EACH YEAR, on the last weekend of February, a scene from Frozen plays out in the middle of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains as a snow castle—complete with slides, staircases, and multiple rooms—rises from the base area of Sipapu Ski & Summer Resort.
“It’s fun!” says general manager John Paul Bradley with a laugh. Sipapu, like many of New Mexico’s ski areas, caters to multigenerational trips with a collection of on- and off-site activities—and for good reason. “Not everybody skis and snowboards, but everybody wants to go on vacation with their family,” Bradley says.
Certainly, ski resorts across the state provide terrain for all abilities, along with skilled ski school instructors ready to help guests level up—even those as young as three years old. But in recent years, many resorts have added experiences beyond the slopes. In addition to the February Fun Fest, Sipapu hosts a Cardboard Derby, where participants DIY a vessel and slide down snow-covered chutes. Its sister resort, Pajarito Mountain Ski Area, throws a zany Skiesta festival each March that’s just as much fun for spectators as it is for those donning costumes and zooming downhill. Taos Ski Valley treats guests to live music, ice skating, and yoga, while Red River Ski & Summer Area has a tubing hill and miles of snowmobiling trails.
Angel Fire Resort, whose guests arrive looking for a full winter experience, has perhaps the most robust collection of nonskiing fun-tivities with its sledding hill, sleigh rides, ice sculpture demonstrations, and snowshoeing at the Nordic Center. “It’s about sharing their memories,” says Greg Ralph, Angel Fire’s director of marketing. “Hopefully, they’re storing some of those things up to share with their friends and to keep as a lasting family experience.”