Couples celebrating their wedding anniversary usually do something noteworthy for their special day. Some couples go on a date and do something they both love doing; a few try to re-create that memorable night when they exchanged their vows; while others go on a romantic trip for a few days or even weeks. However, celebrating wedding anniversaries with kids, especially younger ones, can be challenging. Dressing up and getting dolled up to go on a date with your spouse if you haven’t had enough sleep for a few nights in a row can be such a chore; I’m sure you’d rather just stay at home and spend it getting the sleep you’ve longed for in a while. And how on earth could you go on a romantic trip with a baby or toddler with you?
Being a parent makes spending time with your spouse all the more important, even on normal days like simply watching TV together after the kids had gone to bed; and even so on the big ones like celebrating wedding anniversaries. Because it’s so easy to get lost in the every day craziness of parenting and raising your kids and end up taking your marriage for granted in the process, you have to make a conscious effort to prioritize your relationship.
My husband and I recently celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary. Before we had kids, we would usually go on trips and just have fun and explore for a few days to celebrate our wedding anniversary. After our daughter was born, it didn’t change the fact that we still wanted to travel together to celebrate our special day; we just had to make sure that we consider her (and my son’s after he was born) needs above ours. And since then, we’ve traveled and celebrated as a family.
We didn’t really have the luxury of having a family look after our kids if we need to do something since my parents live thousands of miles away from us. While we can definitely afford a babysitter, I’ve seen a lot of videos where the kids are being hurt and abused by the person who’s supposed to take care of them. I NEVER want to put my kids in those situations; so I only have a handful of people I trust to look after my kids. Wherever we go, our kids go with us. And because of that, I came to realize that celebrating wedding anniversary with our kids makes it so much more meaningful and fun. After all, my husband and I are celebrating our union and our love; we are celebrating that special day we promised to love each other in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer. It is because of that love that we share that we were blessed with 2 beautiful kids; and isn’t it just fitting to let them be part of the celebration?
Today, I’ve partnered with Pocono Mountains and Skytop Lodge to make celebrating wedding anniversary with the entire family fun and possible. I’ve also rounded up things that we’ve tried to make our family trips as smooth as possible so be sure to check them out.
Choose A Family-Friendly Hotel
Choosing a family-friendly hotel is of vital importance if you want to keep your sanity during the entire trip. You can find family-friendly hotels by researching or asking some mom friends about their recent trips.
I’ve always wanted to go to Pocono Mountains because of all the great things I’ve heard about this place and the fun pictures I’ve seen around; and I thought it would be perfect to celebrate our 6th wedding anniversary there. My parents weren’t able to be a part of our wedding, and since our anniversary fell on the last weekend before they left for Manila, that made celebrating our wedding anniversary this year extra special because they got to be a part of it. During our anniversary trip, we stayed at Skytop Lodge in the Poconos.
About Pocono Mountains
With 2,400 square miles encompassing Pennsylvania’s Carbon, Monroe, Pike and Wayne counties, the Pocono Mountains is home to rolling mountain terrain, breathtakingly beautiful waterfalls, thriving woodlands and 170 miles of winding rivers. With close proximity to major metropolitan areas such as New York City and Philadelphia, the region is easily accessible from any destination. Pocono Mountains has definitely something for everyone to enjoy – an exciting outdoor adventure, a getaway for the family or a quiet vacation retreat. You can read more about them here.
The 2 photos used here were provided by Pocono Mountains.
Did you know that Pocono Mountains has a rich history? Long before the Pocono Mountains became a destination for families, honeymooners, nature-lovers and relaxation-seekers, the area was inhabited by Native Americans. The Delaware Water Gap was the site of the first boarding house hotel, established in 1829 by Anthony Dutot, who initiated what would become a wildly successful resort industry. By 1900, PPL Electric Utilities, Inc. began the construction of what is now the third largest man-made lake in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Lake Wallenpaupack. In 1926, PPL Electric Utilities, Inc. dammed the creek and built a hydro-electric plant and in doing so, a 5,600-acre lake was created with 52 miles of uninterrupted shoreline. “The Big Lake” became a top destination for water sports and recreation. In 1946, the Pocono Mountains welcomed the first commercial ski area in Pennsylvania, Big Boulder Ski Area. In 1963, the heart-shaped tub was introduced at Caesars Cove Haven in Lakeville, Pennsylvania. Life Magazine ran photos of this latest novelty and a flood of publicity followed, resulting in the naming of the Pocono Mountains as the “Honeymoon Capital of the World.”
