What it is: My husband and I had planned a weekend ski trip away for a while, but with the warmth of this winter and the lack of snow we didn't think we'd be able to do it. However, a few weeks ago, the weather turned cold and the mountains of West Virginia got some much needed snow. Everything worked out and we headed from Durham to West Virginia.
Winterplace is a ski resort in West Virginia. We chose to try skiing here because it is one of the bigger resorts in the Appalachians, and it was still a reasonably nearby to Durham. We were able to make the drive there in about 4 hours-perfect for a weekend getaway. The town of Beckley, WV is only located about 20 minutes away has some lovely hotels to stay in that are reasonably affordable.
The thing that my husband and I noticed when we were skiing at Winterplace was that it was pretty kid-friendly. We are looking forward to bringing our kids back. They have a tubing park in addition to the skiing for more kid-friendly fun. Then, they have the Skiwee ski school program for kids as young as 4 (can't wait till my next year for my little 3 year old). You can drop the kids off for a half or whole day and they'll learn while you ski. In addition, there's Frostie's Child Care for your little ones between 6 mo. and 4 years where they can stay while you and your older kids ski. They took families with kids of all ages in account at Winterplace.
What we liked: We liked the range of trail difficulties from green (easiest) for the kiddos and beginners to blacks (most difficult) for the more experienced skiers. In addition, we liked the ski school, day care, and tubing opportunities for the kids. We also liked how it was driving distance from Durham so that we could do it for a one day of skiing adventure. How great is it that we are so close to the mountains and the beach?
What we would change: Skiing can be expensive (especially including all of the clothing needed to keep you warm), so it has to be a special opportunity for us to make the trip. Plus, it is dependent on the weather. While they have snow making machines, a winter of no snow can considerably hinder this wintertime activity. So, make sure you check the conditions at the resort before you head out. (Oh, and I would also change the fact that I got too cocky on the last run of the day and sprained my thumb...oops. This is also just a reminder that skiing is dangerous and you should make sure that your whole family skis safely and takes precautions like wearing helmets.)
Website and other important information:
Address: 100 Old Flat Top Mt. Rd., Ghent, WV 25843
Check their website for specific pricing for lift tickets, tubing, and kid activities.
(Our view from the top of the mountain-check out the rainbow!)