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- 1. Beaver Creek Ski Resort, Colorado
- 2. Copper Mountain Ski Resort, Colorado
- 3. Jackson Hole Ski Resort, Wyoming
- 4. Keystone Ski Resort, Colorado
- 5. Midwest Ski Resorts, U.S.
- 6. Northstar Ski Resort, California
- 7. Snowmass Ski Resort, Colorado
- 8. Sunlight Mountain Resort, Colorado
- 9. Squaw Valley Ski Resort, California
- 10. Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico
Where are the best ski resorts for skiing with kids for the 2019-2020 season? Ski-loving TravelingMoms share their top picks of family ski resorts throughout the United States for this ski season. Read on for been-there-done-that insider tips on where to ski with your family this winter.
11 Best Family Ski Resorts for the 2019-2020 Ski Season
Our TravelingMoms from across the country share tips on their favorite family ski resorts. Use their expert advice to choose the right ski resort for your family including what ski pass should you get for your family.
Also, take advantage of their insider tips on how to get there, what’s new and more. Find out where kids ski free, who offers the best ski lessons and where to find family-friendly events. Learn about the best ski resorts, then have the most fun on your family ski trip this winter!
1. Beaver Creek Ski Resort, Colorado
Liana Moore’s children learned to ski at Beaver Creek and she dubs the resort “the place where locals learn to ski.” The ski school is first class. Her son’s ski instructor has convinced him that his wipeouts are backflips. So he is stoked to tell his family all about them at the end of the day. The mountain has really fun but non-intimidating areas for beginners to learn.
There are terrain parks with fun stops. These include Ghost Town and Riparoo’s Cabin. And, Candy Cabin and the warm chocolate chip cookies served at 3 p.m. at the base of the mountain provide much-needed motivation for the kiddos. Beaver Creek is not an inexpensive place to learn to ski. But it really doesn’t get any more hassle-free.
TravelingMom Tip: Learning to ski can teach important life lessons to both kids and adults. Liana definitely recommends starting kids in ski school around ages 6 to 10.
2. Copper Mountain Ski Resort, Colorado
Diana Rowe says kid-friendly Colorado’s Copper Mountain Ski Resort is perfect for families of all ages — and, of course, multigenerational families. Whenever her grandkids are asked who is their favorite snowboarding instructor…CJ at Copper Mountain is number one! There are so many reasons to love Copper: from its convenient location to affordable accommodations, snow tubing, ski & snowboard school, other fun family activities and, of course, great snow conditions. This is a ski resort the whole family is sure to love, from little ones to teens.
The resort also offers free childcare to families spending time and money in town. Wednesday through Saturday from 5:30 pm – 10:00 pm during ski season parents can drop their kids off for up to three hours of babysitting. Just bring along your dinner or shopping receipt for $30 or more at pick up.
TravelingMom Tip: Get a room! Seriously make it a long weekend and book a condo (like we did) or hotel room. Totally worth bunkering down together and creating more memories with the family — or in my case the multigenerational family.
3. Jackson Hole Ski Resort, Wyoming
TravelingMom, Andrea Guthman, says being a scenery-starved city girl, she loves skiing for the outdoor beauty it brings. Because outdoor adventures are her top priority, Jackson Hole, Wyoming is her pick. The trip always gets off to a breathtaking start, landing in Jackson Hole Airport, located entirely within Grand Teton National Park. Combining skiing with day trips to the Grand Tetons and nearby Yellowstone National Park is her idea of a perfect vacation!
TravelingMom Tip: Another perk for families? Jackson Hole Mountain Resort welcomes kids, 14 and under, to ski and rent free, one child per paying adult, with a four-night resort condo rental. Sweet deal, as junior tickets can be as much as $80.
4. Keystone Ski Resort, Colorado
TravelingMom, Breeze Leonard, says that beautiful Keystone, Colorado has one of the most wonderful ski resorts for families. her favorite reasons to visit is that kids 12 and under ski for FREE! During her entire stay, they had Kidtopia activities for the family off the slopes which meant the fun didn’t end once they got off the mountain.
Families can take sleigh rides or play in the world’s largest snow fort. They have family game nights, winter movie matinees, River Run fireworks, parades and so much more! Everything is conveniently located in the village so you can eat lunch, rent your gear, warm up next to a campfire all before or after skiing.
TravelingMom Tip: The Colorado Mountain Express will transport you from the Denver, Colorado airport to Keystone and once you arrive in Keystone the resort has its own shuttle service that will take you to lodging locations, local restaurants, and the River Run village.
5. Midwest Ski Resorts, U.S.
TravelingMom Tip: For a no-frills, budget-friendly ski resort, try Indianhead Mountain in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The price is much lower than most Midwest ski spots, and they have an outstanding ski school. Since they’re in the Lake Superior snow belt, they will have tons of real snow up until late March (spring break!) – none of the fake slushy stuff.
6. Northstar Ski Resort, California
Leslie Harvey says one of the best parts of traveling with kids as a parent is taking them to destinations that had meaning in your own childhood. For Leslie’s family, Northstar California Resort in North Lake Tahoe is one such meaningful place. She says, “Northstar has changed a lot since our childhood, but it remains one of the premier ski resorts for families in the country. My husband and I skied it many times before kids, and we now return regularly with our two children.”
Northstar offers many perfect wide groomed greens and blues for families to ski. Also, foodies will be happy. Anyone will enjoy the extensive food and dining choices. Leslie says, “All of the restaurants welcome kids – even high-end Manzanita at the Ritz.”
