Smuggler’s Notch Resort: planning your winter ski vacation with kids

If you’re planning a ski vacation at one of the resorts in Vermont with young kids this winter, then Smuggler’s Notch, Vermont is the place for you. We recently got back from a great weekend at Smuggs with Homer (3) and Greta (1), and the convenience and accessibility of the resort made the weekend not just possible, but so much fun!


When reserving Smuggler’s Notch lodging, it’s important to note that the resort is comprised of five distinct ‘communities’ of condos, each with their own pros and cons. We opted to stay in a Village East slope-side condo (Hakone) that was just steps away from the Morse Mountain lift and the Village Center (which is complete with restaurants, a rental shop, and even a small grocery store, well-stocked with Ben and Jerry’s, of course!). We highly recommend staying this close to both amenities and the lifts with young kids; parents know just how important it is not to have to lug skis in and out of the car, pack lunches and backpacks to leave in the base lodge, and wrestle kids in and out of car seats every morning and afternoon! If you’re staying in one of the communities a little farther away from the action, however, there are shuttles going to and from the Village Center and Madonna/Sterling Mountains all day.


All Smuggler’s Notch condos are well-equipped with linens, dishes, pots and pans–basically everything but the groceries. You have the option of choosing anything from a studio to a five-bedroom condo (descriptions and layouts of which can be found at the Smuggs website), making it easy to find the perfect fit for your family.

When you make your condo reservation, you’re given the option of signing up for a Club Smuggler’s package (Base, Classic, or Summit). Packages include lodging, lift tickets, and the use of many amenities. With the Classic and Summit packages, Treasures childcare (six weeks to three years) and the all-day Discovery Camp (ages 3–5) are included. Be sure to take advantage of this: when you break down the per-day expenses of child care and lift tickets, you’ll see that these packages are a great deal!


There are several great dining options at the Smuggs Village Center, but we mostly stuck to the groceries we brought from home (all condos have a full kitchen) and the Morse Mountain Grille in the nearby lodge. Travel Tip: the Morse Mountain Grille has a take-out option. Great for after a long day of skiing, and even better when you have two tired toddlers on your hands!

In the Village Center you’ll also find some bad-weather entertainment options like a heated indoor pool and hot tubs and the Fun Zone, a big indoor arena with a bounce house, all kinds of slides and games, and even a fenced-off area for babies and toddlers. For older kids (13¬18), Teen Alley and Outer Limits are supervised centers with Internet access, Xbox 360, and other activities.

Seasonal Tip: Keep in mind that the fun doesn’t stop when the snow melts. Smuggler’s Notch is a year-round resort with lots of kids’ programming all summer long. Activities for kids and grownups include swimming, hiking, climbing, tennis, and lots more.

Date last visited: February 3–6, 2012

Distance from the interstate: Smuggs is about 40 miles off I-89 in Vermont. Check out for directions; search engines like googlemaps or mapquest might try to send you to Smuggs via VT-108, a portion of which is closed between Stowe and Jeffersonville in the winter!

Rates and reservations: Rates vary by condo size, location, and time of year. Rates (including Club Smugglers Base, Classic, or Summit packages) range from $109 to $209 per person for adults, and from $79 to $199 for kids.

Directions: Smuggler’s Notch is located at 4323 Vermont Route 108 South in Jeffersonville. The most reliable directions are on the Smuggs website. Check-in is located in the Village Center by the main parking lot as you enter the resort.

As I disclose whenever applicable, Smuggler’s Notch hosted our stay for the purpose of review. While we appreciate such Vermont hospitality, this compensation came with no expectation of a positive review.