Top 5 Pocono Mountain Ski Resorts to Spend Christmas 2011

Are you thinking of spending the holidays in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania? Having grown up on the region's doorstep, I know it well. There are a ton of sensational places to take the family, especially at Christmas time when most of the ski resorts are dolled up in lights. With so many excellent options available, it can be hard to choose just one.

Here's a quick look at what I consider to be the top five:

1. Woodloch Pines

Beautifully decorated Christmas trees both inside and out, cross country skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, snow tubing, ice skating, ice fishing, caroling, walnut hunts and horse drawn carriage rides are just some of the delights that await you at Woodloch Pines in Hawley. My family and I made it a point to go there each year. Package rates start at $206, and did I mention Santa and his reindeer frequent the place?

2. Bear Creek Mountain Resort

Sasquatch is just one white knuckled trail that beckons intrepid skiers to Bear Creek Mountain Resort in Macungie. The 20 other trails, snow tubing area, trio of Terrain Parks and NASTAR Racing course are a few others. The on-site hotel features both indoor and outdoor hot tubs, a heated pool, steam room and spa. Overnight packages start as low as $85 per person.

3. Blue Mountain Ski Resort

Does jibbing make you jolly? Check out the five Terrain Parks at the Blue Mountain Ski Resort in Palmerton. You'll love the Big Air Bag for practice jumps and the rustic rooms available four miles away at The Lodge at Woodstone Country Club. Room rates start at $159 per person. Lift tickets will run you $29 to $44 per person on the holidays.

4. Skytop Lodge

Dog sledding, tobogganing, snowshoeing, skiing, ice skating and a life sized gingerbread house are what you will find at the Skytop Lodge in Skytop. There are downhill, cross and back country ski trails to pick from. For overnight accommodations you can choose from the main lodge, the inn or a series of cottages. Package rates tend to start at $376, double occupancy.

5. Fernwood Hotel and Resort

Families should consider Fernwood Hotel and Resort in Bushkill. I like it because it is conveniently located near both Camelback and Shawnee Mountain Resorts. Each features family-friendly rates for skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing. Fernwood itself offers affordable winter horseback riding, snow tubing, a video arcade, day spa and live entertainment on premise. Ski and Stay Package prices typically start at $164 per person.

My family enjoys winter sports and has visited the resorts mentioned.

More from this contributor:

Top 5 State Parks to Go Ice Skating in the Poconos

10 Best Gifts for Snowboarders Under $30

Where to Rent and Buy Snowshoes in the Poconos

Winter Eagle Watch Programs Available in the Upper Delaware Region of NY and PA

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Updated Wednesday, Nov 9, 2011