Smugglers’ Notch ups the ante with entertainment complex
With the addition of FunZone 2.0, kids have absolutely no excuse, rain or shine, to complain of boredom at this Vermont resort
I have been going to Smugglers' Notch in Vermont for a number of years during the summer and have enjoyed the pools, hikes, tennis clinics and more with my 12-year-old son and extended family.
The only drawback I experienced was that if it was raining outside, there was little to do. Although Smuggs had a small bubble dome with some indoor activities, they were limited in scope and geared to mostly young children. That all changed last April when the resort unveiled a brand new $4.5 million family fun complex called FunZone 2.0. The 26,000 square foot facility has two floors with activities for kids of all ages.
In the Ozone area on the second floor, younger kids 8 and under have a variety of options in a section just for them called the Littles’ Loft area. There are small-size bouncy castles, a 22-foot long pirate ship to discover and a kid-sized country story where they can pretend to go grocery shopping. If they get tired, littles one can sit themselves down and do a drawing at the arts & crafts station.
The other section is for older kids and has massive bouncy castles (one is an obstacle course that ends with a 12-foot slide), shuffle board, miniature golf, ping pong, foosball and a basketball shoot-out game.
Downstairs, the Go Zone has a number of options to suit various interests. There are two parkour-type obstacle courses; in these Ninja-warrior inspired challenges, you swing from ropes, hang on trapeze bars, jump over foam obstacles and stepping stones – all in an effort to beat the clock (or another competitor).
A 30-foot double-sided climbing wall is another popular option; parents enjoy being able to encourage the kids through the transparent wall that goes all the way up to the second floor.
The laser maze is a darkened room with laser beams that you must break by hitting glowing panels as they light up. The funniest part is friends and family can watch you running around like a crazy person bashing the panels on a screen outside the room. You can have a giggle by watching yourself when you’ve completed the course.
The Arcade Room is super popular with the kids in part because they can accumulate points on a FunZone card that can be redeemed for prizes like candy, colouring books, headphones and various other gadgets. The games run the gamut from retro to modern and include a big spinning wheel, knock-down-the-clown game, air hockey, super cars, milk jug toss and more.
Last but not least, the Fun Zone is home to a state-of-the art Laser Tag game that promises to get everyone’s heart pumping as you try to shoot friends and family to get the highest score.
When I was there, the Fun Zone was super clean with staff constantly wiping down the arcade games and sweeping the various areas.
Costs for FunZone activities vary depending on what games you want to play and the family package you’ve purchased at the resort. This indoor entertainment complex is a great addition to a resort that has won multiple awards for its four-season outdoor activities. For more information, visit smuggs.com.