20+ Family-Friendly Activities at Smugglers’ Notch Resort: The Best Family Resort in Vermont

Smugglers Notch Resort, The Best Family Resort in Vermont for Winter Travel

Smugglers’ Notch Resort, aka Smuggs, is the perfect winter family vacation destination located just outside of Burlington, Vermont in the town of Jeffersonville. This ski-in/ski-out, full-service vacation spot features exceptional skiing and a family-friendly atmosphere great for the beginner to the advanced snowsport enthusiast. Situated amidst the stunning Green Mountains, this getaway has earned its reputation as one of the top ski destinations in the region, offering unparalleled opportunities for adventure and relaxation.

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Nestled in the heart of northern Vermont, Smuggs enjoys a prime location that boasts breathtaking views and easy access to a myriad of outdoor activities, as well as easy access from airports in both the US and Canada.

With its pristine slopes, secluded location, and world-class amenities, Smuggs has earned its place as a premier ski destination. Boasting over 1,000 acres of skiable terrain and 78 trails suitable for all skill levels, this year-round retreat offers endless opportunities for skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts to explore and enjoy in the winter.

Why Smuggs is the best place for family vacation in Vermont

The History of Smuggs Vermont Family Friendly Resorts

20+ Family-Friendly Activities At Smugglers' Notch Resort: The Best Family Resort In Vermont 2 Daily Mom, Magazine For Families

Smuggs boasts a rich history dating back to the early 1950s when it first opened its doors to guests seeking adventure in the mountains. Over the years, the resort has grown and evolved, expanding its offerings to include a wide range of amenities and things to do for visitors of all ages. From daytime activities for all ages to on-site dining and entertainment options, whether you prefer a day on the slopes or a day in the warm and cozy indoors, there is still plenty to do at Smuggs.

Set amidst the stunning natural beauty of this mountain landscape, Smugglers’ Notch features an impressive array of terrain, including pristine slopes for skiing and snowboarding, as well as miles of trails for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Whether you’re a seasoned outdoor enthusiast or a first-time visitor, there’s no shortage of opportunities to explore and discover at this vacation destination.

From its award-winning kids’ programs to its extensive network of beginner-friendly trails, Smuggs prides itself on offering something for everyone to enjoy making it the ideal spot for families, especially those with kids of all ages, or those traveling with grandparents or large groups.

If you are looking for a place where you can unplug, enjoy the great outdoors, and reconnect with your spouse and your kids, this Vermont family vacation spot will give you the perfect opportunity to do just that! Families who visit Smuggs return year after year to make memories that will last a lifetime.

Lodging and On-Site Restaurants and Cafes

Accommodations for your Vermont Family Vacation

20+ Family-Friendly Activities At Smugglers' Notch Resort: The Best Family Resort In Vermont 6 Daily Mom, Magazine For Families

Experience the ultimate in comfort and convenience at Smugglers’ Notch with a wide range of lodging options to suit every taste and budget. From cozy slopeside condominium-style lodging to spacious suites, there’s a perfect home away from home waiting for you at the lodge. Each accommodation is thoughtfully appointed with modern amenities and rustic charm, providing guests with everything they need for a relaxing and memorable stay.

With a variety of condo options, Smuggs can accommodate large families or groups traveling together. Their comfy lodging boasts full kitchens for convenience with extra large living rooms perfect for gathering around the cozy fireplace for a movie night or even a night of board games!

