• Women skiers, this is the place for you -- an online community without the male-orientation you'll find in conventional ski magazines and internet ski forums. At TheSkiDiva.com, you can connect with other women to talk about skiing in a way that you can relate to, about things that you find of interest. Be sure to join our community to participate (women only, please!). Registration is fast and simple. Just be sure to add webmaster@theskidiva.com to your address book so your registration activation emails won't be routed as spam. And please give careful consideration to your user name -- it will not be changed once your registration is confirmed.

TR Big SNOW American Dream, indoor slope in NJ, 2021

marzNC

Angel Diva
Today I was driving from the Poconos in eastern PA to Long Island. Traveling solo with no schedule so I could stop by American Dream to check out the mall leisurely. Had a pretty good time because more is open than I expected in terms of food and retail shops, in addition to the amusement park type activities like Big SNOW. The water park is huge! That seemed to be the most popular destination for family groups.

There is a Diva meetup happening soon at the indoor ski slope at Big SNOW. May be others in the fall. See the Meet On The Hill for details (need a minimum number of posts to see that Divas Only section).
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
One reason I stopped by American Dream was to have time to figure out all the logistics. I tend to do the same the first time I go to a destination ski resort in terms of taking time to walk around the base before putting on my ski boots.

When getting to American Dream, need to look for Parking Lot A. If bringing ski gear, parking on Level 1 as close to the door as possible is the best approach. Can either take the elevator up to Level 2 or take the escalator. The elevator is on the right after going through the doors. Big SNOW is right at the top of the escalator and right next to the elevator.

Even though Big SNOW is on Level 2, parking on that level has disadvantages. It’s a long walk to the side door that is the entrance from that level. Then have to walk back towards the entrance to Big SNOW. The only advantage of parking on Level 2 is if you want to avoid other people.

Be sure to take your parking ticket with you. Then can pay just before you go back to your car. The payment machines are from SkiData. That’s one of the companies that does RFID gates for ski lifts.

Parking Lot A Level 1, doors behind the yellow posts
Big SNOW parking - 2.jpeg

Entrance to Big SNOW, elevators on left
Big SNOW parking - 1.jpeg

Start of the long walk if parked on Level 2 of Lot A
Big SNOW parking - 3.jpeg
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
While there were more people masked at American Dream than I've seen in other tourist areas, still probably less than 25%. Did see families all masked, along with some seniors. It wasn't that crowded so keeping a distance from people wasn't that hard as I walked around.

Big SNOW COVID - 1.jpeg
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
While quite a few eating places haven't opened yet, there was plenty to choose from for lunch. I was very happy with a Chinese noodle soup at the Blue Whale. It's over by the entrance to Nicklelodeon. There is separate seating, not just food court tables.

What's a bit different is that the interactive Directory includes Kosher as a category. Of course, American Dream is in NJ and very close to NYC.

The food outlets that are closest to Big SNOW have pizza and vegan ice cream, both on Level 2. I expect my daughter to be interested in one of the two places that offer bubble tea. Or the place that has Asian fruit ice cream, which is fresh fruit pieces piled on top of ice cream. She really likes mango.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
Some other pics . . .

The map of American Dream makes a lot more sense after walking around. It has a very different feel from the Mall of America in Minn./St. Paul. Each section is pretty distinct so doesn't feel overwhelming. With three floors of potential shops, it reminds me of shopping malls in Singapore and China.

Garden Court
Big SNOW misc - 1.jpegBig SNOW misc - 4.jpeg

Ice rink
Big SNOW misc - 2.jpeg

COVID safety poster in restroom
Big SNOW misc - 3.jpeg
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
Had a very good time actually going to Big SNOW. Would definitely go again if I lived within a couple hours drive. Going first thing in the morning on a weekend or the early afternoon session on a weekday is best for the same reason that making first chair at a ski resort makes sense. That's when there is better snow on groomers and fewer people.

DD's BF was on skis for the very first time. He ended up with essentially a private lesson for 45 min, for no extra charge. He seemed to like sliding on snow pretty well. Found that it was better for him to have poles to move around on the flat sections, like getting on/off the magic carpet. Once he was working with the instructor, he didn't fall at all. It's certainly a good way to see if someone has the potential to like learning to ski. Being able to get a rental package that includes a ski jacket and snow pants meant it took less planning effort than taking him to a ski hill. All we had to make sure he had was a pair of warm gloves and socks that were long enough.

