My family and I were spending our winter vacations in Vermont and decided to make Smuggler’s Notch Resort our home base for three nights. But we quickly discovered that our time frame was a mistake, due to the insane amount of activities for families that the resort offers. We should have stayed for at least a week. There were tons of activities that we never got to try but the ones we did try were a lot of fun.
I bet that whenever you think about winter activities, the first thing you think of is some huge resort that offers snowboarding and skiing. They tend to be one of the main attractions of that sort of resorts. Smuggler’s Notch Resort is no different.
About two decades ago, I was a ski lover. This led me to tons of winter resorts around the US. Most of them didn’t offer much more than that, though some of them offered extras such as sleigh rides and skating rinks. Nothing to consider as part of the actual vacation, unless you get free time.
When planning my family’s winter trip for 2016, I assumed that Smuggler’s Notch Resort would be the same, so I only booked 3 days there. I later discovered that this place has an insane amount of things to do. I should have booked at least a week here.
Winter Activities at Smugglers Notch Resort – What’s Your Flavor?
Skiing and Snowboarding for Kids – As I mentioned before, these two activities are a given. I have some experience at it from those lessons that my mother used to send me to, but instead of teaching my own sons, I thought they would be safer if professionals helped me out. Especially because they had never even seen snow before.
Smugglers offers adventure camps that have the kids all day. There is also an award winning ski school for kids that my sons loved.
My six year old son (the youngest) took to snowboarding as a natural, even though he had never done anything like that. I was feeling proud to see him and how passionate he felt about it.
He took these classes as part of the camp where they have two instructors per group. But after the first day they had to assign him a separate instructor because he was learning much faster than the rest of the group.
Luckily on the third day we were there, another boy his age at the same skill level joined in. Both were able to have a lot of fun together. Even after the lessons were over, my son wouldn’t want to leave the beginner’s slope.
The kids’ camp includes lunch. After a certain hour the instructors took the kids back to the main hall with live entertainment such as magicians, crafts, etc… So we always picked him up before they went back to the main part of the hotel so we could all hit the slopes together.
My oldest son was also in the kids’ camp but in a different age group. They stayed on the slopes all day long with only one break or lunch.
I feel like I must mention that each group was quite small. And each with amazing instructor. My twelve year old son really liked his instructor and was inspired by him to work hard to learn fast.
Skiing and Snowboarding School for Adults – I hadn’t been on a board for 5 five years and my husband never stepped on one before, so we definitely took the chance to get some classes by these professionals.
They offer both private and group classes, and we decided to join group. These last two hours and once more, the groups were pretty small.
NOTE: I loved the fact that it is non-negotiable for kids to be on the slopes without helmets. It made me feel extremely relaxed about my boys being out there. When I lived in the Colorado Rockies twenty years ago, the amount of people getting head traumas while on the slopes was extremely high. It was devastating.
Each day we were at the slopes at 9 a.m. and did our best to be back at our condo at 4 for dinner so we were still able to do another of the activities being offered by the resort.
Other Activities to Choose from at Smuggs
Every night the resort has schedule family friendly, fun and unique things to do. This was quite problematic because we wanted to experience all of the activities available and only had 3 nights.
Family Tubing – There is a tubing center on the resort property, but on certain nights of the week they do it on the main slope. Plus it is totally free!
I made a sled – (don’t you think that is a cool name?) Another free activity where you get to build your own sled. The resort provides materials and instructors. You can then go try it on the beginner slope. We thoroughly enjoyed this activity.
Winter Solstice Party – We were lucky to be there right on time for this party so we got to enjoy bonfires, drink hot cocoa and watch fire eaters.
Pool hopping and Fun Zone – Each condo complex has pools and a gym. The main area has more pools and a building called Fun Zone with fun family friendly indoor activities.
Ziplining, tree climbing and obstacle courses – Right next to Smuggs is ArborTrek. It was an extremely fun way to spend some time outdoors.
The list goes on and on. I just mentioned the ones that my family was able to participate in. We did another tour that is something not to miss. But I’ll have to write a third article to tell you all about it.
To read part one and learn all about the condo we stayed in click here.