Condo options include:

Condo Amenities include:

  • Electric fireplaces
  • Fully equipped kitchens
  • En-suite washer/dryer
  • Counter height and large table dining
  • Spacious Living rooms with large sleeper sectionals
  • Wifi and cable TV
  • Steam Showers/Jacuzzi Tubs
  • Furnished porches/decks 
  • Top-of-the-line security with keycard accessibility only for stairwells and rooms
  • Large outdoor hot tubs – located in the building
  • Adjacent Heated pools
  • Outdoor dining areas with community grills, picnic tables, and fire pits

Restaurants and Dining Options

Indulge your taste buds at Smugglers’ Notch with its array of on-site restaurants and cafes. From hearty breakfasts to gourmet dinners, they offer a variety of dining options to satisfy every craving; from grabbing a quick pizza at the Village Pizzeria to enjoying a romantic, gourmet dinner at the Hearth and Candle, there is something to please every palate. Enjoy classic Northeastern fare at the Morse Mountain Grille, grab a quick bite at the Black Bear Tavern, or savor a sweet treat at the Village Pizzeria & Creamery. With a focus on fresh, locally sourced ingredients, every meal is a delicious celebration of Vermont’s culinary heritage and chock full of warm and satisfying comfort foods perfect for warming up after a cold day on the mountain.

On-Site Dining Options Include:

  • Morse Mountain Grille: offering hearty comfort foods for breakfast, lunch, and dinner; an ideal spot for casual, large family dining
  • Green Mountain Deli: offerings include hot sandwiches, burgers, hot dogs, chili, and soups for a quick lunch in the Village
  • the Hearth & Candle: evenings only, sit-down dining options with family-friendly and adults-only dining rooms available; make sure to inquire about the Snowshoe Adventure Dinner located at Top of the Notch
  • Village Pizzeria: fresh baked pizzas served daily, as well as a variety of salads, sandwiches, appetizers, and entrées, along with beer, wine, cider, and seltzer
  • Ben & Jerry’s: open daily grab dessert after dinner or a snack at the ice cream parlor
  • The Perk: located in the Country Store grab an espresso, cappuccino, lattes, chai tea, hot and cold mochas, fresh fruit smoothies, and a variety of morning pastries prepared locally 
  • Refuel Cafe: located in the Funzone this quick spot offers sandwiches, pizza, snacks, drinks, beer, and wine
  • Bootlegger’s Lounge: with a full bar and extensive beer collection, the lounge also offers appetizers and small bites
  • Waffle Cabin: located slopeside, grab a sweet treat on your skis at the base of the run
  • Madonna Sterling Base Lodge Cafeteria: located at the base of the upper mountain slopes, this cafeteria-style dining offers breakfast, lunch, and plenty of snack options for a quick bite 
  • The Black Bear Tavern: offering finger foods, appetizers, sandwiches, salads, and tacos, as well as an extensive drink menu, the tavern is the place to be for the Apres Ski
  • The Country Store: features a variety of grab-and-go meals, easy-to-make options, and a large selection of beer and wine, as well as necessities and toiletries

Nearby Dining in Jeffersonville and Things to do near Smugglers’ Notch Vt

During your visit to the Green Mountains, venture out and explore the charming town of Jeffersonville where a variety of dining options await. From cozy cafes and diners to upscale eateries and farm-to-table restaurants, Jeffersonville has something for every palate. Whether you’re craving classic comfort food or innovative cuisine, you’ll find plenty of delicious options to choose from just minutes away from Smugglers’ Notch. 

Hanley’s General Store is the nearest market offering full grocery options, grab-and-go meals, a deli and meat department, as well as Vermont specialty items.

Smugglers Notch Activities – Winter Offerings and Things to Do in Smugglers Notch Vermont

At Smugglers’ Notch, the fun doesn’t stop when the sun goes down. In addition to its outdoor explorations, Smuggs offers a variety of indoor activities to keep guests entertained during their stay. From swimming and fitness centers to spas and wellness programs, there’s no shortage of ways to relax and unwind after a day on the slopes.

Smugglers’ Notch is more than just a ski destination; it’s a full-service vacation destination that caters to couples and families looking for fun in the mountains year-round. Their winter options include everything from skiing and snowboarding to indoor programming for all ages. With so much to do, there is never a dull moment for adults, teens, and kids, and parents will love all of the screen-free options for their kiddos to enjoy! 

