Best winter fun for the kiddos

Recapture the childlike magic of the season with your own kids.

Winter has a way of capturing some of our best childhood memories: sledding, ice skating, snowball fights, building snowmen, even sipping hot chocolate in front of a crackling fire.

In Wild, Wonderful West Virginia you’ll find plenty of options for winter fun, from outdoor recreation to cultural activities– all the more reason to start planning now for your winter wonderland family getaway.

1. Skiing and Snowboarding

January is Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month, so what better excuse to teach the kids a new skill?

Snowshoe and Winterplace resorts have programs to teach children as young as 4 the techniques and skills to get on their feet and zipping down the hill. Oglebay Resort also offers a children’s instruction program with a discount off lift tickets.

2. Sledding and Tubing

The Mountain State boasts some of the biggest and best tubing and sledding runs in the mid-Atlantic. Canaan Valley Resort’s 1,200-foot-long tubing run is sure to be hours of snowy entertainment, while Winterplace’s tubing area– with 16 lanes and 2 super carpet lifts–is the largest in West Virginia. Blackwater Falls State Park’s new-and-improved sled run is more than a quarter-mile long, making it the longest on the East Coast. Feeling creative? Put your aerodynamic design skills to use to build your own sled for their annual Cardboard & Duct Tape Sled Race.

4. Nature Walks

Enjoy a nature walk in West Virginia State Parks and Forests. Many of them are leading guided First Day Hikes on New Year’s Day. The kids will have fun hunting for animal tracks and identifying the different types of trees.

5. Ice Skating

Lace up the skates and take a spin on the ice at The Greenbrier, Wheeling Park Memorial Skating Rink, Morgantown Ice Arena or the Memorial Ice Arena in South Charleston. Or round up the family to cheer on the Wheeling Nailers! The East Coast Hockey League team is an affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

6. History, Science and Wildlife

Warm up from your winter sports with a visit to a family-friendly museum or theater. At Heritage Farm Museum & Village in Huntington and the Youth Museum of Southern West Virginia in Beckley, you can travel back in time to 18th and early 19th century towns and coal camps recreated in all their original glory.

The State Museum at the State Capitol Complex in Charleston has an interactive path through 26 Discovery Rooms detailing West Virginia’s history from prehistoric times to modern day. Also in Charleston, the Clay Center’s science galleries will inspire and entertain all ages for hours. In Wheeling The Children’s Museum of the Ohio Valley encourages learning through hands-on play.

Budding astronomers can learn about the stars at National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank, and animal lovers will delight in watching black bear, otter, bobcat and other native species at the West Virginia State Wildlife Center in French Creek.

Start a list and see how many fun activities you can check off this winter!

What are some of your favorite winter activities with the kids?

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This post was last updated on November 14, 2019