A ski getaway with dear friends or family is always a surefire recipe for memories you’ll savor for a lifetime. But when it happens over the holidays, there’s something even more special in the air. The inherent festiveness of a ski vacation at Deer Valley Resort is amplified when there’s a wreath on every lodge door, kids chatting about wish lists on the lift ride, and adults clinking champagne flutes over their holiday menus.
It’s enough to make each afternoon’s sunset sparkle a little more brightly.
Of course, holidays are the most popular time to enjoy an idyllic ski adventure with loved ones. Which means that a few pro tips are worth keeping in mind as you plan your most magical getaway of the year. Trust us, the right planning can take a holiday vacation from "wonderful" to “flawless.”
1. Consider a Package Deal
Of course, booking a package makes sense money-wise. But on top of that, there are several packages for dates other than the prime holiday bustle that happens during the week between Christmas and New Year’s. Deer Valley’s Early Season Value Package, Pre-Holiday Stay and Ski Package, Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend Package, and February Ski and Stay Package are all attractive times to come play—and you’ll find there’s a little more elbow-room than during the busiest Holiday weeks.
So plan ahead and work around the main rush, then use the money you saved to enjoy an extra night on the town or a family sleigh ride.
2. Reserve Meals and Activities in Advance
Clearly there’s a practical benefit to reserving a ski lesson or delicious meal ahead of time—but on top of that, you’ll have the chance to savor your plans for much longer if they’re dialed in well ahead.
Planning meals out, childcare, activities, and lessons as soon as you book lets you snag a time-slot with your favorite ski instructor (yes, the one who carries treats in her pocket for the kiddos) or a legendary seafood buffet with your honey. Planning details far ahead ensures smooth sailing once you arrive. It’s a recipe for proper relaxation.
3. Seek Out Something Special
Make your vacation a treasure hunt for things unique to the season. Many lodges around the resort offer fireplace s’mores on holiday-season evenings, and during December and New Year’s, every restaurant has its own take on festive dishes and desserts. It’s the perfect excuse to make the rounds and sample the holiday-inspired imaginings of each chef.
When later holidays come up (Presidents’ Day, we’re looking at you), the festive atmosphere takes a different shape. Skiers gather at "the beach" at Silver Lake, sipping beer in Adirondack chairs and welcoming the first signs of the impending springtime: long sunny afternoons.
4. Revel in the New and Old Traditions
Some things are predictable during holidays at Deer Valley, and they’re worth seeking out because they’re just right, every time.
At sundown on December 30, a torchlight parade illuminates the mountain with skiers winding their way down the snowy slope in formation, carrying lights for a brilliant effect. Onlookers can enjoy cider and cookies in Snow Park Lodge at the bottom, ooh-ing and ahh-ing at the dazzling display.
Naturally, Santa makes his rounds on Christmas Eve as well. He’s sure to be seen in the Snow Park and Silver Lake areas, dispensing treats and taking photos with children, and sometimes he even takes a ski break.
And to add a quiet reverence to a holiday weekend (well, quiet besides the clomping of ski boots on a wood floor), worshippers can ski to Sunset Cabin for a religious service. Jewish Shabbat service takes place on Fridays at 3 p.m.—affectionately known as "Ski Shul" by locals and regulars. And on Sundays at 2 p.m., the same cabin hosts a non-denominational Christian service.
These beloved services enhance the spiritual rejuvenation skiers enjoy in the mountain environment. Whether they’re singing Christian hymns or sharing a Jewish challah with fellow visitors, skiers find the Sunset Cabin services an extra-special flourish to a beautiful mountain holiday.
Originally written by RootsRated for Deer Valley.
Featured image provided by Deer Valley Resort