Though spring is around the corner, many mountain resorts are still getting mounds of fresh snow, making this a great time for a family ski vacation. Whether your family prefers skiing in powder in western states or on hard pack snow in the northeast, mountain resorts around the country have fun terrain for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities.

Snow Summit Resort 2/2010

Photo Courtesy: Big Bear Mountain Resorts

Resorts range from small to massive, and snow conditions vary depending on the region. So how to choose? A family ski trip isn’t cheap, so perhaps whichever resort is closest to home makes most sense for your family. But if your travel budget allows, experiencing a variety of resorts and snow conditions can help sharpen your skills. Many resorts reach out to families with ski and hotel deals, so be sure to look for those.

Here are some of TravelingMom’s favorite places to ski and snowboard with kids.

Planning your family ski trip

First of all, alleviate stress by not expecting a perfect ski trip, because there’s no such thing, says veteran skier Kim-Marie Evans, a mother of four, who shares tips for getting organized. Planning a multi-family ski trip? The first step is designating a leader to organize a big family ski vacation.

In addition, ski clothing can take up a lot of space, so you may want to consider renting gear, says Shannon Entin, Homeschool TravelingMom.

Kid-Learning-to-Ski-Colorado-With-Instructor

Free ski school / Photo credit Tami Mittan, Outdoorsy TravelingingMom

Best Kid Friendly Ski Resorts in the US West

Colorado

From “kids ski free” programs to lodging discounts, Colorado abounds with ski/snowboard deals. Standby TravelingMom Chris Bird hits the slopes as soon as the snow does.  With the sun shining overhead and plenty of snow on the ground, spring is a fabulous time to ski in Colorado. Steamboat Springs celebrates Winter Carnival every year in February.

The first step is signing up your family for ski or snowboard lessons, says Jennifer Close. It’s worth the extra cost to learn the snow sports from professionals.

Loveland Ski Area is two resorts in one, ensuring everyone from beginners to experts finds comfortable or challenging terrain, whatever they’re looking for, says Susie Kellogg, Unstoppable TravelingMom.

There’s more than one way to get down the mountain at Keystone Resort, says Desiree Miller, FamilyFun TravelingMom. Thank goodness for Ski taxi!

Granby Ranch, Grand County’s short lines, budget-friendly tickets and congenial terrain make this resort a favorite with Diana Rowe, Traveling Grandmom.

Tubing, playing in the snow and warming up by a cozy fire pit are among the fun things to do with kids off the slopes at Copper Mountain, says Sue Rodman, TravelingMom with Teens.

California

Not far from California’s beautiful beaches the golden state has ski resorts that rival those of Colorado and Utah. The Lake Tahoe area alone has about a dozen ski areas. Find great skiing, a cozy ambiance and plenty of fun activities at Northstar California Resort.

More amazing family resorts include Mammoth and Big Bear, stomping grounds for Mimi Slawoff, Los Angeles TravelingMom and her family.

New Mexico

Taos.

Photo Courtesy: Taos Ski Valley

What, snow in New Mexico? You bet!  Find world-class skiing and friendly service at family-owned resorts Taos, Red River Ski Area and Ski Santa Fe.

The Red River Ski Area is especially conducive for beginners and intermediates, although there’s plenty of expert terrain too. The small mountain town (population 500) is a laid-back, family-friendly ski area that will make you feel welcome, says Los Angeles TravelingMom.

Utah

Learn to Ski at Brian Head Resort, Utah

Photo Credit: Mike Saemisch

It’s easy to feel intimidated in a state known for 15 top-notch ski resorts, but beginners feel welcome, too, says Andrea Guthman, Midwest TravelingMom. Especially at small resorts like Brian Head in southern Utah, says Los Angeles TravelingMom. The resort uses Terrain-Based Learning to give newbies a head start to carving up slopes.

 

Northeast US Ski Resorts

Alpine skiers, snowboarders and cross-country skiers share the slopes at Belleayre Mountain, a family friendly resort located in Highmount, New York in the Catskill Forest Preserve.  Angela Tiffin, History Buff TravelingMom, finds this resort ideal for beginners and family members with varying ski abilities.

Kid Friendly Ski Resorts in the US South

Save time by hitting three ski resorts within close proximity of each other in North Carolina’s high country, says Sue Rodman, TravelingMom with Teens

British Columbia

Whistler attracts serious skiers, but it’s also the ultimate family ski vacation, according to Meagan Shamy, Military TravelingMom, who carved up slopes at this resort with her three kids.

Silver Star Mountain Resort’s expansive terrain, ideal snow conditions, few crowds and adaptive skiing scored big with Karin Sheets, Special Needs TravelingMom, and her family.