Consider checking out a nearby indoor or dry ski slope when there is little-to-no snow in the mountains.

Dry or artificial ski slopes mimic the attributes of snow by using materials that are stable at room temperature, enabling people to ski, snowboard, and tube on them. Vertically small as they are, dry ski slopes are popular in the United Kingdom, although there are several scattered across Europe, the U.S. and South America.

A variety of materials can be found on dry ski slopes, including Dendix, Snowflex, and Perma-snow.

Recent improvements in materials used on the slopes have successfully diminished problems caused by rougher materials from earlier days that caused burns and scrapes when skiers fell, and also damaged equipment.

Read Sam Thorne's 'Plastic Slopes' Keep On Sliding In Europe for a thorough look into the world of dry ski slopes.

Indoor ski slopes that have been developed over the past several years differ from dry ski slopes in that they are inside huge buildings kept at near freezing temperatures and, like mountain ski resorts, use sophisticated snowmaking technology and guns to create a real snow surface.

Real snow centers are found the world over, including the Middle East, giving basically city dwellers access to instruction and preparation for ski or snowboard holidays, exercise, and fun.

Indoor ski slopes are located in Belgium, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, South Korea, Spain, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom.

Construction of new indoor snow palaces is taking place in Bahrain, Belgium, and the United States. Las Vegas, Nev., North Carolina, and New Jersey all have indoor ski areas in various stages of planning and construction.

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