The holidays in Sun Valley are unique. From the snow-covered peaks (and ski runs!) that surround the Wood River Valley, to the old-fashioned charm of the Sun Valley Village and the decidedly European feel of the Resort, Christmas in Sun Valley is straight out of a beloved picture book. I have spent more than 30 Christmases in Sun Valley and while I certainly appreciate all that the Resort does to keep current (our amazing snowmaking and grooming, the gorgeous Lodge remodel, The Spa, and new
It’s high season in Sun Valley and nowhere is that more apparent than on the iconic outdoor skating rink. Whether you are brand new to the sport or an Olympic champion, the rink is the coolest place to be on a hot summer day or a beautiful star-filled night.
No visit to Sun Valley is complete without a few laps around the rink where countless celebrities and skating champions have delighted in this one-of-a-kind experience. General sessions are offered throughout the day and well into the night making ice skating an activity to enjoy as the centerpiece of a day or in addition to a hike, mountain bike ride, horse ride or wherever else your adventures lead. Bring the entire family to the charming skate house and let the friendly and courteous staff take care of your group. Rent skates, grab a helmet and let the fun begin. Lessons from the rink’s amazing coaches and pros are also available if a little instruction is in order. There are daily beginner group lessons that are a great deal. For $25 you get a 25-minute group lesson, general session, admission and skate rental. All pros are available for private instruction, too. Guests are invited to contact instructors directly to book lessons. If needed, the rink staff is happy to offer suggestions and assist in lining up guests with instructors. Prices for private lessons range from $35 - $55 for a 25-minute lesson. Please call 208.622.2194 for more information.
Skating in Sun Valley is fun for the whole family. Whether you are a beginner or an Olympic champion, gliding around the outdoor rink is a must-do activity
Recently, friends visiting our family from Washington introduced their daughters, ages six and nine, to ice skating at the Sun Valley rink. Out of all the activities available to them, the girls asked to come to the rink every day of their five-day vacation. Each time they laced up their skates, their skills and confidence improved, their smiles shone and they literally had to be dragged off the ice at the end of the session. This is a common occurrence. Many skaters have made the first turns that led to a lifelong love of skating in Sun Valley.
For more serious skaters, the Summer Skating School celebrates its 79th year this summer, offering athletes from all over the country and the world high altitude training, up to 20 sessions a day to choose from, 10 different clinics, and access to 20 of the top professionals and champion skaters as coaches. Skaters from as far away as Hong Kong return to Sun Valley each summer to enjoy the offerings.
Things are heating up on Sun Valley ice this week as recreational skaters, competitors and Olympians all enjoy the iconic outdoor rink
Other dedicated skaters also call Sun Valley home for a four-day weekend. The Sun Valley Figure Skating Club’s annual Summer Competition kicks off this Thursday, bringing nearly 180 skaters to the indoor and outdoor rink. Skaters and 64 coaches from as far away as Arizona, California, Washington, D.C. and Florida are competing from the Basic Skills level to Senior in Compulsory in Free-Skate, Artistic, Showcase, Improvisation and Group Production categories. Sunday, the competition moves outdoors and the public is invited to enjoy the always-entertaining Showcase event. It’s free and it’s fun.
The Sun Valley Figure Skating Club’s Summer Competition draws athletes from all over the country. Sunday’s outdoor events are always a crowd favorite
And Sun Valley ice is also the place to see the sport’s brightest stars under the stars. On Saturday nights, the biggest names in skating perform up-close-and-personal in Sun Valley on Ice. The lineup through early fall is a veritable who’s who of the skating world. This weekend, Josh Farris takes center ice in a show that begins at dusk. The 2015 United States Bronze Medalist, 2015 Four Continents Silver Medalist and 2013 World Junior Gold Medalist is sure to wow. The rest of the summer is filled with Olympians and favorites – can’t-miss shows for any skating fan or anyone that just wants a fantastic night of entertainment. On August 1, 2014 Olympians Maia and Alex Shibutani will dazzle. The next week, fan favorite, World Bronze Medalist and three-time United States Gold Medalist Johnny Weir brings his signature style back to Sun Valley. Then it’s a not to be believed opportunity to see recent Olympic greats for three weekends in a row as 2014 Olympic Bronze Medalist and three-time U.S. champion Ashley Wagner skates August 15; 2014 Olympic Bronze Medalist and 2015 United States Gold Medalist Jason Brown appears August 29; and last, but certainly not least, on September 5 the season ends on a high note with Olympic Bronze Medalist and 2014 U.S. National Champion Gracie Gold. Tickets are available now for both casual bleacher seating and the special buffet dinner. For a truly unforgettable experience, reserve a room as part of a special ice show package.
It’s all happening on the ice this summer. Whether you enjoy a casual afternoon at the rink or are training for a big competition, the views of the surrounding mountains and the newly renovated Sun Valley Lodge and its flower-covered terraces are stunning. There is nothing like skating outdoors, wearing shorts and a t-shirt, beneath a summer sun. Add a full-service skate shop, an easy walk to lunch at Gretchen’s at the Lodge or Konditorei, a snack at the Short Line Deli or an ice cream treat at a la mode, and the rink is a great way to spend an entire Sun Valley day.
Josh Farris headlines this weekend’s Sun Valley on Ice show, bringing his athleticism and charisma to this intimate venue
What makes skating in Sun Valley so special? According to rink manager Scott Irvine, “For me, it’s the outdoor rink first and foremost. The smell of the ice (yes…it does have a smell) mingled with the pine trees while you glide along under a moonlit sky; rubbing shoulders with Olympians and being inspired to be a better skater just by sharing a session with them. The-ever present audience on the lodge terrace makes every session a performance opportunity. Skating in Sun Valley is so magical because nowhere else in the world do all these factors collide in one beautiful skating experience.”
Skating is fun for the whole family and is a wonderful way to spend a Sun Valley summer day
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