This post was made possible by Smuggler’s Notch Resort, who provided ski lessons, rentals, and lift tickets to make this article possible for our Learn to Ski series. All opinions are my own.
Smuggler’s Notch Skiing
Two years ago we embarked on a new series of adventures for the Jersey Family Fun team and for our readers. My boys were eager to learn to ski and our readers wanted to know where they could take their kids to ski, we started the Best Places for Kids to Learn to Ski series. Melanie and I have enjoyed sharing our experiences having our kids learn to ski in the Northeast. Our kids have loved learning to ski so much that we continue this series every year. There’s always something more kids can learn about skiing and somewhere new to learn to ski. For my boys, this winter we visited Smuggler’s Notch Resort in Vermont. Take a look at how the Auer boys continued learning to ski at Smuggler’s Notch Resort.
Checking in for a day of skiing at Smuggler’s Notch Resort
Smuggler’s Notch Resort makes checking in for a day of skiing easy and convenient. Skiers can make their rental reservations when arranging their visit or checking in. Lift tickets can be added to your reservations as well. Everything is uploaded to a Smuggs Notch Card that gets scanned before each lesson and at each lift gate.
Watch and learn more about using the Smuggs Notch Card to ski at Smugglers Notch
Skiers renting equipment complete the process at the Smuggler’s ski equipment area at 3 Mountain Equipment.
- Step 1 Sign In – Your first stop in the Smuggler’s Notch Ski area is to check in for your rentals at the 3 Mountain Equipment office, located to the right of the main buildings of Smugglers Notch. In order to be fitted correctly for ski equipment you will need to know each skier’s weight and height. But no worries. If you don’t remember your kids’ height and weight or they’ve grown recently there is a scale nearby to get an accurate height and weight for each child. You do not need to complete any forms. The Smuggler’s ski rental staff will do that.
- Step 2 Boots and helmets – We took our printed equipment rental slips to the rental area around the hallway. Smuggler’s staff were on hand to provide ski boots and fit my boys for helmets. Shelving was open for storing your regular shoes and bags while you ski or snowboard. Lockers are available in some of the lodges.
- Step 3 Skis & Snowboards – At the final station, my boys and husband were set up for skis. The Smuggler’s ski staff took the time to adjust each boys’ skis. Their skis were adjusted based on their height, weight, and experience level.
- Step 4 Check in for lessons – After getting situated with all their ski gear, we headed over to the base of the main Smuggler’s Notch Resort mountain. At the base is a gazebo as well as flags that mark where students should line up for their Smugglers ski lessons. After determining my boys were likely level 3 they got together with other kids their ages.
Learning to Ski At Smuggler’s Notch with Smuggler’s Ski School Ski Lessons
Learning to ski at Smuggler’s Notch Ski Lesson Packages
Smuggler’s Notch Ski School offers ski lessons for kids beinning at age 3 and adults of all abilities. Snowboarding lessons are also available. Smugglers ski lessons are offered as group lessons or private lessons. Half day and full day ski lessons are available. Group lessons are broken down by age.
- Little Rascals on Snow Ages 2-1/2 – 3 years
- Discovery Dynamos – Ages 3 – 4
- Trail Blazers – Ages 5-6
- Adventure Rangers – Ages 7-10
- Notch Squad – Ages 11-15
- Mountain Explorers – Ages 16-20
- Smugglers’ Notch Adaptive Program (SNAP)
You can learn more about the Smuggler’s Notch Ski School packages at their site, just click here. My boys also share about their experience learning to ski at Smuggler’s Notch Resort below.
Learning to ski at Smuggler’s Notch Our Experience
My boys were registered for complimentary ski lessons (1 full day and then 3 halfdays). At first, I expected my youngest, 9 years old, to be in his own lesson with other Adventure Rangers while my older boys at 11 and 13 would be with the Notch Squad. I also fully expected the 9 year old and 11 year old to be at a lower level than my teenager. So I was surprised that after a short assessment, the Smugglers instructors determined they all could start at level 3.
All three of my boys learned to ski together in the same group lesson. I waited a few minutes for them to start and also confirmed the procedures for pick up and changes in weather with the instructors. Full day lessons end midafternoon. Ski students are brought back to the lodge where they can enjoy refreshments and activities. Parents can pick up their kids between 2:30 and 3:45 pm. Additionally, even if it’s raining Smugglers ski lessons will continue. The Smugglers instructors adjust their lessons based on which trails are open and the current conditions. I wasn’t sure how my boys would take to learning to ski in the rain.
Turns out I had nothing to worry about. My boys came out of the first day of their Smugglers skiing lessons super excited. They had each learned how to jump, something they had not imagined learning on this trip. They got even better riding the chairlifts. The rain and cold hadn’t even bothered them. They all did fine starting at level 3 and by the end of their lessons had progressed to level 4.
During day 1 and 2 of their Smugglers ski lessons my boys all learned together with other kids. On day 3 there were more children than we had seen earlier in the week and students were separated by ages into 2 groups. We cancelled our last day of ski lessons because my boys wanted to use that time to ski with my husband before it was time to go home.
What did my teen have to say about learning to ski at Smuggler’s Notch
My 13 year old son wrote this about what it was like to learn to ski at Smuggler’s Notch Resort
“At Smugglers Notch I learned how to parallel ski. Before, I went to Smugglers Notch I could not, so this helped. The three things I enjoyed were the trails, the jumps and the weather. On the first day we went, it was raining, so the snow was great. We also learned how to jump, and the variety of trails was pretty cool.“
What did my tween have to say about learning to ski at Smuggler’s Notch
My 11 year old son wrote this about what it was like to learn to ski at Smuggler’s Notch Resort
“I learned how to parallel ski. This happened because I had many lessons. Also the teachers were able to help me through my mistakes. It took time and I had to learn to not wedge/pizza. That was hard. I only fell 5 times. Usually I fall between 10-20 times. I went from Level 3 to Level 4 in one day. That was a little hard and a little easy. How cool! Skiing in Smugglers Notch Resort was a fun and a learning experience.“
What did my big kid, 9 year old, have to say about learning to ski at Smuggler’s Notch
My 9 year old son wrote this about what it was like to learn to ski at Smuggler’s Notch Resort
“I learned to ski at Smugglers Notch Resort with three lessons. I thought it was really hard because I had to learn how to parallel ski. I also had to not do pizza wedges with my skiis. I also had to learn to make really hard turns. I went from level 3 to 4. It was not like any other resort, it was much way harder because I was at a higher level.”
Smuggler’s Notch ski school offers ski lessons for ages 3 and up. A variety of group and private lessons are available. Snowboarding is also available. Visit their ski school for more information.
See our Facebook album for more photos from our experience learning to ski at Smuggler’s Notch.
Want to find out what there is to do at Smuggler’s Notch Resort when the ski lifts close? Read our Smugglers Notch Resort Fun Zone 2.0 article. When you’re ready to learn about the lodging options at Smuggler’s Notch Resort, visit our Eagles Condos at Smuggler’s Notch Resort in the Vermont story. When you’re ready to book your trip to Smuggler’s Notch Resort click Smuggs Notch Resort site.
Click over to see the rest of our Family Travel to Smugglers Notch Resort series. To read more about our visits to Vermont, read our Family Travel to Vermont series.
To arrange a feature on your location contact Jennifer Auer, Jersey Family Fun publisher at [email protected].
Click over to learn more about the Best Places for Kids to Learn to Ski.
This post was made possible by Smuggler’s Notch, who provided ski lessons, rentals, and lift tickets to make this article possible for our Learn to Ski series. All opinions are my own.