[Parentsgroup-list] VT skiing and families?

Ian Stokes-Rees ijstokes at alumni.uwaterloo.ca
Mon Jan 24 10:39:40 EST 2011


> Hi Cambridge and Harvard families,
>
> We are hoping to go skiing over President's Day weekend, and we have
> never gone on a ski trip with a baby before!  Any advice for how this
> is done?  Daycare at the mountain, or sitter?  Take turns with spouse?
>
> Also, any advice on a good place to stay?  We were thinking of Stowe,
> but we're open to other possibilities near Boston.  Any advice on best
> way to find a good deal on a condo?  

My experience is that on-mountain childcare is pretty-expensive -- can
be $90-130 (sometimes that doesn't include gear rental or ski pass!),
and their hours are often disappointing: 8:30 or even 9:00am drop off,
and done by 3 or 3:30.  You may do better elsewhere.  If I'm trying to
get in a good day of skiing, I'd like to drop my daughter off at 8am an
pick her up at 4:30pm, so I've had a full day of skiing.  My daughter
enjoyed the "kids ski school" at Sugarloaf when she was 4, two winters
ago.  Each day she did 2x90 minutes out on the bunny slopes skiing
(morning and afternoon ski session), and the rest of the time indoors.
 I think younger than that and you'd want to know for sure that you had
a kid who enjoyed winter weather and was up for the challenge of skiing
in group lessons with adults and kids they haven't met before.

The best system I've had for "family skiing with young kids" is to go
with grandparents or another family with kids.  With 4 adults, one
person does a half day shift looking after kids every 2 days, and
consequently all adults get to ski together, and no one misses too much
time out.  Depending on the size of the kids and availability of ski
gear, the "supervising" adult may even be able to take the kids to the
magic carpet bunny slopes if such an area exists (most have these
nowadays, I think).  3 years old is probably the youngest for
un-supervised use of a magic carpet.

I was at Loon with my kids last year and I was very pleasantly surprised
-- the gondola means you get up fast and can get in a lot of skiing,
plus if your kids can do a long run, gondolas are the best way to get
them up the mountainf, the mountain has some good and varied terrain,
the steam train which goes between the two base areas is great, and the
place we stayed (possibly "Loon Mountain Lodge") on the mountain was
ski-in/out and had a great pool and hot tub.  My kids enjoyed the magic
carpet run where I was able to teach them snow plow and turning.

Sugarloaf, the only other place I've been with kids, has a super kids
program, and they get great snow, but it can be pretty cold there if you
go in Jan/Feb.  Plus it is a long drive.

And to backup what someone else said: Smuggs is supposed to be really
family friendly, though I haven't skiied there myself.

Ian


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