By Kellen Quigley
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, especially for the kids (and hopefully some adults) who have the rest of 2018 off from school or work.
In between times of family and community celebration, there’s plenty of opportunities for seemingly endless fun over this holiday break.
You can hit the slopes at HoliMont or Holiday Valley. Both ski resorts are open and in full swing.
Choose from numerous lifts and slopes, warm up in the lodge and then head back out and do it all over again with beautiful scenes of the surrounding Ellicottville area.
Holiday Valley offers other ways to enjoy downhill winter fun if you want a break from or aren’t into the skis or snowboard.
Both the Sky Flyer Mountain Coaster and the tubing park are expected to open for the winter season this weekend, weather permitting.
Guests can enjoy endless winter fun and over $3 million in improvements, including upgraded snowmaking equipment, a new conveyor lift in the Slippery Streets area, a cleaned up wooded area and a new trail through the woods for kids of all ages.
Check out www.holidayvalley.com for the latest updates and snow reports.
Holiday Valley Tubing Company has up to 22 lanes, each 900 feet long with a drop of 100 feet. Some lanes are single width while others are wider group lanes to allow for linking up with friends.
The park is located on the corner of Route 242 and Bryant Hill Road on the northeast of Ellicottville. A free shuttle service to and from Holiday Valley is available every two hours during operating hours, with pickup at the Resort Services Center.
For more info, including rates, visit www.holidayvalley.com/winter/tubing.
Also visit the Sky Flyer Mountain Coaster near the Tannenbaum Lodge and get ready for a thrilling ride down through the snowy woods. The Mountain Coaster is similar to a roller coaster but it is low to the ground and follows the contours of the terrain.
For more info, visit www.holidayvalley.com/winter/sky-flyer-mountain-coaster.
The cross country trails along the top ridgeline of Holiday Valley and around the golf course at the bottom of the mountain are generally packed by snowmobile and, if weather permits, the lower trails are track set. The trails on top are open until 3 p.m. and are recommended for those with intermediate skills. For $15, you can purchase a 2-ride cross country ticket for the Mardi Gras, Cindy’s or Tannenbaum lift. Ride up, and you can either ride the Mardi Gras or Tannenbaum chair back down, or ski down one of the easier trails.
The easier trails along the golf course at the base of the mountain are open during daylight hours and feature solar lights for a nighttime ski on the golf course, just be sure to stay away from the ponds that are used for snowmaking.
Snowshoeing is also available on the lower slopes and on the golf course, but be sure to stay to the side of the cross country tracks.
Adventurous and experienced cross country skiers can make use of the miles and miles of mountain bike trails located in the state forest bordering Holiday Valley. These trails are not patrolled or maintained, so take all the precautions of a responsible backcountry skier.
Both snowshoes and cross country skis are available to rent at Holiday Valley’s High Performance shop.
You can also rent snowshoes and/or cross country skis at area ski shops: Adventure Bound, 16 Washington St., Ellicottville, 217-4047; City Garage, 5 Monroe St., Ellicottville, 699-2054; Dekdebruns, 18 Washington St., 699-1140; HoliMont Gear Up Shop, 6921 Route 242, Ellicottville, 699-5582.
Looking for some indoor fun? Head to EVL Bowling for some competition on the lanes and at the arcade games. Order a pizza and a pitcher of pop and make an afternoon of it.
Stroll the Village streets and stop into your favorite shops to stock up on gifts for yourself and post-holiday deals.
Grab a bite at one of Ellicottville’s eateries, and stay into the evening to enjoy some live music.
There’s no shortage of exciting adventures you can take this time of year.
Enjoy the last of 2017 with friends and family and enjoy all Ellicottville has to offer this holiday break!