[R488R, Wachusett Mountain Ski Area] in Princeton, Mass., kicked off its women's programs with an evening called Wine, Cheese, Chicks, and Skis which Wachusett VP Carolyn Stimpson said was intended to get women excited about the ski season.

"The idea is to eat, drink, and shop, and to make connections with other women with like interests," Stimpson said. She said attendees receive coupons to the Mountainside Ski & Sports Shop, to encourage them to feel good about spending money and taking time for themselves.

"It's important for women to have balance in their lives. If they are the caregiver, and taking care of everyone else but not themselves, that's not good. It's all about balance. They have to take time for themselves, get out in the fresh air and exercise, otherwise they'll be no fun at all, not good to their kids, their family, or work," Stimpson said.

"It's important for us because we know the women are making the buying decisions, so it's important to get women out, because if they're having fun they are going to bring their families," she said.

Wachusett runs women's clinics through the season on Thursday mornings, with two five-session series, each costing $145. The first series starts Jan. 6, the second Feb. 10.

 "Most women who take part in the first series also sign up for the next five," Stimpson said. "It's a really good deal, where people meet new friends, and improve their skiing."

The sessions include a continental breakfast, an on-snow clinic, and video analysis.

Wachusett also runs a Women's Fest each year, which is a full day of skiing or riding, demos, mountain tours, massage, and après ski party. Champion ski racer Pam Fletcher will lead clinics this year, as she has in the past. Women's Fest is March 19 this year. Cost is $55.

The ski area also runs two-hour Breakthrough Clinics, Tuesday nights and Saturday and Sunday mornings, for men and women. Stimpson said the clinics are low-key, and intended to bring skiers and riders to the next level. The eight-week program begins Dec. 21. Cost is $239.

More information. Or call 978-464-2300.