Jay Peak may not have the buzzing apres ski scene of Tremblant village, but it certainly has more than enough going on to keep your family entertained and happy.

How to get there

Getting to Jay Peak from Canada is actually a little more involved than you might expect. Because it is relatively rural, most mapping programs will offer you a range of options, many of which will take you along secondary roads with very small border crossings.

While there’s nothing wrong with a more scenic route, you should be aware that the roads can be narrow and may or may not be ploughed. Also, with small border crossings, you may experience more of a wait, as there is normally only one line/agent.

 

 

 

Before you get there

Although there is a well-stocked general store at Jay Peak, it has the usual resort mark up on most products. Rather than a gallon of milk for $3, it will be a half gallon for $3. Also, the brand options may be limited. If you know you’ll be doing a lot of cooking in your unit it is likely worth stopping before you arrive to stock up on what you’ll need.

One option is Sylvester’s Market in nearby Montgomery. This market has a wide range of dairy and dry products, a huge selection of wine and beer, and a reasonable (but not overwhelming) produce selection. There is a full deli counter and their meat department is very fairly priced.

Another option is Hannaford Market, a regional chain with a location in Enosburg. This is the closest true grocery store to the resort and has all the selection you would expect from a mid-range grocer. Although it is a little out of the way, it likely won’t add more than 15 minutes to your route and could save you all sorts of aggravation later (especially if anyone in your party has special diet needs).

Don’t forget, you cannot bring fruits or vegetables into the States without declaring them (and potentially having them seized), so stocking up at home is not a good idea.

 

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Ski style

There are a number of ways to access the mountain, ranging from high-speed chairs to a tram. Be sure to read the signs at the bottom of the lifts as a number of them only service intermediate to difficult terrain. It’s also worth remembering that a “blue” run in Ontario does not equal a “blue” run in Vermont.

 

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Waterpark

The Pumphouse waterpark is a thing of beauty. It has slides for all ages, a dare-devil option for people who didn’t get their thrills in the trees, and a flow rider that is both fun to ride and watch. Parents, if you don’t want to swim (and your kids are old enough), you can hang out at the bar that overlooks the park and soak up the heat without getting into a swimsuit. The change rooms are kept relatively clean, towels are plentiful, and there are hooks all over the place to store your coats.

 

 

Other activities

Jay Peak has recently added a number of “extras” as it strives to attract families. There is a new (small) movie theatre, a rock climbing gym, a bowling alley, an arcade, and an indoor skating rink. The movie theatre posts its features a couple weeks in advance, so you can plan ahead. The arcade is nothing special (think Chuckie Cheese) so if you would prefer not to bring home a pile of small “prizes” you should avoid walking through it (it is directly attached to the waterpark). 

 

 

Food

Jay Peak has a number of restaurants and bars across the resort. There is even a restaurant at the top of the tram (however, in winter you cannot ride the tram down, so you will need to be ready to ski post lunch). The Stateside base lodge has a great bar, with lots of local beers and a fun atmosphere. The Pumphouse also has a hopping quick service dining option, a food menu at the upper level bar, and a dipping dots ice cream cart. Mountain Dick’s pizza (which is close to the family room lounge in Hotel Jay) has some great specials as well.

 

 

Getting around the resort

If you are staying at one of the base lodges, it is easy to get around with the inner resort shuttle. If you are staying at one of the many condos around the village you will likely want to drive over to the waterpark/skating rink. There is ample parking available, just be aware that thanks to frequent traffic and freezing, the roads can be very slick.