Why We Love Smugglers’ Notch
If you’re following me anywhere on social media you already know that the seven of us recently spent some time at Smugglers’ Notch in Vermont. They kindly offered us free accommodations so that I could share out experience with you. And, what an absolutely incredibly experience it was!
We had an unbelievably great time! As a multi-generational family from my granddaughter who is, eeek, almost two years old, through a preteen, two teenagers and an adult “child,” it’s not easy to get us all on the same page when it comes to finding fun family outings that will make everyone happy.
Smugglers’ Notch Resort provided us with four days of just that – something for us to do all together, and in smaller break off groups. We didn’t take advantage of all that there was to offer, in fact we just barely hit the tip of the iceberg but we all had so much fun!
Whether you ski, or enjoy other winter activities or you’re just looking for a relaxing getaway for the whole family, check out Smugglers’ Notch Resort in Vermont!
Accommodations at Smugglers’ Notch
I’m pretty sure that we were super spoiled with our accommodations at Smugglers’ Notch. We stayed in Kestrels 4, a premium 3 bedroom, 2 bath 1,712 square foot home with a screened in porch and private balcony off the master bedroom.
Speaking of which, our master bedroom had a gas fireplace, tv, lounge chair, comfy bed, etc. but let me take a minute to talk about the master bath. Guys! Guyssss! It had a steam shower and a whirlpool and I wanted to move in forever. Combined with the beautiful kitchen and well, lets just say I was very comfortable!
Smugglers’ Notch for Little Tykes
Chloe had a ton of fun over the weekend from toddler activities to swimming and her own personal concert!Smugglers’ Notch has ski school type activities for kids once they are around 3 years old. They offer child care at Treasures for kids 6 weeks to 3 years as well. We opted not to take advantage of the child care program just because there are so many of us but for a family with a small child, this is an awesome feature so they can go skiing and know that the little one(s) are in good hands!
Smugglers’ Notch Whole Family Fun
One of the boys’ favorite parts of the whole weekend was the evening ride on the Cat Trax Express. The snowcat ride is guided by experienced snowcat drivers with stories about the area and its natural history and offers an amazing view! The city you see in the distance there? That’s Montreal! How cool! Little ones aren’t allowed on the Cat Trax Express so a few of us stayed behind and hit the pool. The snowcat was the perfect brothers’ bonding experience, though!
Although there were snowboard lessons available, those that were signed up for them opted out. Fear of heights, big time. Bummer! Still, one of the favorites turned out to be the Ice Skating rink! The ice rink was very well taken care of and if you don’t have your own skates, no worries! They’ve got rentals!
New at Smugglers’ Notch
If your visit to Smugglers’ Notch happens anytime after March, 2017 we are already super jealous of you. We saw the outer shell of the FunZone 2.0 Family Fun Complex and read all about it on the Smuggs’ website here but it wasn’t quite finished in time for our way too short stay. Admittedly, no one in my family is up for skiing and snowboarding, though we did have plenty of opportunity to do both while at Smugglers’ Notch. This definitely would have been a big hit for us!
According the the website, you can look forward to:
• Visible from anywhere in the facility, a 30 foot double-sided climbing wall located in the center of the facility that climbs through the second floor.
• Smuggs Café serving your favorite foods, beer, and wine.
• Second floor fun including many of the FunZone favorites such as mini golf, ping pong, shuffleboard, inflatables and children’s creative play area.
• 2 birthday rooms for tons of birthday party fun. Check back soon for birthday party availability starting in April.
Smugglers’ Notch for Teens
So, the middle two kids had literally so much fun at Teen Alley during our stay. They phoned the resort shuttle, arranged for pickup at our condo and hustled off to Teen Alley every single night then, when Teen Alley closed, they made their way back to the condo in one piece with giant smiles and excited tales. This was probably one of the best things about our entire stay.
These kids experienced a new kind of independence, and had a safe, but extremely fun time doing so. It worked out so well for me because I was at the condo settling in the baby for bedtime and the older kids were still able to get out and have a blast.
