“Once you take your first trip up a lift your life will be changed forever.” – Warren Miller
I found this quote on Pinterest, and it could not be more true. There is nothing as amazing and exhilarating as riding a ski lift to the top of a mountain and seeing the wonder the world has to offer. In that moment, you forget all your problems and worries and you become one with nature. You realize that there is more to life than your job, money and all material things. All that matters is the way it feels when the wind hits your face as you make your way down the mountain. It doesn’t matter how fast you go, if you are alone or have company, it is an experience you will never forget. Then once you are at the bottom, everything inside you says…”I have to do that again!’
I am not a great skier. In fact, I prefer using ski blades, but I love the freedom I feel when going down the mountain at my own pace (even though 3 year olds are whizzing by me). My husband, on the other hand, has been skiing since he was about 3 years old, and he is amazing. While I enjoy the bunny slope, he loves the black diamonds. My 5-year-old is timid and fearful so skiing has been a difficult task to get him into, while my 3-year-old is daring and could not wait to put on his first pair of skis.
So how do you find a mountain that can meet the needs of 4 VERY different people? You Ski Shawnee, that’s how! After researching mountains in the area (and there are a lot), I found everything my family needed only 45 minutes away at Shawnee Mountain. I was even more excited when Shawnee agreed to have Mommy University at the mountain for a day of fun in exchange for our honest review!
From the moment we arrived at Shawnee Mountain, everyone was excited to get their day full of adventure and fun started. The boys were measured and sized for their boots and skis then my husband and I picked up our equipment. Every person we interacted with was extremely helpful and friendly. The staff members answered all of my questions, especially regarding my kids’ upcoming lessons. They made the process easy and stress-free for my kids which made them even more excited to learn to ski.
Before heading to our lessons, my husband took my 5-year-old to the Little Chief hill (my personal favorite). It is the shortest and easiest slope and perfect for little ones just learning. While they explored the hill, I helped my 3-year-old maneuver around in skis for the first time. He was so excited and “demanded” to go down the hill (which was actually the “hill” we walk up to enter the ski area but he was so excited that I had to comply). Trevor had so much fun even when he lost his balance and fell. He was a natural!
After practicing for a bit, I then dropped Tyler off at his lesson. He was so excited to go, and I was so proud of him for joining the group without any worries or concerns. (You can read more about Tyler and Trevor’s lessons in our article Shawnee Mountain: The Perfect Place for Kids to Learn to Ski.) While Tyler was at his lesson, my husband and I took Trevor for his first trip on the carpet. He LOVED it! He then smiled the entire way down the hill, and when he got to the bottom yelled, “Let’s do it again! Let’s do it again!” Of course we obliged!
While both kids were at their lessons, it was time for the parents to play! I went off to the Little Chief hill (don’t judge) while my husband checked out a few of the more challenging courses. What I really loved about the Little Chief slope was that it was right next to the Skiwee area so I was able to sneak a peek at Tyler’s lesson. This allowed me to have fun while also catering to the mom instinct of checking in on my child. I also felt comfortable on this hill as it was not too steep which allowed me to better practice.
My husband had a great time exploring the Upper and Lower Arrowhead, Upper and Lower Tomahawk and Upper and Lower Delaware slopes. He never had to wait more than 5 minutes to get on a lift which allowed him to enjoy the mountain for longer before we had to pick up the boys from their lessons. He really enjoyed taking the high-speed quad to the top of the mountain.
After enjoying several runs down the mountain, I enjoyed a break in the lodge. My friend and I sat at a table inside with a nice cup of hot chocolate and watched the skiers as they came down the mountain. I then headed back out to pick up Trevor from his lesson. He was beaming from ear to ear indicating that he clearly enjoyed his lesson! We met up with my husband and watched the end of Tyler’s lesson. He also left with the biggest smile I have ever seen! It was an amazing experience for the entire family!
Here is what you need to know before heading out to Shawnee Mountain:
- The mountain is open Monday – Thursday 9am – 9pm; Friday 9am – 10pm; Saturday 8am – 10pm; Sunday 8am – 9pm. (When night skiing ends, the mountain will close at 5pm.)
- Night skiing is available from 3pm – close until around mid-March.
- Hours will vary on holidays so make sure you check the schedule before making plans.
- There are 23 slopes and trails, 6 snow tubing chutes, 2 terrain parks, 6 ski lifts and 3 carpets.
- Equipment can be rented on site.
- Lift tickets can be purchased for adults, youth (ages 18 and under), college students, Military, seniors and super seniors (prices and discounts vary).
- Children 46″ tall and under are FREE with a paying adult.
- Lessons are available beginning at age 3.
So what are you waiting for? Pack up the kids and head out to Shawnee Mountain today!!
For more information please visit the Shawnee Mountain website.