Tag Archives: fun

Family Ski Vacation: Okemo Mountain Resort, Vermont

Ski at Okemo Mountain Resort

I like Okemo because it’s not Killington. Don’t get me wrong, I love Killington, but Okemo Mountain Resort has a family friendly vibe AND it’s just a little bit further down the path than Killington.Okemo Mountain Resort Ski
So while everyone’s heading to Killington and meeting up at the Wobbly Barn to party (I still can’t believe that thing has not come down), head over to Okemo for the same great snow without the volume of humanity that you get at Killington.

Located in the heart of Central Vermont’s Green Mountains, Okemo offers eight different properties, all with their own character and charm. Okemo Mountain Resort has plenty of trails for all abilities.

Okemo has:

  • 121 trails and glades
  • 667 acres of terrain
  • 96% of trails covered by snowmaking
  • Novice 32% Intermediate 36% Advanced/ Expert 31%Vertical Drop: 2,200 feet (most vertical in southern Vermont)
  • Base Elevation: 1,144 feet
  • Summit Elevation: 3,344 feet
  • 1 high-speed six-pack bubble chair with heated seats
  • 9 quad chairs (4 highspeed quads)
  • 3 triple chairs
  • 7 surface lifts
    Okemo map

Other cool things to do at Okemo:

Snowcat Excursions

Ever watched those snow cats go up at night to groom the hill and get a twinge of jealousy? Some brilliant person came up with a way to make everyone happy. See the mountain from the view from inside a specially-designed cabin, attached to an Okemo snowcat! See the top of the mountain, and the valley below like you’ve never seen it before, lit up at night.

Each ride departs from the Jackson Gore base area and will last just over one hour, with time to get out at the summit, take pictures and learn a bit about the mountain and the area along the way. You must register in advance to take in this incredible experience, and we will begin offering rides as soon as weather permits.

Ride a Mountain Coaster

The Timber Ripper Mountain Coaster is Central Vermont’s favorite four-season attraction, offering a scenic and exhilarating ride through alpine forests and along the contours of the mountain at Okemo’s Jackson Gokemo coasterore. The roller coaster ride heads down 3100 feet of track following the contours of the mountain with added waves, camel back and banking loops down the mountain, at up to 25 miles an hour. Sled-like cars carry two passengers in comfort but can be handled easily by one alone. The riders are in control of the speed, and this gives them a unique hands-on experience, encouraging repeat visits.

Guests will load and unload the Timber Ripper in the Jackson Gore base area, near the bottom of the Coleman Brook Express lift.

Click here for more information on the Okemo Mountain Resort.

 

Family Ski Vacation: Park City Mountain Resort, Utah

Park City Mountain Resort, Utah

This is a historic year for Park City as it connects its Park City and Canyons resorts, making Park City the biggest resort in the US.  With 3300 acres, 9 bowls of terrain and a 10,000 foot summit, Park City is a great place to find adventure with your family. 

parkcityThe speedy lifts on the front side of this 50 year young Utah favorite destination is just what families need to get their adventure groove on.

Park City Mountain Resort is located in the heart of Utah’s famed western town of Park City, just a 30-minute drive from Salt Lake City Airport. The US Ski and Snowboard Teams train on the front side and the 2002 Winter Olympic snowboarding and ski racing events were held here.

What Programs Do They Have For Kids?

Kids Signature Programs offer just the right mix of fun and education; the perfect balance for getting young ones started on the slopes. By limiting class sizes to five students or fewer, they give your child more personalized attention with more time to play, more time to practice and more time to learn.

They’re now open for the 2015 2016 ski season at Park City. Here’s the video to prove it!

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Click here to learn more about Park City Utah.

Lake Tahoe: My review of Heavenly Resort and The Ridge Resorts

Skiing in Lake Tahoe

IMG_6611 So after the CES show I made a quick jump up to Lake Tahoe to check out the skiing up there. I’d noticed that Heavenly Resort was one of the most searched on ski resorts this winter so I had to see what it was about. I flew up after the show and met some ex-ski instructor friends who live in the area vbefore heading home. Here’s my take on everything:

Heavenly Resort Ski Resort

It’s an interesting mountain with beautiful views. Most of the trails are intermediate so it’s great for families with children. Everywhere you look there are decent, long, wide trails with slopes that are challenging but not super aggressive. There are a few blacks but you have to work to get to them and then my friends who used to teach there, told me there’s a big jump between blue and black in these areas. So be careful if you have young children. You might find yourself going from a nice easy blue to a monster black. Even so, the trails were covered in powder so even if you had to pick your way down with a little one it might not be so dire.

