Gorgoza Park – Feel Like a Kid Again

Last Saturday was my first experience tubing. Not that it’s the first time I’ve ever been in a snowtube, it’s just the first time it’s been so much fun. The Mountain Fam and I set out for Gorgoza Park to enjoy the longest tubing runs I’ve ever seen. This is one place I’ve meant to visit every winter for years but never got around to it until I was invited as part of a blogger event.

I was excited to try out the magic carpet conveyor system to get up the hill with Little G. Since she is under 42 inches she wasn’t allowed on the higher hill but we still had lots of fun on the “smaller” hill, laughing as we sped down the groomed runs.

Big E could’ve spent all day on the upper runs at Gorgoza Park. He loved hooking the tube to the pulley and riding up as well as gliding the extra length down.

Baby L even got to tube at the specially designed Fort Frosty area. The carousel allows children under 3 to have a fun time tubing with no extra effort. Tubes are connected to a rotating bar and they can ride around for as long as they like. For just a small walk she got to go down the baby hill with her brother too. Not bad for a baby who can’t even walk.

I don’t want you to think the tots had all the fun. Mountain Dad and I loved tubing at Gorgoza Park. I whooped and smiled like I was ten years old again.

The one thing we didn’t try was the mini snowmobiles. They’re only for kids ages 6-12 and Big E had too much fun tubing to try them out.

This winter excursion is not cheap for a family of five. A two hour ticket is $28.00 for anyone over 42 inches and $15.00 for the shorter kids. Kids three and under are free with a paying adult but our two hour excursion would’ve cost $99.00 plus tax. As a once-a-year excursion that would be fine, it’s cheaper than skiing after all, but I would really love to see Gorgoza Park offer a season pass or a ten ride transferable ticket option.
Overall we had tons of fun and will definitely go again, even with the steep prices. The fun on the hill is worth it.

Midway Ice Castles – The Coolest Place in Utah

I’m always looking for new ways to get outdoors with the kids, especially in winter. That’s why I was so excited to visit the Midway Ice Castles, an outdoor attraction made entirely of ice.

This one acre winter wonderland includes slot canyons, tunnels, a slide and a throne formed from beautiful frozen water. The walls extend twenty feet high and are lit from within with multicolored lights that change in time to music.

These ice sculptures are truly amazing. They reminded me of visiting Lehman Cave in Great Basin National Park with all the stalactites and stalagmites. The formations are all unique, built by water spraying onto icicles. Some take weeks to truly grow.

On this outdoor adventure, Little G, Baby L and I braved a snow storm to drive to Soldier Hollow in Midway, UT for the media preview. Little G loved the Frozen soundtrack and spent most of her time pretended to be Elsa in her ice castle (in her version there was a grandfather who also had ice powers). In her game she explored every area of the castle, some of which were impossible for me, a full-sized adult with a baby strapped on, to enter. I was glad to have the baby strapped on though, the floor is ice and snow and a stroller would’ve been impossible.

The snow falling added to the winter wonderland appeal, creating a sense of wonder and excitement. I loved exploring the different rooms and pathways. It was truly beautiful.

The Ice Castles company have locations in Utah, New Hampshire, Minnesota, and Alberta, Canada. Opening dates and times may be different at each location since the attraction is dependent on weather. Last year they were only open 3 days, but this year they expect to remain open until March.

When you visit, make sure to purchase tickets online at the Ice Castles website – icecastles.com/midway. Not only is it cheaper, there are limited numbers of standby tickets available for each night they are open.

If you’re looking for something a little different this winter, check out the coolest place in Utah – Midway Ice Castles.

Monday-Thursday 3pm to 9pm
Friday 3pm to 10pm
Saturday Noon to 10pm
Sunday Closed

Online Pricing (Ages 0-3 are free)
Child (4-11): $6.95
General (12+): $9.95

Child (4-11): $8.95
General (12+): $12.95

Standby Pricing (Ages 0-3 are free)
Child (4-11): $10.00
General (12+):$15.00

Child (4-11): $12.00
General (12+): $18.00

Pike Place Market and Olympic Sculpture Park, Seattle, WA

Earlier this month Baby L and I visited Seattle and Bainbridge Island with my sisters-in-law for a fun sisters weekend. Normally kids are not invited, but Baby L is still breastfeeding so it’d have been tough to leave her. Luckily she did great being carted around everywhere.
We happened to schedule the trip on the hottest weekend on record. Three days hitting 90 degrees with a baby strapped to me constantly made for a sweaty time, but even with the heat, the attractions were amazing.
We enjoyed shopping at Pike Place Market, a Seattle shopping icon. Unique shops, flower vendors, and farmers stalls all come together in one place. You can find anything from hand painted Polish pottery to fresh fish at Pike Place Market. 
I picked up a print from Ugly Baby and LaRu, we saw the original Starbucks and enjoyed lunch at a local deli. Pike Place Market is a fun place to go shopping with the girls – the perfect sisters weekend stop.
After shopping and walking in the heat all day, we took a break at Olympic Sculpture Park to soak in the scenery. The Seattle Art museum converted a nine acre industrial space into a beautiful water front park for residents and visitors to enjoy. 
The collection of larger than life sculptures set against the backdrop of the Puget sound was the perfect place to relax and enjoy the Seattle sun set. While there I spied some yogis practicing near one of the sculptures and couldn’t help but see the contours of the sculpture reflected in the movements of the people.
The Olympic Sculpture Park was a beautiful way to enjoy Seattle scenery and as a bonus admission is free! Don’t be confused by the name – the Olympic Sculpture Park is named for the Olympic mountains not the Olympic Games. It was a great place to relax on a busy sisters weekend.

Chihuly Garden and Glass, Seattle, WA

Earlier this month Baby L and I went to Seattle and Bainbridge Island for sister’s weekend. Actually it’s sisters-in-law weekend, but Mountain Dad’s sisters are as much mine as his.

The weekend happened to be the hottest on record with temperatures reaching 90 degrees every day we were there. That wouldn’t be a big deal in most places but Seattle-ites apparently don’t own air conditioners and Baby L was strapped to my body the entire time. Walking thirty minutes from the Bainbridge ferry to the Seattle Center was hot and sweaty, but what we saw once we got there made it all worth while.

The Seattle Center is home to several Seattle attractions including the The Children’s Museum, Seattle Repertory TheaterKeyArena and the iconic Space Needle. Truthfully I wasn’t excited to see that, but right next to it was a real attraction – Chihuly Garden and Glass.

After the hefty $23 entrance fee, the sisters, Baby L and I explored a whimsical world of colorful glass. The artist, Dale Chihuly, has made his career by creating unique blown glass sculptures. His work has been on display all over the world and several museums house his pieces. This permanent collection at Chihuly Garden and Glass has many beautiful sculptures made completely from colorful glass.

The full size ocean room was my favorite featuring blown glass jelly fish, sting rays and octopi. The detail was amazing.

Having seen blown glass workers in action, I know what they do is not easy. Between heating and blowing they have seconds to create the shape they need before the glass begins to cool. It’s fast, hot work, but the results are beautiful.

I felt like I was Alice in Wonderland, especially in the garden room where glass reeds and flowers sprouted up in a dizzying array of color. I also enjoyed the gardens and atrium, as the glass was the perfect compliment to the plants.

After exploring the Chihuly Garden and Glass the sisters and I enjoyed cold sodas in the shade of the patio. Chihuly Garden and Glass was stunning, even if the entrance fee was steep.