Six consummate guitarists from the California Guitar Trio and the Montreal Guitar Trio made beautiful music and brought the audience to its feet this weekend at the Sun Valley Opera House
The concert that was sponsored by the Sun Valley Center for the Arts featured six virtuoso guitarists, hailing from Japan, Canada, Belgium and the United States. Together, they brought 40 years of combined performing experience to the concert. And the experience showed as these consummate musicians brought the audience to its feet with everything from jazz, classical music, original compositions, music from spaghetti westerns and other surprises. My favorite performance? The MG3 interpretation of the classic Rush song, Tom Sawyer. If you think you have heard guitar music, you haven’t heard these six fill the room with sound.
The Montreal Guitar Trio delighted the crowd with everything from original compositions to old school rock -- sounds not always associated with guitars
According to the Sun Valley Center for the Arts, the collaboration between the artists was inspired by an impromptu studio session in Montreal. The six guitarists have gone on to release a live recording and tour throughout North America to rave reviews.
And they seemed to be as happy to be in Sun Valley as we were to have them. According to Marc Morin of the Montreal Guitar Trio, “We’ve been playing a lot of big venues. Today, we felt like an intimate audience in a nice setting. This is even better than we could have imagined!” The audience cheered.
Montreal Guitar Trio posted photos of their trip to Sun Valley on social media. We hope they'll be back!
A part of the Sun Valley Center for the Arts winter concert series, the California Guitar Trio and Montreal Guitar Trio is one of many rousing, inspiring and entertaining concerts that will come to town this winter and spring. Next, on February 22, 2013, is Marcia Ball, winner of nine Blues Music Awards including five for Best Piano Player of the Year. She will perform a cabaret style show at the nexStage Theatre in Ketchum. On March 22, Le Vent du Nord takes to the historic Opera House stage. Since its inception in 2002, Le Vent du Nord has enjoyed meteoric success. They have received several prestigious awards and are now one of the most-loved Quebec folk outfits in the world. Finally, on May 1, ukulele wizard Jake Shimabukuro will rock the valley. For tickets and more information, please click HERE.
The Sun Valley Opera House filled up quickly for the six-string symphony during the sold out show
It is always amazing to see the vast array of arts available in the Wood River Valley. From performances of the caliber of Sunday’s guitar extravaganza, to fine arts, to dance, to author readings and everything else you can imagine, what is offered in this small town in the mountains is impressive by any standards.
Be sure to get tickets to upcoming performances early. They almost always sell out and you don’t want to be disappointed!
Filmgoers lined up at the Opera House Thursday afternoon before the doors opened for the 2013 Sun Valley Film Festival
It’s on! On Thursday, the second Sun Valley Film Festival kicked off and kicked into high gear on a gorgeous, warm spring afternoon. A full half hour before the 5:15 screening time for Running from Crazy, a documentary starring long-time part-time Sun Valley resident Mariel Hemingway, the line outside of the historic Opera House reached past the swan pond, almost back to the Sun Valley Inn. This alone indicates how excited people are about the Film Festival. “On time” in our casual town is a very subjective term. People often don’t arrive for an event, no matter how highly anticipated it may be, until five minutes before the doors open. But not for this, the first featured movie of the Film Festival. This was a sell out.
These two chic women were among the many locals clearing the weekend calendar for the Film Festival
Proudly wearing Festival passes on lanyards around their necks, filmgoers buzzed with excitement. “This is the highlight of the year!” enthused one woman waiting in line. Her friend added, “We are going to try to as many screenings as possible. I don’t want to miss anything!”
It would be impossible to attend the more than 40 offerings through March 17, but there are choices to fit everyone’s schedule and to appeal to every taste. A full complement of visual offerings includes dramatic features, documentaries, short films, works-in-progress, music videos, children’s programming and freebies. Screenings will be held at the Opera House in Sun Valley, the nexStage Theater and Magic Lantern Cinema in Ketchum, and the Liberty Theater in Hailey. For a full schedule, to buy tickets and to learn more about the Sun Valley Film Festival, click HERE.
