By Jen Roe
Are you suffering from the virtual PE blues? Looking for ways to get your kids back into some physical activity?
That’s just how we were feeling rounding out month 6 or so of the pandemic and then we visited Big Snow American Dream. Big Snow American Dream is North America’s first indoor ski slope and they just celebrated their first birthday! (Happy Birthday BIG!)
Located inside the American Dream Mall, in East Rutherford, New Jersey in the company of other unique attractions like Nickelodeon Universe, Dreamworks waterpark, and tons of fabulous retail shops it will be easy for kids of all ages to enjoy their day here.
Why We Loved Big Snow
We visited in October, which made my traditional “Day One” on the slopes come much sooner than normal. Did I mention that Big Snow is open year-round? Yes it is!
The space spans the size of three football fields, with a thousand foot vertical slope and maintains a temp of 28 degrees inside the ski hill. Big Snow boasts a Terrain Based Learning™ beginners’ area with a magic carpet, a quad chairlift that accesses an intermediate run, and an expert run taking you into the Terrain Park with a full feature set up. There is also a bonus Poma Lift that makes lapping the park extra easy!
We spent most of our session doing quick laps on the quad. We also took a ride on the magic carpet and had some fun in the park, too. It was a great time and a perfect way for me to burn some calories and my son to get off the screen for a few hours. For the fan seekers, you also might have a chance to meet their mascot, BIG the Yeti! He’s a loveable larger-than-life Yeti, complete with a face mask and always ready for a photo op! It’s also important to note that parking is always free and the Slopes are just steps away from the parking garage. This indoor family skiing thing just gets better and better!
How Does It Work?
Big Snow offers 2-hour skiing and riding sessions and it’s the perfect way to break up virtual learning without playing a full day of hooky. What makes Big Snow a stand out for me is the accessibility offered to skiers and riders of all levels. No gear, no problem. Big Snow has packages that will dress you from head to toe; including outerwear (just BYO gloves) & locker rentals.
This is really unique program designed to target anyone interested in taking a run, focusing a lot of attention detail on the newcomer’s experience. What a better way to introduce someone to skiing or snowboarding than to make their first taste of snowsports hassle free?
Their systematic flow makes the entire process super-easy as well. You enter and walk through their modern full service retail shop. If you are renting gear you go through an organized system where you get your outerwear and then your equipment. They have attendants to help you every step of the way and even take their time to size your foot and make sure you are in the right-sized boots. We all know how a boot fit can make or break your day, and so does Big Snow. They have designated changing rooms and everyone gets a locker with their admission. Oh, and when you’re ready for a break you can visit Joe C’s Hot Cocoa for outstanding gourmet hot chocolate selections. Our favorite was the S’mores.
COVID-19 Friendly 411
With COVID-19 procedures in place, Big Snow is operating under capacity restrictions, limiting how many guests they can accommodate on the slopes at a time, in order to keep visitors safe and socially distanced. With that in mind, it is best to preplan your trip so you get the day and time slots you want. All ticket purchases must be made online in advance of your visit. (There are no on-site ticket sales at this time.) Masks are required at all times and they have implemented many extra cleaning and staff guidelines to insure your visit is safe. Check out their Commitment to Safety video here.
What’s New in December?
Starting on 12/19 Big Snow will be open from 10am -10pm daily!
Camp BIG Children’s Lesson program, includes your admission, lesson, rentals & 3 hour slope access.
Looking for a last minute stocking stuffer or Hanukkah Gift? Grab a 6 Visit Slope Access Ticket Card.
Ski & Ride with Santa on December 24th
Always available, (and we’ll try it next time!) are Sno-Go Bike rentals. Have fun on the snow, in a new unique way!
Jen Roe is snow riding, bleacher-sitting sports mom to Travis, age 14. She has been sharing her passion for family skiing and riding for more than a decade with her insights as a winter tourism marketing leader. Home-base is New York’s beautiful Hudson Valley.
You mostly likely will run into Jen and Travis on the slopes in the Catskills this winter (or inside at Big Snow)! Roe previously covered Hunter Mountain, New York for BSM.
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