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Ski Vacation with Toddler?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
My wife and I would like to get our daughter introduced to skiing this year. She is 3 1/2 years old. We are looking at Steamboat Springs, CO and Smugglers Notch, VT because of their reputations with kids. I have NO IDEA where to stay in either place and the choices are confusing. Any suggestions for a convenient place to stay that won't break the bank?
post #2 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by hobbes429 View Post
My wife and I would like to get our daughter introduced to skiing this year. She is 3 1/2 years old. We are looking at Steamboat Springs, CO and Smugglers Notch, VT because of their reputations with kids. I have NO IDEA where to stay in either place and the choices are confusing. Any suggestions for a convenient place to stay that won't break the bank?
Can't tell you anything about Steamboat but at Smuggs' why not just stay right at the village.

Ask for a slopeside condo. Many ski-in ski-out opportunities there. If you take a 90min time-share pitch/tour (somewhat low pressure as compared to the more popular places down south), you get a substantial discount (or maybe even a better unit).

While your little one is in camp, go explore the upper mountains. There are a good variety of terrains for any level (lots of trees if you're into that). Or, take a lesson for yourselves. Although they are known for their children program, they adult instruction is also top notch (they may offer free lessons if you do the sales pitch). By going with an instructor and if you're experienced skiers, you may even get to ski interesting hidden trails that are only known to the locals.

Just don't forget the cookie race on Thursday.
post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info. Does the main reservation number have the information on the time-share pitch/tour? I hate those things, but if the discount is really worth it I might consider it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by chanwmr View Post
Can't tell you anything about Steamboat but at Smuggs' why not just stay right at the village.

Ask for a slopeside condo. Many ski-in ski-out opportunities there. If you take a 90min time-share pitch/tour (somewhat low pressure as compared to the more popular places down south), you get a substantial discount (or maybe even a better unit).

While your little one is in camp, go explore the upper mountains. There are a good variety of terrains for any level (lots of trees if you're into that). Or, take a lesson for yourselves. Although they are known for their children program, they adult instruction is also top notch (they may offer free lessons if you do the sales pitch). By going with an instructor and if you're experienced skiers, you may even get to ski interesting hidden trails that are only known to the locals.

Just don't forget the cookie race on Thursday.
post #4 of 22
I can't recommend Smugg's enough. We started our son there 4 years ago when he was 3 1/2. He had a blast. We've been back twice, and it always been great.

If you're within driving distance, I think its a no brainer. Plan to stay in one of the condos, and bring some food (at least for breakfasts). For some reason there is no place up at the mountain for a decent breakfast. Though there is a place downtown ??Main that is amazing.

My big secret (that I hate to give up) if your not set on an exact date, Ebay.
Check Ebay for peoples unused timeshares. I have successfully found 2 bedroom units every year for under $950 for 7 days. Comprable rooms thru the resort would be around $3000.

Oh, your daughter will love the Fun Zone. We are heading out to Snowmass for the first time next month. My son now 7 1/2 wanted to know if they have a fun zone also.

We've had fun at Steamboat, but that was before he was born. So I can't really compare the two.

Good luck either way.

Gary
post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 

Smugglers Notch

Gary,

Thanks for your post. Don't worry ... you didn't give up you secret ... I went on ebay a few days ago to check on what was available. We are down in North Carolina, so real skiing means flying somewhere. I have yet to hear anything negative about Smugglers, so I would really like to try it.
post #6 of 22

Steamboat Supportive

I can vouch for Steamboat. Just returned from ResortQuest Bronze Tree condos, which had ski in/out access, indoor pool (not used since skiing was a hit), private shuttle service, and full kitchen. Very personable staff and concierge.

Since parents knew skiing, we took PRIVATE group lesson at Ski School, so we could be along to witness progress. Our nearly 4-year old and 6 year-old benefited greatly, using ski school at base of mountain. Carry a backpack and put snow boots/ski boots in it just in case you have to carry toddler.. hauling boots and skis and kids around was exhausting...our kids wore out from ski boot walking.

Small town very friendly. Never found a stranger.

Indoor skating was a great hit at Howelson arena where your toddler can use a frame for support and skate on own (watchout - ours skated 2.5 hours using this). Also can pull on ice using small sled on a rope.

Inner tubing at Saddleback ranch was another hit. You will have to hold toddler in lap since not yet 5, but was a thrill for all adults and kids alike. It's a fast ride. Took our two on dinner sleigh ride at same location. Dinner pleasant, but it was the practice roping for kids and adults afterwards that made it a total hit...in addition to the likeable staff.

