Shred: Fun for the Whole Family—Sun Valley-style

Top 10 local activities for families

By Mike McKenna

Sun Valley isn’t considered a world-class ski resort just because the skiing and boarding is so good. The real reason Sun Valley has long been considered one of the best ski resorts on the planet is because the resort, and it’s surrounding community, offers so much else to do.

With Spring Break in full swing and Sun Valley teeming with families, here’s a rundown of the Top 10 Fun Things for Families to do in Sun Valley during the winter.

1) Go Tubing!

Snow tubing is quickly growing in popularity nationwide, and spending a mere hour on Sun Valley’s Tubing Hill at Dollar Mountain will show you why. It’s fun and easy to do for anyone ages from 4 to 84. To read more about it, check out, Snow Tubing Sun Valley.

2) Give Cross Country Skiing a Shot!

If you’ve never tried cross country, or Nordic, skiing it’s a lot easier and much more fun than you think. Officially known as "Nordic Town USA," there’s no better place to pick up the sport than here. There are all kinds of Learn to Ski classes and rental package option available at the Sun Valley Nordic & Snowshoe Center located in the Sun Valley Club or  or at Galena Lodge , 23 miles to the north of Ketchum.

3) Go Bowling!

The Sun Valley Bowling and Game Room at Sun Valley Lodge is a step back in time and fun for the whole family.  Open daily from 4 to 10 pm, heck here  for more details.

4) Take Ski Lesson!

Whether you’ve been skiing for decades or have never hit the slopes before, the world renowned ski school at Baldy and Dollar Mountains can help you have more fun on the slopes. And having the kids spend a day or two in lessons not only increases their confidence and fun factor levels, it gives parents a chance to make some runs on their own. Check here for more info or here  for a fun story and tips about introducing kids to alpine sports.

5) Go Ice Skating!

Sun Valley has long been famous for its year-round ice shows. Spend some time skating on the same ice that hosted countless Olympians. For more info check here.

6) Catch a Movie!

Built in 1937, the Sun Valley Opera House offers first run movies and free daily showing of the classic film, "Sun Valley Serenade," at 4:30 pm. For a list of current films and show times check here. The Magic Lantern Cinema, at 100 East 2nd Avenue in Ketchum, also offers first run movies daily.

7) Go for a Swim!

The Sun Valley Resort offers three pools for swimming, including the infamous, heated Lodge Pool, which offers aprs ski cocktail service. The Wood River YMCA also has two large pools.

8) Hit a Museum!

The history of the Wood River Valley is as long and deep as powder day on Baldy. The Ketchum–Sun Valley Ski & Heritage Museum at 180 East 1st Street offers fascinating exhibits on everything from the local mining and sheepherding history to Ernest Hemingway’s time in Idaho to the story of America’s original ski resort. For more info on exhibits and schedules, check out Or check out the Ore Wagon Museum at 200 10th Street in Ketchum.

9) Go Fly Fishing!

Despite the snowy conditions, March is actually one of the best months to fly fish on the Big Wood River–and not just because guided rates are cheaper in winter. The Big Wood is great river for first-time fly fishers and there are no better guides on the planet than at Silver Creek Outfitters , offering shops in both the Sun Valley Village or downtown Ketchum. To read more about it, check out Winter on the Big Wood.

10) Do Nothing!

Lounge around at a ski lodge or your hotel room or a local coffee shop or at one of the area’s world-class restaurants and enjoy the views and ambience of life in the heart of Idaho.