This is a review of Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort in the Berkshires in Hancock, MA. For those of you who read my last post on Stockbridge, MA, you know that we had intended to ski at Jiminy Peak all of Presidents Day weekend, only to be shut down with wicked temps. Let me make that clear – the mountain wasn’t shut down, but we most certainly were! At least on the slopes we were. But we did finally ski at Jiminy our final day, Presidents Day, and were so glad we could finally check this mountain out. It’s very popular in our neck of the woods, and we could see why. Everything one would need, from lodging to dining and more, seems to be conveniently located at the base of the mountain, making it an easy ski weekend away with the kids.
We were not staying at Jiminy, but rather at an Airbnb house rental nearby; we couldn’t come up Friday night, and over the holiday weekend the mountain requires a Friday through Monday stay. As we pulled up to the base of the mountain, all the nearby car lots were full. What initially seemed like a high maintenance car situation turned out to be O.K. My husband dropped my girls and me off, along with our equipment, and went and parked the car at a lot further away – but was able to catch one of the shuttles that were circulating around back to the base. It worked out better than we expected. And for those that want it, they also offer valet service for $25 – not a bad deal!
Upon entering we pulled up to what appeared to be a miniature village – a cluster of buildings all at the base – a well set-up and seemingly organized mountain. Restaurants, lodges, a country store, coffee shop and more are all right there. It was definitely the most built up of the mountains we’ve been to, and felt more like some of the bigger mountains I’ve been to as a kid – though I say this with perspective; while Jiminy is bigger than the other Berkshire mountains, it’s not Vermont. But that’s fine because that’s why we go to the Berkshires, to go to smaller mountains that are the perfect size for our young kids (in terms of size, Jiminy has 45 trails and 9 lifts). Back to the village like feel though – most people love this about the mountain, but to someone like my husband it seemed a little too corporate and built-up, as he prefers the low-keyness of places like Catamount. I can see where he’s coming from, but didn’t really mind. I was immediately drawn to the mountain because it was the biggest one we had taken our girls to yet, and had things like a lodge at the top of the mountain where we could eat lunch…one of my favorite skiing past times.
We had a great day and caught some fabulous views on an otherwise very overcast and chilly day. There is an enclosed bonfire at the base, which is kind of fun and where you can warm up your hands before heading back up again. But the real draw to Jiminy is not its day trips, but its overnight lodging right at the base, with ski-in, ski-out set-up. No driving necessary. It’s an easy place to take the kids, and totally stress-free. That’s what everyone loves about Jiminy. For lodging they have The Country Inn, which has an outdoor pool, indoor and outdoor whilrpools, exercise room and a spa. All rooms are suites. Also at the base of the mountain is the popular Wyndham Resort at Bentley Brook. A mom I took the chairlift up with said friends of hers were staying there and they loved it because it had both an outdoor and indoor pool – so on a weekend with crazy bitter temps such as this one, their kids could swim all day at the indoor pool. Like her family, many families come up here in groups a few to several times a winter, they love it so much.
Need to Know:
Ski School: the KidsRule program is very popular, for ages 3-14. 9:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Age 3 is half day. Cocoa breaks, lunch (for all day program) and lift ticket included. Price: $119, and $139 on Holidays. To see more info. click here.
Get I and Get II: popular programs for first time skiers ages 6+ (including adults). Price: $99, and $89 for pre-registration. For deals and value cards, as well as times, click here.
Private Lessons: Ages 6+. Price: $119/hr, weekends and holidays, and $99/hr midweek.
Toddler Private Package, Ages 3-5. Price: $119/hr weekends and holidays, $99/hr midweek.
And for Group Lessons click here.
Day Care is provided at the Cub’s Den for children 6 months and older. Price is $15 an hour with a minimum of 2 hours. Reservations required. 413.738.5500, ext. 3410.
Last but not least, be sure to check out the Mountain Coaster! One of the first coasters in the U.S., with 3600 feet of tracks twisting through the woods. 9+ or 54” tall can ride alone. 3+ or 38” tall must ride with an adult. Price: Single ride, $7 or 2 for $12. Weekends and Holidays, 3-7 p.m.
For all other info., including hours and ticketing, see Jiminy’s website here.
Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort, 37 Corey Road, Hancock, MA, 01237, 413. 738.5500