By Karen Lorentz
Making memorable mountain vacations entails doing lots of fun things in addition to skiing and riding.
Here’s a starter list of activities sure to make your holiday extra special, provide après-ski fun, or entertain the non-skiers in a family or group.
Adventurous and scenic rides
Want a different view of the ski area? Try the Skye-ride, a 600-foot long ride that rises 100 feet and glides back down at 30 miles per hour. With side-by-side seating for two and great views, this is a fun ride for all ages.
The Beast Mountain Coaster offers a 4,800-foot long twisting ride where you control the speed of your sled. The sled seats two persons so it’s fun to take the little ones for a ride.
Both rides operate daily through Jan. 3, 1-4:30 p.m. at the Snowshed Adventure Park.
The K-1 Gondola offers another scenic ride (single tickets available for those not skiing/riding) and lunch at the Peak Lodge is a special treat with views galore.
For more adventure and scenery, try a snowmobile tour for backcountry, mountain trails, or kids’ tours. Visit killington.com/site/to-do/winter.
Tubing, sleigh rides, fat biking,
snowshoeing, X-C skiing
Kids love tubing and so do adults. Holiday lift-served tubing is available at the Clubhouse on East Mountain Road opposite the Grand Hotel, daily 10 a.m.-7 p.m. except for New Year’s day 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.. Food is available inside the Clubhouse. Tip: Show a Skyeride or Beast Coaster ticket from the same day to save $5 off tubing.
There are daily snowcat-drawn sleigh rides at 5 p.m. at Snowshed through Dec. 31. Seating is limited so get tickets early — reservations 800-621-mtns.
Rent fat bikes at Alpine Bike Works, located on Route 4 in Killington. Fat bikes are designed for all ability levels and have wider hubs and tires for better flotation and more stability in the snow. Take a ride on easier paths of the Killington Golf Course or challenge yourself on some tight, twisty single track trails.
Pine Hill Park in Rutland offers wonderful hiking/biking/snowshoe trails.
Bear Trax Adventures offers a variety of snowshoe tours to explore the rolling terrain of the Killington Golf Course as well as the trails on and off the mountain.
Snowshoes, cross-country ski rentals and lessons can be found at Mountain Meadows in Killington (Base Camp Outfitters on U.S. Route 4 opposite the access road) and at the Mountain Top Inn and Resort’s Nordic Center. There’s also a spa and fitness center and dining at the inn (mountaintopinn.com).
Special events, regional activities
On Dec. 29 there is a free ice cream social at 3:30 at the Snowshed Lodge Highlander Room. On Dec. 31 there is a special holiday dinner at Preston’s at the Grand Hotel and New Year’s Party at 10 at the Wobbly as well as many other rocking venues along Killington Road.
More activities in the region are hosted by Killington Art Garage, Killington Arts Guild, Moguls Sports Pub arcade, Billings Farm, Bowlerama, Stonehedge Indoor Golf, Flagship Cinemas Movie Theater, the Paramount Theatre, Green Mountain Rock Climbing Center (indoor), Spartan Arena ice skating, Wonderfeet Kids Museum, Bikram Yoga, Long Trail Brewery, Quechee Gorge & Village, Vermont Marble Museum, and the New England Maple Museum.