet ride” whisks you and your tube to the top where friendly staff will give you a good fling and send you spinning down through curves and over bumps. Critterland, a tiny tot playland and mini tubing area, is right next door for those under 36 inches tall.

Painted Prairie’s Very Own Wintery Fun

The mountain sled hills may be legendary, but when the snow hits at Painted Prairie, an impromptu slide down the hill is only steps away. High Prairie Park has one of the best sledding hills in the neighborhood. Not too fast and not too slow, the hill is perfect for sledders of all ages. So, the next time there’s a snow day, take your pick of any one of our parks to sled, play or build that perfect snowman right in your own “backyard.” 

Get Out and Enjoy

The possibilities for winter fun in Colorado are endless. Do you have a favorite mountain spot that we didn’t mention? Email us at and let us know what we should add to our list. You never know, we may add your choices to a future social media post.

Photo by Josh Willink from Pexels

The weather may have been frightful, but the company was delightful! A cold front couldn’t stop the holiday cheer on December 5 when neighbors came together to celebrate the start of the holiday season. 

Residents enjoyed hot cocoa and coffee drinks, smores by the fire, The Original Dickens Carolers, and a special guest who stole the show -- Santa! 

From all of us at Painted Prairie, we wish you holidays filled with laughter, love, and treasured memories. 

Local living with a global perspective

Without question, Painted Prairie is a special place. What makes it so special? One reason is its location. Situated just minutes from DIA and Downtown Denver, the neighborhood is the perfect place to find adventure locally or globally. 

What truly makes Painted Prairie one of the best places to live in Colorado is its proximity to the arts, cultures, and cuisines of people from all over the world. More than 120 languages are spoken in Aurora, and the city is widely praised for its diversity. We are proud to be the home for many of Denver's diverse residents!

Weekday and weekend adventures close to home

Planning a day rich in culture and history is easy in Aurora (and you will quickly realize that one day is not nearly enough to enjoy everything Aurora has to offer). It doesn’t matter if you are 2 or 82, you will find something for everyone to do in Colorado’s third largest city. 

Aurora Cultural Arts District: Colorado’s only arts district

One of our favorite spots to visit is the Aurora Cultural Arts District. Home to the only cultural arts district in Colorado, the organization works to bring people together through the arts. Supporting local artists as well as immigrants, the district is home to three operating performance venues and over 50 working artists. Check out the Plan Your Visit tab for more information about current events and activities. 

Recently, 5280 Magazine shared Visit Aurora’s take on what makes Aurora one of the best places to experience a global perspective right in your own backyard. Take a look, make some notes and get out and explore, and while you’re at it -- tag us on Instagram and Facebook at @paintedprairieco.

See you around town!

Photo Credit: Visit Aurora

Painted Prairie also takes top honors for Best Innovative Use of Technology and Best Signage  

AURORA, COLO., Dec. 6, 2021 — Earlier this year, Colorado’s home building community came together at the MAME Awards on November 6 to celebrate the accomplishments of their peers and colleagues throughout the state. Painted Prairie took top honors in three categories to solidify its position as one of the best neighborhoods in Colorado.

During the event, Painted Prairie was awarded the coveted 2021 Community of the Year Award along with the Best innovative Use of Technology for its app, and Best Signage. In total, Painted Prairie walked away as a finalist in 10 categories. The MAME Awards are typically seen as the precursor to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) The Nationals Awards. The Nationals Awards event is the largest and most prestigious awards competition in the home building industry. Last year, Painted Prairie brought home two Silver Awards from The Nationals for its Prairie Partner Broker Program and its socially distanced Grand Opening Event.

“The Community of The Year recognition is one of the most sought-after awards for new communities in Colorado. These recognitions represent a year of passionate commitment from the Painted Prairie team to continue to deliver a best-in-class community for the City of Aurora and current and future residents here,” says Chris Fellows, President of Painted Prairie. “Our team works tirelessly throughout the year to create this amazing neo-traditional community and to offer a unique and captivating experience for homebuyers.”

About Painted Prairie

Painted Prairie is a neo-traditional master-planned community in the Denver Metro area featuring eight world-class builders. Hundreds of residents are already happily calling Painted Prairie home and with more residential options and a state-of-the-art Town Center coming soon, this community is taking the northeast market to new heights. Painted Prairie is situated across the street from the Gaylord Rockies Resort and located halfway between Anschutz-Fitzsimmons and Denver International Airport, with easy access to the A-Line rail, E470, DIA, 56th Avenue, I-70, Downtown Denver, and I-225. To learn more about Painted Prairie, visit


Media Contact:

Michelle Tripp


Painted Prairie is proud to be located within the Adams-Arapahoe 28j School District boundary. The district offers terrific educational opportunities to meet the needs of each student’s learning style and educational interests. Open Enrollment opportunities are available for families wishing to attend any Adams-Arapahoe 28j school, Aurora Public School, a school in the Denver Public Schools district, an independent charter school, or nearby private schools. Painted Prairie has a dedicated school site for a potential future APS P-8 school located near the future Pioneer Park. Families in Painted Prairie are sure to find a school to match the specific needs and interests of their children.

