Disclosure: This post is part of a hosted stay. All opinions are my own. We received a complimentary stay but also visited another time and paid for our own stay. This post contains an affiliate link. A click through/purchase through one of these links may result in a commission paid to us.
New England is absolutely beautiful in the summer, making it a great place to visit with kids. One of the best New England family resorts is Smugglers’ Notch Resort, a four-season resort located in Smugglers’ Notch, Vermont. We’ve visited over several summers, and have found it to be one of the best family resorts around. Thinking of visiting? Here’s our Smugglers’ Notch Resort summer review and guide.
Smugglers’ Notch Resort Summer Review
Smugglers’ Notch is a fantastic ski resort. My family doesn’t really ski that much, so we instead chose to visit in the summer. Regardless of when you decide to go, you’ll definitely have a great time. It’s busy in both winter and summer.
One of the things we’ve loved the most at Smugglers’ Notch is the sense of family and community there. Most days, the kids would go off to do their own things, but we’d come together at night to enjoy dinner together. It’s so nice to have a family resort that really has something for everyone.
Smugglers Notch Lodging
Smugglers’ Notch is a large mountain resort, and there’s a shuttle that runs throughout the property. When choosing your accommodations, you’ll have a lot of options of which building/community to choose. You may want to find one that is more remote, or one that is closer to the activities you’ll be participating in.
Lodging at Smugglers’ Notch is condominium style, and you’ll have the choice of 1-5 bedroom properties. These all have fully equipped kitchens, WiFi, cable television, linens, cookware, and more. Many of the communities have their own heated pools as well.
If you plan to use the kitchens to cook, it’s a good idea to buy groceries before you arrive. While there is a shop on premises, items are expensive and limited. It’s best to use the shop for some last minute purchases.
We found the accommodations to be very comfortable for families because there’s a lot of space to spread out.
Smugglers’ Notch Summer Activities
The highlight of our family’s stays has always been the Smugglers’ Summer Fun University, fun summer camp programs available for a variety of age groups. There are also special interest camps, including arts & crafts, adventure & games, and sound & stage.
My kids are always apprehensive about kids’ camps, but absolutely love the camps at Smugglers’ Notch. They do such a great job in making it so much fun for the kids. If you have teens, there are also special programs available for them. In the evenings, Smugglers’ Notch Resort also hosts special teen events.
If you do schedule camp for your kids, you’ll want to check out the website in advance. There are some things you’ll want to pack for your kids.
Enjoy swimming? Smugglers’ Notch has several water parks to enjoy, including 8 heated pools, 4 waterslides, and 2 freshwater reservoirs. These water parks have various amenities at them like changing rooms and snack bars. They all have different things at them, so you could try something different each day.
If you are interested in sports or adventure, there are plenty of opportunities at Smugglers’ Notch in the summer. You could schedule an adventure at the ArborTrek Zip Line canopy tour, which has a variety of options. When we visited, it was very busy. So, I’d recommend making your reservations in advance so you get the date and experience that you want.
The resort also offers mountain biking, disc golf, hiking tours, dog carting, tennis, mini golf, segway tours, fishing, llama treks, and more. You really can do just about any outdoor activity that you like, because there’s so much to experience.
One of the things that my kids loved the most is the FunZone 2.0 Family Fun Complex. This complex is open throughout the summer and includes so many things that kids will enjoy. There, you’ll find laser tag, ping pong, arcade games, inflatables, and more. Be sure to bring along socks, because you’ll need them for the inflatables. My kids only had sandals during our stay, so we had to purchase socks.
The resort also hosts a variety of activities throughout the week. One of our favorites is the Vermont Country Fair, which is held on Thursdays in the summer. The fair features performances and activities for families. In addition, vendors from the surrounding area come in to sell food, crafts, and more. I definitely recommend including a Thursday night in your stay, because it’s one of our favorite things to do.
Throughout the week, you’ll also find other activities including arts and crafts, a family challenge, BINGO, and magic shows. There are also family events and activities in the winter, including complimentary hot chocolate and other winter activities.
During our stay, my husband and I decided to do the Water and Wine canoe trip. After camp drop off, we headed several miles down the road, to a local canoe and kayak rental spot. Instead of a canoe, we chose to take a tandem kayak (the rest of our group took kayaks as well), and took an hour and a half trip down river to Boyden Valley Winery, where we were treated to bread, cheese, and wine. You can also do this with kids, and they’ll have ice cream while you taste the wine.
Other adventures are also available, including a morning maple tour, an ice cream float, and a family intro to paddleboarding. You can also choose to just rent equipment.
Smugglers’ Notch Restaurants
Of course, you’ll definitely need to eat during your Smugglers’ Notch vacation. In addition to the in-room kitchens, there are several restaurants and lounges on property.
Adults will enjoy visiting Bootleggers’ Lounge, which is open in the evenings exclusively for those 21+. At 9pm, there are different adult entertainment activities including karaoke, trivia, and music.
For lunch, you can check out the Green Mountain Deli, which offers sandwiches, salads, and cookies. Of course, it wouldn’t be Vermont without a Ben and Jerry’s! There’s a scoop shop in the Village Lodge located near the deli. We always have to get our Ben and Jerry’s fix in at least once per trip (usually more!).
The Morse Mountain Grille in the resort village offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner, in a traditional setting. We had breakfast and lunch there a few times, and enjoyed our food. For a more upscale dining option, you’ll find the Hearth and Candle. Although it’s more elegant, it’s still very kid friendly. We loved our dinner there.
Each week, the Morse Mountain Grille hosts special dining experiences. During our visit
we decided to visit the Friendly Pirate Breakfast. Unlike character meals at Walt Disney World, this requires no reservations – instead you just visit between 8am and 10am. Rockin’ Ron, the Friendly Pirate, goes from table to table, singing songs to the children and telling corny pirate jokes and stories. My kids LOVED it!
There’s also a Friendly Pirate dinner on Wednesdays, if you’d prefer to have dinner. On Tuesday evenings, you can enjoy Marko’s Tableside Magic.
You probably won’t want to eat every meal on property. There are some great restaurants in the area that you’ll need to drive to. You can find our favorite restaurants near Smugglers’ Notch here.
Smugglers’ Notch Resort
4323 Vermont Route 108 South
Smugglers’ Notch, VT 05464-9537