Best Ski Resorts for Families

Best Ski Resorts for Families
Planning a family ski vacation can be a challenging experience. Resorts that appeal to adults may not be child-friendly, and child-friendly resorts might not have the terrain that appeals to advanced skiers and riders. Thus, when planning a family ski vacation, there are a number of factors that should be taken into consideration. These include costs, ski school, terrain, childcare and off-slope activities. You also need to consider transportation options, since airfare can be expensive. Some experts suggest that for a first family ski vacation, its best to select a resort that is relatively close to home. This eliminates the "When are we gonna' be there" syndrome. However, some children enjoy the adventure of traveling far away from home. Since each child is different, be sure to involve them in the planning process.

Breckenridge, Colorado

The only problem with Breckenridge is its altitude. Visitors from sea level locations might want to spend a few days in Denver or Boulder to acclimate, before heading to the resort. That said, Breckenridge could not be more ideal for a family ski vacation. The resort has both a child's ski school as well as an all-day childcare program for kids who are too young too ski. If it turns out that your kids hate the sport, there is a special "sick and sad" room, where they can participate in other activities. Breckenridge has special theme trails, such as the Enchanted Forest, which are specially designed for kids. Riperroo, the resort mascot, entertains kids on the lift lines. Off-slope, there is a children's museum, plus a variety of other free activities. The town also has kids night out. Parents can go out to dinner and a show, while kids are entertained with kid-friendly activities. It is cheaper than babysitting, and a lot more entertaining.

Smuggler's Notch, Vermont

"Ski" magazine has consistently rated Smuggler's Notch as the best resort for families. The resort offers a diverse selection of children's ski and snowboard camps and lessons which are specially tailored to specific age brackets. Treasures, the fully certified childcare center, offers a myriad if fun activities for children ages six weeks to three years.

Bretton Woods, New Hampshire

Its shear beauty makes Bretton Woods appealing to people of all ages. The resort also offers some fantastic children's programs. For example, the Babes in the Woods Nursery staff entertain toddlers ages two months to five-years-old. It features games, storytelling and arts and crafts. Kids ages four to 12 can attend the Hobbit Ski and Snowboard School, which is located in the family center next to the base lodge. The full-day program includes supervision, two lessons, rental equipment, lift ticket and lunch.

Article Written By Lisa Mercer

In 1999, Lisa Mercer’s fitness, travel and skiing expertise inspired a writing career. Her books include "Open Your Heart with Winter Fitness" and "101 Women's Fitness Tips." Her articles have appeared in "Aspen Magazine," "HerSports," "32 Degrees," "Pregnancy Magazine" and "Wired." Mercer has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the City College of New York.

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