Imagine a mountain where mom and dad can actually keep up with the kids – at least on skis (maybe not so much on snowboards!). Shawnee Mountain is a forgiving kind of ski area that’s frequently described as “family friendly” and is located near the banks of the Delaware River on the eastern rim of the Pocono Mountains. Here’s what you’ll find there. – Jay Lloyd
WHAT YOU’LL FIND:
SHAWNEE MOUNTAIN SKI AREA
Shawnee-on-Delaware, PA 18356
Shawnee Mountain has been a winter haven for generations of skiing families. They’re drawn in by the high percentage of terrain, which provides just enough of a challenge to give an intermediate skier or rider a surge of accomplishment after a day on the slopes. Fifty percent of the mountain is contoured for the mid-range recreational skier. But for active teens with a lot of energy to burn, Shawnee offers a range of black diamond runs and two dynamic terrain parks loaded with jumps, rails, boxes, walls and a pumped up sound system to keep the adrenaline flowing. The mountain is carved with 23 trails and slopes, as well as the terrain parks and 6 tubing chutes, served by 11 lifts. A skier or rider can put together more than a mile of skiing. For cruisers who enjoy scenery, the long run on “Upper” and “Lower Delaware” provides the vista and the aerobic rhythm. The mountain is fully lighted for night skiing and is totally covered by a state-of-the-art snowmaking system. The ski school is home to the nationally recognized SKIwee program designed to get the 4-to-6 year old crowd up and skiing.
In the lodge, I make a bee line for Hickory Licks. After a morning on the mountain, a cold brew and some hot chili ring the bell. Kids have a tendency to hit the cafeteria for burgers and dogs. For a craft brew and some light fare with a mountain top view, the Summit Bar and Grille is open on weekends.
WHAT IT COSTS:
Adult open to close lift tag: $55 Weekends, $45 Weekdays
Youth (18 and under): $40 Weekends, $35 Weekdays
Seniors, College students, Military: $45 Weekends , $36 Weekdays
Seniors over 70 and children under 46 inches: FREE
See all the rates, including multi-day, at: www.shawneemt.com/tickets-passes/lift_tickets.html
Equipment Rentals: $35 Day, $28 Night
Group Lesson: $35
Private Lesson: $85
WHERE TO STAY:
The Shawnee Inn was once owned by band leader Fred Waring (ask your grandparents). I’ve been staying here on and off since childhood, and yes, I remember Fred Waring! This is a classic, sprawling Pocono Mountain hotel in the grand tradition, but it has evolved over the years to accommodate changing lifestyles, entertainment tastes and dining experiences. It offers all the amenities of a full service hotel, a championship golf course, and it’s three miles from the mountain. January weekend rates start at $172 a night per couple and ski packages are available.
Shawnee Village is a complex of compact villas. Most have two bedrooms, two baths and can easily accommodate six people. Jacuzzis are available in some of the homes, just in case you want to waterboard sore muscles after a day on the slopes. All of the villas, which are within ½ a mile of the mountain, feature a kitchen, a dining area and a fireplace-centered family room. Nightly rates in January (per villa) start at $199. Ski packages are available.
WHERE TO EAT:
For a lively bar and brew pub with tavern food that includes a balanced selection of beef, pork, poultry and seafood, head for the Gem and Keystone at the Shawnee Inn. You may find it hard to get past the pot roast, though!
There’s a bit of the exotic in this rustic mountain environment. Saen, a tried and tested Thai restaurant, is located nearby at Shawnee Square. It succeeds in serving up a blend of mild and spicy to fit a range of tastes — just let them know what your palate prefers.
Take in a play or review at the Shawnee Playhouse, located close to the Shawnee Inn and under common ownership. Generations of visitors have been enjoying the small productions and talented casts here. You can even combine a meal at the Inn with a show. Look over the productions, seating, menus and prices by visiting: www.theshawneeplayhouse.com/index.html