As it has for almost two centuries, the Pocono Mountains region continues to be so close yet feel so far removed from the everyday hassles of life – a region filled with relaxing and scenic beauty, and encompassing a calm, carefree style that engages guests in leisure pursuits and in connection with nature, friends and loved ones. This is the legacy of the Pocono Mountains. Learn more about their history here.
About Skytop Lodge
Skytop Lodge has been the premier family resort in the Poconos since 1928. Families have been coming to Skytop Lodge for generations to create lasting memories together. And, while they pride themselves on activities and events for all ages, they make a special point to cater to the enjoyment of their youngest guests. You can read more about them here.
Skytop Lodge was amazing! The drive from the property’s main gate to the Main Lodge was very scenic. From the time we passed by the lake to when we pulled out of the parking lot of the Main Lodge, the views were breathtaking. It’s like we were transported back in time; everything seemed so calm and peaceful.
The Main Lodge, where the concierge, some of the restaurants, activities desk, arcade, gift shop, pool, and others are, looks so cozy and inviting. You can’t help but feel like you are finally home. My daughter actually asked “Dito na tayo titira, Mommy?” (Is this our new house, Mommy?) while inside the Main Lodge.
Where We Stayed
Skytop Lodge rooms are located in 4 different locations within the property which makes it so unique. They have rooms at the Main Lodge, Inn, Cottages, and Streamside Cottages. You can read more about their rooms here.
The rooms we stayed in during our stay is in one of their cottages.
Skytop’s storybook cottages offer the perfect Poconos accommodations. Standing among a world of natural wonders, each cottage offers four guest rooms with shared hallway (no common area), featuring private baths, porches, small refrigerators and TV/VCRs, along with everything else you need to feel at home, making cottage rooms ideal for families.
Our rooms in one of the cottages have been nothing but perfect. The rooms exude a traditional country charm – so warm and inviting! Both rooms have a king bed and a sleeper sofa; one room has a dresser where the TV sits, while the other room has a closet that houses the TV along with the drawers where you can store your clothes in.
Even with the pack ‘n play assembled in our room, there was still enough room for us to move in and the kids were able to run around the room pretty comfortably. At times, my parents were in our room playing with the kids, and there was still a lot of room to move around in even if all 6 of us were in there. The bathroom has a single vanity but still able to hold all of my stuff (ladies, who’s with me?).
Our favorite part was the porch where you can just sit and relax and enjoy nature’s beauty at its best; and that it’s within the walking distance from the main lodge which means we got to enjoy a quick walk while taking in all the beauty that surrounds us. For those whose rooms are further away though, a shuttle is provided to take them anywhere they wish to go within the property.
Why we loved Skytop Lodge: The pack ‘n play in our room had been assembled and waiting for us when we arrived which was really great because all the hotels that we’ve previously stayed in don’t have that set up yet. We usually have to call and tell them we need a crib in our room even after I’ve indicated that we have a 1-year old and would need a crib in our room when I booked the rooms.
Opt For A Short Travel Time, If At All Possible
Choosing a location that is close to where you live is another thing that you also have to consider. Kids don’t do really well on long drives and flights; so if you could, pick one that’s only a few-hour drive or flight. If not, then there are still ways to keep your drive or flight smooth as much as possible.
Skytop Lodge sits on a magnificent sprawling 5,500 acres in the Pocono Mountains which is about 2-hour away from New York City and Pennsylvania. It is a 4-hour drive from where we live but we planned wisely and made sure that the kids have everything they will need to ensure a smooth drive. We left Virginia shortly after lunch and had the kids nap in their car seat, which they did without a fight, on our way there. We stopped for around 20 minutes after driving for 2 hours for potty break and diaper changing; and we also made sure that we let the kids run around and explore during this time. Snacks and entertainment (also known as Mommy) were also provided during our entire drive.
Make Sure The Food Is Kid-Friendly
We probably all know by now that kids can be very picky with what they eat. It is our duty, as parents, to make sure that they will have something to eat during the entire trip. I honestly take this very seriously and I always check the menu of the restaurants that we are going to dine in, even when we’re not traveling, to make sure that my kids have something to eat even though they aren’t picky at all.
Skytop Lodge offers a variety of dining options sure to please any palate. From a formal fine-dining affair to casual culinary delights, anyone can savor the authentic flavors of Skytop. Guests can choose to dine in any of these restaurants – Windsor Dining Room, Lakeview Restaurant, Tap Room, Tea Room, Library Lounge, Fairview Bar, and Inn-Between Deli. You can read more about their restaurants here.
Where We Dined
During our 3-day-2-night stay, we were able to dine and try their buffet at the Windsor Dining Room where we had our first night’s dinner, breakfast, and lunch; and the Lakeview Restaurant where we had our wedding anniversary family dinner.
Windsor Dining Room
Skytop’s Windsor Dining Room is where guests and locals alike gather for breakfast, lunch and dinner. With a focus on the seasons and the support of their local farmers and ranchers, the Windsor Dining Room serves innovative cuisine in a classic setting.
Tip: Reservations are required to dine here. On Sundays through Fridays, resort attire is suggested. Jeans are permitted; jackets and/or sport coats for men are required on Saturday evenings.
Skytop’s Lakeview Dining Room, located at the Inn, offers a breathtaking view of one of Skytop’s lakes and their award-winning golf course. Drawing inspiration from regional cuisine, Lakeview’s menu offers something for everyone.
Tip: Reservations are required to dine here. And it is open seasonally on Tuesdays through Saturdays from 6 pm to 9 pm.
For breakfast, Windsor Dining Room served home fries, waffles, pancakes, sausage, bacon, egg, an omelette station, a cereal station, fruit station, a pasty station, milk, and juice. For lunch, they served rice, pork, chicken, beef, fish, a salad station, a fruit station, a dessert station, and a soup station. And they offered the same options they did at lunch, and a kid’s food station that had mac & cheese, corn for dinner.
Windsor Dining Room has a buffet room separate from the dining room where they had everything beautifully set up; and it’s huge! I think it could accommodate a lot of people in line for food and there’d still be a lot of room to move in. I love that they offer a variety of food which means there is something for everyone; and that they have a special station for kids which ensures that kids get to eat even if they don’t want to eat anything from the main buffet table. Windsor Dining Room also has an ala carte menu if that’s what you prefer.
The Lakeview Restaurant has an ala carte menu along with a kid’s menu. We had the 12 oz. Strip Steak (with Braised Lentils, Charred Broccolini Rabe, Grilled Tomato Beurre Blanc), Double Cut Pork Chop (with Roasted Fingerlings, Smoked Bleu Cheese, Fennel Apple Salad, Quince Mostarda), Seared Scallops (with Smoked Almond Puree, Bacon Jus, Lardons, Brussel Sprouts, Pickled Beech Mushroom), and Green Curry Roasted Chicken (Couscous, Dates, Preserved Lemon, Swish Chard, Herb Yogurt). The kids had a mac & cheese with a side of carrots.
Unfortunately, we weren’t able to enjoy the breathtaking views of the lake and golf-course because it was so stark dark outside while we were there and to think our reservation was at 6:30 PM. We were told that during the colder months, it really is hard to see anything from their picture windows during dinner because the nights are longer. But it really does get gorgeous during the warmer months; so if you want to enjoy these views, make sure to visit during these period.
The food we had at both restaurants, Windsor Dining Room & Lakeview Restaurant, were amazing!!! I surprisingly didn’t find anything I didn’t like and I am probably the pickiest person you’ll ever meet (ask my friends and family). I honestly had to try everything we had ordered (including dessert) at the Lakeview Restaurant and everything was phenomenal! The servers on both restaurants were also very attentive to my son’s peanut allergy and they would always tell us which food we should avoid for him which helped to ensure that our stay is as pleasant as possible.
Why we loved Skytop Lodge: The servers at Windsor Dining Room were nice and friendly to the kids. In fact, there’s one in particular, Fernando, who took the time to entertain my daughter during our first night’s dinner when she got hurt while playing with her high chair’s seat belt. Lakeview Restaurant’s only option for kids are plain pasta, or with marinara or butter sauce; but my kids love mac & cheese so I tried to ask if they would be able to do that and the chef happily made one for them. And the kids love it!
Enjoy Kid-Friendly Activities
Kids get bored easily especially when they aren’t doing anything; and sometimes they even get bored with whatever it is that they’re doing too. So it is essential to make sure that there are activities all throughout the day for them to participate in.
Skytop Lodge prepares a daily list of activities (Skylites), on top of the activities they offer all year long, that you and your little ones can enjoy. When we checked in, they gave us an entire list of daily activities that we could do during our entire stay; which was really nice so we can plan ahead.
Tip: Before your arrival, you can check their site to see what activities they have planned ahead during your trip.
What We Did During Our Stay
Campfire & Roasted Marshmallows
Shortly after dinner on our first night, we actually had the shuttle take us to the Pavilion to enjoy the campfire & roasted marshmallows only to find out that it’s a short walking distance from the Main Lodge. It was a perfect night to just relax and enjoy the outdoors; it was a little bit chilly which made sitting by the campfire the perfect way to keep ourselves warm. And there wasn’t a lot of people enjoying it with us (they were at the magic show that started right around the same time as the campfire) so that allowed us to fully enjoy this activity. We had to be extra careful though so that the kids won’t go near the campfire. The kids did love their first campfire & roasted marshmallow experience.
Tip: They lit up the campfire and provided marshmallows and sticks every night during our stay (and it seems like even beyond that).
Estate Hayride Tour
For only $5 per adult, you’ll get to enjoy a 30-minute guided tour of Skytop Lodge’s property. We enjoyed our hayride tour and liked the interesting facts that we learned from our tour guide, Brian! He was very enthusiastic and told us a lot of fun things about Skytop Lodge, of himself, and of his friends. We loved the scenic views that we had seen all throughout the tour and the kids did have a great time playing in the hay.
Tip: You will need reservations at the activities desk to participate in this activity. The tractor picks you up at the Main Lodge.
For $20 per person, you’ll get to ride a horse or a pony. When we signed up for the pony ride in the activities desk, we were told that we’d be able to ride on the horse with our kids to ensure their safety since they’re too small to ride on their own. However, upon our arrival at the stable, we were told that the ponies wouldn’t be able to take the weight of our kids. So they will just be walking alongside their ponies instead. But I honestly don’t know what happened because when they finally called us so the kids could experience their “pony ride”, they put helmets on both kids and brought out 2 beautiful horses. Yes, not ponies; but horses.
Needless to say, our kids did their first horseback riding. I walked alongside our daughter’s horse while my husband walked alongside our son’s horse and we both held them during their entire ride to make sure they don’t fall out of their horses. Each horse, Buster & Calvin, have their own guide who led them to walk around the stable. My son loved it; while my daughter got scared at first but told me at some point that she was no longer scared and was totally loving it!
Tip: You have to take the shuttle to go to the stable but it’s only a short distance from the Main Lodge. They have designated times for horseback riding all throughout the day; but the pony rides have specific times so make sure to check with the activities desk.
After our pony ride in the afternoon, we rushed to the observation deck, located in the Main Lodge, before the thunderstorm starts to enjoy an unobstructed view of the entire Skytop Lodge property. The views, of course, were breathtaking! The railings were a bit large so if you have small kids running around, you have to closely watch them to ensure their safety.
