Nemacolin Woodlands Resort is a 2,000 acre playground, nestled in the Laurel Highlands of Southwestern Pennsylvania. While it most certainly is a AAA five diamond luxury resort, it could not be more family-friendly. Our Last Minute Traveling Mom offers seven reasons to visit this mountain resort with your family.
Nemacolin Woodlands Resort far exceeded my family’s expectations. We knew we were going to a luxury resort, but had no idea they would offer so many family-friendly events and activities. I was concerned that it may be a bit too “high-end” for my kids to feel comfortable. This was not the case at all! From a welcoming staff to endless activities and amenities, this resort knew how to make my daughters feel right at home. Don’t be intimidated by their awards and accolades; this resort is a winner for families, too.
Nemacolin Woodlands Resort: 7 Reasons To Visit With Kids
While there are certainly more than seven reasons to visit Nemacolin with kids, these are the top reasons that stood out the most for my family during our stay.
1. Varied Lodging Options For Families
With over 322 rooms to choose from, you can certainly find accommodations that will suit your needs. If you are visiting for more than a few nights, the Washington town homes and Washington Quarters are an ideal option. Each of these offer a full kitchen, living room, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, laundry room and balcony or deck. If you want a private vacation home, you can also rent one of those as well. Many people vacation in the mountains to escape people, and these homes offer a beautiful and private retreat. Some even come with private butler service.
The Lodge is a warm and inviting, 97 room property that offers king rooms or two double beds. This is the most budget friendly of the accommodations offered at the resort. Don’t let that fool you, it is still a luxury property.
We stayed in Chateau Lafayette, the grand 124 room hotel. This building was inspired by The Ritz in Paris, and simply exudes luxury and style. The guest room boasts high vaulted ceilings, crystal chandeliers and whirlpool tubs. The lobby was adorned in Louis Vuitton coffee table books, and priceless pieces of art.
Our room was a one bedroom suite, ideal for a family with teens as my oldest had a sleep sofa in the living room. Our suite also had two bathrooms, a must when traveling with kids (at least for me with two girls it is). It was beautiful, but not so luxurious that you didn’t want to the kids to touch anything.
2. Free Activities Abound
When planning family trips, you need to have a good balance of free activities offered at the resort along with the extras. Nemacolin has an abundance of free activities available to its guests. We really enjoyed the Hardy Art Collection, which is found all over the resort. From sculptures and paintings to classic cars and airplanes, this collection is diverse and one of a kind. It certainly struck up conversations with the kids when we came upon a piece of the Berlin Wall. You can take a free guided walking art tour, daily at 3:30 p.m.
If you want to enjoy the outdoors, you can play croquet, tennis, shuffleboard and basketball. We also found a playground close to the animal preserve. Be sure not to miss the animal preserve. It features rescued wild animals and you can get up close to tigers, lions and wolves, to name a few.
We also came upon a lobby of free table games including checkers, chess and backgammon. In the evenings outside of The Lodge there is a large fire pit you can enjoy as well. They really have thought of everything possible to make guests happy.
3. Family Friendly Dining
Nemacolin is home to three amazing fine dining restaurants, but it also offers casual family-friendly options. We enjoyed a fantastic breakfast at Autumn, which is fine dining in the evenings. If you are looking for something really casual, visit PJ’s Ice Cream & Pizza. This fun soda shop serves pizza, nachos, hot dogs and ice cream.
In the summer months, The Caddyshack is open. We had an amazing barbecue dinner there. You can smell the smokers as you enter the golf themed restaurant. Also, they may have some of the best mac and cheese any of us have tasted. The Tavern is located in The Lodge and offers pub fare such as club sandwiches, fish and chips and burgers. Both restaurants were great for dinner, and were loaded with families dining.
4. Paradise Pool
Tucked away behind the Woodlands Spa is an oasis for kids of every age, offering pool-side food and beverage service. Mom and Dad can relax and enjoy frozen umbrella drinks while the kids play. This pool was built for families, offering a small water-slide, swim up pool bar and ample shaded areas for a full day of play.
5. Children’s Activities
With its focus on family fun, you will find the resort’s children’s programs dedicated to making sure your kids have the best vacation. Open daily is the Kidz Club arcade offering ping-pong, foosball and arcade games. There is an indoor kids’ pool that is no more than 3 foot deep and open daily until 9 p.m. Even if your kids aren’t in the paid programs, they can still use this pool. The Kidz Klub and Kidz Night Out programs are a drop off program (for a fee), where in the kids can make new friends and have fun while the parents enjoy a round of golf or a fine dining experience.
The Grove offers spa services for kids ages 5-13. You can make them appointments for manicures, pedicures, massages, facials and hair cuts. It truly is a full service day spa for kids.
6. Midway and Fallingbrook Mini-Golf
New this year at the resort is a carnival style midway with games, a moon bounce and food truck. We enjoyed playing air hockey while my youngest tried her hand at the carnival games. You even get prizes if you win! Tickets are quite reasonable, and this extra won’t break the bank. Included in your resort fee is Fallingbrook Miniature Golf, and let me tell you, it’s hard! We played a round after dinner, and it was PGA caliber putting. We even saw adults playing, dare I say practicing for the next day’s rounds of golf at the resort.
7. Sundial Lodge & Adventure Club
The Sundial Lodge is a ski lodge in the winter months, and home to the Adventure Club year round. In the lodge you will find a bowling alley ($8.00 per person) as well as an arcade. This arcade does ticket payouts for winning games and you can trade them at the prize window.
If your kids are like mine and love more adventurous activities, you can book a daily activity through the Adventure Club. Offering zip lines, ropes courses, rock climbing wall, off-road Jeep tours, paintball and so much more, you can certainly get your adrenaline rush. My husband and daughters faced their fears and took on the 3,000 foot long zipline. I, however, kept my feet on the ground. If you are looking for something a little less high adrenaline, you can rent bikes, play disc golf or enjoy guided nature hikes. There is certainly something for everyone in the family to enjoy.
I feel as though I barely scratched the surface in sharing all the reasons that Nemacolin Woodlands is a perfect family getaway. We weren’t sure what to expect from this resort, but as we enjoyed our three days in the mountains, we certainly left with a feeling that it is built for families. The luxury is not so opulent that you feel you cannot take the kids, and the offerings for families abound.
If you are looking for a stunning mountain retreat with a lot of fun to offer, Nemacolin Woodlands is the perfect escape in Southwestern Pennsylvania.