Get ready to hit the slopes with the whole family in tow this winter. East End Taste is gearing up for ski season with our curated list of the best ski resorts for families across the USA from New England and Virginia to Colorado and California.
Bring the whole family to Arizona Snowball in Flagstaff where kids 12 and under ski free. The resort is very family friendly with an onsite ski school. The instructors use terrain-based learning techniques that gets children and family members of all ages up and skiing or snowboarding faster.
Arizona Snowbowl Resort has an elevation of 11,500 feet and 2,300 vertical drop, a new Arizona Gondola, 777 acres of skiable terrain, and breathtaking views of the Grand Canyon.
Basecamp at Snowball includes a selection of cozy cabins nestled in the ponderosa pines with hotel-style rooms.
Dining options at Snowball Resort include Hart Prairie Lodge Restaurant & Bar, and the highest elevation restaurant located at historic Agassiz Lodge.
Beaver Creek Lodge
Beaver Creek, Colorado
Beaver Creek Lodge, a Kessler Collection Autograph hotel, rests at the base of Beaver Creek Mountain. Beaver Creek in Colorado is a village filled with endless entertainment, year-round ice skating, and boutique shopping.
The chic luxury lodge offers ski-in, ski-out convenience in the winter. After skiing, guests can enjoy al fresco dining beside a sizzling fire at Alpine + Antlers, a refreshing swim in the hotel’s pool, or explore the atrium-style Grand Bohemian Gallery spotlighting artists in the Kessler art collection.
Perfect for families relaxing after a day of skiing, Beaver Creek Lodge has a long-standing tradition of warm chocolate chip cookies that are served at 3pm. Other signature experiences include their scenic chairlift rides, high altitude fine dining, slope side lounging, ski schools, Beaver Creek ski lessons, an onsite Build-A-Bear Workshop (pictured above), and more.
New this season, Beaver Creek has added 250-acres of lift-served ski terrain for beginners and intermediate skiers to elevate their mountain experience at McCoy Park.
The Hythe, a Luxury Collection Resort
Nestled in the heart of the majestic Rocky Mountains is The Hythe, a Luxury Collection Resort, Vail. This stunning resort is just 150 yards from the Eagle Bahn Gondola, the quickest way to the top of Vail Mountain, offering family-friendly adventure zones and freestyle terrain.
Families are also presented with one-of-a-kind outdoor activities through the resort’s unique partnership with Adventure IO such as fly fishing and rock climbing.
After a long day on-mountain, the ultimate après ski experience awaits the entire family with post-slope bites and beverages at Revel Lounge, one of the resort’s four dining concepts.
Massanutten Resort is a four-season family-friendly mountain resort located in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia. With over 70 acres of ski terrain and three new trails, mountain lovers will delight in Massanutten’s sprawling 6,000-acre ski oasis.
In addition to skiing and lessons for all levels, families will also enjoy the resort’s popular snow tubing consisting of 16 sledding lanes with an 120 ft drop. At night, experience Northern Lights Tubing (pictured above) with neon lights covering each lane while pumping music plays. Those who love winter activities will also enjoy the resort’s ice skating rink.
Massanutten Resort‘s award-winning indoor WaterPark is a great escape for those who need a break from the cold winter air. Heated to a pleasant 84 degrees, the WaterPark is equipped with a lazy river, water fortress, body slides, hot tubs, and various inflatable adventures.
After a day full of winter activities, guests can head to Base Camp for a tasty bite and a locally crafted beer slope side while enjoying a local band on the weekends. Another option is Campfire Grill, the perfect cozy option for a hearty, home-cooked meal complete with fireplaces and not to miss cornbread and s’mores martinis.
Olympic Valley, California
Perhaps most famous for hosting the 1960 Winter Olympics, Palisades Tahoe is the largest ski resort in California, boasting 6,000 skiable acres across eight peaks. With an average annual snowfall of 400 inches, Palisades Tahoe frequently operates the longest ski and snowboard season in Lake Tahoe.
Palisades Tahoe offers Child Ski Group Lessons for ages 8-13. The full-day lessons with a trained instructor are designed for all experience levels.
Up for a different wintery activity? The SnoVentures Activity Zone has Snowtubing, where kids can play in the snow and spend time with family and friends.
The Village at Palisades Tahoe offers year-round events, convenient lodging, and over 50 bars, restaurants, and boutiques.
Palisades Tahoe is also the largest resort on the Ikon Pass, which offers access to 50+ international ski destinations.
Smugglers’ Notch Resort
Smugglers’ Notch Resort or Smuggs in northern Vermont offers award-winning ski and snowboard programs for kids of all ages at their Snow Sports University or SSU. Their all-day children’s programs for ages 3-15 use Flaik GPS as a way to capture on-mountain fun by tracking miles, vertical feet, and trails skied each day. The full day camps include lunch.
For the non-skier/snowboarder there’s nonstop fun across the resort, from glow and snow tubing for toddlers on up and ice skating to taking a ride up the mountain in the resort’s snow cat. After a long day of playing, warm up with some hot chocolate at the bonfire.
Once the sun goes down, evening adventures begin at Smugglers’ Notch Resort. Guests can grab a flashlight and check out the new Haunted History walk tour or take a Cat Trax ride to the top of the mountain to get a better view of the fireworks. Fireworks are held every Thursday.
