The Best Places to Ski with Kids

Let's face it: schlepping kids--with skis, poles, hats, mittens, helmets, goggles---to the ski mountain can be a grueling exercise. While skiing is a family activity that has the power to unite several generations on a vacation or weekend getaway, getting the youngest members of the family ready to take up the hobby takes a bit of planning and foresight. Keeping them safe and happy on the slopes can be equally tiresome, unless you pick the right resort. Today, most ski resorts offer kids' programs and activities, but these resort go the extra mile to throw out a welcome mat for the youngest skiers in your family.

Smuggler's Notch

This Vermont ski resort, dubbed America's Family Resort, has won a slew of awards, including Ski Magazine reader's choice as #1 in Family Programs in North America for many years. This carnival-like resort goes overboard to make kids and their parents happy with amenities that include full-day, activity-packed programs for kids aged 6 weeks to 17 years, Flaik GPS technology that tracks and records your child's day on the slopes, and a state-of-the-art, fully licensed childcare center with 5,400 square feet of indoor space and a 4,000-square-foot outdoor play area. There are indoor pools and hot tubs, a large entertainment and recreation center, ta een center, and a variety of activities, including dog sledding, ice skating, tubing, and snowmobile tours. A self-contained village at the base of the mountain has an assortment of lodging options. Three interconnected mountains have more than 1,000 acres of ski-able terrain, crisscrossed with 78 trails.

Smuggler's Notch
4323 Vermont 108
Jeffersonville, VT 05464
(802) 644-8851


Squaw Valley

High Camp, perched on the upper mountain of this Sierra Nevada ski resort, is the favorite place for kids and adults to hang out at Squaw Valley. The complex, with sweeping mountain and Lake Tahoe views, has the Olympian Ice Pavilion, Olympic Museum, an outdoor pool and whirlpool spa, tennis courts, restaurants, picnic areas, barbeues, and shops. The massive mountain has 4,000 acres of skiing terrain. The 12,000-square-foot Kids Snowsport School sits at the base of the mountain. Half- and full-day ski lessons are offered for kids ages 3 to 12. There are also teen lessons and programs, and a variety of off-slope activities such as snowshoeing, tubing, mountain tours, sleigh rides, and more.

Squaw Valley
1960 Squaw Valley Rd.
Olympic Valley CA 96146

Jackson Hole

This ski mountain resort, set in the Grand Tetons of Wyoming, may be a favorite with high-altitude, expert skiers, but it also has a lot to offer families with kids in tow. There's a state-of-the-art, licensed day care facility for ages 3 months to 3 years, a variety of kid and teen ski lessons, camps and night programs, and lots of off-slope activities. Visit the town of Jackson Hole, chock-a-block with cowboy-themed restaurants and shops. Take a winter snowmobile tour to Old Faithful in nearby Yellowstone National Park, or a sleigh ride in Teton Village. There's also dog sledding, paragliding, snowshoeing, snow kite boarding, and more.

Jackson Hole
3395 Village Drive
Teton Village, WY 83025
(307) 733-2292


Article Written By Pamela Wright

Pamela Wright is a freelance writer, author of more than two dozen guidebooks, and hundreds of articles. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications, including "National Geographic Traveler," "Family Circle," "Family Fun," "Backpacker," "Hemispheres," "Cooking Light," "Yankee" and more. An active member of the Society of American Travel Writers, she holds a Bachelor's from Michigan State University

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