Our family loves living in New York City. There’s the convenience of having a pharmacy, pizza shop, deli, and coffee shop on every block. There’s an endless supply of cultural activities, food options, and parent-friendly amenities at your fingertips.
Sometimes, though, it’s refreshing to break away from big city life. With a pregnant wife and baby No. 2 expected this spring, the spontaneity in our lives will be restricted for a while. So, when our family was invited along for a weekend getaway to review Woodloch Pines Resort, an all-inclusive retreat, we literally jumped at the opportunity.
Last weekend, our family road-tripped to the Poconos for a unique, action-packed winter adventure and lasting memories were made. Laughs were overflowing. Fears were overcome. Quality family time was at the center of everything.
Let me share five unforgettable memories that our family enjoyed at Woodloch Pines Resort. By documenting my experience, I’m hopeful it will serve as a gentle reminder for the next time our family is weighing our options and considering getting out of Dodge for a perfect weekend destination.
5 Things You’ll Love at Woodlock Pines Resort: A Review
1. Leisurely family meal time
A friend recently said, “The family that eats and talks together, thrives together.”
With my wife commuting to work in Connecticut every day, and weekends filled with sports, birthday parties, and dads group meetups, we don’t get to sit down together as a family unit for a meal as often as we’d like. Fortunately, the camp-like culture at Woodloch Pines Resort places an importance on family meal times which is why most of the contests and activities temporarily shut-down during meals. It was such a pleasurable experience during the weekend to press the stop button on everything and sit at the table with my family. It provided us a welcome forum to relax, unwind and have engaging conversations about our day’s experiences.
To aid in the overall family dining experience at Woodloch — you never have to wait to be seated at a table (a bonus for cranky and hungry children). Add to that mesmerizing views of the lake out of the bay windows, excellent food that did not feel like it’s prepared for mass consumption, and top-notch service. It felt like the servers had a just “say yes” policy: Dessert with lunch? Yes. Hot chocolate in a to-go cup? Yes.
2. Barreling down a slope in snow tubes
My son and I love to immerse ourselves in thrill-seeking experiences. We love rollercoasters, waterslides and sledding. Even though we’ve never been snow tubing before, we knew this extreme activity was right in our wheelhouse. We couldn’t wait to be thrust down down a hundred-yard hill at a 30-degree angle with the mountain air rushing against our faces.
With wind-burned, rosy cheeks, and the whisper of fear overcome, we were both hooked after our first time barreling down the slope. (Fortunately, I was armed with copious amounts of Vaseline Intensive Care to kept my skin moisturized and prevented cracking in the frigid outdoor environs.) That “loving every minute of it” smirk on my son’s face as his tube came to a screeching halt was what made these moments so special for me.
3. Family fun galore at Woodloch Pines
Aside from escaping over to the award-winning spa to get a manicure/pedicure, the highlight of the trip for my wife was the family-friendly magic show on Saturday night. Attending the magic show was our way to decompress after an activity-filled day and it hit all the right notes. Captivating kids and parents alike, the magician performed a series of seven or eight tricks that had the entire audience in absolute wonder. There was one trick where he emptied a can of soda and dented the can. Before our very eyes, the dents slowly disappeared and the can was completely full once again. No way!
Additionally, it was a pleasant surprise to have character appearances greeting you and your little ones at every meal: Super Mario, Abby Cadabby, Elmo, Elvis, Simba, and even Austin Powers.
And let’s not forget the fun we had earlier in the day with Go-Karts, bumper cars, pony rides, indoor pool, and climbing structure in the Woodloch Forest!
4. Ice skating on a frozen lake
Ice skating at an outdoor rink like Bryant Park or at Rockefeller Center is a must-do winter activity in New York City that we’ve enjoyed. Skating on a frozen lake was an awesome first for us! Consequently, ice skating on an uneven lake with bumps and cracks (no Zambonis out here in the wild) or rails to clutch was much more challenging than we anticipated. However, we thoroughly enjoyed the experience as well as the surreal feeling of standing on top of a giant lake. Next time, we want to try ice fishing!
5. Roasting on an open fire
Even thought most rooms at Woodloch Pines Resort were occupied, the property, meals, and activities never felt crowded. There were lots of nooks and other spaces to inhabit for some quiet time to reflect, enjoy the moment, or read a book. Our family found an unoccupied outdoor fire pit where we could hang out, roast marshmallows, and make s’mores together. Getting sticky from our afternoon treat, chuckling about how different our surroundings were compared to home in the city, and relishing in the sweet family moment, it was the perfect activity to end our spectacular weekend.
My son said that Woodloch Pines Resort was even better than Six Flags Great Adventure. I know it may not seem like much of a compliment, but to my son, Great Adventure is his favorite place on earth. So, it’s safe to say we can’t wait to go back!
Disclosure Note: NYC Dads Group received complimentary lodging/meals to experience the Woodloch Pines Resort and review it. Trip sponsored by The Moms and Vaseline Intensive Care. The thoughts and opinions expressed in this post have not been influenced by our sponsor and are 100% my own.