A winter sports vacation is one the top choices among holidaymakers when planning a trip. The research, which was published by ABTA, showed that 1 million Brits alone had chosen a winter sports holiday. And although the figures are from 2013, the survey showed a definite climb in winter resorts, with skiing and snowboarding being the favored activities among young people.
However, winter resorts aren’t the only outdoor spaces you can take your family to this winter. And with such a variety to select from at home or abroad, there’s bound to be something that everyone will enjoy. So, if you want to give your kids a winter experience they’ll never forget, consider some of the following amazing outdoor places for your next winter vacation.
Outdoor Ice Skating Rinks
The United States has numerous top rated outdoor ice skating rinks; these centers can all provide a great outdoor experience for kids. Top ice rinks include the Rockville Town Square Outdoor ice skating Center, the Scaly Mountain Outdoor Center in North Carolina, the Rockefeller Ice Skating Centre and the Wollman rink in New York and the Sun Valley Ice Rink in Idaho. They all have winter programs available – check their websites nearer to the time.
Also, the above are all reasonably priced venues and special deals are often available. You'll find the run up to the festive season is an especially good time to visit because of the family-themed shows that are on. However, if the centers listed above aren’t close enough to you, then do some research – there’s sure to be suitable venue nearby.
If you want your children to develop a love for winter sports, then start them young. You’ll find no shortage of ski resorts in the States or Canada, and there’s plenty more on offer besides skiing. Well rated resorts include:
Beaver Creek – the Colorado-based ski resort gets excellent reviews, and it welcomes children, too. There are events all year round, but the winter schedule is packed full of outdoor activities such as snowshoeing and snowboarding. There’s also a Winterfest and Presentfest especially for the kids.
Sun Peaks Canada – For a winter holiday with a difference, why not head to the Sun Peaks resort in Canada? Highlights include their snow mobile tours, an outdoor ice rink, and even a bungee trampoline. The whole family will also find plenty to do away from the slopes.
However, if you feel like going further afield, Switzerland, Austria, France, and Italy are famed for their outdoor skiing. Or if you are looking for an affordable vacation, then consider somewhere a little more unusual. For example, Slovenia, Bulgaria, and Russia have gained a reputation for their affordable skiing vacations.
Head For The National Parks
The U.S. has a vast number of National Parks - and they don’t close for the winter. These parks are often favored by families because of their guided walks and trails, and you’ll often find lodging on site. Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon and the Joshua Tree are among the United States most famous National Parks. Each of these Parks have a busy winter schedule and activities include wildlife watching and Winter Wolves.
Planning Your Visit
Here are some pointers for planning your visit:
- If you’re trying a winter sport/activity that carries a risk of injury, check that your insurance policy will cover you and your family, especially if you’re heading overseas.
- Dress for warmth. A layering system will work equally well for both children and adults to keep the winter chills at bay. And don’t forget hats, gloves, scarves and thick, warm socks.
- Ask the venue if they have a checklist so you can make sure you have everything needed, Alternatively, look on the website.
- For winter sports, see if ski, ski boots, and ice skate rental is available prior to your visit.
- Check closing, traveling and opening times as well as parking and travel options.
The winter time offers an ideal opportunity to get the kids outdoors and involved in a new activity. Ice skating, skiing, and snowboarding are just some of the activities they can join in, and who knows, they might just develop a lifelong passion for the sport! And don’t worry about the cold weather. Children are known for their resilience and provided they are dressed appropriately, they’ll be ready for all manner of winter fun.
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