Check in at Film Festival HQ at 251 N. Washington Ave. in Ketchum for tickets and information
And be sure to keep your ticket stubs while at the Sun Valley Resort. Sun Valley Film Festival ticket holders will receive 10 percent off of food and beverage at any Village restaurant with a valid ticket stub or festival pass. The offer is valid though March 17 (for the individual ticket holder only).
Fired up by what you have seen? Make your way to the Inn Lobby Lounge to continue the conversation. The Lounge will open early throughout the Festival, providing an elegant, comfortable spot to have a cocktail and a bite to eat while debating the finer points of a narrative arc and character development. On Friday, swing by the lounge beginning at 3 p.m., on Saturday at 2 p.m., and on Sunday at 2:30 p.m.
Sun Valley welcomes Festival goers
The lineup at this year’s Festival will take you around the corner and around the world. The films are thought provoking, hilarious, moving. Escape to the movies this weekend and be a part of what is sure to be one of the highlights of the spring season in Sun Valley!
Arguably the most famous movie star to shoot a film in Sun Valley, Marilyn Monroe is pictured here at the North Fork store just north of Sun Valley, where she filmed scenes for Bus Stop.
From standing in as the mountains of Europe to being celebrated as a character in its own right, Sun Valley’s role as a favorite Hollywood shooting location often had as much to do with the stars’ and producers’ wish to ski there as it did its suitability for filming. Following the opening in December 1936, a total of 32 Hollywood movies have been shot in and around Sun Valley. Over 300 have been shot across the great state of Idaho (for that list click here), but for the sake of my sanity I focused the following chronological list solely on Hollywood movies shot in Sun Valley and its surrounding mountains. I also chose to excluded TV specials (such as Lucy Goes to Sun Valley and Raquel Welch’s variety show), promotional videos, documentaries, and independent movies shot in the southern Wood River Valley. I also left out the unique genre of Ski Films, which is a whole blog in itself – for another day perhaps. The resulting list reflects the birth, intense early passion, slow burn phase, and eventual break up of Sun Valley’s relationship with Hollywood location scouts (Shredder? Really?). Hey Hollywood, maybe it’s time to make up and give it another shot? Jennifer Tuohy
1937 I Met Him in Paris Claudette Colbert, Robert Young, Melvyn Douglas. Dir: Wesley Ruggles The first Hollywood flick to be shot in the newly-christened Sun Valley-area was filmed at Baker Creek in the Smoky Mountains, where a Swiss village, complete with its own grand lodge, was created. Filming began as soon as Sun Valley Lodge opened, with the stars staying in Sun Valley and the crew finding lesser accommodations in the town of Ketchum. (For more on I Met Him In Paris’ Sun Valley connection click here.)
1939 Stanley and Livingston Spencer Tracey, Walter Brennan, Nancy Kelly, Richard Greene Dir: Henry King, Otto Brower The head of Twentieth Century Fox, Darryl F. Zanuck (also responsible for Sun Valley Serenade), was a frequent guest at Sun Valley. He arranged for the opening sequences of this movie to be shot in the Boulder Mountains just north of town.
1938 Everything Happens at Night Sonja Henie, Ray Milland, Robert Cummings Dir: Irving Cummings Scenic shots of the area were used in this Swiss-set comedy/drama. Ice-skating star Sonja Henie wasn’t to come to Sun Valley until her next Hollywood movie in 1941.
1940 The Mortal Storm Margaret Sullivan, James Stewart, Robert Yong Dir: Frank Borzage Sun Valley’s mountains stood in for those of Austria in this WWII film.
This clip featuring the signature song of the movie, “It Happened in Sun Valley,” and showcases Sun Valley Lodge in all its 1940s glory. (Video not displaying? Click here.) While the principle sets for the movie were filmed in Hollywood, the skiing and scenery was all Sun Valley, earning this crowd-pleasing flick almost daily showings at the Sun Valley Opera House, straight through to today.
