Sled Hockey at the National Ability Center

sled hockey at the national ability center park city utah

If you’ve been watching the Paralympics, you’ve witnessed some inspirational stories and incredible events.  The strength of the human spirit has been on full display, serving as a reminder that anything is possible.

Right now we’re watching the USA vs Russia gold medal sled hockey game.  These guys are hardcore; the skill and endurance required to compete at the top level of this game far exceeds that of typical ice hockey.

When I was a kid, my favorite part of the Olympics was dreaming about being an Olympian one day.  I will admit to a certain amount of rollerskating practice in the garage, with dreams of taking my skills to the ice.  Those dreams never left the garage.  The fast action of sled hockey may be inspiring your child to try something that they thought wasn’t possible before.

sled hockey national ability center paralympics

So, where can you try sled hockey?  The National Ability Center (NAC) in Park City, Utah has everything you need.  I’ve visited the NAC twice with V, one time we watched sled hockey, the next time we tried it out – it was a BLAST!  I watched kids transfer from their wheelchairs and strap into their sleds, taking to the ice with huge smiles.

If you don’t know about the NAC, I would love to introduce you.  They offers more adaptive sports than just sled hockey, including downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, biking, rock wall climbing, horse back riding, and lots more.  The offer camps for kids, camps for families, and individual activities.  The first time we visited, our whole family was in Park City and we connected with the NAC to help with get V set up to participate in everything that we did.  Our next visit, just V and I attended a family camp and stayed at the NAC ranch with other families.  Both times were life changing, honestly.  We met new people and learned new things that helped us expand what we could do together as a family.  And that’s what the NAC is all about.

Find out more about sled hockey and the NAC:

National Ability Center
www.discovernac.org

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Thule Chariot CX1 Jogging Stroller – Bike Trailer – Ski Trailer

Thule Chariot CX1 jogging stroller review

Thule Chariot CX1 jogging stroller

I was especially excited to test-drive the Thule Chariot CX1 uber-versatile stroller that was provided for my review.  We’ve tried many jogging strollers and bike trailers over the years in efforts to bring V along for the ride; I was really interested in the idea of having one piece of equipment that could take V jogging, biking, cross-country skiing and hiking with the family.

When the Thule Chariot CX1 stroller arrived, I was immediately impressed by its quality. Heavy-duty fabric with reinforced stitching, a solid frame and well-fitting accessories is just the beginning. Definitely built to last!

Picking up the cross-country ski attachments at local second hand store, we headed out on a ski trip the next weekend.  We took the Thule Chariot CX1 cross-country skiing and it was everything I had hoped for.  My daughter was warm and enjoyed the ride, and we loved having her with us.  The stable design meant that even this newbie cross-country skier felt comfortable towing her.

Double-bonus - Accessibility in the ski village was not an issue; by using the wheel on the front and skis on the back we could take her places her wheelchair would have never allowed.

The Thule Chariot CX1 fits V very well.  She’s tiny for her age – only 45lbs and about 4 feet tall.  The Thule accommodates up to 75 pounds.  There’s plenty of room over her and around her – it’s designed with extra head room so your child can wear a helmet, another great safety feature!

Thule Chariot CX1 jogging stroller review

Happiness.

Since our ski vacation we’ve found more ways to use the Thule, taking it out jogging, for walks and short hikes.  In every case it’s performed really well – I can’t wait to take V on bike rides and longer hikes this summer.  I can see that this jogging stroller-bike trailer-ski trailer will allow us to get out and do more as a family, and to me, that’s what it’s all about.

Overall thoughts about the Thule Chariot CX1

Durability – Quality construction means this will carry your child through a lot of adventures, with life left in it to pass on to another child.

Versatility – Jog, hike, cross-country ski, bike.  One solution covers a lot of activities. AND it’s easy to make the switch.  We went from a jogger to a cross-country skier in just a couple of minutes.

Safety – A 5-point harness keeps your child safely in place. Disk brakes allow for better control.  There’s even an integrated helmet space.  The stroller always felt stable.

Comfort – V was comfortable and cozy, with toys and a snack within easy reach.  There is a rain shield to keep the elements out when you want, and side vents for more air circulation.  They thought of everything.  V was happy, so we were able to do more.