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Since I didn’t have my daughter with me this time, I was able to go full throttle, which was nice, except that I found myself bored with the mountain. For the $125 lift ticket price, I would have liked a few tougher trails besides the scary blacks tucked away in the corner. So I would say if you have a mixed bag of skier levels with you, and kids, this is the place to be. If you are on your own or with very experienced skiers, I’d opt for another mountain. My ski instructor friends said Squaw is better for expert level.

IMG_6608It’s a little odd how you can’t buy your tickets from anywhere on the mountain. I find that obnoxious. I would have liked to have been able to order my tickets and have them waiting in my room the way I can in Tremblant. And there are no discounts, so if I am going to pay $125 a person, I don’t want to have to wait on line to do it. Order them on the mountain’s website and give yourself time because the site is a little clunky. Desktop is a lot easier than mobile. Also parking is tough but there’s free parking behind Harrah’s. From South Lake you actually take a Gondola up to the mountain so it’s a little disconcerting not being able to walk to the main lodge from the parking lot. I drove around and around trying to find a big entrance to the mountain until I realized the bottom of the Gondola was it. There are also a few other access points to get on the hill from the Gondola is the main one.

Overall, definitely a mountain I would go back to when in the area but wouldn’t make a big trip out to go there if I have to make a big trip out of it.

The Ridge Resort

I got an upgrade because I’m an Expedia gold member and while I booked a hotel room I ended up in a beautiful apartment with views of the village. Large master bed, a living room, with fireplace and a full size kitchen and dining table. The bed pulls out as well, plenty of room for a large family.

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One thing that wasn’t made clear to me was that you can’t just rent any car from the airport to get up the hill. The Ridges is located at the very tippy top of exactly that, a ridge. The road goes straight up. I rented an Elantra and on the way up were signs all over about chains and 4 wheel drive when signs are flashing. With the sun melting the snow and the run off continually soaking the road, I knew if I went down into town I better get myself back up that mountain before the sun went down and it began to freeze. So I would recommend not booking this place unless your car can handle steep drives up and down in inclement weather, unless you feel like being stuck up there after sundown.

The Ridges is more of a compound with several buildings, scattered around the main lodge. There’s no housing inside the lodge itself but it’s where you go for the fitness room and spa. I didn’t love that you had to trek out in the cold to get to the spa or fitness center, or grocery store, especially since it was a pretty steep walk. They do have buses but it seemed kooky to me to wait for a bus to take you only a short distance, so I just hoofed it.

There’s a nice bar and restaurant in the lodge, except sadly the weekend I was there it was completely booked for a wedding. So I only got to hear the party going on from downstairs. One of the reasons I booked this place was because I knew they had a nice bar and restaurant on the premises, so that combined with the fact that I didn’t want to risk the drive down the mountain, really kind of stunk.

The best part of the Ridges is it has it’s own private gondola that will take you right down to the ski area. It’s about a ten minute ride and remember to bring your key with you to call the gondola. It’s a great feature, the only downside to it is you don’t get to go to all the cool restaurants down in town by the main gondola.

Information on Heavenly Ski Resort

The Ridge Resort

 

Family Ski Vacation: Telluride Ski Resort

Telluride

Nestled in the southwest corner of Colorado, 100 miles from the nearest stoplight, Telluride encompasses 2,000 acres of lift-accessible terrain. Once dubbed “To-Hell-You-Ride” from its mining town days, Telluride is now a chic,  modern town.

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Telluride Ski Resort boasts some of the steepest, deepest and most diverse terrain of any ski resort in North America.

Family Ski Vacation: Mammoth Resort

Mammoth Mountain

Located in the southwest corner of the volcanic Long Valley Caldera on the eastern edge of California’s Sierra Nevada Mountain Range; Mammoth Mountain reaches over 3,500 skiable acres and a 3,100ft vertical drop.

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The mountain is blessed with over 400 inches of snowfall a year and it’s the highest elevation in California at a neck-bending height of 11,053ft.

The modern resort has world class terrain options, and an ski season that can sometimes last into July.


