You may think of this top Vermont ski resort as a winter vacation spot, but with 8 pools, 4 water slides, and 2 natural reservoirs, Smugglers' Notch Resort makes a terrific summer family vacation destination. And, right now, Mommy Poppins readers can save $350 on a Summer Family Vacation Package. We made a trip to the resort ourselves so we could give you the inside scoop on this family-friendly find and get more details on this great deal.
On a rainy day, we packed our car and headed north to the Green Mountains of Vermont in search of some bonding time, a chance to explore some of our individual interests, and a little fresh air at Smugglers' Notch Resort in Jeffersonville. My family of three may be small, but between work, school, and all of our activities, we still get pulled in a bazillion different directions. Kicking off the season at Smugglers' Notch Resort seemed like the perfect way to say “hello summer!” with my seven year old daughter and husband.
Coming from the tri-state area, we maneuvered our car through the twists and turns of the Smugglers’ Notch mountain pass. We arrived on a Thursday evening just in time for the resort's Vermont Country Fair, complete with potato sack races, local artisans, live music, and plenty of kettle corn to go around. When planning our trip, it was definitely something I was looking forward to, so when the rain didn't let up I was thrilled to find out they simply move the fun indoors if the weather doesn't cooperate. Needless to say, we had a blast!
As it turns out, gray skies don't slow much down at Smuggs. The resort is home to Fun Zone 2.0, an indoor family fun complex featuring laser tag, arcades, rock climbing walls, mini golf, bouncy houses, and a warrior course. (Note that some of the activities are included with your stay, while others are pay-to-play). There's a spa offering massages for teens and adults, and yoga and fitness classes suited for all ages. Activities like Family Karaoke and Saturday Night Bingo hosted across the resort's sprawling facilities are staples on the action-packed events calendar.
Making spin art (and a mess) at the Smugglers' Notch Arts & Crafts program. Photo by Ally Noel
Of course, when the summer sun is shining the options are seemingly endless. If you want to swim, there are eight pools situated at three pool complexes, as well as a natural reservoir. Or, start the day with a guided family walk, join a pick up tennis match, check out a STEAM class, meet exotic animals at the Nature Center, embark on a llama trek, catch a poolside "dive-in" movie, and on and on it goes. During our stay we crafted our hearts out making spin art and painting with water colors at the Awesome Arts & Crafts program. Then my daughter and I splashed around the Mountainside Water Playground, which has a 300-foot-long water slide, a lap pool, and a Little Smugglers' Lagoon to float around in, while my husband went on a three-hour mountain bike ride. Switching to the hot tubs at the the Courtside Pool complex was easy thanks to the free on-demand shuttles that happily take you around the resort.
The Creature Feature is filled with all kinds of creepy crawlies- like this crab. Photo by Ally Noel
There are also tons of family-friendly social events throughout the summer, from barbecues to bonfire singalongs. We were fortunate to be on the mountain for the annual Solstice Celebration, where we were entertained by fire dancers and drummers, ate our weight in s’mores, and watched the sun melt into the mountains before a fireworks display.
For the kiddos, Smuggs also provides programming affectionately referred to as “Summer Fun University.” In fact, the resort prides itself in offering one of the top-rated kids programs in the country. We aren’t usually a “kid’s program” kind of family, so I was surprised when my daughter emphatically agreed to spend a day at the Adventure Rangers Camp. The program for 7- to 10-year-olds offers a “full slate of adventure activities daily, ” and runs seven days a week from 10:00am to 4:00pm. Upon arrival, she was given a choice between sports and games or arts and crafts for her morning activity, but the promise of a game of “gaga” made her decision easy. At pickup, we could barely pry her away.
Popsicles and smiles at camp pick-up! Photo courtesy of Smugglers' Notch Resort
Despite the vast number of activities at Smugglers' Notch, the environment is gloriously serene. On top of that Green Mountain air, the cozy mountainside accommodations help make the resort a perfect place to recharge your batteries and enjoy time with your crew. Guests choose between family-friendly studios and one- to five-bedroom condominiums, complete with cable TV, telephones, internet access, linens, cookware, dishware, glassware, utensils, and in-home or in-building access to laundry facilities. The three-bedroom condo we stayed in was very comfortable, had a lovely kitchen with full-sized appliances, and all the amenities you could need during your stay. Plus, it's easy to stock up your usual groceries and tons of local Vermont yummies at The Country Store located in The Village.
Our visit to Smugglers' Notch Resort was everything we were looking for and then some. We found that the magic of Smuggs is that you can spend quality time as a family, but still have your space. Although we all went off on different adventures during our stay, we still found tons of ways to connect and bond as a family. It really was the perfect way to kick off our summer.
If this sounds like the summer getaway your family's been looking for, visit smuggs.com for more details or call (800) 419-4615 to book your stay. Remember, Mommy Poppins readers save $350 on Summer Family Vacation Packages of 3 nights or more — SimplySmuggs, FamilyFest, or Lodging Only — when you call to book your stay.
Photo courtesy of Smugglers' Notch Resort