We enrolled our 3 and 5 year old in Snowbear Camp at the Angel Fire Preschool and Daycare in March of 2014 during our Spring Break week. I was feeling a little guilty about going on a family vacation and dropping them off for "child care" while my husband and I went off and skiied the first day. When I dropped them off, I could hardly get them to turn around and tell me goodbye, they were so enamored with the facility.
They have a very large wooden indoor climbing gym with a full size slide, a home center, a dress up center, several train tables and building block areas, a race track/car scene carpet and the cars to go with it, and an nice area for circle time for short lessons and rest/nap time. You can tell there is actual lessons being taught and learning happening in this place-more than just glorified baby-sitting. Kids that are a little older, can opt to have quiet time while watching a movie. They had a full schedule of activites for the day, just right for the preschool set. The weather was really nice for the tail end of winter, so I know the kids spent some extra time on the large, fenced and very secure outdoor playground.
Examples of snacks served: Carrots and ranch, goldfish, and cheese quesadillas.
Lunch: Spaghetti, hotdogs and macaroni and cheese, not straight from a box.
When I returned to pick them up at the end of the first day, they were still not ready to leave. I interacted quite a bit with the staff, the teachers and even the director of the preschool. They were absolutely lovely women that seemed to really love their job and it showed through to the kids in their care. They greeted us with a smile, even at the end of the day after I know they had to have been wrangling kids of all ages and needs all day long. Not one of the staff members ever seemed tired or worn down, again, even at the end of the day.
Day 2 of drop off, I definitely didn't get a goodbye from my kids. I picked them up a little early for a ski school lesson and they were much happier to be at Snowbear Camp than to gear up and head on over to the mountain because I was interrupting their super-fun day at Snowbear Camp. Day 3, I wasn't planning on taking them to Snowbear Camp because they had already spent 2 days with them, but they were begging to go back. We didn't have a Day 3 reservation but I mentioned to the staff that the kids were really wanting to come back for a few hours at a minimum. They said they were pretty full, but would work with me to accomodate them as "drop-ins" so I didn't have to pay the full day rate and we could come and go as we needed. We had designated Wednesday as Family Day, so we got our Family fun in the morning and the kids spent the afternoon at Snowbear Camp to round out the end of their time in Angel Fire. I highly recommend this facility and the staff. I think I have a pretty high standard of what I look for in child care and I was very happy with this facility. Some would say that the skiing in Angel Fire isn't quite as good as what could be found in Colorado, but my peace of mind is worth so much when it comes to my kids. I would return to Angel Fire, just knowing my kids were happy, safe and secure at Snowbear Camp.
As a side note, my kids just barely hit the 42 inch height requirement for Polar Coaster Tubing Slide ($25/per person for 1.5 hours, as many times as you can ride). This was their first time skiing so while they did the lessons and were starting to get a comfort level on the skis, I wanted something really easy for them but fun for all of us. I was afraid that my 5 yr old nervous nellie would do the slide one time, get scared and sit the rest of the paid time out. She loved it! My 3 year old is fearless, and he absolutely loved it! If your kids aren't great skiiers or want the fun of skiing without all the gear and uncomfortable equipment, I recommend the tubing. All the fun, none of the awkward equipment.
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