It’s no secret that Jackson Hole is the ultimate winter playground for adventure seekers of all ages. Did you know that there are also many things to do with your pre-skiing/boarding toddler?
As the Director of Residence at Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole and the proud mom of Fiona, who had her first birthday in January, I have really enjoyed experiencing the magic of a Jackson Hole through her eyes. My husband and I love that we can, with just a few modifications, bring Fiona along to most of the activities we have always enjoyed.
Your little ones can join you, either in a back-pack or a Chariot Stroller with ski attachment. A Resort Concierge can help you arrange to rent any gear you might need and can direct you to the appropriate trail. During a cross-country ski along the Snake River you are likely to see moose, bald eagles and trumpeter swans. Dogs are welcome on many of the trails too.
Cross country skiing has become our favorite outdoor family activity, as we can include Fiona as well as our 6-year-old beagle, Molson, who will always be our “first” baby. We bring the camera, diaper bag and lots of snacks to keep us going.
A horse-drawn sleigh ride among a herd of thousands of elk. Rides depart 3 times per hour daily from 10am to 4pm, mid-December through early April. Kids under 5 ride for free. This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience to be so close to such awesome creatures.
Before or after your elk refuge sleigh ride, check out the National Museum of Wildlife Art. The Children’s Discovery Gallery includes an art studio, wildlife costumes, life-sized diorama, puppet theater and reading nook. The on-site Rising Sage Cafe is also very tot-friendly. The buffalo burger is my favorite (Fiona loves it too). Fiona took some of her first steps while celebrating her first birthday at the museum.
The Wrangler Program at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is for tots aged 6 months through 2 years. Open daily throughout the winter season, here your little one will spend a fun-filled day of indoor and outdoor activities including playing in the snow and riding the gondola while the rest of the family hits the slopes at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.
Fiona has been spending 3 days a week at Wranglers since she was just 10 weeks old, when I went back to work full time. Each day they send Fi home with a “report card” that lets us know all the new friends she made and the activities she experienced such as petting a horse for the first time. Fiona comes home happy and tired every day she goes to Wranglers and we have comfort knowing she is safe and well cared for, and just a few steps away from Mommy as she works at the Hotel.
The new Teton Village Commons, a short walk from Four Seasons, offers the perfect sledding spot for the whole family. Fiona seems to love the feel of the crisp, fresh air on her face and the faster we pull her, the louder she laughs. She did not even mind when we got a little too daring on a steeper slope and she did a full face plant in the snow!
Once a month the Grand Teton Music Festival offers family concerts on Saturday afternoons. Concerts include interactive, high-energy programs such as the March 2011 program, “Musical Bears,” a musical menagerie. The double bass, the biggest string instrument in the whole orchestra, tells a story of animals, friendship, and cooperation. Come a little bit early and your tots will have the opportunity to meet the musicians and check out their instruments up close.
And, of course, there is no better way for the entire family to end the day, whatever adventure you have enjoyed, than with a steaming cup of hot chocolate and some gooey s’mores around the pool at Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole. Fiona is definitely a “winter baby,” much to the delight of her Daddy who would be happy to live in 12 months of winter.
Laura Cuddie is Regional Director of Residences for Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole. Laura and her husband John are the proud parents of Fiona (18 months old) and two beagles, Molson and Libby. They spend their free time outdoors playing golf, skiing, hiking, playing tennis, cooking and traveling to as many Four Seasons properties around the world as possible. They love introducing Fiona to their favorite activities; she is already a seasoned traveler with 30-plus flights under her belt and visits to four Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts.
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