STAMFORD, Conn. — Growing up in a New York suburb, Peggy Lynch, an employee of Pedigree Ski Shop in Stamford, learned to ski at a young age. "That was mainly because my father loved to ski. He would take the train up to Stowe and ski for the day," she recalled.
So Lynch carried the tradition to her two children, now 22 and 18, who both work at the shop.
"It became a Saturday ritual for us," said Lynch, who has worked for the company for 25 years, including in the White Plains store until five years ago. There is also a store in Bedford, N.Y.
She encourages everyone to take up the sport, which has become a favorite pastime for her for a number of reasons.
"I'm married again now, but when my kids were small I was a single mother and my days off were Saturday and Monday. I would take day ski trips. It was a bonding time for us," Lynch said in an interview.
"My kids are grown now. My husband and I like to go skiing and sometimes my daughter comes to join us for a day on the slopes. My son, too, who pretty much does everything on his own, will still go skiing with me. It's a lifetime sport for families."
Lynch says there are ways to budget for family skiing. For example, Pedigree holds a giant tent sale over Columbus Day weekend in its White Plains store. Another way is by renting equipment, which makes sense because children outgrow boots and skis quickly.
"It takes commitment when you get started. I remember working up a sweat just putting the layers of clothes on the kids and getting their equipment on at the slopes. But then we'd be outside for the day," she said. "I would suggest putting kids in ski school for part of it so they learn. It's a challenge, but the day trips are really fun and there are enough places you can go, from Catamount, to Butternut, just two hours away."
She remembers keeping her family's outings "budget-friendly" by packing snacks and lunches. "We would stop at Dunkin' Donuts on the way for a treat."
In addition, rentals at Pedigree can be as low as $109 for little kids, Lynch said.
Parents should rent their family's equipment before the season starts, around the time the kids go back to school.
"This way you have everything you need so you can just get in the car and go," Lynch said. "At the slopes, you can put the kids in school for the day when they first are learning, then you can get time to ski, too. Then later, everyone meets up and it's a good time."
For her family, skiing is a lifetime sport.
Lynch said she wants to be a "ski grandma" someday, and urges anyone of any age to give it a try.
"My husband, who I introduced to skiing, was 52 the first time he tried it. Now he goes faster than me. He's a crazy, ski maniac," she said.
"Anybody can do it. It's a very fun sport, a way to get outside and exercise. Just yesterday we spent the day in Mount Snow."
Pedigree Ski Shop at 350 Bedford St. sells gear and clothing for snowboarding, skiing, tennis and swimming. It also carries ski jackets, snowboards, jackets, boots sunglasses and car rack systems, among its merchandise.
Click here for the company website.