At $1,049.95 for the jogger it is definitely an investment, but one that will allow you to get out and do more with your special needs kid.  The ski/hiking and bike trailer conversion kits are extra.  I found the ski/hiking conversion kit on Craig’s List, so do some checking there for the best deals.  If your child is non-ambulatory you might be able to get funding through your medical / equipment plan.  Compared to equipment specifically designed for special needs kids it’s cheap, and provides an opportunity for your child to engage in activities that would not be possible with their traditional wheelchair.  You’ll have to make your case, it’s worth the conversation.

Thule Chariot CX1 jogging stroller review

The seat with 5-point harness.

thule chariot cx1 jogging stroller suspension

Suspension adjustment for the most comfy ride.

putting together the Thule Chariot CX1 ski stroller

Adding the cross-country ski outfit just took a few minutes, everything is designed to easily attach and detach, locking on tight when attached.

Disclaimer : The Thule Chariot CX1 was provided for purposes of this review.

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After the First 12 Hours – The Search for Answers

Sisters

Last Monday I wrote about Veronica’s first day – or at least the first 12 hours.  By mid-day it was clear that the delivery hospital was not equipped for Veronica’s needs. In addition to requiring oxygen and an extremely rare eye condition, everything on her body was a little asymmetrical.  One ear looked a little different from the other, she held her hands and feet differently, she had red marks all over her forehead and eyes, and her body curved a bit to one side. We were transferred to a more specialized hospital nearby.

Knowing what I know now, we should have requested to go directly to Children’s Hospital.  Prior to this we had had very little medical experience, what the doctor said is what we did.  And we were still in a state of shock, I guess hoping that someone would explain everything and tell us how to help our baby.

We arrived at the new hospital and they decided to re-run all of the tests that had just been done, doctors were buzzing around like Veronica was a specimen for an experiment. I held V tight, Todd got angry.  The transition to becoming an advocate for our child was turned on like a switch. The hurt and fear was still there, but it was now being channeled toward taking care of our baby.  We demanded that no tests be repeated, and realized that ultimately we were the only ones that had her best interest at heart and would be making decisions for her best life.

The quest to find out more about Veronica was in full force over the next 12 days.  Every morning would start with scans, new specialists, new theories.  Every night would end with the NICU doctor non-chalantly dropping a bomb, “We think Veronica might have (insert something horrible here – we heard it all).”   Then she’d turn to go home, her work complete and we would sit with this new frightening diagnosis all night.

It’s funny what a dose of compassion can do. Compassion or a lack thereof came in extremes at this time.  Some doctors or specialists were so callous in what they would say, in stark contrast to the empathetic and practical knowledge of others.  We could have used a little more of the latter.

Our very favorite Nurse Nancy.

One of the first tests was for hearing.  The tech took us to a small conference room and hardly said a word to us as she set everything up.  She seemed more involved in her cup of coffee.  After the test was done she packed up and handed me a flyer as she walked out.

The flier read, “Your baby has failed the hearing screening, what next.”

Wait, WHAT???!! She’s blind AND deaf?  Once again, my mind reeled, looking for a way to take this in.

I asked the tech, “Everything else presents like she’s premature, is it possible that there’s some fluid in there, or something just needs to develop a little more?”

The tech answered, “No, you need to schedule more hearing tests when she’s 10 months old.”  She turned and walked away, leaving us speechless.

Stunned by the news, we carried our tiny baby back to the NICU, pulling her oxygen tank behind us. Todd held Veronica and talked to the nurses, I walked back to our room and took a shower where I wailed and prayed for answers.

“How will my baby know I love her if she can’t see my smile and hear my whispers?  I don’t understand why this little sweet girl has to face MORE challenges!  How am I going to be a good mom for her?  I’m not strong enough.”

With more questions than answers, I got dressed and returned to the NICU, scooping up my precious little one and holding her close.

Once in my arms, the answer came. It was going to be OK, I just needed to take care of Veronica.  I just needed to love and hold my little girl, the rest word sort itself out.

The next morning our no-nonsense, very wise geneticist came in and we shared our experience with the hearing test.  She clapped her hands over Veronica and Veronica blinked.  The doctor said in her thick German accent, “Oh, all these fancy machines.  Clearly this child can hear.

