Family friendly ski resorts are open but ... know before you go!
Winter is here, and the snowy terrain, awesome adventures, and scenic views await NJ families. Most of these kid friendly ski areas offer a mixture of skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing. Night skiing is also available at many of these resorts. Some offer free lessons for young children, or free child passes with an adult ticket purchase. All are within close driving vicinity to North and Central New Jersey, so it's a great time to get outside and make it a day trip or family weekend getaway. The big plus, skiing among wide open space on thousands of acres - is a great social distancing thing to do.
Plan ahead, and know before you go.
The big difference for this 2021 season is the higher safety standards which we should all be aware of before going. We don't want anyone disappointed and unprepared. While most resorts are open, there will be space or mountain access limitations. The biggest suggestion is to buy lift tickets early and lock in the days you want. If your plans change, many tickets are refundable but see each individual resort terms; others are allowing passes to transfer to 2021/22 season due to covid related issues. Keep in mind that certain states may require evidence of a negative COVID19 test such as in the case of PA, and masks are required at all times (I guess you can just wear your ski mask everywhere). Most indoor dining will be closed, with limited grab and go menu items. Many resorts are suggesting to boot up in your car. Be prepared to carry your stuff, and don't forget, go cashless, and buy everything online.
Here's a sum up of some important TIPS Before you hit the ski slopes:
- Buy everything online - to reserve your spot, from day or night lift tickets, rentals and lessons. Buy ahead of time. Expect times and dates to be sold out, but keep checking back as more inventory may be added when capacity allows. If weekends are booked, try the weekdays.
- Passes may be a better bet than day passes, as these may have priority on some mountains. Plus day passes may have less inventory.
- Expect to use your vehicle as your personal base lodge for food breaks, changing, and storing
- Limit number of guests (non-skier/boarder/tuber) since there will be capacity restrictions
- Don't expect to lounge around in the base lodges due to 50% capacity restrictions
- Pack a picnic basket for in your car eating; don't expect to bring your own food to the lodges
- Mask up and social distance
- Cashless transactions!
These ski resorts near you, are opened but check winter operation hours for skiing, tubing as they may differ around the holiday timeframe, weekend vs weekday.
Jack Frost Big Boulder
8am - 4pm (Jack Frost); 8am - 9pm (Big Boulder)
JFBB has got you covered this winter, the resorts are open for skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing, from the novice to the expert skier or rider. There are no out of bounds, all can experience fun terrain. 34 trails and 21 lifts. New Glade Park for snowboarders and freeskiers. For the 2021 season, there will be no indoor seating, just access to restrooms and grab and go food service only. Book tickets early as there will be limited on-mountain access. Expect all cashless transactions. Blakeslee, PA, 570.443.8425.
Blue Mountain Resort
8am - 9pm
Great ski destination for kids! Blue Mountain Resort is a family friendly mountain with 40 Trails, 5 Terrain Parks, 34 tubing lanes. Blue Mountain is your Outdoor Adventure destination located in the Pocono Mountains. Close to home, and only 90 minutes from Philadelphia and 90 minutes from New York. With this season, expect limits on mountain access, so buy tickets as early as possible. There will be no ticket window available and only online ticket purchases. There will be no outdoor food allowed, but they will offer outdoor food trucks and online to go ordering. You may rent lockers. 1660 Blue Mountain Drive, Palmerton, PA, 610.826.7700.
9am - 9pm
New Jersey's premier ski resort Mountain Creek offers skiing, snow tubing, snowboarding and a Terrain Park. With four mountain peaks and eight lifts, suitable to a variety of ability level. Group lessons ages 7+. Kids camp ages 4-7. Lodging available. Limited quantities for lift tickets. Children 6 and under are free with the purchase of an adult ticket. Route 94, Vernon, NJ, 973.827.2000.
8:30am - 10pm
Kid friendly mountain for learn-to-ski/snowboard and a perfect tubing destination. Campgaw is located right in Mahwah, Bergen County NJ. There's day and night skiing (with 8 beginner/intermediate trails and 3 magic carpet lifts for beginners), snowboarding, ten 800 ft snow tubing runs. Check out their expanded Terrain Park.
Bear Creek Mountain
9am - 10pm (Friday - Saturday), 9am - 9pm (Monday - Thursday)
Skiing & Snowboarding at Bear Creek Mountain on 23 slopes and trails with 6 lifts, 3 terrain parks along with a 4 season resort 116 room hotel at the base of the mountain. Learn to ski or ride packages. Snowzone area dedicated to young kids to practice their skills. For this season, all lift tickets, rental equipment and most lessons will be purchased onlline and in advance. Day tickets will b limited to avoid overcrowding. Mountain Eatery will only be available for restrooms and take-out food options. The Hungry Bear food truck will offer outdoor food options, with heaters and outdoor seating. The Trail's End Cafe will be open for to-go meals. All other amenities including lockers, basket check, seating, game room and locker room are not available due to Covid. Lehigh Valley, PA.
8:30am - 9pm (weekends); 9am - 9pm (weekdays)
Skiing & snowboarding at Camelback on 39 trails with 100% snowmaking. Snowtubing on 42 lanes. New Terrain Park. Also featuring the Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark. Tannersville, PA.
Shawnee Mountain Ski Area
8am - 9pm
Skiing, snowboarding, and snowtubing park at Shawnee with 23 trails and 2 Terrain Parks. Ski lessons for ages 3+. Children 46” Tall & under FREE with paying adult. They are suggesting to buy everything online, save time, save money and save your spot. Tubing tickets are only online. No carry in food, beverages, or coolers, but tailgating is OK! Use your vehicle as your own personal base lodge for changing, taking a break, or storing stuff. Lodging. East Stroudsburg, PA.
NEW YORK SKI RESORTS
Well known for being a family friendly ski mountain, Belleayre Mountain has 50 trails and 8 lifts. Ski and snowboard lessons and kids camp. Must purchase all tickets online in advance. Food trucks on site along with their on-mountain eateries, including their Waffle Cabin! Catskill Mountains in Highmount, NY.
8:30am - 4pm
Skiing and snowboarding at Hunter Mountain. Kids lessons. 65 trails, 12 lifts. Snow Tubing Park with lanes nearly 1,000 feet long. Buy passes online as they are limiting lift ticket sales. Grab and go comfort classics available with Time to Dine reservations required for indoor seating. Hunter, NY.
8:30am - 7pm or 8pm
At New York’s Family Mountain, Mount Peter offers skiing, snowboarding, and tubing. 14 trails, 5 lifts. Terrain Park. FREE Beginner Ski and Snowboard Lessons on weekends and holidays for first time skiers or boarders (age 5+). Pete’s Pals: Lessons for Tiny Tots who are potty trained. Day and Night skiing. Warwick, NY.
Windham Mountain Resort
8am - 4pm (weekends); 9am - 4pm (weekdays)
Stunning adventure at Windham Mountain with skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing, and outdoor ice-skating. 54 trails backed by 6 terrain parks and 11 lifts. Lodging on premise. Expect cashless transactions, no changing rooms but lockers will be available. Advance reservations for rentals required. No on-site purchase of rental equipment will be available. Book beginner packages online for best rates. The Children's Learning Center will be closed. Windham, NY.
Enjoy the winter season!
Check back for more Things To Do this season.