Boyne Mountain is a top-notch ski resort in northern Michigan that is full of fun-filled activities for all ages. Check out my personal experience visiting as a family with 3 kids 5 and under!
It’s probably no surprise that I’m in love with skiing (hence the Slopes part of Chocolate Slopes). I’ve been regularly skiing since high school when I joined the St. Clair Shores Ski Club and would ski every Friday at Mt. Holly (a small ski resort in metro Detroit). Oh the memories! Since then I’ve skied all over Michigan, in Canada, Colorado and even Spain! When it comes to Michigan skiing, Boyne Mountain is one of the best places to ski. So when I was given the opportunity to stay there, I didn’t hesitate a second!
The facilities are nothing but top-notch at this resort. They have something for everyone including young children, teenagers, singles looking for night life and couples. However, since I visited with my family, this post focuses on family-friendly activities, particularly for young children.
If you’re unfamiliar with Boyne Mountain, it’s located in northern Michigan (lower peninsula), only about 3 hours and 45 minutes from Detroit. With only 3 days to visit, we left early Sunday morning and arrived at Boyne about 11 am and spent the first day at their indoor waterpark, skied the second day and relaxed the day we returned home.
I have highlighted 6 reasons to visit Boyne Mountain as a family. If you’re looking to just get away and relax, are an avid skier or just a beginner, check out my tips below for a vacation you won’t want to miss. You won’t be disappointed!
Boyne Mountain is home to 60 runs, with a 500 foot vertical drop and has plenty of runs for all abilities. Do not compare this to skiing the Rocky Mountains; however, if you ski in Michigan you’ll appreciate that Boyne Mountain has the 3rd highest vertical drop in the state (i.e., next to its partner resort Boyne Highlands and Mount Bohemia (in the upper peninsula)).
Boyne Mountain has a huge variety of lessons available for every age and ability including a kids camp. Since we only had 1 day to ski, we decided it was not the right time for the kids to experience skiing. Of course if we stayed longer, I would absolutely have put all three of our kids in ski lessons. I can’t wait for my kids to learn the skill of skiing (or snowboarding) and perhaps fall in love with the sport as much as I have!
The day Dan and I skied, we put our kids in the childcare center which is located right at the bottom of the bunny hill. This was quite comforting knowing they were so close and I could check on them easily throughout the day. I’m still in shock that the staff somehow managed to get all 3 of my kids to take naps! Keep in mind that none of them are familiar with the daycare routine and only 1 of the 3 naps at home! Of course taking E’s “Gruff” along didn’t hurt (his stuffed dog).
Dan and I had an absolute blast skiing together and exploring the various runs and scenery. One-on-one time is so important in relationships and this was so needed for Dan and I in the crazy schedules we keep. When planning this trip I realized it had been 7 years since either one of us had skied! Way too long!
Avalanche Bay Indoor Waterpark
Avalanche Bay Indoor Waterpark was the first ever waterpark located at a ski resort, and it’s also Michigan’s largest indoor waterpark. The waterpark is connected to the Grand Mountain Lodge & Spa (where we stayed)–so, obviously it was extremely convenient. Our kids had an absolute blast in the kiddie area, but also ventured to the bigger slides and JP even tried out a surf simulator. Of course Dan and I had to explore the “big kid” slides too and loved them!
A Plethora of Lodging Options
Boyne Mountain has just about any type of lodging you could possibly want or need. From your typical 2 bed hotel rooms to mountainside condos–it has it all. We stayed at the Mountain Grand Lodge and Spa in a 3 bedroom Salzburg Suite. The kids had an absolute blast just thinking about sleeping in the bunk beds. Of course we were a bit nervous how our 2 year old would do sleeping with his older siblings, but after each day’s exhausting activities there was little difficulty getting everyone to sleep. Now if only the kiddie room came with a lock for the doors and covers over the windows. Sort of kidding, not really…E woke up at 5 and 6 am!
Having a kitchen in your suite is a huge convenience especially when you have young children, but just because you have a kitchen doesn’t mean you want to cook EVERY meal. You’re on vacation, right?! Boyne Mountain has over 10 dining options on location. Dan and I took a break from skiing and enjoyed a delicious meal and beverage at one of Boyne’s newer restaurants Forty Acres Tavern. This tavern has 40 beers available representing the original 40 acres of Boyne Mountain purchased for only $1 back in 1947).
Yes, dietitians sometimes eat breaded (panko-crusted chicken) and chips! Everything in moderation. In case you’re wondering I also packed a huge variety of snacks and breakfast food for us to snack on the entire trip. I packed the food you see below along with peanut butter and jelly, deli turkey and cheese, pre-cooked chicken sausage and chocolate chip cookies.
And for our last evening we ordered pizza from the Trophy Room Pub & Pizzeria (which has FREE delivery to the near by lodging options). It was the perfect relaxing way to end the day.
Additional Activities for Children (& Adults)
Every Sunday (a popular check-out day), the lobby has an entertainer who puts on a show for kids while they wait for their parents to check out and load the car. The entertainer we saw did a magic show, juggling and even unicycling! Boyne also offers children activities throughout the weekend including story time, family movie night, super sized games and more!
And of course if you’re not visiting during the weekend like us, you can take advantage of the pools with very few other people!
And JUST for adults, if you have time left in the childcare services or your kids are old enough to be left alone for a bit, check out the amazing spa services located in the Grand Mountain Lodge & Spa. What a way to relax and unwind after a long day of skiing!
- It may be obvious to most, but if you can, visit during the weekdays! Not only do the prices decrease during the week, but you feel like you have the hotels, slopes and waterpark to yourself!
- If you have young children, use the childcare services available so you and your significant other can have some alone time!
- Spend the extra money for lodging that includes a kitchen – especially if you have young children who like to wake before 6 am and eat!
- When using the childcare services, make sure to call and reserve a spot as soon as possible because spots are limited.
- The best time to book lodging and lock in good prices is around labor day.
Disclaimer: I was not compensated to write this post, however a portion of my stay was covered by Boyne Mountain. And as always, all the opinions and thoughts expressed are my own.
This Top 6 Reasons Why Boyne Mountain is Family-Friendly post first appeared on Chocolate Slopes.