1941 A Woman’s Face Joan Crawford, Melvyn Douglas Dir: George Cukor Sun Valley just provided the snow for this melodrama.
1942 Hedda Hopper’s Hollywood No. 3 Hedda Hopper, Anna Boettiger, Ronald Colman, Gary Cooper, Martha Gelhorn, Ernest Hemingway Dir: Herbert Moulton
“Newsreel-style accounts of the Hollywood Dog Training School where Carl Spitz trains stars’ pets and dogs for films; a hunting party in Idaho with Ernest Hemingway hosting Gary Cooper, Anna Boettiger, poet Christopher LaFarge, and others.”
1942 Northern Pursuit Errol Flynn, Julie Bishop, Helmut Dantine Dir: Raoul Walsh
“A Canadian Mountie of German descent feigns disaffection with his homeland in hopes of infiltrating and thwarting a Nazi sabotage plot.” The landscape around Sun Valley stands in for the Arctic. Watch the trailer here.
This trailer for Duchess showcases Sun Valley Lodge and a snippet of Connie Haines singing the praises of Idaho. (Video not playing? Click here.)
1949 Mrs. Mike Dick Powell, Evelyn Keyes, J.M. Kerrigan Dir: Louis King A Canadian Mountie marries a Boston-bred heiress, uniquely unprepared for the hardships of life in the Great White North. Mrs. Mike nonetheless perseveres through minor inconveniences and major tragedies. Based on a true story and a bestselling book. Sun Valley pretends to be the “Great White North” in this biopic.
1948 That Wonderful Urge Tyrone Power, Gene Tierney, Reginald Gardiner Dir: Robert B. Sinclair
“When an heiress finds out that the friendly young man she’s met at Sun Valley is really an investigative reporter, she ruins his career by falsely claiming they’re married.” Another Darryl F. Zanuck movie, shot in his favorite ski locale.
1952 The Wild North Stewart Granger, Wendell Corey, Cyd Charisse Dir: Andrew Marton Filmed in the Boulder Mountains, along Trail Creek and on Galena Summit.
1952 The Big Sky Kirk Douglas, Dewey Martin, Elizabeth Threatt Dir: Howard Hawks
Rock Hudson, Marcia Henderson, Steve Cochran Dir: Joseph Pevney
“In a small village in the icy wilderness of Alaska Captain Peter Keith has to defend himself against two especially mean villains, who are after his wife Dolores and a boatload of precious hides.” Background shooting took place in the mountains around Sun Valley.
1955 The Tall Men Clark Gable, Jane Russell, Robert Ryan Dir: Raoul Walsh Once again, Sun Valley provided the scenic snow shots for this flick.
1955 Storm Fear Jean Wallace, Cornel Wilde, Dan Duryea Dir: Cornel Wilde The movie was shot on location in Sun Valley.
1956 The Miracle of Todd-AO “A short film demonstrating the new 70mm widescreen Todd-AO system. After a prologue that shows all that the eye can see through the Todd-AO wide angle lens, we take a ride in a roller-coaster, fly over the canyons of the Grand Teton Mountains, ski in Sun Valley, and follow a motorcycle chase through the San Francisco.” Catch scenic shots of the Sawtooths and the Wood River Valley in this clip.
1956 Bus Stop Marilyn Monroe, Don Murray, Arthur O’Connell Dir: Joshua Logan “A naive but stubborn cowboy falls in love with a saloon singer and tries to take her away against her will to get married and live on his ranch in Montana.” The scenes of the couple stranded at a bus stop in a blizzard were shot at the North Fork store, north of Sun Valley, which still stands. Watch the trailer here.
1957 Ten North Frederick Gary Cooper, Diane Varsi, Suzy Parker Dir: Philip Dunne Location shots only for Sun Valley in this Cooper vehicle.
