Where to Ski with Kids This Winter: North America Edition

canyons-ski-school

Ski school at Canyons Resort. Photo: Rob Bossi/Canyons Resort.

Welcome back, ski season! For families undecided on where to hit the slopes this winter, help is here. Browse our picks below for the best places to ski and snowboard in North America with kids, and find the one that suits you best. Bonus: Many of them offer great deals that make a family ski vacation more affordable.

Best Ski Resorts for Kids in 2015

CANADA

Banff-Lake Louise-Sunshine

Highlights for kids: Ski and snowboard school (ages 6-12 Banff-Mt. Norquay, ages 3-17 Lake Louise, ages 3-12 Sunshine); daycare (ages 19 mos-6 years Banff, ages 18 days-6 years Lake Louise, ages 19 mos-6 years Sunshine; tubing; ice skating; sleigh rides; dogsledding

Family deals: Kids 12 and under ski and stay free

Fine print: Must be part of a ski and stay package with minimum adult lift ticket purchase. Maximum 3 children per party (up to 3 children related to at least one adult who purchases a minimum 5-day Ski Banff-Lake Louise-Sunshine lift ticket). Proof of immediate family relationship may be required plus evidence of the age of the guests. “Stay free” applies to shared room. Rates and conditions vary per hotel and are usually dependent on two adults booking in the same room.

Tremblant

Highlights for kids: Ski and snowboard school (ages 3-12); daycare (ages 1-6); tubing; ziplines; ice skating; sleigh rides; dogsledding; snowshoeing

Family deals: Kids 17 and under stay free when accompanied by an adult

Fine print: Conditions vary based on individual Tremblant properties.

Whistler/Blackcomb

Highlights for kids: Ski and snowboard school (ages 3-18); daycare (ages 18 mos-4 years); tubing; adventure park; ice skating; sleigh rides; dogsledding; snowshoeing

CALIFORNIA

Diamond Peak

Highlights for kids: Child ski center (ages 3-7); ski and snowboard school (ages 7 and up)

Family deals: Free season pass for kids 6 and under

Fine print: No specific rules published

Mammoth Mountain

Highlights for kids: Ski and snowboard school (ages 3-12); daycare (ages newborn-24 mos and 2-7 years); tubing; snowmobiling; scenic gondola; snowcat tours; snowshoeing

Family deals: Kids 12 and under stay and ski free when parents stay at any Mammoth Lodging Collection Property

Fine print: Valid February 22-March 15, 2015. Kids also get a free bonus hour midweek at Woolly’s Tube Park and Snowplay Area with every hour purchased.

Northstar

Highlights for kids: Ski and snowboard school (ages 3-12); daycare (ages 2-6); après-ski snow play area; progression snow park; tubing; snowshoeing; ice skating; bungee trampoline/ropes course

Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows

Highlights for kids: Ski and snowboard school (ages 3-13); tubing; terrain parks; mini snowmobiles; ice skating; snowshoeing; dogsledding; bungee trampoline

Family deals: Kids who take five group lessons at Squaw Kids or Alpine Kids get 6th lesson free

Fine print: Lessons can be taken at Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows interchangeably to accrue to the 6th free lesson. Lesson accruals are not transferable between kids.

Sugar Bowl

Highlights for kids: Ski and snowboard school (ages 4-12); terrain park; snowshoeing; snowbiking; snowkiting

Family deals: Kids 5 and under ski free. Parents of infants can purchase a Parent Ticket (one parent skis while the other cares for the baby) for the price of the day’s rack rate ticket

Fine print: Parent Ticket is transferable only between the two parents.

COLORADO

Aspen Snowmass

Highlights for kids: Ski and snowboard school (ages 2-17); daycare (ages 8 weeks-4 years); tubing; snowcat tours; snowshoeing; ice skating

Family deals: Kids ski and stay free in March and April

Fine print: Valid with purchase of a minimum 3-day adult lift ticket. Book by February 19, 2015 (valid March 1-31, 2015) or March 24, 2015 (valid April 1-5, 2015). Package must be booked with lodging through Stay Aspen Snowmass.

Beaver Creek

Highlights for kids: Ski and snowboard school (ages 3-18); daycare (ages 8 weeks-5 years); Beaver Creek Loves Kids and Beaver Creek Loves Teens programs; daily kids’ programming; tubing; ski play areas; ice skating; maze; snowshoeing; dogsledding; candy cabin; daily Cookie Time

Family deals: Kids 2-12 fly free on American Airlines into Eagle Vail airport

Fine print: For each paid adult fare (age 18 and above) for flights into Eagle Airport, purchased in conjunction with select lodging, American Airlines is offering one free ticket for children ages 2-12. Book by Dec. 31, 2014. Children also receive free skiing or snowboarding at Vail and Beaver Creek with a paying adult and free lodging with a paying adult at select properties through Vail Beaver Creek Reservations.

Breckenridge

Highlights for kids: Ski and snowboard school (ages 3-12); daycare (ages 2 mos-5 years); alpine slide; zipline

Keystone

Highlights for kids: Ski and snowboard school (ages 3-18); daycare (ages 2 mos-6 years); daily kids’ programming; tubing; ice skating; hockey; snow fort; sleigh rides; snowcat tours

Family deals: Kids 12 and under ski free all seasons

Fine print: Two-night minimum stay at lodging owned and operated by Keystone Resort. Not valid for groups.

