Among the requirements of successful parenting: teaching your kids to ski. Skiing is a life-long sport, and the most ideal time to learn is when they’re young. Enrolling the kids in ski school on a weekend is also the most effective way to get some quality you time. For those with little ones, not just any ski resort will do. Some slopes are decidedly not kid-friendly, which doesn’t exactly make for a fun-filled family vacation. For you, we’ve vetted the best bunny hills around. One of the best parts is there’s plenty to keep the adults busy too. Here are the best ski resorts for kids.
Hunter Mountain Resort, New York
We’re starting with a spot that won’t break the bank. With the unending stress of everyday life, sometimes you want a family vacation that’s simple and easy. For a quick escape from the city, Hunter Mountain Resort is one of the best ski resorts for kids. Many of the slopes here are beginner-friendly, which means that in addition to the T bar lift, your little ones can try their hand at the chair lift. Group lessons are a good introduction to skiing, and they run all weekend. Mom and dad can take on the more challenging slopes.
Stay: Scribner’s Catstills Lodge
There are a slew of new hotels that are more premium near Hunter Mountain. It was previously just best to rent a house. Now, however, there’s Scribner’s Catskill Lodge, only a short drive from Hunter. It’s also near Windham Mountain, so you can hit both resorts in a long weekend. The lodge itself is a gathering place for the local families. There’s an ice rink and winter garden, as well as après ski at the hotel on the weekends. Additionally, thew lodge’s restaurant, Prospect, serves some of the best elevated comfort food in the area.
Smugglers’ Notch Resort, Vermont
Another top ski resort for kids is the Stowe and Smuggler’s Notch Resort area in Vermont. Smuggler’s Notch is just east of Burlington. There’s a top-notch ski school and an expanse of beginner-friendly terrain. Additionally, this school isn’t messing around. It promises your money back if you don’t see an improvement by the end of your stay. It also offers a Fun Zone, an indoor playground that promises entertainment both for kids and their accompanying adults. Activities range from arts and crafts to laser tag.
This is what they call a character builder, as most of the hotels near Smugglers are four-star-and-below accommodations. Your best bet is to find a house on VRBO if you want a more comfortable place to stay. Otherwise the Lodge at Spruce Peak, part of the Hyatt chain, will provide a solid four-star experience.
Beaver Creek, Colorado
In your younger days, perhaps you posted up right in Vails’ center of town. It was always about those moguls, on the back bowls of Vail. You could also easily hop between there and Lion’s Head, for après ski and the lively nightlife. However, now you’re a grown-up with kids, ski-in, ski-out is calling your name. You’re just a 40-minute drive from one of the best ski resorts for kids in Beaver Creek.
Stay: The Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort & Spa
As far as the best ski resorts for kids go, this is your go-to for the full treatment. The Park Hyatt Beaver Creek is ski in, ski out, which means no dragging around gear for you andthe kids. Additionally, your kids will learn the ropes in ski school, so you aren’t stuck on the bunny hill all day long. They’ll even put your kids’ ski boots on for them. This is a full-service luxury resort, which means an on-premise spa, two dining options, and a bar. Plus, you’re in the Rockies, so opportunities for winter sports across the board are at your fingertips. The only downside is once you bring the kids to this level of ski resort, it’s going to be tough to scale back.
Bachelor Gulch, Colorado
Stay: The Ritz-Carlton at Bachelor Gulch
Bachelor Gulch is entirely a ski resort, where the Ritz-Carlton is the anchor. At Bachelor Gulch, they understand that little touches are what makes a resort a community. As a Ritz-Carlton, you can expect five-star accommodations and full service. Featuring sprawling greens, long and idyllic runs, and a stellar bunny hill, Bachelor Gulch is an ideal destination for the whole family. What else makes it one of the best ski resorts for kids? The place has chocolate chip cookies waiting for you at the end of your run. What kid (or adult, really) wouldn’t be excited?
Park City, Utah
With 300 inches of snow this season, Park City Mountain offers terrain for all levels of experience. Expert skiers won’t be bored here, and novices won’t be in over their head. Moreover, you can book ski and snowboard lessons here for kids and adults. Park City isn’t just any mountain either; 21 years ago, Olympic medals were won on these very slopes.
Stay: The Montage Deer Valley and The Lodge at Blue Sky, Auberge Resorts Collection
In the luxury-hotel category, the Montage has reigned supreme since it opened in 2010. With ski-in, ski-out, the runs at Deer Valley have something for every level of skier, especially your kids. Instructors are top notch and kids happily head to ski school so mom and dad can partake in many diversions. Whether you want to spa all day, après ski, lounge in your room, or hit the slopes, Montage is as top of the line as it gets.
Two years ago though, the Montage was joined by the Auberge’s The Lodge at Blue Sky in Park City in the luxury-hotel tier. The Lodge offers skiing and snow-shoeing, horseback riding, snowmobiling, and sleigh rides. If you’d like to be outdoors but don’t want to downhill-ski, the activities at The Lodge make it one of the best ski resorts for kids.