By: Melissa Gerstein
It had been 15 years since I went skiing. My husband took me right after we were married. He grew up skiing in Canada and could ski any mountain in the world. In fact he used to coach the racing team in Vail.
So you can imagine the happiness on his face when we discussed finally taking the family skiing. He started looking for his old equipment straight away, he looked online for the missing items like a ski boot backpack or ski gloves, he started telling our son how amazing skiing would be. He was over the moon!
Living in New York City there are many ski mountains that are only a few hours outside the city. My husband took our son a few times but other than that we never seemed to get it together to go skiing until last week.
We were invited to explore the Finger Lakes region and all its beautiful offerings which included Greek Peak Ski Resort. It took just over 3 hours to get there from Manhattan and it is a beautiful drive up. We arrived at The Hope Lake Lodge which is just about 5 years old and at the bottom of Greek Peak. It is a warm beautiful lodge that caters to families. Our room had a fabulous full kitchen for cooking if we didn’t want to dine in The Acorn Lounge, which was the hotel restaurant. However, we went to the restaurant on numerous occasions and, I must say, they really knew what they were doing. I don’t think I would have been able to make anything quite so good even with the room’s full kitchen. The restaurant likely has all the restaurant supply and equipment that you can imagine so they don’t seem to struggle at all when it comes to making some complex and creative concoctions.
The night we arrived the children attacked the Cascades Indoor Waterpark which was heavenly. It had a wave pool, water slides, basketball in the pool and little water slides for the young ones. It was incredible and safe for all of our kids who range in ages from 5 up to 13. The water park had a restaurant attached too and hot tubs outside as well.
The next day, we checked the children into ski school for their first day and it was seamless. One piece of advice I would give to moms taking their kids on a ski break for the first time, is to have a read of the tips on adventurebrown.co.uk as they help you to be better prepared for the various challenges you can face. Ski trips are different to a normal holiday to a warm region, so you need to think completely differently about them, For example you’ll need to make sure you carry spare clothes and things like hand warmers and hot flasks of drinks. The ski school at Greek Peak was so organized and the instructors were very impressive. Watching your children all bundled up heading into a ski school can be quite overwhelming but they made this smooth and exciting for the children. At 9am the kids check in and the staff handles everything. They take care of their rental equipment and lunch and you pick your kiddos up at the end of the day and you see that they are actually skiing!
Après Ski time was just as lovely as the skiing. Afternoons at Hope Lake Lodge were spent by cozy fires in our rooms or in the hotel lobby or the kiddos played in the arcade. The Lodge has a fabulous arcade that was coined by our kids as a “Mini Dave and Busters” so if the children weren’t playing games or passed out from skiing they were back in the incredible water park once again.
But the bonus to it all was the joy and sheer delight on the kids faces after skiing everyday and the greatest gift of all was that they wanted to wake up and do it all again the next day.
Finger Lakes has so many beautiful spots that also include Ithaca (a family favorite spot that we visit every Winter Break en route to Canada) and Bristol Mountain which offers over 30 trails for skiers and snowboarders, the highest vertical between the Rockies and the Adirondacks (1200 feet), two nordic loops, two terrain parks, as well as high speed quad lifts for visitors to get up the mountain quickly.
This family can’t wait to drive North again soon. We will return to Greek Peak as soon as we can. Memories are forever set and this will be our family ski destination moving forward. It never felt crowded either which was such a bonus and now that little piece of information is my gift to you.