The Best Ski Resorts for Families from The Best Ski Resorts for Families

The Best Ski Resorts for Families

Full Story

Thinkstock

The Best Ski Resorts for Families

The miserable weather in the city should not be keeping families from playing together. Pack your bags and venture out on a ski vacation with the whole clan. Resorts have recognized that people have different personalities and may like different winter activities, so many offer not only great terrain but also spas, kid-friendly adventures off the slopes and even daycare.

Photo by Mailoha A. via Yelp

Okemo Mountain Resort in Vermont

This Vermont mountain is routinely considered one of the most family-friendly on the East Coast. It has one of the best ski schools in the country and plenty of terrain for skiers and riders of all levels. After you’re done skiing, you can enjoy tubing, riding the mountain coaster or ice skating in the Ice House—a regulation-sized hockey rink. Off the mountain, Okemo offers a “Kids Night Out” program so adults can have an evening alone, while the kids have fun.

Photo Modified: Wikimedia Commons   CC by SA 2.0

Big Sky Resort in Montana

Big Sky has an excellent ski school as well as a kids club. Children are welcome at Lone Peak Playhouse, right at the base of Big Sky’s slopes. They take care of kids from 6 months to 8 years old. The huge ski terrain, which provides a lot of variety, equals smaller crowds, and this is another reason why parents like this resort. Big Sky is a short drive from Yellowstone if you want to take a day off from skiing and take the kids into the wilderness.

Thinkstock

Northstar California Resort in Lake Tahoe

Northstar has a lot to offer families beyond beginner terrain and a stellar ski school. There are tons of family-friendly options within the village—a tubing hill, bungee trampoline and build-your-own s’mores aren’t far from the slopes. Northstar also offers telemark skiing, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Sunny days and warmer-than-average temperatures will help ensure your day on the slopes doesn’t end early due to cold fingers and toes.

Sugarloaf, Maine

The resort is about a 4-hour drive away from Boston. If you want to take the little ones to a place with an authentic village feel, take them to Sugarloaf. The family vacation will also include movie and game nights, sleigh rides, hardly any crowds, and a lot of easy terrain for beginners. If the kids get tired of skiing they can go to AGC to try Maine's largest indoor rock climbing wall, trampolines, basketball/volleyball courts, and indoor skate park.

Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort in Massachusetts

This resort in Northern Berkshires of Massachusetts is an ideal place for a family to go on a ski getaway, especially if all members are beginner skiers. Kid lessons even include hot chocolate breaks. People like the fact that this is a small ski resort, compared to more popular ones such as those in Vermont or Colorado. This means Jiminy is also cheaper, a key factor for parents - $74 for adults for non-holidays and $81 on holidays.

Photo by Andrew W. via

Whiteface Lodge in New York

Lake Placid hosted the Winter Olympics in 1980. The vast region has ever since been dedicated to winter fun with many facilities for alpine skiing and other snowy adventures. Ice-skating, bobsledding, snowboarding, snowshoeing, dogsledding – families can enjoy it all at Whiteface. In 2013 it was one of EBONY’s “America’s Best Family Getaways,” and Travel + Leisure ranked it among “America’s Best Family Hotels” for two years in a row.

Thinkstock

Beaver Creek Resort in Colorado

With a name like “The Ivy League of Ski Schools” you know Beaver Creek’s lessons are among the best in the country. Expert instructors take advantage of the mountain that regularly hosts the World Cup to introduce and elevate crucial ski skills. Although there’s plenty of tough terrain for expert skiers and riders, themed kid’s areas located at the bottom and all over the mountain are great spots for the younger ones. There is lots of beginner terrain and no-hassle access to the mountain.

Thinkstock

Taos Ski Valley in New Mexico

With 1,300 skiable trails, kids and parents will all find the perfect terrain. About 250,000 visitors go to Taos Ski Valley every year, which means few lift lines and rarely crowded slopes. The Mini Elite Program allows children 3 years old to try an hour on the slopes. Go snowshoeing through the wilderness of Taos Ski Valley which offers 1,300 acres. The kids will also love tubing and snowmobile tours.

Thinkstock

Sun Valley in Idaho

The snow sports school offers group, private, specialty, and adaptive lessons. No matter what your age, style or strength is you will improve your skills. Plenty of activities for non-skiers are available if the kids or parents get tired of the slopes, over a third of which are greens. Playschool and kindercare are offered for kids up to 5 years old. They can play inside, go on nature walks or sleigh rides, take ski lessons or even go bowling.

Thinkstock

Bretton Woods in New Hampshire

One of the best spots for snow sports on the East Coast, Bretton Woods, is New Hampshire’s largest ski area, but the fun doesn’t stop at downhill. Well-known for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and guided backcountry tours, there’s an activity for everyone at this mountain. High-end lodging and top-tier food help make this mountain resort a stand-out destination and their award-winning ski school is perfect for first-time skiers and snowboarders.

Snowshoe Mountain Resort in West Virginia

The Family A-Go-Go features many technology-free family bonding opportunities. Kid's camp, guided hikes, horseback riding, and your very own Mountain Concierge who will make sure that your itinerary and your family’s tastes for adventure match. The package is 100 percent fully customizable so you can vacation the way you want. Other popular winter activities include snowmobile tours, tubing, climbing indoor walls, and watching standup comedy at the Comedy Cellar.

Smugglers’s North in Vermont

Set in the Green Mountains of Vermont, this ski area is among the best in the northeast, especially for families. With their award-winning school—Snow Sport University, tons of children’s activities and all-star staff, Smuggler’s Notch is a top choice for those who want to improve at any age. Beginners will love the Night School for Boarding – a relaxed evening session to learn and practice new skills.

Steamboat Springs, Colorado

From the large mountain covered in heaps of fresh snow to the old western town, there’s something for everyone in the family at Steamboat. A generous chunk of beginner terrain meets a great ski school and sleigh rides, an adventure zone and nearby hot springs offer entertainment when the skis come off. Between the resort activities, family-friendly town and the mountain itself, it’s practically impossible to get bored there.

Grand Targhee in Wyoming

People love this resort mostly because of the fewer crowds, almost guaranteed perfect snow (and lots of it), powder quality and preferable instructor-to-student ratios. Skiing is pretty much the focus but other fun winter activities include fat biking, snowcat adventures, mountain and backcountry tours, tubing, snowshoeing, and sleigh ride dinners. The Kids Night Out program keeps the little ones entertained with night gazing and crafts.

Deer Valley Resort, Utah

Best-known as a high-end resort that’s off limits to snowboarders, Deer Valley is home to one of the best ski schools in the country and offers a licensed childcare facility for those too young to learn. Anyone ages 3 or older can take lessons and Deer Valley has several features just for the kids. Mountain mascots and a Children’s Adventure Map are just some of the family-friendly features. Adults will have fun on the pristine terrain with limited foot traffic.

The Best Ski Resorts for Families