1965 Ski Party Frankie Avalon, Dwayne Hickman, Deborah Walley Dir: Alan Rafkin
Great shots of Baldy and Dollar mountains to be found in the trailer for this raucous ski flick. (Click here for the video.)
1977 The Deadly Triangle (TV movie) Dale Robinette, Taylor Lacher, Geoffrey Lewis Dir: Charles S. Dubin
“A former Olympic ski champion, now the sheriff of a ski-resort town, investigates the murder of the member of a skiing team that came to the resort to train.” Filmed entirely in Sun Valley.
1978 Crisis in Sun Valley (TV movie) Dale Robinette, Taylor Lacher, Bo Hopkins Dir: Paul Stanley
“Semi-follow up to “The Deadly Triangle” dealing with a sheriff and his deputy in a sleepy ski town involved with a group of urbanites planning a dangerous mountain climb as well as investigating sabotage in a condominium development.” Filmed entirely in Sun Valley
1980 Swan Song (TV movie) David Soul, Bo Brundin, Jill Eikenberry Dir: Jerry London
“A champion skier who pulled out of the Olympic games because of a mysterious illness decides to make a comeback.”
1980 Powder Heads David Ferry, Catherine Mary Stewart, William Samples Dir: John Anderson, Michael French
Filmed in Sun Valley, Edmonton and Jasper.
1985 Pale Rider Clint Eastwood, Michael Moriarty, Carrie Snodgress Dir: Clint Eastwood
Pale Rider revived the both classic Western and Hollywood’s romance with the majestic mountains surrounding Sun Valley. The film crew constructed an entire mining village in the Boulder Mountains, and the opening credits capture the drama of the Sawtooth Mountains. (Video not displaying? Click here)
2001 Hemingway, The Hunter of Death Albert Finney, Paul Guilfoyle, Fele Martinez Dir: Sergio Dow
“During the Kenyan struggle for independence from the British in the late 1950′s, a scientific safari led by Ernest Hemingway undertakes the ascent of Mount Kenya.” Filmed on location in Sun Valley and Kenya.
2001 Town & Country Warren Beatty, Diane Keaton, Nastassja Kinski Dir: Peter Chelsom The last big budget movie to be made in Sun Valley provides plenty of glimpses of town and slopes. Unfortunately, when the crews arrived there was no snow on the ground and several scenes were filmed with manmade snow. As luck would have it, a foot of the real white stuff arrived the next day, so some of the scenes were re-shot using the “natural” background. But the movie was cursed with bad luck from the get-go and went on to be one of the biggest box office disasters of all time.
2003 Shredder Scott Weinger, Lindsey McKeon, Juleach Weikel Dir: Greg Hudson The Tamarack Lodge on Sun Valley Road in Ketchum provides some interior scenes in this ski horror flick set in Kellog, Idaho.
Read the first post in the Sun Valley Movie History series “The Hollywood Connection” here. Coming next, a look at Sun Valley’s Hollywood Godfather, David O. Selznick.
A rehearsal on Thursday allowed the performers to perfect the show
On this, the shortest, darkest day of the year — the Winter Solstice — rich sounds of traditional Christmas carols and holiday favorites will enliven the long night. This evening’s fifth annual Classical Christmas Concert will showcase stirring melodies and soaring voices, transporting audience members into a peaceful reverie and setting the tone for the coming weeks of celebration.
For many, measures of Christmas music strike (pardon the pun) a chord deep within. The first bars of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker, the opening notes of carols that have been sung for hundreds of years, a chord from modern favorites, bring a flood of memories and emotions. For instance, for me, Away in a Manger, places me right back beside my grandmother’s upright piano in upstate New York. Her home is decorated with traditional, colorful handmade Norwegian tablecloths and flickering candles. Fresh cookies cool on the rack. Despite the frigid weather, all is merry and bright, secure and safe.
