Today I”m sharing all about last year’s stay at Red Jacket Resorts up in North Conway, NH.
Last December we took the most magical family getaway up into the White Mountains. I was newly pregnant, so I’ll blame the exhaustion and nausea of that season as my reason for not getting this post up until now, but it was so fun I wanted to share!
We drove the two hours from Boston to Red Jacket Resorts and checked into a townhome with our family of four and my parents. We had two bedrooms upstairs and a pullout bed downstairs along with a full kitchen and living room. Fresh snow covered everything out of our windows and it felt like something from a fairy tale.
Our first day was spent entirely at the resort; swimming, eating, and playing together. A year later and Lincoln still asks if we can go back to these water slides on a monthly basis.
Red Jacket Resorts has an indoor waterpark attached to the hotel and makes for such a great, low key family getaway. Everything we needed was right there in the resort. I really liked how there were smaller slides and play areas in the water park suitable for my (then) 2 and 3 year olds. Both kids could walk up the stairs and slide down the small blue slides on their own (so their tired pregnant mom could sit in the water at the bottom and cheer them on).
Our first night we just grabbed dinner for the kids in the water park (chicken tenders, french fries, and a green salad, if I remember) and then cooked a little something we brought just for the adults back at our townhouse. Everyone was tired (especially mom and dad, a little jetlagged from our London trip earlier in the week) so we postponed the evening fun with Santa until the next night.
The next morning started with “breakfast with the elves” in main hotel with the most gorgeous views of the snow covered mountains. We were served hot chocolate and orange juice by santa’s helpers and helped ourselves to a big buffet of made-to-order omelettes, french toast, pancakes, bacon, fresh fruit, and cereal. The kids colored and chatted while we ate and kept asking when we were going swimming again.
We spent the rest of the day back at the waterpark, swimming and sliding and snacking. I can’t remember if we took a break in the afternoon for naps or just powered through until dinner. I do remember letting the kids start “The Polar Express” once they were bathed and in their pjs so I could take a shower. And then we had to tear them away from it to head over to the main hotel for story time and cookies with Santa. Each night during the holidays Santa reads stories to the kids in the lobby and elves pass around a plate of cookies. There’s also a darling letter writing station to mail your Christmas lists to the north pole.
Our final morning we enjoyed one last breakfast at the hotel before packing everything up and heading out to Santa’s Village.
Tips for Santa’s Village with Kids:
- wear full snow gear: It is COLD. The rides are mostly outdoors. This is not a time for fashion. I longingly stared at the adults in snow pants and boots because my warm coat with skinny jeans was not cutting it.
- they have stroller options there so don’t worry about one if you’re tight on car space
- plan on fun for each age: Santa’s Village has rides, playgrounds, and fun for all ages (although adults might want to sneak on a ride without toddlers if you can). We really liked a few of the slower paced rides (the sleigh) that we could snuggle in for altogether.
This was such a special getaway for us, our last holiday season as a family of four, a tiny life growing inside me, just one more semester left for Ben in school. You can bet we’ll be back.
If you’re thinking about a trip to Red Jacket Resorts this winter here are a few of my tips:
- Plan on down time. There is so much fun right at the hotel that you want to make sure you don’t have too much planned outside of that.
- Santa’s Village is a good hour + drive from the hotel. We opted to do Santa’s village on our last day so we could drive straight home afterwards. This isn’t necessary, but take into account travel time when you’re considering naps + meals + planning.
- The townhouses aren’t connected to the waterpark. We loved having our own space but it would also have been nice to go straight from the waterpark back to our room without braving the elements. There are definitely perks to staying in guest rooms in the main building.
- Bring your camera to the cookies/stories with Santa and snap a photo of your child mailing their Christmas list (how cute is it!?)
And here are a million pictures of the weekend. I can’t believe how little Lincoln and Adelaide look! Also, I was feeling SO sick right about now – I’m so grateful for a holiday season not in a first trimester this year (and, you know, also very very grateful I got to have a holiday season sick + pregnant because it got us little Westley).
^these were the kids favorite slides
^this face basically sums up our weekend (until the end of Santa’s Village when I froze)
^waking up with Dad one morning
^ coloring at “breakfast with the elves”
^our view out of the windows at breakfast – SO beautiful!
^remember this chair from our Red Jacket Adventures down on Cape Cod? (our family trip here to RJR Cape Cod and then we went back again with Ben’s business school class for a fall retreat here)
^I wish we’d brought snow pants so the kids could have played on this!
Santa’s Village with Little Kids: