I keep getting a ton of questions as to where to start with a family ‘frugal’ ski trip. It could be because I keep writing articles about making a fun family trip skiing! You can make a world of memories that will last a life time and you can have fun doing it! A car trip only a few hours away can transport you into a ski haven, one often missed by Pittsburghers and really needs to be found.
Skiing is a fun sport and when done as a family you can have a great time. You will watch it other eat snow, ski snow, learn, get on lifts, miss the lift(oh yeah we missed!) drop poles and gloves on the way up, enjoy nature beyond anything you can imagine, see snow-covered pines, and ski trails between trees on well-laid paths. If you want to see your family grow together and you are all into sports, a great family get away and get together is waiting for you in Tucker County, West Virginia where you can Ski The Valley: Canaan and Timberline Resorts!
Skiing for a day is great, but skiing for a few consecutive days is even better, because once everyone starts getting the hang of it, you really start moving and everyone will want to ski more, more more. The price of a 2 day ticket for Canaan Valley and Timberline Resorts is so much less than you will pay anywhere else and the return: fun, unending memories and relaxation!
We love skiing and have stayed at many places before, but if you have a family, you want to visit Canaan Valley and Timberline in Tucker County, West Virginia. This is a great way to get a lot of skiing without breaking the bank but the return on investment(your ski ticket) is huge~ well-needed family time. Ski The Valley is not about DJ’s spinning music or socializing in the bars, it is about fun with your family or friends you came with and for getting your ski groove on the slopes with powder that is not so easily found elsewhere. Fresh air and great slopes make the difference in this county!
You are not going to find an over-populated ski area with huge lines and too many people on the slopes. Rather you will find a group of people skiing that really want to ski, and be there with their families as you see everyone working together, stopping and waiting for their families and joining together to make each person a stronger skier! (I watched this over and over all weekend long, and I was helping my kids as well)
ARE YOU LOOKING FOR LAID BACK FUN?
Pull out the comfy sweaters, favorite jeans, flannels, long johns and boots and pack up the car, head for TUCKER COUNTY, WEST VIRGINIA and stop when you reach Tucker County Convention & Visitors Bureau! Meet Jessica, or Bill and learn about all the great amenities Tucker County has to offer!
WHAT DO WE NEED TO BRING IF WE WANT A SKIING WEEKEND? WHERE DO WE START?
Keep things simple and rent the rest! Here are a few items you will need and honestly you can rent the other items.
a) good warm ski coat
a1) jeans, jeans and more jeans!
b) ski bibs(snow pants)
c) warm socks(not too thick)
d) ski goggles or ski sunglasses(we saw basic ones at TJ MAXX and Marshall’s this season for Under $24 and they were nice)
e) bandanas (dollar general)
f) hot packs(warmers)
g) cuddle duds, long johns or any thin layers to put on under your bibs, and ski coats! (peel-able in case you get warm)
h) warm hats
i) warm gloves(this is where I would suggest splurging)
You can rent the skis, poles and boots locally and that makes it so much easier than lugging them from home or purchasing them. Kids grow way too quick to make an investment in skiis unless they are skiing everyday.
Remember having friends is a great opportunity to ‘borrow’ some of these ski things.
You can choose whatever lodging works with your budget, but renting a condo/town home is a great value! There are condos/town homes that take several separate families and there is one at Timberline that has 11 bedrooms, an indoor swimming pool and is right on the ski trails so you can just jump out. This would be a great way to get a bunch of families or friends together and enjoy skiing by day and wind-down time by night. The cost would also be ‘frugal’ because you are splitting the bill between several families. The fun would be insurmountable because your kids will have memories that will last forever.
Our lodging was sponsored by Best of Canaan Realty and we loved where we stayed! Donna and Amy tended to every detail and our stay was perfect! If you are looking to Ski The Valley make sure call and speak to Best of Canaan to arrange a great family stay close to the trails!
Lodging in a town home provides great benefits to you!
a) you can unwind nightly
b) you can cook what you want, when you want
c) if you kids have allergies you can provide proper meals without concern
d) often there are hot tubs you can relax in privately
e) you don’t have to worry about paper thin walls and loud noises from banging above
f) multiple bathrooms(depending on what you rent)
g) often fully amenitized
h) meals will cost so much less and with kids, having a kitchen at your service is great!
i) you can do laundry as needed, rather than over packing and you can dry your clothes as needed from skiing(just in case you kind of became best friend with the snow-covered ground! LOL)
On a side note, we saw so many families staying in these rentals. We loved seeing how many people lodged together and had fun after a full day of skiing! What Fun! The rental properties are all well cared for, stocked and basically cater to your every need, and if you plan it right, you will stay within feet of the trails so you can just pop on your skis and go! Our kids loved this! Check with Donna or Amy at Best of Canaan Realty to get set up right.
