Tennis, anyone?

Though Sun Valley is deservedly famous for the adrenaline pumping adventures available in our own backyard (think mountain biking, white water rafting, hiking), we also excel at more mainstream sports like tennis.

Early fall is a perfect time to work on your game at the Sun Valley Tennis Center

Early fall is a perfect time to work on your game at the Sun Valley Tennis Center

In fact, the Sun Valley Resort boasts 17 courts, a fully-stocked Pro Shop, ball machine and the best coaches around. Private lessons and group clinics are available as well as the annual Nike Tennis Camps for adults and children that offer popular sessions every summer.

Last week, I booked a one-hour private lesson for my teenage daughter who was about to head ‘back east’ to school and had signed up to play recreational tennis. Having not picked up a racket in quite a while, it seemed an hour with a pro was the way to go.

Jeremy will help you book your lesson and equip you for optimal performance

Jeremy will help you book your lesson and equip you for optimal performance

We were welcomed at the quaint tennis center by Jeremy who you might recognize from his normal post in the Sun Valley Bowling and Game Room. During the Lodge’s amazing renovation, Jeremy has temporarily moved to the tennis pavilion, bringing his excellent customer service and charm with him.

Nate "the Great" reminded his student that tennis is a game and that games are fun!

Nate “the Great” reminded his student that tennis is a game and that games are fun!

Next up was an introduction to our pro, Nate, otherwise known as “Nate the Great.” With a hopper full of balls, Nate and my daughter claimed a court under the warm late summer sun. Starting with the basics, during the hour Nate fine-tuned her forehand, bettered her backhand, gave value to her volley and sliced up her serve. Though I wasn’t invited to be too close to the lesson, their laughter and smiles were visible all the way to the deck where I sat at a comfortable table beneath an umbrella and enjoyed the view.

Net net? Nate took my daughter from being lukewarm about the sport of tennis to becoming an enthused participant, eager to continue playing into the fall.

Whether you are a serious competitor or novice, it's advantage Sun Valley when it comes to tennis

Whether you are a serious competitor or novice, it’s advantage Sun Valley when it comes to tennis

The other athletes on the courts that afternoon seemed to be equally enjoying traversing the tramlines, chipping and charging or simply refining skills while enjoying a glorious afternoon. Whether you are a beginner or seasoned player, time spent on the Sun Valley courts is time well spent.

Come get outfitted at the Pro Shop steps from the Sun Valley Inn so you look the part of a tennis great

Come get outfitted at the Pro Shop steps from the Sun Valley Inn so you look the part of a tennis great

The courts, located just steps from the Sun Valley Inn and next to the Olympic pool, are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in season. For more information or to book a lesson call 208-622-2156 or email The beautiful early days of fall are tennis time so book your court or lesson today.

Advantage, Sun Valley!





Just plain fun at the playschool


Smaranda drives the Playschool attendees from activity to activity in this cute red wagon. If you see them, wave!

As any mother will know, family-vacations tailored to the under 5s are few and far between. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve tried to sign up Little Sun (4) for some sort of activity only to discover he was born a couple years too late.

While by definition a family-vacation involves lots of family-time, as many mothers will agree it’s also essential to get some time away from the little tykes.

It turns out there’s something pretty special in Sun Valley Resort that helps out with both these things: The Sun Valley Playschool. I know, sticking the kids in daycare while I go off to have fun in the sun is not going to win me any “mother of the year” awards, but this is not just a run-of-the-mill daycare. This is a bona-fide summer camp for ages 3 months to 5 years. On the day I took Little Sun and Baby Sun (18 months) along to try it out, I was so jealous of all the fun they had that I actually tagged along with them for most of it.

Smaranda, the playschool manager, welcomed us with open arms, quickly settling us down to some arts and crafts time in the newly remodeled building, just behind the Sun Valley Post Office. Little Sun was very proud of the paper sword Smaranda helped him create, while Baby Sun and I spent a good 10 minutes playing chase-the-baby-with-the-marker-before-she-destroys-the-brand-new-walls (not a highly recommended activity).

When all the day’s participants were assembled we were given our schedule: ice-skating lessons at 10am, tennis lessons at 11:30am, lunch and nap time, followed by swimming at the Olympic pool from 2:30pm. And this was just a Tuesday. On Monday throw in a gondola ride and a picnic on top of the mountain, Wednesday it’s horses and paddle boating, Thursday golf and hiking is on the menu, and Friday take a Hay Ride out for a BBQ at Trail Creek Cabin.

While Little Sun is a budding Andy Murray, ice-skating has not featured in his skill-set so far, but he was game – positively bursting with excitement as Smaranda and her crew buckled the class into the specially modified golf-cart/wagon playschool-mobile and whisked them off to the rink.

Here’s a sampling of his newly-learned skills on ice and some styling on the tennis court from his day with the playschool:

After a morning of lessons and a well-earned nap, it was out to the Olympic swimming pool, where a newly-installed splash park provides the perfect entertainment for those not quite ready for the Olympics.

Baby Sun inspects the Splash Pool

As I buckled Little Sun and Baby Sun into their car seats at the end of the day, the heavy eyelids and broad smiles on both their faces was testament to the fun they’d had. Next time Mr. Sun and I decide a hard days mountain biking is needed, we won’t have to feel guilty about taking the tots to playschool – as they’ll probably be having more fun than we are.

Happy Trails!

Mrs. Sun

Smaranda and her crew look forward to welcoming kids for a summer of fun in Sun Valley

The PlaySchool is open 7 days a week during the summer, 9am to 4pm. Call 208.622.2288. A full day of activities, including lunch, is $95. Or drop in for 2 hours ($38) or 4 hours ($73). A Young Summer Camp is on offer for ages 6 and older. Details are here. Both camps are open to the public.

Sun Valley Tennis Center – Adult Tennis Package June 25-28


Don’t miss out on this great opportunity at the Sun Valley Tennis Center to learn or or improve your tennis skills at Sun Valley Resort, June 25-28.
The package includes three hours of instruction per day for three days Friday, Saturday and Sunday and three night’s stay in the Sun Valley Inn, Lodge or Lodge Apartments.
Tennis & Room Package:
$570 per person/dbl occupancy plus tax
$840 per person/single occupancy plus tax
Extra nights- $80 each
For room reservations please call: 800-786-8259

Three Day Tennis Only rates: $350 for all three days.
Call the Tennis Center for Tennis only reservations: (208) 622-2156 or 622-2248

The Sun Valley Tennis Center offers a full pro-shop, 18 courts, ball machine and an excellent staff of tennis professionals headed by our Pro, Mark Frisby.