By Mountain Mama \ January 9 2013
Sundance is one of those resorts that as you drive up, you breath easier. I love it in winter and summer! It is only 40 minutes away and feels like hours. It truly is a year round resort because there are activities for everyone in every season. From skiing in the winter to hiking and horseback riding in the summer. There is the nordic center where you can snowshoe/cross country ski or go night owling! Yes, I said night owling to hear the owls while out on your snowshoes. This is on my list this winter...that blog to come at a later date. Sundance does outdoor night activities like no other. I guess the location tucked back in the canyon allows for all the city noise/lights to be completely shielded.
The kids and I went during the week so it was quiet. A new lift has gone in at the upper parking lot which makes it so convienent to hop on right out of your car and up you go. Since we were doing several activites, we parked in the lower parking lot. Sundance has such a wonderful story and what makes and keeps it so pristine starts with Robert Redford. Yes, this is where all the Sundance Film Festival hoopla started, but the main festival is held in Park City. What many don't know is this is still the place where creativity is born every year. So, mabye you're looking for other activities when having some down time, check out the calendar; there may be something for you!
Once we arrived, I immediately slowed...it's a place that does that. We geared up and headed straight to the top of the mountain. Wow! The view is so stunning. It is the first time I've been up there with both kids. In fact, this is the first time Brennan has skied here at all. There are some chairs to relax outside the Bearclaw before you head down. As you head up the lift, don't be scared of all the big black bowls you see...no, you don't need to take that way down if you're not ready! My kids had a little anxiety until I told them there are blues to ski off the top. Whew.... After taking a million pictures and hearing "Mom, can we ski now!" we headed down. I've included a video..again, the kids are a speck as they head down doing about 30 mph while I toodle down.
One bit of advice, make sure they know which way to go. Bren decided he was going a different way which led to a bit of a panic. From the top you can actually ski Bear Claw run to Roundup to Stampede all the way to the bottom. The first pitch on a blue is a little steep and then it gets more gentle, so if your kids are pretty good skiers, they can do it! It is my favorite run. Stampede is an awesome wide green run for those learning and you can just take Rays Lift 1/2 way up and get off. we did this several time because the kids saw the Outlaw Trail and that was the end for us! It is a cute trail that goes past little wooden cutouts of some through of little "cabins, post office...". Designed for the little guys and my kids loved it! One more fun tip which we've started doing is to collect trail maps and mark on them the trails you skied that day!
Once done skiing, time to eat. I'm no foodie, but I know yummy food when I eat it. We ate at the Foundry Grill and they have great kids meals at a great price. It is rustic, there is a lovely fire going and it is low key and kid friendly. You know there are restaurants you feel on edge if the kids are noisy? This is not one of them. They also do a lovely brunch which is very popular! On the way in/out you must walk through the general store and get some candy...it's sometimes about bribing the kids and we walked out will the biggest sucker and candy cane ever!
Now for the creative part of the day. We've skied, our tummies are full and time to settle down and use our artsy side! This is one of my favorite things and I don't even do it, the kids do! The Art Shack! Last year, Brennan and I did a story for KSL about the kids activities at Sundance. Yes, at 4 years old he went to the Sundance Spa! They have a kids menu! When Mom is doing her thing, kids can get their feet/mani/pedi done. Only at Sundance... You must check the video of Bren with tea bags on his eys!
OK, so back to our Art Shack experience. Bren did the printmaking before, but Emily didn't so we signed up for that! You can do 2 hour classes all day if you want...from beading to pottery to printmaking to drawing and they are all kid friendly! We had about 6 kids in our class and in typical Sundance style, the room was cozy with fire burning and yep, the kids sat in their long underwear doing their art! Linda explained to the kids about what monotypes were and gave them their paints/tools and let them go to it. I love that she doesn't do it for them, it is their project to make a mess, create and put roll through the rollers and see the result. She assists, not "tells" them the right way. I'm about as artistic as a stump, so I loved all the different creations. There were 2 sisters in the class who have been coming for years from the East Coast on their family vacation and love doing the classes year after year! After 2 hours and about 4 creations, we packed up and headed home. What was great is my kids had slowed down as well. They felt that wonderful Sundance "spirit" and were calm and content!
My advice, even if you don't ski, you must put Sundance on your bucket list! I've even enclosed some of our hiking pictures from summer! It's worth it!
2 notes: A storm is hitting Utah the next couple days with more feet of snow!
Emily is joining a ski team!!! We are finally getting rid of the pink coat/pants (sorry). Check out Ski' N See for deals as we do in our reoutfitting process!
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