Even the most seasoned skiers often stress out about trips to the slopes when it involves the entire family. You try and accommodate everyone, and end up pleasing no one. Is there enough beginner terrain for the kids, and still plenty of bowls, chutes and bumps for the grown-ups (or, more likely, vice versa?!) Will your children embrace the sport you look forward to each winter and make friends at ski school, or will they throw a tantrum and call it quits after day one, leaving you to supervise for the remainder of the trip?
At Liftopia, we understand how important it is to keep everyone in the family happy — no matter their ability or age. We travel around a fair bit – and have a number of parents on our team – so we hand-picked five of our favorite family friendly resorts, each offering something unique for the family.
- Park City – If nothing else, Park City is one of the most accessible mountain resorts in the U.S. (under an hour from the Salt Lake City Airport), so you’re already starting the trip off right by avoiding the nagging “are we there yet?” and “can we go to McDonalds?” on the car ride up. But the resort itself is also a favorite with families because of its excellent and affordable Ski School program. To help get you prepared, Park City also has a dedicated blog, Park City SnowMamas, with tips on things like packing lists, family-friendly lodging and more.
- Diamond Peak– Beyond offering a great ski school program, this family-friendly resort makes our list because of the stunning views of Lake Tahoe – and as importantly, the accessibility of the views. You don’t have to make your way up to the peak with expert-only terrain to soak it all in; cruise on the greens all day or hang out at the lodge with hot chocolate and you’ll still get plenty of killer shots of the lake.
- Smuggler’s Notch – A long-time favorite for New England families, this Vermont resort offers skiing programs for kids of all ages. You’ve got babysitting for the wee ones too young to get on the mountain, ski school for their slightly older siblings, and even special teen-only programs both on and off the slopes to keep teens occupied day and night while their uncool parents get some much needed time alone. No family member is left behind!
- Winter Park – Entering its 71st season, Winter Park opened a new base village last year, The Village at Winter Park, expanding already plentiful shopping and dining options. Parents will have time to explore the slopes and the new village with babysitting services.
- Greek Peak – This resort is a favorite for families for everything there is to do both on and off the slopes. As much as we all love skiing here, when the temperature drops and the storm roll in, even the most well-behaved children can lose their temper. To mix things up on days like this, Greek Peak boasts a year-round water park – it’s indoors and kept at a balmy 84 degrees!
Have your own favorite family-friendly mountain resorts? Please share.