Family Ski Trip to Park City Mountain Resort
Family Travel Editor Sarah Durand was an avid skier…before kids. Since then, she has managed to squeeze the slopes trips in between pregnancies and during school vacations. She travelled to Park City, Utah with her husband and three kids, ages 7, (almost) 5 and 13 months. This trip was planned and paid for by Park City Mountain Resort.
The trouble with ski vacations is that you can't plan your weather. But, despite four days of nonstop snowfall, our trip to Park City was a wonderful family vacation packed with memory-making adventures.
One reason to choose Park City Mountain Resort as your skiing destination is proximity to Salt Lake City, so getting there should be easy; but getting anywhere with suitcases, ski gear and three kids in tow is anything but! We had a rental car, but using a van service into the resort might have been quicker than waiting in the rental car line. And, with a free city shuttle running around town every 20 minutes (plus many condo complexes running their own shuttles), there's little need for a car once you get there.Lodging in Luxury
After a late flight, the long rental car line, and the 35-minute drive to Park City, we checked into our condo at Silver Star, managed by Resorts West. The unit was three levels of luxury with all possible amenities (the kids loved the hot tub on our porch!).
For families, renting a condo is the best lodging option on a ski trip. The kitchen is key - you can have breakfast at home and make it to the slopes at a decent hour. We also made dinner there one night when the kids were exhausted after skiing. This property boasts a ski in/ski out option that's great, but with small children, it's not a necessity. If your kids are beginners, they may not be able to tackle the terrain to get to and from your condo. And, if they are in ski school, you need to check them in at the base of the resort, so you'll have to ride the bus or drive anyway.Santa Claus is Coming to Town
That night we witnessed what I can only describe as a "magical" event: Santa Claus arrived in town via the Town ski lift. This family event is orchestrated by Park City Mountain Resort each year in December, and is complete with free hot cocoa and cookies, a live storytelling of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" (complete with a creepy, green-faced Grinch), and lots of excited kids.
Santa descended from the top of the mountain on a chair lift that was cleverly lit up to look like a sleigh. He was greeted Elvis-style by hordes of screaming children, and escorted to his post like a rock star (seriously, kids were reaching out to touch the edge of his velvet robes)! My kids perched on a small snowhill, their jaws hanging open in amazement, because it really, truly did look like the real Santa walking right past them. Magical, indeed.Dinners Fit for a Kid
Dinner at Butcher's Chop House afterward was less magical. The food was decent, but prices were high and the ambience was a bit fancy for our crew. It was tough to find restaurants catering to the needs of families with small kids in the historic Main Street area, which is perhaps better suited to the Sundance crowd.