This is Utah! - Blog

Cold - Weather Family Activites


Bah humbug! It’s the winter doldrums and you’re feeling Scroogey about the indoors, the outdoors and everywhere in between. You’ve canceled all cold-weather appearances, have the kids counting coal pellets in the kitchen, and you’re even considering firing that nice, poor man who works for you.

But hark, and harumph no more! The ghost of winter present is here to point its fashionably gloved finger out of the drear and into the cheer, with five family-friendly, cold-weather activities that will leave you feeling warm where it counts -- in the once-miserly cockles of your heart.


f you want to look smart, stand close to a smart person and nod vigorously. If you want your kids to think you’re smart, let them loose in the Leonardo and nod in a corner. They won’t care; they’ll have forgotten all about you. With their new chosen family of biology PhDs and Wizards of Why, they’ll be so happy making a perpetual motion machine out of found objects that you’ll eventually have nothing to do but roam the exhibits raising some IQ of your own. Remember: the family that splits up stays together, and if that fails, there’s always work to do on the new Tesla coil.


If the world plummets into perpetual arctic winter, your kids will need to know how to get around. So slap some skis or snowshoes on the brats and show them how to survive like a real mountaineer: traversing miles of groomed, gently sloping tracks of Utah's nordic ski centers, or by walking straight up the side of a mountain. You’ll look stronger than you are and they’ll thank you for it later. And who knows? Once they get out of therapy and get a gun, they might even become a world-class biathlete.



Too icy to drag State Street? You’ve got options. Ditch your roadster for a snow-hog, cruise into Utah’s backcountry, flip a U-ey, turn up the bass, and do it again. Getting air off a sick jump beats hydraulics any day, and you’ll probably meet Mrs. Right on the third or fourth pass. Nervous to go from the streets to the peaks? Just hire a guide and hang out the passenger side.


You’re more of a “house” person yourself. An explorer of the Great Indoors. You rough it all the time -- in your daily exfoliation practice. But sometimes you wonder: Is there a Utah for you? You betcha! With its astonishing array of unrivaled resorts and spas, the Beehive State will dip you in wax, wrap you in seaweed, knead out your knots and settle you supine in a steam room, where you can raise a cucumber-infused glass and confirm that this is, indeed, the place.



"Hey, everybody, let’s hurtle down a steep, icy slope with nothing between us and calamity but a slick rubber balloon!” But seriously, folks, if you didn’t have a high-elevation death wish, you would have moved by now -- probably to some East Coast village where molehills are called mountains and everyone is bored in sweaters with weird collars. But you’re intermountain, and also fun, and also the cool mom, and that’s why we’ll see you on the slopes -- like, yesterday -- oiling up an old tire, reassuring the rugrats.


Sheepskin rug? Check. Fire-warmed, blanket-bundled brick? Check. Handwritten directions over the river and through the woods? Fuhgeddaboudit! It’s 2016, where we warm our hands against the weak light of our various apps. But if you do need to beat the cold 21st-century style, here are some acceptable ways to do so.
Buy an economy pack of hand warmers. Kids may hate bundling up, but they love pouches and chemistry.
Whip up a giant batch of hot chocolate and stash it in a thermos in your trunk. Remember: cold + kids + tired + sugar = happy parents.
Bring extra gloves, hats and socks for when Jimmy loses his beanie to a ravening wolf or Susan drops hers into a ravine on a north-facing cliff. You’ll look like Parent of the Year and you’ll come home with as many hands and feet as when you left.
Maybe this is “3.b.,” but always remember: HEAD-NECK-HANDS-FEET. Keep these warm and you’ll prevent 50% of your kids’ heat-loss and 78% of their whining.


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January 07, 2016

Utah Slope Series #2 - Summit County

This town has a lot going for it: classy restaurants, clean air, great hikingand biking in the summer and Robert Redford & friends doing their littleSundance in January…

But those are all just pleasant little extras thrown in. Park City’s raison d'être is snow. More specifically, moving people down gorgeous mountains on dry piles of perfect snow made from beautiful angels’ wonderful dandruff.

Skiers, boarders, cross-country skiers, even tubers* have everything they need for a day/week/second home in the mountains. Deer Valley’s known for its indulgence, and now that Canyons is part of Park City Mountain, you can ski your way from Red Pine Bowl to lunch on Main Street.

Plus, due to exacting municipal codes, even the 7-Elevens look like ski lodges. Which is neat.
Local Hint -
At Park City Mountain, hit King Con for groomers, Jupiter Lift for powder. AtDeer Valley, get to the top of Bald Mountain for powder and just about anywhere else for immaculate corduroy.
If you’re not careful, overdoing it on the slopes can seriously deplete your body’s salsa levels. Avoid disaster at El Chubasco. (You may need to box someone out for a table.) Come for the salsa bar, stay for the food and the salsa bar.
Every town has a film festival nowadays, but this one’s the granddaddy. Share Park City’s Main Street with the stars, settle in for a groundbreaking indie flick (or six), then ask the director the smarty-pants-iest question during the Q&A.

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December 30, 2015

Utah Slope Series #1 - Northern Slopes

People are lazy. And for Ogden-area skiers, that’s great news.

Lazy people ski where they are. Everyone living in or flying to SLC heads to the local resorts (~30 minutes). Or maybe they hump it over Parleys to Park City (~40).

Somehow the extra 20 minutes it takes to drive into the Great White North weeds out the masses, leaving the sloping drifts relatively untrammeled atSnowbasin, Powder Mountain, Beaver Mountain and Nordic Val— err, Wolf Mount— err, Nordic Valley. Sorry to ruin your secret, Weber County riders, but your mountains are just too good to keep to yourself.
Local Tip -
Powder Mountain never fakes it. Its snow is real, and it’s spectacular. Though it’s a little more work, they’d prefer that instead of “groomers,” you call them “I-can’t-believe-it’s-not-butters.


Eat spot-on family-friendly Tex-Mex at Carlos & Harley’s, a hyphen-heavy sports bar & grill in Eden, Utah. Everything tastes better in a building built in the 19th Century.

Ogden–northward has lots of great hotel options for skiers of any budget. If you hitchhiked from the airport, stay cheap and cozy. If skiing is the only time you're not carried around by servants, stay fancy. Whoever you are...

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December 30, 2015

Happy Holidays from

No matter how or what you celebrate, we wish you a happy holiday. May we all spend a little more time with the people we love in the world's sacred spaces, where all is calm & bright.

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December 23, 2015

What is Fodor's top pick for 2016?

What is Fodor's top pick for 2016? No, it's not Taipei, Cuba, Lithuania, or any other magical place you could think of abroad.

It. Is. UTAH. Really, it's no wonder. We literally have something for everyone. Hikers, skiers, families, and solo adventurers.

So what are you waiting for? Plan your trip to "THE place to get outdoors in 2016" at

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December 10, 2015