Skytop Lodge has a table tennis and arcade, both of which we’ve tried, on the first floor where the activities desk is. My daughter couldn’t stop giggling while playing table tennis with my husband and dad; but she was only interested in it for a short time before she diverted her attention to the arcade games. They have a good variety of games in the arcade – basketball, car racing, motorcycle racing, shooting games, claw machines, and so much more. I must say that it wasn’t only the kids who had a great time playing at the arcade, I did too! My husband actually won a couple of candies from one of the claw machines after several tries which made the kids very happy!
The kids were very excited to take a dip in the pool but the staff on duty had to close it for a short period of time for everyone’s safety because a thunderstorm was on its way. We stayed there for a while in the hopes that they will open it soon but we were informed that it will take longer; so we decided to leave instead.
A playground is available near the cottages which was really neat because we were able to run to our cottage when my daughter needed to use the bathroom or when my son’s diaper needed to be changed. It was nice that their playground has a swing (even for the little ones like my son), a slide, and something for older kids to climb on. Of course, my kids loved playing in it and they kept on saying that they want to come back to the playground while we were there.
If you’ve had a long day, there are plenty of places within Skytop Lodge for you to just stay in and relax, like the gazebo where we relaxed for a bit after the kids played in the playground, the observation deck, and your room’s patio (if available). They also have an outdoor area filled with rocking chairs and tables where you can take your favorite drink and your favorite person and just relax. And of course, Skyview Spa is available to anyone so guests can get all the pampering that they need.
Skytop Lodge offers other activities that we didn’t get to enjoy because time wouldn’t allow us and there was a thunderstorm during our visit like Jewelry Craft Making, Tequila Tasting, Watercolor Painting, Magic Show, Karaoke, and Bald Eagle Tour with Rick. They also have activities all year long like water activities in the lake, camping, & laser tag in summer; cross-country skiing, dog sledding, & ice skating in winter; fishing, biking, & boating in summer, fall, and spring; and archery, fitness classes, & Grand March that are available all year round. Check out the complete list of activities they offer here.
Why we loved Skytop Lodge: Skytop Lodge offers a vast array of activities for everyone to enjoy. It was amazing how they had all the activities planned and that they made sure that there are activities that the kids could participate in while also providing activities that are only for adults all throughout the day. They also provide separate locker rooms for both women and men where guests can leave their stuff in while having fun in the pool area. Guest’s safety is absolutely paramount to them; after the storm had passed, we later found out that a big tree actually fell down because of the strong storm that hit us.
Plan For A Romantic Time With Your Partner
As with any wedding anniversary celebration, wherever you decide to go, a romantic time with your partner is a must. It can be a dinner with just the two of you or any activity for both of you that you fancy.
My husband and I were supposed to do the Grand March, which has been a Skytop Tradition tradition since 1940s, on our anniversary night. Held every Saturday after the elimination dance, the Grand March is an evening of festive dancing where guests can revel in the spirit of community. This guest favorite is open to children as well as adults.
However, since we spent an entire day carrying the kids (for some reason, they didn’t want to walk at all) all around Skytop Lodge, we decided to skip it (even though we were looking forward for some fun time alone) after the kids had slept. Instead, we spent the rest of the night cuddled on the couch, relaxing, talking and enjoying each other’s company; and that for me was enough.
Even though we didn’t get to sneak out for our “date” on our wedding anniversary night, I still didn’t feel something was missing. In fact, I felt complete. What more could I ask for – we spent the whole day doing fun things with our family and ended the night beside each other, feeling loved, happy, and content. It didn’t matter where we were or what we did; as long as we were together. And that, for me, was the perfect celebration that we came to Skytop Lodge for!
Does this post leave you wanting to find out more about Skytop Lodge in Pocono Mountains or book a room?
To make things even better, Skytop Lodge has a spring deal that I’m sure you don’t want to miss. So what are you waiting for? Call (570) 257-2114 or check out the Skytop Lodge website! When you book your room, tell them One Awesome Momma sent you.
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Pocono Mountains & Skytop Lodge hosted our family during our entire stay. As always, all thoughts and opinions are 100% honest and my own.
What did you think of this post? How do you celebrate your wedding anniversary after having kids? Let me know in the comments. You know I always love to hear from you.
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