While many of us are dreaming of the sun, sand, and warmer temperatures, others are taking advantage of the frigid cold and all that white stuff to embark on their own extreme adventures. Most of these trips are geared towards teens and adults, and if you would have asked me ten years ago whether I was interested in any of these travel ideas, the answer would have been a resounding “No!” Funny enough, kids have a way of changing you.
Last year, I embarked on an adventure with my then 6 year old, 4 year old, and 18 month old. On a whim, I decided to take them camping in a yurt — by myself. My husband is not an outdoors guy and that particular weekend he was was unable to get away from our business, so it was just me and the kids. For two nights we camped in a heated tent with no television, no computer, no toys … just us. I even survived to tell the tale! You can read my full review of the experience over on my blog, Child Mode.
If you’re looking to embark on a fun and chilly adventure before the snow thaws, here are seven ideas that are probably unlike anything you’ve ever done before!
Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort, Finland 1 of 7
Kakslauttanen in Finland is the ultimate spot for winter adventurers, offering accommodations such as glass igloos, snow igloos, suites and log cabins. Some of the winter activities are unlike anything you've ever seen before! Care to take part in a reindeer safari? What about an Icebreaker Sampo cruise or aurora hunting? You can even visit Santa's house!
Photo credit: Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort
Hotel de Glace, Canada 2 of 7
Infamous in Canada, the Hotel de Glace is Quebec City's Ice Hotel, and it's renowned for crystalline ice sculptures and stunning accommodations. The beds are made out of glass, and if you opt in for a drink at the bar, enjoy it in an ice glass! There's even a chapel for those who wish to get married here. This year Hotel de Glace introduced their newest attractions — the Frozen-inspired suite!
Photo credit: Hotel de Glace
Hotel Riffelalp Resort Zermatt, Switzerland 3 of 7
Located 2222 meters above sea level, the Riffelalp is in the midst of the Swiss Alps. This hotel is also home to Europe's highest outdoor pool, offering a crazy amazing view of the Matterhorn as well as Europe's highest spa centre.
If you're a sucker for heights, this is the hotel you want to stay at! Ski school is available to the guests as well.
Photo credit: Riffelalp
ICEHOTEL, Sweden 4 of 7
Sweden's ICEHOTEL is located in JukkasjÃ¤rvi, a small village 200 km above the Arctic Circle. They offer a variety of accommodations, including special art suites that are designed by different artists each and every year.
While you're visiting, take a snowmobile tour of the area, or try your hand at ice sculpturing. Dog sledding, horse tours, Northern light shows, and ice driving are just some of the activities available here.
Photo credit: ICEHOTEL
Kirkenes Snowhotel, Norway 5 of 7
Norway's Kirkenes Snowhotel is made using the ice from a frozen lake next to the building. The rooms are themed and feature all sorts of gorgeous artistry (just be sure to bring a sleeping bag rated -35 C or over). You can hunt the Northern Lights, go ice fishing, or take a king crab excursion if the fancy suits you.
Photo credit: Kirkenes Snowhotel
Chena Hot Spring, Alaska 6 of 7
Hot and cold! That's the easiest way to describe Alaska's only year-round hot springs resort. Chena Hot Spring Resort has been around for over 100 years and offers some of the most breathtaking aurora borealis displays in the winter. Enjoy the healing powers of the natural outdoor hot springs Rock Lake while viewing the Northern Lights. Sounds dreamy!
Photo credit: Chena Hot Spring
Yurt/Winter Camping, World-Wide 7 of 7
Yes, you can camp in the middle of the winter! Yurts are heated tents that protect you from the elements. There are several provincial parks that offer yurts year-round. You can get the 101 on camping in a yurt with kids (yes, it's possible) over on Child Mode.