12 Winter Activities to Jazz Up the Season

 

These days of morning frost on the windshields and early sunsets aren’t all bad. We promise. There’s still plenty to do in and around the resort over the winter months — here are 10 great activities that have fond winter memories written all over them.

Please note: All resort activities are open to overnight hotel guests and casino guests only.

1. Winter Railway Getaway

Take your very own private train car for a 90-minute excursion. How’s that for social distancing? Through a partnership with the French Lick Scenic Railway, we’re offering a brand-new train excursion to bring back some of the seasonal activities you miss. The Winter Railway Getaway will depart the station every Saturday afternoon from Dec. 12 through the end of January, complete with hot cocoa and cookies for up to 20 people in your family or social bubble. Only three cars are offered each week, so jump on this exclusive offer while it lasts.

 

2. Trek Our Newest Trail

Bring your trail shoes and help us break in our newest hiking trail. The new Stables Hiking Trail takes you from West Baden Springs Hotel to The Stables and back, covering 1.4 wooded miles round trip. The best time to hit the Stables Hiking Trail? Saturdays from 1-3 p.m., when you can roast s’mores for free up at The Stables — and also pick up a free water and trail mix from the West Baden Springs Hotel concierge desk before you make the trek.

Don’t sleep on a winter hike on the rest of our resort trails, too. You’ll find less traffic on the trails this time of year, and when it’s clear outside, the sunshine cuts through the leaf-less forest to hit your face while you’re trekking the trails. (Plus, a day hike is a good excuse to warm up with a cocktail later.)

3. Do Some Light-seeing

It's prime season for some "lightseeing." More than a dozen Christmas trees, a half-million twinkling lights, a festive gingerbread house and holiday villages. And that's just the start. Take a stroll and see all the spectacular holiday decorations at the resort, both indoors and out.

 

4. Fun & Games at the F.L.E.X.

Hit the F.L.E.X. (French Lick Exhibition Hall) for games galore: pickleball, mini golf, billiards soccer, basketball and cornhole. Just $5 gets you access to all five games.

5. See French Lick Springs Hotel Light Up Every Night

Each night you can see a winter wonderland come to life at French Lick Springs Hotel. Catch one of the projection light shows, which use 3D animation to transform the hotel's exterior into a vibrant holiday scene. See the shows each night at 6pm, 7pm, 8pm and 9pm.

 

6. Holiday Activities for the Whole Family

From outdoor hikes to indoor Christmas-themed scavenger hunts to holiday movies at the indoor pool, ‘tis the season for some holiday fun. The kids can even write a letter to the North Pole during their stay and receive a reply from Santa himself in time for Christmas.

 

7. Fire It Up

We've got the weekend vibes going every Friday and Saturday night on the Spring House Patio. Relax outside by the fire pits at Fire Up the Weekend and enjoy complimentary s'mores and live acoustic guitar entertainment.

 

8. Keep Your Golf Game Sharp

Private lessons at Valley Links Golf Course are available throughout the winter, if you're looking for that scorecard boost once spring golf starts. Any aspect, or multiple areas of your game, can be addressed during each 45-minute lesson at our indoor facility. Weather permitting, the 9-hole Valley Links Course is open throughout the winter as well.

 

9. Still Open Throughout the Winter

As long as the weather is agreeable, several of our outdoor resort activities are available through the winter:

Sporting Clays Range

The Stables at French Lick

FootGolf (play 9 or 18 holes, or the new 14-hole short course)


10. See Wilstem's Lights and Wildlife

Take a ride through Wilstem Wildlife Park’s Winter Fest, a dazzling drive-thru experience that starts with a 200-foot tunnel and includes 2.5 million lights along the mile-and-a-half path. You’ll even see live reindeer and a live nativity scene, because this is a wildlife park after all.

Less than a 10-minute drive from the resort, Wilstem also has several of their exotic animal encounters open throughout the winter, both indoors and out.

 


11. Chill Out at Paoli Peaks

Paoli Peaks is projecting to open for the season December 19, so all you skiers and snowboarders can start praying for a cold snap and/or a coat of fresh powder.

The ski and snowboard facility at Paoli Peaks features 14 unique downhill experiences and two terrain parks with something for every skill level. They also offer lessons, if you’re a rookie or it’s been a few years since you’ve been on the slopes. The snow tubing facility features 10 lanes, each 700 feet long and specially constructed for inner-tubes, which also makes for a fun way to experience the slopes — especially with kids.

 

12. Explore the Area's Caves

Caving isn’t just for summer vacation. If you’re looking to get away from the resort and explore a little, tour Marengo Cave or plan a trek at Indiana Caverns. Marengo offers underground cave exploration trips and packages, along with two easily walkable tours where it’s always 52 degrees — no matter how nasty the wind chill is outdoors. Likewise, Indiana Caverns features walking tours, a Deep Darkness 4-hour underground challenge, and even an escape room.