Those who want to spend some time indoors can fill the days swimming in the indoor pool, lounging in hot tubs, or staying fit with aqua aerobics or yoga. There is also the FunZone 2.0 that features 26,000 square feet of family fun.
Onsite childcare services are also available for children 6 weeks to 3 years old. There are options for both half and full days. Treasures, Smuggs’ childcare facility, will also help to arrange for a private caregiver in the evenings.
The Sonnenalp is a family-owned hotel in Vail, Colorado that offers guests a luxury alpine resort experience. Sonnenalp, which means sun on the mountain, is a getaway destination for the whole family.
With over 5,000 skiable acres, Vail is the largest ski resort in Colorado. The charming town boasts European alpine-inspired architecture and Bavarian flair.
The hotel has a ski concierge who provides top-of-the-line Gorsuch ski rentals as well as transportation of gear to and from the hotel. Onsite, Sonnenalp has a European-style spa, an indoor/outdoor pool, and six restaurants including Ludwig’s breakfast which serves an over-the-top European-style breakfast buffet.
The Sonnenalp also has a Kids Club which is a complimentary recreation program for kids ages 4-10 years old. The program includes exploratory nature walks, sledding & ice skating, educational points of interest, arts & crafts and plenty of fresh air.
Steamboat Ski Resort
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Located three hours outside of Denver in Steamboat Springs, known to many as Ski Town, U.S.A, Steamboat Ski Resort is a family ski-resort that evokes a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere with tons of activities.
Kids 12 and under ski free with the purchase of an adult lift ticket valid for five or more days. Kids as young as 2 years old can start learning their ways around the slopes with the resort’s Whippersnapper private ski and snowboard lessons, or at Happy Camp, where they’ll both learn to ski and have time for fun playing in the snow or taking part in arts & crafts while making friends. Older children and teens can enter varying age groups at the SnowSports learning facility.
In addition to their multi generational programming, Steamboat also offers unique culinary experiences for the family to enjoy like the working snowcat-turned-food truck Taco Beast. For a truly unforgettable dining experience, families may book a reservation for the Haymaker Sleigh Ride Dinner, which begins with a moonlit, horse drawn sleigh ride cozied up in a thick blanket.
Tamarack Resort in Idaho is a perfect ski resort for families. Tamarack is an all-season destination situated on 3,500 acres, located 90 miles north of Boise in Tamarack, Idaho. The resort offers on-site lodging and dining to a full range of outdoor recreation in the Idaho mountains. The winter brings 2,800 feet of vertical on 2,000 mountain acres for skiers and snowboarders, along with Nordic and snowshoe trails.
Skiers and riders can save time and money by pre-purchasing day passes online and picking them up at any one of theresort’s five pass-pickup kiosks located throughout The Village.
The resort has both babysitting and daycare services, as well as a kids’ ski school. Their beginner ski lift is also free to ride.
Tenaya at Yosemite
Fish Camp, California
Tenaya at Yosemite is a full-service resort situated just outside the park’s south entrance, about a 45-minute drive (26 miles) to Yosemite’s Badger Pass Ski & Snowboard Area.
The resort campus is nestled at an elevation of 5,288 feet and includes three unique lodging options: the Tenaya Lodge, Explorer Cabins (perfect for families) and Cottages. Each lodging option offers a spectacular view of the surrounding Sierra.
Tenaya at Yosemite has a variety of activities and adventures to keep families busy and entertained. Tenaya’s family-friendly activities include guided hikes, a rock-climbing wall, a game lounge, mountain biking, sledding, cross-country skiing, an outdoor children’s pool, archery, ice skating, stargazing, snowshoeing, kid’s adventure center geocaching and more.
Viceroy Snowmass in Colorado is known for its slopes and family-friendly activities. Every Friday night during the peak of winter season, this luxurious resort hosts a nighttime winter wonderland party in honor of the Norse God of Snow. Families take a gondola ride up to Elk Camp for outdoor winter activities. Activities include ice skating, tubing, s’mores making and more.
This ski resort also offers concierge services for babysitting and family activities planning. The property is home to three dining outlets including TORO Kitchen & Lounge serves pan-Latin fare from acclaimed chef and restaurateur Richard Sandoval, and Nest, the ski-in, ski-out, and poolside bar offering inventive drinks and delicious bites.
Windham, New York
Wylder Windham is an all-season family friendly ski resort by Wylder Hotels in the Great Northern Catskills. The dog-friendly Wylder Windham is adjacent to Windham Country Club, an 18-hole public golf course; the Windham Path, a local favorite hiking trail; and a short, two-minute drive to Windham Ski Mountain. The resort will provides transportation in a restored vintage Land Rover Defender 110 Shuttle to nearby Windham Mountain for a day of skiing.
Wylder Wyndham includes seven lodges, inns, manors, and cottages with a total of 110 rooms. These rooms include two- and three-bedroom suites with luxurious bathrooms, and large balconies with unobstructed views of Windham Mountain or the Batavia Kill.
On-property amenities include electric bikes, tubing, a wood-fired sauna, a hot tub, a dog run, snowshoes, s’mores night, yoga, and much more.