While some families are set to hibernate during the winter just as the weather drops, and the snow begins to flurry we prepare to gear up and shred, or for some of us fall in the snow at Stratton Resort. Keep in mind we are not professional snowboarders but that is what makes it so fun. We are a family learning together and are not embarrassed to enroll in a class or two to learn a new technique to keep us upright on the mountain.
This past weekend we headed out to Stratton Mountain in Vermont, about a five hour drive, for a fun weekend with our friend Nicole who hosted a Mom Trends weekend of skiing and snowboarding family fun.
Black Bear Lodge
We stayed at the Black Bear Lodge, which is a quick hop to the mountain via the courtesy shuttle. Table 43.1 within the lodge was our first stop upon arrival and the food was delicious. The kids ordered wings and kids stuff, while I had the kale salad (it was so good), and the hubby enjoyed the pot roast.
The rooms were spacious, and the staff very courteous and a complimentary breakfast is included with your stay. Within our lodge, there was a game room, as well as a hot tub, both a late night hit once the kids got their second wind.
Stratton Rentals and Lift Tickets
It is usually a struggle to get the kids up and out on a regular school day. However, this is never the case when it comes to snowboarding. They were up and out and ready to board the Stratton Mountain shuttle for a quick five minute ride to collect their gear.
The amount of staff within the Stratton Mountain village to greet and direct guests were impressive. Within minutes we were steered to the snowboarding rental house. I appreciated how snowboarding and ski rentals were separated. Our Premier Ski Rentals including snowboarding boots, Burton snowboards, (of course Gia had to do a swap because her board is now too small for her), and helmets were ready for us to retrieve off the shelf, a bonus of us registering for equipment online. Lift tickets are also available online until midnight prior to your arrival, but don’t wait. The sooner you book, the more you save – the price you see today may be gone tomorrow.
Stratton Sports School
Despite the protests from my oldest, I insist on a lesson or two at the start of the new season. Registering all of us online before hand made for a quick and easy drop-off. The kids were excited to spend the day with their friends learning and exploring new terrains. Both snowboarding and Ski Lessons meet at the base of the lifts and the kids are grouped based on their age and abilities before they set off for a day or afternoon of learning. Both half day and full day of lessons are available (lunch is included in the full day). I recommend a full day of instruction to get the biggest bang for your buck.
JD was excited to learn he would spend time at the terrain park doing jumps and tricks, while Gia was happy to go up on her first lift. It is amazing to see what a snowboarding lesson with a trained instructor can do for their jitters, the boost of confidence helps them in traveling up the lift to heights I have yet to reach.
Once we dropped the crazies at snowboarding school we set out for a little instruction of our own. Just like the kids our lesson was tailored to our level and I can proudly report we progressed on the fun size mountain after our private lesson.
As the level of snowboarding varies amongst our family so do the trails at Stratton Mountain. With 99 trails, and a 670+ acres of ski or in our case snowboarding terrain there is a a run for everyone. Naturally the hubby and I learned new skills on the “fun size” while the kids ventured off, one on a green and my son eager to make his way onto the lift for the black diamond, after his intermediate lesson, with his friends.
Activities (Besides Ski / Snowboarding)
Prying my kids off the mountain wasn’t an option for us until the very last moment when we ventured through the village. The Stratton Village is an adorable place to shop, dine, and indulge in spa services. We found bright colored neck gaiters to help us spot our kids on the mountain, Stratton stickers for the kids helmets, Cliff bar snacks (because my children are now obsessed with them) and so much more. Within the village there is cozy patio tables and little areas to sit around the roaring fire to share stories of your days adventures.
Our friends actually did venture off the mountain and there is so much more to Stratton than we had the time to explore. Just a shuttle ride down the road to Stratton’s Sun Bowl you can purchase tickets to the Coca-Cola Tube Park which features four lanes of lift-serviced snow tubing, warming hut with light refreshments and fire pit. Play by day or under the lights at night! Bonus Tip: Pass holders can enjoy 2 people for the price of 1 Friday nights. Excluding 12/27/19 & 2/21/20 Tickets are sold in one hour time slots, beginning on the hour and there are limited spaces available for each time slot. Which is a plus!
Centered in the middle of the Commons, the Mill House is a picturesque venue for ice skating in the winter season. Enjoy music and a campfire all while under the stars. Cost is $15 per person with ice skates, (plus tax) and ice skates are available for all ages while supplies last.
We encourage all families, whatever your ages (my kids started snowboarding at age 2, and 6 and us as adults), skill level, to get outdoors and on the mountains to make fun memories your family will remember forever.
Thank you Nicole at Momtrends and Stratton Mountain for organizing and managing our accommodations and expenses for lodging, lift tickets and including us in your annual Ski trip. We always have a blast!