TravelingMom Tip: Check Northstar’s trail map closely before heading up the lifts higher on the mountain. Northstar has several sections of the mountain where there is no easy greenway down and all the runs are blue and black.
7. Snowmass Ski Resort, Colorado
Snowmass, Colorado has always been a family-friendly ski resort with ski-in ski-out slopeside condos lining the base of the mountain. But last ski season they really upped their game.
Last winter saw the addition of a winter playground atop the mountain including a new alpine coaster. And, now Snowmass is now home to Colorado’s largest indoor rock-realistic climbing wall, towering at 54 feet high. It runs directly up front of the new Limelight Hotel Snowmass.
TravelingMom Tip: Take your family on a search for the branded s’mores carts, resembling oversized marshmallows.
8. Sunlight Mountain Resort, Colorado
TravelingMom Tip: At the top of the mountain, there is a bathroom with a vault toilet. Stop at the little hut with heaters to warm up your little groms on the coldest of days.
9. Squaw Valley Ski Resort, California
Catherine Parker says after years of lessons and scooting down the bunny hills, she finally introduced her kids, 9, 12 and 14-years-old, to Squaw Valley. It was an epic weekend where they ran the mountain like Olympians.
There’s nothing better than carving the perfect line through glistening snow while sneaking peeks of the pristine alpine lake. The National Parks Traveling Mom of three found a huge area packed with lots of family-friendly green runs, perfect for kids.
TravelingMom Tip: Take everything you need in one trip since the good green skiing is at the top of the mountain. Also, check the weather before heading out. The winds can be brutal for little people. It’s Catherine’s favorite place to ski in North America under a bluebird sky.
10. Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico
Diana Rowe says to add this family-friendly winter destination to your ski vacation list! Last year she road-tripped, with her multigenerational family packed in the car, to Taos, less than a 5-hour drive from Denver. At 9,500 feet, Taos offered so much to love including nearly 1,300 skiable acres with 13 ski lifts and a new and improved Children’s Center.
Located just 18 miles from the town of Taos, Taos Ski Valley is a privately owned ski destination, with fewer crowds and more fun in a family-centric winter playground. From her adult daughter to her 4-year-old granddaughter, everyone loved the slow pace with fewer people on the Taos mountain.
TravelingMom Tip: Book a room at The Blake at Taos Ski Valley. This boutique hotel is perfect for families. Diana stayed in a room that provided “elbow room” for our family of 5, time together and time apart. Bonus – our room overlooked the outdoor pool and hot tub.
11. Vail Ski Resort, Colorado
TravelingMom, Liana Moore, considers Vail her hometown. For skiers looking for unlimited terrain, Vail is it. With 5289 skiable acres, Vail is one of the largest ski resort in North America. Two high speed gondolas run out of the two quaint alpine-themed mountain villages. The back bowls are epic. Skiers could ski all week long and not repeat a ski run, at least until the end of the day. The ski resort itself is best for families with older kids or more advanced ski families. Teens will love the terrain parks.
Also, the surrounding areas boast amazing (free) sledding hills. Some of the local hotels will offer free loaner sleds and snowshoes. Moonlight snowshoeing is another great family activity. The town has much to offer too. With a free bus system and a variety of dining and other family winter activities, no one will be bored.
New this year is Epic for Everyone. Purchase lift tickets far in advance for the best price. In addition to Epic for Everyone, new investment in snowmaking ensures that regardless of early season snowfall, ski conditions will be good starting at Thanksgiving.
TravelingMom Tip: Mountain TravelingMom also recommends that families take advantage of the ski condo option and one that offers ski valet service.
What Ski Pass Should you Get for your Family?
If you live near multiple ski resorts or ski often, you should consider investing in either the Epic Pass or Ikon Pass.
For the 2019 – 2020 ski season the Epic Local Pass includes skiing at Breckenridge, Keystone, Crested Butte, Stevens Pass, Wilmot, Afton Alps, Mt Brighton, Okemo, Mount Sunapee, Park City Mountain Resort, Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood and Stowe, Vermont. Plus 10 restricted days at Vail, Beaver Creek and Whistler Blackcomb. Then there are also two days at Sun Valley and Snowbasin, Utah. Then there are five days total at Hakuba Valley and Rusutso, Japan. Last not least is access to Peak Resorts: Boston Mills, Brandywine, Mad River Mountain, Hidden Valley, Snow Creek, Paoli Peaks, Alpine Valley, Mount Snow, Hunter Mountain, Attitash Mountain Resort, Wildcat Mountain, Crotched Mountain, Liberty Mountain Resort, Roundtop Mountain Resort, Whitetail Resort, Jack Frost, and Big Boulder.
This season the Ikon Pass includes unlimited access to Steamboat, Winter Park Resort, Copper Mountain, Eldora, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, Mammoth Mountain, June Mountain, Big Bear Mountain Resort, Stratton, Snowshoe, Crystal Mountain, Tremblant, Blue Mountain and Solitude Mountain Resort. In addition the Ikon Pass offers 7 day at: Jackson Hole, Big Sky Resort, Sugarbush, Boyne Highlands, Boyne Mountain, The Summit at Snoqualmie, Revelstoke, Cypress Mountain, Sunday River, Sugarloaf, Loon Mountain, Taos, Deer Valley, Brighton, Thredbo, Niseko United, Valle Nevado, Aspen Snowmass, Alta Ski Area, and Snowbird, Killington – Pico, SkiBig3, Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, and Mt Hutt.
Which of these ski resorts has your family skied? Which do you think are the best ski resorts for families? Tell us in the comments below!