When my family was invited by Momtrends to spend the day at Camelback Mountain Resort (visit Camelback’s website), we couldn’t have been more excited. Camelback offers skiing, tubing and the Aquatopia indoor waterpark and is only about 90 minutes from our Union County home. My kids only started skiing last year, but most of their ski experience has been on overnight trips, so I was looking forward to how a skiing day trip from New Jersey might differ.
Located in Tannersville, Pennsylvania, Camelback Mountain Resort is less than 20 miles from the New Jersey/Pennsylvania border just off Route 80. We wanted to make a full day of skiing so we packed up early with our ski gear and bathing suits, dropped the dog at the Barker Lounge and arrived in plenty of time for our 10 AM Camelback Mountain ski lessons. This definitely started out as the most relaxed ski trip to date!
Camelback Mountain Resort is located past the Aquatopia indoor water park and hotel complex. You won’t get confused though – good clear signage exists on these country roads! There’s plenty of parking at the Camelback ski mountain, with a drop off lane and preferred parking (at a fee) for those who don’t want to walk far with their equipment. Camelback offers a shuttle service throughout the resort so no need to load up into and out of your car once it’s parked. We found easy parking and it’s a short walk to where you get started whether you’re renting, buying passes or heading right to the lift.
The Camelback Ski Experience
As a ski mama who doesn’t ski, it’s important to me that my children have the skills they need to be on the mountain. At their ages now they don’t go up without their dad or an instructor, but the future goal is for them to enjoy skiing with their friends and peers. It’s crucial that they get confidence and skills now to prevent injury and mistakes later. No better way to ensure that than with Camelback Mountain ski lessons, and Camelback offers plenty of options for kids and adults. Private lessons are offered beginning at age 3, and kids lessons are half day or 90 minutes for ages 4-12. My children enjoyed their 90 minute lessons, and they were ready for a green trail with their father – no extra ticket needed as their lessons come with a lower mountain lift ticket valid from open to close.
Of course you can’t ski without equipment. Camelback ski lessons include rental of skis, poles and boots. Helmets are not included but we highly recommend adding them at an extra cost, not only for safety during the lesson but to develop a comfort wearing all the gear necessary as they embark on their life of skiing. We preregistered our children and check in was easy, and all the gear they needed was ready instantly. There’s adult gear available too, of course, so whether you’re new to skiing or just in need of an update, Camelback will get you skiing!
And what about snowboarding? That’s welcome too! Camelback Lessons for snowboarding are available for the same ages and timeframes with rentals available as well, of course! If you have little ones that don’t ski and you want to get on the slopes yourself, the Camelback Nursery for ages 1-6 can make that happen. If you’re like me and staying back to hold the gear or wait for a child who has had enough, you can enjoy the fresh air on the lodge deck or hide from the elements in the lodge. There was plenty of space there and live music was even setting up just as we were leaving. When lunchtime came around we all found options from burgers and hot dogs to chili and salads.
Camelback Ski Lift tickets begin at $37 and vary by day and time, as well as age. There are packages available, and don’t miss out on our ways to save while skiing, including details on the 4th/5th grade snowpass valid at Camelback Mountain.
Camelback Snow Tubing
We missed out on the Camelback snow tubing so we definitely need another Camelback day trip. The weather held out for us in the morning so skiing was manageable, but the mists and fog drove us inside by mid afternoon. Had we checked out the tubing we would have found up to 42 lanes, single or double tubes, and a nighttime galactic light show tubing experience! The tubing hill is by Aquatopia and the Camelback Resort, accessible by shuttle or with convenient parking nearby. Guests must be 33″ tall (no age requirement) or 44″ to tube alone. Prices begin at $25 for a three hour session that begins every hour.
Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark
We were tired from all the skiing activity (well not me but the skiers were!) but the lure of Aquatopia was too strong to resist. Aquatopia is “resort exclusive,” meaning that only hotel guests are able to visit the indoor waterpark, but we were welcomed for the day as guests of Momtrends.
It was crowded as there were some school holidays, and it was a weekend, but we didn’t have trouble finding a table in the back of the park, or a locker to stash the valuables. Tip if you go – lockers are small so keep valuables in your room or car, or plan to just lock up the phones and wallets. Towels are available so leave yours at home! Lines for slides were long so we maximized our time and went to our favorites (The Lost River lazy river, the wave pool, and the indoor/outdoor hot tub). But for the slide enthusiasts you won’t be disappointed! There are some big water slides and water coasters at Aquatopia, including Paradise Plunge, a stand up drop down slide with a 60 foot drop.
We are a family with a 7 and 11 year old swimmers which gives us the benefit of relaxing when needed, both because of their skill and because there are lifeguards everywhere at Aquatopia. We were happy to see Aquatopia is for all ages though! There were plenty of little ones at the Penguin Play Bay and Kartrite’s Quest. Both are shallow water areas with splash zones, climbing spots and water shooting spots. My son couldn’t get enough of the smaller sides in Kartrite’s Quest, as my daughter and I battled with water guns. Where was dad? Happy to be at the Flyboys swim up bar for a bit to catch the score of that important football game. Feeling hungry? No need to dry off and get dressed for food – the Colonial Commons food area by the entrance offers plenty of family favorites.
After 5 PM the colored lights go on and Aquatopia takes on a disco like atmosphere! Kids are still welcome of course, and the day we visited the park was open until 10 PM. Sadly, we had to leave around dinner time so we could be rested for school the next day, but we weren’t dreading the ride home as we knew it we weren’t too far from home.
So when we asked the kids their opinion about skiing for the day and not a vacation, their response was YES! When can we go again? The adults were pleased with the short drive, the variety of activities, and the ease of maneuvering the resort. A return visit to Aquatopia would require an overnight stay but that would be something to look forward to as well. There’s enough to do at Camelback Mountain Resort to spend a day or a weekend, in any season. Nearby, convenient and FUN!
See more photos from our day at Camelback Mountain Resort in our Facebook Album.
Our thanks to Momtrends for including us in their media day. This post was made possible by Momtrends and Camelback Mountain Resort, as all our activities and meals were compensated. All opinions remain our own.
Wednesday 1st of February 2017
That's a great tip to remember the helmets! Ski mama bears rest easier when their little cubs are rockin' safety equipment!