We all laughed, relieved to have some great news, and at the reminder that the “fancy” tests don’t always hold all of the answers.  We were beginning to see that one test, one doctor, one diagnosis is not the end of the conversation. Our bodies are complicated and the answers are not always apparent or easy to find.

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Adaptive Surf Lessons in San Diego for Special Needs

San Diego surf lessons - Surf Diva

Photo courtesy Surf Diva

On a recent visit to San Diego, my oldest daughter and her friend wanted to take surf lessons.  Surf Diva at La Jolla Shores was highly recommended, so I booked a private lesson for them.

La Jolla Shores is the perfect beach to learn to surf.  You don’t have to go out into deep water or crashing surf to get some nice waves to learn on.  The Surf Diva instructor was very professional and knowledgeable – AND he was able to deal with the laughter and silliness of teen girls.  High praise for that.

After the lesson I found out that Surf Diva Surf Schools also has programs for teaching people with special needs. Their instructors go through a yearly training, and have special boards for adaptive surfing and special wetsuit options.  They organize a great kids surf clinic with the Challenged Athletes Foundation every year in September/October.  They are also a part of the yearly National Veterans Summer Sports Clinic.

“Surf Diva is open to everyone, regardless of physical ability. We teach girls and boys ages 5 and up and our motto is: “The best surfer in the water is the one having the most fun!” said Izzy Tihanyi, founder and co-owner of Surf Diva. It’s very important to notify us of any special needs before the lesson so we can customize a lesson plan, specific instructor and adaptive equipment to optimize the learning process and create a nurturing environment”

After our great experience with Surf Diva, and seeing the conditions at La Jolla Shores beach for myself, I promised V a surf experience of her own next time we’re in San Diego.  She smiled and nodded yes.  Surf’s up!

Contact Surf Diva to find out more:

www.surfdiva.com
(858) 454-8273
askadiva@surfdiva.com
2160 Avenida de la playa
La Jolla, CA 92037

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Veronica’s First Day – Welcome little one!

I feel like it’s time to tell the Veronica’s story.  It’s been a long road and I like to stay in the present, not look too far in the future or past.  I stay focused on what I know for sure; that I have an incredible, beautiful, funny, amazing little girl who touches my life with so much love everyday.  I hope that sharing our story is a blessing to you, to see what’s possible from a child who thrives with so many perceived limitations.  This is day one, with more to come…it’s a long story! #MemoriesMonday

We checked in to the birthing center at 1:00 AM and 2 and a half hours later Veronica Rose entered the world.  The doctor wasn’t even there yet, her daddy delivered her.  What a perfect way to enter the world, into the loving hands of your daddy.  He laid her on my chest and I held her sweet, tiny body.

Bonding time ended abruptly as the nurses rushed in and wisked her to a baby-prep area in the room, where they cleaned her up.  I heard the comments, “She looks like a preemie,” and the hesitation in their voices when doing the apgars.   Minutes later it was clear she wasn’t getting enough oxygen and she was hurried to the NICU, her daddy following close behind.  He never left her side.

I don’t know what happened next, I fell into a deep sleep like nothing I’d ever experienced before.  I slowly woke to Todd sitting next to me. Veronica was having breathing problems and had never opened her eyes.  She had a one and 300 million condition where her eyes didn’t completely form.  None of the specialists there had ever seen it before.  We were told that she was blind and would never see, and they were taking her down for a brain scan – her brain might not be fully formed.

My mind reeled.  I couldn’t breathe.  It was like he was speaking in another language; the words made no sense.  I bawled like my entire being was turned inside out.  I laid on my left side, then my right, trying to find a position that would help me grasp this.

Before they took Veronica to the scan, we prayed.  Our minds couldn’t comprehend any of this.  Less than 12 hours ago my dad had made my favorite brownies and we were playing with our 2 and half year old, talking about all the things her and her new little sister would do in the future.  Our baby being anything but healthy was not on the radar.

We prayed that her brain scan would be normal, that she would be healthy, and that we would know how to be great parents for our new little one.

Todd left, I continued crying.