Steamboat

Highlights for kids: Ski and snowboard school (ages 3-15); daycare (ages 6 mos-6 years); snowshoeing; scenic gondola; horseback riding; snowmobiling; hot air ballooning; snowbiking; night skiing and riding

Family deals: Kids 12 and under ski free all season

Fine print: Kids ski free the same number of days as their parents/grandparents when parents/grandparents purchase a 5-or-more day adult lift ticket. Seniors (ages 70+) must purchase an adult ticket to be eligible for this program. Each qualifying purchase allows one free child per paid parent/grandparent. Children ages 5 and under always ski free but are required to have a ticket.

Vail

Highlights for kids: Ski and snowboard school (ages 3-14); daycare (ages 2 mos-6 years); tubing; snowbiking; kids’ snowmobiling; zipline; bungee trampoline; snowshoeing

Family deals: Kids 4 and under ski free; kids 2-12 fly free on American Airlines into Eagle Vail airport

Fine print: For each paid adult fare (age 18 and above) for flights into Eagle Airport, purchased in conjunction with select lodging, American Airlines is offering one free ticket for children ages 2-12. Book by Dec. 31, 2014. Children also receive free skiing or snowboarding at Vail and Beaver Creek with a paying adult and free lodging with a paying adult at select properties through Vail Beaver Creek Reservations.

IDAHO

Sun Valley

Highlights for kids: Ski and snowboard school (ages 4-12); daycare (ages 3 mos-5 years); tubing; sleigh rides; ice skating

Family deals: Kids 15 and under ski free

Fine print: Valid January 4-March 28, 2015. One child, (15 years or younger) staying in the same room as the parent, stays and skis for free during this time period. Two children maximum per hotel room or condo unit. Each child will receive lift tickets for the same number of days the parent has purchased. Black out dates apply February 13-16, 2015. Two-night minimum stay.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Bretton Woods

Highlights for kids: Ski and snowboard school (ages 4-12); daycare (ages 2 mos-5 years); tubing; sleigh rides; dogsledding; kids’ snowmobiling; ziplines; ice skating; snowshoeing; climbing wall

Family deals: Kids 4 and under ski free all season. Family Interchangeable Tickets are available at any ticket window.

Fine print: To ski free, kids must accompany a paying adult. Family Interchangeable Ticket: Mom and Dad may purchase two identical alpine lift tickets at the single-ticket price. Only one may be used at any given time. Regular full-day daily ticket pricing applies.

UTAH

Alta

Highlights for kids: Ski school (ages 4-early teen; no snowboarding); daycare (ages 6 weeks-9 years); snowshoeing

Canyons

Highlights for kids: Ski and snowboard school (ages 4-17); daycare (ages 6 weeks-6 years); daily family programming; ziplines; snowshoeing; dogsledding; sleigh rides; snowmobiling; western BBQ

Deer Valley

Highlights for kids: Ski school (ages 3-18; no snowboarding); daycare (ages 2 months-12 years); snowmobiling; snowshoeing; dogsledding; hot air ballooning; sleigh rides

Family deals: Kids 12 and under ski free and save 20% on lodging, lift tickets and kids’ ski rentals

Fine print: Valid January 4-21 and March 29-April 12, 2015. Receive up to two complimentary child lift tickets per day and two Deer Valley ski rental discount vouchers for children 12 and under. The purchase of four adult lift tickets is also required.

Park City

Highlights for kids: Ski and snowboard school (ages 3.5-5); tubing; alpine slide; zipline; kids’ après-ski parties

Snowbasin

Highlights for kids: Ski and snowboard school (ages 3-12); daycare (ages 6 months and up); tubing

Family deals: Kids 6 and under ski free all season

Fine print: Must be accompanied by paying adult.

WYOMING

Jackson Hole

Highlights for kids: Ski and snowboard school (ages 3-teen); daycare (6-36 mos); kids’ night out (ages 4-14); snowmobiling; sleigh rides; bike tours; snowshoeing; paragliding; winter wildlife tours

Family deals: Kids 14 and under ski free

Fine print: Valid January 5-April 5, 2015. For each paying adult, kids 14 and under ski free with a minimum 4-night stay at any Jackson Hole Resort Lodging condominium or home rental (some home rentals may require a longer stay).

VERMONT

Okemo

Highlights for kids: Ski and snowboard school (ages 3-14); daycare (ages 6 mos-4 years); tubing; snowcat tours; mountain coaster; ice skating; hockey; indoor children’s pool; kids’ snowmobile tours

Family deals: Kids 6 and under ski free

Fine print: Child must be present at ticket window.

Smuggler’s Notch

Highlights for kids: Ski and snowboard school (ages 2.5-17); daycare (ages 6 weeks-3 years); tubing; family recreation center; teen center; zipline; ice skating; snowcat tours; snowmobiling; airboarding; arts & crafts

Family deals: SuperSaver weeks with discounts for families; 25% off childcare with select packages

Fine print: SuperSaver weeks run January 4-15, January 19-31 and March 20-April 11; SuperSaver rates available over Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend on stays of 5 nights or more.

Stowe

Highlights for kids: Ski and snowboard school (ages 3-16); daycare (ages 3 mos-3 years); dogsledding

Family deals: Kids 5 and under ski free

Fine print: Must be accompanied by a paid parent or guardian.

Want Help Planning a Family Ski Vacation?

Ciao Bambino’s expert Family Vacation Consultants offer comprehensive trip planning assistance, including itinerary development, hotel selection and booking, and activity and guide recommendations. Request assistance on My Trip Planner.

Relevant Links:

Browse our collection of family-friendly ski hotels

How to find the best family-friendly ski resorts

10 ways to make a family ski trip less expensive

2 Comments

  1. We live in Utah and love having 11 resorts within an hour of home. We skied both Snowbasin and Canyons this week and had a great time!

  2. Man oh man, I really should plan a ski trip for next winter before my kids get too old and therefore fearful of falling. I am not much of a skier but I’d love for them to have this skill.

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