Best Places to Ski in New York State with Kids

Whether you’ve taught your kids to ski or not, there is no time like the present to experience one of New York’s many ski areas. January is Learn to Ski & Snowboard Month with some participating resorts also offering specially priced learn-to-ski packages.

I Ski NY is also offering a 4th Grade Ski & Ride Passport Program where students can ride free up to three times at each participating ski area.


Need help navigating through the extensive list of ski slopes offering discounts so you can take advantage of these specials this winter?  We have a short list here, breaking it all down in an easy-to-read list:

Gore Mountain

Location: 3-1/2 hours from NYC in the Adirondacks

Terrain: 20 glades glades, 5 terrain park areas and some of the steepest trails in the East

Accessibility: A high-speed gondola provides access to all levels of skiing, making it conducive for family visits

Child-friendly perks: Holiday camps, a tubing park, horseback riding, a ski school and free ski for kids six and under

Best time to go: Consider going after President’s Day Weekend to avoid the crowds

Accommodations: Plentiful (although no ski-in, ski-out) with a choice of resorts, hotels, cabins, beds & breakfasts, cottages, townhomes and vacation rentals

Good to know: “Take Your Kids to Gore Week” (January 7th-13th) when kids under 19 can ski, ride and tube for free with full paid parent.  Adults can get prepaid four-packs at just $169

For more information:

Ski West Mountain

Location: 3 hours from NYC in the Adirondacks

Terrain: 40 trails and a 6-lane Snow Tubing Park on over 126 acres and a 1010’ vertical drop with the longest run at 1.5 miles, open day and night.

Accessibility: All are serviced by complimentary ski shuttle

Child-friendly perks: Skiing and snowboarding for kids of all ages, a Race Training Program, ski school programs and there is a Six Flags Resort just four miles away.

Best time to go: The best time to hit Ski West with the kids is mid-week, during the day when it’s almost like having your own resort.

Good to know: Adults can ski for $40 after 4pm.

Accommodations: Many choices but no ski-in, ski-out.

For more information:

Moving further south in New York, there are a variety of options in the Catskills, all within 2-2-1/2 hours from NYC.  Designed to encourage new visitors to come and enjoy winter there, NY state is offering the Catskills Winter Sampler which includes one unrestricted adult lift ticket good any day of the 2012-2013 season and is available online at

Bellayre Mountain

Location: Located in Highmount just 2 hours from NYC

Terrain: Fifty-five trails, glades and parks and cross-country (9.2 km of trails)

Child-friendly perks: Beginner lifts, kids camps, voted one of best places to learn to ski, snow sports school, kids camp, beginner packages available 13 and older.

Best time to go: Anytime other than school holidays.

Good to know: Snow guarantees, dedicated learning area, $30 lift tickets every Wednesday, WIFI in lodges, nom slip flooring

Accommodations: Family-style to four star, no ski-in, ski-out.

For more information:

Catamount Mountain

Location: 2 hours and 10 minutes from NYC in Hillsdale on the Massachusetts border

Terrain: 1,000 vertical drop, 130 skiable acres, 31 trails covered by snow-making equipment

Accessibility: Shuttle buses, 6 lifts, night skiing

Child-friendly perks: Learn to Ski & Ride programs – 80 kids at a time; one instructor per two kids; Aerial Adventure Park

Best time to go: Midweek

Good to know: Spas for adults, $29 midweek non-holiday lift tickets, 4th and 5th Grader Ski Free Program, Learn to Ski & Ride packages from $49 and Midweek Ski & Stay packages

Accommodations: Ski-in, ski-out in development. Accommodations in Great Barrington

For more information:

Greek Peak

Location: 2-1/2 hours from NYC in the Catskills

Terrain: 32 trails, 6 aerial lifts, 2 surface lifts, a beginner’s slope an 3 terrain parks

Accessibility: Shuttle buses

Child-friendly perks: Adventure center with zip lines open year round, a new tubing center, water buses, 41K foot indoor waterpark, hiking, snowshoeing and horseback riding

Best time to go: Year-round

Good to know: Spas for adults, full service Nordic Center with groomed Cross Country and Snowshoe Trails w/average snowfall of 122 plus inches. The Resort Day Pass is $99 and guests get a ski or board lift ticket


For more information:

Hunter Mountain

Location: 2-1/2 hours from NYC in the Northern Catskills

Terrain: Three mountains, featuring a 1,600-foot (488 m) vertical drop

Child-friendly perks: Children’s programs, play care, snow tubing, and zip lining

Best time to go: Mid-week tends to be less crowded than weekends.

Good to know: Six and under free during the week, flexible lift tickets can be purchased, season-long savings available in the Big Lift Card

Accommodations: Luxury mountainside condos, all ski-in, ski-out

For more information:

Plattekill Mountain

Location: Just past the town of Woodstock and offers a 2,200 foot base elevation

Terrain: 38 trails, 2,200-foot base elevation.

Child-friendly perks: Dedicated novice area. Kids 7 and under are free. Snowboarding, snow tubing and snowshoeing.

Best time to go: Anytime – they limit tickets sales to 2K a day, everyday, so it’s never over-crowded

Good to know: It’s never icy. They offer Buy 1, Get 1 free tickets all the time

Accommodations: No lodging on site

For more information:

Windham Mountain

Location: 2-1/2 hours from NYC, near the town of Hudson

Terrain: 48 total trails, including a beginner area; 8 trails for night skiing; 269 skiable acres; 16.75 miles total trail length

Child-friendly perks: Children’s programs and Young Adult Ticket Pricing for ages 13-17, Adventure Park, snow tubing, ice skating, kids snowmobiles, snow shoeing

Best time to go: Mid-week tends to be less crowded than weekends

Good to know: Spa for adults, children under 6 are free. Windham Mountain Cards save money on skiing and riding, purchased in advance. Snowmobile Park. Introductory level cross-country skiing and snowboarding

Accommodations: Ample condos, no ski-in, ski-out

For more information:

For more fun family winter ideas and information in New York State, visit Photos by Ski Areas of New York.

Need help planning a trip to New York or any other top family travel destination? Our Family Vacation Planning Team can help! Request assistance on My Trip Planner.

Relevant Links:

Ciao Bambino recommended family-friendly ski hotels and resorts

Best 2012-2013 kids’ ski free deals (USA)

How to find the best family-friendly ski areas

Start a Discussion

  • We love the resorts listed above but you should also give Mount Peter in Warwick, NY a look too!
    We’re about an hour out of NYC and within easy drive of Central and Northern NJ. Free beginner lessons on weekends and holidays.
    Take the day, come out and play!

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