This was my fault, I just knew it had to be.  For over 9 months it was my job to protect and grow this precious little girl, giving her the best, and I had failed her.  I don’t even take aspirin when I’m pregnant, but I was sure I had done something wrong.

Just then my doctor walked in, I blurted out, “This is my fault!”  She told me that I had had a healthy pregnancy. Sometimes these things just happen and we don’t understand it.

The phone rang, it was my dad.  Overwhelmed and not knowing what to do, my dad had left the hospital earlier.  When I answered he said, “I just opened the Bible, and you know what I read?  Jesus was asked why the blind man is blind – was it because of his sins or the sins of his parents.  Jesus answered, ‘Neither.  The blind man is blind so that the glory of God can be displayed in his life.’”

The words were kind of comforting, but would hold more meaning later. At that moment everything was a fog.  Could this all be real?

Veronica’s brain scans completed, Todd came in to tell me the overview looked normal.  We tool our 2 and half year old to meet her sister in the NICU.  Todd is such a great dad. He showed us how he’d touch her cheek in a certain way and say, “This is daddy and I love you.”  Then he said, “Watch this…” He turned on and of the isolet light, and she blinked from the light.  “I know she’s going to be OK.”

Comedy relief came when my toddler said, “Aww, look at my wittle baby.  ….WHOA! That’s a BIG baby over there!”  Pointing the the 12 pound baby in the isolet next to us. That was a big baby.

This was only day one.

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Twilight Movie Road Trip

Kalama High School used as the setting for Forks High School Twilight movie filming locations

My daughter’s 13th birthday was marked by a “Twilight Movie Road Trip” that was all about finding Twilight movie filming locations. It was so much fun that even my husband had a good time, but don’t let that get out.  I’ve received a lot of questions about our itinerary, so here it is.  Have fun!

Twilight movie filming locations Day 1: Port Angeles, Bella’s house and the exterior School of Dance and Forks High School

We left the Seattle-area Friday afternoon, our first stop was Bella’s house located in St. Helens, Oregon, about 2 hours 45 minutes from Seattle and 40 minutes from Portland. In addition to Bella’s house, the “Port Angeles” scenes were filmed here, which included “Petite Jolie,” the shop where Bella helps Jessica and Angela find their prom dresses, the parking lot where Edward rescued Bella from a group of boys, the Bloated Toad restaurant where Edward revealed his mind-reading abilities, and Thunderbird & Whale bookstore.

As we turned the corner toward Bella’s house, we strained to look up the road, not knowing what to expect. We drove past the house and turned around at the end of the road, then snapped a few photos drive-by style, never getting out of our car. It looked just like it did in the movie, with the exception of a friendly note on the tree in front of the house, reminding us that it is a private residence, not to peek in windows. Visiting a film location like this is a lot different than visiting a studio set; people actually live here, which kind of made us feel like the paparazzi. At first this made us all a little uneasy, but honestly it didn’t take long for us to all really get in to it.

Stalkers! Here we are in front of Bella's house, the first stop on our Twilight road trip.

After seeing the Twilight sites in St. Helens, Oregon we retraced our path up to the Lewis and Clark Bridge and crossed back into Washington. Bridges across the Columbia are few and far between, and after doing some research I found that is was indeed faster to double back 30-ish minutes to cross the Columbia River the same way we came to continue to Portland. An added bonus, Kalama High School, used for the outside scenes of Forks High School, was an easy stop right on the way.

Kalama High School used as the setting for Forks High School.

With the sun beginning to set, we headed into Portland for our final stop of the day, the site of Mimi’s School of Dance. The scene in Twilight with the final confrontation between Edward and James takes place at the ballet studio from Bella’s childhood.

A few short minutes later we pulled up the Portland Hotel Monaco, our accommodations for the night. The Hotel Monaco is a luxury hotel with a tongue-in-cheek sense of humor.  The Monaco is kid-friendly, pet-friendly, and located in the center of Downtown Portland. We found out that the cast of “Twilight” stayed there during the filming of the movie.

Entrance to the Hotel Monaco Portland

Welcome to the Hotel Monaco Portland - Street entrance

Twilight movie filming locations Day 2: Café, prom and Cullen’s house

After a restful night of sleep and a relaxing morning, we were back on the road to our next stop: the Carver Café, where Bella and her dad ate dinner a couple of times. It looked exactly like it did in the movie, but don’t expect to order Charlie’s favorites, those items aren’t on the menu.

