Yes, it’s true! During Thanksgiving week, it happens in Sun Valley. Whether you are a local or vacationing, it’s the time of year when all of us stop and reflect in the hopes of showing gratitude. Maybe that means enjoying a hike on the crisp fall day. Perhaps that means meeting friends for coffee or lunch followed by a bike ride. No matter what you do, we know one thing. Spending your Thanksgiving in Sun Valley is one for the record books.

First and foremost on the agenda, is the fact that Thanksgiving Day is always opening day for Sun Valley’s Ski Season on Baldy. Go ahead! Throw the tradition of watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade to the wayside. It’s time to grab your skis or snowboard and grab your pass. You have been waiting for this day since the mountain closed last April. And, here it is!

Since Mother Nature is the lady of the house, so typically the mountain will not be fully open right away. But, one thing is for sure. You can count on an infectious dose of anticipation and excitement for the limited runs open on the Warm Springs side of Baldy.  And with the largest automated snowmaking system in the world, there will be snow!

Want to be on the first chair up Baldy?  Some local folks have been known to spend the night at the foot of Warm Springs in the hopes of doing just that. If you are lucky enough to get first dibs on the first ride, count on your photo being front and center on the cover of the Idaho Mountain Express. Whether craving the first carve or a gentle S turn, Baldy is officially open Thanksgiving Day from 9 am – 4pm and will remain at your disposal through the middle of April or longer – Remember, Mother Nature holds all the cards!

Prefer to sleep in a bit? Why not participate in another Thanksgiving Day local tradition? Just a short 15-minute car ride south of Ketchum is the starting point for Hailey’s Annual Turkey Trot sponsored by our Valley’s Chamber of Commerce. The race/walk/stroll starts at 10am from Sturtos Hailey on Main Street and winds its way through the Draper Preserve continuing south through the Della View subdivision before turning north again. The family-friendly event brings out over 650 folks every year in support of our local Souper Supper and Girls on the Run after-school programs. You can register online or the morning of the event. If you want a Turkey Trot T-shirt – and, you know you do – we suggest registering in advance. Visit the Wood River Chamber for details.

After a day on the hill or running around Hailey, your appetite will be hearty and good to go. You can always prepare a traditional Thanksgiving dinner at home. Reserve a private chef to prepare your feast. Or, you can dine out and avoid the dishes! Can you smell the sage, garlic, and onions cooking now? Suggestions for enjoying the local ambiance and flavors of the season are Galena Lodge, or the traditional Thanksgiving feast held annually in the Limelight Room at the Sun Valley Inn.  Click here for a list of local restaurants offering fresh roasted turkey, savory stuffing and all the trimmings.

Of course, every day after Thanksgiving offers more skiing in Sun Valley but what about retail therapy? After all, it’s Black Friday!  Ketchum and Sun Valley are full of savvy and smart boutiques loaded with unique clothing, art, jewelry, books, unusual gifts for the home, and so much more. You can even find something special for the four-legged friends in your life. Starbucks, Java on Fourth, or Maude’s can caffeinate your energy level and satisfy your sweet tooth while lunch is available at local favorites like the Kneadery, Perry’s, Grumpy’s, or Despo’s. With your belly full and your shopping underway, why not sit back and relax. You are on Ketchum time! Is it time for a massage or a mani-pedi? Is an afternoon movie is in order? Sun Valley Serenade plays every day at 2:30 pm at the Sun Valley Opera House. You won’t want to miss it.

After the day is done, freshen up and head out to Ketchum’s Gallery Walk from 5-7 pm. Each of the participating Galleries offers new art and artists selected for the month as well as refreshment. Mix and mingle with locals and artists alike as you take in the sights and sounds of a night on the town. Because it’s a busy weekend in town, consider making a reservation for dinner after Gallery Walk. You’ll be glad you did.

Saturday after Thanksgiving may seem to bring some downtime… but looks can be deceiving. Hidden on the backstreets of Ketchum and Sun Valley are the classic tidbits that bring vacationers back year after year. There are antique stores and a new/used bookstore. There are retail window displays that will dazzle with sparkle and shine. There are movie theaters showing new and obscure releases all day long. There are historical museums preserving Idaho’s rich history. There are literary events with world-renowned authors at the Community Library. There are pottery and art classes. There is ice skating. There is bowling. There is a  music recording studio at the local YMCA. There are incredible consignment and thrift stores for all occasions. There is live theater, live music, and late-night entertainment. There are fabulous dining options for families as well as more intimate dining for two.

Yes – Sun Valley is a place for all seasons and all people! And, the lifestyle here makes it easy to give thanks for all of the magnificent things this valley has to offer.

Go ahead!