Have a great time. I also looked at your other choice, but had relatives in Colorado that were to meet up with us.

post #7 of 22
I'll let you know after this week. We're heading to Steamboat tomorrow evening and will be back on the 30th. I'm going to put my youngest (just turned 4) in ski school at least one day.

We've been to Steamboat before and love everything about it so we'll see if we're right on about ski school!
post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 
I look forward to hearing how things went for you. Let me know where you stayed and what you thought of the lodging as well.

Thanks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by marge View Post
I'll let you know after this week. We're heading to Steamboat tomorrow evening and will be back on the 30th. I'm going to put my youngest (just turned 4) in ski school at least one day.

We've been to Steamboat before and love everything about it so we'll see if we're right on about ski school!
post #9 of 22
Marge;

I'll be waiting on your debrief. and will read it carefully. I'm taking out 4 and 5 year olds for their first ski trip Feb 9th. We got some snow down this way last weekend so I took them sledding for a trial run. It was the first time they had touched slnow in two years, second time ever. It went OK except they seemed to get a lot of snow down their boots. Guess I'll be sure to have some extra socks on hand.
post #10 of 22
Dart & Hobbes:

I was a children's instructor for a few years in Steamboat, and now being out of instructing, but still traveling to other resorts, I can tell you that their children's program is top notch. Especially good for younger kids, which I believe you both have.

For the real young ones (under 4), drop them off, know that they'll ski a little, and enjoy yourself, the KVC is well managed and well staffed.

For the ones over 4, depending on their enthusiasm and willingness to learn, private lessons (half day or whole) can be really beneficial. When I taught, I always told people that after they learned to stop & turn, a regular class could expect, on average, one progression per day; in a full day private, I think you can easily get through 2 or more progressions in a day. But, if its the first time, group classes are great because they can enjoy the camaraderie of some friends, and ski (fall) as a group.

Couldn't recommend Steamboat more. I will be out in Steamboat Feb. 9-13 as well, and could recommend you to some good instructors if you were thinking about private lessons.
post #11 of 22
I was very pleased with the "lessons" that my little one got. He is 4 and they had 2 hours of skiing in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon (lesson was from 9:00 - 3:00) as he had been on skis before and had had lessons before. No real progress was made as he doesn't seem to have the physical ability or want to yet but he really had a good time. I was very thrilled to see how much 1-1 time he seemed to get. Every time I went to check on him his instructor was right there with him even though she had a couple other kids to deal with.

We stayed at a townhouse in the Waterford Townhomes on the mountain. It had a private shuttle to the slopes on call. Very nice place. We found it through VRBO.com. The people who owned it actually service it themselves and they were very helpful. Had a private hot tub downstairs which the kids REALLY loved and a bunk room with 4 bunkbeds and another bed so all the kids got to sleep together.

We didn't do lessons for the older ones (1 - 5 year old and 2 - 6 year olds) as they just wanted to ski the trees all day long. Figured we'd let them enjoy it.

I do say skiing with my 6 year old is much more enjoyable but she took to it like a fish to water. I hope some day the younger one catches up.

Any other questions please feel free to PM or email me.

marge
post #12 of 22
one simple question:

Were you at Steamboat?
post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiDork View Post
one simple question:

Were you at Steamboat?
Sorry, yes. In one of my earlier posts I had told them we were going there.
post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post
Marge;

I'll be waiting on your debrief. and will read it carefully. I'm taking out 4 and 5 year olds for their first ski trip Feb 9th. We got some snow down this way last weekend so I took them sledding for a trial run. It was the first time they had touched slnow in two years, second time ever. It went OK except they seemed to get a lot of snow down their boots. Guess I'll be sure to have some extra socks on hand.
Glad to hear it went well.

Here's my debrief:
I spent an hour skiing with the 5 year old boy between my legs while the little girl played in the snow with mommy. He liked it but wanted to do more on his own than he was capable of. Then, I spent an hour toting the 4 year old girl around while the boy stayed with mom. The girl LOVED it. "WEEEEeeeeeeee!!!!!!!" the whole time she cheered as she tried to match my wedged skis with hers between mine. Both the kids actually liked riding the conveyer belt up the hill as much as skiing down with daddy, go figure.

