Last month we spent 2 weeks in McCall, ID. This was our first snowbound destination and I’ll be honest – I wasn’t sure what the verdict would end up being?
Our itinerary was to spend 1 week in McCall for their Winter Carnival with some amazing friends at their family cabin and then to spend our second week (just the 5 of us) in a condo for some skiing and snowboarding at Brundage Mountain.
Taylor and I had been to McCall many times but we’d never gotten to take the kids in the winter and in fact the last time we’d been there with snow, it turns out was like 15 years ago (just typing that makes me feel really old). Plus we’d never gotten to ski at the resort before, and, oh my wow – was that a treat! So without further ado, let me share our itinerary and experiences on our winter wonderland vacation.
The McCall Winter Carnival –
If you live anywhere in the Northwest, add this to your bucket list. Winter Carnival goes on for 2 full weeks in February. We experienced the final week of it. They have a huge list of activities, and adventures to be had during winter carnival. My personal favorite part of the carnival were the ice sculptures. There were 36 in total this year and they were all over the town. We made it a scavenger hunt and set out to find as many as we could. One of the ice sculptures was even at the top of a ski lift at Brundage Resort – it was a huge train, you could even get inside the cars.
We also went Gold Panning which was a free activity they had available during winter carnival. All of the kids loved this and came home with little bags of jewels and gold. They were thrilled.
And then there was BINGO. Have I ever told you about Taylor’s love for Bingo? Oh man, he absolutely loves it – so when we saw family bingo on the docket, there was no way we weren’t going to be attendance.
On the weekends of the carnival, above the lake in the center of town they had all of these stalls of crafts, products and fair type food stalls. We, of course, had to try some of the foods.
We tried a Mac’n’Cheese drilled cheese, bought some Elk Jerky, but hands down my absolute favorite was the Bacon on a Stick guys! I tried Steak on a stick and Bacon on a Stick (cause how’s a girl to choose between those options!?!) and I have to say, Bacon-on-a-Stick won. In fact, I may be drooling right now thinking about that bacon-on-a-stick.
And then there was the grand finale, the winter carnival closed with a firework spectacular over the frozen lake.
McCall in the Winter –
I was shocked by how much there was to do. I was worried we might run out of things to do but we ended up not even getting to do all the things we wanted to do. We never got to ride the fat bikes or use the indoor pool at our condo. But we definitely didn’t have any shortage on fun.
And of course, My Father’s Place is a must for burgers and their ‘Mile-High’ shakes.
In the center of town is the ice skating rink, Gabriella has been begging to go ice skating for forever it seems like, so that was a must. Since the rink is basically the focal point as you drive into main town, the keep it gorgeous and really well kept.
Then there were the hot springs. This had to have been one of my favorite days. We got up and headed to Brundage to ski. Left the mountain at 4pm and went directly to the Gold Fork Hot Springs. I think we have for sure found the perfect way to end a day on the slopes. My body was so grateful!
The pools go in order of heat. So the kids were able to find a sand bottomed hot spring that was perfect for them. It was big enough for them to swim in. The girls were giving each of us exfoliation treatments with the sand (I happily accepted feet, hand and arm treatments).
Brundage Mountain –
This was our first time skiing Brundage and it definitely will not be our last! I didn’t even know that skiing could be like this! It was amazing.
Brundage is a smaller resort which I loved! It’s called the hidden gem and I completely understand why now!
The runs are lined and dotted with trees making it truly feel magical and the powder was insane. We were laying fresh tracks all day every. Plus the tree lines added an extra level of fun for my boys who are a bit more adventourous than us girls are.
I’m (mama) not as die hard as the rest of the fam, although I’m working on it! So I have to admit that I loved sneaking over to the lodge for a little reading and cocoa time. Even snuck in an hour of work between runs!
So the recap: McCall and Brundage Resort were a huge hit! So much so that we want to make it an annual thing! It turns out that McCall has convinced us that we really do love winter holidays!