The instructor was good. He said with full staffing, the idea is to have 8 instructors around. Two hanging at the top, two for the bunny slope, and two for the teaching area with the banked turns feature. Having a couple extra instructors means there are always six even when someone is taking a break.

A 2-hour session at Big SNOW is more than enough for a never-ever. In some ways better than a 4-hour session (available at my home mountain), because that's short enough to avoid getting too tired or starting to have issues in rental ski boots.

When you get the complete package that includes outerwear and gear, after scanning in at the door to the slopes someone brings out skis/board here
Big SNOW first look - 5.jpeg

We missed this sign on the way after we got the skis. There was a man in a blue Big SNOW jacket who helped BF to click into his bindings.
Big SNOW first look - 4.jpeg

The teaching area is access by a magic carpet (along the orange fence). The banked turns "trail" is behind the black fencing.
Big SNOW first look - 6.jpeg
 
Last edited:

marzNC

Angel Diva
The rental process is very smooth. Having paid attention to Snow Operating and Big SNOW for quite a while, I was curious to fully experience the process. Not having to pack and carry skis and boots also made sense because I did a lot of driving that day before and after being at American Dream for a few hours.

Starts with picking up a jacket and snow pants. The Women's Small fit me and my daughter (we're petite) pretty well. The sleeves have velcro at the wrists so it didn't matter that the sleeves were a little long. It's easy to go back to get a different size pair of pants if needed.

There are changing rooms and restrooms next to the locker room. Lockers work based on using the RFID chip that is on a wristband. Once you figure out how to watch the colors change on the lock, it's pretty neat. My Transpack Sidekick (without boots) fit easily and that left room for shoes and helmet. Could even stuff the rental jacket and pants.

Since DD and BF hadn't had breakfast (started out the day taking the train from what out at the end of Long Island), they quit a little early and went to get lunch. They left their stuff at Big SNOW since I was going to keep skiing with Divas until the end of our session.

Boot fitting, boots are buckled by the staff
Big SNOW first look - 9.jpeg

Boot return racks and clothing return
Big SNOW first look - 7.jpeg

To return skis, hang them up. Not completely intuitive for a newbie if the rack is completely empty.
Big SNOW first look - 5.jpeg
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
When getting to American Dream, need to look for Parking Lot A. If bringing ski gear, parking on Level 1 as close to the door as possible is the best approach. Can either take the elevator up to Level 2 or take the escalator. The elevator is on the right after going through the doors. Big SNOW is right at the top of the escalator and right next to the elevator.
I parked on Level G. When no carrying any gear, the advantage is being able to park closer to the door on a busy day. There is one elevator that goes to G.

Seems like most people bringing gear to Big SNOW take the escalator. During a pandemic, that makes some sense on a busy day. These pics were taken about 3:30pm on a summer Saturday.

Big SNOW 24Jul2021 - 1.jpegBig SNOW 24Jul2021 - 2.jpeg
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
Misc pics of the slopes . . . There is a Poma lift on the side of the terrain park that wasn't running. Really not that necessary. Even when the "crowd" who started at noon were around, the wait for the chairlift was only a few minutes. There were three lines and most people seemed to know how to merge.

Big SNOW first look - 1.jpegBig SNOW first look - 2.jpegBig SNOW first look - 3.jpegBig SNOW Divas on chair.jpg
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
Even though start times for single tickets are every 15 minutes, people seem to start on the hour. Meaning 10:00am, noon, 1:00, 2:00 on a summer Saturday. Sessions are 2 hours for $70-80. Our tickets started at 11:45, which were slightly cheaper than noon when I bought them a few weeks ago. Can see when buying tickets how many are left for all the sessions.

We arrived at the ticket check-in spot at 11:47 and were on snow about 12:20. That was after finishing the rental process and getting a never-ever all set up. The 2 hours clock doesn't start until you scan in at the door that leads to the snow.

A few of the Divas bought the 6-pack for $129. Don't need to make a reservation for a start time using that. Just need to pay attention to the time if you only want to ski for 2 hours on a given day.

There is also a 3-day package for $150 that has unlimited access.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva

newboots

Angel Diva
If you have a pass, you can enter at any time and your two hours starts at that time.

I didn’t have a watch and my phone was buried in a pants pocket, so I didn’t watch the time. They were short-staffed on time checkers, though, and many of us ended up skiing a half hour or more overtime.

