Traveling with Kids in the White Mountains During the Winter

 Traveling with Kids in the White Mountains

When Marissa and I first discovered that we were pregnant, after we had received the prerequisite congratulations–though I did have one colleague question whether or not congratulations were in order: “Maybe it was an accident,” she said. “You really don’t know if congratulations are ever appropriate.”–we got the usual lectures, which tend to steer down one of two paths.

 

Path one is the Can-I-give-you-some-advice route, which includes everything from the intelligent–“Don’t buy products labeled sleepwear as they contain fire-retardant chemicals that are bad for your child”–to the asinine tip–“You really don’t want a colicky baby.” (Thanks, I’ll tell the stork.)

 

Path two is the Bearer-of-Bad-News report. “You probably won’t travel that much anymore” was the common sentiment.

 

But, our new arrival has been an incredible joy and, in fact, a reason to travel. So I’m here to say, you can travel with an infant and… Can I give you some advice?

 

On my trip to New Hampshire, I discovered plenty of things to do with kids in the White Mountains in the winter.

 

Traveling with Kids in the White Mountains

 

Loon Mountain

Selfishly, I wanted to snowboard while in New Hampshire. Marissa doesn’t ride and my then ten-week old wasn’t yet hitting the black diamonds. I would not have been thrilled to let them sit in the lodge all day. (Marissa, I’d imagine, would have been less thrilled.) So the answer: a ski-in, ski-out resort. We stayed at the Mountain Club on Loon Mountain, which allowed Marissa to sleep in and allowed me to join her for lunch. It was perfect for families that ride together or don’t.

 

But wait, you say. Sitting and waiting indoors is not an activity. Well, besides the family-friendly slopes, (though don’t be fooled, Loon has challenging terrain and parks for adults and teens of all levels), there were numerous things to do off the slopes that allow parents with pre-skiers to step outside. The adventurous can try snow-shoeing or tube-riding, while those with infants or toddlers can ride an old steam train that shuttles people around the base.

 

Ice Castle

 

This year, the mountain is also featuring an ice castle–though it looks more like an ice fortress–that has 25-foot walls and glacial blue stalagmites and stalactites, which were constructed using sprinklers and New Hampshire cold. We were unable to push a stroller along the slushy floor, so I recommend showing up with a carrier that you can wear on your chest. Also necessary are sturdy shoes (and maybe a helmet for your infant as you walk beneath harrowing archways). The toothy fortress/castle changes its hue with the position of the sun and glows artificially when the colored lights come on at night. While I’m torn between calling it a tourist trap, (the average adult ticket is $9.00 and the walk-through lasts about ten minutes), or work of art, (it is quite spectacular), your pass at least allows you full-day access, which is perfect for taking pictures under varying lights. Kids, however, will definitely think it’s incredible, and infants, while they won’t care much, are free until they reach age three.

 

Ice Castle in the White Mountains

 

Bretton Woods

If both parents ski or snowboard and don’t want to leave their child in a stranger’s hands at the nursery, head over to Bretton Woods mountain where couples can both ride on one day pass, which is perfect until one partner fails to return after taking the agreed upon two runs. I lost the way. Huge, isolated blizzard. I swear.

 

Sleigh Rides

One of the activities that I was most looking forward to taking my daughter to was her first sleigh ride. (It happened to be my first sleigh ride, too.) The horses at Farm by the River Bed and Breakfast pulled us at a safe pace down a hill, through the woods, and out into an open field surrounded by naked rock maples and sumacs. The river in the near distance and the mountains out yonder made the ride feel like we were traveling through the landscape of some happier and better version of Ethan Frome. Even though Harper slept for most of the ride and then woke up in that way a newborn fusses for food, the ride was calm enough even to breast feed.

 

Cranapalooza

Each Saturday, from the end of December to the start of March, Cranmore Mountain presents Cranapalooza. S’mores, face painting, snow-tubing, and a giant swing make Cranapalooza appropriate for all ages, except infants who will have nothing to do.

 

Cross-Country Skiing

If you feel a bit adventurous and are competent on cross-country skis, head over to the Omni’s Mount Washington Resort. The field between the beautiful hotel and Presidential range is flat and parents who want to drag their young child along in the cradleboards that the Native Americans once used have that option. (I sorely regret missing this opportunity. Marissa, for Harper’s sake, was ecstatic that we only discovered this activity just before we had to leave.)

 

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Posted on by Noah Lederman in Baby Voyage

2 Responses to Traveling with Kids in the White Mountains During the Winter

  1. anne silver

    wonderful read…keep them coming!

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