Challenger School

Here Are Your Favorite Family Winter Picks


We ask the readers of Utah Family Magazine to share their favorite businesses and organizations in a number of categories every Spring. This is a blank ballot selection in with no suggestions for readers. We’re sharing the results in the weeks leading up to the print edition. Watch for the full selection of results in print our Summer Edition due out the third week of June.

Winter Wonderland

Favorite Ski Area

1. Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort
2. Brighton Resort
3. Alta

There were a few big surprises in this year’s voting, and the biggest one comes right out of the gate. This year, the ‘Bird is the word! This is a first win for Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort. Brighton had won this category every year for 15 years.

There is varied terrain for all skiing abilities at Snowbird. Beginners have two designated “learn to ski” areas at Snowbird, with one especially suited for the little kids – the Mini Mining Camp located off of the Baby Thunder Lift. There the little kiddos can learn important balancing skills on the tree trails, and have a blast snaking around the mini camp. A favorite of all at Snowbird is the Tram, which opens to trails of all abilities. From the top of the Tram, beginning skiers have access to the expansive beauty of Snowbird’s Mineral Basin.

Snowbird also shines when the skiing concludes. This is truly a family skiing and summer resort. There are many services oriented to families year-round, including Camp Snowbird. Parents can put in some extra skiing at their own pace while the kids have a blast. Indoor and outdoor activities including arts and crafts, games, free play and more.

Favorite Tubing Park

1. Soldier Hollow FamFavs15_Certificate_TubingPark_sm
2. Gorgoza Park
3. Mountain Dell

In the Favorite Tubing Park category, Soldier Hollow repeats as the 2015 Favorite. This is a distinction ceded only occasion to Gorgoza Park.

Soldier Hollow in Wasatch Mountain State Park near Midway offers the longest tubing lanes in Utah. Everyone probably know the cross country skiing resort as the venue for many events in the 2002 Winter Olympics. There’s lots more in store for families at the resort. The tubing hill has lengthy 1,200-foot sliding lanes with lift service for towing people up the hill for tubing day or night under the lights, and a sound system keeps the airwaves full of enjoyable tunes.

2014-15 tubing admission rates were $21 for a two hour session for anyone age 7 and above. Tubing for age 3-6 was $11. When going, be sure to book your tickets in advance – especially if going on a weekend. They limit the number of tickets for each session and sell out many of the tubing sessions. As it is a bit of a drive, you won’t want to arrive to discover you’re out of luck.

Favorite Ice Skating Facility

1. Gallivan CenterFamFavs15_Certificate_IceSkating_sm
2. Cottonwood Heights Recreation Center
3. Utah Olympic Oval

Another early votingsurprise this year takes place in the Favorite Ice Skating category. This is a category in which the Cottonwood Heights Recreation Center and the Utah Olympic Oval have traded the top spot since the beginnings of our balloting. The Gallivan Center had been a perennial third place finisher. A few years back, the Gallivan Center opened a newly renovated skating facility, and the change seems to now be resonating with our readers.

What makes the Gallivan Center skating fun and unique is that the rink is outdoors. Of course that means it’s only open during the winter season! It’s an especially fun destination during the holiday season, with the trees of the plaza lit up to create a magical experience. Many kids love to take a short break from the skating and sip hot chocolate while munching on a hot churro or steaming pretzel. It’s truly a great outing for the entire family.



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