This evening at the Sun Valley Opera House, John Mauldin’s evocative tenor will surely stir your own memories. His sister, Leslie Mauldin’s soaring soprano, will take your breath away. The talents of the Hatvani Chamber Ensemble and of pianist and baritone Jed Moss will weave together bits of memory, feeling and meaning to create an unforgettable evening of live music. Add the festive and popular Sun Valley Carolers and I dare you not to lose yourself to the mood.
It takes a full day to assemble the winter wonderland on the Opera House stage
The stage in the Opera House has been transformed for the night and mirrors the winter wonderland outside, bringing evergreens, white lights and everything but the snow, indoors. As the two violins, cello and piano play the first strains of music, close your eyes and let the holidays begin in earnest. But don’t get too lost in the moment – a very special guest is expected to take the stage along with the featured performers.
The sun will set today at 4:32 p.m. Before the doors to the concert open at 7 p.m., enjoy the brisk winter evening in the Sun Valley Village. Bundle up and take a walk through the Village Light Festival, where thousands of twinkling lights mimic the stars overhead. The Holiday Window Stroll leads through whimsical depictions of holidays around the world, Norway included. Visit the Gingerbread Village, a 20-by-30-foot scale replica of Sun Valley’s charm. Enjoy a drink or a bite at a Village restaurant or bar. Then make your way to the historic Opera House, take your seat, and surround yourself with the sounds of the season.
Tenor John Mauldin rehearses a favorite carol
Historically, in the northern hemisphere, the Winter Solstice has been a time of celebration and gathering. In different cultures throughout the ages, Yule logs have been burned to light the long, dark night. Neighbors gathered and feasted. This pivot point from which days will again grow longer and warmer has always been a time of renewal, ritual and reflection.
What better way to spend this night than by enjoying your favorite music, performed by consummate professionals and wonderful entertainers? Settle in and enjoy this midwinter night’s dream.
Tickets are now on sale at the Sun Valley Recreation Center, by phone at 208-622-2135 or 888-622-2108, or at the door based on availability. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m.
On Thursday night, a large, appreciative audience at the Sun Valley Opera House was treated to a night of beautiful music, courtesy of the award-winning Canadian duo Dala. Comprised of best friends Amanda Walther and Sheila Carabine, and armed only with guitars and a piano, Dala wowed with intricate harmonies and angelic melodies.
Dala during the sound check
Dala came to the Wood River Valley courtesy of the Sun Valley Center for the Arts’ performing arts series. The Center’s Kristine Bretall, Director of Marketing and Performing Arts, said their artists really enjoy playing the historic Opera House. “The acoustics are very good and the room has a lot of personality,” she explained.
The sound for the concert was rich and round, so much so that when Amanda and Sheila started to play during their sound check, I literally held my breath. Their gorgeous voices and authentic lyrics go straight to your core.
For sound worthy of the musicians’ talent, thank members of Sun Valley’s Entertainment division. Jay Cutler and his team spent three days getting ready for Dala’s performance. “The Opera House is a multi-use theater,” explained Jay. “But the sound systems are entirely separate for films and for live performances. For concerts, the acoustics are outstanding and the room is tuned for low frequency. It really is state-of-the-art.”
The view from the sound booth
The Opera House, built in 1937, is a 340-seat venue, offering an intimate, unique experience. From the high ceilings to the one-of-a-kind waterfall curtain, the theater is anything but a cookie-cutter auditorium.
Dala talking to a group of high school admirers
When it is only two voices on stage and storytelling is of utmost importance, as was the case with Dala, sound matters – a lot. Their music is very intimate and they use what they call “every tool in their arsenal” to create it. This includes a lot of dynamics, eye contact with the audience and plenty of collaboration. The young women shared their process prior to last night’s concert with a vocal class at Wood River High School during a workshop that was a part of the Sun Valley Center for the Arts’ education and outreach programs. Students were treated to a private performance of numerous songs and asked the singer/songwriters many questions. The overriding message to the class was “take risks.” The artists used their song Levi Blues to illustrate the discussion.
