Winter Wonderland Fun
If snow-covered slopes are calling your name this season, these prime spots in North Carolina are winter wonderlands for families. Several resorts within a two-hour drive of the Triad offer a variety of winter activities for families, such as skiing, snowboarding, ice-skating, snow-shoeing and tubing. Please contact these locations or check out their websites for weather information, rates and childcare availability.
Appalachian Ski Mountain
940 Ski Mountain Road
appskimtn.com and appterrainpark.com
General Information: Slopes: 12. Base elevation: 3,635 feet. Vertical drop: 365 feet. Terrain: 25 percent beginner, 50 percent intermediate, 25 percent advanced. Lifts: 2 quad chairs, 1 double chair, 2 conveyors, 1 handlepull-tow.
App Terrain Park: Includes a network of 3 terrain parks, highlighted with over 60 rails, boxes, jibs, and jumps.
Ice-Skating Arena: 6,000-square-foot rink; $14 for a two-hour session (includes skate rental).
Children's Programs: Skiwee program is an instructional and play program for skiers ages 4-10 and snowboarders ages 7-12. Register at the French Swiss Ski College.
1007 Beech Mountain Parkway
General Information: Slopes: 16. Base elevation: 4,675 feet. Vertical drop: 830 feet. Skiable acres: 95. Terrain: 20 percent beginner, 50 percent intermediate, 30 percent advanced. Lifts: one high-speed quad chair, one fixed-grip quad chair, four double chairs, and one J-bar.
Ice-Skating Arena: 7,000-square-foot outdoor ice-skating rink; $16 per two-hour session (includes skate rental). Two terrain parks.
Children's Programs: Skiing lessons for ages 4-12. Snowboarding lessons for ages 8-12.
Snow play area: Located behind the View Haus.
Hawksnest Tubing and Zip Line
1058 Skyland Drive
Tubing: Recognized for being the largest snow tubing park on the East coast, with 20 snow tubing lanes (400 to 1,000 feet long), two conveyor lifts and lighting on all lanes. Sessions are 1 hour and 45 minutes. Children must be 3 years old to snow tube.
Zip Line: The longest zipline course on the East Coast with 19 cables, four of which are known in the industry as super or mega zips. For ages 5 and up. Operates year-round. Reservations required. Tours take about 1-1/2 to two hours to complete, and at least two zipliners are required for a tour.
Sugar Mountain Resort
1009 Sugar Mountain Drive
General Information: Slopes: 20. Base elevation: 4,100 feet. Vertical drop: 1,200 feet. Skiable acres: 115. Terrain: 40 percent beginner, 40 percent intermediate, 20 percent expert. Lifts: 1 triple chair, 4 double chairs, 2 conveyors. A terrain park is also available; contains jumps, hits, ramps, banks, jibs, rails, quarter pipe, and other constructed or natural terrain features.
Ice Skating: Over 10,000 square-foot outdoor ice skating rink offers six daily skate sessions. Each session is 1 hour and thirty minutes. Also offering lighted night session. Visit skisugar.com/skating for details.
Tubing: Multi-lane tubing park with a "Magic Carpet" lift. Sessions areone hour and 45 minutes. Lighted night sessions are also available. Visit skisugar.com/tubing for details.
Snowshoe guided tours: Can be a casual walk or an intense workout, depending on your needs. Each tour is an hour long and includes snow shoe rental. Children's tours are available for 8-11 year-olds.
Children's Programs: Sugar Bear Ski and Polar Bear Snowboard schools teach skiing to ages 5-10 and snowboarding to ages 7-14. Located in the Ski and Snowboard School Building. Also at any time, you might meet the Sugar Mountain mascot, Sugar Bear, in the lodge or out on the slopes. See skisugar.com/kids for other details.