Thanks to consistent snowfall all across New England, we’ve got some of the best December conditions in recent memory right now for skiers and riders, helping to set the stage for the industry’s biggest week of the year between Christmas and New Year’s Day.
Princeton’s Wachusett Mountain kicks off its slate of school vacation week activities on Monday with Science on the Slopes, when members of the New England Aquarium will be on hand (along with a touch tank of sea creatures) to explain how animals stay warm during cold months of the year. Meanwhile, Nashoba Valley, in Westford, will be extending its skiing and tubing hours until 11:30 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, to be followed by a torchlight parade and midnight fireworks.
In New Hampshire, Waterville Valley will celebrate mascot Bruce the Moose’s birthday on Dec. 27 with a full-day scavenger hunt. Bruce will also be handing out cupcakes during the afternoon. Nearby, the Loon Mountain Resort will begin its holiday week with an Ugly Sweater Party on Dec. 26, building up to the big New Year’s Eve bash in their Paul Bunyan Room.
North Conway native and U.S. Ski Team member Leanne Smith will be back home in her New Hampshire digs on Dec. 27, when Cranmore Mountain Resort passholders will have the opportunity to get first tracks at 7:45 a.m. with her and the resort’s general manager, followed by coffee and cinnamon rolls. King Pine’s family New Year’s Eve celebration runs from 4-9 p.m. with skiing, music, a torchlight parade and fireworks on tap. The New Year’s Eve party at Pats Peak in Henniker, New Hampshire, includes skiing, snowtubing, food tasting stations, a comedy show, fireworks and a champagne toast. Tickets for the entire evening of events are $90 adults, $50 juniors and seniors.
Celebrate Christmas Day at Bromley Mountain Resort in Vermont by dressing up as Santa Claus himself and score a lift ticket for only $25. On Dec. 26, members of the Vermont Institute of Natural Science will be at Killington Mountain Resort for a free interactive raptor encounter with live falcons, hawks and owls on hand at the Killington Grand Hotel (7 p.m.).
The Middlebury College Snow Bowl will host a series of holiday clinics at the ski area from Dec. 26-30, featuring five, one-hour sessions for children 5 years and older (8 years and older for snowboarders). Preregistration required. Cost is $110 for all five sessions. Holiday week at Bolton Valley means a packed schedule of off-mountain activities like face-painting, a magic show, retro ski outfit contest and the resort’s 50th anniversary fireworks display on New Year’s Eve. The family New Year’s event at Okemo Mountain Resort includes ice skating, snow tubing, mountain coaster rides, horse-drawn wagon rides, party hat decorating, bingo games and a trivia tournament. Stowe’s own local professional photographer Jesse Schloff will be at the resort’s Spruce Peak Village Center to offer free family photos from Dec. 27-31, 2-4 p.m. each day.
In Maine, Sunday River’s vacation week includes a park session with Gould Academy freestyle coaches, a mogul session with U.S. Ski Team member Troy Murphy and laser tag, along with fireworks and New Year’s Eve dinner at the peak ($89 per person, reservations required). At Sugarloaf Mountain Resort, there will be s’mores-making with mascot Amos the Moose, horse and carriage rides, an ugly sweater party and Climb for a Cure on Dec. 27, a moonlight climb to benefit the Sugarloaf Charity Summit.
Be sure to check each resort’s website for up-to-date information and pricing.