By Mike McKenna
It’s tough to find a better place in this big, beautiful world of ours to enjoy the holidays than Sun Valley, Idaho. From fantastic skiing and snowshoeing to bowling, ice skating and snow tubing, there are lots of fun ways to fill up a day around here.
To help you make the most out of it, here’s a rundown of some of the fun stuff the whole family can enjoy during the holidays in Sun Valley.
Bowling & Game Room
One of the Pacific Northwest’s oldest bowling alleys, the Sun Valley Lodge Bowling Alley and Game Room offers a 1950′s atmosphere and features six lanes, video games, a Juke Box, pool table and snack bar. Open nightly from 4pm to 10pm daily, the Bowling Alley and Game Room can be reserved for private parties. For more info, check bowling alley hours and details here.
Cross Country Skiing or Snowshoeing
The Sun Valley Nordic & Snowshoe Center is located at the 58,000 square-foot Sun Valley Club in the backyard of the world famous Sun Valley Lodge. They’ve got all the gear to supply the whole family for some fun frolicking in the snow. For a round up of other local snowshoe trails, from easy to insane, check out Sun Valley Magazine’s "Walking in a Winter Wonderland."
There’s no doubt where the coolest place is in Sun Valley, it’s the Ice Rink. Open to the public and home to the legendary Sun Valley Ice Shows, the Ice Rink is a great time for the whole family. The ice rink is open daily at 10 am has a full range of rental sizes.
Even on the coldest days, fisherman of all ages can be found casting the day away on the Big Wood River. Check out the reduced winter guide rates, which include all the gear, for day of fly fishing with the world-renown guides at Silver Creek Outfitters or read about the basics here.
Micro-Stock Car Racing
Sun Valley’s Limelight Room will host the Micro-Reality Stock Car Racing Thursday, December 29 & Saturday December 31, from 6 to 10 pm. $25 per person at the door. Youngsters and those young at heart are welcome to join in the fun, which will include: Video Games, Fast Track Auto Racing, Guitar Hero, Hose Hockey, Giant Twister, Speed Pitch, Calf Roping Lessons, Electronic Putting Challenge, Music & Prizes! For more information or to make reservations call 208.622.2135.
From daylong kids classes to private lessons for the whole family, taking or having the kids take a ski or snowboard lesson is always a good idea. Sun Valley Snowsports Ski School is well known and highly respected for helping shredders of any age improve their skills and have more fun on the slopes. Follow this link for Ski School basics.
Celebrating their final season, Forever Plaid offers "Heavenly Musical Hits" the whole family can enjoy. Kids under 12 are admitted for free. For their full schedule, check out the Sun Valley Calendar of Events.
Situated in the heart of Sun Valley Village, the Opera House was built in 1937 and serves as Sun Valley’s charming 340-seat theatre. Call 208.622.2244 for check here for films and times. The Opera House also plays the classic film, "Sun Valley Serenade" each afternoon at 4:30 and admittance is always free. Ketchum’s Magic Lantern Cinema also offers current films nightly and as matinees most days.
The two base lodges at Sun Valley, River Run and Warm Springs, offer live music most weekends and holidays weekdays. Check out the Calendar of Events for times and listings.
A sleigh ride to Trail Creek Cabin for dinner has traditionally been one of the most memorable and fun Sun Valley winter experiences for the whole family. Round trip scenic rides are available Tuesday through Saturday and nightly during the Christmas holidays and President’s Week. Private bookings are also available. For dinner at Trail Creek Cabin, the half-hour long horse-drawn sleigh rides leave the Sun Valley Inn at 6pm, 7pm and 8pm for a family style dinner. For more info or reservations call 208.622. 2135 or check here.
Sun Valley Lodge offers two year-round swimming pools. The Lodge Pool is heated to a soothing 100-102° and cocktail service is available for aprs skiers. The Inn Pool offers breathtaking views of Baldy. The Lodge also offers a state-of-the-art fitness room. Check here for more info. The Wood River YMCA also has a pool and lots of other activities for the whole family, from a climbing wall to large fitness facility.
Rubber meets the snow in three 600-ft. lanes at Dollar Mountain’s Snow Tubing Park. Fun for the whole family, the tubing park is open daily. For more details, check here.
New Year’s Eve Party
Kids of all ages are invited to celebrate New Year’s Eve Sun Valley-style at the Inn’s Continental Room. Food & beverages are included. The family-friendly party runs from 7:30pm to 1:00am, $75 per person on New Year’s Eve. For reservations please call 208. 622.2135.