Monthly Archives: May 2015

Summer Fun At Utah Ski Resorts

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Jeska is a twenty something mother of one tiny human, lover of hawaii, a tad bit of a runner, one with the ocean, and last but not least a hopeless wanderer.
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The lifts have stopped spinning and the season’s melting snow is filling countless small streams. Soon, Utah’s mountainous ski resorts will pop with wildflowers, offering a scenic escape from the heat in the valleys.

Ski-town locals know resorts are a great place in both winter and summer. The high elevation and rugged terrain combine to provide not only great skiing, but lots of summer activities as well.

We researched summer activities and events at Utah’s ski areas and found so much it wouldn’t all fit in this post. However, I’m going to try to share as much as I can! If you’re ready to summer like a ski-town local, keep reading.

First of all, the resorts normally close during the early snowmelt, we sometimes call this the shoulder, or mud season, so make sure to check summer opening days before making plans:

Utah Ski Resort Summer Opening Days


July 1 – Sept. 13

Beaver Mountain

May – October

Brian Head

June 26 – September 7


Closed for Summer


June 18-TDB

Cherry Peak

Closed for summer

Deer Valley

June 19 – Sept. 7 (Sept. 12-13 & Sept. 19-20)

Eagle Point

June 26 – Sept. 7

Nordic Valley

Closed for Summer


May 22 – TBD

Powder Mountain


Snowbasin Resort

June 13 – Sept. 27 (Open Weekends)


June 13 – Oct. 11

Solitude Resort

June 15 – Sept. 7


May 15 – Sept. 7

Now let’s talk about all the fun you can have and how to pick the best resort for your vacation. First, have a look at the events calendar for each destination. You may see something you know you simply cannot miss. Next, look at the activities to decide what fits your vacation style.

For example, if you have children, you may want to pick a resort offering child-centric fun. From zip-lines to roller coasters, you’ll have some a lot to select from. If a romantic getaway, or even a destination wedding, is more your style, check out the fine dinning and spa packages offered at several properties. Suffice to say, there is something for most everyone.

Here are summer highlights at Utah’s ski resorts:

Ski Utah Summer Activities 2015

Alta Ski Area

Alta Ski Area includes the Albion Basin, a prime wildflower hotspot in the Wasatch Range. Visit during July and August for the best display. Cecret Lake is tucked into the base of the mountains and makes a perfect picnic destination.

Alta Lodge

Alta Lodge opens for summer season on May 31 with Sunday Brunch. The brunch is a favorite for many locals and features a rich variety of entrées, salads, baked goods and desserts, as well as made to order Belgian waffles and Eggs Benedict. Brunch is served from 9:30 am to 2 pm. Prices are $24.95 for adults, $13.95 for kids ages 7-12 and $6.95 for those under age 6. Beer, wine, and cocktails are served beginning at 11:30 am. Saturday lunch begins on June 20 and is served from 11 am to 2 pm.

Alta Lodge is open seven days a week during the summer season from June through mid-October, for weddings, conferences, retreats, private parties, and individual lodging. Continental breakfast is included with overnight lodging.

Beaver Mountain


Mark you calendars for the multi-day Beaver Mountain Music Festival featuring up and coming bands, kids activities, and venders, August 21st through the 23rd. Beaver Mountain also offers tent and RV sites, plus lodge and yurt rentals for larger events.

Summer is almost here, and the warm weather doesn’t mean high altitude excitement stops. Rock your world this summer at Southern Utah’s Premiere Mountain Destination, Brian Head Resort. Entertain your inner adrenaline junkie with our zipline and bungee trampoline. If that is not enough give base-jumping a try with our 50’ x 50’ airbag. If you are up for a physical challenge, spend the day at the climbing wall and then ride your cares away at our alpine tubing attractions at the base of the Giant Steps Lodge.

If you want to raise your game, ride the Giant Steps Express or Navajo chair lift 4 into improved mountain bike trails, disc golf, scenic hiking and lift rides. Summer lift operations run from June 26 – September 7 Friday-Sunday 10 am – 6 pm for Giant Steps and 10 am – 4:30 pm for Navajo. For the water enthusiast, look no further than the Brian Head Pond for fishing and other water activities.


Canyons is one of the country’s largest four season destination resorts offers you an expansive variety of summer adventures and events. In addition to fresh mountain air, Canyons provides luxury accommodations, gourmet dining, scenic gondola rides, breath-taking hikes, expansive array of mountain bike trails and instruction, plus live music concerts.

From zip-lines to golf, Canyons has something for the whole family in summer.

Deer Valley

Deer Valley Resort is filled with nonstop activity such as lift-served mountain biking, hiking and scenic chairlift rides, Summer Adventure Camp for children and music-filled evenings at the Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater. The resort offers award-winning cuisine served on the outdoor decks of Royal Street Café and Deer Valley Grocery~Café, or enjoy Deer Valley-inspired brick oven cuisine at their newest restaurant, The Brass Tag. Grab a custom Gourmet Picnic Baskets or Bags for one of the many evening concerts and don’t miss the Silver Lake Snack Shack for a quick bite on the hill.

