My family was pretty excited when I let them know we were heading to Vermont to kick off summer holidays! Admittedly, I didn’t know much about Vermont, what was there or even the exact area we were headed with Life With A Baby but I’m ALWAYS excited about a vacation so none of that mattered much!
The drive to Vermont was only about 8 hours from our home near Orillia so was easily doable in a day, very important to note with 3 kids (including one who notoriously gets car sick!). We had a couple stops for bathroom breaks and snacks but it was a smooth drive and it was beautiful when we drove through the countryside of Quebec to cross the border into Vermont. The border was unlike any other border we’ve been to – just small and surrounded by farm field. We were the only ones crossing and there was just one border agent who made a joke about the goats nearby being the noisiest part of his day. From the border we had another 30-40 minutes to get to Jay Peak Resort!
When we arrived at Jay Peak Resort we were greeted warmly and given directions to our condo where we’d be staying for the weekend. Our condo was in a unit of about 8 – 4 upper and 4 lower. We had an upper unit and there was only one other family staying in the building so it was very quiet. The condo was quite large with a full kitchen, 2 bathrooms and 2 bedrooms with king size beds (that could be split into 2 twins if required) and a pull-out couch. We also had a balcony with a great view of the mountains! The condo didn’t have air conditioning which we were initially a little worried about (spoiled) but we quickly learned it wasn’t an issue when we opened up all the windows and everything cooled down to a perfectly comfortable temperature.
The boys were a bit disappointed the first night as we had promised to hit the water park right away but it turned out that everything was closed early on a Thursday evening. We grabbed some groceries from the little store in the village for the next morning and too many snacks – never go shopping when you’re hungry! There was one restaurant open at the golf course so we headed there for a good meal and enjoyed the scenery surrounding us. We had an early night knowing we would be busy the whole next day.
Friday morning we opted to try Disc Golf which was available at the resort. We headed out on the course with our discs and very quickly lost one in the long grass (oops!) so it took us a bit to get to hole number 2! The kid’s interest waned by about hole 4 when we were being attacked by mosquitoes and deer flies so we skipped ahead to the last couple holes before heading back. The course was pretty good exercise as it was up and down the bottom of the mountain so running shoes would have been a better choice than our flip flops!
When the tram opened we were the first ones to jump on to head to the top of the mountain. As it turns out, 2 out of 3 kids are nervous of heights and didn’t love the trip up the mountain. They also didn’t love climbing around on the rocks at the top but Lucas LOVED it and we got some pretty nice photos despite 2 grumpy kids!
The biggest attraction for the kids – the water park! And it turns out it was also the biggest attraction for Daddo because he found the “Flowrider” and spent most of his time learning how to stay upright on the surfboard. We spent hours at the park, in and out of the water – there was basketball and a rock wall in the pool! And we got our workouts running to the top of the stairs to jet down waterslides with the boys. There was a canteen inside the waterpark as well with enough junk food to keep the kids happy all day.
Saturday morning I dragged the family back to the tram to go up the mountain because I was determined to hike back down. Important note; keep an eye on the map even if you’re letting a kiddo direct you down. We ended up not at all on a trail and after some navigating we had to hike back up about 10 minutes to head back down the actual trail. As it turns out, hiking down a mountain is NOT easy and about a quarter of the way down my legs had turned to complete jelly and each step was torture. Avery and I lagged way behind, Gerald was forced to give Lucas a piggyback and Jackson was way ahead of us and mad as heck at me for forcing them on this adventure. Also we were being chased by deer flies so that added to the overall mood! By the time we reached the bottom of the mountain everyone was ready for lunch and more waterpark. There’s this cute little ramen noodle place outside of the park (“Miso Hungry”) that Gerald and I grabbed lunch at and then we got the kids lunch at the “Warming Shelter Snack Bar” in the park. I was impressed that they had vegetarian options for Avery and Lucas and the food was delicious!
Another pro-tip – if you decide to be a “fun mom” and try your luck at body boarding in the Flowrider, ensure you have a secure bathing suit on. Otherwise you’ll do a barrel roll because everyone is cheering you on and you’ll end up giving more of a show than you maybe intended to the crowd of people watching everyone at the Flowrider. I mean….so I’ve heard….
Saturday night I met up with the other Life With A Baby Community Managers for dinner and it was amazing to be able to connect after a couple years not seeing them due to COVID. The atmosphere and the food at The Foundry was wonderful and I highly recommend the Sesame Thai Tofu Bowl and whatever fruity alcoholic drink your server tells you is the special because that was also delish!
Sunday we made the most of our last day at Jay Peak; we played basketball in the pool, climbed the rock wall (falling into the pool is so fun), did a few more water slides (Jackson was the waterslide champ, he was on them all day) and then I decided I better try stand up surfing because who knows when I’ll get the chance again! Spoiler; it’s not easy!! The staff who work at the waterpark are amazing and several of them are trainers for the “Flow Dogs” boarding team so they help give tips and tricks while you’re trying things out. By my 3rd attempt I managed to stay upright for about 30 whole seconds! Which was fantastic because my 2nd attempt had left me with a bruised and swollen foot and I was only trying one more time!
Sunday night we went with a couple of the other families just outside of Jay Peak Resort to a little restaurant called The Belfry. We were able to make a reservation for the 6 adults and 7 children and once again, the food did not disappoint! I was determined to get a slice of pie for dessert but was much too full by the time dinner was over. The kids had so much fun chatting away together during dinner, it felt amazing to just spend time with other families and forget about reality for a bit.
Monday morning we were up fairly early to head back home – in hindsight we were very happy we had opted not to sleep in because we had to pull over multiple times for our carsick kiddo! Gerald and I had a rough drive, we were both so sore from the surfing (and me from the mountain!). And we had some good bruises from falling while surfing too.
I don’t know what the other options were like but I highly recommend the condos if going with a family. There was even a washer/dryer in the condo so we could do laundry while we were there if needed (and not come home with all the dirty stuff!). I would also recommend bringing some groceries with you. We didn’t know what our accommodations would be so we missed out on bringing food with us. There is a small grocery store on the resort (Provisions) but it was a bit pricey and we could have saved quite a bit on food if we had at least brought the non-perishables with us. The kitchen was fairly well stocked with all you’d need for cooking/dining (though in stereotypical husband fashion Gerald was convinced there were no pans anywhere until I found them in the first cupboard I opened).
There were so many activities available that we didn’t even get a chance to try them all. The kids opted out of mountain biking but there’s a rental place at the bottom of the mountain to get all you need to go and enjoy the trails by bike too. The golf course also looked wonderful but, with 3 kids who were way more interested in the waterpark, Gerald didn’t get a chance to try it out.
Would I recommend Jay Peak Resort and would I go back if given the chance? Without a doubt. Our family had an absolutely amazing time away and came home feeling so refreshed. Reconnecting with each other after a long winter and school year and the craziness that comes with a family of 5 was more than I could ask for.