No-Car Skiing Day Trips: Ski Bus Deals and Packages from NYC
[UPDATED: DECEMBER 29, 2012]
Don’t let the lack of a car keep you from hitting the slopes this winter. Nearly all of the big (and small, for you first-timers) local ski resorts offer bus and train package deals from New York City. These packages are convenient and wallet-friendly, and they often include discounted lift tickets and equipment rentals so you don't have to lug your own skis. Even if you own a car, these deals are worth considering: After a hard day on the slopes, it's wonderful to kick back and relax while someone else battles traffic back to NYC. Here are six ski resorts in New York and New Jersey that offer ski packages to get your family on the mountains in no time.
Thunder Ridge Ski Area – Patterson, NY
Less than 90 minutes from midtown Manhattan, this small ski resort caters to families. It offers trails for all experience levels, including several areas especially for kids that contain lots of "green circle" trails.
Thunder Ridge Ski Train Package: The Metro-North Ski Train runs weekends and holidays. Please check the website for specific dates. Packages can be purchased online or from any ticket office or vending machine--be sure to ask for the ski train when buying your ticket. The package includes round-trip travel, shuttle to and from the train station, lift ticket and discount on rental equipment.
Price: $57 for adults, $23 for children ages 6-11, $8.50 for kids under 5.
Hunter Mountain – Hunter, NY
The granddaddy of New York ski resorts, Hunter welcomes skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels, so it's a popular and crowded spot. There are many bus operators that can take you to Hunter, but Emilio’s Ski Shop in Forest Hills, Queens seems to offer the most comprehensive packages.
Hunter Ski Bus Package 1: Emilio’s Ski Bus runs Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays from Manhattan and Queens. The package includes round-trip bus fare and access to all three mountains.
Price: $84.95 for adults ($74.95 weekdays). You can also purchase bus fare only for $40 or purchase the beginner lesson package for $119.95. Visit the website to book.
Hunter Ski Bus Package 2: Paragon Sports runs Wednesday, Saturday and holiday bus trips from its Union Square store. Visit the website for a complete schedule. All packages include round-trip bus fare, a light breakfast and movie on the bus, and a lift ticket. The store also offers bus fare only for anyone with a season pass. Call 212-255-8889 to book your reservation.
Price: $79-84. No discount for kids.
Tuxedo Ridge at Sterling Forest – Tuxedo, NY
Less than one hour from midtown Manhattan and near mass transit, Tuxedo Ridge is a favorite for NYC families. This small resort has only seven trails and four lifts, but it still manages to offer something for everyone—skiing, snowboarding and tubing.
Tuxedo Ridge Ski Bus Package: The ShortLine Bus from Port Authority leaves at 9:10am on weekends. The packages includes round-trip transportation and a daily pass for the ski lift or snow tubing. Visit the website for more info.
Price: $52.50 for adults, $44.50 for children ages 5-11.
Tuxedo Ridge Ski Train Package: There are New Jersey Transit trains that run from Penn Station to Tuxedo. If you give the ski resort advance notice, the staff will send someone to pick you up at the station (from select trains) and bring you back at no extra cost.
Price: $24.50 for adults, $12 for children ages 5-11.
Mountain Creek – Vernon, NJ
One of the largest ski resorts in New Jersey, the recently renovated Mountain Creek features 41 trails, night skiing, an all-mountain terrain park and snow tubing. There are lots of nice, long trails for beginners, and ski camp options for kids, all less than 50 miles from midtown Manhattan.
Mountain Creek Ski Bus Package: There's a New Jersey Transit bus from Port Authority that operates on weekends and holidays from January through March. Visit the website for a complete schedule. The package includes round-trip bus fare, plus discounts on lift tickets.
Price: $25.50 for adults. Up to 2 children ages 5-11 ride free on weekends and holidays.
Belleayre Mountain – Highmount, NY
This popular Catskills resort is run by New York State and boasts more than 50 trails covering all levels of skiing, a good beginner's program, snowboarding and even cross-country skiing trails.
Belleayre Mountain Ski Bus Package: The Adirondack Trailways bus from Port Authority runs Fridays through Mondays. The package includes round-trip transportation, lift ticket and beginner skiing lesson. Overnight packages are also available. Visit the website for details.
Price: $91 per person.
Windham Mountain – Windham, NY
This family-friendly destination is located in the Northern Catskill Mountains. The huge resort offers everything from ice-skating to snowmobiling, and is well-known for its great skiing school.
Windham Mountain Ski Bus Package 1: Island Ski Tours has departures from East 42nd Street in Manhattan on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. The package includes round-trip bus fare and lift tickets. You can also add on optional services such as lessons and equipment rental for an extra charge.
Price: $80. No discount for kids.
Windham Mountain Ski Bus Package 2: Emilio’s Ski Bus runs Wednesdays and holidays from Manhattan and Queens. The package includes round-trip transportation and lift tickets.
Price: $84.95 for adults ($74.95 weekdays). No discount for kids.