Smugglers’ Notch Resort was recently rated #1 of the best family resort in the Eastern U.S and Canada by Ski Magazine, I couldn’t agree more. A resort open year round for family fun and gatherings located in northern Vermont, about 5.5 hours from the Hudson Valley, truly has everything to offer. Do you have young kids, tweens, teens, and multiple generations coming? This is the place of you. My kids participated in Snow Sport University over three days while beginning to learn the basics of snowboarding. Smugglers’ Notch is also home to Burton’s Riglet Program, snowboarding program for young children. Winter season begins at Thanksgiving through April.
Smugglers’ is located in Northern Vermont, roughly 5.5 hours from Putnam County. It is accessible by car, train or plane. Just five hours from Dutchess County and six from lower Westchester. My family drove up, plenty of places to stretch, eat and fill up the tank along the way. Smugglers’ offers 78 trails, 8 lifts, 3 mountains and 6 progression parks.
There are both daily fun and weekly activities for families to participate in. Upon check in there are schedules given and also posted in the village center. Some do require pre-registration and extra fees, many are free and included in your stay. There is truly something for everyone. Currently the main attractions are skiing and snowboarding- they also offer swimming in one of the pools, hot tubs and splash pad. Spas services, entertainment for families, adults only and kids only. Need a babysitter- they have that covered too with 24 hours notice.
State of the art daycare center- Treasures is for children six weeks- three years old. Indoor rooms and outdoor play place plus mini ski lessons for the three year old group weather permitting. Treasures is Vermont certified and licensed. Child care includes food, hiking, playing and learning. There is also a toy and equipment rental service while staying at Smuggler’s Notch through Treasures, they have thought of it all.
The FUNZONE is a sock only facility opened daily from 2pm-8:30pm indoor place space. Separate toddler section and arcade play. Space to run, inflatables to slide down, race through and shoot hoops. Mini golf, pool golf, ping pong tables and pool tables. Play for all ages is located at the Nordic Center. The kids loved playing here, Mogul Mouse showed up for pictures during our stay too.
ARBORTREK Adventures which include zip line canopy tour, tree top obstacle course, and climbing adventures starting for kids age four. All weather permitting.
Smuggler’s is home to over 600 condos between the different communities, North Hill being the newest and where we stayed. These condos are spacious and great for families and extended sharing with plenty of room. Our unit in Kestrels had 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, kitchen, living room, dining room, two decks and laundry room. A fireplace was in both living room and master bedroom, along with many closets for storage. Storage for our snowboards was in the downstairs closets accessible by our room key. We made meals in our room and the kitchen had everything we could have needed for our stay and more, plus a dishwasher. A true home away from home.
With rentals all over the community, when booking check to see how close or far you would like to be from the main village. There are shuttles that pick up on demand, just a phone call to bring you anywhere at Smuggler’s.
Have your kids never skied or snowboarded before, maybe you haven’t either. Smugglers’ has a Snow Sport Academy offering lessons for everyone. We went with the Burton Riglet Snowboarding in mind. While weather didn’t totally cooperate, the kids participated in 3 full camp days of the Discovery Dynamos (3-4 yo) and Trail Blazers (5-6yo) and worked not heir snowboarding skills. Programs for seven and up along with men, women and private lessons are available. Full day programs include lunch and hot chocolate with instructors. Smuggler’s also offers an adaptive ski program open to everyone.
My kids loved the instructors, the program and especially coming off the snow around 2pm for their snack and cocoa then playing and watching a movie, magic show and other afternoon entertainment. Everything is seamless. Parents can watch their children’s lessons and visit throughout the day. We found everyone so friendly, when we went to watch our children, everyone knew their names and were cheering for them. A total team effort by all the instructors.
There are many choices within Smuggler’s Notch to eat, also making your own back in the kitchen. In the country store and The Perk! Cafe, they sell coffee and speciality drinks (even Vanilla Chai lattes), a serve as a convenience store. Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, Deli and cafeterias located in the mountain lodges, are just some of your options for breakfast, lunches and dinners. A short drive into town also has local places that offer extra choices.
Morse Mountain Grill, full kids menu and resturant/bar setting. We had dinner here the first night, right after check in. The kids meals included appetizer, meal, side, and desert- more food than my kids are used to. My grilled chicken salad was great along with my husband’s burger. Our waitress was super friendly, checked on us during our meal making sure we were having great time.
Smugglers’ Notch is a a CELEBRATION for everyone. Our family loved our time there, the staff went above and beyond answering questions and pointing us in the right direction. We had an entire weekend of no wifi (our choice, it is available), one movie and little device use. A much needed UNPLUGGED weekend. Refreshing, outdoor family bonding made possible to Smugglers’ Notch Resort.
Disclosure: We received a stay at Smuggler’s Notch in exchange for our honest review. No other compensation was exchanged. Our feelings and thoughts are our own and honest and truthful.