Mommy Points: 4
For our first Family Adventure, I took the kids skiing at Mad River Mountain. We had a blast!
I took the kids skiing for the first time almost 2 years ago. At that time, I made them participate in the Kids Adventure Place program. I thought the programs was great, but the kids were adamant about not taking a lesson this time around.
Pros: The program teaches them to Ski and was well done, they get Hot Cocoa in the middle, I would get a couple of hours to ski on something other than the bunny hill.
Cons: the kids were already fighting it, it costs about $10 per kid over just a lift ticket and equipment rental.
In the end, we agreed that we would try skiing without the lesson first. But if we were having a lot of problems then they would have to take a lesson. With this decision, I had to set my own expectations for the day – I wouldn’t “really get to ski” and would be on the beginner hill the whole day and I would have to be extra patient. And, our day went really well! Setting my own expectations was the key to my being happy with the day. If I had gone in hoping to go down the bigger hills, I would have been frustrated and disappointed.
We arrived at about 2:00 p.m. It took us about 30 minutes to get boots fitted, snow pants on, and skis rented. Then we headed off to the beginner hill. The kids seemed to remember the basics right away. Perhaps skiing is a lot like riding a bike – you never forget how to do it and you can jump right back to where you left off rather quickly.
The beginner area has a carpet lift, which is by far the easiest to manage but is also the slowest. There is also a “Discovery” area with a tow rope. The 8 year old mastered that, but the 11 year old struggled a bit. By the end of our day, the kids were skiing well enough that I could have taken them down the longer easy (Green Circle) hills, but I was not ready to manage the chair lift or the big hill with both kids at the same time. We had moments of really really busy and then times when we had much more space. After about 4:30, it got steadily busier. We were there on a Friday, so the Friday Night crowd (groups of high school and college kids) started coming in after dinner time.
The day we went was really quite cold and had a fairly low wind chill. It was pretty breezy and our exposed skin got really cold. We skied for about 90 minutes then needed to go in and warm up. We had a snack at the bar which is a nice place to hang out and people watch. We went back out for another hour or so and decided we were all hungry and cold and tired and starting to get mean. So, back into the bar for a pizza and hot cocoa (and a beer for mom). After about an hour inside, we were in much better moods and headed back out. We ended up staying out skiing until 9:30. The wind died down after dark and it was a little more comfortable.
The food in the bar was pretty good for bar food. Popcorn and nachos was the standard concession stand fare. The pizza was made on a frozen crust but the toppings were added there. It wasn’t too bad. The hot cocoa was best deal – it even came with whipped cream. The beer prices were not outrageous and were about what I expected and they had an OK selection.
Tips from our Adventure:
- Two kids and one adult worked out OK for us, but it would have been helpful to have another adult around. I would have liked to take the kids down the bigger hill, but I really didn’t think I could safely manage the chair lift and a longer hill with two kids at once, and I wasn’t going to leave one standing alone at the bottom.
- My son and I had some problems with our feet hurting in our boots. I think we needed one size bigger boots than we had. Make sure boots are comfy when you try them on!
- After our dinner, someone accidentally took my rental skis. I was happily surprised that it was no problem to just go and get another pair. Just go back to the rental building and tell them what happened.
- I forgot to charge my point & shoot camera battery. Using my phone as a camera was difficult – I wanted to keep my gloves on which doesn’t work with the phone, and the phone camera is slower at taking pictures than the point and shoot.
What we spent:
This was a fairly expensive adventure for us. I’ve resolved this year to have more adventures and spending on adventures is OK (rather than spending on stuff), but I’m also trying to get out of credit card debt. We were there a total of 7 1/2 hours with 30 minutes of getting ready, 5 hours worth of skiing, and about 2 hours of taking breaks to eat/warm up). Looking quickly at the season passes, we would need to go 8 times per season (with rentals) to make the costs work out. Here was the break down of our day:
- Lift tickets and ski rental for 2 kids and 1 adult – $165 total (Kids lift tickets were $25 and rental was $25, My lift ticket was $35 and rental was $30)
- Snack of popcorn, nachos, and water (we shared) – $7
- Dinner of regular pizza with 1/2 cheese, 1/2 peperoni and 2 hot cocoas – $20
- Beer for mom (large Yuengling..mmmm) – $6
- Total for the day was just about $200
I think I’m going to try the Snow Angels program at Mad River for a mommy only adventure! I’d love to try snow boarding, and this looks like a good way to do it.