Bring your family to Smugglers’ Notch in the summer and never hear I’m bored again. Oh, believe me, I know it takes all of five seconds into most holidays for kids to launch into that familiar refrain. But, there are hundreds of summer things to do every single day at Smugglers’ Notch.
A Vermont Summer Vacation Story
I’ve been back for three weeks and I am still getting text message alerts about the activities at Smuggs. Why? Maybe I am a bit of a masochist as I live nine hours away and can’t exactly drop everything and race right back on a whim to do any of the activities that tickle my fancy.
Or maybe I never actually cancelled the activity alerts, because they make me happy. That’s right. They delight me because they remind me of one of my favourite states and all the fun available at Smuggler’s Notch.
Never been to Smuggler’s Notch in the summer before?
Don’t sweat it. The Resort Activities Guide and text alerts will help and this list will do the rest.
51 Summer Things to Do at Smuggs
Bird and Blooms Hike –
We did this one with Martha and it was super educational. Great way to learn about the birds and the flora and fauna in the area. Bring your own binoculars. Did you know that some birds that nest on or near the ground may fake injury to lead people away from their nests? Learn more trivia like this when you do this early morning 90 minute gentle walking tour.
The Country Fair –
Check the activities guide for date and time. I believe this is typically scheduled for Thursdays, but double check the schedule before venturing over to join in with family.
Village Scavenger Hunt –
Scavenger hunts are always fun. I have fond memories of doing these with my kids when they were really young. We’d just do them in my neighbourhood. So, if you have the chance to do one in Vermont at Smugglers’ Notch, then you need to try.
Morning Family Walk –
Meet at designated sign in Village Green. Check the Resort Activities Guide for details and meet other families while you walk.
Dive In Movies at the Mountainside Pool –
For young families, this is the perfect way to cap a summer night off at Smuggs. We started out all together at the dive in movie and then our teens peeled off to go to Teen Alley Teen Centre. When the teens are happy and entertained then the family trip is smooth and memorable.
Teen Alley Teen Centre –
The Teen Alley is open later so teens can meet other teens, play pool and games and have some time away from their families. Easily accessible by shuttle. There is a basketball court and volleyball nearby.
Bootleggers’ Basin –
We had a great afternoon here at Bootleggers’ Basin one day. Take the shuttle over to the Welcome Centre and wait. The shuttle that drives people to Bootleggers’ Basin runs every 15 minutes or so from 11AM-4PM. It is a very short drive over.
Rum Runners’ Hideaway –
Pedestrian access only, and bring your swimsuit. Rum Runners’ Hideaway is clearly named for the bootlegging history of the area. A refreshing mountain reservoir is the reward after a short wike of about 40 minutes.
Notchville Park –
One of my favourite spots on the property, with three tiers of cascading pools for every age and level of activity. Enjoy the fun waterslide here too. Generally this area is slightly less busy than the pools near the base.
Disc golf –
All the rage at many ski resorts during the summer, disc golf is a game you should try at least once. Equipment is available near Smuggs Outdoor Centre and Pro Shop. Inquire there, or at Smuggs Disc Golf Centre. Advanced registration required.
Obviously if you are a tennis player then this is a must do. There are tennis lessons and tennis courts and if you inquire about tennis near the FunZone, for a fee you can do lessons or simply have a game.
Arbortrek Tree Top Obstacle Course –
Just a few minutes away you can do this any season. Sign up first and there is a fee of course. The zipline canopy tour is about $100 US. Book online here – > https://www.smuggs.com/arbortrek/
Morse Mining Company –
Pan for minerals and rocks. Little people love this activity. Ours used to enjoy doing this when they were small. Near the Tennis and Family Fun Centre. $8. You will get a pocket guide to help identify the Vermont minerals and rocks.
Explore the scenic Lamoille River. Canoes can hold three adult people or two adults and two small kids.
See above note on the canoeing. You can sign up for this adventure, which costs extra.
Paddle boarding –
For a small fee – ($5 for 30 minutes) each of our girls was able to try paddle boarding. It was Ainsley’s first try ever and she nailed it. Payton has apparently done this before at camp, which was news to me. LOL. This takes place at Bootleggers’ Basin. Bring a little cash with you for this activity.
Fly Fishing Stream Tour –
Obviously fly fishing is extra so you need to book this in advance and be warned it’s not inexpensive. In 2019, this was $200 for one person, but would be an excellent way to spend a day. Age limit of 8 and up applies.
Steam Activity: Roller Coasters –
We did this one morning at Morse Highlands Day Lodge. It was a great team activity for us as a family and helped the kids to remember some of their steam knowledge from school. Summer things at Smuggs can also help battle summer brain drain.
Aqua Aerobics –
Check the guide and get your exercise in while enjoying the pool too. Meet at Notchville Park and bring your Smuggs Pass. 18 +.
Lap Swim –
Up early, then head over to one of the open pools and do laps immediately before the crowd shows up.
Skate Park –
For beginners or experienced skaters, the skate park is near the mountain biking centre. Ride the ramps, grind the rails. Helmets required.
