Have You Ever Tried Snowboarding?

The long, cold winter months can make it hard to keep your family active and entertained. It’s all too easy to let kids while away the hours in front of the television or video game console when their warm-weather outdoor activities aren’t available. A vacation to the beach or somewhere else warm certainly has its appeals, but that can mean a long, expensive trip just to sit on a crowded patch of sand.

Why not try something different this winter? If you’re willing to embrace the cold and explore your winter sport options, you just may discover your family’s new favorite pastime.

A vacation to the mountains in winter offers countless opportunities for fun, entertainment and exercise. The most popular endeavors, of course, are skiing and snowboarding. A day on the slopes is about as great as it gets; the wind in your hair as you glide over the straight-aways, the crunch of snow under your boots as you carve down the bumpy runs, the mountain sun on your face and the breathtaking valley vistas at your feet come together to make a day you won’t soon forget. A drink at the base and a soak in your hotel’s hot tub is the perfect end cap in the evening, easing tired muscles so you can relax and rest – and do it all again in the morning.

If you’ve never skied or snowboarded before, don’t fret: most ski resorts offer combination lessons and equipment rental at reasonable rates, so you can try it out without emptying your wallet. Some communities even offer a free child’s lift ticket with the purchase of an adult’s, so be sure to ask about the current deals if you’re taking the whole family.

An athletic day on the slopes isn’t all the snow-covered mountains have to offer, however. When you’re looking for something a bit lower-energy, mountain communities offer a wealth of nature and history for you to enjoy. A hot-air balloon ride to awe at the magnificent alpine panoramas, a tour on horseback of an Old West ranch, and an afternoon luxuriating in natural hot springs (complete with waterslides, in some cases) are just a few of the opportunities awaiting you and your family once you reach altitude.

So pack your coat and boots – and your SPF and swimsuit – and bring your family to the mountains next winter for a vacation that will leave you wishing it snowed all year long.

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