With our son away in college – all-family weekends are now few and far between. That is why we plan them carefully and cherish them dearly! We all know what happened to our Rome summer weekend 2020 (and I suspect to many of your own 2020 weekends). As residents of New England, we have a little more control over our New Hampshire ski weekend 2021 so we decided to go for it and spend some family time outdoors even if it meant quarantining at home following the trip.
Covid Disclaimer: Be sure to follow health guidelines in your state of origin and destination.
For the last couple of years we have spent our family ski weekends in Canada’s Mont Tremblant and Mont Sutton. In the winter of 2021 Canada is not an option but New Hampshire’s village of North Conway which we chose for our ski weekend has lots of charm of its own (minus the French)!
Here is why we chose North Conway NH as our family ski weekend destination:
The village of North Conway in the White Mountains of New Hampshire (northwest of Mount Washington) is a three hour drive from our home in Boston’s (southern) suburb. It offers quite a few skiing and lodging options and a cute down town with things to do even during a weekend trip of 2021.
Here is a (5 minute) video report of our trip:
Skiing: Book ahead, wear a mask.
These are the rules for ski weekend 2021 (we also brought all our ski equipment, but it is not strictly necessary, you can still rent on the Mountain). There are several ski resorts near North Conway NH. On this trip we explored the two of them: Mount Cranmore (right in the town of North Conway; 7 lifts; night skiing and all day snow tubing offered) and Mount Attitash, a 15 minutes drive away in Bartlett. Both resorts are considered family friendly, will trails for every ability, but Mount Attitash is a larger one of the two with 10 lifts (check websites for ski conditions and open lifts; as well as ski school hours). Both Mountains now offer lodging on site.
The four of us in the family are of different skiing ability (and risk taking habits) but frankly, the older members of the family found Mount Attitash lacking in (longer) green trails. We plan to ski on Mount Cranmore next time.
There are several ski resorts of different sizes a little further away you may want to look into, such as King Pine, Shawnee Peak, WildCat Mountain and Bretton Woods.
Lunch on the Mountain
Who does not like a hot soup in the middle of the ski day? Good news is that both ski resorts of Mount Cranmore and Mount Attitash offer hot foods options. We opted to eat at the outside tables and our lunch was a combination of hot foods from cafeteria and sandwiches from home. Some families were tail gaiting in the parking lot. We were lucky with the weather during our ski weekend and we got to quite enjoy our snowy-sunny lunch at the mountain.
Main Street North Conway
Also known as White Mountain Highway, North Conway’s Main Street is an enjoyable stroll apres skis. It offers great coffee, fun quirky shopping and dining for all tastes! And if that is not enough, there is North Conway Scenic Railway (with stops at Mount Attitash) and New England Ski Museum -both are open during winter 2021 but plan ahead.
Afternoon of Snow Tubing
In the afternoons of our North Conway ski weekend we booked snow tubing fun on Mount Cranmore. You need to reserve ahead (there were not too many slots left when we reserved a day ahead, but we were able to do it). Mount Cranmore has recently undergone a renovation and we plan to come back and ski there soon. Mount Cranmore offers night skiing and you could see it all lit up at night as you stroll Main Street.
Lodging in North Conway
We used our rewards at Hampton Inn North Conway (they offer family suits); normally we would have enjoyed their indoor water park – it is still open during winter 2021 with a prior reservation, but we opted out this year. Instead, we ordered in from one of the several restaurants in town (it was Thai one night and Horse Fathers the other) and watched a family movie (you can ask me which one in the comments, then I’ll know you are paying attention). The town of North Conway has plenty of other lodging options (many with swimming pools and slides) including those right on the ski slopes.
All in all, we have spent a great family ski weekend in North Conway New Hampshire. In fact, we are already planning another one. After all, we’ve got to put the ski equipment we have rented for the season to good use!