Snow Play Area at Paradise - Sledding & Inner Tubing | A Closer Look
Families with children will enjoy the snow play area at Paradise, north of the upper parking lot -- at least five feet of snow are needed before it can open. It is usually open by mid-December. The Snow Play area is the ONLY place in the park where sledding and sliding are permitted. Trees, tree wells, and cliffs make other areas dangerous. For everyone's safety, use "soft" sliding devices flexible sleds, inner tubes, and saucers. No hard toboggans or runner sleds.
Spend a Day on the Slopes
CRYSTAL MOUNTAIN | Official Website
Kids 6 and under ski for only $5. Youth 7-15 also enjoy a discounted day rate. The resort also offers an incredible Kids Club program that continually receives rave reviews. In addition to the long list of ski lessons offered for kids, Crystal also offers Parent/Toddler lessons for kids ages 2 & 3. And the kids love the friendly skiing & snowboarding mascots Micro-Chip the Chipmunk and Elky the Elk.
WHITE PASS | Official Website
On the other side of the mountain at White Pass Ski Resort, weekend kids' clinics offer a full day of skiing or snowboarding adventure for children ages 5-12. The resort also offers PeeWee Skee for the youngest kiddos. One hour of sliding and experiencing the winter outdoors with an instructor. And for the advanced rider, the White Pass Ski and Snowboard Club will further their skills.
Snowshoeing with Kids | A Parent's Perspective
Snowshoeing is a great option for families of all ages and abilities looking for fun winter alternatives to skiing or sledding on Mt Rainier. There are several resorts and areas both inside and outside the park that offer snowshoe rentals, trails, lessons, and guided tours. You can snowshoe at your leisure around a frozen lake at the Nordic Center at White Pass Ski Resort or you can take a ranger-guided snowshoe walk in the hills behind the Jackson Visitors Center at Paradise.
Cut your own Christmas Tree | Tree Cutting Facts
Share a traditional family outing to find, cut and carry home the perfect Christmas tree. The Gifford Pinchot National Forest sells $5 u-cut permits.
Northwest Trek Wildlife Park
Ticket Rates, Hours Open, Maps | A Parent's Perspective
Near Eatonville, the Wildlife Park is a treasure for families and wildlife enthusiasts. The signature tram tour through the 435-acre free roaming area offers the opportunity to spot animals as they wander through forests, wetlands and meadows. The bison cluster in the flat areas, eyeballing the tram as it turns toward them. The caribou and the elk seem close enough to touch - because they are! The mix of animals that can be seen from the comfort of the tram is remarkable and the chance to see them in this way is a one-of-a-kind experience. Including the core area -- with cats, bears, wolves, owls and more -- the park is home to 200 animals representing 30 species.
Oak Creek Elk Feeding Area
A Closer Look | A Parent's Perspective
Part of the Oak Creek Wilderness Area, the Oak Creek Elk Feeding Area is located six miles west of Naches on Highway 12 and offers families a unique winter wildlife experience. Every day from mid-December to early March visitors can drop by the feeding area to watch the supplemental winter feeding of hundreds of Rocky Mountain Elk. Feeding time is 1:30pm every day, with free truck tours of the feeding area available on a first come, first served basis.
Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad's Santa Express | Official Website
You too will believe! Catch a steam train ride during the holiday season when the Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad becomes the 'Santa Express'. Take a holiday ride through a winter wonderland on a fun-filled vintage steam train adventure. Passenger's of all ages will enjoy a visit with Santa and the festive atmosphere of holiday lights and music, and of course, hot cocoa, cider and cookies!
White Pass Winter Carnival
A Closer Look | A Parent's Perspective
Every year the White Pass Ski Area, located 12 miles southeast of Mt. Rainier National Park and 22 miles west of Packwood, celebrates the winter season with a family-friendly Winter Carnival. Held the first weekend of March at White Pass's 4,500-ft. base area, the carnival is jam-packed with winter fun for the whole family. Activities include a 30-ft. interactive snow castle, snow sculptures, outdoor games, snow sport competitions, a torchlight parade, and colorful fireworks.
Explore the Paradise Visitor Center | A Parent's Perspective
During the winter months, Mt. Rainier National Park's Henry M. Jackson Visitor Center at Paradise offers families fun, interactive exhibits and ranger-led snowshoe programs (kids 8 and up) for exploring the mountain's winter side. After time at the nearby Paradise Snowplay Area, the Visitor Center is a great place to warm up with hot cocoa and a snack. Visitor center hours and junior ranger programs vary by season. Go here for the visitor center's current hours and contact information.