The Chester Bowl alpine ski/snowboard hill — with its double chair lift and 175-foot drop — offers outdoor, active, winter fun for families. Here are the 10 reasons why you and your kids will love this place!
#10. The location is accessible as the hill is nearly in the middle of town.
#9. All runs end at the chair lift so it is easily negotiable for half-pints.
#8. Season equipment rental, ski pass, and lessons are included for a reasonable fee and scholarships are available too (no questions asked!).
#7. Free weekly (and one weeklong) beginner and intermediate ski lessons mean every kid can learn. Finley participated in the weeklong ski school when she was just 3-years-old. We made this “thank you” video after the successful week. (Also, here’s a post that details the lessons and how Daley learned to ski in less than 5 days).
#6. With each season pass comes free one-day passes at a variety of local hills (prior day passes included: Spirit Mountain, Mont Du Lac, Giant’s Ridge, and Mount Ashwabay).
#5. The sense of community is strong as parents and families volunteer to staff the concession stand, run the races, cleanup and prepare the hill, and more.
#4. Everything about the program focuses on the well-being of kids. They have an inclusiveness policy that focuses on “providing a diverse, inclusive and respectful environment” and their “Peace in the Parks Pledge” aims to prevent bullying and harassment in the community.
#3. The people who run it create a welcoming environment. The lift operators give encouragement, and Dave and Sam (club managers) always have a smile on their faces. You can’t help but feel a part of something big.
#2. The Ski Cadet Program provides solid role models as older, green-jacketed youth are always on the hill to help little ones. When Daley was 5-years-old, he often rode the chairlift with a cadet who would then ski down with him and help if he fell.
#1. From a kid’s perspective, the best part is likely getting outside in the winter and having fun with friends.
How the Program Works: Are you wondering why I am posting on skiing when it is October? The Chester Bowl program is a lottery and it usually happens mid-October. At the evening event, you put your name in a hat and when it is drawn, you sign up for a ski fitting time in November. At the fitting, your kids will receive skis, boots, and helmets in their size. You are able to keep the equipment for the entire season. At the end of the season, you return the equipment on designated nights. As noted above, the program is supported by parents volunteering (concession stand sales, treats for races, hill clean up, etc). With a designated amount of volunteer hours, the cost of the program is reduced. Payment works like this: you pay in-full at the fitting and then get a refund for the portion that aligns with your volunteer hours when you return the equipment. It may sound complicated, but the program is well-oiled and everyone involved is always willing to answer questions. For more information and dates, check out the Chester Bowl website.
Have your kids participated in the Chester Bowl ski/snowboard program? Share your experiences in the comment box below. Thanks!