20+ Things To Do In Park City This Winter That Have Nothing To Do With Skiing or Snowboarding
If you think Park City winters aren't for you because you aren't a skier or snowboarder, think again! Not only are there plenty of other ways to enjoy the snow, our little mountain town also offers a plethora of options for foodies, art connoisseurs, and anyone who just wants a bit of rest and relaxation. Don't believe us? Just check out all these fun activities waiting for you.
Time-honored trail travel
There's no better way to see Park City's winter wonderland than by strapping into a pair of snowshoes. It's a fun, easy, and economical winter sport to get into. You can rent a snowshoe set up (plus trekking poles) for as low as $18 a day from local retailers (Cole Sport, JANS Mountain Outfitters, and White Pine Touring) and strike out on the surrounding trails. If you don't want to do the planning, no worries. Multiple outfitters offer tours with guides, including excursions across the local wetlands with the Swaner Preserve & EcoCenter. You'll be surprised with what a good workout this almost 6,000-year old form of winter travel, so dress in light layers and don't forget sunscreen and sunglasses on bluebird days.
No ski town would be complete without ice skating options. Gliding across the ice is an activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. For a dreamy outdoor experience, check out the cozy Resort Center Ice Rink (1415 Lowell Ave) in the middle of Park City Mountain's base area or if you'd prefer to skate indoors, head over to larger sheet of ice at the Park City Ice Arena and Sports Complex (600 Gillmor Way, Quinn’s Junction). Other options include Basin Recreation's neighborhood ice rink at Willow Creek Park and the city ice rink in the cute Swiss-inspired hamlet of Midway. Click here for details.
Unless you follow winter sports avidly, you may never even have heard of curling. This relatively obscure winter sport, first played in Scotland during the 16th century, is surprisingly entertaining. Curling teams consist of four players who take turns sliding 42-pound stones across a sheet of ice to try to score points (a bit like a giant shuffleboard). If you're keen to learn, check out the latest information from the Park City Curling Club and book yourself a time to throw some rocks at the Park City Ice Arena (600 Gillmor Way). Curling is also available at the Olympic Oval and Ogden Curling Club.
Over the river and through the woods
Live out your own version of jingle bells in a horse-drawn sleigh ride through the wintry wonderland of Park City. You could hardly ask for a more romantic outing or escort to dinner. Whether you're looking for a one-horse open sleigh or one large enough to accommodate the entire family, local sleighing companies have your back. This is just one of those unique activities you really can't get back in the city.
Horses don't have a monopoly on pulling sleighs; by way of a team of dogs and a musher, aka dogsledding, is another exhilarating way to experience winter. On your trip, you'll not only be zipping along the snowy trails, you'll also get to meet the dogs, usually huskies, and learn about the art of dogsledding from the sleigh handler, a.k.a. musher. This is a perfect excursion, especially for families with kids (ages 3+) and we guarantee you'll leave with a smile on your face.
Giggle and glide
If you lived somewhere cold as a kid, chances are high that you remember sledding on a local hill. In Park City, you have the chance to relive those childhood days sans the exhausting trudge uphill when you hit up local tubing areas Gorgoza Park (closed 2018-19 season) and Soldier Hollow. Both locations offer lower lanes for the younger kiddos and longer runs that are thrilling even for adults.
Start your engines
Shredding powder isn't exclusively for skiers and snowboarders. For adrenaline-pumping fun without breaking a sweat, hop on a snowmobile and go full throttle. Even if you've never been on a snowmobile before, or even considered the possibility, you might just find yourself an enthusiast after one go. Head 45 minutes out of town to Daniels Summit Lodge for a snowmobile retreat, or check out a few of the outfitters in town like Destination Sports and Adventures, Red Pine Adventures, Summit Meadows Adventures, Thousand Peaks, and Wasatch Adventure Guides.
