Table of Contents[Hide][Show]
- Beaver Creek Ski Resort, Colorado
- Snowmass Ski Resort, Colorado
- Vail Ski Resort, Colorado
- Copper Mountain Ski Resort, Colorado
- Jackson Hole Ski Resort, Wyoming
- Keystone Ski Resort, Colorado
- Midwest Ski Resorts, U.S.
- Northstar Ski Resort, California
- Breckenridge Resort, Colorado
- Sunlight Mountain Resort, Colorado
- Squaw Valley Ski Resort, California
- Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico
- Aspen Ski Resort, Colorado
- Big Sky, Montana
- What Ski Pass Should You Get for your Family?
Skiing may look a bit different this year. But it is still an awesome way to get outdoors and enjoy the fresh mountain air. For a skier there’s nothing better than getting to spend time on the slopes with your family. There are so many wonderful ski resorts that you may have a hard time narrowing down your choice. Our ski-loving TravelingMoms share been-there-done-that insider tips on where to ski with your family this winter. Here are the best ski resorts in the USA for skiing with kids the winter of 2020-2021.
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!
TravelingMom Tip: Skiing looks different in a pandemic, but some rules means skiing is better for families!
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 plenty of groomers and 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. Not that sadly the cookies and candy cabin are both on hiatus due to Covid-19 for the 2020-2021 season. But the groomers and terrain parks are as fun as ever.
New this year are ski bikes available at the Beaver Creek ice skating rink. Lots of fun art can be found throughout the village. And, additional fire pits and seating areas have been added for outdoor dining and warming up.
Beaver Creek is not an inexpensive place to learn to ski. But it really doesn’t get any more hassle-free with lots of ski-in/ ski-out lodging, escalators to take you up to the slopes and more.
Read More: Everything You Need to Plan a Fabulous Family Ski Vacation!
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 they have really upped their game in recent years.
There’s a new winter playground atop the mountain including a new alpine coaster. And, now Snowmass now boasts Colorado’s largest indoor rock-realistic climbing wall, towering at 54 feet high. It runs directly up front of the new Limelight Hotel Snowmass.
Snowmass base village is home to a multitude of fire pits, as well as a free ice skating rink and an arts and entertainment center called The Collective Snowmass. It is an ideal place to enjoy a family-friendly après-ski experience.
This is also the place for foodies. Many of Aspen’s chef’s have made their mark on Snowmass as well. This season be sure to check out the new Sam’s located at the top of the Village Express lift. It is a special dining experience where the food may only be outmatched by the views.
Snowboarders love Snowmass. This is where our daughter took her first snowboarding lesson.
TravelingMom Tip: Snowmass in summer may even be more fun for families!
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 investment in snowmaking ensures that regardless of early season snowfall, ski conditions will be good starting at Thanksgiving.
TravelingMom Tip: Be sure to check out these 18+ fun things to do in Vail this winter!
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.
In typical years 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. But this is on hiatus for the 2020-2021 ski season.
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.
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? At Jackson Hole Mountain Resort kids ski free, one child per paying adult, with a four-night resort condo rental. Sweet deal!
Keystone Ski Resort, Colorado
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. Note that Kidtopia has also taken a hiatus this 2020-2021 season.
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.
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.
Northstar Ski Resort, California
One of the best parts of traveling with kids as a parent is taking them to destinations that had meaning in your own childhood. Northstar California Resort in North Lake Tahoe is one such meaningful place for lots of West Coast parents.
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. 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.
Breckenridge Resort, Colorado
Breckenridge is conveniently located a couple of hours west of Denver. Its quaint main street is lined with historic buildings. There are plenty of fun on-mountain activities besides just skiing and snowboarding.
It is located in Summit County, home to the Colorado Ice Castles and some of the most fun snow tubing hills in the state.
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.
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.
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 her family of 5, time together and time apart. Bonus – the room overlooked the outdoor pool and hot tub.
Aspen Ski Resort, Colorado
While we’ve already mentioned Snowmass, we’d be remiss if we didn’t also include Aspen. This historic Colorado mountain town is home to over-the-top restaurants and shopping. The Aspen ski slopes are best suited for intermediate to advanced skiers and snowboarders.
Aspen is a progressive town and resort. They’ve made bold commitments to sustainability and climate change.
Aspen Snowmass also operates Buttermilk (home of the X Games) and Aspen Highlands.
Big Sky, Montana
While there’s plenty of beginner and intermediate terrain at Big Sky, it may be best know for the extreme Big Couloir, the main line off the top of Lone Peak. While this run is in bounds there are a few safety rules including carrying an avalanche beacon, checking with ski patrol first and skiing with a partner.
This ski town is fairly quiet, but has been undergoing redevelopment. There are a couple of slick lifts that have been installed recently.
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 2020-2021 ski season the Epic 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 days at Vail, Beaver Creek and Whistler Blackcomb. Then there are days at Sun Valley and Snowbasin, Utah, as well as Telluride, Colorado. Then access to 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 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 days 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.
Both the Epic Pass and Ikon Pass have different levels of passes which may give access to a different quanity of ski days at each resort. Also, reservations are required to ski at many of these resorts. Be sure to know before you purchase and go.
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!