KidsSkiingIt takes more than good snow conditions to make a ski resort kid-friendly.  If you’ve skied with kids, then you know that the best family ski resorts are those that offer slope-side condos, children’s snow sport programs, après-ski family fun and a host of other outdoor recreational activities to enjoy a winter wonderland. Following is a roundup of ski resorts that attract families for most or all of these reasons – and good snow conditions!

Park City, UT. Park City is not only a full-service ski resort but it offers plenty of other activities both on and off the slopes. See why Luxury TravelingMom  and her four kids are Park City fanatics. Also, find out how your flight ticket converts to a lift ticket valid at Park City if you ski the same day you land at Salt Lake City. That’s a great deal!

Four Top Utah Resorts. Each of Utah’s 14 ski resorts is distinctive. I especially enjoy self-contained resorts with condos, a market and other shops so my family has everything we need at our fingertips without driving.  Here’s a sampling of the state’s diverse offerings.

Breckenridge, CO. Not only is the historic town of Breckenridge ultra cozy, it offers good deals on roomy, slope-side condos.  It’s so convenient to get on and off the slopes when your condo is walking – or skiing – distance. Standby TravelingMom shares her tips for Breckenridge lodging.
In addition, Wheeling Traveling Mom found a condo that, while technically not designated ADA Accessible, accommodated her son’s wheelchair for a weekend. 

Mountain High, Wrightwood (California).  Just 90 minutes from Los Angeles, Mt. High is always on the cutting edge of ski and snowboard trends. Now the resort is the first to offer on-mountain cameras that catch your family carving up slopes.  Plus, ski instructors use the latest techniques to get kids up on skis and snowboards with confidence. Don’t miss Mt. High’s thrilling tubing hill. 

Big Bear, CA. SoCal’s most family-friendly ski town actually has two resorts – Bear Mountain and Snow Summit (celebrating its 60th anniversary). At about 9,000 feet elevation, Big Bear gets tons of snow (and yes, they make some too). Big Bear has outstanding children’s ski programs (and adults’ ski programs too), tubing areas, and an array of tasty dining options in the rustic mountain village. 

Squaw Valley, CA. Off the Beaten Path TravelingMom discovered the joys of skiing with kids in Squaw Valley, a
beautiful resort tucked away from the crowds in Lake Tahoe. Squaw Valley is a bit off the beaten path and that’s what makes it so special. Supreme skiing, slope-side lodging and yummy dining options.

Beaver Creek, CO. You don’t have to be an expert skier to tackle Colorado’s terrain. In fact, Beaver Creek is where Photo TravelingMom brought her family for their first ski vacation.

Tamarack Resort, ID.  Small but mighty, the Tamarack Resort has snow-making capabilities, high-speed quads, trails for all levels and a children’s ski school.

Schweitzer Mountain Resort, ID. Short lift lines score big with everyone but especially families with young kids. 

Brundage, ID. A beautiful and easy drive along Idaho’s Payette River leads to this locals’ favorite resort.

To find resorts and lodges in the Northeast, check out these articles

Mimi Slawoff writes a monthly family travel column in L.A. Parent magazine (www.laparent.com) and freelances for several publications and websites. For more travel stories and tips, follow her on Twitter @mimitravelz.