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Hidden Valley

How Missouri skiing is supposed to be

by and

Winter is supposed to be the cold season, like it or not. During this time all the living things are to lie dormant and wait for spring, the rejuvenation season. But how boring is that? Wasting away inside your little hut with plastic over your windows is no way to live. Seize the day! Drive out to Hidden Valley, and have yourself a merry little ski season! No matter if you wear those sassy tight black pants and are a pro on the moguls and jumps, or if you're sporting the sweatpants (not recommended) and still mastering the rope-tow, Hidden Valley has a run (and lessons, if necessary) for you.

The ski (and snowboard) resort, located at 17409 Hidden Valley Drive in Wildwood, plans to test fate and open this Saturday, December 18, before winter even begins! Hopefully we'll have some real snow by then, but if not, Hidden Valley can make its own (as long as it's cold out) -- check the resort's Web site ( or call the snow-report line (636-938-6999) to find out how the slopes are shaping up. For a lift ticket only, $25 to $38 will get you through, but if you need skis because those old Atomics from high school just aren't cutting it anymore, rent skis (or a snowboard) and get a lift ticket for a grand total of $49 to $64; call 636-938-5373 for the resort's varying times. -- Alison Sieloff

Possessed to Skate
All I want for Christmas is my fakie heelflip back

Listen up, skaterats. School's out for the rest of the year (for the lucky ones, anyway), and if you play your cards right, you can spend every day of vacation skating. The ESPN X Games Skatepark at St. Louis Mills Mall (5555 St. Louis Mills Boulevard, Hazelwood; 314-227-5630) begins its holiday hours this week, so the first session starts earlier and costs no more than it usually does (9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily starting Saturday, December 18; $7 to $14 per session). If you can con your parents into dropping you off while they shop, you could maybe nail that nollie kickflip by New Year's Day. Look for Mr. Night wheezing near the kiddie section, where he'll be offering tutorials in the Primo slide. -- Paul Friswold