Winter

There’s More than One Way to Hit the Slopes

I have a confession: I have never taken my kids skiing. Why? I’m not very good at it. 

When balancing on a slippery, snowy slope I fear my only path to the bottom will play out like a cartoon character plowing down the mountain in a giant snowball with only my arms and legs sticking out.

So, you can imagine my excitement when I discovered that ski resorts, many just a few hours away from the Baltimore/D.C. area, offer a lot more than skiing and snowboarding.

Resorts these days have snow tubing and zip lines, and others that take you horseback riding or have a deluxe spa for a day of pampering. There are ski resorts with mountain coasters, escape rooms, golf courses, and even an indoor water park. Many of the resorts offer hotel accommodations on site or have partnered with nearby hotels for lodging and all have a variety of food and dining options. With so many family-friendly activities available, I think I’ll revisit my view on what it means to ‘hit the slopes!’

Roundtop Mountain Resort
Lewisberry, Pa.
skiroundtop.com
Roundtop Mountain Resort has 14 large tubing lanes for ages 5 and up, as well as a special Kiddie Tubing area for kids 4 and under. Roundtop also features a year-round outdoor paintball course that is the largest paintball field in Central Pa., and kids as young as 7 can play! If you have a group of 12 people or more, Roundtop has a challenging set of ropes courses perfect for team building activities.

Liberty Mountain Resort at Boulder Ridge
Carroll Valley, Pa.
libertymountainresort.com
Winter highlights at Liberty include a 15-lane snow tubing course, complete with a ‘moving carpet’ that brings you and your tube back to the hill to Boulder Ridge Lodge. The lodge is the perfect place to warm-up, featuring party rooms, a snack bar, arcade, and a wrap-around deck to “watch the action on the hill.”
Large groups can book Liberty’s Challenge Course, which has ropes courses, and a climbing wall great for teamwork exercises. Liberty also features an ice-skating rink at its main location; shuttle buses run between Liberty and Boulder Ridge regularly. 

Whitetail Resort
Mercersburg, Pa.
skiwhitetail.com
Whitetail’s Kid’s Mountain Camp is perfect for your littler skier or snowboarder to have fun and gain the skills they need to master the slopes. After their camp session has ended, head over to the 16-lane snow tube course and slide your way down the mountain over and over again. Snow Tubing party options are available for celebrating any special occasion!

Wisp Resortcoaster fatherdaughter
McHenry, Md.
wispresort.com
At Wisp, you can whiz down the mountain on the Mountain Coaster and roll, dip, twist and turn in a coaster cart, regulating your own speed on this downhill roller coaster. Or, slide your way down the mountain on their 12 lanes of snow tubing. Prefer to see the sights of the mountain without high speeds? Strap on some snowshoes and hike the surrounding trails.

Camelback Resort
Tannersville, Pa.
camelbackresort.com
Camelback Mountain has 42 snow tubing lanes, making it the biggest snow-tubing park in the U.S. The park is also equipped for Galactic nighttime snow tubing! Don’t forget to pack your bathing suit in addition to your snowsuit so you can play and swim at Aquatopia indoor water park in warm 84-degree water and have fun in the snow and the sun.

Canaan Valley Resort
Davis, W.Va.
canaanresort.com
Canaan Valley Resort is approximately 2.5 hours from Washington, D.C. A West Virginia State Park and companion resort, it offers winter slopes activities as well as snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. There are nearly 20 miles of marked and un-groomed trails to enjoy in addition to skiing, snowboarding, tubing and ice skating.

—Claire Dougherty Kovacs

 

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