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Five Steps to Ensuring the Best Family Vacation to Sunday River Resort
Steals and deals for on-mountain adventures
Newry, Maine (Winter 2016-17)—Traveling with kids can require herculean amounts of energy (and coffee), not to mention a well thought out checklist. From when to score the lowest possible rates on lodging and lift ticket packages, to where to go and what to do, Sunday River offers this five-point checklist.
Step One: Lift Tickets, Lodging, and Fun-All-in-one!
The easiest way to kill two birds with one stone and secure lift tickets and lodging is to book a ski and stay package.
Each fall, Sunday River releases its lowest priced lodging through its limited time Lowest Price Guarantee promotion. For those families on the savings ball, the Lowest Price Guarantee sale through October 15 is the absolute best time to book ski and stay packages that include lift tickets in one rock bottom price. And with Sunday River's Snow Guarantee, there is no reason to fret about booking a winter vacation before the snow flies.
One particular time of year of note to families with kids ages 3-12 is Sunday River's annual Children's Festival Week, January 9-13. Children's Festival Week features scavenger hunts, live entertainment, movies, and themed ski and snowboard clinics, however the absolute best part is that kids can ski, rent equipment, take lessons, stay, and even eat breakfast at select resort restaurants—all for free when staying three nights or longer with a parent or adult family member. Discounted buffet dinners for kids 12 and under will be available at select eateries as well.
Step Two: Secure Gear.
Depending on your family's needs, you can certainly rent kids ski and snowboard equipment by the day or you can start your kid's winter off on the right fitting ski/snowboard boot with a season-long Junior Has A Fit equipment package.
With Junior Has A Fit, families purchase new/used equipment a la carte or packages of equipment (skis/snowboard, boots, binding) from a list of options and use the equipment that winter. At the end of the season, and after the equipment is returned, families receive a 50 percent credit towards new/used equipment for the following winter. Ski, boot, and binding packages start at $249 for kids up to age 12. Race gear excluded.
Pricing for daily ski and snowboard rentals for kids and adults varies by product and are available out of the Rental Shop in the South Ridge Lodge. Junior Has A Fit is available in the South Ridge Lodge at Sunday River Sports.
Step Three: Book a Lesson.
Sunday River's Perfect Turn Ski & Snowboard School, located in the South Ridge base area, offers a selection of daily kids ski and snowboard programs that emphasize safety, learning, and fun. During half- and full-day lessons, young participants are grouped by age and ability with
During half- and full-day lessons, young participants are grouped by age and ability with Mogul Munchkins for ages 3 to 6 (skiing only), and Mogul Meisters for ages 7 to 14 (skiing and snowboarding). Even the littlest ones can get a turn through Tiny Turns-a one-hour private lesson through Sunday River's
Even the littlest ones can get a turn through Tiny Turns-a one-hour private lesson through Sunday River's Someday Bigger Day Care. Tiny Turns is dedicated to those 3- and 4-year-olds ready and willing to learn how to ski. After their lesson, "tinys" head back to Someday Bigger for a half- or full-day of playtime fun.
Families looking for the best deal on any lesson should reserve in advance (online or 207-824-5080); prices and lesson times vary by program. Parents, please note that lift tickets are included with Tiny Turn and Mogul Munchkin lessons, and not included with Mogul Meisters lessons. All Perfect Turn Kids Programs operate out of the Merrill Brook building in the South Ridge Base area, which also houses a kid's rental equipment station, making it a great one-stop-shop for kids lift tickets, lessons, and equipment.
Step Four: Explore!
Grab a trail map from any resort lodging property or base lodge, and get ready for a good time. Thanks to eight interconnected mountain peaks full of groomers, steeps, terrain parks, glades, and bumps, families will never outgrow Sunday River's vast varied terrain, and will find ample room to learn and perfect their turns.
First-time families will want to head to the South Ridge base area. Here families will find lift tickets, lessons, rentals, and retail, plus plenty of options for food including a food court, burrito bar, coffee station, a sushi bar, and the Foggy Goggle restaurant. Three lifts service this area: The Chondola, which takes guests to other parts of the resort via North Peak (with access to mostly intermediate terrain); the South Ridge Express (beginner terrain in the South Ridge base area); and the Sundance Surface Lift (first-time skier/snowboarder terrain also in the South Ridge base area).
Another excellent option for beginner families with their own equipment, or who went to South Ridge to grab rentals first, is the terrain located on Little White Cap, from the White Cap base area (and just outside of the Grand Summit Hotel). With two beginner trails, two intermediate trails, and two small advanced glades, there is terrain for all abilities and which meets back at The Little White Cap Quad chairlift that services them. In addition to quick ski-in/ski-out access to the Grand Summit Hotel and Camp Restaurant, there is also the White Cap Lodge for parking, lift tickets, restrooms, storage, retail, and dining at the Shipyard Brew Haus.
And for kids (and those kids at heart) who just can't get enough skiing and snowboarding while the sun is out, Sunday River's night skiing allows families to keep going well after the sun sets. Available on Fridays, Saturdays, and select holiday weeks throughout the winter, night skiing includes eight lighted beginner/intermediate trails and one beginner terrain park to play on. The Foggy Goggle restaurant is always a hopping base option for food, as is the Food court which serves slices and full pies of some of the best pizza around.
Step Five: Plan Some Off-Slope Fun.
Finally, for those who want to explore beyond the skis and snowboard they've been bound to, check out the lighted snow tubing area in South Ridge or, just a short walk to the nearby Snow Cap Inn, unveils a lighted ice-skating rink with an outdoor fire pit. Need more? The Bethel Village is a short free shuttle ride away and offers cross-country trails, horse-drawn sleigh rides, shopping, and dining.
Through Sunday River's Black Diamond Entertainment, fireworks shows, magical events, and even reptile appearances are scheduled options throughout the season, all with families in mind. Grab a seat on one of Sunday River's outside Adirondack chairs to take in a fire dancer and/or fireworks show, or head to the deck of the Foggy Goggle with a hot toddy or hot chocolate, and take in the live music played most Friday and Saturday nights. All Black Diamond Entertainment shows start at 7PM unless otherwise noted in the schedule.
A four-season destination which boasts eight interconnected mountain peaks of world-class skiing and snowboarding, Sunday River is located in Newry, Maine, amidst the scenic Mahoosuc Range, and is a member of the Boyne Resorts family of resorts.
For more information on family-friendly activities, events, and ski and stay packages visit www.sundayriver.com or call (800) 543-2754.