Snowshoeing and Cross-Country Skiing Trails at Smuggs

Smugglers’ Notch isn’t just for downhill enthusiasts; it also offers a variety of options for those who prefer to explore the winter wonderland at a more leisurely pace. With miles of scenic snowshoeing and cross-country skiing trails winding through the pristine forests and meadows, guests can immerse themselves in the beauty of the landscape while enjoying a peaceful outdoor adventure.

If you love a good snowshoe experience make sure to check out the following options during your stay:

  1. Snowshoe Adventure Dinner: Head to Top of the Notch to share a rustic romantic, community-style dinner and snowshoe back down the mountain; adults-only
  2. Snowshoe Lesson Trek: explore the nearby wooded trails and search for animal tracks while you learn a bit of local history and take in the winter wonderland
  3. Family Snowshoe Scavenger Hunt: a fun, self-guided family-friendly scavenger hunt
  4. Adult Beginner Cross Country Group Lesson
  5. Backcountry Snowshoe Trek
  6. High Elevation Snowshoe Trek
  7. Fireworks and Snowshoes
  8. Moonlight Mile: snowshoe beneath the stars for the ultimate sensory experience
  9. Soup and Snowshoes

Indoors Experiences at Smuggs

When it’s time to warm up indoors, Smugglers’ Notch has you covered with a range of indoor experiences to enjoy. Take a dip in one of their heated pools, hit the gym for a workout, or indulge in a relaxing spa treatment to soothe tired muscles after a day on the slopes. With state-of-the-art facilities and expert staff on hand, guests can enjoy the ultimate in relaxation and rejuvenation during their stay.

With both kids and adults in mind, Smuggs offers a variety of indoor relaxation and play options including:

  1. Funzone 2.0: with two levels of interactive entertainment the Funzone is a great place for kids, teens, and adults to play indoors on a cold day
  2. Indoor heated pools and hot tubs
  3. Children’s Splashpad
  4. Black Bear Apres Sports Party
  5. Board Game Night
  6. Jewelry Making
  7. Bingo
  8. Movie Night
  9. Teen Night
  10. Adult Trivia
  11. Various Yoga Classes
  12. Marko’s Family Magic Show
  13. Floor is Lava Reality Game
  14. Friendly Pirate Breakfast: Join Rockin’Ron the pirate for plenty of songs, riddles, jokes, and fun at the Morse Mountain Grill for breakfast
  15. Friendly Pirate Rain Gutter Regatta
  16. Teen Jeopardy
  17. Karaoke
  18. Family GaGa Ball & Family Games at the Meeting House
  19. Video Game Night

The Funzone 2.0 is a must for families visiting any time of the year! This 26,000-square-foot indoor playground is home to awesome family game time and play. The lower level features a fully stocked arcade where you can challenge yourself or one another to an evening of play. Additionally, the lower level offers a two-story Rockwall, the GoZone which is a warrior-style adventure challenge, the Leap of Faith, and Lazer Tag.

Our kids loved the GoZone where they could compete against one another in this two-lane warrior challenge!

Upstairs, the Ozone offers inflatables for adults and kids, a toddlers-only area, ping pong tables, pool tables, inflatable axe throwing, basketball, a mini-golf challenge, and more! The Funzone even offers a weekly Kids’ Night Out for parents to drop off their kiddos ages 5-12 for a night of dinner, loads of fun, and games.

Family Friendly Outdoor Adventures 

For families looking to add a little excitement to their winter trip, Smugglers’ Notch offers a variety of outdoor experiences to enjoy together. Glide across the resort’s outdoor skating rink, zoom down the snow-covered hills on a thrilling tubing adventure, or explore the snowy landscape on a guided snowmobiling tour. With so many options to choose from, there’s never a dull moment at Smugglers’ Notch.

