Christmas Eve Comes to Alaska’s Ski Slopes: Specials and operating hours for family fun

FROM AKontheGO.com-2

Ho, ho, holy moly – how did it get to be the Night Before The Night Before Christmas? If your little elves are anxiously awaiting the big night, perhaps some slope time at one of Alaska’s ski areas will temper the Christmas Eve crazies.

Christmas is a big deal in the Far North, after all, Santa himself lives here. But kids know Alaska is near the end of his route, so Christmas Eve presents a little extra time for outdoor fun before snuggling in bed with visions of sugarplams and all that. Southcentral Alaska received a bit more snow over the past two days, and Southeast has been frantically making and preserving the snow they already have, so kid-friendly slopes look pretty good for a pre-Christmas outing.

 

ChristmasSlider152_000

In Southeast Alaska, try Eaglecrest Ski Area in Juneau for an entire afternoon of Christmas Eve fun. Starting with live music at 3:15 and ending with a torchlight parade and an arrival of Santa Claus (he’ll be on his way by then, you know, so Juneau is a perfect drive-by), this family friendly event is sure to put even the scroogiest parent in the Christmas mood. Kids – be sure to make an ornament at the craft table, and sample the cookies, too; we hear they’re going to be delicious! Free for the community, but regular lift prices apply for skiers and riders.

 

[images courtesy Alyeska Resort]

[images courtesy Alyeska Resort]

[Heather Thamm for Alyeska Resort]

[Heather Thamm for Alyeska Resort]

Alyeska Resort in Southcentral Alaska is open all day Christmas Eve, with FREE lift tickets offered to anyone, young, old, or in-between, who shows up in a Santa costume. Not just a hat, not just a jacket or pants, but the full deal, from head to boots. Here are some examples from previous years, and psst: Walgreens has Santa suits on sale right now, I saw them with my own eyes.

 

Hillberg Ski Area is a military family's best friend on Christmas Eve.

Hillberg Ski Area is a military family’s best friend on Christmas Eve.

Hillberg Ski Area on the back side of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson is also giving away FREE skiing or riding to those who wear Santa costumes on Christmas Eve, but is also expanding the experience to include elves and reindeer. Yes, the rules of covering one’s entire body still apply, and I’d truly love to see some herds of reindeer on the slopes.

 

[Image courtesy Romancing Alaska.com]

[Image courtesy Romancing Alaska.com]

Finally, Hilltop Ski Area in the foothills of Anchorage is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Christmas Eve, and while they’re not offering any specials, they do provide a very family-friendly venue for new skiers and riders.

 

Watch the progress of Santa Claus on Christmas Eve with NORAD!

Watch the progress of Santa Claus on Christmas Eve with NORAD!

And hey, if your kids are wondering about Santa’s schedule tomorrow, check out NORAD Santa’s page: Alaska’s armed services personnel are hard at work tracking the Big Guy, and it is a delightful way to spend those final few minutes before bed. KTVA’s Daybreak program will also be posting regular updates on Santa’s progress tomorrow morning between 6-7 a.m.

Merry Christmas! AKontheGO will be (hopefully) taking a break over the next two days, but we’ll be back on Friday with preparations for a very special train ride coming up on Saturday morning. Stay tuned!

~EK

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