Teen Alley is a supervised teen center for kids ages 13-18 that allows teens to enjoy what they like most: high-speed Internet access, TV, Xbox 360, DVDs, ping-pong, pool, music, snacks, and activities with friends their own age. While we were there, they especially enjoyed a DJ Dance Party on Saturday night and a game of Hungry Hungry Humans on Sunday night!
During the day, Smugglers’ Notch offers tons of outdoor adventures for teens from ski school to snowboarding lessons, snow tubing and even airboard slalom on Monday nights!
Dining at Smugglers’ Notch on a Budget
With a family of seven, budget isn’t just my middle name, it’s become my way of life. Everything we do has to be planned carefully, especially when it comes to feeding everyone! We rarely dine out, save for a weekly pizza and salad takeout order. Being away from home for four days typically means expanding our food budget quite a bit. We agreed on one dinner out, a pizza night in and all the rest of the meals during our stay would come out of our condo’s kitchen.
Believe it or not, we stuck to our plan. On Friday night, the seven of us went to Morse Mountain Grille where the majority of us enjoyed great burgers! The atmosphere was casual and friendly, the food came fast enough to avoid any sibling blowouts and our waitress was really nice.
After dinner, we stopped in to The Country Store for snacks and drinks to take back to the condo for the evening. On Saturday morning I went into town early and did some grocery shopping, stocking up on what we’d need for the rest of the weekend.
It turns out that I could have saved the trip, though I’d have spent slightly more. At Smugglers’ Notch, you can have groceries delivered to your guest room, by completing this order form by entering the quantity of items you would like to receive in the left column. And yes, they DO have Cabot Cheese!
As is typical, and even depicted in a viral meme, after grocery shopping on Saturday morning I opted out of cooking Saturday night and we grabbed pizzas from Riga-Bello’s which are delivered right to your door in the resort. On Sunday, I put a homemade sauce and meatballs in the crockpot in our fully-stocked condo kitchen so after playing at the resort all day we had a nice hot dinner waiting for us!
Around Smugglers’ Notch
If you’re planning to be at Smugglers’ Notch for a full week, consider doing a day trip to explore Vermont. The two oldest boys did just that on one of the days of our trip, opting to explore Burlington for the day. They even brought us all back little gifts!
We decided to make the most of our parting ways with Smuggs by creating an epic road trip on the way home to New Hampshire. Within a very short driving distance in Jefforsonville, stop to experience the murals on the old mill silos – they are stunning!
I loved everything about @smugglersnotchvt from the activities to the lodging to the dining and more but I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about the drive up to the resort through #jefforsonvillevt and these amazing #silomurals painted by @msshaftway – I visited them several times in fact!! They represent that past and future of the town as well as the four seasons. I’m so in love!!! Go to @ericabuteau to see more of my photos of these magnificent murals!! 😍💪👩🎨#cambridgeartscouncil #vermontlove #sarahcrutherford #northsilo #kobrapaint #travel #vermont #vermontshots #familyvacation #vermonttravel #newengland #newenglandroadtrip
Then, head into Stowe, hitting up Cider Hollow Cider Mill, an amazing Glass Blowing demonstration at Ziemke Glassblowing Studio, stop at Ben & Jerry’s for a fun factory tour and great photo opps, then head into Montpelier for a Braggs Maple Farm tour – especially in the Spring when they are making maple syrup, get samples of all the different syrup grades and try the Vermont famous Creemees, then head to Cabot, Vermont for, in my opinion, the best part of Vermont in terms of food – the Cabot Factory Tour!
Final Thoughts on Smugglers’ Notch
So, I’ve said a lot about our time at Smugglers’ Notch but there’s no way to cover all of the fun available in a single blog post! Plus, I talked a lot about winter at Smuggs but there’s still three more seasons worth of adventures waiting for you there! I recommend that you watch the video below to learn more about Smugglers’ Notch in the winter and then visit their website for details on winter activities as well as visiting Smugglers’ Notch in the summer, spring and fall! It won’t take you long to see why Smugglers’ Notch is the number one ski resort in the Northeast!