The vast amount of skiing in Park City automatically renders the town a perfect holiday vacation spot. Picturesque and within 40 minutes of the Salt Lake International Airport, Park City's stunning winterscape couldn't be easier to access. But many would-be travelers naturally hesitate to trade the comfort of their homes for lodging during this special time of year. If this describes you and your family, think again; you needn't dread sitting in a hotel room or nameless bar after the lifts shut down for the evening. Park City is teeming with charming, all-day and après ski activities that can transform a regular ski vacation into a memorable holiday – one so special that it could quite easily become a new tradition.
Park City's Main Street Dressed up for the Holidays — Photo courtesy of Symic After a full day of skiing, your empty stomach and low blood sugar won't allow you to do anything other than find and consume food.
Sleigh Rides are Classically Fun — Photo courtesy of wburris Park City's ultimate winter dinner takes place at the Viking Yurt. An evening there begins with a moonlight sleigh ride to the yurt itself, continues through five fine courses, and is supplemented with live piano music and a Norwegian atmosphere. Book well ahead to enjoy this opportunity; this popular Yurt has very limited seating and dining times.
If the Viking Yurt is booked out, try for a Fireside Dinner at Deer Valley. Though this doesn't come with all the bells and whistles of the yurt trip, it does have a cozy, heart-warming element, and has the potential to provide an equally special dining experience.
Hot Air Balloon Rides Are Possible in Winter, Too! — Photo courtesy of kaktuslampanAfter dinner (or on a non-ski day) you'll have plenty of hours to fill. Though board games and reading can provide a great deal of entertainment relaxation on a trip, you'll ultimately find yourself looking for some supplementary activities. Consider pulling on your long underwear again for a hot air balloon ride with Park City Balloon Adventures. Offering rides throughout the year to groups as large as 70 people, this company will give a real "lift" to you and your family... even if all your distant relatives happen to be along! Each ride involves the preparation and inflation of the balloon, a roughly 1-hour flight, and a follow-up champagne celebration. (A non-alcoholic alternative is available, too.)
If ballooning is out of your comfort zone or price range, look into a more classic, “down-to-earth” activity. In Park City, you can ice skate outside on the Park City Mountain Resort Village's rink or inside at the Park City Ice Arena. Inner-tubing is another classic activity that works well for all age groups. Gorgoza Park in Kimball Junction is dedicated entirely to this activity; Soldier Hollow in Midway is primarily a Nordic skiing facility with excellent tubing on the side. Rocky Mountain Recreation offers slightly more atypical activities like sleigh rides (followed by home-cooked, log cabin dinners), dog sledding trips, and snowmobile tours.
Don't be reluctant to leave the comfort of home during the holidays. Park City has a wealth of special opportunities for making cozy memories. Just be sure to plan ahead and make reservations so that you can experience these for yourself!