Don’t get me wrong I’m not against downhill skiing. Honestly, I’ve never tried it. I grew up cross country skiing in Minnesota- but never made the leap to the slopes. So let’s get real…. there was absolutely NO way my first time struggling downhill would be in Park City of all places. People who ski Park City are serious, and I’m just not there yet.
Bunny slopes aside, I knew we would need some cold winter air to recharge us in between Sundance screenings.
Insert our how to not ski Park City plans.
Step 1: Pretend to be Queen Elsa inside the Ice Castles
You can thank Instagram for this idea- after seeing one of my cousins post surreal pics from the Ice Castles in Minnesota- I was SOLD! Since the Utah Ice Castles were about 30 minutes outside of town, we did have to call an Uber for this adventure. But for less than $15 per person we ended up spending almost two hours walking around in awe. We were floored the second we ducked our heads through the icy tunnel to enter the castle walls. (Scrap any images of ice blocks typical castle design, instead picture natural ice formations creating a frozen courtyard) Once we got to the opening, we were surrounded by walls of glowing ice of all colors. Both Lance and I were star struck over the ice formations, they really looked like massive icicles everywhere we looked. There were even frozen ice tunnels lite up in rainbow colors that you could slide down on slick mats. When I say this place was fit for an ice queen, I really mean it. Our only wish was to freeze time so we could have enjoyed it for even longer. Check out Ice Castles near you before they melt away. (there are are six locations 2020 locations around North America)
Step 2: Race Downhill on Tubes
Lance might have just turned 30, but that certainly didn’t mean we couldn’t be kids again! (who says tubing is just for kids anyways) So we bundled our buns to brave the blistery chill, and headed to Woodward Park City. This beautiful brand-new adventure venue had the perfect snowy lanes for tubing. I had to toss out my childhood memories of tubing, which included waddling my way back up the hill, tube in tow after each slide. No waddling at this posh facility, instead a magic carpet (aka: human conveyor belt) did all the work for us. We were the first eager tubers on the slopes, so we tried all sorts of positions and had plenty of elbow room to race each other. I think we both surprised ourselves with how fast we could zoom down those hills. Thankfully with zero wipeouts! We were laughing the whole time, especially with the families juggling their kiddos into tubes. Some day that will be us, but this time all we had to worry about was beating one another to the bottom.
Step 3: Trek with Extra LARGE Foot Gear
After five Sundance screenings we were due for some crisp mountain air. We only had a few hours before we needed to get to the airport, so booking a snowshoe outfitter was a must. I would have loved for us to get out on our own, but with our luggage in tow and the fact we didn’t have a rental car- booking a guide was by far the best option. Utah Outdoor Adventures had us completely covered. Our guide Jeremy, picked us up from the hotel, made sure our luggage was safe and secure while we snowshoed, and even dropped us off for lunch afterwards. It was great to be able to have a carefree last day in Park City. The bonus was we were only 10 minutes away from beautiful mountain trails. Which meant for a full three hours the three of us enjoyed the snow-covered aspen groves, minus all the ski traffic. Definitely would recommend the folks at Utah Outdoor Adventures, without their help our last day in Park City wouldn’t have been nearly as enjoyable.
Looking back, our three mini-adventures were the perfect compliments to our Sundance Film Festival weekend. Next time we’re in the gorgeous Park City we’ll have to give skiing a try. But for now, I don’t feel like I missed out on much, we had a perfect long weekend stay in Park City and we wouldn’t have changed a thing!