Yearning for a quick, spontaneous trip to break up the mid-winter blahs? Pack a few snacks and hit I-90 for a short trip over Snoqualmie Pass to Suncadia. Suncadia Resort is fast becoming Washington’s answer to Sun River with its gorgeous scenery, family-friendly lodging, and abundance of outdoor activities.

However, instead of spending the whole day in the car as you would for Sun River, you can be inSuncadia before the kids ask, “Are we there yet?” Approximately 80 miles from Seattle (in ideal road conditions it takes about an hour and a half), Suncadia is the perfect getaway for families longing to get out of town.

During the winter months, enjoy weekend tubing, snowshoeing, sledding (bring your own), or ice skating at the pavilion. We spied kids as young as 3 and 4 skating around the rink with the help of ice-walkers. Helmets are available too! Call before you go to make sure the activities are running. Cozy fire pits are scattered around the property for lots of s’more-making opportunities. (Tip: S’more kits are available for purchase if you forget your supplies.)

Spring, summer, and fall mean plenty of time to get outdoors and explore all day long, whether it’s hiking, horseback riding, bicycling, paddle-boating and canoeing, geo-caching (the coolest treasure-finding sport), or playing at one of Suncadia’s playgrounds. Swimming is available year-round at the swim center. The indoor pool has two fast waterslides (enclosed tubes) that older kids will appreciate, and the outdoor pool area, open in the summer, has a wading pool for the little ones. (Note: The swim center is for Suncadia rental guests only, so day-trippers and those who rent their accommodations from a private owner are unable to use the pools.)

Planning an overnight stay or longer? Families will appreciate the variety of room sizes and configurations to choose from, many with full kitchens, laundry, and multiple bedrooms, perfect for stretching out and staying awhile. Pack some items to cook for those times when you want the ease of dining in.  Lodging options include rooms at the Lodge, Inn, Trailhead Condos (some with bunk beds), and custom vacation homes.

When it comes time to dine, the main restaurant at the lodge, Portals, has high chairs, coloring supplies, and a Little Tikes menu designed by the chef with the help of kids. Another fun option is to lounge at one of the tables or couches in the lobby area and have your food delivered there.

For families with kids ages 4-12, consider booking a session at Campcadia. The camp offers half-day, all-day, and evening sessions and provides fun crafts and adventures for kids (often theme-based) while their parents enjoy dinner at the restaurant, treatments at Glade Springs Spa, or some time on the golf course. (After all, we parents deserve a little R&R while we’re vacationing with the kiddos, don’t we?) Campcadia is offered seasonally (typically on weekends and sometimes daily during the high summer season). Be sure to check Suncadia’s website or call ahead to learn about special events and activities offered during your visit. It’s typical to find concerts in the summer, a Harvest Festival in the fall, a special Winter Fest packed with activities during the holidays, and fun events at Easter and on the Fourth of July—all of which make Suncadia a perfect year-round family destination.

—Angie J. Ballas