Ski towns aren’t only fun in the winter, they’re also fantastic family-friendly getaways in the summer months. Those snowy mountains transform into picture-perfect forested landscapes, made even better by some fun festivals everyone in the family will love. Here are some of our favorite festivals in ski towns around the country.
When: Late JuneWhere: Keystone Resort, CO
I can count on one hand the number of foods my child and I love equally. One of them is bacon. Try it in a wider range of sweet and savory dishes than you can imagine possible during this two-day event. Take part in a bacon-eating contest, pair some bourbon with your cured pork and listen to great live music.
When: Late June/Early JulyWhere: Stowe, VT
Just what it sounds like: The three-day celebration kicks off with a bike ride and block party featuring music and samples of local foods and microbrews. Over the next two days bike shops host free group mountain bike rides that start and end at venues hosting local food, drinks and music.
When: Late June/Early JulyWhere: Canaan Valley Resort, VA
A three-day weekend dedicated to kite flying for adults and kids. There will be kite-making workshops and stunt-flying demonstrations, along with special guided hikes, stargazing and pre-July 4th fireworks.
When: Mid-JulyWhere: Squaw Valley Lake Tahoe, CA
This festival takes over the base-village at Squaw for a weekend with booths selling art, crafts and jewelry and offering wine samples. Low-key stages around town feature music ranging from flamenco to West African soul. Village restaurants join in with samples and special offers. Kids can try activities like mini-golf and bungee trampolines while their parents peruse the art and wine.
When: Mid-JulyWhere: Montage Mountain, Scranton, PA
Montage opens its outdoor water park in the summer and festival goers have access. Families can grab a spot a the back of the lawn on one of three days and split their time between bobbing in the wave pool and grooving to acts like Government Mule and Phil Lesh and the Terrapin Band. The big-name acts draw big crowds though, so it’s a weekend for families with teens, not tots.
When: Late JulyWhere: Schweitzer Mountain Resort, Sandpoint, ID
It’s hard to make wine or beer fests kid friendly but this two-day celebration does a good job. Along with regional wineries, families can hear live music, eat BBQ, shop for crafts and ride the chairlift to do some upper mountain hiking and mountain biking.
When: Labor Day WeekendWhere: Beech Mountain, NC
This 16-year-old, two-day fest features kite-flying demonstrations by the Wings Across Carolina Kiting and Okra Society and the Richmond (VA) Air Force Kite Club. Compete for prizes biggest, smallest and best-decorated kite. Kids race while pulling parachute kites. And of course there’s food, craft vendors and kite-flying music (whatever that might be).
When: Early SeptemberWhere: Aspen/SnowMass, CO
One of the highest-altitude hot air balloon events in the country, this event is heading into its 43rd year. Spend three days as a spectator to balloon challenges and races, sunrise performances and evening “glow shows.” There are even opportunities to volunteer on a balloon crew.
When: Late September Where: Loon Mountain Resort, Lincoln, NH
Wearing kilts is encouraged at this 43-year-old competition and festival. Take three days to take in traditional and modern Scottish music and dancing and to sample traditional food and whiskey. There are feats of strength, sheepdog trials and competitions in Highland dance, piping and drumming and fiddle playing. Kids can try their hand at traditional crafts and games and chill out with Scottish storytellers.
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Eileen is a journalist whose work has appeared in the HuffPost, U.S. News, Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, Parents.com and many other publications. She has traveled on five continents, three of them with her daughter. She calls New York City home. You can read Eileen's blog at Familiesgotravel.com or follow her on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.
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