By Lauren Bedford, a Westchester mom who spent her high school years teaching skiing in Maine.
I am originally from Maine, and one thing Mainers know how to do right is enjoy winter. After all, up north there is a too-short but glorious summer and then a lot of cold. And snow. That, to me, means skiing.
Last year we started our nearly 4-year old on skis, and he absolutely loved it. His father and I were so proud (and excited that he could finally join us on the slopes) that upon returning to NY from our ski vacation we visited Thunder Ridge. It was an easy decision where to go; my husband, native to Westchester, raced in high school and skied there many times, during the day and at night. Our 9-month old daughter stayed for a couple hours at the cozy day care while we took to the mountain. She was happy when we left her and having a great time when we picked her up. I called just this week to inquire about an age minimum, but, conveniently, they do not have one.
The skiing is absolutely family-friendly. There’s even a small farm with a few animals part-way down the mountain that makes for a great rest stop. With 30 trails, four magic carpets, three lifts and snowmaking (yes!), Thunder Ridge is the ideal local mountain to spend a couple of hours or a full day enjoying time with your family while taking advantage of these chilly winter months.
On your way back home, check out the Blazer Pub in Purdys for a relaxed and tasty chili, sandwich or burger – just bring cash or an ATM card to get cash on site. It’s the perfect way to end a family ski day.
Thunder Ridge Ski Area is located at 137 Birch Hill Road in Patterson, NY, a short 35 minute drive from White Plains, and also accessible by Metro-North Ski Train (get off at the Patterson station and catch the free ski shuttle). They rent ski equipment for all ages — skis, boots, poles and a helmet costs about $35; a full day adult lift ticket costs $50, while kids 6 and under are $12. Babysitting costs $8 per child per hour. Visit thunderridgeski.com for more details regarding hours of operation, pricing, ski lessons, day care, equipment rentals and more. They can also be reached at 845-878-4100.
Lauren Bedford is a transplant to Westchester who spent her high school years teaching skiing in Maine. Before settling in the ‘burbs with her husband and kids, she worked in publications and special events for the New York City Department of Education.