Local Getaway: Split Rock Resort + Jack Frost Mountain

Split Rock Resort, located off of Lake Harmony in the Poconos, is less than a two hour ride from the Bronx. We recently returned from a press trip there, where we were invited to bring our family and see the resort for ourselves. Living in NYC, we have access to so many great local getaways that are less than 2 or 3 hours away. Whether you drive north, across the bridge to New Jersey, or even across the water to Long Island- there are a lot of drive-able options for families seeking a weekend getaway to unplug and enjoy some quality time together.

Like most family resorts, Split Rock is meant to be enjoyed year round- and offers activities for all seasons. Visiting in the wintertime, we were able to enjoy their indoor activities as well as outdoor snow fun at nearby Jack Frost Mountain. Under new management, Split Rock has been experiencing some upgrades throughout the resort and also have aimed to make activities more affordable for both guests and local residents.

First, here’s a breakdown of our exact itinerary during our stay. We’ll get to pricing and other details next.

Arrival: Friday Afternoon

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H2O ooohh! Indoor Waterpark, as seen from outside of the Town Center

 

We checked in at 3pm in the Town Center. This is the main building where most of the indoor activities and dining take place, and the indoor waterpark H2O ooohh! is located. We were given our room key, a schedule of activities for the week, and a map of the resort. We would be staying in a one bedroom suite in Willowbrook, a short ride down the road from the Town Center.

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Building 6 in Willowbrook

Willowbrook consisted of several townhouse style buildings with suites located in the front and back. We had a suite on the first floor in the back end of the complex, so it was awesome to have a backdoor that led to a wooded backyard.

 

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The view from our backdoor

While we didn’t see any deer ourselves, we did see tracks right in front of our door and saw some other families had captured photos of one during their stay.

 

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Living room area in Willowbrook One Bedroom Suite

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Electric Fireplace in Willowbrook Suite

The suite was a one bedroom, with a pull out couch. There was a full kitchen, dining table, and an electric fireplace that warmed up the room immediately.

 

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Bedroom in Willowbrook

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Air-Jet Tub in the one bedroom suite

 

The tub had to be the girl’s favorite part- they couldn’t wait to get inside and take a bubble bath with the jets in action- I couldn’t wait to soak with a glass of wine after the kids were asleep.

Activities and Dinner

 

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8 Lane Bowling Alley located inside the Town Center

 

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Arcade next to the bowling alley in the Town Center

Since we were there on a press trip, we met at 6pm to tour the resort and meet the other bloggers. For a guest, this would have probably been the point when the kids are already jumping up and down about the indoor waterpark, or are ready for dinner. If you’re coming in from a long ride and have an early morning ahead- stopping at the arcade, the bowling alley, or even the movie theater would be a nice way to end your first night.

For us, we had dinner reservations for 7:30 pm, so we enjoyed our food and then headed back to the room for some sleep since we had an early day planned.

Saturday Morning

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Breakfast buffet offerings at the Split Rock Grill

Saturday morning we woke bright and early to enjoy some breakfast before our departure to Jack Frost Mountain. We headed over to the Split Rock Grill for a buffet breakfast and made sure to eat good since we’d be on the mountain all morning and afternoon.

 

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Snow Monster Program at Jack Frost Mountain

We headed over to Jack Frost Mountain, a five minute ride down the road for some ski lessons and snow tubing. Jack Frost’s Snow Monster’s program starts at 3 years old- so we were excited that both our 3 and 9 year old could enjoy the class. But as can be expected with toddlers, our little one decided she didn’t want to do it- so off Briana went with her age group while we watched with her little sister Gia.

 

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Learning to get on the carpet lift

The classes were broken down into groups by age and skill level, and started off in the Ski Monsters area- where they learned the basics of how to stand, stopping, going on a carpet lift, and going down hill. For the older groups, it was then time to head to the easiest hill. My 9 year old was nervous, but I was proud of her for seeing it through and not giving up.

 

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Heading down the mountain!

The instructors stood at four different points on the mountain, having the kids go down one by one. When they got to the bottom, they waited for the rest of the class to make it down. Since we were at the top of the hill, the ski lift was to go back up the mountain- so the kids also got their first experience with the chair lift and learned how to get off safely.

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Coming off the chair lift

 

IMG_20160130_115749612I did it!

 

Saturday Afternoon

The lessons were three hours long, and each child received a report card at the end. Briana loved it, and wanted to go back for more! We decided to head back to the room for lunch and then return for some snow tubing before the mountain closed. There was a supermarket a few minutes away, so we grabbed some easy lunch items to make in our suite’s kitchen.

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The snowtubing area has it’s own parking lot, so we walked right over to the tubing area and grabbed a snowtube. Briana wanted to go down together, so we grabbed our tubes and learned how to tie them together and were ready to go.

 

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Briana headed up with her tube

At Jack Frost, rather than a carpet lift up to the top, they have a pulley system where you sit down on the tube and it takes you to the top. You roll out once you get to the top and choose your lane. We said we didn’t want too fast, so we were told lane 2 would be perfect for us.

 

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It was then time to fly down! But first, a photo of the view from the top. We went towards the end, so we practically had the hill to ourselves. But from photos, I know the tubing always gets a good crowd.