Travel Destination: Go on a Historical Adventure With Your Children to Colonial Williamsburg

Family Adventure and Travel Destination: Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg is like no other when yTravel Destination: take the kids to spooky Halloween at Colonial Williamsburgou want to take the kids on an educational travel destination adventure that focuses on our nation’s history. It’s even better when you take the kids during the holidays like Halloween, Christmas and Independence Day.

I remember going there as a kid and now it’s even bigger with more attractions.

Visit a real colonial village, learn about what day to day life was like, watch and participate in costume’d Fife and Drum Corps, be a spy, make bricks, go Travel Destination: Take the Kids to Colonial Williamsburg for a spooky colonial Halloweenon archeological digs, and experience what it was like in 1775 at the very beginning of the American revolution.

Colonial Halloweens are always a fun way to spend time with kids on one of Halloween Travel Destination: Take the Kids on a spooky Halloween adventure in colonial Williamsburgtheir favorite holidays. Apple cider, pumpkins, ghost tours, home-made doughnuts. They can range from cute and sweet to all out spooky and there’s something for every kid at every age. And since there’s probably no more place more Colonial America than Williamburg, this is the place to be on Halloween. For spooky fun check out these ghost tours:Travel Destination: Take the kids on a travel adventure to colonial williamsburg

Halloween Fun for Kids

Colonial Ghosts

Your journey will include Indian burial grounds, witches, stories of murder, tragedies of war, and bitter betrayal across hundreds of years. Click here for Colonialghosts

Have older kids who are looking for a little more of an adrenaline rush on your adventure? How about a real ghost hunting tour.  For an extreme version of a take the kids on a travel adventure to colonial williamsburgghost tour of colonial Williamburg, where you are provided with real ghost hunting equipment, check them out here at the Ghost Tour

And just for fun, check out these videos posted by colonial ghost tours depicting some recent ghost sightings.

Ghostly organ playing in empty church on the ghost tour.

 

Family Vacation Destination: Waterville Valley Resort

Waterville Valley is a nice, quiet, uber-family friendly resort nestled in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The best part of the resort is that everything is right there where you need it, no need for driving around. In the winter there’s skiing on four differenwaterville valley resort in new hampshire, family friendly vacationt peaks, and in the summer there’s plenty to do as well.

It has a town square, places to dine, pool, fitness centers, shopping and has that special, New England country resort feel. It’s a little bit dirty dancing, a little bit Tremblant, but on a smaller scale. Trailmap for waterville valley resort in new hampshire

There are 50 trails, 4000 foot elevation and plenty of terrain parks. There’s also the option of going Nordic to break up the week. You can also take the kids tubing and even dog sledding.

It’s a great place to reconnect with family and the outdoors.

Check out their site for more information on Waterville Valley Resort. waterville valley resort, a great family destination in winter or summer

 

Family Ski Destination: Gore Mountain, New York

Gore Mountain Ski Resort, North Creek, New York

Gore Mountain Ski Resort is a well known family friendly ski destination to upstate New Yorkers. Not too far from Albany, this is a serious size mountain with a little bit of everything for any type of skier.Family Vacation Spot, Ski at Gore Mountain Resort, NY

Take the family to Gore Mountain to Ski and Snowboard This isn’t the mountain where you spend most of your time waiting in line to get on the lift; this is the mountain where you re-discover your love of the slopes. A mid-peak stop at the rustic mid base lodge for some après ski/coffee gives you an unparalleled view of the Adirondacks and Vermont and makes you fall in love even more.

Serious East Coast Ski Spot

Gore has 109 trails, boasts 2,537 vertical feet, and is known for helping beginners and experts continue to grow with the sport. The 15 lifts including the eight-passenger Northwoods Gondola and two luxurious high-speed quads keep you out of lines, with more time on their four peaks. There are also six dining options scattered across the mountain, you can refuel and keep skiing or riding without missing a beat.

Bring your child to the Mountain Adventure Center for lessons and coaching, open to all levels of skiers and riders, from beginner to advanced black diamond. Children are grouped by similar age and ability. Take the family on vacation to Gore Mountain Ski ResortAll-day adventures and two-hour sessions are available daily. Your younger kids will love their Mini Learning Park, just for 4-6 year old beginner skiers.  Choices include daily group and private lessons, holiday camps and season long programs. There’s also a Bear Cub day care area where they will keep your little ones entertained while you tear it up on the slopes.

 

Here’s a good video that really gives an overall view of the kind of terrain you can expect at Gore Mountain. I told you it was a serious East Coast Mountain.

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