There is nothing nicer than time at the slopes but rather than heating up at the lodge at the base of the hill, you can retreat back to your ‘rental unit’ and warm up by the fireplace and fuel up(food-wise). You can take a quick nap, watch television or simply decide to call it a day. You can say when, without pressure, after all isn’t that the point of a get away?
We loved being able to just put the fire on and feel the warmth and after a few hours out, it is cold so you want some warmth. A good skier is well-rested because it has everything to do with being in control at all points in time so there are no mistakes made
We found a lot of places to dine out, there was Hell Bender’s(they have HUGE burritos), Big John’s, Big Al’s, and Siriani’s, just to name a few and they all serve up something different. If you prefer, you can cook at your place the whole time.
WHY FAMILY SKIING?
If you are not a skier, I am quite certain you will be happy enough with amenities in any unit you choose loddging in, from hot tubbing to cross country skiing to ice skating. There are great shops in town for anyone who chooses not to ski and there is also snow tubing and just basic walking. I personally could have kept myself entertained with walking the communities and looking at all the wonderful nature offered from birds to deer, it is absolutely beautiful especially with all the glistening snow!
If you are a skier, or a learn-to-ski family you will find some of the most dedicated instructors you will ever meet. We watched and learned from Jessica and BillI(who each have some serious accredations under their belts for skiing) and every instructor we observed was actually working diligently with their clients: stopping and starting in areas on the mountains, correcting, making certain what they were saying was being put into play– it was not just an instructor being paid to teach, it was someone who actually really cared if you learned. I watched Jessica ski and was mesmerized by her grace on skis, and I even got a little crazy and tried to make my ‘s’ turns a bit better, because I am hardly a great skier! My kids learned from Bill and Jessica together.
If you want to learn the right way, don’t just go skiing, get an instructor. You will learn how to get on an off a lift, how to snap into those skis, and hold the poles and how to ski as well as stop. You don’t have to have an instructor but the ski instructors at Canaan and Timberline actually care if they are making a difference. I know this because a few of the ski students that Jessica had, stopped her on the trail and she stopped to applaud, and recommend technique and she was NOT even with the group of kids at that time, she was with us! I find this very rewarding and it speaks to the type of facility you will be visiting: Family friendly, with a great staff of people willing to help you become good at what you want to learn.
SKIING AS A FAMILY
In order to ski as a family then, my suggestions are as follows:
Tuck a few days a way to disappear from the world and check in to a whole new place Canaan and Timberline Resort. Purchase a SKI The Valley pass(a 2 day pass for unlimited skiing), and rent your equipment. Call ahead and make lodging arrangements with Best of Canaan Realty and then pack up the basic necessities, and the kids and drive a few hours. We suggest 79 to 68 to 219, easiest, straightest way there with plenty of beautiful scenery! You can grocery shop there because there is a Shop n’ Save(and about 8 more on the way) right on ’32’ just a few miles from anywhere you will be staying in the Valley. Get ready to relax and unwind and think of nothing else except when is the next run and how good you will sleep from the fresh nature air.
We have taken the kids to ski locally before and we have had fun, but a short day of skiing does not a skier make and often the price tags involved with skiing are steep. We have found that the 2 day pass at Canaan Valley and Timberline Resort is so much less than we paid for one day of skiing! This in turn led our children and us to keep on practicing our skill of skiing and offered the chance to increase the pace of skiing as well. The additional day almost made it possible to ski both resorts at our own pace and see which we preferred, a wonderful amenity if you found that you preferred one place over the other! Additionally, giving yourself new challenges and trails after skiing a different resort is always a welcome change and these resorts are only a few miles spread. This is an offering not found locally, so you have to visit Tucker County, West Virginia to Ski The Valley and to take advantage of this great deal!
What we have found is that you can take your family away, prepare meals, have great lodging and enjoy 2 days of skiing for much less that you may imagine. We have stayed locally and now we have stayed at Timberline and I will tell you that we will be visiting Timberline again because of the price, the facilities and the skiing. We are there as a family and the atmosphere screams family, and boasts great skiing on great powder! Come get your ski on at Canaan Valley Resort and Timberline Resort! We’ll see you on the slopes!
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