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Families come in all shapes and sizes and it can be tricky to find activities that strike the right balance when it comes to energy, attention span, and athletic skill. Parents want to make great vacation memories for the kids, but, let’s be honest, we’d also like to relax a little! Here’s a quick rundown of some fun experience kids of all ages will enjoy:
SNOWTUBING AT McCALL’S ACTIVITY BARN
Holiday visitors and weekenders can start their day by catching the early session of snow tubing at the Activity Barn, located just outside McCall on Moonridge Drive. A conveyor lift (aka magic carpet) makes this snowtubing adventure a breeze, transporting your family members to the top of a collections of 800-foot tubing lanes. While any fun-loving child over 36” tall will love this outing, you might be surprised at how much your ‘inner child’ will enjoy careening down the snow-covered lanes! The Activity Barn is open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Look for extended hours and Bonus Days over Winter Break and other holiday and carnival periods. Pro tip: The morning (two-hour) session is generally less busy than mid-day sessions, which means more laps per visit!
ICE IS NICE? CHILL? BUMP & SKATE? AT MANCHESTER ICE & EVENT CENTER (this heading sucks)This beautiful facility is one of the gems of downtown McCall, but unlike your typical ice rink, it offers up a lot more than sports leagues and public skating sessions. Check the ice calendar for Cosmic Skate sessions when they black out the rink and put on a cool light show. Weekends and holidays are popular times to try out a popular new activity, Ice Bumper Cars! And don’t get us wrong, public skate sessions can be tons of fun. The rink offers rental skates for less than $3 and a Bump & Skate package for just $15 per person.
HOT SPRING SOAK & PLAY
After all that action (and a lunch break) you may want to warm up and relax a little, and Zims Hot Springs might be just the ticket. Zims is located a few miles outside of New Meadows. It features two outdoor pools fed by an artesian well and cooled by the waters of the Little Salmon River. The large pool is a touch cooler so the kiddos can get their wiggles out while grown-ups find some zen in the hot pool. A snack bar and arcade are also a big hit. Zims is open until 9 or 10 pm during the winter which makes it easy to work into any family’s schedule! If you’re heading back from Zims toward McCall close to mealtime, don’t miss the chance to stop and eat at The Intersection BBQ BAR & GRILL in downtown New Meadows. This family-owned treasure specializes in slow-smoked barbeque but the extensive menu includes salads, sandwiches, burgers and more.
Among other family-friendly dinner options, The Blue Moose, on the north end of McCall, features drive-through convenience with flavor combos that will satisfy everyone. Known for its affordable kids meals and delicious shakes, Blue Moose has a great selection of burgers, wraps, and salads that incorporate cool ingredients like lamb, elk and ribeye. Yum!
For those looking to take a load off after a long day on your feet, Toll Station Pizza is set up to please every member of the family. A small arcade area will keep the kids busy while the pizzas bake and a nice selection of beer and wine can help mom and dad unwind after an action-packed ‘Yes Day’!
NIGHT SKIING AT LITTLE SKI HILL
If your crew has any energy to spare after sun-down, the Little Ski Hill offers easy access to a low-key night skiing adventure. Grab a super-affordable ticket at the cozy lodge and head over to the brand new T-bar to shred under the lights! The lighted slopes are mostly gentle, but the terrain park features are impressive, and you might be surprised to find some little powder stashes here and there. Pro tip: There is no rental gear available on-site at Little Ski Hill, so you’ll want to swing by Gravity Sports or Hometown Sports before dinner to gear up.