Friendship, family and heritage featured heavily into the evening performance and the audience hung on Amanda and Sheila’s every word — words made crystal clear by the hard work of the behind-the-scenes Entertainment team.
The historic Sun Valley Opera House
If you have never been to a concert at the Opera House, put one on your schedule. Sit back, close your eyes, appreciate the great acoustics and the wonderful old-school ambience.
Sun Valley Center for the Arts will present Matt Andersen, blues man extraordinaire, at the Opera House on January 23, 2013. He is sure to rock the house.
If you plan to attend the screening of the documentary film “G-Dog” this Saturday night (October 13) at the Sun Valley Opera House, prepare to laugh, cry and be moved. The film profiles Father Greg Boyle (G-Dog) who created Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles; a man who has helped turn around countless lives for at-risk youth. You will meet two of Father Boyle’s success stories, as well as Academy Award-winning filmmaker Freida Lee Mock. Lastly, you will make an impact locally, as 100 percent of the evening’s proceeds will support the work of the Hunger Coalition. Not bad for a Saturday night in slack and a $10 entry fee.
Father Boyle’s program rehabilitates, trains and employs 12,000 former gang members a year. Two program graduates, who now work with Boyle, will join Mock to answer questions after the screening. Hector Verdugo is Associate Director of Homeboy Industries and Shirley Torres is Director of Reentry Services. Both met Father Boyle when they were young and in trouble, and with his help, turned their lives around. Verdugo, who is Father Boyle’s right-hand man, also stars in the film. The two will be guests in Sun Valley and plan to get out and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.
Freida Mock hard at work
Documentary filmmaker Mock likes to delve into tough subjects, to stir the proverbial pot, to inspire and provoke thought. This part-time Sun Valley resident is thrilled to bring Father Boyle’s story to a local audience. “It is a very hopeful film,” Mock said in a phone interview. “It is a wonderful combination of funny and deep, light and deadly serious.” But G-Dog’s joy and optimism pervade the story. Mock said it is appropriate for older children and leaves audiences on their feet. She said the film will be shown here on a top quality audio-visual equipment, providing a great movie-going experience.
Filmmaker Mock with her stars
The Hunger Coalition is thrilled to be the beneficiary of this screening. “October is Hunger Awareness Month and each year we try to do an event that gets people out on the town having fun but talking about hunger in the Valley,” said Naomi Spence, program director for the organization. Every dollar from ticket sales goes directly to benefit the Hunger Coalition whose mission is notunlike Homeboy Industries. “We are focused on empowering people,” Spence explained, “in supporting them through their journey to get back on their feet. By the time people come to us, they have surrendered to the crisis. Like Father Boyle’s organization, we strive to help people return a place where they are once again sustainable.” Gathering on a lovely fall night in Sun Valley is a terrific opportunity to raise awareness and get the community together.
The screening begins at 7 p.m. Tickets to a VIP pre-party at the Boiler Room, including dinner, cocktails and a chance to mingle with Mock and the cast, are available for $50. General admission is $10. The Resort is also running slack dinner specials at Resort restaurants – an affordable way to grab a great meal before the show.
Tickets are available at Chapter One Bookstore in Ketchum, Wood River Motors in Hailey and at the door, based on availability.
10:30 am The PBR Ski Bum Pro Golf Scramble – 95.00 entry fee
Come out and play with the pros that you see in the movies playing during the Gathering! Brunch will be hosted by the Big Wood Grill from 10:30 through 12:00. The shotgun style tournament will start at 12pm. After nine holes, PBRs will be pouring on the deck at Big Wood Grill.
Let’s face it, if you are a Mountain Diva, you are a busy girl! It’s a festive time of year and the Holidays only raise the bar, thus lowering the amount of R&R for yourself.
