Getting your little ones to learn to ski and snowboard at an early age can be quite rewarding as they enjoy a lifetime full of snow fun.
It can be something they will live to thank you for if they end up loving snow sports.
Unfortunately, planning a ski vacation, especially with children in mind, is a challenging task. You don’t want to simply follow the snow and end up on any ski mountain.
What you instead want is to pick the best ski resort that truly meets your needs and those of your kids.
Because you care for your little ones so much, you want to choose a ski mountain that offers the best ski lessons, kid-friendly activities, and many gentle slopes.
The good thing about planning a ski trip in the U.S. is that there is certainly no scarcity of ski areas and great mountains to explore.
If you are ready to hit the slopes with your kids for your next winter vacation, we’ve got you covered in this article.
And it doesn’t matter where you live because we’ve reviewed ski resorts from all over the U.S., so you can easily find a perfect place near you to ski with your family.
Table of Contents
- 1 21 Best Ski Resorts for Families in the U.S.
- 2 #.1 Park City Mountain Resort, Utah
- 3 #2. Mt. Bachelor, Oregon
- 4 #3. Smugglers’ Notch Resort, Vermont
- 5 4. Keystone Resort, Colorado
- 6 5. Winter Park Resort, Colorado
- 7 6. Steamboat Ski Resort, Colorado
- 8 #7. Deer Valley, Utah
- 9 #8. Vail Resort, Colorado
- 10 #9. Beaver Creek Resort, Colorado
- 11 #10. Big Sky Resort, Montana
- 12 #11. Stowe Mountain Resort, Vermont
- 13 #12. Okemo Mountain Resort, Vermont
- 14 #13. Aspen Mountain, Colorado
- 15 #14. Heavenly Mountain Resort, California
- 16 #15. Breckenridge Ski Resort, Colorado
- 17 #16. Solitude Mountain Resort, Utah
- 18 #17. Bretton Woods, New Hampshire
- 19 #18. Camelback, Pennsylvania
- 20 #19. Jackson Hole, Wyoming
- 21 #20. Whiteface Mountain, New York
- 22 #21. Lutsen Mountains, Minnesota
- 23 FAQs
- 24 Wrap Up
21 Best Ski Resorts for Families in the U.S.
#.1 Park City Mountain Resort, Utah
- Vertical Drop – 3226 feet
- Skiable Area – 7,300 acres
- Ski Lifts – 44
Park City Mountain is one of the largest ski resorts in the US that boasts a vast mountain terrain of 7,300 acres.
It has about 341 runs that suit different skiing and snowboarding abilities, with 8% of the runs set aside for beginners. This makes it an ideal destination for families with skiers and boarders of all levels.
Since accommodation is a critical service for families in a ski area, Park City Mountain offers differentiated options, which are well-suited for those traveling with kids.
Apart from skiing and snowboarding, you and your kids can also engage in other activities like dog sledding, snowmobiling, snow tubing, alpine roller coasters, and more.
When you are not on the slopes, Park City’s Main Street is a great place to enjoy dining and shopping with your kids.
Park City Mountain has an excellent school where your kids can learn to ski and snowboard at a reasonable cost as long as they are three years and above.
If you have kids who cannot ski or are under three years, they can spend time at the Little Adventures Children’s Center while you ride downhill.
#2. Mt. Bachelor, Oregon
- Vertical Drop – 3365 feet
- Skiable Area – 4323 acres
- Ski Lifts – 15
Located in the scenic Cascade Range of central Oregon, Mt. Bachelor is a great ski destination for families.
The ski area has a vast lift-accessible terrain that spreads across more than 4300 acres. The ski terrain offers diverse slopes that cater to different ages and ski abilities.
Mt. Bachelor is famous for its family-friendly zones that provide even the youngest skiers with the best experience on the mountain.
You don’t have to bring your own gear, as you can rent everything you need in the resort or have your skis and board tuned and repaired.
If you have older kids who already know how to ski, they can head to Progression Park and the Lava Tube to experience the joy of downhill skiing while you take on more challenging slopes.
For a fun experience with your whole family, you can visit the Volcano Adventure Zone to enjoy the natural rolls, dips, and open glades.
There are plenty of dining and accommodation options here, and most properties offer free transportation from the mountain.
