Smugglers Notch

Smugglers Notch - cookie race. Photo courtesy of Smugglers Notch.
••• The Cookie Race: kids in ski/boarding camps do an obstacle course and get a cookie prize. Photo courtesy of Smugglers Notch.
- award-winning resort for family skiing has a huge array of activities, kids programs, nursery, two teen centers. Summer and fall fun too!

Where is Smuggler's Notch?

Smugglers Notch (aka "Smuggs") is in the Green Mountains, and near Burlington VT in the New England countryside of "covered bridges, picture perfect clapboard homesteads, local country stores, and maple sugar house tours." Nearest big cities are Montreal and Ottawa in Canada, and Boston Massachusetts, and NYC.

Smugglers Notch is open summer, fall, and winter. Smuggs is especially known for family snow holidays, with three interconnected mountains, and has often been voted a top Family Ski Resort. Smuggs also has lots of fun in summertime. Autumn visitors will find the lowest rates.

What's Special about Smugglers Notch for Families?

Smugglers Notch dares to promise: "the most fun your children will ever have - we guarantee it."

Kids programs are extensive: see Smuggler's Notch Kids and Teen programs for what's available for different age groups during the winter season, including two teen centers, and a 5400 sq. ft. slope-side child care center for wee ones from 6 weeks of age.

In winter, learning to ski is a major focus; even toddlers can get started, on the Wonder Carpet lift at the TREASURES child care center. Downhillers will find challenging runs as well. There's also cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating, tube sliding, sleigh rides, horse-riding, heated pool, snowmobile touring, daily bonfires, weekly fireworks, family games nights, FunZone, and more.

The FunZone is a giant bubble that houses a Bouncy House, ping pong, air hockey, arcade games, kiddie area, inflatable structures to climb on, 22-foot slide, obstacle course, mini golf, volleyball, basketball...

FamilyFun Magazine Winter Carnival: a day of fun at Smuggs in late February, in partnership with this prominent parenting magazine.

Mountain Massage Center: for grownups, niceties such as Hot Stone Reflexology, Ayurvedic Massage, etc.

In summer too family fun is guaranteed, with 8 heated pools, four waterslides, a water park with slides and cannons; skateboard park; and activities from ziplines to "via ferrata", disc golf, geo-caching, "digglering", plus kayaking, hiking, and just about anything else you can think of. Read about Summer at Smugglers Notch, including Summerfest packages.

Fall is a great time for mountain hiking, spectacular fall foliage, bargain rates; family activities such as scavenger hunt, bonfire sing-along, nature trek. One outdoor pool stays open into September, then guests switch to an indoor pool. Try fly-casting clinics, or SegRide Tours, at an extra charge.

Infant care, kids programs and two teen centers are open until Columbus Day. After that date, in-condo evening babysitting services can be arranged for guests.

Accommodations
Lodging at Smugglers Notch is condominiums: studios with kitchenettes; one or two-bedroom condo's with full kitchen; and three, four-or even five-bedroom homes. An on-demand resort shuttle ferries guests around.

Packages at Smugglers Notch
Packages are the way to go. SummerFest package includes a host of activities -(see summer at Smuggs.) Autumnfest bundles lodgings and activities too, with lowest prices of the year.

In winter, packages combines lodging, lift tickets, daily snow sport lessons, visits to FunZone, free child care, free equipment rental for first-timers, and more.

About That Name...
Yes, this area was a smugglers' hideaway-- twice. During the early 1800's, the U.S. Congress placed an embargo on British imports; goods were then shipped to Canada and sneaked down the "Long Trail" through Smugglers' Notch, which had large caves. A century later, during the Prohibition years, the caves were ideal for storing alcohol.

Keep in Mind:

  • always check for packages and promotions. Look for best savings in June and Fall.
  • Smuggs can be a very busy place, with many scheduled activities happening at once: make sure you know where you're going and when!
Find out more about Smuggler's Notch:
  • check out Smugglers Notch in summertime
  • see the Smugglers Notch site
  • see the Smugglers Notch page at Kidz'n'Snow for detailed tips about winter visits
  • Check prices at Kayak.com
- continue to p. 2, Smugglers Notch- kids' and teen programs.

This brief profile is meant to introduce this resort to family vacationers; please note that the writer has not visited in person. Always check resort sites for updates!

Continued from introduction to Smugglers Notch.

Below you'll find a sample of winter programs and centers for babies, kids, and teens. Smuggs is always adding something new: see the Smugglers Notch site for details and updates.

  • Wee ones: ages 6 weeks -2 years :
    Treasures is a million-dollar 5400 sq. ft. slope-side child care center full of toys and games. Features include giant fish tanks, tiny toilets (!), ski in-ski-out so parents can easily check on kids (through one-way mirrors, even) and heated walkways for easy drop off. Sample price, $66/day including lunch; check for discounts and updates.

    Ages 3-5 years:
    Discovery Dynamos Ski Camp is a full day program including lunch, for all ability levels, with fun activities on and off the slopes. Multiday packages available. Also, for ages 3-11: Kids Nite Out, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., $25/child.*

    Ages 6-10 years:
    Adventure Rangers Ski or Snowboard Camp, for all ability levels, includes fun races, games, nature discovery. Full-day program including lunch; lots of time on the snow, plus indoor entertainment and learning. Multiday packages available; shorter lessons available also.

    Ages 11-14 years:
    Notch Squad Ski or Snowboard Camp has a full day program including lunch; lots of time on the snow, plus indoor entertainment afterward.Multiday packages available; shorter lessons available too.

    Smugglers Notch For Teens
    Mountain Explorers for ages 15-17 is a daily session "to go ripping on anything that slides and goes downhill."

    Two Teen Centers at Smugglers Notch: Outer Limits Teen Center has no adults, and no kids under 16. Teen Alley is for ages 13 to 15-- no parents here, either. Both centers are supervised and open 5 p.m. until midnight, with internet access, music, game systems, pool table, movies, games such as laser tag, pool tournaments, NightSpiker Volleyball, supervised by Teen Leaders. Also for teens: weekly SnowVibe Teen Dance Party with D.J. and Joust at the FunZone. Teen Alley has a Snow Deck Park.

    Show you teens For Teens Only at the Smuggler's Notch web site: there's a rundown on the fun and the three mountains from a teen-view ("superpipe" and triple black diamond run, for ex.)

    Terrain Parks-- are a magnet for teens. The 3500-foot Prohibition Terrain Park is for intermediates and experts, and has a half-pipe, table-top, and more. Other terrain parks are easier.

    *Check Smugglers' Notch site for updates!

    back to p. 1, about Smuggler's Notch Resort.