Introducing your kids to skiing could be the beginning of a life-long love affair with a sport that’s accessible for all levels and all ages. And it’s a great way to be active and explore our state as a family! But if you’re reading this, you already know that…
What you might not know about is all the activities available OFF the mountain for little snow bunnies who still have energy at the end of the day. You can all sleep next week! Read on:
Snow tubing is a great way to give your legs a rest and connect with your real child AND your inner child as you careen down the 4-lane Tubing Hill at the Angel Fire Resort. There’s also a more budget-friendly kids’ Sledding Hill at the Nordic Center that’s perfect for all sizes. On Fridays and Saturday at 4:00, fuel up at the S’mores and Hot Chocolate Bar on the Zia Bar Deck. And then, if you get a second (or third) wind, Angel Fire offers the only night skiing and snowboarding in New Mexico.
Speaking of chilling under the twinkling stars, if you are looking for a magical way to end your day at Pajarito, head over to Los Alamos to the only NHL regulation outdoor ice rink in New Mexico. The rink offers public skating, hockey and skating lessons from mid-November through February.
For kids over 42” tall, Red River Ski Resort offers 1-hr tubing sessions through mid-March. And every Saturday, you can come for the skiing and stay for the torch light and fireworks show. Watching the Red River team members serpentine with torches down the frosty mountain in beautiful unison is just the beginning of a spectacular evening. Bundling up and sipping hot chocolate while you watch the skies light up with brilliant fireworks is sure to be a highlight of your vacation.
There are two ways to get to Sandia Peak—You can drive around the east side of the mountain and take the lift up from the bottom for your first run, or you can take the tram up on the west side, and it’s all downhill from there. But even when the resort isn’t open, there are several ways to enjoy the snow and the views from the top. If there is snow, break out your snow shoes and hike north along the rim to the “Kiwanis Cabin” and then a little farther to the Sandia Crest House gift shop and snack bar. Thursday through Sunday, enjoy a breathtaking dining experience at the brand new Ten 3 restaurant right at the top of the tram.
At Sipapu, the weekend of February 25-27 was designed for kids! Bring the whole family up for the FREE February Fun Fest that includes a giant snow castle, a mountain-wide scavenger hunt, a costume contest and more fun than you can shake a ski pole at. And as always, kids under 12 ski for free, so load ‘em up.
To mix things up at Ski Apache, head over to Ruidoso Winter Park where kids over 46” tall can take a Magic Carpet conveyor belt ride up the hill with their tubes and race their friends down! There’s a Kidz Korral for smaller kiddos and hot chocolate and snacks for all at the VIP Igloo.
For an off-mountain experience unlike any other, enter a fantastic realm of stories and exploration at Meow Wolf, House of Eternal Return. Show the kids a one-of-a-kind universe, and go on a journey through multiple dimensions through magical portals, secret passageways, and a pure expression of human imagination. You might want to put a tracking device on them, or you may never get them out!
There is a place in Taos where the mountain towers more than 9,000 feet above you, and the Rio Grand flows 800 feet below you. After a half day of skiing, take a short drive to the Rio Grand Gorge Bridge (the second highest on the U.S. Highway System) for spectacular views and maybe even a glimpse of bighorn sheep. Proceed across the bridge for another 1.5 miles, and you will encounter the Earthship Biotecture, a fascinating community of off-the-grid and self-sufficient homes made out of primarily natural and recycled materials like earth-rammed tires, cans, and bottles. Your little junk collector’s eyes will pop right out of his head!
Activities aside, however, the best part about a ski vacation with your kids is the time you get to spend together. Have meaningful conversations on a long lift ride, teach them how to roast the perfect marshmallow over the firepit, and recap everyone’s favorite moment of the day as you drive down the mountain…Those are the moments they’ll remember forever.