72 Hours in Park City, Utah
Hmmmm... what to do this weekend? Cold has kicked in here in the Midwest, which means I need to come up with ways to help our family survive another winter, without the kids all driving each other nuts in the basement family room.
Luckily, weʼre a short train ride from OʼHare Airport. Iʼve heard SKI magazine rated Park City Mountain Resort (1-800-222-7275, parkcitymountain.com) a top family destination and itʼs only a half hour drive from Salt Lake City. With plenty of direct flights to Salt Lake City Airport, we can fly out in the morning and be on the slopes by the afternoon.
1) DON'T WORRY BE HAPPY
Although you could just take the shuttle van from the airport to Park City Mountain Resort, I appreciate the flexibility our family of 5 will have with our own car. So, we pick up our rental car after arriving at Salt Lake City Airport and hit the road.
You know a vacationʼs off to a great start when your first meal is at the No Worries Cafe & Grill (185 Aspen Drive, 435-658-5007, noworriescafeandgrill.com) Just off I-80, about half way between Salt Lake City and Park City, youʼll find this cozy diner that specializes in wholesome home cooking. Not open for dinner, breakfast is really their specialty, but lunch means smaller crowds and no wait. I order a cappuccino and drink in the view of the Wasatch Mountains, while I wait for my tuna melt to arrive.
2) TUBE RACES
We arrive at Park City Mountain Resort, get settled into our condo at Silver Star Lodge then head over to Gorgoza Park. (3863 W. Kilby Road, Park City, 435-658-2648, gorgoza.com) Kids of all ages will have mountains of fun at this fantastic tubing hill. Wahooooo! There are endless squeals of delight as my husband and I take turns flying down the mountain on inner tubes with our sons. Thereʼs a cute little area called Fort Frosty where we take our daughter. (2 hour pass is $22 per person, for my daughter itʼs $10).
3) WARMING UP BY THE FIRE
After our tubing excursion, a perfect place to warm up is Squatters Roadhouse Grill (1900 Park Avenue, Park City, 435-649-9868, squatters.com), a relaxed restaurant with a roaring fireplace. I order the jumbalaya, my husband gets the Thai yellow curry, the kids order burgers. This place has a huge menu that suits everyoneʼs appetite.
4) BURRITO FANTASTICO
We head over to the base of Park City Mountain Resort to enjoy some breakfast burritos at Legacy Cafe. My husband and I fill up on coffee and the kids enjoy their hot chocolates.
5) SKI SCHOOL SPECTACULAR
Park City Mountain Resort is known for its fabulous ski school. Low class sizes are the key to what makes it great. I check my 3 year old daughter into the Signature 3 program. Thereʼs a maximum of 3 kids per class, so Iʼm feeling comfortable that sheʼll get plenty of attention.
Next, we bring our boys, 11 and 13, to a 3 hour individual snowboard lesson. They already know how to ski well, but they want to try out snowboarding.
6) HOT DOG, COOL SPOT
We check out the newest lunch spot Cobra Dogs. Located at the base of the terrain park, my husband and I meet up with our sons as they finish their snowboard lesson for a dog with the fixings. For me that means a brattlesnake brat with sauerkraut, while my husband has the cobra con carne chili with jalapenos and my boys go with the classic all beef boas. Weʼre set to go and have a few hours to ski together before picking up by daughter.
7) SCHOOL'S OUT
My daughterʼs had a great day riding the magic carpet conveyor belt and being with other tykes who are just learning to ski. Now, sheʼs ready to get out of her snowsuit and hang with the rest of the gang. We leave her ski equipment as sheʼs going to be able to get in another day of ski school tomorrow!
8) SWEET TREAT
Hot Chocolate Break at Kristiʼs Cafe, located on the ground floor of Legacy Lodge in the resortʼs base area. This cozy space has plenty of room for us all to relax, before going downstairs and returning our equipment to the rental area.
9) DOWN ON MAIN STREET
We check out Park Cityʼs downtown hub, Main Street, before heading off for an Italian family dinner at Ciseroʼs (306 Main Street, 435-649-5044, ciseros.com) I order the butternut squash ravioli, my husband has the lasagna and the kids split a pizza. Everyoneʼs happy!
10) WE'RE IN HOT WATER
After getting my daughter to bed, it's time for an evening soak in the hot tub and a glass of wine.
11) BREAKFAST BITE
Quick stop for coffee, hot chocolates and muffins at Kristiʼs Cafe then check my daughter into ski school, then itʼs off to the slopes for the guys and me!
12) SORRY CHARLIE— TASTY AHI TUNA LUNCH
Lunch at Legends Bar and Grill at the base of the resort. I order the ahi tuna nachos appetizer and the bison chili... yum!
13) BACK TO REALITY
We pick up our daughter, return all our rental equipment and head off to the Salt Lake City Airport. After checking in we have enough time to sit down for burgers at the Squatters Airport Pub. Weʼre on our flight at 6:00 and back in Chicago at 10:00. What a great way to break up the Midwestern winter! I feel like a kid again after enjoying a snow-filled and fun-filled weekend in this delightful town!
IF YOU GO: Silver Star Lodge (1825 Three Kings Drive, Park City, UT, 435-658-1570,located at the base of the Silver Star chair lift, offers luxury condos, townhomes and cottages that accommodate anywhere from 4 to 16 people. An outdoor heated pool makes it a perfect choice for families. We also had a great time relaxing in our own private jacuzzi!
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