As temperatures drop, it’s time to craft your winter bucket list. Here are five ideas to consider.
Lone Mountain Ranch, Big Sky, MonT.
Just a stone’s throw from Yellowstone National Park’s northwest border, in the shadow of Lone Peak, you’ll find a cluster of hand-built cabins. Authentic and luxurious, the historic accommodations — tucked creekside, in the pine trees or in meadows — help visitors conjure the days when the property was a working cattle ranch, operating in untamed country. The region is home to stunning vistas and abundant wildlife including grizzlies, black bears, bison and wolves. In the company of guides or on their own, adventurers have the chance to explore the last best place via Nordic and downhill skis, snowshoes or snuggled up aboard a horse-drawn sleigh.
For more: www.LoneMountain Ranch.com
The National Park Inn, Mount Rainier National Park, Wash.
Leave your cares behind and immerse yourselves in the beauty of this majestic setting in National Park’s Longmire Historic District. Check in to one of 25 rooms in the two-story lodge. Relax in the lounge and sip hot cocoa near the massive stone fireplace while enjoying stories of the day and making plans for the next. Will you choose a guided snow walk? Snowboarding or tubing? Visit the general store, a circa 1911 log cabin, for access to cross-country and snowshoeing rentals and other goodies. Be sure to plan ahead for current weather conditions. In one winter, Mount Rainier experienced more than 1,000 inches of snow. For more: https://mtrainierguestservices.com/rain ier-activities
Washington Crossing Reenactment, Bucks Co.
George Washington’s daring 1776 Christmas Day crossing of the Delaware River and defeat of the opposing troops in Trenton, N.J., is considered an important turn of events in the Revolutionary War.
This scene is re-created twice during December, as thousands gather on the banks of the Delaware River to garner a glimpse of the past. Visitors observe as several hundred reenactors, in Continental military dress, listen as “General Washington” offers inspiring words before the actors row across the river in replica Durham boats. For more: https://www.washingtoncrossingpark.org/cross-with-us/
Ouray Ice Park, Ouray, Colo.
This small, southwestern Colorado mountain town, known for its picturesque jagged peaks, is home to one of the country’s premiere ice festivals held at a non-profit park that remains free and open to the public. Competitors of all levels, climbing companies and spectators gather for the event and the opportunity to demo the latest ice tools, apparel and gear. Family members can access dozens of interactive and educational climbing clinics throughout the festival. For many, the highlight is watching the world’s best ice and mixed climbing experts battle for the top prize. Ice Fest 2022 is Jan. 20-23.
For more: www.OurayIcePark.com, www.Colorado.com
Winter Carnival, St. Paul, Minn
Considered one of the oldest winter festivals in the U.S., this family-friendly event includes polar plunges, day and evening parades, ice horse racing, bobsledding and ice carving, as well as a liberal serving of lore. It’s said that a New York reporter once referred to St. Paul as “another Siberia, unfit for human habitation” in winter. In response, the Chamber of Commerce set out to prove there was good fun to be had during the frosty days of winter and the Carnival was born. That was in 1885. This year, the youngest generation and their families can join in for a giant puzzle contest, a special kids walk/run and a long list of other chilled thrills. Winter Carnival 2022 runs Jan. 28-Feb. 6. For more: www.wintercar nival.com
Lynn O’Rourke Hayes LOHayes.com is an author, family travel expert and explorer. Gather more travel intel on Twitter @lohayes, Facebook or FamilyTravel.com.
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