It's a common sticking point in family vacation planning: How to find a spot that's just right for everyone in the crew.
One kid is into the arts; the other loves to run, hike and swim. Mom is really into zip lining; dad's more of a disc golf king of guy. What's a family to do?
Smugglers' Notch Resort in Jeffersonville, Vt., has been answering that question for decades now. Smuggs has since been known as — summer or winter — the master of family vacations.
My children grew up with summer and winter Smuggs visits. To me, with multiple pools, endless activities and great amenities, it's always felt like a cruise ship on land.
This year, Smuggs is back to full speed and offering all the things that make for a great family vacation.
Smugglers' Notch is located a short drive north of Stowe, Vt. In the summer you drive up over the Notch itself, a cool drive that starts — and ends — your trip beautifully.
Guests settle into mountainside condos — they have a space and size for every family. There are full kitchens (and a cute little on-site store; I'd stop in Stowe and shop for essentials there first though) and bright, airy rooms, all walking distance from the resort.
Child care — and programs — are offered from ages 6 weeks to 17 years old, each designed with a specific age group's needs and likes in mind.
When our kids were at the programs, my husband and I would take part in amazing guided hikes (one up over Mount Mansfield, Vermont's highest peak), play tennis (and now pickleball) or just hang out by a pool.
You won't have a hard time finding "the" pool: Smuggs has eight peppering their property, along with four water slides.
By afternoon and into the evening, we'd do all the fun family things that build memories. My daughters — one is now a mother herself — are still shaking their heads at my karaoke rendition of "Leader of the Pack" I pulled off on a Smuggs trip long ago. I thought I was pretty great.
There are those traditional things, but Smuggs is all about creative fun, too.
Daily events include a large farmers market (you can shop not just for during your stay but to take along home), country fairs and fireworks displays.
Goodtime Charlie is a legend. He was the DJ at the karaoke event way back when (about 25 years ago). He rocks with a house band under the stars on the Village Green every Thursday night.
And they've come up with new things for the season.
You can head home champions by taking part in "The Big Smuggle," a race in which family teams navigate a course consisting of several challenge stations before returning to the finish. Families choose their own path, collecting gold bullion along the way.
The "I-Did-A-Cart" is a Big Air Dummy Derby in which you use an assortment of supplies such as duct tape, balloons, paints and cardboard — along with your creativity — to build a derby dummy.
In "Friendly Pirate's Raingutter Regatta," participants create their own ship from materials provided by the Activities Crew. Ships (and their captain/creators) then compete to see who has the fastest ship to sail down the rain gutters. Prizes are also given for tallest, longest, widest, most seaworthy, most pirate-like and cutest. Of course, it's all led by Rockin' Ron the Friendly Pirate.
And they now offer Llama Treks.
They bring you and your llama for the day out for a hike and picnic in the woods and trails of the resort. The llamas are from the Northern Vermont Llama Co.
There are cookouts, dinners and more.
Smuggs wasn't a part of our lives for a few years — my daughters are grown-ups now. But for my two little granddaughters Molly and Lucy, many visits will come.
After all, they need to see how great their Rara is at karaoke. And dummy building. You can learn more at smuggs.com. CLOSE
The award-winning, family-friendly Resort, Smugglers’ Notch, added a new employee benefit – full day child care and camps, at no cost to the employee.
These new benefits will accommodate parents who desire employment at the Resort while their children attend a full day of supervised fun and games. Smuggs anticipates a one-stop-shop experience for parents, providing them with the ability to drive to the Resort and have their children with them. It seems like the perfect time and cost saving solution. The child care benefit is available to all employees on a first come, first serve basis.
“As a family-centered Resort, Smugglers’ Notch is committed to taking care of our employees, their families, and local community. Over the last few years we’ve seen the challenge finding and paying for child care has had on working families throughout Vermont. We’re committed to improving our employees working environment and one way to do that is to include child care as a benefit,” said Owner, Bill Stritzler. “As America’s family resort, we want to hire individuals that are passionate about bringing our guests the best possible service, and we don’t want child care to be an obstacle to finding those people.”
The multi-million dollar TREASURES
Child Care Center caters to children between the ages of 6 weeks through 3 years-old. The facility is led by a passionate, licensed staff and is filled with age-specific playrooms, nap rooms, toys, swings, giant fish tanks, and tons of developmental activities to help kids learn and grow. Visit TREASURES to learn more.
For those families with older kids, they can participate in any of Smuggs full-day camp programs. Broken down by age group, there’s something for everyone no matter how old — from games, to nature, cool art projects, pools, and waterslides. Visit our website to learn about our award-winning programs.
Plus, as an added employee benefit immediate family members can also enjoy all the summer amenities with a Smuggs Daycation
pass. They can spend the day swimming in one of our heated pools, head over to the 26,000 square foot FunZone 2.0, and more! The new child care benefit is one of the many advantages of being a Smuggs employee. In addition, full time employees receive a competitive salary, 401K, health care, and dental packages. It’s a great place to live, work, and play. For a list of current job openings or to learn more visit smuggs.com or go directly to current openings. CLOSE