And it doesn’t matter what keeps you busy: whether it’s the constant social circuit (a glass of champagne here…a bikini martini or a hot toddy there) or the steady schedule of family fun and kids activities that you are working to coordinate during this busy time (ice skating, ski lessons, tubing at Dollar). But if you feel like an air traffic controller that has just landed 18 jumbo jets on conflicting flight patterns (at night and in a snow storm), it’s time for a course in pampering yourself 101.
Read on, darling diva, as the following 10 quick fixes are geared towards helping you find your inner goddess once again.
1. Pamper Your Body
Every diva knows that the quickest way to complete bliss is through a relaxing and rejuvenating body treatment. Lucky for us, the Sun Valley Salon and Day Spa offers a wide array of options: everything from acupuncture and herbal body wraps to "hot stone therapy" and traditional massage. Just remember that there are hundreds of different techniques, so be sure to be specific on your needs (and aches or injuries) so that your treatment can be tailored to your specific needs–whether it’s a more relaxing in-room massage treatment (you don’t even have to get up and look presentable) or an invigorating sports massage or shiatsu treatment to help those quads recover from multiple days on Baldy. Can’t decide, call 208.622.2160 to get a recommendation on the perfect spa package (they can build in facials or salon services as well) or view the full brochure of spa services here.
2. Drench Your Skin
No time for a full massage or spa package, book a Petite Facial and enjoy 30 minutes of quiet time that includes a thorough cleanse and exfoliation, along with a moisturizing mask to rehydrate and refresh the complexion. You’ll look as good as new in no time! Of course, feel free to splurge with the Spa Prestige Ogenage Facial (for 80 minutes of heaven and a totally renewed, revitalized, and dare we say reconstructed complexion that works days after the facial). You can also enhance any of the standard facials–like the Aqualift Anti-Wrinkle Facial or Ultra Moisturizing Facial or the Classic–with a marine eye-lift or specialty concentrate treatment. Call 208.622.2160 to book your facial.
Poolside cocktail service at the Lodge pool
3. A Soak in the Lodge Pool
What could possibly be better than a following up your massage or facial (or full spa package) with a relaxing soak in the Sun Valley Lodge pool …? We can answer with complete confidence: Nothing can compete. There is simply no better way to finish off your massage than with a glass of champagne or a bartender’s margarita delivered poolside while you lounge in an outdoor pool that is heated to a soothing 100-102° (make sure you drink your water first so that all that pampering from your massage doesn’t go to waste). Come to think of it, this is the perfect way to end any aprs ski day, no matter where you have been (on the slopes of Baldy, exploring the backcountry with Sun Valley Heli Ski or wandering the Nordic trail system).
The bench seat extends around the entire perimeter and watching your drinks arrive via poolside cocktail service through the steam is a rare luxury. And don’t forget the Inn Pool, which offers breathtaking views of Baldy.
4. Pamper Your Toes
Short on time, book a manicure / pedicure and treat your hands and feet. The Sun Valley Salon and Day Spa even offers a reflexology add-on (30 minutes) to help add to the experience. Looking for a little extra sparkle, zip down to Chic Nail Boutique in Hailey for the Glitter Toes, a treatment that melds real glitter to any color for that added holiday glam.
5. Indulge in Sunday Brunch
Plan a decadent Sunday brunch at the elegant Lodge Dining Room on the second floor of the Sun Valley Lodge and indulge in what many consider to be the Northwest’s finest Sunday Brunch. A lavish display of breakfast specialties including omelet and crepe stations, seafood, an array of gourmet salads and a symphony of desserts await, along with the accompaniment of pianist Leana Leach. Open every Sunday for Brunch from 10 am to 2 pm. Sorry, no reservations for the Sunday Brunch.
6. Lunchat Your Leisure
Lunch at the Roundhouse
Enjoy a leisurely lunch at the Sun Valley Club, surrounded by huge glass walls overlooking the Nordic trails meandering along Trail Creek Golf Course. The sliders are to-die for and the lunch menu has something for everybody. Looking for something a little more quaint, then don’t miss a European breakfast or indulgent lunch at Cristina’s Restaurant (of Cristina’s Cookbook series fame). This quaint little cottage in Ketchum beckons with old-world charm and offers a menu of delicious treats that changes daily.
