An Insider's Guide to the Best Family-Friendly Winter Activities at Mount Snow

Even "grommets" have their own terrain park at Mount Snow.
Even "grommets" have their own terrain park at Mount Snow. Courtesy of Mount Snow
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Mount Snow prides itself on being family-friendly, and therefore, provides a ton of family-oriented entertainment options. On-mountain, the ski school is headquartered in its own building, the Discovery Center, making it easy to navigate. The nearby Launch Pad is a dedicated beginners-only area designed to take as much of the stress out of learning to ski as possible. Cub Camp is designed for three-year-old first-time skiers, and includes an hour-long ski lesson plus day care. Snow Camp caters to the four- to six-year-old skiier crowd and Burton Riglet covers the four- to seven-year old snowboarders. Mountain Camp, Mount Snow’s ski school for older children is also highly regarded.

With its wide trails and gentle grades, the Main Face is a great place to spend the day if you’re skiing with your kids. To mix it up, head to the beginner jump park in the Carinthia area or grab a chocolate-covered waffle from the Waffle Cabin (with locations at the Main Lodge and at Carinthia). In case mom and dad need some alone time, the Discovery Center runs a licensed day care for children six weeks to six years old as well as a children’s apres-ski program which provides snacks and games in a structured setting.

Mount Snow has plenty of family-friendly options both on and off the mountain.
Mount Snow has plenty of family-friendly options both on and off the mountain. Courtesy of Mount Snow

Mount Snow also hosts several special events each year geared towards families and children. More than 1,000 plastic eggs are hidden all over the mountain during the Easter-themed Golden Egg Hunt in March, with one golden egg worth a free season pass. The Duct Tape Derby , also in March, involves equal parts paint, tape and creativity. Kid-friendly competitions include the Glade-iator in April and a series of Grommet Jams that take place throughout the winter.

Taking a day away from the slopes can be just as fun as a day on them, as non-skiing activities at Mount Snow abound. The Adams Family Farm, in nearby Wilmington, provides horse-drawn sleigh rides through the Vermont woods to a cabin that serves hot chocolate. For those who like a little more horsepower, Mount Snow Snowmobile Tours offers two-hour backcountry tours leaving right from the resort’s main mountain. Dogsledding is a blast, and is available at Mount Snow through Husky Works Mushing Company.

Around Mount Snow there are also plenty of options for cross country skiing, snowshoeing, guided hikes, and snowshoe tours. Led by a naturalist these tours can be arranged through the resort, and can be paired with lunch or a massage. A section of the mountain near the Main Base Lodge is reserved for snow tubing on weekends and holidays from 10am to 6pm, and the $20 it costs pays for tube rental and rides up the Magic Carpet lift. If the kids still have energy left, send them towards Ski Baba at Carinthia, where there’s free, lighted sledding from 5pm to 9pm (though it’s BYOS—bring your own sled).

Mount Snow is dedicated to take as much of the stress out of learning to ski as possible.
Mount Snow is dedicated to take as much of the stress out of learning to ski as possible. Courtesy of Mount Snow

In terms of lodging, you’ll find many options on-mountain. The classic ski hotel experience can be had at the 196-room Grand Summit Resort Hotel , which offers a full suite of amenities, including ski-in, ski-out access to the mountain, valet equipment check, a health club, steam room, sauna, heated outdoor pool, and hot tub. The Snow Lake Lodge and the Lodge at Mount Snow  are cheaper options but still cover your bases with hot tubs and free continental breakfast. Alternatively, there are dozens of condos available for rent as well,  and for families looking to save some money, vacation package deals can be found on Mount Snow’s website .

For a more quintessential New England experience, try the small lodges nearby Mount Snow, such as the Inn at Mount Snow, the Kitzhof Inn or the Big Bears Lodge, which has family rooms and a game room. For those who prefer the bed-and-breakfast experience, the White House Inn is quite nice but is probably best for childless families or those with older children. Families with pets can check into Layla’s Riverside Lodge, which allows dogs in rooms and features a doggie-day care for your pooch while you’re out skiing. The lodge also has a well-regarded restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

One great kid-friendly option for food (besides the always-popular choice of getting pizza to-go) is Wahoo’s Eatery in Wilmington, which has quick service and good, simple food. Another is the Last Chair Bar and Grill, which has a “Kids Zone” with arcade games. After dinner, the Cave Club at the Main Base Lodge features kid-friendly entertainment. It’s open from 7pm to 10pm and features a DJ, games, and adult supervision. Nearby, a game room has air hockey, a pool table, and video games.

When you are planning your family's winter vacation this year, make sure to factor in Mount Snow’s close and easily accessible location. It's one of the resort's most appealing features. Really, what parents would miss being constantly serenaded by backseat choruses of “Are we there yet?” from their offspring.

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