There is a great ski school at Mt. Bachelor where kids and adults can learn to ski and snowboard by enrolling in one of the programs.
Families with younger kids who cannot ski or snowboard can take them to the Mt. Bachelor Daycare Center. This daycare center has highly-qualified staff and accepts kids aged six weeks to 10 years
#3. Smugglers’ Notch Resort, Vermont
- Vertical Drop – 2610 feet
- Skiable Area – 1000 acres
- Ski Lifts – 8
Smugglers’ Notch Resort is consistently rated as a top ski destination for families in New England, and there is a good reason for that.
What makes Smugglers’ Notch Resort a great contender among the best family ski resorts in the U.S. is its ability to provide something to skiers and boarders of all ages and abilities.
The year-round resort offers a wide range of dining and accommodation options that families of different sizes can choose, but the real star remains differentiated skiing opportunities.
Most ski runs in this resort are easily accessible with lifts and suit different levels to ensure that everyone in the family has something to enjoy.
If you are not hitting the slopes in Smugglers’ Notch, you can enjoy snow tubing, ice skating, sleigh rides, snowmobiling, golfing, and wall climbing.
As long as they are six weeks and above, babies can spend time at the resort’s daycare, which has dedicated and qualified staff.
Slightly older kids aged three years and above can take ski and snowboarding lessons while you and your partner enjoy riding down the mountain.
4. Keystone Resort, Colorado
- Vertical Drop – 3128 feet
- Skiable Area – 3148 acres
- Ski Lifts – 20
With endless skiing and snowboarding opportunities and activities, Keystone Resort is undoubtedly one of the most family-friendly ski destinations in the U.S.
The vast Colorado resort is spread across three mountains and boasts a skiable terrain of over 3100 acres, with diverse runs that suit varied abilities.
If your family has skiers and boarders of different levels of experience, you don’t have to stress about anything since everyone will have plenty of terrains to explore.
What’s more, kids under 12 can ski free in Keystone at no additional cost once you purchase your adult lift tickets.
Other activities to enjoy with your kids when spending time in Keystone include sleigh riding, ice skating, snow tubing, snow biking, dining, and shopping.
When it comes to accommodation, Keystone has some of the most convenient lodging options for skiers and boarders looking to hit the slopes fast.
Keystone offers kids and adults a wide range of ski and snowboarding lessons. If your main aim is to sharpen your skills, you can enroll in a private lesson that can include your whole family.
And there is extra fun for kids only at Keystone Kidtopia playground and Camp Keystone.
5. Winter Park Resort, Colorado
- Vertical Drop – 3060 feet
- Skiable Area – 3081 acres
- Ski Lifts – 25
If you are looking for a remote ski area to visit with your family for your next ski trip, Winter Park Resort is your best bet.
While it will take you about an hour to drive to Winter Park from Denver International Airport, you’ll quickly forget how long you drove once you arrive here.
Since Winter Park receives impressive snowfall each season, the snow conditions are usually splendid and reliable during the ski season.
The family-friendly ski resort features modern amenities and endless opportunities for skiers and boarders of all ages and abilities.
There is a village base with great dining and lodging options in Winter Park, so you don’t have to worry about traveling too far to find a place to eat and spend the night.
Your kids can learn to ski and snowboard at Winter Park ski school while you enjoy riding downhill.
In the evening, you can enroll them for the Kids’ Night Out to give you time to grab dinner or relax with your partner in hot tubs.
At Kids’ Night Out, your kids will enjoy activities involving art and crafts, game nights, and movies.
6. Steamboat Ski Resort, Colorado
- Vertical Drop – 3668
- Skiable Area – 2965 acres
- Ski Lifts – 21
Another popular ski area that many families visit repeatedly for their winter vacation in Steamboat.
Steamboat Ski Resort offers everything skiers and snowboarders would ever ask for when visiting with their families. These include top-notch accommodations, superb dining, and excellent ski slopes.
Beginner skiers in your family will love spending time in the terrain park and beginner area, which are just reserved for new skiers and kids. Here, they can practice riding without distractions from advanced skiers.
Apart from skiing and boarding, you can enjoy more adventures at Steamboat, as the resort is home to a long mountain coaster that provides an array of waves, dips, and circles.
