In full disclosure we were invited for an influencer weekend at Okemo Mountain Resort in Ludlow Vermont by Momtrends. We appreciate their support of Jersey Family Fun and our efforts to share family vacation ideas with our readers. As always, all opinions are our own.
Experience Okemo Mountain Resort – any time of year!
You may remember Jersey Family Fun’s 2016 visit to Okemo Mountain Resort. It was one of our first ski trips as a family, and one that I always go back to when I think of the perfect winter getaway. The distance from New Jersey is just about at the car ride limit for my kids, the resort is well maintained and offers much to do, and there was plenty of variety in the skiing. When we were invited to join Momtrends for a spring skiing trip over Easter weekend, I immediately said YES! We of course didn’t know what the winter season would bring in the way of snow, but I knew that we could find plenty to do even if many of the trails were closed.
We know now that there was PLENTY of snow in 2018 to keep skiing into April! I had a surprise for my family this time as well; after at least 5 trips where I stayed in the lodge this was to be the trip where I put skis on for the first time. I was so impressed with Okemo the last trip that I knew that this time I didn’t want to miss a thing.
Okemo and spring skiing did not disappoint! In fact, this trip surpassed our first visit which I didn’t think could be possible. I’d go so far as to say it was magical. The family time spent together, the warmer temperatures and the welcoming convenience of the resort made it hard to leave. Let me tell you my top 4 ways Okemo brought the magic!
4 Ways Okemo Mountain Resort Brought the Magic to our Weekend Getaway
1. Skiing, obviously!
Growing up my mother and I always travelled to Vermont in May. It was beautiful! I met my husband and he couldn’t fathom why anyone would take the trip if they weren’t going to ski. Skiing in Vermont is the best in the region and not too far a drive from New Jersey. Okemo Mountain is just an hour from the New York state border and offers 121 trails and 20 lifts when fully open. This means experts like my husband and learners like my children will have plenty to explore. Beginners like me are content with the bunny hill and magic carpet! During our end of March weekend Okemo had well over 100 trails open. The snow cover was heavy from melting but there was still plenty of it. Okemo Mountain announced while we were there that they’d be open until April 22!
Our late morning arrival Friday allowed us to ski until closing – 4 PM – and lines were minimal. Clouds earlier that morning kept crowds away but with the convenience of staying at Jackson Gore Inn it was easy for us to grab rentals and get right on a lift. Well, everyone other than me of course because it wasn’t until Saturday morning that my big moment came.
My first ski lesson was with David, Okemo’s 88 year old instructor. Yes – 88! How great did that make me feel, at 42 to have David show me that there’s no reason I can’t learn at any age. While I took my 2 hour Okemo ski lesson my children took lessons as well. We find that for our daughter, a lesson before getting onto the mountain is always helpful for her confidence. Our son took his second ever snowboard lesson. They were both in groups and we were able to see them from afar. They were able to see me too – falling, laughing and learning. I’m happy to say that I learned enough to get down the bunny hill quite a few times and look forward to getting on a lift, EVENTUALLY! Okemo offers private and group ski or snowboard lessons at both base locations and for all levels.
2. Okemo Mountain Resort offers activities that are not skiing!
Now this is my first time actually skiing, but if I couldn’t get up my nerve, I’d still have plenty to do out in the snow at Okemo. Last visit we weren’t able to try out the Timber Ripper Mountain Coaster and this time we wouldn’t have missed it. What a thrill! Our 12 year old rode alone and even rode it twice. It takes you 375 feet up to come down at speeds up to 25 miles an hour! It’s open year round and we highly recommend it.
Not far from the Timber Ripper is the snow tubing hill. While we were there the conditions were still good, though mid winter speeds are faster for sure. Tickets are sold by the hour and since it wasn’t a busy day we took plenty of runs. If the weather isn’t so great, you can still be “outside” at the Ice House skating rink. It’s open daily with varying hours but we didn’t get a chance to try it out. It’s on the opposite side of the Jackson Gore Inn and rentals are available.
3. Hot. Tub. (And Pools)
Inevitably my kids will say their favorite part of vacation was the pool. I have been known to sit in a hot tub for too long and relax to the point of zoning everyone out (sounds blissful right?). We always appreciate a LARGE pool so the kids can play without getting in anyone’s way, and I appreciate a hot tub where I don’t have to be squeezed next to people I don’t know. Okemo has this part mastered! At the Jackson Gore Inn we enjoyed the TWO outdoor hot tubs and the LARGE indoor/outdoor pool. There’s also an indoor hot tub/tranquility pool and a sauna and steam room. After a physically active day this is where you want to be!
Ah, but that’s not the only pool situation at Okemo. As a guest of Jackson Gore Inn you can visit the modern, clean, and well equipped Spring House Pool and Fitness Center. We had enough fitness with our skiing, but if you’re looking for more you can find racquetball courts, fitness equipment and exercise classes at the Spring House. We went for the pool (of course), and with a small slide in the kiddie pool, a larger slide into the deep end and another hot tub we didn’t want to leave.
4. A Bed For Everyone with Okemo Mountain accommodations at Jackson Gore!
Maybe you have two children who like to bicker like mine. “I’m not sleeping with him, can’t I sleep in your bed?” “Why does he get the couch and I get the cot?” A family vacation can sometimes turn into a boxing match when the accommodations don’t fit the family’s size. Our Jackson Gore Inn rooms were perfect for our family of four. Everyone had their own bed! With two queen sized beds in the bedroom, a pull out couch and a murphy bed in the common area all of us were able to get some serious rest.
Our Jackson Gore Inn room offered so much more than easy sleeping arrangements. When you ski you bring a LOT of extras with you. Skis and snowboards and poles aren’t allowed in the room (they can be stored near the lobby) but the snow pants and wet socks and under layers will have a perfect spot by the fireplace. Two dressers and BIG closets gave us space to unpack all our luggage which always makes for easier getting ready.
What we appreciated most though is the kitchen. Our kids aren’t great eaters so big restaurant tabs when all they want is simple dishes we can make on our own can get irritating. There’s a grocery store not far from Okemo that got us everything we needed for a dinner, two lunches and two breakfasts along with snacks. (Of course you could bring food from home as well). The kitchens are equipped with a full stove, microwave, full size refrigerator and TWO coffee makers! Once again, we just didn’t want to leave. Check out this view!
There’s plenty more about Okemo to love; during our Easter weekend stay there was an egg hunt on the mountain and one for the littles in the Jackson Gore courtyard. Saturday the courtyard was jammed with guests for the Hops on the Snow beer festival. The most magical moment might have been sitting with my family in the sun, with the snowy mountain behind us, listening to live music and watching everyone just enjoy themselves. Whether you ski or prefer to sit in the lodge you’re going to love Okemo Mountain Resort – they’ve made sure of it!
For more photos from our Okemo Mountain Resort getaway please visit our Facebook album.
For more information about Okemo Mountain Resort, visit their website here. They are open 4 seasons!
For more about Jersey Family Fun’s visits to Okemo Mountain Resort, click the photo below.