Get ready to celebrate the beginning of the 2012 holiday season at many of your favorite ski resorts and towns. Thanksgiving day, Nov. 22, starts it all.
Stratton Mountain Resort in Vermont begins Thanksgiving Day with the Gobble Gobble Wobble 5K family fun run, 9 a.m. Race starts at the Sports Center and takes walkers/runners through the resort’s residential neighborhoods finishing at the Sports Center. Register prior to the event for $35 or $50 day of the race.
All registered participants get a race t-shirt, with proceeds going to local food pantries. Awards are given to overall winners, best costume, largest family of runners, youngest and oldest runners, and more right after the event.
Okemo Mountain Resort, another Vermont area, is giving you a reason to enjoy a more guilt-free Thanksgiving dinner with its Okemo Trot It Off 5k Sat., Nov. 24, in the Jackson Gore base area, 9:30 a.m. Run or walk – it’s up to you. Registration is $25 and proceeds go to the local community assistance program. There is also a Tots Trot for kids 12 or younger, just before Trot It Off.
The Resort is hosting a traditional Thanksgiving dinner Nov. 22 in Coleman Brook Tavern from 1-7 p.m. for $29.95 per person; reservations recommended. The area opened for skiing/riding Nov. 8 giving you yet another way to work off some calories.
New Hampshire’s Granite Gorge celebrates turkey day with a Rail Jam under the lights beginning at 6 p.m., and depending on weather conditions. There is an entry fee of $15; all ages welcome. Prizes will be awarded for best rider/skier, best tricks, etc.
Wintergreen Resort in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains is scheduling events for the entire family beginning Wed., Nov. 21 with a family movie and free popcorn. Thurs. features a Turkey Day 5K Trot and a choice of locations for the traditional Thanksgiving Day dinner at Stoney Creek, Copper Mine Bistro buffet, or Devil’s Grill.
Events continue Fri., with a ski swap from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., the opening of the tubing park (weather permitting), and three Gingerbread House Workshops for a $25 fee, ending with the Grand Illumination in the Courtyard at 6:30 p.m. Holiday workshops continue Sat. where you can learn to make a wreath ($25 fee) and the kids can work on their ornaments for a $15 fee. A Warren Miller movie is scheduled for 8 p.m. Call 434-325-8180 for more information.
Ski Brule in Michigan is getting ready for their Thanksgiving Race Camp, Nov. 22-25. Coaches work with small groups of skiers on the technical and mental aspects of ski racing. Groups are broken up according to ability and age. Lectures cover tactics, conditioning, technique, and more. There is a separate program for Masters racers. Cost is $220 for all four days or $60 per day; racers must provide their own meals, lift tickets, and lodging. Call 608-848-6123 for more information.
Vail Cascade Resort in Vail celebrates the holiday Wed. Nov. 21-25. There will be activities for the kids from 10-11 a.m. (fee applies), cookie decorating Thurs., movie night featuring the “Grinch Who Stole Christmas” Fri. and “Frosty/Rudolph” Sat. Adults can enjoy complimentary spiced cider from 3-5 p.m. in the Fireside Bar, and NFL and college bowl games Thurs., starting at 9 a.m. Family activities include watching Thursday’s Macy’s Day Parade on TV, and roasting s’mores. Thanksgiving buffet is free to veterans, active military, and their immediate families.
Crested Butte, Colo., has you working off those Thanksgiving calories with their Training Camp Nov. 22-24. It’s open to beginners, intermediate and advanced skate and classic clinics, as well as clinics for women and master racers. You also can take advantage of the Pilates classes for Nordic skiers. Catch ski movies at the Crested Butte Center for the Arts for $10 and enjoy a Nordic Season Kick-Off Party & Silent Auction for $30 for adults, $15 for kids 5-18, and free for kids under 5, starting at 6 p.m.
If you’d rather slide down a hill on a frozen turkey instead of eating an oven-roasted one, head over to Red River Ski Area in northern N.M. The fun begins at noon, Thanksgiving Day, for the whole family as you prepare to slide down the Baby Blue Hill.
California’s Mammoth Mountain hosts several Thanksgiving dinner options. The Mountainside Grill in the Mammoth Mountain Inn features a traditional turkey dinner complete with turkey, stuffing, vegetables, salads, pies and more. Price is $50 for adults; $20 for kids 7-12; free for kids 6 and under. The Lakefront Restaurant at Tamarack Lodge is serving a 3-course dinner for $65 per person.
If the kids get antsy, there’s the Kids Activity Room where they can frost their own cookies and have a complimentary picture taken with Woolly the Mammoth mascot. Quick lunch options include the Mill Café at Stump Alley Express and the Broadway Marketplace in the Main Lodge. Reservations can be made by calling 1-800-MAMMOTH (626-6684).
Walk off some of your meals Nov. 23-25 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. at the Thanksgiving Art Festival in the Minaret Cinema Mall featuring local and visiting artists in Mammoth Lakes. Admission is free.
Squaw Valley, Calif., is the scene of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner at the Terrace restaurant at High Camp, some 8,200 feet high with views of the Sierra Nevada and Lake Tahoe. Seatings are at 12:30 and 3:30 p.m.; cost is $39 for adults, $29 for kids 12 and under. A Tram ticket is extra at $22 for adults and $11 for those 12 and under. Fill up with turkey and gravy, salads, vegetables, and choice of pies. Enjoy the music of pianist Steve Palumbo while dining. Reservations are required.
Many areas will be opening for skiing/riding Thanksgiving Day, weather permitting. Check first right here at SnoCountry.com if you’re planning on combining a day on the slopes with some time around the dinner table.
Photo: Red River, N.M.