Big Snow Review: What's it Like to Ski Indoors at American Dream?

Sunday, December 31, 2023
Did you know that you could ski in New Jersey year round? It's true! Even in the summer time! Big Snow at American Dream is North America's first and only indoor, year-round real snow ski resort! And I'm going to tell you if it's worth the trip. Check out my Big Snow review and see for yourself!

Disclosure: Big Snow provided us with complimentary tickets and equipment rental in exchange for an honest review. But I wouldn't tell you to visit if I didn't think it was awesome.

I always try to keep my posts up to date and accurate, so don't forget to Pin this post for future reference!

What is Big Snow?

Big Snow is North America’s first and only indoor, real-snow, year-round ski and snow resort. When you drive by American Dream, it's one of the first things to catch your eye, isn't it? That giant building houses an indoor ski 'mountain.' It really is amazing!

photo from American Dream Facebook page

Where is Big Snow Located?

Big Snow is located inside of American Dream Mall in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Park in the Deck A, ground level lot at American Dream to access Big Snow. Come in the doors of the mall and head upstairs. It's located on the second level above SEA LIFE New Jersey and LEGOLAND Discovery Center New Jersey.

Big Snow
1 American Dream Way
East Rutherford, NJ 

How Much is Parking?

As of the publication date of this entry, parking is free for the first half hour and $5.00 for the remainder of your stay. 

What About Health and Safety Precautions?

If you're curious what Big Snow is doing to keep its staff and visitors safe, check out this page which explains all of their safety protocols and requirements for visiting. 

Do I Need to Know How to Ski?

So let's get this out of the way. If you're thinking, 'but I've never skied before,' don't worry!! You don't need to have ski experience to visit Big Snow. Their knowledgable staff will help you every step of the way. You don't even need to have ski gear! You can rent it there. But more about that in a minute.  Big Snow doesn't just offering skiing. They also offer:

-ski slope access
-sno go bikes
-summer sledding (for a limited time)
-camps for kids
-private events
-birthday parties
-group packages

How Does it All Work?

My roving reporter Stephani visited with her family on behalf of The Jersey Momma. I chatted with her and she gave me the scoop about her visit. 

Check-in and Get Your Gear 

"Everything was so organized," Stephani told me, "You walk in, check in and get a bracelet that can be scanned. Through this band the staff can read what package you purchased, what gear you're picking up, and it's also the magic key to your locker." Stephani's family chose the Single Snow Day Package since they did not have their own equipment (you can also purchase an access ticket without rentals - see their options here and click on access and packages). "It was seamless!" said Stephani. "Once you get your bracelet, you walk through very cool lodge cars to the changing area. You stop first to get your outerwear. From there, you can drop your belongings into a locker that is included in your package. It was nice to not have to worry about carrying a bag or anything like that into the skiing area," Stephani explained. 

Get Fitted for Boots

Just dressing for skiing can be confusing, so there are staff members available to help along the way.
"Once you get your gear on, you step up to the Boot Bridge where someone literally puts the boots on for you (behind plexiglass) and tightens them to your fit. Being first timers, we had no idea how to even buckle these and everything was explained to us," said Stephani. 

Grab Your Equipment and Hit the Slopes!

Once you're geared up and ready, it's time to step out into the cold (and believe me, it's cold. This is real snow, so the temperature indoors is a constant 28 degrees year round). Equipment pick-up is to your left and is ready when you get to the desk. All of the teal jacketed people are Big Snow employees and they're ready to help with any questions (and help you up if you fall!).

You can take lessons to get a feel for the skis or snowboard. There is a small zig zag hill where you can take the "magic carpet" (like a moving sidewalk for skiers) up, hop off, and come down over and over to practice turns and aim. This is great for first timers because you move slowly and can really figure out how to navigate your body to understand what you need to do. 

You can take the same magic carpet up 1/2 the slope to a great little downhill slope. You can do this as much as you want (or as much as time allows) to get practice in.

And, of course, there's a big slope that you need to take the real ski lift up to as well, and a snowboard trick mountain! Even if you're not ready for the big hill, this is amazing to watch! So many experienced snowboarders doing tricks! That in itself was entertaining. 

Do You Prefer to Watch Your Family Ski?

No worries if you'd rather sit and chill more than ski and be chilled, if you know what I mean. Spectators can watch from a limited area and there are some chairs lining the edges to sit down and relax. You can purchase a ticket for just plain spectating if you'd rather. The best part?  There's a hot chocolate bar! 

Any More Questions?

If there are still questions left unanswered for you, check out Big Snow's FAQ page for any details I might have missed.

Notes from The Jersey Momma and Roving Reporter Stephani

- Big Snow is well worth the money for 2 hours with outerwear, skis or snowboard, helmet and boots (and you can bring your own gloves or rent)

-The lift line can get a little long at times, but nothing compared to the outdoor ski slopes we have seen at local resorts during the on-season

-2 hours is plenty of time to get some runs-in and practice on a 90 degree summer day!

-Big Snow was very kid friendly - employees were very helpful with kids and adults alike!

-Follow Big Snow on social media (channel links below) for up to date info on fun events, guest visitors, specials, and more

-There is a lot to see and do at American Dream so make a day of it!

Stay Connected
Big Snow
1 American Dream Way
East Rutherford, NJ 

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