Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Adirondack Family Activities:
Oak Mountain’s Family Ski Events

Like most people living and visiting the Adirondacks, my family  has been waiting for the snow to stay.  Ski resorts all over the Adirondack Park are celebrating this most recent storm, cushioning their base layer with natural snow. Our family enjoys skiing on a variety of terrain, but there is something wonderful about returning to those family hills where many of us were first introduced to the excitement of downhill skiing.

One such family mountain is Speculator’s Oak Mountain Ski Center. Now under new ownership, the O’Brien family has filled the Oak Mountain schedule with all sorts of exciting family-friendly events.  According to Laura O’Brien, owner and VP of Sales and Marketing, Oak Mountain has just been enhanced and is still the same family ski resort where many visitors and locals have grown up skiing.

O’Brien says, “ We will be closed Christmas Day but open the next day. We’ve been making snow and have a 14-21” base and just received another 10” with more on the way. We have some fun events planned. On the 27th we are hosting a kids (under 10) hotdog race. They ski down the hill to get their lunch. It is so cute. They ski to a hotdog station and through obstacles to get to the bun station. The condiments are waiting at the end.”

O’Brien also introduced a Night Skiing and Pizza Movie Night on the 28th where parents can drop their children off at 5:00 pm to watch a showing of The Lorax. The cost is $7 for kids under 10 and $10 for children 10 and over. Parents can ski under the lights until 7 pm and pick up their children afterwards.  Currently the dates and times for night skiing are limited, so make sure to check the schedule.

“My husband and I ran the mountain two years ago so people are familiar with us,” says O’Brien. “We are seeing a lot of familiar and new faces. We have made some changes. We’ve carpeted the whole lodge so it’s cozy and comfortable. We’re offering a great new menu and have revamped the bar. Oak Mountain is still that place where everyone looks out for everyone else. It’s fun to have people bring their kids to the place where they learned to ski. Our motto is now, ‘Welcome to the Family.’ Oak Mountain is a  family community in every aspect.”

 Oak Mountain Ski Center will be ringing in the New Year with a Kiddie Torch Parade from the top of the bunny hill. Don’t worry. The little ones use light sticks. According to O’Brien the kids love being part of the torchlight parade as “they feel empowered” by being able to participate in such a visible aspect of the New Year’s celebration. The employee torch run starts shortly after with skiers holding real flame torches from the summit to the lodge. The 8 pm fireworks lead into live music and dancing. Join the Utica band The Birdseed Bandits at the lodge to ring in the 2013 year. There is no cover charge, but drinks and dinner specials are available.

Please check the schedule for extended hours of operation at Oak Mountain.  Don’t forget to ask about the combo rate that allows you to ski and use the tubing hill. Enjoy!

Photo courtesy Oak Mountain Ski Center

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Diane Chase is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities guidebook series, Adirondack Family Time. She writes about ways to foster imaginative play through fun-filled events and activities in the Adirondack region.

From her home in Saranac Lake, Diane also writes a weekly family-oriented newspaper column for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise and keeps her own blog Adirondack Family Time. Her writing and photography has appeared in numerous newspapers, magazines, marketing companies and advertising agencies.

She even finds time to assist her husband with Adirondack Expeditions guiding families and young adults in the High Peaks.

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