Cold weather spin
Park City is well-known for its stellar mountain biking scene, but for winter excursions on two wheels fat tire bikes are the way to go. Some of the best areas to hit up include Round Valley, McLeod and Willow Creek, Glenwild, and the Historic Rail Trail. Just keep in mind, many of Park City's trails are multi-use so make sure to stay clear of classic skiing tracks and review the trail conditions before heading out. For rentals, check local outfitters All Season Adventures, Storm Cycles, Jans Mountain Outfitters, and White Pine Touring.
Stretch, bend, and om
Have you ever done yoga on a paddle board inside a geothermal crater? Well, now's your chance yogis because Park City Yoga Adventures offers sessions at the Homestead Crater, a geothermal spring with Caribbean-clear blue water that's a balmy 95 degrees--go ahead and fall in! You can also pair your yoga session with snowshoeing or sunrise/sunset hikes. We dare you to find a more unique yoga class out there!
In the footsteps of greatness
A trip up to the Utah Olympic Park is worth an entire day for many. They offer a number of winter activities, including rock climbing, zip lining, adventure courses, and the unforgettable bobsled experience where you zoom down the 2002 Olympic sliding track. While you're there, you can also visit their free museums chronicling the Salt Lake Winter Games and the Alf Engen Ski Museum to learn about the skiing history in the area through interactive displays, games, and a virtual reality ski theater.
Up, up, and away
You can't beat the spectacular bird's eye view of the Wasatch mountains from a hot air balloon. Pop a bottle of champagne with your sweetie over a romantic breakfast for two above the world or bring the whole family along for an unforgettable ride. Two companies in town offer balloon rides, Skywalker Ballooning Company and Park City Balloon Adventures.
Traditional horseback riding and sleigh rides are both readily available in the area, but there are far more ways to enjoy horses than just saddling up. Park City Horse offers a number of unique experiences--from horse meditation circles and reiki to family adventures and corporate team building--that allow you to connect with horses and yourself while exploring self-awareness, intention, and communication. Or, check out Wild Heart Sanctuary where you can practice yoga and experience the healing powers of rescued wild horses.
Arts & Culture
Park City isn't just an outdoors mecca, this quaint mountain town also embraces arts and culture in a major way, too. For two weeks every January, the film industry pours into Park City for the iconic Sundance Film Festival. But that's really just the tip of the iceberg, er, mountain.
Stroll and sip
Park City's historic Main Street has a higher density of art galleries than most places. Walking up and down the street, you can pop into more than a dozen. While you can pop into the galleries any time, we recommend joining in on the Last Friday Gallery Stroll when local gallerists throw open their doors and ply passersby with refreshments from 6 to 9 p.m. on the last Friday of each month.
Indie cinema, anytime
For a dose of independent film, check out the exquisitely curated program from the Park City Film (PCF). Almost every week of the year, PCF screens films ranging from artful child-inspired sagas to thought-provoking documentaries and features. They also have some pretty amazing popcorn toppings (everything from Parmesan cheese to chile sauce).
If music is more your thing, you don't have to look far because even if you don't ski the après concerts at Park City Mountain and Deer Valley are free and open to everyone. You can also hit up popular live music venues on Main Street, including Park City Live and O.P. Rockwell or see what's on Park City Institute's line-up.
Stage of many players
While the cultural program at the Eccles Center, the home of the Park City Institute, includes its fair share of concerts, there's much more available on the line-up. This venerable organization, which celebrated its 20th birthday in 2018, also prides itself on bringing in unique dance groups and a variety of entertainers, authors, and public figures.
Step back in time
Find out the nitty, gritty history of our mountain town by visiting Park City Museum. This isn't some small, outdated town museum smelling of moth balls and mildew either. Inside you'll find interactive, attention-grabbing displays that will immerse you in the by-gone days of Park City's formative silver mining era. The museum even houses its own dungeon, a.k.a. the town's old jailhouse, which is supposedly haunted.
Homage to King Tut and much more
This historic Egyptian Theatre may have changed names over the years, but its been a constant in Park City's cultural map since the late 1800s. Today this landmark venue hosts a variety of music performances, theater productions, comedy acts, film, and community events, and more.