Carver cafe - where Bella and Charlie ate during 2 scenes in "Twilight".

Back on the road, we were headed to the View Point Inn, the scene of Bella and Edward’s prom. Unfortunately the View Point Inn had a fire last year, but the stunning views of the Columbia Gorge remain.

Sadly, the View Pint Inn had a fire last year.

After exploring the View Point Inn and some of the Columbia Scenic Highway, we made our way back to Portland to see the Cullen’s house, home to Edward and his vampire family. Driving through the idyllic hillside neighborhood consisting primarily of Craftsman and Old Portland-style homes, the Cullen’s house was a stark contrast with its sleek, modern design. There is a family that lives here, they welcome Twilight fans to take photos, but ask that you stay at the end of their drive way.

Twilight Cullen house - side view

Now mid-afternoon, we had enjoyed seeing the sites, but were ready to head to the last destination on our list, and one of our favorite places to visit: Cannon Beach. Located an hour and a half from Portland, Canon Beach is beautiful, relaxing and a welcome way to wrap up our Twilight Road Trip. We pulled up next to the lovely Ocean Lodge at Cannon Beach where we were staying and soaked in the fresh salt air, warm sunshine and incredible views.

Beautiful view! I wrapped up in a blanket and sat out watching the waves.

Twilight movie filming locations Day 3: La Push surfing and beach scene

The view from the parking lot above the beach. In the movie, this is where Bella and her friends got ready to surf on the beach below. Another surprise when doing my research for our “Twilight” movie filming locations road trip – the La Push beach scenes were actually filmed over 200 miles away at Indian Beach just north of Cannon Beach.

After a late lunch and a little shopping in Cannon Beach, we stopped by Bruce’s Candy Shop for road trip sustenance – our family tradition. Then we headed back home, full of conversation for a memorable 13th road trip birthday finding Twilight movie filming locations.

Disclaimer: Hotel Monaco Portland and Ocean Lodge at Cannon Beach provided accommodations for our hotel review. The opinions and experiences are my own.

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5 Tips for Finding a Family Vacation Destination with a Special Needs Child

family vacation destinations for special needs

This week the question that I’ve been asked most is, ”Where are the best places to go for a family vacation with a special needs child?”  Between the crazy weather and the date on the calendar, everyone’s thinking about planning their spring break and summer vacations.

I think that question is the wrong place to start, it’s too limiting.  There are a lot of great destinations that are well-suited to special needs families, but I think the first priority is to find a place that fits your family with something for everyone – then find destinations or resorts that meet that criteria.  This is a family vacation, there needs to be something for everyone.  If this is your first family vacation with your special needs child, consider starting small to have a more enjoyable first outing.

Tips to finding a destination for a family vacation with your special needs child:

  1. Determine your family’s vacation style.

    The vacation should be fun for everyone, so think about what your family loves to do – ski, beach, cruise, explore.  Don’t be limited to what you have done before with your special needs child.  One of our best family vacations was the first time we took my special needs daughter skiing at Park City.  My husband, older daughter and I love to snowboard, but we’d never taken a family ski vacation because I wasn’t sure if my special needs daughter would get too cold, have problems with altitude, or even like skiing.  The trip ended up really unifying our family as we shared our love of the sport together.  My special needs daughter enjoyed participating with us through an adaptive ski program and my older daughter said it “made her feel like a real family.”

  2. Make a list of destinations your family is interested in.

    Ask your friends and family for their favorite places that fit your family’s vacation style.  Put the question out on Facebook, you are sure to find out about destinations and resorts that hadn’t thought of.

  3. Research the logistics and determine the best fit for your family.

    Check out each referred destination – Are they easy to get to?  What about getting around?  Are they wheelchair-friendly?  Where are local medical facilities?  Do they have special needs programs or resources?  What is there for your family to do together, and individually?  There should be something for everyone – including you!

