Historic Ruby’s Inn is getting ready to welcome hundreds of visitors this February for a weekend of adventure, learning and sightseeing at the 31st annual Bryce Canyon Winter Festival.

“This time of year is really spectacular at Bryce Canyon,” said Falyn Owens, executive director of the tourism office for Bryce Canyon Country. “Winter visitors have so many options from cross-country skiing, to snowshoeing, to horse-drawn sleigh rides.”

The winter tradition takes place over President’s Day weekend, February 13-15, and allows participants the rare opportunity of visiting a snow-capped Bryce Canyon. The towering red rock spires and contrasting white snow combine to create stunning scenery in the giant natural amphitheater.

“The Winter Festival has always been one of our most popular events,” said Jean Seiler, director of marketing for Ruby’s Inn. “This year is extra exciting because it coincides with our centennial celebrations.”

In addition to family-owned Ruby’s Inn marking its 100th anniversary, National Park Service is also celebrating its centennial throughout the year. The Winter Festival will serve as a kick-off to the many special events being planned at Bryce Canyon and Ruby’s Inn to commemorate the combined achievements.

“The most anticipated events are always the cross-country ski races for kids and adults,” Seiler said. “But those are just the beginning of numerous family-friendly activities offered at the festival.”

The schedule for this year’s activities, taking place both outdoors and indoors, includes kayaking tutorials, ski clinics, photography workshops, watercolor painting and an archery biathlon. The three-day festival also includes special activities for children, such as hands-on craft classes and athletic competitions.

“Kids and families will love learning new things and discovering new winter sports to play,” said Lance Syrett, Ruby’s Inn General Manager. “There are fun opportunities for everyone, no matter what their interests are.”

An addition for 2016 is the free Family Dance held at Ebenezer’s Barn and Grill Saturday night. Syrett anticipates the dance will be a great opportunity for winter festival participants to gather together and celebrate the end of the first day of festivities.

Ruby’s Inn is located just outside the gates of Bryce Canyon National Park and provides the closest available lodging. In fact, the winter festival is just one example of the outstanding partnership that exists between the national park and Ruby’s Inn.

“The winter festival allows us to welcome guests during this unique time of year for a more personal experience inside the national park,” said Kathleen Gonder, Chief of Interpretation and Visitor Services at Bryce Canyon National Park. “We’ve arranged for our rangers to provide geology talks, guided snowshoe hikes and interactive scientific demonstrations.”

Besides the winter festival competitions, Ruby’s Inn provides a variety of other adventures that are available to guests all winter season, including an outdoor ice skating rink, horse-drawn sleigh rides, horseback riding and cross-country skiing.

For more information on the Bryce Canyon Winter Festival, visit www.RubysInn.com or call 435-834-5341.