Every year we take a winter wonderland trip, where we do lots of fun activities in the snow and indulge in way too much hot chocolate. It’s something I look forward to all year long, so today I wanted to share our latest winter wonderland trip itinerary. For the past two years, we did the trip in Durango, but pretty much any town near a ski area will offer these activities. You can see my favorite post from the trip here.
We do our trip in December, since that’s what fits our work schedules right now, but I think the end of January would be a better time for a winter trip since many areas don’t get much snow in December. Plus it will help keep the excitement going after the holidays end and the short, cold days continue.
We got so lucky with our trip this year…..as we were driving to Durango I was getting calls from the different companies we had booked activities with saying that there wasn’t enough snow, but the first night we were there it snowed 7 inches! We woke to fresh snow in the town and were able to do everything as planned.
Activities to do in the Snow on a Winter Wonderland Trip
Sleigh Ride Through the Mountains
Dog Sled Ride
Playing in the Snow (we did this every day!)
Visit Every Hot Chocolate Station in Town
Ski (if you’re into that. I have never skied. Hoping to fix that next year!)
Day to Day Planning
We like to stay in the downtown area so we can easily walk to the park to play in the snow and can walk to the bakeries and restaurants, but this means we usually have to drive into the mountains for most of the activities. I always try and book the big activities around 2 or 3 in the afternoon, which allows us to have time in the morning to visit a hot chocolate stand, and play in the snow before doing the special activity scheduled for the day. This way we have the option to have dinner at one of the mountain lodges or in town near the hotel. Having the big activity in the afternoon also seems to keep the little one excited and happy all day long!
Durango Hotel Recommendations
In 2014 we stayed at the Leland House, which we loved! It is in the middle of downtown and has 1 bedroom suites that have a cozy cottage like feel with a small kitchen and fireplace. They also offer a made to order gourmet breakfast included in the price of the room every morning.
In 2015 we stayed at Nobody’s Inn, which is basically like renting a downtown apartment. They offer a few 1-2 bedroom apartments without the typical hotel amenities. If you are traveling with a lot of people, it’s definitely a great option.
I have to put the Strater hotel on the list, although we have never stayed there. It’s a historic inn that’s decorations fit it’s history and is in the middle of downtown. We have friends who love to stay there, but we never have since they only offer traditional hotel rooms. We like to have the 1 bedroom options so we don’t have to go to bed at 8 with the little one.
What to Pack
You definitely want to pack all your typical winter clothes with tons of accessories to keep warm: scarves, gloves (I usually pack 3+ for the little one so he can switch them out when they are wet), hats, vests, sweaters, snow pants, snow coats, boots. I always make sure to pack these boots for every trip regardless of the season or itinerary.