  4. Make a list of the things that your family needs for accommodations.

    Think about what it takes for your family to be comfortable.  Amenities like a kitchenette, or at least a mini-fridge and microwave, a pool with a lift, close proximity to local attractions, a one-bedroom suite for down time for your special needs child (or you), an ADA room or a bench in the shower might be on your list depending on your individual needs.  Also consider options like a room in a quieter part of the hotel, and a view if you think you might be spending some time in your room.  Most hotels and resorts have a lot of options that aren’t listed on their website.  By having a list of the features that you need, you are setting your family up for a more enjoyable vacation.

  5. Get your family involved.

    Have everyone do a little research about the destination and find something that they really want to do or see.  That way everyone is part of the planning and has at least one activity that they are looking forward to.  The family vacation starts before you leave home.

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Silver Star Family-Friendly Ski Resort in British Columbia

family ski vacation in silver star british columbia

It was just 2 weeks ago that we were enjoying the snow and sunshine at Silver Star Mountain Resort in British Columbia, and I miss it!  My favorite things were the fantastic snow and terrain, adaptive ski program, close proximity of village activities and how relaxed everything was.  It was a ski vacation with everything that you want, without the crowds and long lines that you often find.

The terrain was varied enough for everyone the family to be happy.  The backside, parks and free-style airbag wear out the aggressive skiers and snowboarders, while wide open blues allow for a leisurely run, or time with your kids that’s comfortable and relaxed.  We spent a lot of time on the blue runs with V and the adaptive ski instructor and never got bored.

What I love about Silver Star

Aside from the great skiing, of course, I loved of the family-friendly activities that were so close to the village.  Kids could spend the evening tubing and skating (cost including in their lift ticket), and it all felt safe.  We would ski in the morning, take a break for lunch while my daughter spent time at Tube Town and the skating pond.  Feeling rested and ready to go, we’d head out for another activity like cross-country skiing in the afternoon, followed by dinner in the village and enjoying the happenings there.  The day always ended with a relaxing soak in the hot tub.  I saw kids out on the tube runs and skating rink until closing time.  Next time we’ll have my teen daughter bring a friend, they would have had a blast doing their own thing.

Accessibility at Silver Star

If you have a child in a wheelchair, make sure that you talk to Guest Services about your accessibility needs, they can recommend the best places to stay.  My thoughts are to stay near the Tube Town and skating area.  Not only are you close to the fun for your kids, but there is a cleared sidewalk in front, Pinheads bowling ally is  there, too – you and your kids will enjoy that.  When we visited there wasn’t any snow on the roads or in the parking lot and we were able to push my daughter’s chair from the Tube Town area to the village.  When skiing, the SSASS volunteers met us in the parking lot with a sled to pull in my daughter and her chair to the adaptive ski center.  The village square center is covered with packed snow (see photo), we found it easiest to add the front wheel to our Thule cross-country ski carrier and leave the skis on the back to push my daughter around.  Like any ski area, snow can present a challenge for wheelchairs, knowing this in advance and having an extra set of hands will help.

How to get to Silver Star ski resort

Silver Star is located right outside Vernon, British Columbia.  From the Seattle area, it’s about a 7 hour drive.  A few tips for driving to Silver Star:

  1. Check the weather.  We had good weather and great road conditions. The highways are wide with multiple lanes and nice shoulders, but you don’t want to be stuck in bad conditions.
  2. Get an early start so that your mountain driving is done during the daylight.  We drove it at night, and while the roads weren’t bad, it’s a lot of driving on unfamiliar, isolated mountain highways.  We drove home during mid-day, more better!
  3. Don’t forget your passport!

Alaska Airlines is now flying direct to Kelowna, and that’s an easy shuttle ride to the resort.  Once you are at Silver Star you won’t need a car, everything is within walking distance.

Silver Star Mountain Resort
123 Shortt Street,
Silver Star Mountain,
BC Canada V1B 3M1

E. info@skisilverstar.com
T. 1 800 663 4431

See current ski vacation specials from Silver Star.

Related posts:

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Apres Ski Family Fun at Silver Star

skating and ice hockey at silver star

Ice skating and hockey at the rink next to Tube Town. This is where your kids are going to want to spend their time when they are not on their skis! You'll have fun here, too.

