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Step 1: Buy some wool underwear and a nice warm coat, cuz you’re going to be outside a lot. That’s the whole point. Now that winter has finally arrived, it’s time to get busy by having more fun.
Forget snowball fights. And sledding. Well, the regular type of sledding anyway. It’s time you moved into more sophisticated fun. Consider these 12 out-of-the-box activities the “X-games” of winter fun-ing.
If your family has a serious need for speed and midnight donuts in the church parking lot aren’t cutting it, this one’s for you. The same track they used for the bobsled, skeleton and luge events in the 2002 Winter Olympics is now open to regular folks who don’t wear spandex all winter. A professional bobsledder can take up to three people at a time on a fast and twisting ride of a lifetime.
Winter season tickets (December 26 – April 2) are $175.
Horseback riding isn’t just for the warmer months. Bryce Canyon National Park offers horseback rides through a beautiful landscape covered in a blanket of snow. A total of four guided horseback tours are offered in this corner of the Grand Staircase.
Each horseback ride is $135 per person and can last 5-6 hours.
Gliding through the snow-filled meadows will become a fond family memory you’ll never forget. Especially when your youngest grows up and wins the Iditarod.
A dog sledding excursion costs $420. It’s available in every season (wild, right?) and rides can range from 25 minutes to one hour.
If you’ve never experienced a horse-drawn sleigh ride, this is one is a must. It’s such a fun family experience. Boulder Mountain Ranch at Deer Valley offers sleigh rides through breathtaking landscapes. You and the family can snuggle up, sit back and travel through the snow to 200 years ago.
Available nightly, every 45 minutes from 5:00 p.m. – 7:15 p.m.
Up to five people, with a flat rate of $125 plus $25 per person.
If you read ‘tubing’ and thought of sliding down the little hill down the street, think again. Soldier Hollow lets you and your family tube down a 1,200-foot sliding lane packed with snow and then that tows you all the way back to the top.
Tubing is offered from Jan. 2- mid March.
A two-hour session is $26 for adults, $24 for kids 6–12 and $13 for kids 3–5.
Who knew the best meal you’ll eat this winter is waiting at the end of a snowshoe hike up a mountain at Solitude Ski Resort? A guide will take you and your children on a moonlight jaunt to the yurt, where chefs will make a gourmet four-course meal right in front of your eyes.
Open Thursday – Sunday, 5:30 – 9 p.m. Ages 13 and up. Reservations required.
Do you have kids that are daredevils in training? They’ll love fat-tire snow biking in Park City. It’s fun, it’s new, and even if you crash more it’ll hurt less. You and your family can explore the stunning wintry paths specifically designed for winter mountain biking.
A bike tour costs $150 per person plus $48 dollars per rental bike for four hours.
As with fishing, horseback riding and biking above, winter rejects the premise that summer is the only season with a claim on your swimsuit. Homestead Crater in Midway offers a therapeutic and relaxing hot spring that’s just a liiiiiiiiiittle bit different than any other hot tub you’ve dipped in. Take a break from the winter chill for an experience the whole family will love.
Homestead Crater offers a Stay and Soak Package starting at $99.
Are your kids itching to go fishing? Bear Lake is teeming with whitefish just waiting to get caught.
The fish move in closer to shore starting in January. Fishing is free at Bear Lake, though you do need a fishing license.
If you put all of Utah’s hikes on a graph measuring difficulty on one axis and beauty on another, Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park would be pinned in the easy/magnificent corner. You’ll spend longer bundling the whole family up than actually hiking, and the payoff is way bigger than the investment.
This network of trails connects the Skyline South Complex with the Scofield Complex, combining thrilling rides with stunning, 10,000-foot views. With multiple tracks to choose from, you can go as fast or as wild as you want.
Make your children’s Disney-ish dreams come true at the amazing Midway Ice Castles. You and your family can explore every inch of these amazing man-made ice castles. Plus hot chocolate, because of course, you need some.
Monday – Thursday 3–9 p.m.
Friday 3–10 p.m.
Saturday noon – 10 p.m.
Tickets are $15–18 for 12 and up and children are $10–12.