What to do in SWV every single weekend in winter

You’ll never feel snowbound again!

Photo by Walter Scriptunas II

New River Gorge in “Winter White”

After the holidays, winter can seem bleak. Give your weekends direction with live entertainment, outdoor sports and fare that warms the heart.

Dec. 17-18

Night at the North Pole

Decorate Christmas cookies, sip hot chocolate and hear tales from Mrs. Claus. You’ll also get to visit Santa and tour the grounds at Pipestem, which are lit with thousands upon thousands of twinkling lights.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

Christmas Brunch at Smokey’s

Let gourmet chefs do all the hard work on Christmas Eve! Dine on honey-bourbon-glazed Yorkshire smoked ham or rosemary-rubbed venison roast, then load up on classic casseroles. Smokey’s will also serve Belgian waffles and oyster chowder. You have to make reservations for this delicious event, though!

Dec. 31-Jan 1

New Year’s Eve Dinner and Party

Indulge in the wild romance of the New River Gorge as the sun sets on the last day of the year. Survey the gorgeous landscape from Smokey’s wide windows, then listen to live music and celebrate at the open bar while you help yourself to a sumptuous buffet spread! Please make reservations for this popular event.

Then stuff yourself all over again the next morning at the New Year’s Day Brunch! Celebrate in style with a hot lunch buffet spread, artisanal bread, buttermilk biscuits, chilled shrimp cocktails and plenty of side dishes.

Jan. 7-8

Eagle Survey of the Pipestem Area

Golden and bald eagle populations are returning to the Southern WV wilderness at a remarkable pace, and naturalists need help counting them. Take part in this highly anticipated event, learn about birds of prey and immerse yourself in glorious wilderness scenery!

Winterplace Ski Resort

This high-altitude destination makes its own snow and stays open until March (weather permitting), so weeks of adventure are guaranteed! Ski more than 90 acres of exhilarating terrain or fill your day with tubing. You can keep sliding in the snow all through night! If you get low on fuel, Winterplace’s restaurants can satisfy your every craving.

Jan. 14-15

Murder Mystery Dinner: Knight of Murder

Feast on leg of turkey and become part of a medieval crime story! Merriment, costumed characters and hearty English fare will keep your spirits bright all night long.

The Salt Cave and Spa

Imagine a high-end hobbit dwelling from “Lord of the Rings,” and you’ll know exactly what to expect. Well, almost. This man-made cavern for halotherapycomes complete with low illumination and snug surroundings. You can also sign up for a facial, massage and aromatherapy.

Jan. 21-22

Couples Country-Western Dance Weekend at Pipestem

The show starts Jan. 20, when you settle in for 2 nights of pattern partner dancing. Your package deal also comes with a cozy room at McKeever Lodge and dinner. Don’t have enough time? You can sign up for lessons without having to pay for rooms or meals.

Lost World Caverns

When the weather outside gets frightful, head to a delightful… cave! Lost World Caverns is open all year (except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day) and never gets below 52 degrees. If you’re up for an all-day exploration, sign up for the “Wild Cave Tour.” Spend 4 hours of crawling and squeezing your way past fascinating formations. A hot meal and showers, plus a videotape of the trip, are your reward for a job well done.

Jan. 28-29

Chinese New Year

The era of the Rooster is here! Celebrate with tangy Asian-themed fare, including dim sum, General Tso’s Chicken, Chinese buns and pot stickers.

Babcock State Park

With its romantic grist mill and dense woods, this place is striking all year round. But in winter, when snow or frost coats the ground, Babcock is especially romantic. Bring your camera and compose some landscape shots!

Feb. 4-5

Hawk Knob Hard Cider and Mead

Sit by the fire with an exclusive beverage from Southern West Virginia. Hawk Knob’s bold, bitter drinks definitely keep Old Man Winter at bay. The owners craft each batch with local or heritage ingredients.

Smooth Ambler Spirits Distillery

Brighten the grayest day with some artisan gin, whiskey, vodka and rum. Smooth Ambler’s inviting tasting room makes a great excuse to escape the cold, too. Then bring home something to spike that homemade eggnog!

Feb. 11-12

Grease Sing Along

Wear your poodle skirt n’ shades and belt out those high-revving classics Feb. 11. You’ll feel uplifted no matter how cold it gets!

Sweetheart! It’s a Sweet Weekend at Pipestem

Spend an early Valentine’s Day deep in the mountains. This package deal includes a 2-night stay at McKeever Lodge, live music, dinner and dancing.

Feb. 18-19

Hatfield-McCoy Trail System

As the East Coast’s most extensive off-road destination, these trails have more runs, obstacles and scenery than you can fill in a day. Bring your ATV or UTV and see how much you can explore! It’s open all year. Plus, the enormous expanse connects to restaurants, inns and vehicle rental spots, so you’ve got all you need right along the trail.

Feb. 25-26

Creole Revels Dinner

Old Man Winter can’t defeat the zingy heat of Louisiana! Warm your soul with slow-cooked pot roast with Cajun gravy; Low Country boil with oysters, clams, lobsters and seasoning; sweet potato pecan pie; and much, much more.

How do you spend a winter in Southern West Virginia?