Like most families in 2020, we imagine this year has included quite a bit of extra "together time" inside your home. And as weather gets cooler, no doubt most folks will spend more time indoors. Together. All of you. Again.
But don't fret - there are ways to avoid feelings of stir craziness this winter. Fresh air and new surroundings are a great way to refresh and recharge! One of our favorite ways to do this is a family ski trip. Choosing the right place for your family - ages, activities and skill levels - makes all the difference! Read on for our list of the best ski resorts for families.
Park City Mountain Resort, Utah
Located just 35 minutes from Salt Lake City airport, the super easy access makes Park City one of our top picks for families. With 7,300 acres of terrain and 330 trails, there is plenty of ground to cover. On the slopes they offer half and full day lessons for children starting at age 3, as well as lessons for teens and adults. After a day on the slopes, there are two mountain resorts to explore with activities like an Alpine coaster, mining tours, or a winter zip line. Park City Mountain is part of the Vail Resorts family, so it's included in the Epic Pass. For 2020 this pass not only gives you access to their many properties and ski runs around the country, it gives you priority on reservations - super helpful with covid limitations in place. Park City Mountain Resort is set to open for the season November 20th, and passes are available for purchase now.
Beaver Creek Resort, Colorado
Beaver Creek is located in the breathtaking Rockies of Colorado, and known by many as one of the best resorts for beginners. You can explore 1,800 acres of terrain on three distinct base areas, including some of the longest beginner runs in the country. Head to the base of the mountain or the village around 3pm and enjoy free cookies every day, then put on your skates and enjoy endless fun at the village rink. Beginners will spend time at Haymeadow or Red Buffalo Park which are kid-friendly areas with fun things like an interactive teepee, ice cream parlor and candy cabin right on the slopes! Beaver Creek ski school even offers a guarantee on kids lessons - if your child is not skiing/riding one of the beginner areas (depending on age) by the 3rd consecutive day of lessons, then the 4th day is free! Better yet, they're offering 15%-20% off on lessons for the 2020 season. Beaver Creek is also on the Epic Pass, giving you options for multiple trips this winter!
Smugglers Notch, Vermont
Rated the #1 family-friendly resort in the East by Ski magazine, Smugglers Notch has so much more to offer than just skiing (tubing and arcade games and laser tag, oh my!). Also ranked in the top ten best ski resorts for beginners, their ski school offers uniquely designed kid-friendly programs. Within the ski curriculum, age groups are divided by small increments based on the developmental stages of children, offering students more intentional and appropriate lessons. And children 6 weeks to 3 years who are not yet ready to ski or ride can enjoy their day at Treasures Child Care Center. When the family needs a break from the slopes, Smugglers Notch offers daily family friendly activities that include bonfires, bingo, magic shows and so much more.
Keystone Resort, Colorado
If your family is made up of avid skiiers, then Keystone is for you. With over 3,000 acres of terrain over three mountains, there are 135 trails on-site! While Keystone is mostly known for its intermediate or expert ski options, there is skiing available for all skill levels and still plenty to do for the youngsters. They have a daily Kidtopia schedule with things like cookie time and meet and greets with the avalanche dog team, not to mention it's five acre skating lake and fun sleigh rides. Keystone announced it's opening November 6th for the 2020 ski season, with standard health protocols in place. Reservations are required.
Northstar California Ski Resort
Tahoe is truly a beautiful area to ski, and Northstar's family-friendly atmosphere makes this a great all-around option. This North Lake Tahoe resort, located in Truckee, CA, features 100 trails over more than 3,100 skiable acres, with plenty for everyone in the family to explore. Spend time on the slopes all day, then enjoy time together by group fire pits with hot chocolate and complementary s'mores for a family apres ski. Have some family members needing a day off from the slopes? Enjoy ice skating and snow tubing while you enjoy the elements in a more laid back atmosphere. Similar to Beaver Creek, they offer a ski guarantee for children's ski lessons, so you can have confidence in building your child's skill level by the end of the trip. Another member of the Epic Pass, Northstar also gives pass holders priority access to reservation days. Winter season 2020 opens November 20th.
Have more questions? Ready to book? Send us a note and we'll get you ski ready this winter!
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