When it comes to classic holiday activities, it is hard to beat a horse-drawn sleigh ride. This holiday season, take the perfect winter ride on the perfect winter trip.
Shanty Creek Resort: You’ve got your pick of two mountains—Schuss and Summit—which offer 49 downhill runs, two terrain parks and a half-pipe, a tubing run, plus storybook settings for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Every member of your gang can enjoy the snow their way all day, then bundle up together for a horse-drawn sleigh ride through the woods. Bonfire and hot cocoa included. Call before noon on the day you want to ride. Shanty Creek 800-678-4111, ext. 3690.
Sleigh Ride to Supper: Gather 11 pals and your warmest winter finery. You’re about to embark on a horse-drawn sleigh ride (or wagon if snow’s low) that’ll carry you and your merry party deep into the woods of Treetops North. At the end of the moonlit trail, you’ll arrive at one of the resort’s remote wilderness cabins with windows all aglow. Inside you’ll find a toasty fire, a table set for 12 and a personal chef preparing a lobster and prime rib feast (reservations are required). Afterward, stretch out that full belly beneath the fluffy down comforters in the newly remodeled Treetops lodge. 888-TREETOPS
Snow Days in Stanwood: As the horses’ hooves crunch through the snow, jingling bells on the sleigh and in the hands of kid riders ring out across the rolling timberland at Outback Lodge and Stables in Stanwood. Hot cocoa caps off the cozy ride, which costs just $7 per person and $2 for kids age 1 to 4 years. You and your jingle-bell band can overnight in a two-room suite. A hearty family breakfast is provided the next morning. 866-625-6343
A romantic winter weekend in Bessemer: This time of year, the quiet meadows and deep forests around historic Winterwind farm sparkle with snow. To explore this crystalline Upper Peninsula paradise, climb aboard the farm’s antique logging sled and cuddle up under the blankets. A team of Percheron Draft Horses will pull you across the wintry landscape to a crackling bonfire built in a clearing of pines. The round-trip ride lasts 45 minutes, but a lantern-lit path back at the farm leads to more fun: a hand-hewn log-and-stone bundling house, where you can shop for antiques and other treasures while a local musician or storyteller entertains at the fireside.
Later that night, fall into bed—a sleigh bed, natch—in the Pines room at nearby Black River Crossing bed and breakfast. Beyond sweet dreams, you’ll find under the bedroom’s 15-foot vaulted knotty pine ceiling a three-sided fireplace, heated granite floor and whirlpool tub. Two other equally amazing bedrooms are available at the B&B, plus luxe common areas like the game room, wood-fired sauna cabin and a great room, which overlooks Big Powderhorn Mountain, home to 26 downhill runs, three terrain parks and an average natural snowfall of 17 feet per year.