Family ties Smuggs-style

Family vacation fun at Smugglers' Notch

We are the champions … in Kerplunk

Family Ties are the long-running and ever popular activities at Smugglers’ that bring families together in a way that can be, well, sort of goofy. Like, sure-to-start-some-teenage-eye-rolling goofy.  And I-would-never-do-this-at-home goofy.

So what’s with the “all in” on goofy fun? Simply, Smugglers’ is a goofy fun permissive kind of place – after all, you’re on vacation, right? So folks jump into playing a game of Giant Tic Tac Toe … competitively. Or painstakingly creating a Big Air Derby “vehicle” out of cardboard and duct tape – LOTS of duct tape – only to launch their family’s creation off a jump and cheer wildly for it to win biggest crash.

And here’s the thing – the eye-rollers and nay-sayers get over themselves and end up loving Family Ties. Take our word for it. Hey, we’ve seen the tattered remains of Big Air Derby creations strapped to family roadsters on check-out day.

Mixed in with the simple fun is what’s best about Family Ties – the family time together. Sharing a few laughs. Relaxing. Racking up the memories. That’s truly what it’s all about.

Last summer, we made a good thing even better. Our ace Activities and Summer Fun University staff spent a lot of time expanding Family Ties. From a once-a-day offering, now you can find some sort of family activity any time between 10:00 am and 7:00 pm, every day of the week. We figure a 10:00 am start gives everyone time to sleep in (got that, kids?), eat a healthy breakfast, and then jump right into the fun.

A few choice action verbs simplify the Family Ties concept: Create. Explore. Learn. Play.

Create. Create a memento, create a memory in a craft session. Make sock puppets that represent each member of the family. Or your favorite actor or actress. Or the family pet. The possibilities are endless with glue, feathers, yarn, fabric, and buttons. Or there’s Awesome Arts & Crafts, which offers a project that each family member can enjoy, all ages welcome. There’s tie dye, too. Plentiful opportunities for creating, and everyone’s un artiste. No critics allowed.

Explore. Make our mountains your own. Follow a guide who leads you to the old stomping grounds of the town of Sterling, first settled in the late 18th century. Watch for remnants of the town in the woods and imagine being among the early settlers in this rugged area. Another option for exploration: prowl the resort village as a team in a family scavenger hunt that has you solving clues in a Smuggs-style version of a certain popular tv show. Got little ones? Search for frogs and tadpoles in our Village Reservoir while hearing all about local ecosystems from a guide.

Learn. Jump into some information accumulation or acquire a new skill. How is maple syrup made? What’s the difference between a turtle and tortoise? If the inquiring minds in your family want answers, check out our walks, hikes and Creature Feature session that unveil the mysteries and magic of nature. Another option – get an intro to a new sport. Anyone up for tennis, disc golf, paddle boarding or mountain biking?

Play. Has anyone ever said, “I’ve played too much”? Nope. Choose family kickball, soccer, or volleyball, all down at our newest recreational facility, Bootlegger’s Basin. You can make a day of play there – pack a picnic, take a refreshing swim in the reservoir, toss some horseshoes. In the Village, life-size games are a favorite; Hungry Hungry Humans and life-size foosball are the latest – crazy wacky fun.

Create, explore, learn, play. The activities mentioned are just a sampling. Because there’s much, much more to enjoy, might we suggest a few tips to help guide your Family Ties fun?

Tip 1 – If your schedule allows, stop by the Courtyard Kickoff Sunday evenings at 6:30 pm. Our Activities and Summer Fun University staff are there each week to answer questions and help you plan your stay.

Tip 2 – Refer to the Resort Information Guide for the full outline of activities.

Tip 3 – If you have questions, swing by the Activities Desk. The friendly staff there will be happy to answer your questions, direct you to a Family Ties meeting place, or sign you up for any activity that requires advance registration.

Get the day-by-day scoop on family activities

May your Family Ties enhance your family ties!

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