Man was daddy TIRED:

Anyway, the seed has been planted and they are primed to go back next year when we will put them in lessons for half a day so daddy can ski and mommy can shop. Then They can take turns skiing with daddy in the afternoon if they are not all tuckered out.
post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post
they are primed to go back next year
Thats a hell of a long time between hill time.... Any chance you can get them back out there before a year elapses?
post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiDork View Post
Thats a hell of a long time between hill time.... Any chance you can get them back out there before a year elapses?
Not likely, we are 3.5 hours away from everything and the snow here in NC is almost gone. I wish I had been able to get them out around December but it just didn't happen Next year it won't necessitate an overnight trip since they will be a bit bigger so hopefully we will be able to afford to go more often.:
post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post
Not likely, we are 3.5 hours away from everything and the snow here in NC is almost gone. I wish I had been able to get them out around December but it just didn't happen Next year it won't necessitate an overnight trip since they will be a bit bigger so hopefully we will be able to afford to go more often.:

I hear ya - I drive to Killington every weekend from LI - somewhere between 5 and 6 hours each way.. Many folks I ski with have asked me why we don't move further north to make the drive shorter... But for various reasons, that isn't doable right now...

If I lived in NC, skiing every weekend in VT wouldn't be an option... But I know where you're coming from... Best of luck with the kids - mine are 10 and 7 and both doing quite well, averaging 40 days a year... But it costs a boatload of $$$$$

Jeff
post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiDork View Post
I hear ya - I drive to Killington every weekend from LI - somewhere between 5 and 6 hours each way.. Many folks I ski with have asked me why we don't move further north to make the drive shorter... But for various reasons, that isn't doable right now...

If I lived in NC, skiing every weekend in VT wouldn't be an option... But I know where you're coming from... Best of luck with the kids - mine are 10 and 7 and both doing quite well, averaging 40 days a year... But it costs a boatload of $$$$$

Jeff
I know that trip well, lived in Huntington Bay 84-89 but mostly hit Hunter in those days.
My wife doesn't ski, she has health issues that make it impossible so I'm on my own with two little kids for the most part once we get out of the chalet. Tubing is something that they all show interest in that she may be able to do. Unfortunatley, it was sold out last weekend. As a former instructor, it isn't hard to sell me on getting them in ski school now that I know they want to learn to ski. I just wanted to be with them the first time since it was all so unfamiliar to them. I also didn't want to push them too hard and risk souring them on the experience.

I'm always looking for better opportunities so who knows where we'll be living next year, but not expecting any changes:
post #19 of 22
Uuuuugh!! I feel your pain. My 4-year-old has decided that he "can ski" but only if hanging on to my poles whilst I drag his arse around in the snow! : At least he has "the want". My hubby isn't a skier so I end up taking the kids out west each year all by myself! : Thankfully the 6-year-old has taken off so I don't have to drag them both.

Next year will be better and the year after will hopefully be AWESOME!!!
post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by marge View Post
Uuuuugh!! I feel your pain.

Next year will be better and the year after will hopefully be AWESOME!!!
That's the spirit Marge. We went to the museum Saturday and were laughing at all the families loading up the strollers remebering "those" days. The worst was the inbetween age when they weren't happy in it and weren't happy out of it.

The other day my wife asked "so when are we going to take the kids to Colorado"?:::::: ::: I about dropped the dish I was washing. I don't think it will be next year, but at the rate we are going finance wise it may be "do able" within this decade: She doesn't ski, but does love sitting by the fireplace.
post #21 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post
That's the spirit Marge. We went to the museum Saturday and were laughing at all the families loading up the strollers remebering "those" days. The worst was the inbetween age when they weren't happy in it and weren't happy out of it.

The other day my wife asked "so when are we going to take the kids to Colorado"?:::::: ::: I about dropped the dish I was washing. I don't think it will be next year, but at the rate we are going finance wise it may be "do able" within this decade: She doesn't ski, but does love sitting by the fireplace.
Check into Steamboat. Up until about President's Day weekend they have kids fly free deals that start in the fall. REALLY makes it more possible. You can even stay at the Super 8 or other hotels at about $79 per night! On the bus route (not the NICEST place but it will do). Might get you there a bit quicker. Can't beat the kids flying free. They don't have a fireplace though.
post #22 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by marge View Post
Check into Steamboat. Up until about President's Day weekend they have kids fly free deals that start in the fall. REALLY makes it more possible. You can even stay at the Super 8 or other hotels at about $79 per night! On the bus route (not the NICEST place but it will do). Might get you there a bit quicker. Can't beat the kids flying free. They don't have a fireplace though.
Speaking of jaws dropping, my hubby just finally conceded that we can start looking at moving to Colorado! : It only took about 20 years but I must have worn him down. We're heading to Steamboat this summer to check a few things out. I was so excited I almost puked!
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