And for that WOW factor, a gondola ride up the mountain for a full table lunch service at the Roundhouse can not be beat–just don’t miss drinks or fondue at Averell’s before you sit down (and enjoy the incredible views of town and the surrounding Pioneer Mountains)! Plan ahead (and get there early) as parties are seated on a first-come, first served basis; although large parties of 8 or more may make reservations by calling 208.622.2800.
More than 15 shops beckon in the Sun Valley Village
Over 15 unique shops offer everything from technical sportswear and footwear to the latest in designer styles, fine gifts, jewelry and home dcor. Designer lines include the latest from TSE, Juicy, Diane von Furstenberge, Velvet, Juicy, Kjus, Bogner, Toni Sailer, Ralph Lauren, Moncler, Arc’teryx, Lole, Nils, Patagonia, Burton and more. There is even a toy store for unique toys and gifts and Silver Creek Outfitters….so you can get something for everybody on your list.
For a more cultural experience, visit one of the amazing art galleries in town (the Sun Valley Gallery Association sponsors monthly gallery walk nights), featuring nationally and internationally recognized artists showing as part of a sophisticated and thriving arts scene–there is even the U.S. premiere of the Papunya Tula aboriginal artists from Australia this February at Harvey Art Projects in Ketchum.
8. Escape into the Solitude of Nature
Nordic and snowshoe trails offer beauty and solitude
Want to just get away from it all and enjoy the peace and quiet of a high alpine landscape beneath a blanket of freshly fallen snow? Head north out Trail Creek to the Sun Valley Nordic & Snowshoe Center, which is located in the glass-walled and river rock Sun Valley Club, nestled along the sprawling Trail Creek Golf Course. With over 40 km of trails groomed daily for skate and classic skiing, the trail system offers gently sloping terrain with challenging hills that offer incredible vistas without leaving you gasping for air. For a round up of other local snowshoe trails, from easy to insane, check out Sun Valley Magazine’s "Walking in a Winter Wonderland." Cap your afternoon adventure off with a hot toddy in the Sun Valley Club.
9. Dinner and a Movie
Treat yourself to a movie at the historic Opera House. Built in 1937 and located in the heart of Sun Valley Village, the Opera House is a charming 340-seat theatre that features the newest releases, along with regular showings of the classic "Sun Valley Serenade" (every afternoon at 4:30 and admittance is always free).Sun Valley restaurant guests can also enjoy a FREE movie after dining at the following Sun Valley restaurants: Bald Mountain Pizza, Trail Creek Cabin, The Ram and Gretchen’s. Movie passes will be available to each diner for a movie on the same evening. Please ask your server for more information. Ketchum’s Magic Lantern Cinema also offers current films nightly and matinees most days.
Comedy and live music are all part of the winter calendar
10. Ladies Night Out
Looking for a little more excitement. Start with some aprs ski fun by checking out Sun Valley’s Calendar of Events to see who is playing at the base lodges–both River Run and Warm Springs. There is often entertainment in the Sun Valley Village as well, with details on times and performers online–the Duchin Lounge has the best live jazz in town and the Boiler Room offers a comedy series and special appearances, along with the farewell season of Forever Plaid this year! There is also live music most nights somewhere in town and Whiskey Jacques has a full calendar with a great lineup and most shows with only a $5 to $12 cover.
Just remember that if you stay out too late…you may have to begin at the top of the list with #1 and start all over again.
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."
Skating in front of the Lodge at Sun Valley's famous Outdoor Ice Rink
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.
Learning to ski under Sun Valley's blue skies
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.
Sleigh ride to Trail Creek Cabin with Bald Mountain as backdrop
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.
Tubing at Dollar Mountain is fun for the whole family
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.