Ski resorts can make some of the best family-friendly vacations, especially in late winter. Whether you want to take ski lessons, go tubing, fly down a black diamond or sip hot cocoa in the lodge, these resorts take into consideration your entire family’s vacation needs. Take a look at some of the best family-friendly resorts where your whole family can enjoy a winter wonderland. After all, the family that plays together stays together.
Park City, Utah
Located just 35 miles from Salt Lake City, Park City, Utah, provides family-friendly skiing that can meet all of your skiing needs. Park City Mountain Resort contains 50 percent intermediate terrain, giving your entire family 50 groomed runs to discover. The resort offers the Kids Signature Five Program, a great way for kids to have more instruction without private lessons. Any class in the ski school contains no more than five kids or three kids in classes for children five and under. Children even ride in the six-person ski lift with the instructor. Moms can brush up on the resort in the Snowmamas section of the Web site, where you can ask other ski moms your questions.
Park City Mountain Resort, 1345 Lowell Ave., Park City, UT 84060, 435-649-8111. http://www.parkcitymountain.com
Beaver Creek, Colo.
One of the more luxurious spots to do some family skiing is Beaver Creek, the ski resort about two hours west of Denver where, as they say, you’re not exactly roughing it. With 149 runs, you can ski gentle slopes such as Strawberry Park or the rugged glades and bump runs of Grouse Mountain. The mountain even has four terrain parks and a Super-pipe. Even non-skiers can have fun tubing down the mountain or ice skating. Your family can ski with a ranger for an educational tour about the environment, take a twilight snowshoe tour with hot cocoa and cookies or disco skate night on the village rink.
Beaver Creek, 210 Offerson Road, Avon, CO 816581, 1-800-842-8062. http://www.beavercreek.com/
If terrain parks are your family’s fancy, Breckenridge is the place to go. The resort has five along with two half-pipes to choose from for up-and-coming freestylers and seasoned experts alike. Just two hours from Denver, Breckenridge has everything your family needs for a perfect ski vacation. You have your choice of 155 runs spread over four peaks. When you finish with your skiing, you can explore the Country Boy Mine, the only authentic mine in the area, go dogsledding, take a sleigh ride with dinner or go ice skating on a five-acre lake. For more ideas for the kids, check out http://breckkids.com/breckkids/, where you can find an entire Web site devoted to the resort’s family-friendly activities. You’ll even find great budget-friendly hotels and condos in the area.
Breckenridge Ski Resort, 1599 County Road 3, Breckenridge, CO 80424, 970-453-5000. http://www.breckenridge.com
Lake Placid, N.Y.
Make the home of two Olympic games, including the 1980 Winter Olympics, the place to take your family for more than a ski getaway. This resort set in the Adirondack Mountains spreads over 6 million acres with 2,000 miles of backcountry trails and more than 2,800 lakes and ponds that include one lake monster. Whiteface Mountain contains 86 trails including the longest, Wilmington Trail at 2.1 miles, and the highest vertical drop on the East Coast at 3,430 feet. At the Olympic Sports Complex, your family can partake in off-the-slope activities such as bobsledding, skeleton, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
Olympic Center, Lake Placid, NY 12946, 518-523-1655. http://www.lakeplacid.com/
Smugglers’ Notch, Vt.
Vermont’s Sterling Mountain is home to Smugglers’ Resort, the only resort to guarantee that every member of your family will have fun, learn to ski or snowboard or will improve their technique. Ski Magazine readers have named this the No. 1 resort for family programs for 12 years. The resort contains 78 runs on three mountains with gentle cruisers for beginners, more advanced trails for intermediates and the East Coast’s only triple black-diamond trail, The Black Hole. Children learn to ski at Snow Sport University through group or private lessons. Even children with special needs can take part in the adaptive skiing and riding programs. Dog sledding, ice skating, snowmobile tours and tube sliding all make the agenda here.
Smugglers’ Notch Resort, 4323 Vermont Route 108 South, Smugglers’ Notch, VT 05464-9537, 802-644-8851. http://www.smuggs.com/