Families can also participate in other non-ski activities like snowmobile tours, scenic gondola rides, horseback riding, and outdoor ice-skating.
If you want to warm yourself up before hitting the slopes, you can visit Steamboat Springs to soak up the natural hot springs.
There are different types of ski and riding lessons for kids and adults in Steamboat. You can choose a private package to learn with your entire family or enroll your children in kid’s lessons if you already know how to ski.
No matter which program you choose, you’ll get instructions from qualified trainers who help you build confidence and technique.
#7. Deer Valley, Utah
- Vertical Drop – 3000 feet
- Skiable Area – 2026 acres
- Ski Lifts – 21
Known for its perfect grooming and excellent amenities, Deer Valley is a family-friendly ski resort located in Utah. It’s a great destination for ski purists traveling with their kids, as it doesn’t allow snowboarders.
To reduce crowds and let families enjoy the fullness of the experience while on the mountain, Deer Valley Resort ensures that daily tickets are only limited to a certain number.
It has plenty of room for learning and exploration for beginners and advanced skiers, as the mountain boasts a large skiable area of over 2000 acres and 21 lifts.
The resort offers various services and activities, including snowshoeing, snowmobiling, sleigh rides, dog sledding, ice-skating, and more.
Dining and accommodation should be the least of your concern when visiting Deer Valley Resort, as there are options to suit all families. You can eat in a café, grill, or one of the rustic restaurants featured on this mountain.
For parents with young children, Deer Valley offers professional daycare facilities, something you may not find in many resorts.
Kids interested in skiing can join the ski school and enroll in a learning program. There is also an adaptive private instruction program for individuals with disabilities.
#8. Vail Resort, Colorado
- Vertical Drop – 3450 feet
- Skiable Area – 5289 acres
- Ski Lifts – 31
If you plan to go for a winter vacation with your family, you might want to choose one of the world’s best ski destinations, and in this case, Vail Resort is perfect.
The popular Colorado resort is famous for its excellent amenities, endless skiing opportunities, and unlimited fun activities for kids.
When spending time in Vail, you’ll have plenty of terrains to explore since the mountain covers over 5200 acres and has four base areas.
With 195 trails ranging from green to double black diamond runs, Vail has something for everyone to enjoy.
Beginners and kids can learn to ski at the resort’s ski school while experts and teens can have fun on the legendary black bowls of soft, deep powder.
When you are not skiing or snowboarding in Vail, you can join your kids and enjoy activities like snow biking, sledding, snow tubing, riding snow coasters, and snowmobiling.
Once you get enough of the snow, you can visit one of the resort’s family-friendly restaurants for dinner.
The Adventure Ridge fun zone makes Vail one of the best family ski resorts. Your kids will have ultimate entertainment here while you and your partner ski down the mountain.
If you have children who want to learn to ski, Vail Resort has a ski school that welcomes kids aged three years and above.
#9. Beaver Creek Resort, Colorado
- Vertical Drop – 3340
- Skiable Area – 2082 acres
- Ski Lifts – 24
What ski destination is more kid-friendly than one with an on-site Candy Cabin ready to give your little ones a sugar fix before they even start hitting the slopes?
Beaver Creek Resort has everything your family needs for a perfect winter vacation, as the mountain has excellent amenities and enormous terrain.
The Resort’s skiable area of about 2082 acres features trails of all levels and abilities to ensure an enjoyable experience for everyone regardless of their experience.
If you need to polish your riding skills, Beaver Creek Resort has a winter sports school where you can learn everything you need to know and build experience.
But if you are an expert skier looking to get a skiing thrill, you can ski the mountain’s longest trail that runs from peak to bottom.
The resort has an array of dining and accommodation options in Beaver Creek Village, so you don’t have to travel far after enjoying the snowy slopes.
Your kids can learn to ski and snowboard in Beaver Creek Resort and later engage in fun family activities like ice fishing, ice skating, sleigh riding, snow tubing, dog sledding, and cross-country skiing.
#10. Big Sky Resort, Montana
- Vertical Drop – 4350 feet
- Skiable Area – 5850 acres
- Ski Lifts – 36
With over 5800 acres of skiable terrain, Big Sky Resort is a vast ski area with differentiated slopes for young and old skiers and boarders.
