Here's a holiday idea: Leave the city for the City Center on the slopes.
Bear Mountain in Big Bear Lake, Calif., will open two new boarding features today (Friday) at its Red Bull Plaza urban playground in the snow. The first is a 40-foot "double-sided gateway rail and box" that looks like a brick wall. The second is a "rideable cop shop." Say what? For those (like me) clueless about the lingo, that's a replica of a police station where boarders perform freestyle moves.
Snowboarders who take the 8:30 a.m. first chair to Powder Bowl can catch a ribbon-cutting ceremony and DJ planned for the opening event.
Also today (Friday), Mountain High in Wrightwood, Calif., will open its North Pole Tubing Park at the resort's north location. Up to six groomed lanes will be available at the site with two moving carpets and tubes, of course, which come with the price of admission.
The tubing park is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily until Jan. 6, and weekends and holidays after then. It costs $20 for two hours and $35 for a full day.
Last bit of advice before heading out to local resorts: Check conditions before you go, dress warmly and bring tire chains. There's a 60% chance of snow forecast for Monday, which is a good thing as long as you're prepared for it.