This was great, since I wasn’t ready to stop (too much fun with friends!) but I would have been too tired to stay another couple of hours. Besides, there was dinner with friends to consider!
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
I guess since there isn't as much interest in Big SNOW skiing/boarding this summer, they have come up with a new way to have fun on the snow. The idea is to let kids, and adults, go sledding for 1.5 hr for $25, or $50 if renting jacket/snowpants. The plastic "sleds" aren't traditional sleds, more like the size of a big snow shovel. Meaning just enough space for someone's butt. Will be interesting to see exactly where the snow play area has been set up.


There are ski resorts in the southeast, and perhaps the mid-Atlantic too, that have dedicated "snow play" areas for young kids. Usually quite popular since often those kids have never seen snow before. Or at least not enough to even go sliding on a piece of cardboard in someone's yard.
 

MissySki

Angel Diva
I guess since there isn't as much interest in Big SNOW skiing/boarding this summer, they have come up with a new way to have fun on the snow. The idea is to let kids, and adults, go sledding for 1.5 hr for $25, or $50 if renting jacket/snowpants. The plastic "sleds" aren't traditional sleds, more like the size of a big snow shovel. Meaning just enough space for someone's butt. Will be interesting to see exactly where the snow play area has been set up.


There are ski resorts in the southeast, and perhaps the mid-Atlantic too, that have dedicated "snow play" areas for young kids. Usually quite popular since often those kids have never seen snow before. Or at least not enough to even go sliding on a piece of cardboard in someone's yard.

I just got an email on this today and thought "really, is this because they don't have enough skiers??" I'm kind of surprised that race programs aren't booking them out constantly for off season training.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
I just got an email on this today and thought "really, is this because they don't have enough skiers??" I'm kind of surprised that race programs aren't booking them out constantly for off season training.
I would guess that race programs aren't much of a money maker. Just as season pass holders who don't spend any money besides buying a pass are not the people who help a resort make a profit. They are important to cover basic expenses, but it's the people who buy lift tickets . . . or snow play tickets that can mean the difference between breaking even and actually making enough money to invest in improvements.

Like all ski slopes, midweek and late afternoon/evening is pretty empty. Anything to bring out families midweek is going to help the bottom line for Big SNOW. Plus perhaps kids who enjoy the sledding might ask to try skiing or boarding. Meaning kids in families where neither parent has ever skied/boarded before.

Big SNOW does summer camps. Anything they can do to get kids on snow is going to be good in the long run.

The number of snow play tickets are limited to 20 per start time. Today, Sat, Sun, and Mon are already sold out. Sounds like a good business decision to me.

Who knows . . . might have been suggested by some parents with a few kids. Let the older kid(s) ski/board and have the little one(s) sled. Or set up a playdate with another family so that the older kids can have fun together. If the younger kids are also on snow having fun, easier to justify the $15 Spectator ticket for the parents.
 

Jilly

Moderator
Staff member
You've got to remember we skiers are a small % of the population. Many people have only seen skiing on TV. They live too far away to get to a ski hill or have no transportation. I know there is program afoot here in eastern Ontario to get immigrant families to snow and learn how to ski.
 

Iwannaski

Angel Diva
Big SNOW does summer camps. Anything they can do to get kids on snow is going to be good in the long run.
My kids would KILL to do a week of skiing in the summer. Well, maybe not kill, but they’d be pretty happy.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
My kids would KILL to do a week of skiing in the summer. Well, maybe not kill, but they’d be pretty happy.
I bet NJ would be happy if your family did a summer vacation for a week staying somewhere near American Dream. You do know there is also a huge waterpark, an ice rink, and rollercoasters inside the mall, right? Oh yes, and Legoland is next to an aquarium that is clearly geared to families with kids. :wink:
 

NewEnglandSkier

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
A summer camp sounds like it would be an interesting idea. In theory it seems like it could appeal to families with kids who might want to try skiing or boarding but have not done so before---but on the other hand I think people who have not tried skiing/boarding would probably be less inclined to try in the summer if they have never made the effort to do so in winter.
 

MissySki

Angel Diva
Wa
I bet NJ would be happy if your family did a summer vacation for a week staying somewhere near American Dream. You do know there is also a huge waterpark, an ice rink, and rollercoasters inside the mall, right? Oh yes, and Legoland is next to an aquarium that is clearly geared to families with kids. :wink:
Wait, there are rollercoasters, plural, in there as well??
 


Top