Big Sky’s easy accessibility makes it one of the most attractive family ski resorts in North America.
And the good thing about this resort is that it doesn’t limit beginners and intermediates to the lower slopes only since there are green and blue trails that run from the top for great views.
Many people flock to Big Sky during the winter for exceptional skiing, but you don’t have to worry about crowds since its large terrain ensures that there are no extremely busy runs and long lift queues.
There are several skiing and snowboarding programs that will keep your little ones busy while you ski downhill.
And if you have kids who cannot ski or snowboard, they can spend time at the Lone Peak Playground.
When it comes to dining and accommodation, Big Sky has lots of family-friendly lodgings and restaurants.
There is also a ski bust to help you navigate the ski town and enjoy different activities after skiing.
If you have kids under ten years, they can join the Free Kids Club to hit the slopes freely in Big Sky, as long as you stay in one of the Big Sky-managed properties.
But those under five years can ski free in Big Sky regardless of where you book your hotel.
The accessible learning features and interactive surprises in the Lost Frontier adventure area will also give your kids an exciting experience.
#11. Stowe Mountain Resort, Vermont
- Vertical Drop – 2360 feet
- Skiable Area – 485 acres
- Ski Lifts – 12
If you are looking to get a comfortable and luxurious experience from your family skiing vacation, Stowe Mountain Resort offers world-class skiing and premium amenities.
With two different mountains, Mount Mansfield and Spruce Peak, Stowe Mountain has a large skiable area comprising 116 trails.
Since Vail Resorts owns Stowe Mountain Resort, you can access the mountain freely if you are an Epic pass holder.
It’s easy to navigate the mountains, given the resort has quick ski lifts and a gondola to help you reach the Spruce Peak Lodge.
The luxury and accommodation in Stowe Mountain are irresistible. You can stay in a large 4-bedroom suite that is adequately suited to give your family the best relaxation.
At the base of the mountain, you’ll find an Ice-Skating Rink and Spruce Peak Plaza that offers stunning views and many activities, from rock climbing to shopping.
Stowe has a daycare and Adventure Center where your kids can play while you have fun on the slopes.
For kids interested in skiing and snowboarding, Stowe has a ski school that accepts kids from the age of three years.
#12. Okemo Mountain Resort, Vermont
- Vertical Drop – 2200 feet
- Skiable Area – 667 acres
- Ski Lifts – 20
Okemo Mountain Resort is a family-oriented ski area with slopes that suit skiers and boarders of all ages and abilities. It usually tops the list of the best ski resorts for families on the East Coast, with a good reason.
If your family has members with different skill levels, you can choose Okemo Mountain Resort without a second thought, as it offers a wide range of slopes for beginners, intermediates, and experts.
It has multiple terrain parks where you and your teens can learn and perform tricks to break downhill skiing monotony.
When you are not in the mood for the snowy slopes while spending time in Okemo Mountain Resort, you can visit the fitness center and Spring house aquatics center.
From saunas and hot tubs to swimming pools and water slides, Okemo Mountain offers lots of fun for both kids and adults.
Your children will love the Kids’ Night Out as it provides a wide range of activities, while parents can have a date night at one of the resort’s exquisite restaurants.
For ski and snowboarding lessons, Okemo ski school has qualified trainers and accepts learners aged three years and above.
#13. Aspen Mountain, Colorado
- Vertical Drop – 4406 feet
- Skiable Area – 3132 acres
- Ski Lifts – 21
Aspen Snowmass is a four-mountain ski resort in the Elk Mountains of Colorado. The four mountains featured in this resort include Buttermilk, Snowmass, Aspen Highlands, and Aspen Mountain.
The enormous Colorado resort is known for its various slopes for skiers of all levels, as well as exciting après-ski activities for kids and adults.
Among the four mountains, Buttermilk is best suited for skiing with kids, thanks to its gentle slopes.
With a regional airport that connects to different major U.S. cities, Aspen Snowmass is easily accessible. The resort sometimes offers free pick-up on arrival, making it ideal for families with young kids.
If you don’t want to ski or snowboard, Aspen provides other activities to spice up your winter vacation, such as snowshoeing and alpine coaster riding.
