Idaho's Last Chance At Sun Valley's Winter Wonderland Festival 

Wednesday-Friday, Jan. 2-4

Santa came early to Sun Valley, gifting the resort with a Thanksgiving opening day. Brundage Mountain Resort and Pomerelle Ski Area didn't open until Dec. 14 and Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area didn't open until Dec. 21. But the gods of snow (and snow machines) looked down on Sun Valley and said, "Let there be gnar pow pow."

The timely season opening and fresh dumps of blinding white snow give the Wood River Valley area an especially wintery feel, and the Sun Valley Resort has been celebrating with the Winter Wonerland Festival, an annual recognition that Ketchum and Stanley have a corner on the deep white stuff market, at least for now.

The festival filled the town with concerts, ice shows and holiday carolers. Children decorated gingerbread men and gingerbread houses while hot adult beverages occupied the adults.

All of these activities are, obviously, Christmas-themed, and Christmas is clearly, definitely, finally over. Ditto with New Year's. But the Winter Wonderland Festival persists, in large part because winter isn't over yet. There's still time to check out the Gingerbread Village—a mockup of the Sun Valley Village made from the titular foodstuff—the Village Light Display and the Sun Valley Village itself, filled with festive painted windows before the festival ends Friday, Jan. 4.

If you don't take advantage of the festival soon, you'll be stuck with skiing without gingerbread villages, and how much fun would that be? OK, silly question.

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