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Stratton Mountain by Hubert Schriebl

Travel-Mommy: Family Ski Trip to Stratton

One of our all time favorite ski resorts is Stratton, VT which is 4-5 hours from New York City. We had our babies while skiing the mountain every weekend for over 12 years, so it is a very special place for us. We celebrated many holidays there making many  memories. With over 94 ski trails, Stratton truly has something for everyone from steep verticals to beautiful glades to incredible racing programs to outstanding daycare.

A typical day could begin with the hubbies dropping off the kids at the ski school. The moms could do yoga at the Stratton Sports Center followed by a fun ski before meeting the men for lunch. After a yummy meal at the back room at Grizzly’s, the moms could ski hard on North American or Lift Line or hit the wonderful shops in Stratton village like First Run, Equipe, Dashing Bear Apparel and Von Bargen’s jewelry.

Stratton Mountain Ski Resort

Stratton Mountain Ski Resort (Photo credit: rbglasson)

Before picking up the children, you could shop at Provisions in the village to ready a home cooked après ski and dinner for the troops. Afterwards, the family could ice skate on Mill Pond in the commons below the Long Trail Lodge or take an outdoor hot tub or stroll to the hill for live music.

The resort features a calendar of fun activities and entertainment all season long. Some of the key annual events are:

  • The Vermont Open – a snowboarding and music festival for boarders of all ages and experiences. Riders compete in three events: rail jam, half-pipe and banked slalom
  • The 24 Hours of Stratton – a round the clock skiing and riding event to raise money for the Stratton Foundation. Teams of 6-12 will hit the slopes from noon on Saturday to noon on Sunday, with games & entertainment in the base lodge for all
  • Season Closing – features a traditional pond skim, BBQ and music

Below are some helpful hints to help you plan your family fun:

Lodging and logistics

  • Our favorite place to stay is the Long Trail Lodge which features an outdoor pool and hot tub and complimentary coffee and muffins
  • Reserving lodging is easy either by calling 1-800-STRATTON or booking online
  • Be sure to check out the amazing Kids Ski and Stay Free package
  • VBRO or Dwellable.com are great for family friendly rentals & B&B options
  • American Express Concierge can also help book lodging and reservations at some of the nicer adult-only restaurants in the area. American Express is also the preferred credit card for Intrawest resorts.
  • Parking can be a bear so get there as early as you can. However, the bus ride to the mountain is very fast and easy no matter where you have to park. If you want to splurge, valet parking is available for $35 non-holiday, and $40 holiday.
  • If you want gentle slopes for beginner skiing and riding or want to live it up at the Coca-Cola tubing park, try parking at the Sun Bowl

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Stratton’s Upper Tamarck Run by HUBERT Schriebl

Ski lift tickets, Ski Rentals and Ski School

  • Stratton’s has savings up to 50% and especially good deals in March in the Online ticket store. Check out the deals and packages for further savings
  • Starting Gate at the bottom of the access road is the best for high-end demos and equipment for the hard-core racing crowd. Owners Gary and Dede Longely are true alpine equipment experts!
  • Stratton has the most organized ski school we have ever seen. Call 1-800-STRATTON to book. Kids get rentals and lift tickets right in the ski school building, which saves you a stop in the morning. Lift tickets are included in the ski school price for Little Cub, ages 4-6
  • Stratton has a outstanding ski racing school for children (our gang just loved). The seasonal programs (including racing & Allegro for freestyle) turn out exceptional winter athletes. Dave Edry, the director, does an amazing job nurturing talent. Over at the Stratton Mountain School, they have burgeoning Olympians in the Nordic, freestyle and snowboarding programs as well.
  • Don’t be afraid to take beginners to the top because there are green runs that go top to bottom. Be sure to carry a face warmer since it can be windy and cold at the top

Three No-fuss Family Friendly Restaurants

  • Organic Pizza: the name says it all and the location in the village can’t be beat.  
  • Mulligan’s: with locations in Stratton Village and in Manchester you count on this fun restaurant for delicious Americana food at affordable prices
  • Zoey’s Double Hex: on Route 11/30 towards Manchester is one of our favorite places for delicious kiddie friendly food. They have the best grilled cheese around!

Unique attractions

  • The candy shop called Mountain Sweet in the village is a great post-skiing treat for your children if they promise not to whine about ski school or the cold
  • The Carlos Otis Clinic provides emergency and general services as well as x-rays  in memory of our dear brilliant friend and mentor Lammie Williams. We really miss her!
  • The waffle hut provides the perfect mid morning snack while you wait for the gondola
  • Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and dog sledding are offered at the Nordic Center
  • While sleigh rides are not offered on resort, the Stratton Hub can book them nearby
  • The outlets in Manchester twenty minutes down the road are “a must do”
  • Manchester also offers interesting art galleries, book stores and museums complete with the world-famous Equinox Resort
  • Bromley and Okemo are not far away and Ludlow is an adorable town
  • Stratton is also a great get-away in the summer with terrific tennis & golf camps that we highly recommend

Ways to Save Money:

  • Stratton’s amenities are funded by its steep ticket price at almost $100 so be sure to book in advance and on-line for discounts. Sign up for resort e-mail alerts for specials
  • Pack your lunch with food from home and store in coin-op lockers in the lodge
  • Consider doing Apres ski in the village followed by light dinners at home
  • Rent your ski equipment locally and buy hand & feet warmers at Costco

If you like cruising well-groomed slopes and easy family fun, Stratton is the place for you