(Long Island, N.Y.) If you’re looking for one last winter hurrah without a long drive–whisk the kids away for a few days and head to Windham, NY. The Catskill region is a fast but fun escape that won’t break the bank (It’s about 2.5 hours from the George Washington Bridge–exit 21 off of the NYS thruway.)
And if you also feel bad for the kids who never really had the chance to play in the snow or enjoy some winter fun this year, than you might want to jump on this quickly. According to the folks at Greene County in the Catskills, they recently got well over half a foot in the mountains.
Skiing at Windham Mountain is a blast for the entire family. This was only our second time on the slopes yet after a couple of hours of lessons, the kids were zipping down the (easy) trails like pros. I was very impressed with Windham Mountain’s rental shop–the employees were very helpful and friendly–and most important: patient with a family of newbie skiers. They offer equipment in a full range of sizes, with ski boots from size 6 (junior) to 16 (adult), and snowboard boots from size 12 (junior) to 15 (adult) and the process of getting set up is simple and easy. All multi-day rentals receive free overnight ski valet – just drop them off in the rental shop when you are done for the day and pick them up at the same location the next morning (space is limited; first come, first served).
In addition to skiing and riding, Windham Mountain has an Adventure Park with ice skating, snow tubing and zip line. There is a Cross Country Ski and Snowshoe center located at the Windham Country Club. The Patio features an amazing bungee trampoline that flings you 25 feet in the air as you jump and flip–so fun!
Fun activities: Be sure to hit the Windham Mountain Adventure Park for some exhilarating snow tubing and zip lining. There’s an uber-cozy lodge where you can kick back and enjoy a cup of hot cocoa. The Adventure Park is all about family fun, day and night. There’s also an outdoor 120′ by 60′ skating rink and snowmobiling for the kids.
Snow Tubing – Rocket down a 650-foot snow-covered slope, lying flat on your back in a canvas-covered tube. Located at the Windham Mountain Adventure Park, the tubing hill is many lanes of downhill fun. Best of all, no skill is required. Just as long as you’re tall enough to get in and out of the tube, you can ride. Ride solo or tie up to six tubes together for a group run. Equipped with snowmaking and grooming, for the best tubing possible.
Another fun, not-to-miss activity was the Windham Mountain Adventure Park Zip line. (The weight minimum is 100 pounds.) and the Snowmobile Park which features a fleet of 120cc Arctic Cat snowmobiles just for kids. (Parking & ticketing is available at the Adventure Park Lodge)
If you’re looking for a fun place to eat with the kids, be sure to drop in to The Chicken Run where the serve great chicken, ribs, burgers and best of all–there’s an ice-cream bar, roast-them-yourself s’mores, and an large outdoor teepee the kids can sit in.
Where to stay: Christman’s Windham House – Located just 1.5 miles from Windham Mountain, is the oldest continually-operating inn in the Catskills. The property has been owned by the Christman family for nearly 58 years. The historic Inn is also a 27-hole golf resort and restaurant set on 300 acres. The rooms are warm with rural charm –the kids loved the colonial-style setting–with some modern special touches. Rooms vary in size. All have private bath, CATV, AC, phone, and Wi-Fi. Beds are either queen or king, one room has a double and queen and a continental breakfast is included with the room. As a family of four, we felt so welcomed and relaxed here.
If you miss out on the winter fun this year, put it on your list for next season’s family getaway for sure. Or head there for a quick spring/summer escape: Windham Mountain’s Adventure Park offers chairlift skyrides, dual racing zip lines, a wide and ever-changing list of events, local golf and hiking and some good old fashioned family bonding.