We then headed back to the room to rest a bit, before deciding on our next activity.

 

Saturday Evening

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Of course, the kids were more than excited to hit up the indoor waterpark, H2O ooohh! My husband and our oldest ventured off to the different water attractions while I stayed in the toddler area with Gia.

 

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Give my three year old a slide and some water and she’s content for hours. She isn’t into water in her face, so it’s nice to enjoy the low key pace with her for a while- since before I know it she will be joining her sister on the big slides.

 

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After the waterpark, the girls dried off and we headed to dinner. We didn’t want to take the girls with wet hair out into the cold back to our suites, so we planned ahead and brought our clothes and a brush for their hair with us.

After a long day of being on the mountain and then splashing in the waterpark, we were beat. We went back to the suite and the girls enjoyed a nice bubble bath before bed. The husband and I enjoyed a few glasses of champagne before we drifted off ourselves. We all looked forward to sleeping in a bit longer on Sunday thanks to breakfast being offered up until 11 am.

 

Sunday

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Sunday morning I woke up before everyone to enjoy a cup of coffee and our backyard view before I began to pack. Although check out wasn’t until later, we figured it was easier to just pack up and have our stuff in the car so we could check out after our late breakfast. We had plans to head out to to find the actual split rock that was the resort’s namesake.

 

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Using the map we were given at check in, we ventured off to find Split Rock Road. We hopped out of the car and walked over to the rock, the girls were excited to find it!

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After taking some fun photos of the split rock, we ventured up the set of stairs to the top. We knew the view would be awesome.

 

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On our way down we noticed people from all over the world had left their mark on the railings of the stairs- Split Rock had visitors from everywhere from South Africa to Trinidad! It was fun to have a cool exploration trip right on the resort- easy enough when you’re traveling with a toddler. It was the perfect end to our stay at Split Rock Resort.

 

 

The Cost

Our suite in Willowbrook seems to start at around $150 a night at the time of this posting- but we were told rates can go as low as $119. Room options and rates are available at www.splitrockresort.com.

Depending on your preference, there are different packages including Ski and Stay, dining packages, and even a Splash and Stay package that includes waterpark tickets. Depending on the amount of people and which activities you’re interested in, the average cost at the Willowbrook suites for a family of four looks to be around $300-$500 (When looking at March 2016 for the Ski and Stay package in the Willowbrook Suite, which includes nightly accommodations, breakfast and lift tickets to Jack Frost & Big Boulder).

A day pass to the waterpark will run you $36 for those over 41″ tall and $31 for anyone under. Children under two are free. There are also discounts for guests, multiple day tickets and other pricing options, so be sure to check them out on the website.

Movie prices are $6.50 for adults and $5.00 for children during matinees and $9.50 for adults and $7.00 for children during evening shows.

Bowling is $7.00 per person per game.

18-hole miniature golf is $5.00 for adults and $4.00 for children.

 

So…

For a family who would rather pick and choose certain activities to do during their stay, families might find themselves spending less than they would at other family resorts. However, if a family is looking to take advantage of all of the activities, the pricing will most likely end up being comparable to other all-inclusive resorts.

 

What We Thought

When it comes to family trips, it’s important for us to find a place that has activities that both our children enjoy, given their age difference. Split Rock offered quite a few options for both girls, and in two days we didn’t even get to do all of it. The waterpark and ski fun alone were enough to make them feel like it was an awesome weekend with mom and dad.

As I mentioned, the resort is under new management and they are still working on improving and updating the resort overall. Our stay in the Willowbook suites was great, and we loved having what felt like our own apartment in the mountains. It definitely would have been more comfortable to be able to walk from the waterpark in a towel up to our room, but the trade off of having our room where it was made it worth it to us.

There is also a movie theater that plays new releases- which I thought was great for locals in addition to guests who are there for a longer stay. There is even a separate entrance on the other side of the Town Center, making it easy to access. Some activities we didn’t get to try were the indoor courts and mini golf. And there was also a salon and massage center that parents can take advantage of.

Whenever our little family can unplug, enjoy some winter activities, and spend some quality time together- it’s a successful vacation for us. Split Rock Resort was definitely a fun weekend trip and we already have plans to return with some extended family, even if we never make it out of our suite and just enjoy more family time together in the mountains.

 

Tips

We love to share tips for anyone visiting places we have been, so here are some we learned during our stay at Split Rock:

  • If you’re staying in the Willowbrook Suites, stopping at a local supermarket for beverages, lunch items, and snacks is a great way to save some money and utilize the full kitchen.
  • The waterpark does not supply towels, so be sure to bring your own!
  • On busier weekends, making reservations at the Split Rock grill is a good idea as there can be a wait time before being seated.
  • FYI: Friday night is teen night at the waterpark so some locals like to come out and enjoy the water along with a DJ and music. We liked the vibes that the DJ added to the place.
  • There is an hourly shuttle from the Willowbrook Suites, in case you want to leave the car parked for most of your stay.

For more information about Split Rock Resort, visit www.splitrockresort.com. To learn more about Jack Frost Mountain, visit www.jfbb.com.

 

 

 

 

We were invited out to Split Rock Resort on a comped trip to facilitate this post. All opinions expressed, as always, are our own.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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