Within a mile, you can swim, play miniature golf, go tubing, hiking, learn to paint, meet a big Mouse, compete in an egg race, canoe, kayak, fish, skateboard, scale a climbing tower or just lounge by the pool. Yup. All of these activities are part of the joy of staying at Smugglers' Notch. And it is why, though they treated us this year, we plan to return next year as well.
While my sons' attended the day care program, my mother and I took advantage of the chance to hike on the grounds. There are beautiful trees and a lovely brook, as well as hiking trails that make it easy to get some exercise without straying too far.
My sons enjoyed their first chance to play mini-golf. The course isn't fancy, but it is built besides a stream. Plus, it was quiet enough that I didn't have too worry too much about my sons' golf balls flying through the air. There are 4 completely different pool areas at the resort. The courtside pool is located right in the center of the resort. On top of the hill is the Notchville area, which would be perfect for older children as it has a shallow pool area separate from the larger pool.
However, our kids were in heaven at the Mountainside pool area. The area itself has one large pool, a large waterslide and a mini-waterslide. However, the highlight fo our kids was the gradual entry lagoon that was replete with tubes, sprinklers, a tunnel and a mini-river.
Finally, a short drive (or long walk) from the resort, is their Rum Runner's Hideway. To get there you need to do a very short hike up a very steep incline. I knew that my kids' could never make it up. However, if kids were any older, they would love the chance to play at this water lagoon, full of canoes and kayaks.
In addition to all this, we also had access to the indoor/outdoor Aquatics area at the North Hill part of the resort. This was the only indoor water area. My only complaint? I would have loved a hot tub area that was a)hotter than theirs and b)for adults only. I just couldn't relax in a hot tub full of kids.
My sons, though, will also return for more highlight: The FunZone. Now, I will make it clear that they loved it.
Full of inflatable structures, another indoor mini-golf course, toys, arcade games, and a giant slide (my kids were too young for it), it is not where I would want to hang out. But they loved every minute of it. Make sure to bring socks (no barefeet or shoes allowed), and plenty of antiseptic spray.
The final highlight for my kids was the nighttime activities. Each night features another set of family friendly fun. One night was the biggest bingo game I have observed. While our last night was a giant social, filled with juggling, egg and spoon races, hula-hooping and waterballoons.
Another lovely part of the resort were the playgrounds. I have never seen this brand (KOMPANY) or type. But they were pretty unique, looking more like futuristic space modules than play structures.
Scattered throughout the grounds, they provide one more type of entertaintment for my kids.
There was so much else that we didn't get a chance to do. I would have loved to have tried "yoga in the mountains" or one of the art classes. I also hope to try one of their longer, guided hikes (Smugglers distinguishs between walks, hikes and, yes, wikes!) when my kids get older. Their science center is like a mini-science museum, and will be a definite stop on a future visit.
In the winter, their programming as just as amazing, just substitute dog sledding, skating, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing for the outdoor activities. Confession, I really just want to go in the winter for the chance to take part in the Snowshoe Adventure Dinner: You take a lift to the top of Mountain, eat a meal catered by the Hearth and Candle, and then showshoe!!