Before you know it, snow will be lining the streets and you’ll be packing up the car for your first big ski trip of the season. Chances are you have a favorite local mountain, but if you’re planning on taking the trip with your whole family, that mountain could be lacking in entertainment, lessons or terrain for your little ones.
It’s not every mountain that’s a perfect fit for the whole family. There’s actually a lot to consider beyond the basics. Will it be too cold for the kids (or adults) to have a good time? Do they have a licensed childcare facility for when you want a night out? How about trails that fit the whole family’s skill level? These are a few of the questions you need to answer before you book your trip.
If you’re hoping to score a discount, now is the time to plan your ski trip. To help you pick a spot that’s a good fit for the whole family, we looked at ski resorts with a wide variety of terrain (especially beginner and intermediate), great ski schools, other on- and off-mountain activities, childcare facilities and mountains with friendly climates so you can enjoy a longer day. These 10 mountains are some of the best in the country for families.
With a name like “The Ivy League of Ski Schools” you know Beaver Creek’s lessons are among the best in the country—at least that’s what their graduates say. 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. Combine stellar lessons, kid-friendly areas, lots of beginner terrain and no-hassle access to the mountain and you’ve got one of the best resorts for all kinds of families.
Set in the Pocono Mountains, Camelback Mountain has been one of the best family-friendly resorts in the east for more than 50 years and recent additions have made the resort even better. Starting on the mountain, 39 percent of all terrain is marked for beginners and every trail—all 166 acres—has snowmaking capabilities and is lit for night skiing. The ski and snowboard instructors at Camelback are among the best and their terrain based learning program adds fun and valuable skills to the learning process. When the kids (or adults) are ready to trade in their skis or snowboard, they can ride tubes on the biggest snow tubing park in the country, visit the mountain coaster or splash around in Aquatopia, the biggest indoor waterpark in the Poconos.