Smuggs Outdoor Activities Include:

  1. Daytime Tubing at North Hill Tubing
  2. Glow Tubing at Sir Henry’s Hill
  3. Snowmobiling
  4. Ice Skating
  5. Dog Sledding
  6. Ice Fishing
  7. Winter Carnival: play games, carve ice sculptures, and win prizes at the Winter Carnival located in the Main Village
  8. I-Did-A-Sled: build your own sled with supplies provided to share in this family-friendly competition
  9. Bonfire Warmup
  10. Fireside Fat Tire E-Bike Tour
  11. Snowcat and Fireworks
  12. Night School and Night School for Jibbing: practice your freestyle moves and check out Smuggs terrain park during these nighttime lessons

Everything to Know About Skiing and Snowboarding for the best family vacation in Vermont

20+ Family-Friendly Activities At Smugglers' Notch Resort: The Best Family Resort In Vermont 23 Daily Mom, Magazine For Families

With ski-in/ski-out lodging, 70+ trails available, 3 mountains and 8 lifts, parents and competent skiers and snowboarders can head out to shred while the younger generation learns how to hit the slopes with the expert instructors at Smuggs. The programming for kids and teens gives your child plenty of time on the slopes, depending on their age and skill level, and serves up hot meals and snacks interspersed with loads of fun, indoor play, and downtime throughout the day. Parents need not fret about childcare at Smuggs as their kids will want to hang out with their newfound friends day after day.

Kids’ Programs and Childcare Options

20+ Family-Friendly Activities At Smugglers' Notch Resort: The Best Family Resort In Vermont 24 Daily Mom, Magazine For Families

At Smugglers’ Notch, children of all ages can enjoy a safe and exciting introduction to skiing and snowboarding with the resort’s renowned kids’ programs and childcare options. From beginner lessons for the littlest ones to advanced clinics for budding experts, there’s a program to suit every age and skill level. With expert instructors and a fun, supportive environment, kids can gain confidence on the slopes while making new friends and creating lasting memories.

Sign your children up for full or half-day programming where they will gather at the Meeting house to ski and play with new friends their age. Alternatively, if small group or private lessons are more your style, get them the expert instruction they need at either skiing or snowboarding with Smuggs’ amazing instructors who will get them comfortable and cruising in no time!

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The Treasures Childcare Center is also available on-site for your youngest children ages 6 weeks to 3 years of age with full-day and half-day programs available. Reservations are required.

Rentals and Equipment

Located near the Main Village, 3 Moutain Equipment Rentals has everything you need for a day of fun in the snow. From ski and snowboard rentals, including several different demos for the more advanced riders, to rental snow clothing and repair services, Smugglers’ Notch makes it easy to enjoy a hassle-free ski trip with a range of convenient amenities and services.

From equipment rental and repair services to shops selling the latest gear and apparel, guests can find everything they need for a day on the slopes right at the resort allowing you to focus on what matters most – enjoying your time in the snow.

Shuttle Service

Shuttle transportation services are available at Smuggs which makes getting around the mountain a breeze! With transportation to the upper mountain Sterling Base Lodge and lifts, plus on-call shuttle services throughout the entire property to all condos, restaurants, and activities, you never need to worry about how you’re going to get around. Simple, safe, and convenient, the shuttles are great for getting you and your gear everywhere you want to be. When visiting you can simply call from your room or the various shuttle phones throughout the resort for quick and easy transport around the mountain.

Après-Ski Entertainment and Events

After a day of hitting the slopes, the fun continues with a variety of après-ski entertainment and events. From live music and games for all ages to cozy fireside gatherings and outdoor bonfires, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re celebrating a successful day on the mountain or simply unwinding with loved ones, the resort’s vibrant après-ski scene is sure to keep the good times rolling long after the sun goes down.

Comparing Smugglers’ Notch to Other Family Vacation Spots in Vermont

20+ Family-Friendly Activities At Smugglers' Notch Resort: The Best Family Resort In Vermont 31 Daily Mom, Magazine For Families

While there are many ski resorts to choose from in the Northeast, Smugglers’ Notch stands out for its exceptional terrain, family-friendly atmosphere, and wide range of amenities. Compared to other nearby resorts, Smugglers’ Notch offers a unique combination of challenging slopes, beginner-friendly trails, and world-class amenities, making it the perfect destination for skiers and snowboarders of all ages and abilities. The ski-in/ski-out lodging options and the on-site shuttle service make this location ideal for those wanting to hit the slopes with as little hassle as possible. Additionally, this virtually all-inclusive resort caters to the needs of everyone in your party making for an easy and relaxing getaway where you never have to leave the property.

