Last weekend we were faced with ten days ahead of us of no school for the kids, so we decided to pack our bags and head north for a few days of skiing. We headed to Windham Mountain, just 200 miles from NYC (2 hours and 45 minutes by car), in the Catskills. My kids were psyched as we don’t ski as a family all that often. My husband and son go regularly, but my daughter and I are lesser skilled and I knew we would require a warm-up before taking off on the slopes.
Windham is a very popular slope for New Yorkers, but we were still surprised to see as many locals from our town as we did. After spending a few days there, I can see the attraction. Windham gets plentiful snowfall (100 inches per season), over 100 inches per season; they have 49 trails including a good beginner area (which my daughter trained on the first day); night-time skiing; five terrain parks open to all skiers and snowboarders; 10 lifts that keep moving (although there were long lines – but after all, it was the busiest weekend of the year); a really nice, well-trained staff; 269 acres; 10 lifts; and an incredible Adventure Park for kids that will keep them happily occupied for hours. Windham is a nice alternative to some of the other slopes that are packed on weekends, but mid-week trips are relatively empty so that’s a consideration for future trips. The lines are definitely shorter mid-week.
We rented our skis, poles and boots in the rental shop on the mountain (see photo in collage above). We were well taken care of and provided with great equipment and lift tickets. The service was top-notch. A few tips before you go: there are long lines early in the day when you go to pick up your skis and at the end of the day when you go to return them. Get there really early and return your skis after everyone else does. Also, buying your lift tickets and beginner packages in the shop saves you money. The shop offers complimentary valet overnight, available on a first-come, first-served basis and bins for $5 each overnight to keep your helmets and anything else you want to leave behind.
The resort offers specials and plenty of activities for kids. New this season, Windham Mountain will introduce Young Adult lift tickets for ages 13-17. The new pricing option will close the gap between the traditional junior ticket, for ages 7-12 and adult ticket, now for ages 18 and up. If your 2 to 7 year old isn’t up for skiing, she can enjoy indoor playtime, activities and lunch while you hit the slopes. Beyond skiing, the Windham Mountain adventure park offers ice skating, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, tubing and more at Adventure Park.
My kids loved our two days on the slopes. My son immediately ran to the top of the mountain with my husband and they shot down the trails together. At age 8, he skis like a little whiz, faster than lightening and is happier on skis than anywhere else. He liked the variety of the slopes and as a tough critic, had good things to say about the mountain. We had to stop for several hot chocolates after going to the top of the mountain, as the climate changed drastically up there and it was bitter. My daughter started out on the bunny slopes a few times until she built up her confidence, but she was soon coming down the mountain. She was more cautious and stayed on the easy green trails but her skiing improved as the weekend progressed. We spent a few hours in the Adventure Park, tubing down a high mountain. It made me feel young again, as I towed along with the kids and gleefully made my way down the mountain going at least 30 miles an hour.
We ate our meals on the mountain and stayed about 45 miles away from the resort as everything was booked in the area. That was not completely optional but necessary on a holiday weekend. When planning a trip to Windham, do plan out well ahead in advance. But expect for a really good ski experience for the whole lot.
Address: Windham Mountain, 33 Clarence D. Lane Road, Windham, Ny 12496
Web site: windhammountain.com
Disclosure: I was not compensated for this review but my family was provided with complimentary ski equipment to facilitate this review.