Park City's artistic heartbeat
In addition to art exhibits, the Kimball Art Center also hosts dozens of classes throughout the year in almost every artistic discipline. Highlights include family-friendly holiday themed classes like Gingerbread House Sculpture, Egg Dying, and Valentine's Day Bowls and adult only Sip & Paint sessions at Old Town Wine Cellars where you can (as the name implies) sip wine while creating. Whether you're looking for a one-off session or multi-week courses, you'll have plenty of options to choose from.
Old Town spirit
Did you know Park City is home to a number of ghosts? Find out all about them and the rough-and-tumble mining days by taking a Park City Ghost Tour. Even if you're not a big believer in the supernatural, the tour guides make the experience entertaining and the stories they tell about Park City's earliest residents are quite interesting despite the inclusion of horrific deaths.
Dice, Cards, and pawns
Are you ready to get your Catan on? If you're a board game lover in Park City, then you need to check out the new Sunset Room Board Game Café (1781 Sidewinder Dr). With a library boasting dozens of different types of games, ranging from classics like Monopoly to strategy, deck building, and party games, this is a great place to chill out, relax, grab some food and drink, and make new friends.
Are you ready to shop till you drop? Forget the chain stores you can find anywhere and opt for the mom and pop chops unique to Park City. Spruce up your wardrobe with Western flair at Burns Cowboy Shop or mountain chic looks at Farasha, Flight Boutique, Prospect Clothing, and Cake Boutique. Don't limit yourself to the Main Street thoroughfare, you'll also find cute shops in Prospector and Kimball Junction, including Indigo Highway (1241 Center Dr), Whimsy (1351 Kearns Blvd), and The Exchange (1755 Bonanza Dr).
Food, Drink, & Dining
While Park City's food scene is certainly inspired by our surroundings, skiing is certainly not a prerequisite for indulging in the dining scene. We couldn't possibly name all the options out there, but here are a few to get you started.
An aperitif, or two, or three
Despite the significant (and sober) Mormon population, the craft distilling and brewing scene are blossoming in Utah these days, including right here in Park City where High West Distillery reigns supreme. Stop by their saloon for a tour and finish off with a meal and craft cocktails featuring their whiskeys or take the short drive out to Wanship to visit their new distillery on the Blue Sky Ranch. But don't stop there, you'll want to hit all the stops on our roadmap to beers, wine, and spirits in town.
Drink wine and know things
If wine is your thing, then check out one of the many tours and classes offered by the Fox School of Wine. This is "educational happy hour," meaning in addition to tasting several wines, you'll also learn about their characteristics and add to your wine vocabulary.
Night time sleigh and dinner
You can make dinner into an event when you book a table at the Snowed Inn. Your evening begins with a horse drawn sleigh ride up to the Snowed Inn (located on the mountain at Park City Resort) followed by a gourmet western dinner, entertainment, and finally a sleigh ride back down the mountain.
If you came to get away from it all, these ones are for you.
There's nothing quite like a spa day to make your feel like you can take on the world. Pamper yourself with full body treatments, facials, waxing, and, of course, massages of all kinds. You'll find no lack of options in town with hotels/resorts ready to cater to all your wellness needs, including the Spa Montage, Knead A Message, Remède Spa at the St. Regis Deer Valley, the Spa at Hotel Park City, and more.
Float away all your worries and fears
Channel Eleven from Stranger Things and lose yourself in a sensory deprivation tank at the new Sync Float (1200 W Lori Lane). The tanks are loaded with nine hundred pounds of Epsom salt to you can float effortlessly and forget the world. As the name implies, sensory deprivation removes external inputs like light, sound, and gravity so your body can heal physically and mentally. Just don't open a door to the upside down!
Get chilly with cryotherapy
Another new therapy trending in Park City is cryotherapy, or exposing your body to sub-zero temps for a fraction of time. The practice is particularly popular with elite athletes and proponents claim it can help with pain relief, inflammation reduction, improved endurance, and better sleep. You can try it for yourself at two locations in Park City: Cryo Lodge (1351 Kearns Blvd) and Stone Cold Cryotherapy (1748 Redstone Center Dr).
Cheers to winter fun everyone!