Going skiing seemed like a great idea at the time. There were two snowfalls within a week and all of the local resorts were finally open. It sounded great on December 30th anyway when we made plans with friends to go skiing on New Year’s Day. It was another story on January 1st.
After not getting to bed until 2am on New Year’s Eve, morning came all too quickly. We groaned as the winter sun began to filter into our bedroom and wondered if skiing really was such a good idea. But, we were meeting friends, so we were committed.
We headed 15 minutes down the road to Mountain Creek in Vernon, NJ. Yes, I said New Jersey. Please don’t laugh. There really are mountains in New Jersey…kind of.
I grew up in the Midwest and started skiing at the age of five. My first lessons were in Wisconsin. Snow and cold are guaranteed there; mountains not so much. But when you’re 5 anything is a mountain. Then we moved to Missouri and, yes, I continued to ski there. There was a small hill outside of St. Louis where my friends and I would go on winter nights. They must have blown all of the snow to keep the resort operating but we always had a great time. We would reenact scenes from Better off Dead (one of the best 80’s movies!).
The thing is, we can’t all live in the Colorados or Utahs or Vermonts of the United States or the French Alps of Europe. We can’t all afford to take a vacation to the huge resorts either. My husband and I would go skiing out West quite often pre-kids or even when we just had one or two. But now with four it’s just too difficult in so many ways!
So, instead of deciding that you can’t go skiing, find a small local resort!
These smaller resorts have a lot of advantages:
They are so much less expensive, especially if there is one within driving distance.
They are great places for kids to learn. A small hill is perfect to learn and gain confidence on.
Most small resorts make their own snow which means pretty consistent conditions throughout the season.
It’s easy to find everyone on the mountain because there’s just not a lot of places to go.
Skiing is such a fun family outing and a great skill for kids to learn. My oldest two are very fast on skis now because they have skied since they were two years old. My son this year decided to try snowboarding which is actually what my husband and I do. As you can see from the picture below, he fell…a lot! His goggles are filled with snow from a hard hit! But, he kept at it all day and did a great job.
So I encourage you to take advantage of those smaller resorts this year. Even if it is in New Jersey!
Do you have any favorite small resorts near you?