Silver Star Mountain Resort in British Columbia has great skiing, there’s no doubt.  Champagne powder covering over 3,000 acres of beautiful terrain with fantastic views and short lift lines, there’s a lot to love.  But what I appreciated the most was all of the family-friendly activities in close proximity, with an all-inclusive price that gives you and your family a lot of fun, affordable options off the mountain.

It’s pretty genius, your lift ticket is called “My1Pass” and is your key to the snow kingdom.  Just learn from my mistake and make sure your ticket is attached to your jacket or pants and on you at all times, it will save you a trip back to your condo or room.

That ticket provides:

  • Free tubing at Tube Town
  • Free access to the skating rink (skate rentals are extra)
  • Free access to snowshoe trails, and
  • Free access to 34 miles of beautiful cross-country ski trails
Tube Town at Silver Star

Grab a tube and you are pulled up the mountain to be wooshing down a few minutes later. You and your kids will be laughing all the way!

Tube Town and the skating rink are next to each other, located right outside of Pinheads bowling alley and adjacent to a mini snowmobile track.  Surrounded by picnic tables and a couple of warming fires, your kids will want to spend a lot of time here.  It has a real family vibe that accommodates both young kids and teens.  My teen especially loved it in the evenings; tubing under the night skies and watching the pick up hockey games – something we don’t see as much in the States.

Pinheads bowling at Silver Star

Pinheads serves up high tech bowling with really great food and drinks. Sophisticated and family-friendly.

family things to do at Silver Star ski resort in british columbia

Warming by the fire watching to kids in a pick up hockey game. Very Canadian, eh?

things to do at silver star

The indoor climbing wall

Oh!  And another thing we’d never seen before – a free style airbag!  Get crazy and practice jumps like the pros into Silver Star Freestyle Ski Club’s new Katal Innovations Mega LP 2.0 Transitional Airbag.  Although it’s available to beginners, we just watched this time.  It was very entertaining.

Of course there’s nothing wrong with sitting by a cozy fire with a warm drink, taking in the views.

Things to do for families at Silver Star ski resort

Enjoying the view.

Disclaimer:  My family was a guest of Silver Star Mountain Resort for purposes of this review.

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Cross Country Skiing with Special Needs at Silver Star Mountain Resort, BC

adaptive cross country skiing with special needs

Photo op after cross country skiing with Steve

We tried cross country skiing as a family a couple of years ago when visiting the National Ability Center in Park City and loved it!  With 65 miles of Nordic trails ranging from beginner (thank you!) to advanced, our ski vacation at Silver Star Mountain Resort was the perfect opportunity to try cross country skiing again.

Now to find a way for my special needs daughter to ski with us.

The Thule Chariot CX-1 is large enough to accommodate my special needs child, and has attachments for cross-country skiing, biking, jogging and hiking.  Something we could get a lot of use from.  Thule provided the Chariot CX-1 for our review (coming soon), and we picked up the ski attachment at Second Gear Sports after finding it on Craig’s List.  We were ready to go!

cross country skiing with special needs

Steve, showing us some ski technique.

Silver Star Mountain Resort is really beautiful, the views alone are worth the visit, and the champagne snow definitely lives up to it’s billing.  While there we met some pretty special people, Steve Feedham our cross-country ski instructor was one of them.  Quickly assessing our, uh, skill levels, Steve suggested that he pull V in the Thule Chariot so that we could focus on our form – or maybe just learn how to stop.

cross country skiing with special needs Patient and encouraging, Steve taught us all the basic techniques to ski on our own, and took us on a quick tour as the sun was beginning to set. When we were done, Steve enthusiastically announced that we had skied 1 kilometer!  Wait, that’s just over half a mile…  Oh well, we were focused on technique, not distance, right?  With those lessons and the equipment, I hope to get our family out on Nordic trails more this season.

We fell in love with Steve from the beginning; some people just connect with kids like ours, and he had a special heart for V.  He provides downhill and cross-country ski lessons (obviously with a lot of patience), and would be great with people of various abilities.

Two thumbs up from this family!

Steve Feedham, CSIA III, CSCF II
(778) 475-2662

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Thule chariot cross country ski Disclaimer:  My family was a guest of Silver Star Mountain Resort for purposes of this review.

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