The snow is falling, and the powder is calling! Winter is the perfect time to spend quality time with your family, and what better way to do that than hitting the slopes together? Not every ski resort caters to families, so we’ve done the research and compiled a list of the best family-friendly skiing and snowboarding destinations in the US.
1. Keystone Resort, Colorado
Tucked away in the Rocky Mountains lies Keystone Resort, a winter wonderland for families. The resort boasts over 3,000 acres of skiable terrain, from beginner to expert runs, and even night skiing. Keystone also offers a variety of activities for non-skiers like ice skating, tubing, and snowmobiling. Families can take advantage of the Kidtopia program, which features daily activities and events like a giant snow fort for the little ones.
2. Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, California
Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows is a premier skiing destination in Lake Tahoe. It offers 6,000 skiable acres and 42 lifts, making it a perfect spot for families of all levels. For beginners, Squaw Kids offers ski lessons starting at age 3, complete with a magic carpet. Teens won’t get bored with the terrain park and halfpipe, and the whole family can enjoy ice skating, sledding, and a scenic cable car ride to High Camp.
3. Smugglers’ Notch Resort, Vermont
For a true family ski vacation, head to Smugglers’ Notch Resort in Vermont. The resort has been awarded by Ski Magazine for its family programs and activities. With three mountains and 1,000 acres of skiable terrain, there’s something for everyone. The resort offers an all-inclusive package that includes lessons and activities like snow tubing and ice skating, making it easy to plan your trip.
4. Beaver Creek Resort, Colorado
Beaver Creek, nestled in the Rocky Mountains, offers a family-friendly ski experience, complete with dedicated beginner areas and gentle terrain. The resort offers children’s programs for ages 3 to 15 and a family-friendly après-ski scene. For more adventure, families can take a guided snowshoe tour or enjoy a sleigh ride.
5. Heavenly Mountain Resort, California/Nevada
Heavenly Mountain Resort is located on the border of California and Nevada, offering amazing views of Lake Tahoe. With 4,800 skiable acres, the resort has enough terrain for all levels of skiing and snowboarding. The resort offers ski lessons starting at age 4, as well as tubing and ice skating for non-skiers. Families can enjoy hot cocoa at one of the on-mountain lodges or take a gondola ride for panoramic views of the lake.
6. Snowmass, Colorado
Snowmass, part of the Aspen Snowmass resort family, offers world-class skiing with unbeatable scenery. The resort offers activities for all ages, including the Treehouse Kids’ Adventure Center for children ages 8 weeks to 4 years, ski and snowboard lessons for all ages, and snow biking tours for adventurous families. The resort even hosts a weekly Ullr Night celebration with fireworks and torchlight ski parades.
7. Okemo Mountain Resort, Vermont
Located in southern Vermont, Okemo Mountain Resort is a great spot for families looking for a fun and laid-back ski vacation. The resort offers over 120 trails and glades, as well as a family-friendly terrain park. The ski and snowboard school offers private and group lessons for all ages, as well as a highly rated Kids’ Night Out program.
8. Park City Mountain Resort, Utah
Park City Mountain Resort is the largest ski resort in the United States and offers activities and events for all ages. The resort has a variety of beginner terrain, as well as an impressive terrain park for more advanced riders. The resort offers kids’ lessons starting at age 3 and a family-friendly après-ski scene at the base of the mountain, complete with s’mores and live music.
9. Northstar California Resort, California
Northstar California Resort, located near Lake Tahoe, is a destination for families of all skiing levels. The resort has beginner and intermediate terrain, as well as a terrain park with a 22-foot superpipe. Kids can enjoy the Big Easy beginner area, and non-skiers can have fun tubing or ice skating. The resort also offers a state-of-the-art ski school for kids, with small group lessons and private lessons available.
10. Bretton Woods, New Hampshire
Bretton Woods, in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, is a family-friendly resort with over 460 skiable acres. The resort offers lessons for all ages and abilities, including a beginner-only ski area. Families can enjoy the winter wonderland on a snowshoeing or dog sledding tour, and the Mount Washington Resort offers an elegant option for après-ski.
People Also Ask
What ski resorts are best for families?
The best ski resorts for families offer a variety of terrain, excellent ski schools, and family-friendly amenities. Some of the top resorts for families include Keystone and Beaver Creek in Colorado, Smugglers’ Notch in Vermont, and Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows in California.
What age can kids start skiing?
Kids can start skiing as young as age 2 or 3, but many ski schools start lessons at age 4 or 5. Even if kids are too young to ski, many resorts offer childcare and other non-skiing activities.
What is the best month to ski in the US?
The best time to ski in the US varies by region. January and February are generally the peak times for skiing in the West, while March and April offer great skiing conditions in the East. Late November to early January is generally a slower time for skiing, but many resorts offer holiday events and decorations.
What should I wear skiing?
Dress in layers when skiing or snowboarding, as temperatures can vary throughout the day. Wear a waterproof and insulated jacket and pants, warm gloves or mittens, a helmet, and goggles or sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun and snow.
Can you snowboard at every ski resort?
Most ski resorts allow snowboarding, but some still only allow skiing. It’s always best to check the resort’s website or call ahead to make sure snowboarding is allowed.
Whether you’re an experienced skier or just starting out, there’s a family-friendly ski resort for you. From small hills with gentle beginner slopes to massive resorts with terrain for all levels, these destinations offer a fun and memorable winter vacation for families. Don’t forget to pack the hot cocoa and enjoy quality time on the slopes together!