Northstar, Lake Tahoe: California Bliss and Spring Break Productivity for All of Us

Deborah Perry Piscione, Bestselling Author and CEO of BettyConfidential, shares how to turn your kid's time off into a productive break for the whole family!
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NorthStar Village Photo By: Jason Kelley

Most people embrace their kids’ spring break, while I fear it.  For years, I’ve been searching for the perfect solution to my problem of:  The kids “ski week” (February) and “spring break” (April) fall at a time, when I am busiest at work.  I am not necessarily in the position where I can just jet off to Hawaii and stick my three active kids in mindless “kids camps” that can run $150/day, per kid.  When we did do “kids camps,” most of the time my husband and I found our kids playing video games or watching TV, two activities we don’t allow, or very much limit, at home.

This Spring break, I craved for all of us to be productive – where I can work and the kids can learn something that they will carry with them for life.  This year, I found the perfect solution:  Northstar.  Located in the North of Lake Tahoe, it is an easy drive from our Bay Area home, and one of the best parts of all is I parked the car and never moved it for the 4 days we were there.  Why?  Because Northstar offers everything you need within steps of your lodging.

First, my kids had been begging to go skiing and my twin boys (ages 9) wanted to learn how to snowboard, but I needed to find an affordable and safe option since my husband had to stay at home and work that week.  So, we stuck our kids in Burton Ski/Snowbaord Academy, where they spent two full days in ski/board school.  I stayed back in the three bedroom condo at Northstar Lodge, and worked while the kids were in ski school from 9:30am-4:00pm.

Want to ski?  No problem….just walk outside the door to the ski in/out facility.  Want to work out?  Just walk to the gym and allow the kids to play fuzz ball or pool in the adjoining room of the gym (I had never gotten the opportunity to workout and keep my kids entertained simultaneously – what a blessing).

The best part is (in addition to my kids claiming, “The best day EVER!) that my kids actually learned something – how to ski and snowboard, and now with the  unique Epic Mix –  a  combination between a lift ticket (or a season pass) and a free Epic Mix account.  Epic Mix is a fun way for guests to “tell their story” about a trip to the slopes: guests can view/share photos, track how many vertical feet they’ve skied, how many days they’ve visited, how fast they skied through the Epic Race course.  Also available through Epic Mix is the Epic Mix Academy:  students can track their progress in instructional or coaching sessions.  After a lesson, skiers and boarders are able to see where they’ve skied, the different accomplishments achieved, as well as recommendations provided by instructors for what the next lesson should include.  This is an incredible tool for skiers and boarders of all ability levels; and it’s very useful for parents who have children enrolled in lessons.  Even more, this info can be exchanged between Northstar instructors and other Vail Resorts mountain instructors (i.e., if a student were to visit Northstar – or Vail or Beaver Creek – next season, instructors would know where he/she “left off”).

Northstar offers the ultimate family travel destination, and provides those little things that truly make life easier for travelling families.  First, the Village at Northstar offers such a great, centralized gathering location for socializing, shopping and dining, and of course complimentary s’mores daily at 3:30 p.m.!  The Village fosters a sense of community with its pedestrian-friendly approach and centralized skating rink (ice during winter and roller during spring/summer) where kids and kids-at-heart can rent skates for some fun while parents can relax in a rink-side cabana aside a fire pit, enjoy a cocktail, and relax after a day on the slopes.

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