There are three schools within a close proximity of Painted Prairie -- Harmony Ridge P-8, Vista Peak Preparatory P-20, and High Point Academy. All three schools offer different educational choices and programs designed to help families create the perfect fit for their students. 

One of our Prairie Partners, Ashley Faller of Focus Real Estate, has a wonderful in-depth article on our local schools on her blog, Painted Prairie Living.

Our new interactive map helps you learn more about each school and map out the best route on those busy school mornings.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Find the school on the map.
  2. Click the location icon.
  3. When the listing pops up in the sidebar, click “View in Google Maps.”

From here, you will see Google reviews, Street Views, and other information such as contact information and website. 

When you click the “Send to Your Phone” option, open the text and it will open a Google Map for you to get directions to your selected school. 

Take a drive or a bike ride to figure out how long it will take you to get to school each day. That’s it! 

More about Aurora Public Schools

Aurora Public Schools

Aurora Public Schools prides itself on its diversity. The district’s students are from 130+ countries and speak 160+ languages. It is also one of a handful of school districts in the nation to offer digital badges as micro credentials for P-12 students. Micro credentials are short, competency-based recognitions that allow students to take small courses to add to their skill sets.

There are 63 schools in APS: 4 child development centers, 25 elementary schools, 7 P-8 / K-8 schools, 6 middle schools, 1 Grades 6-12 academy, 6 high schools, 1 vocational/technical college, 1 gifted and talented K-8 school, 11 charter schools and 1 home school support program. Several of the district’s schools are within driving distance of Painted Prairie. 

To learn more about APS, visit:

The first annual Spirit of Excellence Awards ceremony was a huge success thanks to our hundreds of dedicated real estate brokers and builder sales community. The purpose of this yearly ceremony is to acknowledge, thank, and show our support and dedication to these incredible people helping to make Painted Prairie the best community near Denver!

Now, let's highlight our winners!

Prairie Partner of the Year Award: The Kearns Team, Realty ONE Group Five Star - Michael and Diana Kearns

• Million Dollar Club (Highest Closed Volume): Michael Kearns, Realty ONE Group Five Star

Leaderboard Club (Most Points): Michael Kearns, Realty ONE Group Five Star

• High Five Award (Five or More Home Sales): TIE for The Lassen Team – Metro Brokers & Kari Cummings – TJC Real Estate

• Brokers' Choice (Top Builder Sales Associate): Linda Casey, Meritage Homes

• Builders' Choice (Top Prairie Partner): AJ Moreno, Keller Williams Realty

• Social Director Award: Ashley Faller, Focus Real Estate

Congratulations to these individuals for all of your hard work and continued support for the community.

Any real estate brokers looking to get more involved in Painted Prairie, please visit the Brokers page for more information.

Here are just a handful of photos from this incredible event!

Congratulations! Your new home is under contract, and you can’t wait to dig in and start planning how you will decorate. Will your old couch fit into your new living room? Does your design style reflect the former single you, not the new coupled you? Feeling a tad bit overwhelmed with thoughts of shiplap and baseboard heights?

Well, we have you covered. The editors at Painted Prairie’s blog team spoke with local interior design experts, Alex Whitman and Jocelyn Verano of Ellis Design Studio. The studio has been creating and designing spaces in and around Colorado for more than 25 years.

Here’s what Alex and Jocelyn say you should do to plan and prep for your big day with your builder’s Design Center team.

1. Go on Tour

Chances are if you bought a house in the Painted Prairie neighborhood, you visited the model homes and made your decision based off your visits. You are one step ahead of the game in terms of space planning, design inspiration and figuring out what hard surfaces you want in your new home.

Sometimes, though, that may not be enough to spark your creativity. Alex and Jocelyn say, it’s time to get out and go on a tour. Visit other model homes in your area. All designers and builders showcase different materials and suppliers, which give you new ideas for materials and finishes that you may or may not have previously considered.

Another great place to draw design inspiration is in the homes of your friends, family and others. If you simply love the style of their home, then snap some photos of their countertops and cabinet faces. Ask them about the manufacturers and brands that they have purchased over the years. Pay attention to how their hard surfaces flow into their furniture and lighting choices. It’s a great way to narrow down the aesthetic for your new home.

2. Build a Vision Board

According to Alex Whitman of Ellis Design Studio, your home can be as eclectic and funky, or as simple and traditional as you want to make it, but if you’re not telling a consistent story through your design center selections, then your home will feel choppy and unfinished. 

Home design is a creative and collaborative process. You may draw inspiration from a model home, a Pinterest board, an issue of Better Homes & Garden, or a website like Houzz. All of these places give you ideas for your design style and help you envision what you want your home to look like when you move in.

PRO TIP #1: Take pictures, cut out images from catalogs, print out your Pinterest picks, and create your own vision and mood boards for different rooms in your home.

PRO TIP #2: Order or pick up samples from your local big box store, boutique design gallery, or internet sites such as Wayfair. Use these samples to build a collection of textures, tiles, fabrics, and color selections.

Believe or not, this will help your new Design Center BFF or designer, hone in on your hard surfaces, countertops, and even the bathroom towel racks that suit your individual style.

Don’t worry if your design tastes tend to be a mix of conflicting styles. As you work through the process, you will discover your tastes and preferences are more similar than you think. If you find your selections wavering in style, work to streamline your choices. Rank them, prioritize them, then create your top three collections from all your choices.

3. Live With Your Vision

Once you’ve curated samples and have created your vision boards, now take a step back and live with what you’ve selected. Put your samples and boards in a place where you will see them everyday. Move them around to different rooms to see how your choices affect your mood. Natural and artificial light play a big part in how your style changes throughout the day, so make sure that you take time to make note of how the colors, finishes and designs make you feel.

Soon, you will begin to fine tune your own unique design style. These foundational items will be the basis from which you layer in textures, seasonal decor, throw pillows, draperies, and lighting. From here, you have a plan to guide you through the any future design choices. Once you hone in on your vision, the rest will easily follow.

“Curate it, sit with it, and then live with it.”

— Alex Whitman, Ellis Design Studio

4. Share Your Vision

You found your inspiration, collected samples, created boards, narrowed down your style choices, and now it is time for your Design Center appointment. Before you head out the door, grab your vision boards and samples and take them with you! The design professionals at your appointment are highly-trained to take your vision, and help you select the finishes, surfaces, and options to turn your signature style into a reality.

Click below to explore Painted Prairie’s builders:

Berkeley Homes

David Weekley Homes

Epic Homes

KB Home

McStain Neighborhoods

Parkwood Homes

Remington Homes

5. Partner With a Designer

Remember, you don’t have to do everything on your own. If you need assistance or feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of options and choices, you can partner with a designer to help you curate your vision, go with you to your Design Center appointment, and be a guide in all aspects of your interior design. 

“Most of our job entails being a resource for our clients. When you partner with a design professional, we can help you hone in on the things you value the most by just listening to you and your style.”

— Jocelyn Verano, Ellis Design Studio

It takes more than sticks and bricks to build a community, it takes people. In a few short months, Painted Prairie has become a great place to live, work, and build lasting friendships.

One example of this, is the recent collaboration between Centennial’s Ana’s Norwegian Bakeri and Roselle Hisbiscus Delight, an all-natural beverage company owned by Painted Prairie resident, Rosemarie Aarnes.

The two local businesswomen met while participating in Painted Prairie’s first Micro Pop-Up Market. From there, a friendship and now, business relationship grew. Ana agreed to carry Roselle’s Hisbicus drink at her bakery and the rest is small, local business matchmaking history.

“So excited to feature Sorrel by Roselle Hibiscus Delight!” said Ana in a recent social media post. “This drink reminds me of Gløgg, a traditional Christmas drink found in Norway. There is an Original option, Chia Seeds option, and Sugar-Free option. Made with Organic, Non-GMO ingredients, made locally in Colorado.”

Rosemarie is equally excited to be a part of Ana’s store. “We love Ana and her bakery,” says Rosemarie. “She is selling our drinks at her store. Like we always say, ‘Teamwork makes the dream work!”

We love it when our residents and our vendors make long last connections and friendships.

Looking for some patriotic fun? Join us for our Fantastic 4th Weekend at the best new neighborhood in Colorado

Looking for something to do this Fourth of July weekend? Painted Prairie continues its award-winning event series with, A Fantastic 4thWeekend, July 2-3, at Painted Prairie, 6000 Picadilly Road in Aurora. 

Friday, July 2, 7:30 pm to 10:30 pm

“You’re killing me, Smalls!”

The weekend kicks off Friday night at 7:30 pm with everyone’s favorite summertime movie, The Sandlot. Grab your blankets, chairs and snag a FREE popcorn or candy on us! Our socially distant lawn circles are ready for you to enjoy a great movie night under the stars. Movie begins at sunset (around 8:30 pm).

Saturday, July 3, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm

Model Home Tours & FREE Food

Patriotic Characters & Photo Booth

Gardening Demonstrations & Plant Sale

For the Kids! Wildlife Education & a Fire Truck

Micro Pop-Up Farmer’s Market & Vendor Shop

Food Trucks & More!

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