Kids rule at Smugglers Notch
It would be difficult to find a resort more dedicated to families than Smugglers’ Notch in Vermont. In fact, when school is out, kids camps and down-home family fun and games rule the village.
The resort, situated in the Green Mountains just north of Stowe Ski Area, is a seven hour drive from northern New Jersey. Smugglers’ Notch Pass, a four-mile narrow, winding stretch of road that conveniently connects Stowe and Smugglers’ Notch Resort, is closed from mid-October through May, so in winter, access to the resort via Route 15 to 108 South adds an additional thirty minutes to the trip.
Smugglers’ Notch Resort is a self-contained village, nestled at the base of three mountains comprising the ski area. Accommodations range from studio condominiums to five-bedroom townhouses. All have kitchens, living and dining rooms. Many have fireplaces, balconies, and scenic mountain or woodland views. You can walk to the village core and all activities from most lodgings. Many accommodations are slopeside offering ski-in and ski-out capabilities. An on-demand shuttle service also operates continuously every day. Premium vacation accommodations at Highlands Hill, North Hill, and West Hill offer exclusive use of special amenities within their neighborhood, such as exercise facilities, indoor/outdoor pools, playgrounds, game rooms, hot tubs, plus a whirlpool in the master bath.
Dining in the village is casual and family-friendly and includes two full-service restaurants, a pizzeria, ice cream shop and deli with seasonal hours. The Hearth and Candle Restaurant offers an adults-only dining room. There are other dining options down the valley and five miles away in the small town of Jeffersonville. Kitchens in all accommodations are fully stocked with dishes, pots, pans and utensils for meals at home, and a small, country grocery store is on site for groceries.
The ski area, while offering plenty of gentle slopes and groomed cruisers, also features some very challenging terrain in beautiful glades, on serious bump runs, and a gnarly triple black diamond. For a unique adventure, Snuffy’s Trail at the top of the Sterling Mountain lift connects Smugglers’ Notch Ski Area to Stowe. After a short traverse across a frozen pond, skiers and snowboarders can ski an intermediate trail down to Stowe’s Spruce Peak.
The resort takes pride in its extensive ski and snowboard programs for kids, teens and adults (children must be out of diapers). Children in camp ski in the morning and afternoon. Parents are welcome to pick up their children early if they would like to ski together in the afternoon or children can remain in camp until 4pm.
For children six-weeks to age 3, care is provided at Treasures, a state licensed child care center. The well-equipped facility includes separate rooms and playgrounds for different age ranges and a supervised crib room. An introductory ski program is offered for children 2 1/2-3 years old. Reservations are required at the child care center. Programs are available on a space-available basis. Treasures will also help arrange private babysitting in the evenings in your condo.
After skiing, families can choose from many activities—tubing, ice skating, bonfires, and swimming. The kids will, no doubt, want to visit the Fun Zone Family Entertainment Center, formerly an indoor tennis center, now a huge indoor playland with inflatable slide, obstacle course, bouncy house, kid climbing wall, basketball hoop, miniature golf, and loud music. A teen center is open for 13-18 year-olds from 5pm-midnight nightly.
The resort keeps non-skiers busy, too, offering a daily schedule of activities including art workshops, sightseeing trips, fishing workshops and more.
Summer at Smugglers’ Notch is an entirely different experience, but equally beautiful time to visit the mountains. The resort is transformed into a giant family playground with eight heated pools, three children’s pools, four waterslides, ten tennis courts and a ten-acre lake for swimming, fishing, boating, and picnicking. Mountain bikes are fun on the cross-country ski trails and also on a paved trail from Stowe Ski Area to the historic town of Stowe. In addition to kids’ camp, there are many optional programs to choose from daily including a zip line canopy tour and aerial adventure park, canoe, kayak and fishing trips, golf instruction, tennis school, geocaching, hikes and walks, and special interest programs for children, teens and adults.
Packages offer the best value for families. Significant discounts are offered during June and off-season as well as for early booking. Visit the website for current special offers.
Smugglers Notch Resort
4323 Vermont Rt. 108 South
Smugglers’ Notch, VT 05464