Our Family Winter Vacation
The drive from Burlington up to Smugglers’ Notch was scenic and only took us about 30 minutes. Luckily I had printed some maps and directions because, for whatever reason, the built in GPS system in our car wasn’t working. This was annoying to say the least. Technology. Sometimes it’s a real fail.
|The scenic drive to Smuggler’s Notch.|
My non-skiing family was excited to arrive at the resort early and we were able to check in, and get our equipment easily and quickly. The staff was friendly and I was impressed that helmets were included with our skis and poles, for both the adults and the kids.
Our kids put their snow pants on right away and just went to town in the snow. It was lovely to see snow. It has been a very mild winter in Toronto this year. We have been deprived of snow and I missed it! They were giggling, their cheeks were red and they were so happy to play in the snow.
After a snack and some beer for Nick and I (YUM!) our condo was ready and I was happy to settle in for the next few days. What I didn’t expect was to be staying in such premium accommodations!
|Locally brewed beer sampler!|
Our condo was gorgeous! It was definitely too big for the four of us, especially since both kids usually end up in my bed. It had a television in each of the three bedrooms (a HUGE treat for us), two bathrooms (a soaker tub in mine!), a washer and dryer, a ski closet, a large foyer which was great for getting the kids ready and out the door, two fireplaces and a fully stocked kitchen — perfect for cooking our own meals. We also had an outdoor hot tub for the six units in our building. It was clean, very well taken care of and I really couldn’t have asked for a better set up.
Both of my kids (ages four & six) were enrolled in Ski Camp. We really wanted them to learn how to ski. This was fantastically organized. The kids were assigned to their groups, there was shuttle pick up at 8:45am everyday just outside our door (strictly for the kids in the camp), supervised lunch back at the lodge, lessons, and entertainment in the afternoon. By 4pm our kids were happy and excited to share their adventures with us. In the short time we were there my kids went from being non-skiers to being level three skiers. Success!
|My happy six year old ready to ski.|
We thought that full days in ski camp would tire our kids out for early bedtimes. WRONG. Lucky for us after dinner, we could take our super active kids to a swimming pool and play area just a short walk from our condo or we could take them to the fun zone, an indoor area where the kids played mini golf, arcade games, hoops, and had a choice of playing in a number of bouncy castles and slides.
|One of these things is not like the other. The kids loved this fun, after dinner activity!|
Smuggler’s Notch has mastered the art of getting their visitors around the village safely and quickly. They have shuttles that will take you anywhere that you need to go onsite. Whether it’s to the top of a mountain, the fun zone, one of the many swimming pools, a restaurant, or just back to your condo to relax, all you have to do is call the designated number from one of many phones around the village, tell them where you are and where you want to go and within minutes you have a safe ride with a smiling driver!
|Nick and I with our instructor.|
I’m so pleased that the trip was a success. Nick and I both learned to ski, even though my experience was a little more nerve wracking than his. The kids both loved skiing, my daughter was a little hesitant at first but I suspect it was because she couldn’t wear her snow pants comfortably with a dress on! (She actually wore pants all week!) What was fantastic was that each child had a GPS put on them with an individual code. This allows parents to go online at the end of the day or at the end of their stay and have a look at where their little ones actually skied. This is truly a wonderful and innovative idea.
During our stay I really felt that my kids were safe and welcomed everywhere in the resort. I never felt that they were out of place — even in the bar/lounge. There was even a magician to keep the kids entertained while they waited for their food at one of the restaurants. I would definitely recommend this resort to a family who is looking for a great vacation spot. The only thing that surprised me was that there weren’t many healthy food options in the café and restaurants. I would have loved to see a juice bar, a salad bar or a fresh fruit and veggie station. Lucky for us there was a grocery store onsite where we were able to stock our kitchen! Lucky for the kids there was a Ben & Jerry’s.
|Ice cream after a full day at ski camp.|
Everyone was friendly, the views were spectacular, the accommodations were amazing, the ski instructors were patient and above and beyond qualified and the ski camps for my kids were top notch.
We enjoyed our ski lessons and quality family time, but there were plenty of activities to take part in either with or without the kids. For some adult time, Smuggler’s Notch has affordable babysitting available for kids and babies as young as six weeks old!
It’s not called America’s Family Resort for nothing. I can’t wait to visit in the summer!