You can also enjoy snowcat chauffeured dinner rides and snow tubes or have fun with your little ones at the lovely ice-skating rink.
There are endless green and blue runs that kids can enjoy in Aspen. Those who want to learn to ski can take half-day or full-day lessons, depending on their age and level.
#14. Heavenly Mountain Resort, California
- Vertical Drop – 3500 feet
- Skiable Area – 4800 acres
- Ski Lifts – 28
If you are looking for a ski resort with unmatched beauty and expansive terrain on the West Coast, Heavenly Mountain is a great option.
Featuring the region’s longest vertical Drop and a high elevation, Heavenly Mountain Resort provides breathtaking views of the Sierra Nevada mountain range and Lake Tahoe.
The South Lake Tahoe resort offers incredible ski trails that suit all levels and abilities, so everyone in the family will have something to enjoy.
You don’t have to stress about accommodation since there are several lodging options that suit families of different sizes.
Kids are welcome to take ski and snowboard lessons at Heavenly. When you are not hitting the slopes, there are many kid-friendly activities to engage in with your family.
You can go shopping in the village or spend time at Adventure Peak, easily accessible with a gondola. You can also take your kids to skate at the resort’s ice skating rink.
#15. Breckenridge Ski Resort, Colorado
- Vertical Drop – 3398 feet
- Skiable Area – 2908 acres
- Ski Lifts – 34
Breckenridge is one of Colorado’s most visited ski areas, but you don’t have to worry about crowds and long queues since the mountain is vast.
The resort boasts five towering peaks that offer spectacular views to skiers and boarders while riding down the mountain.
If you have beginners in your family, they will benefit from the resort’s world-class instructors.
The slopes here are ideal for skiers and snowboarders of all levels, from beginners to experts.
Moreover, you don’t have to be on your skis and boards to have fun. You can visit the outdoor or indoor ice skating rink, heated outdoor pool, water slide, climbing wall, or basket and tennis courts for a rewarding experience.
The ski-in and ski-out accommodation options make it convenient for families skiing in Breckenridge without a car.
Teens and kids who can ski and snowboard will love skiing the gentle slopes adjacent to the Adventure Zone for more fun afterward.
For kids who don’t know how to ski, daycare and lessons are available in Breckenridge. There is also a Mountain Top Children’s Museum and an alpine coaster to keep your little ones busy while you ski downhill.
#16. Solitude Mountain Resort, Utah
- Vertical Drop – 2494 feet
- Skiable Area – 1,200 acres
- Ski Lifts – 9
If you are a tree skiing fanatic, Solitude Mountain Resort has excellent glades for you to explore.
The mountain has a skiable area of 1200 acres and provides a tranquil skiing environment since it’s somehow less crowded.
If you need to improve your riding skills or have family members who are just starting, Solitude Mountain has a Snowsports Academy.
You won’t have to stress about where to eat and stay since this resort offers a variety of dining and accommodation options on-site.
Your kids can learn to ski in Solitude Mountain Resort and engage in other fun activities after skiing, like snowshoeing tours and visiting the village. There is also an outdoor ice rink, which is very kid-friendly.
#17. Bretton Woods, New Hampshire
- Vertical Drop – 1500 feet
- Skiable Area – 467 acres
- Ski Lifts – 10
Known for excellent grooming and the best customer service in the East, Bretton Woods is New Hampshire’s largest ski area.
It boasts beautiful views of the Presidential Range and Mount Washington to its guests. There is an impressive summit lodge called Rosebrook, accessible with the Skyway Gondola.
A day spent at Bretton woods involves many activities, including skiing and snowboarding, to ensure that families with kids are adequately entertained.
You can walk along the resort’s trails or enjoy sleigh rides with your kids and significant other after hitting the slopes.
Other activities include Nordic skiing and ice skate skiing across the resort’s diverse terrain.
When it comes to dining and accommodation, Omni Mount Washington Resort is a perfect combination of modern and classic amenities, giving guests a unique old-world luxury feel.
Kids can take ski lessons in Bretton Woods Snowsports School and later engage in other apres-ski activities like snowmobiling, listening to music and stories, and watching clowns.
#18. Camelback, Pennsylvania
- Vertical Drop – 800 feet
- Skiable Area -166 acres
- Ski Lifts – 16
Nestled in the heart of the Pocono Mountains, Camelback is an incredible family ski resort that has been voted no. 1 for the best skiing in Pennsylvania.