Adult Volleyball –
Near the Teen Alley. Check the times or organize a game yourself.
Adult Aqua-Volleyball –
Again, check the Resort Activities Guide.
Family Ga-Ga Ball –
Meet at the basketball courts. Check the schedule for times.
Smuggsational Family Social –
The activities guide is full of fun family social events that will help encourage you to get out of your condo unit to meet other families. Love that this is such a focal point of summer at Smuggs.
Sketching Outdoors –
Pretty self explanatory, but if you have an artsy creative type this is a chance to do something artistic.
Stretch and Go –
This is a hike with exercise activities built in and stretching as you go.
Smuggs Eurobungy –
Defy gravity. Head over to Notchville Park and bounce, do flips and jumps on the Eurobungy. This is for the adventuresome and young at heart.
Giant Swing –
Over by Notchville Park you will find the Eurobungy and Giant Swing too. There is a small fee to do either one of these summer things.
Smuggs I-Did-A-Cart –
One year we visited Smuggs in the winter and at night in the snow we all worked together on building a sled. Our materials were cardboard, duct tape, markers and streamers. FUN!! I-Did-A-Cart is much like that only adapted to summer. Super creative family activity.
Dogsledding on Wheels –
With Eden Dog Sledding, meet the Alaskan Huskies in a relaxed way. These free range dogs will take you for a ride when hitched to a special cart.
Pick-Up Pickle Ball –
Meet at the Tennis and Family Centre and form groups to play. Equipment provided $7 per player.
Golf at Stowe Country Club –
If golfing is your hobby, then make a day of it and go to the country club.
Geo Caching –
Have you ever been Geo Caching? It can be a lot of fun to work out the clues together and locate the small caches of treasures. This takes teamwork and is one of my favourite summer things, but that said you need your kids to be rested and able to cooperate if this is a family adventure.
Life-sized Games –
Well who could resist actually being the kickers inside a gigantic Tic Tac Toe or FOOSball game? This is an easy activity and these life-sized games are all over the property. Find one and jump right in.
Water Rockets – STEAM Activity –
The steam activity program here is really hands on and a lot of fun for school aged kids and families. Check the resort activities guide for times and locations. Vacations in the summer months when school is out don’t have to mean that you forego all learning opportunities. Steam activities and steam camps are well worth the time.
Vinyasa Flow Yoga –
Warning you that these are early in the morning so plan ahead. We ended up being so busy that I didn’t get to try the yoga in the mornings, but would love to next time we visit.
Mountain Biking –
We tried mountain biking for the first time and loved it. It was challenging for two of us, but so worth it. The trails around Smugglers’ Notch end in reservoir views after occasional punishing climbs and bumps. So worth the effort. Start at the bike shop.
Mountain Biking Skills Clinics –
Ages 7 and up. Get a quick fun introduction to this sport and learn the basics. $39 per person.
Segway Rental –
These can be so much fun. My advice always is to wear closed toed shoes. One time I wore Birkenstocks in St Augustine, Florida while riding a Segway and that was challenging.
Forest Heritage Nature Wike –
So many of the hikes and wikes at Smugglers’ Notch are educational. If you are here to do all of the summer things available to you then add this to your list.
Kayaks and Cocktails –
There are several kayak tours offered throughout the week every week of the summer. Pick one and sign up. Weather dependent of course.
An easy walk designed for families with young kids.
Family Pictionary –
No preregistration required. Check for times and locations.
Family Karaoke –
Good old silly karaoke fun.
Zumba Fitness Party –
Explore Latin rhythms and join this fitness party. There’s an endless number of activities and summer things at Smuggs designed to keep you all moving and fit.
Family Splash Down Party –
Watch your phone for text alerts about this one. Goodtime Charlie hosts the splashdown party at Mountainside Pool. Weather permitting.
Arcade games –
At the FUNZONE 2.0. This is perfect for a chance to get out of the sun, or on days when it rains a bit.
FUNZONE – Obstacle Course
American Ninja style obstacle course. Takes points on the FUNZONE arcade card to play. Swipe the card and try the course.
FUNZONE – Indoor Rock Walls
Load up your FUNZONE 2.0 card and play all the games you want, then tackle the indoor rock wall.
Llama Trekking –
Book in advance. Hike and picnic with llamas from the Northern Vermont Llama Company. You walk alongside the llamas who carry the picnic lunch. This looked like a lot of fun, but the timing didn’t work out for us. Another time we would definitely do this.
Do All The Summer Things at Smugglers’ Notch
Do all the summer things that you can at Smugglers’ Notch this summer. The FUNZONE is a given, as are the many pools and waterslides, and the hiking trails demand to be explored. Smuggs screams family friendly all year round, but summer is the ideal time to embrace the outdoors in Vermont.
One More Option – >
If Beer Tours are more your speed, then consider this Stowe Beer Tour nearby after hiking at Smugglers’ Notch.
We were guests of Smugglers’ Notch this summer. My opinion is all my own and it is also truthful. Post may contain affiliate links.