One of the defining features of Smugglers’ Notch Resort is its commitment to providing a great experience that caters to guests of all ages. Unlike other nearby resorts that may focus primarily on skiing and snowboarding, Smugglers’ Notch offers a wide range of family-friendly amenities and activities, including kids’ programs, childcare options, and après-ski entertainment both in and out of the snow.

Smugglers’ Notch makes it easy for parents to introduce their children to the joys of winter sports without overwhelming them and still giving them a host of other activities to enjoy. With a variety of non-skiing options available, such as tubing, ice skating, and snowmobiling, there’s never a dull moment. From relaxing in front of a warm and cozy fire to competitive play in the Funzone to shredding the slopes in this winter wonderland, Smugglers’ Notch Resort will not disappoint when it comes to your Vermont family getaway, letting you relax, rejuvenate, and reconnect with your kids and loved ones in this beautiful mountain escape. 

VII. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Smugglers’ Notch Suitable for Beginners/Advanced Skiers?

Yes, it caters to skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels, from beginners to experts. With a wide range of terrain options, including gentle slopes for beginners and challenging trails for advanced skiers, there’s something for everyone to enjoy at this beloved resort. Plus, with expert instructors and specialized programs available, beginners can feel confident hitting the slopes for the first time, while advanced skiers can push their limits and take on new challenges.

What are the Best Times to Visit this Family Resort?

Smugglers’ Notch Resort is open year-round, with each season offering its own unique charm and opportunities for outdoor adventure. For skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts, the winter months from December to March are ideal times to visit, with plenty of fresh powder and exciting events happening throughout the season. In the summer, the resort transforms into a lush green paradise, perfect for hiking, biking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Are There Any Non-Skiing Activities Available at the Resort?

Yes, there are a variety of non-skiing activities for guests to enjoy, including tubing, ice skating, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling. Plus, with indoor amenities such as swimming pools, fitness centers, and spas, there’s plenty to do both on and off the slopes. Whether you’re looking for adrenaline-pumping thrills or quiet relaxation, you’ll find it all at this family-friendly resort.

Is Smugglers’ Notch One of the Best Family Resorts?

Smugglers’ Notch Resort is renowned for its family-friendly atmosphere and amenities, making it the perfect destination for families looking to create lasting memories together. With specialized kids’ programs, childcare options, and a variety of activities for children of all ages, parents can relax knowing their little ones are in good hands. Plus, with spacious family suites, on-site dining options, and entertainment venues, there’s something for everyone to enjoy at this beloved resort.

Are there adult-only activities available?

Yes, adults can enjoy activities like golfing, evening events, spa treatments, and more while the kids participate in their own programs.

Can families participate in races or competitions at Smugglers’ Notch Resort?

Yes, families can join in on weekly races, treasure hunts, or even friendly competitions during their stay.

Can I bring pets?

ADA service animals are permitted, however personal pets are not allowed.

Is there an airport shuttle?

While there is an on-site shuttle available there is not an airport shuttle available through the resort itself.

Where is the nearest airport?

The nearest airport is the Burlington International Airport.

Is there a daycare available on-site?

Yes, Treasure Childcare Center is available on-site for children 6 weeks to 3 years of age. There are also babysitting services available.

20+ Family-Friendly Activities At Smugglers' Notch Resort: The Best Family Resort In Vermont 36 Daily Mom, Magazine For Families

If you’re ready to experience the winter wonderland of Smugglers’ Notch Resort for yourself, there’s never been a better time to plan your visit. Whether you’re a seasoned skier or snowboarder looking for your next adventure or a family in search of the perfect winter getaway, Smugglers’ Notch has everything you need for an unforgettable vacation experience you’ll remember for years to come!

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