You don’t need to drive all the way to Canada to have multigenerational fun
By Chris Mays
When it comes to fun for every family member, Southern Vermont has some special spots.
“There’s a lot of thought put into programming on and off the slope, and that comes through in the options offered — lesson packages, apres events and family-oriented activities,” says Bryan Rivard, director of communications at Ski Vermont/Vermont Ski Areas Association. Resorts recognize that every family is different. Sometimes Mom wants glades, Dad wants blues and the kids want lessons — or snow tubing, the pool or a personal best on a number of runs.”
Rivard says a lot comes down to having something available for everyone and offering a range of experiences in a single place.
“Resorts have taken that idea and run with it, and there are some really creative options for visiting families out there,” Rivard says.
Brattleboro Ski Hill
24 Living Memorial Park Drive
Based at Living Memorial Park in Brattleboro, the small hill and rope tow has been used by many to learn how to ski and snowboard. It is a great place for families to figure out the sports before hitting the bigger mountains.
3984 Vermont Route 11
Based in Peru, the resort touts itself as being family-friendly and having “a unique atmosphere with a welcoming community.” Lessons for different abilities and equipment rentals are available. Bromley also is surrounded by places to ice skate, snowmobile, snowshoe, cross-country ski and shop.
Magic Mountain Ski Area
495 Magic Mountain Access
The Londonderry resort offers a more laid-back pace and intimate feel, and discounted season pass rates for Vermont students and their parents. With one centralized base area lift system and base lodge, children don’t get lost, and the ski community looks out for one another. Personalized instruction and a graduated lift system allow young families to learn and grow in the same spot. Also, the resort has glades for all abilities of tree skiing and riding.
The West Dover resort credits what it calls “the most powerful snowmaking system in the east” for always having stellar conditions on the slopes. Rental equipment is available for guests of all ages and abilities, and the whole family can work on improving skills, thanks to expert-taught ski or snowboard lessons for adults and kids. The Grand Summit Resort Hotel in the main base area has a heated outdoor swimming pool, hot tubs and video arcade that are always big hits with families.
Stratton Mountain Resort
5 Village Lodge Road
Stratton takes pride in its Mountain Sports School and all its seasonal programming, in which kids can begin at the age of 3 and stay involved through high school. Learn to Ski and Learn to Ride packages allow complete newbies to try out the sports. At Kids Night Out special events, children can participate in arts and crafts or an outdoor activity while parents go out to dinner. Additionally, the resort is a favorite of children because of its snow tubing and ice skating rink.
Chris Mays lives in West Dover and has been writing for the Brattleboro Reformer for five years. He spends his free time playing guitar, biking, snowboarding and hanging out with his Yorkie.