Even after traveling all over the world and living abroad in foreign lands, one of my very favorite places to visit is less than a three hour drive from our home: the fabulous Sun Valley, Idaho.
Known as a place where the stars have massive second, third or fourth homes, we definitely don’t visit in anticipation of catching a glimpse of a celebrity. Instead, we go because of the beautiful scenery, laid back atmosphere and laundry list of fun things to do. In the winter, world class skiing, ice skating, sledding and relaxing at the Sun Valley Lodge’s hot, round pool tops the list and in the summer, the hiking trails, biking and shopping are all second to none.
This past weekend we drove to Sun Valley for the 2nd Annual Winter Wonderland Festival. Touted as a winter wonderland kick-off and a classic Christmas stroll, the FREE event did not disappoint. With a gingerbread man cookie decorating workshop in the Boiler Room, photos with Santa, a scavenger hunt window stroll, kiddie train rides and food cart offerings including decadent warmed nuts, caramel apples and amazing hot cocoa, everyone was happy and in the holiday spirit. Couple that with amazing accommodations and service at the Sun Valley Lodge and add-on our favorite Sun Valley winter activities of skiing, sledding and ice skating and we had a w
eekend everyone in our family will remember for years to come.
In one weekend, we built so many memories. Our two-and-a-half-year-old skied and ice skated for the first time. Our four-year-old dusted off the skiing cobwebs from last year and also ice skated for the first time. We were able to share a lodge apartment with some good friends and the kids from both families played together around the clock anytime we weren’t out doing other fun activities.
The weekend was so marvelous, my four-year-old summarized all of our feelings about leaving as we buckled ourselves into the car to return home when she started crying and saying repeatedly, “I don’t want to leave Sun Valley.” All we could respond with was, “Sweetie, we understand. We don’t either.”
We’re sure to return next year for the 3rd Annual Winter Wonderland Festival.