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Where to Beat the Lines on the Slopes

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

 

It's February school vacation week in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and that means, among other things, you have some extra time on your hands to spend with the family. And what could be a more enjoyable winter family activity than a ski trip?

A big-time blizzard finally brought a significant amount of snow to large parts of the area, and that means it's finally the right time to hit the slopes. Now, of course, New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont are usually more acclaimed for their many popular ski areas, but there are plenty of places closer to your home that can provide just as much fun and excitement. Whether you're a novice or experienced skier, here are just a few places you should check out.

Wachusett Mountain Ski Area
499 Mountain Road, Princeton, MA
The famous Wachusett Mountain Ski Area currently has 22 trails, 6 lifts, and 112 acres open thanks to the recent dump of 30'' of fresh powder on the mountain. Base depths range from 24''-44". The resort has many special events going on during school vacation week including, for sports fans, the appearance of the Bruins mascot Blades and the Pawtucket Red Sox mascot PAWS. Also check out the Polar Balloon Races, the magician Eddie Raymond, Blinkee the Clown, scavenger hunts, and other fun activities.

Nashoba Valley Ski Area
79 Powers Road, Westford MA
The Ski Area, the Tubing Park, and Terrain Park, all 17 trails and 10 lifts, complete with five jumps and 18 rails, are now open at Nashoba. For those who prefer tubing there are currently 16 lanes and 4 lifts open. There are 36" of base snow in the valley with a season total of 53". Take advantage of the special February school vacation week 3-day lesson and lift ticket for just $185. The lessons are for ages 5 and up and accompanied by a terrific professional training staff.

Yawgoo Valley Ski Area and Sports Park
160 Yawgoo Valley Road, Exeter, RI
Rhode Island's only ski area, Yawgoo Valley also has a number of specials you may be able to take advantage of during school vacation week. All week the ski area is open from 8:30 am-9 pm. The snow tubing area also has special hours. All three lifts and nine of the 12 trails, including the special novice trail, in the ski area are now open on the 36 acre resort. Grab some great food at the Max Restaurant and Lounge as well.

Ski Ward
1000 Main Street, Shrewsbury, MA
All 4 lifts and 9 beautifully groomed trails, 3 jumps and 8 rails are currently open at the Ski Ward and its 45 acres of terrain. 7 tubing lanes serviced by 2 lifts are also open. The average base depth of snow ranges from 24"-36". The Ski Ward also might be the most conveniently located ski area on the list as it is located right off the major highways in Central Mass.

Blue Hills Ski Area
4001 Washington Street, Canton, MA
Conditions are described as "outstanding" this week at Blue Hills. The ski area has its most trails open yet this season. This includes the Big Blue, Patriots Path, Upper Chute, Lower Chute, Lover's Lane, Fudgies, Walsh's Way, Terrain Park, and Magic Carpet Areas. Daily passes special during this President's Day week are $35, from 9 am-9 pm. While you're there, sign your kid up for special ski training programs for young people. The Junior Program takes ages 7 and up and the Mountain Munchkin Program takes kids ages 4-6.

 

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