The Poconos are a year-round destination, but one of the best times to visit is during the winter. The cold months mean snow on the slopes, a fire in the hearth, and no shortage of family activities.
Make a splash
Whether you’re a beach bum or simply need a break from winter, it’s always summer at the region’s indoor water parks. At 220,000 square feet, Kalahari Resorts & Conventions is America’s largest indoor water park, while Camelback Lodge’s Aquatopia features a transparent roof so you can work on your tan in February. Test your hang-ten skills at Split Rock Resort’s flow rider or soak in the hot springs at the Great Wolf Lodge.
Hit the slopes
With an average annual snowfall of 50 inches and more than 185 slopes and trails to choose from, the Poconos are a world-class skiing destination in your backyard. You’ll find short lines and perfect powder at Big Boulder, Blue Mountain Resort, Camelback Mountain, Jack Frost, Shawnee Mountain Ski Area and Ski Big Bear.
Go totally tube-ular
Rather kick back on your way down the mountain? All six ski resorts offer snow tubing trails — no special skills or equipment required. Gentle lifts allow tubers to spend more time gliding and less time climbing back to the summit. Do your own thing in a single tube or have a bonding experience in a family-size tube.
All Poconos ski resorts court snowboarders but Blue Mountain Resort boasts the highest vertical drop in the state at 1,082 feet. At Camelback Mountain — where new snowmaking equipment means more terrain and a longer season — beginners can rent equipment and take lessons that will have them riding in no time.
Bet on a good time
Mt. Airy Casino Resort dazzles guests with 1,800 slot machines and 80 tables of new and classic card games. There’s even more fun and games to enjoy outside of the casino; each hole of the resort’s golf course was inspired by Sports Illustrated’s “Best 18 Holes in America,” and the pool is indoor, heated and serviced by a swim-up bar. Down the road, Wilkes-Barre’s Mohegan Sun Pocono’s Sapphire Spa is worth a visit for a little self-care, including a full-service men’s salon.
Wine and dine, and dine some more
The Poconos is a culinary destination in its own right, with options that run the gamut from fine dining to no-frills burger joints.
For breakfast, check out Cocoon Coffee House & Bakery, where the menu changes daily depending on what’s in season. Lunch can be a quick slope-side bite at any of the resort restaurants, or head to the Poconos Brewing Company to enjoy a meal and a beer brewed on-site. For dinner, treat yourself and your family to a special meal at the historic Delmonico Room at the Hotel Fauchere. This restaurant was founded in 1852 by famed master chef Louis Fauchere and offers a modern take on classic cuisine in an artful ambiance (literally — the dining room is adorned with 19th Century Hudson River School paintings). You’ve earned it!