In the winter months, Florida often becomes the temporary home of many Northerners seeking refuge from bitter cold temperatures. These sun-seeking snowbirds choose sand and sea over snow and ski, but soon they’ll be able to enjoy the best of both worlds, alongside locals looking for a wintry escape. This month, Florida will welcome its first and only snow amusement park.
Located on Florida’s Sports Coast, Snowcat Ridge is an alpine-style park, bringing wintry vibes and activities without the freezing temperatures. Sprawled out over 50 acres of forest and pasture, Snowcat Ridge will keep guests entertained with three attractions: Arctic Igloo, Alpine Village, and Snowy Slopes, the main star of the show. Snowy Slopes is a snow tubing hill measuring 60 feet tall and over 400 feet long. Guests can take their seat in a single, tandem, or six-person family tube as the magic carpet lift pulls them on a peaceful ride to the top. Then it’s time for the adrenaline-filled slide down the snow-covered hill.
Inside the Arctic Igloo, guests will find the closest thing to a real winter in the Sunshine State. This 10,000-square-foot, snowy play dome is slightly chilled and invites park-goers to channel their inner Anna and Elsa as they use real snow to build snowmen and snow angels. The snow dome will also include a child-sized snow hill for younger guests.
At the Alpine Village, visitors can take a break to shop in the Holiday Market, where vendors will offer a variety of craft goods. An assortment of vendors will also be in the village to offer hot and cold beverages, as well as beer, wine, and food. The festive atmosphere of Snowcat Ridge will be complete with a nightly music and light show featuring popular holiday songs timed to a light display projected onto Snowy Slopes. Alpine Village will include a viewing area for the show, as well as some campfires so guests can roast their s’mores as they enjoy the festivities.
Snowcat Ridge will open its doors from Nov. 20 to March 28, 2021. In subsequent years, the park will continue to open only seasonally. For more information, visit the park’s official website.
Jessica Poitevien is a Travel + Leisure contributor currently based in South Florida, but always on the lookout for the next adventure. Besides traveling, she loves baking, talking to strangers, and taking long walks on the beach. Follow her adventures on Instagram.
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