Top Reasons the Whiteface Region is a Summer Destination for Families
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It's pretty hard to ignore Whiteface Mountain when you're in Wilmington, but did you know we also have mountain bike trails, a beach, and a park where Christmas is a year-round event? Read on to learn more!

The beach

If you are traveling with family in the summer, I am sure you feel strongly about having a great family-friendly beach nearby. In my opinion, the best one is in Wilmington. This is a parent's dream. There is a sandy slope leading to a shallow entrance to the water. There are amazing picnic areas complete with grills.

As a parent I know how hard it is to pack all the neccessities needed for a fun day at the beach. Sunscreen, towels, etc. The good news is that is all you will need this time. The Wilmington Town Beach rents everything else, including aqua bikes, kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards. One of the best parts about this spot is the park. If the kids need a break from the water, the park is right next to it. You don't even have to leave your seat, you can see it all from your towel. Make sure you stay on Thursday nights for the evening concerts happening July - August. 

Parent tip: Grab a picnic table and set up early. They get claimed fast, especially in summer!

Mountain biking

Mounatin biking is one of the fastest growing activities in the region and there is good reason for this. There is a great trail system on Whiteface Mountain with a variety of terrain, so kids, adults, beginners, and pros can have fun riding.

Wilmington has its very own pump track that was built and designed by Kyle Ebbett, former World Cup downhill mountain bike racer, dirt jump professional, and course designer for multiple pro-level mountain bike events. The pump track and all of its jumps, berms, and mounds is located behind the Little Supermarket, so grab one of their famous sub sandwiches and head over to ride with or to watch the kids enjoy the turns and jumps of the track. The best part? It's free and open to everyone.

There is a special group of enthusiastic volunteers called Barkeater Trails Alliance (BETA) that maintains and grows the wooded trail systems. Whether you're looking for extreme downhill trails, technical mountain climbs, or fast flowing single-track, you'll find it here. Try the Hardy Road Trails, the Flume Trails, and Poor Man's Downhill. 

Parent tip: Come for one of the mountain biking events happening in summer and fall. They are so fun! 

Santa's Workshop 

I cannot imagine a better way to spend a day with my kids than at Santa's Workshop. From the moment you enter, the spirt of the Christmas holiday is alive. There are shows, parades, and characters to meet, and you will be wished a "Merry Christmas" as you are handed a map of the park, even in summer! 

This mountaintop park has rides perfect for little ones, including a reindeer merry-go-round, complete with Santa's sleigh to sit in if you have a baby to hold. There are restaurants on site with great options for lunch or snack time. Bakeries offer cookies and milk you can enjoy while sitting by their talking Christmas tree (yes, it talks). Make sure you make it to the Toy Shop, where the elves will help the children with a coloring project and there is a slide they will love. The shop is authentic featuring little wooden hand-carved Christmas elves helping to create a magical story of a place the kids will remember for years. 

Parent tip: Bring a stroller, it is hilly and there's a lot of walking. 

High Falls Gorge

High Falls Gorge is an attraction the entire family can enjoy. Imagine the excitement from the kids as they walk along glass floor walkways above the rushing water below. There are four major waterfalls to see along this thirty minute walk, and it's easy for everyone because of the groomed paths and bridges. The scenery is relaxing and breathtaking. Take a seat in one of the Adirondack chairs and let your kids explore. Inside you will find a gift shop and The Riverwalk Cafe. You can eat lunch next to the beautiful views, or order it to go and grab a picnic table along the nearby Ausable River. 

Parent Tip: There are many places to take a beautiful family photo, so bring your camera. 

Ice cream

Easy, peasy. Lunch in the Whiteface Region is just that. My favorite spot is the Whitebrook Dartbrook Dairy Bar. Order at the window and the food will be ready quickly, and it is good. Make sure to get the french fries. I crave these all year long.There are hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken fingers, and more. Complete it with one of the best milkshakes you will ever taste. Ice cream made just the way the kids like it, extra sprinkles and all. So many flavors and so easy to enjoy outside in the sunshine. 

Parent Tip: Relax, there is nothing for you to do here. 

Yoga on Whiteface Mountain 

OK,this is not a family activity, but I thought I would let you know that there is yoga on the top of Little Whiteface Mountain. This is a great escape for a parent on a family vacation. You will need a moment to yourself, to reflect. The views from this yoga class will beat any other yoga views.

The fresh air on top of Little Whiteface for this hour-long class will clear your head, and the top-notch instructors will give you a great workout. Forgot to pack your yoga mat? That is OK because they provide them for you. The best part of this class is the gondola ride up the mountain. The stunning scenery will take you away from the daily stresses. Enjoy some time to yourself. It is your vacation too. 

The views of Whiteface Mountain 

Speaking of the gondola ride up Whiteface Mountain, your family will love this adventure. This ride gives you a chance to sit with your family and chat while heading up to the summit. The ride up and down the mountain is beautiful, but the view from the deck at the top is the best part. There are picnic tables to sit at, so take your time enjoying the day. There are many photo ops from this beautiful spot.

Another option is to take a drive up the Whiteface Mounatin Memorial Highway for more amazing photos ops and views. The view from the fifth highest peak in New York state is breathtaking. When you are up here you can take your time enjoying the view from 4,867 feet.

Parent tip: You can pack a lunch and enjoy from the picnic tables — the gondola ride and the drive up the highway both have spots to have a picnic. 

There is so much to see and do as a family in the Whiteface Region, get out and explore it together. 

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Catherine Ericson

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