Ski school is one of the biggest differentiators for the best family-friendly ski resorts. For our new 2013 Ski School Spotlight series, I interviewed Ski School Directors from top family resorts to highlight need-to-know program details. I’ve covered Park City Mountain Resort and Keystone Resort so far; today’s featured ski area, Sun Valley Resort in Idaho, will be our last spotlight of the season.
See my comprehensive review of Sun Valley for families for details, but I love this destination ski resort for kids of all ages.
The phenomenal Kids’ Ski & Ride School at Keystone Resort is one of the things that makes this Colorado ski resort one of the best family ski destinations in the country. The Keystone team has put significant thought and resources behind a program that ensures learning to ski and snowboard is fun for all ages and that kids develop best practices from day one on the slopes.
I had the opportunity to sit down with Fred Rumford, Keystone’s Ski & Ride School Director, and learned why …
It’s not uncommon to watch a kids’ ski school lesson where the instructor(s) spend more time corralling kids than actually teaching them new skills. This is inevitable in larger group lessons where individual skills are likely to vary greatly. What if your kids were guaranteed a lesson with no more than five kids as part of the standard ski school program … Sound too good to be true? It’s not.
This is exactly what Park City Mountain Resort …
Big picture, the thrill of skiing with kids can happen at the simplest resort with few amenities, but we are spoiled in North America with all of the excellent family ski resort options offering vastly different experiences. Keystone Resort in Colorado is unique in that it was purpose-built just for skiing. Imagine whiteboarding the “perfect” ski experience and then building the town around it. That’s Keystone.
Although we were able to ski at epic Swiss ski resorts including Davos, Zermatt, Grindelwald, Verbier, and Crans-Montana during our two years in Switzerland, one of my regrets is that we never got to Adelboden for a family ski holiday. Located at the end of a glorious valley in the Bernese Alps, Adelboden feels remote, yet it is easily accessible from both Zurich and Geneva via car or train.
My family just returned from Squaw Valley and discovered why families love skiing here. Mother Nature provided perfect conditions with good snow and beautiful blue skies. My kids, seven and nine, found their ski legs and my husband and I discovered why we like skiing as adults – it’s exercise in a gorgeous setting. We’ve caught the ski bug and there’s no going back.
If you’re dreaming of an incredible Swiss ski experience, Zermatt, home of the Matterhorn, delivers. Insane mountain scenery paired with an old-style European village transport visitors to a winter paradise.
Winter and summer months alike, I always urge friends and family enjoying Swiss vacations to experience Zermatt, at least for a night or two. Located just a few hours via car or train from both Geneva and Zurich, Zermatt is surprisingly easy to access given the remote location.
Skiing is a wonderful family activity. Expense aside, it is a sport that all ages and genders enjoy, and when kids are old enough, families will appreciate the time spent on vacation together—versus a pool or beach environment where everyone may be doing their own thing.
Qualifying what makes a resort great for families is important since terrain, facilities, and amenities vary widely.
Thank you Dana Freeman, aka @MissMagpieFGS on Twitter, for these excellent tips on Skiing in Vermont! She lives in Burlingtom with her children Flynn (10) and Callahan (8) and publishes a comprehensive guide to family-friendly activities in Northern Vermont called FindandGoseek.net It is no wonder that Children’s Health Magazine recently named Burlington the #1 place to…