Deer Valley’s Summer Adventure Camp for children 2-months to 12 years-of-age is based out of the Children’s Center at Snow Park Lodge surrounded by incredible mountains with hiking trails, hillside playgrounds, and duck ponds. The center has built-in nooks for entertainment and performances, a bouldering rock climbing wall and a full supply of craft projects, games, puzzles, videos and books to complement our outdoor activities. Summer Adventure Camp is open June 8 through August 19, 2015. Camp will not be held Friday, July 3 and July 24, 2015.

Eagle Point

Eagle Point is an authentic mountain getaway especially for guests living in the surrounding desert heat of Las Vegas, Arizona, southern Utah and southern California. Plan your next summer time event at Eagle Point Resort. Weddings, reunions, team-building events or even a romantic getaway are some of the many occasions to spend at this beautiful location.

Here are some of the many activities at Eagle Point Resort:

  • 12,000 square foot Canyonside Lodge with restaurant, bar and lounge facilities
  • The village of Eagle Point, over 120 condos and cabins with many affordable rental options
  • Mountain Biking
  • Hiking
  • Fishing
  • Paintball
  • Disc golf
  • Horseback riding
  • The Paiute ATV Trail System
  • Day trip to Zion National Park
  • Day trip to Bryce Canyon National Park

Park City Mountain Resort

Park City Mountain Resort’s Alpine Slide is one of the longest slides in the world, with over 3,000 feet of gliding and sliding down a luge-like track. The slide is only one of many activities offered at PCMR, you can also hike or bike the resorts many trails, zip-line, and too much more to list. Check out their site for a list of all the activities offered.

Snowbasin Resort

Snowbasin Resort will be open for operations Saturdays and Sundays throughout the summer staring June 13th. Enjoy scenic Gondola Rides to Needles Lodge, mountain bike and hike on 26 miles of trails, go on one of the free Saturday guided tours, play some Frisbee Golf on the 9-hole course, enjoy Sunday brunch at the top of the gondola, explore your cravings at a themed mountain top dinner, or come to a free outdoor concert series starting Jun 14th in the beautiful high alpine environment. They also have family oriented activities this summer including a playground, a euro bungee, and new climbing wall for the kids.

Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort

Snowbird invested heavily in their summer offerings including mountain bike trails, Alpine Slide, Mountain Coaster, ropes course, and much more. Additionally they feature barrier free trails and a partnership with Wasatch Adaptive Sports to offer:

  • Nature hikes
  • Fishing
  • Adaptive Mountain & Road Biking
  • Snowbird activities including Tram rides, bungee trampoline and alpine slide
  • Mine and Water Tunnel Tours
  • GPS/Orienteering classes
  • Boundless playground
  • Bowling

Solitude Resort


This year, summer at Solitude includes mountain biking, hiking, trail running, and lots of special events including the Vigor Half Marathon and Trail Run Series and Midweek  Mountain Bike Series. In August, Utah’s premiere culinary event, Taste of the Wasatch, will feature food tastings presented by chefs from over 50 top Utah restaurants and resorts.

Sundance Mountain Resort


Summer at Sundance includes adventure, culture, and romance. Take a nearly 2-mile long scenic zip-line tour, and then finish the evening with a mountaintop gourmet dinner at the Bearclaw Supper Club or a full-moon lift ride (offered monthly during the…you guessed it…full moon.) Wow, it sounds like a great date night! Also check out their concert and theater schedule.

Now that you know about all the fun to be had at Utah’s ski resorts in the summer, the next question is where to start. What sounds like the most fun to you? Personally, I like a high picnic spot or outdoor dining. If there is yummy food with a view, look for me, Erika Wiggins, Ski Utah Travel Blogger. In the meantime follow me on instagram and twitter at @Active_Explorer.

Ski Utah is a membership association representing Utah’s $1.3 billion dollar wintersports industry, including 14 alpine ski resorts and a membership of over 250 industry partners. The organization has been creating brand awareness of and demand for the Utah wintersports product since its inception in 1978. Ski Utah’s primary functions are concentrated in marketing, public policy and public relations. Information about Ski Utah and its members can be found at, on Twitter @SkiUtah and on Facebook at

Off Season Travel Spots

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Jeska is a twenty something mother of one tiny human, lover of hawaii, a tad bit of a runner, one with the ocean, and last but not least a hopeless wanderer.
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off season travel spots

9 Best Vacation Souvenirs for Families

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Jeska is a twenty something mother of one tiny human, lover of hawaii, a tad bit of a runner, one with the ocean, and last but not least a hopeless wanderer.
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There are plenty of factory tours with interactive experiences for kids (and kids at heart), but the best of them include handmade souvenirs to take home. Let your family enjoy one of these take-home experiences, from creating candy bars to making candles.
Jewelry – Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, N.Y.
A museum devoted to glass might seem an unlikely destination for a family outing. But at the Corning Museum of Glass, a kid-friendly venue situated in the heart of the Finger Lakes, kids and their adult chaperones can watch a hot glass show, learn about science in hands-on exhibits, and make their own artistic glass creations in an in-house studio. Project choices include glass beads or pendants (ages 10 and up), picture frames, mirrors, clocks, nightlights and sun catchers (ages 4 and up), sculptures and ornaments (all ages.)