It provides trails with reliable snow for skiers and boarders of all levels, from beginners to experts, and there is also a learning center for those looking to sharpen their skills.
If you love skiing when the sun goes down, Camelback is a great ski area to visit, as it offers night skiing on all trails.
The mountain may be smaller compared to other ski areas on the list, but the resort makes up for this in different ways. We are talking about roomy ski trails and endless activities to keep families entertained.
Camelback offers bundled ski lessons for kids and an on-site daycare, making it ideal for those traveling with young kids.
Pro teens can have a lot of fun at the resort’s terrain parks and half-pipes.
#19. Jackson Hole, Wyoming
- Vertical Drop – 4104 feet
- Skiable Area – 2500 acres
- Ski Lifts –13
Being one of the resorts with the highest vertical Drop in the US, Jackson Hole is a fun ski area with reliable snow and excellent ski conditions.
Skiers and riders will have about 2500 acres of terrain to explore when spending time in Jackson Hole. If you want extra fun, you can visit the nearby Snow King Mountain Resort for more adventures.
The resort has perfect runs for all levels and abilities, with the gentle slopes being far from advanced runs to let novice skiers build experience without intimidation from experts.
What’s even more fascinating about Jackson Hole is the village located at the base, as it has everything you need, from delicious foods and cozy rooms to enjoyable apres-ski events.
Children can learn to hit the slopes at Jackson Hole and then join you in the evening for exciting activities like ice skating, wildlife spotting, cross-country skiing, and tubing.
#20. Whiteface Mountain, New York
- Vertical Drop – 3430 feet
- Skiable Area – 299 acres
- Ski Lifts – 11
While Whiteface Mountain is more of a challenging ski area, it has a dedicated learning center, making it a great option for families with advanced skiers and complete beginners.
Famous for hosting two Winter Olympics, Whiteface has plenty of snow activities for families to enjoy on winter vacation, from dog sledding to watching experts.
When you get enough of the snow, you can head to the historic Olympic Village for exciting family-friendly activities.
You can stay at Whiteface Lodge as it has all amenities you need and great fun. There is an ice parlor, a kids club, and an indoor pool.
Kids can learn to ski at the Bear Den Learning Center and enjoy activities like mountain coaster riding and watching professional skiers master their tricks and ski jumps.
#21. Lutsen Mountains, Minnesota
- Vertical Drop – 825 feet
- Skiable Area – 1000 acres
- Ski Lifts – 8
Founded in 1948, Lutsen Mountains is the largest ski resort in Minnesota. It provides skiers and boarders with spectacular views of Lake Superior and the Sawtooth Mountains.
The resort cuts through four interconnected mountains, providing families with a wide range of skiing and snowboarding options.
If you love freestyle skiing, Lutsen Mountains has two terrain parks where you can perform tricks and master new moves.
There is a wide array of accommodation and dining options at the Eagle Ridge Resort, nestled at the flanks of Sawtooth Mountain.
Children can learn to ski and snowboard in the beginner area at the mountain base and enjoy other activities like dog sledding, sleigh rides, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing.
Q: Where is the Best Ski Resort for Kids?
A: There are many kid-friendly ski resorts across the world, and the best one for you will depend on where you live and the type of experience you are looking for.
Some of the best family ski resorts in the U.S. include Keystone, Steamboat, Smugglers’ Notch, Park City, Deer Valley, Big Sky, and more.
Q: How Do People Afford to Ski with Family?
A: People can afford to ski with family by purchasing discounted lift tickets and buying their snacks beforehand.
If you are looking for affordable skiing with your little ones, you don’t have to buy tickets for the entire family since kids under five years usually ski-free in most ski resorts.
Q: Is Skiing a Good Family Holiday?
A: Yes, skiing is an enriching experience for a family holiday. It allows families to create unforgettable moments in the snow.
Are you looking to take your family for a ski holiday? The U.S. is home to great ski resorts for families on both the West and East Coast.
No matter where you live, you can be sure of finding a resort that will cater to the needs of everyone in the family.
I hope this guide was useful for planning your next family ski vacation because you truly deserve the best!