Winter is the holiday season, and that means lots of family together time. From snowball fights to a classic Christmas movie marathon, there are certain family traditions that you just can’t miss.
But you can only have so many snowball fights before someone loses an eye to an iceball or a pinky to frostbite. Luckily for you, there are a ton of exciting winter activities in Utah for the whole family. Save your family’s vision and digits and start a new tradition.
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 3:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Friday 3:00 – 10:00 p.m.
Saturday noon – 10:00 p.m.
Tickets are $15–18 for 12 and up and children are $10–12.
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.
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 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.
Early season tickets (November 25 – December 24) are $150
Winter season tickets (December 26 – April 2) are $175
Nothing screams “Christmas” like a horse-drawn sleigh ride in a quaint resort. 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.
Holiday tubing is December 21 – January 2 from 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
A 2-hour session is $26 for adults, $24 for kids 6–12 and $13 for kids 3–5.
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 to 6 hours.
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.
Starting in November, Homestead Crater offers a Stay and Soak Package starting at $99.
Film buffs, bundle up. See what’s up-and-coming in a week and a half of indie cinema and kill time between shows with vendor booths, exhibits and celeb spotting. Bring the kids to enjoy the festival atmosphere (but, you know, read the synopsis before you drag them into some random movie).
The festival runs Jan. 18 – 28 in different venues around Park City and Salt Lake City. Look now for tickets or try your luck in the day-of waitlist line.
Who knew the best meal you’ll eat this winter is waiting at the end of a snowshoe up a mountain at Solitude? 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 – 9:00 p.m., beginning December 2. Ages 13 and up.
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.