The Turkey Hill Experience in Pennsylvania.

Turkey Hill Experience Taste Lab, Columbia, Pa.
Create your own ice cream flavor, add embellishments, and then try it out in the Taste Lab at the Turkey Hill Experience, just outside of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Available as an add-on to the traditional ticketed ice cream production tour, a visit to the Turkey Hill Taste Lab takes around 40 minutes and includes an Ice Cream 101 lesson and a pint of your personally designed flavor.

Lake Champlain Chocolates in Burlington, Vermont.

Chocolate – Lake Champlain Chocolates, Burlington, Vt.
Just a stone’s throw from the famed Ben & Jerry’s Factory, you can gain inspiration on a cocoa-rich Lake Champlain Chocolates factory tour, then step next door to a hands-on kitchen where you can design your own chocolate bars to take home. Chocolate Bar Making classes at Lake Champlain Chocolates affiliate, South End Kitchen, are $5 per person and are open to children ages 6 and up (children under 9 must be accompanied by a parent.) Participants learn how to temper, mold and hand-wrap their specialty creation. Each apprentice goes home with four full-size candy bars.

Farris and Foster's Famous Chocolate Factory in Orlando.

Chocolate – Farris and Foster’s Famous Chocolate Factory, Orlando, Fla.
After touring Orlando’s theme parks, take a sweet detour to Baldwin Park, just east of downtown Orlando, where you and the kids can become chocolatiers for the night. Ninety-minute Family Night sessions at Farris and Foster’s Famous Chocolate Factory are held on Mondays at 5 and 7 p.m. For $29, four people can create a pound of hand-made chocolate, including clusters, truffles, chocolate-covered treats and molded chocolates. Participants get to take a turn manning the conveyor belt, as well as sample shop specialties like chocolate-covered bacon and chocolate covered-potato chips. The cost for additional family members is $5 per person. Farris & Foster’s also offers 45-minute Kids Kitchen classes on Wednesdays in the summer.

The Kazoo Factory in Beaufort, S.C.

Kazoo – The Kazoo Factory, Beaufort, S.C.
If your family travels take you to North Carolina, be sure to make a stop in Beaufort, where you and the kids can take a factory tour, create your own kazoos, then play them in an impromptu family concert at The Kazoo Factory. Forty-five- to 60-minute guided factory tours ($5 per person, children under 3 free) are available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and culminate in a visit to a make-your-own-kazoo station, where you can choose from 14 colorful body styles. Afterwards, pay a visit to the onsite gift shop.

The Yankee Candle Village in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Candles – Yankee Candle Village, Deerfield, Mass. or Williamsburg, Va.
It’s not a factory tour, but after you’ve sampled the homemade fudge, dips and gourmet popcorn, taken a stroll through the Bavarian Holiday Park, enjoyed regular sprinklings of “snow,” and been entertained by an animatronic jug band, you’ll see why Yankee Candle Village is a favorite family tourist attraction. In the Wax Works workshop, amateur artists can create their own jar candle, wax hand, candle critter or taper candle. Project prices range from $2 to $36, depending upon size and selection.

It’s Christmas year-round at Yankee Candle Village, but holidays like Valentine’s Day and Easter are celebrated, too, with special character appearances and fun family-oriented events, like kids’ cooking classes, carnivals, Mad Science activities and cupcake decorating.

The Muppet What-Not Workshop at FAO Schwarz in New York City.

Muppet – FAO Schwarz, New York City
Toys ‘R Us acquired the FAO Schwarz toy store chain in 2009, but fortunately for faithful fans, the flagship Fifth Avenue FAO Schwarz location in New York City has retained its original branding and signature look, from a playable BIG floor piano to an amazing selection of over-the-top toys, “schweetz,” large-scale LEGO figures and super-sized stuffed animals. Also unique to the Midtown store is an onsite Muppet What-Not Workshop, where visitors can design a custom Muppets, then watch it being made by an in-house apprentice. Prices start at $99.

The Vermont Teddy Bear Company in Shelburne, Vermont.

Teddy Bear – Vermont Teddy Bear Company, Shelburne, Vt.
Sure, you can take a trip to your local mall if your kids want to build their own bear, but if you want to combine nostalgia with an interactive take-away experience, plan a trip to the Vermont Teddy Bear Company. See how signature Vermont teddy bears are made from start to finish, pay a visit to the Bear Hospital — where injured bears are repaired free of charge — and then step into the Bear Shop (additional charge applies), where you can watch your own Vermont Teddy Bear being made before dressing him or her and even adding custom embroidery.

Crayola Experience in Easton, Pa.

Crayons – Crayola Experience, Easton, Pa.
Kids will have a ball making crayon critters, creating custom markers, puzzles and other super artsy souvenirs at Crayola Experience in Easton, Pennsylvania. Plan on spending several hours at the sprawling family-friendly attraction, which features multiple hands-on activity areas plus a Water Works, Toddler Corner and jungle gym play area.