Whether you are bunny-slope bound or headed for the back bowls, these five family-friendly ski resorts are sure to elevate your winter getaway.
1. Vail, Colorado. This high mountain hot spot with 5,200 acres combines history, luxury and adventure in one destination. Access extraordinary beginner terrain or head straight to the challenging back bowls. Stay at the town’s first hotel, The Lodge at Vail, just steps from Gondola One. Questions? Just ask Emma. The world’s first digital mountain assistant advises guests on available terrain and lift line wait times as well as delivering the day’s skier stats.
2. Keystone, Colorado. This Rocky Mountain resort offers 3,000 acres of easy-to-expert terrain on three impressive peaks. From the friendly reception center and upfront parking reserved for families, to the scores of red wagons to ease the transport of little ones plus gear, Keystone makes mountain time memorable for your clan. The Kidtopia program offers a range of activities for children. Stay two nights in resort lodging and kids 12 and younger ski and ride free.
3. Santa Fe, New Mexico. Head to this capital city in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains to take advantage of family-friendly offers that include discounted hotel packages and free admission for kids to some of Santa Fe’s best attractions. During the month of March, kids ski free on Wednesdays at Ski Santa Fe. Other offers, available through April 21, include free admission to hands-on classes, scavenger hunts, museums, climbing walls and chocolate factory tours.
4. Whitefish, Montana. A well-kept secret, the Whitefish Mountain Resort is a family-friendly gem, offering ski and board lessons for multiple age groups and skill levels. Open since 1947, the resort remains a place where families can avoid excessive crowds and enjoy the extraordinary scenery found in Northwestern Montana. Take a day off from the steeps to explore neighboring Glacier National Park on nordic skis or snowshoes.
5. Smugglers’ Notch, Vermont. This New England resort is committed to making vacations fun for every member of the family. All-day children’s programs teach kids to ski or board in small groups of similar ages and skills. There are first-timer programs and multiple ways for teens to enjoy the mountain by day and to take part in dodgeball and Ping-Pong tournaments, laser tag, dance parties and teen "Jeopardy!" when not shredding on the mountain.