Top 5 Family Ski Resorts

Ski season is upon us. For winter aficionados, it’s time to pull out the long johns, put on your ski/board pants and don your scarf. The slopes are calling you.

While skiing is an expensive sport for families, there are a number of resorts that make great family trips and create lasting memories. Whether you’re a ski family, a boarding family, or a mix of both, the slopes are a great winter escape for families – not to mention health activity.

Our ThinkFives researchers identified these great resorts which are perfect for families.

Midwest: Boyne Mountain Resort, Michigan

Head to lower northern Michigan to ski Boyne Mountain Resort, easily one of the best ski resorts for families in the Midwest. The mountain has 60 trails and 415 skiable acres accessed by 12 lifts. There’s plenty of skiable terrain for beginners since there are only 500 vertical feet of a drop.

According to the Family Vacationist, “When you’re not skiing, let the kids burn off even more energy at Avalanche Bay, Michigan’s largest indoor water park. Try some tubing at the Top Notch Tubing Park, accessed by the Top Notch Lift. Or bundle up for a winter ziplining adventure. The resort’s cross-country center has miles of trails to explore on skis and snowshoes, too. And there’s even winter horseback riding on tap.”

Find out more here:

Colorado: Snowmass, Colorado

Colorado has so many choices for families, so it’s hard to pick just one. But if we have to choose, we would recommend Snowmass, one of the four ski mountains that make up Aspen Snowmass. Snowmass covers the most terrain, with 3,342 acres of powdery perfection accessed by 20 chairlifts and 98 trails.

Family Vacation attests that “what parents love most about Snowmass is how easy the resort makes it for families looking to get kids hooked on skiing or snowboarding.

Base yourself at the ski-in/ski-out Viceroy Snowmass and you can get your rental gear right onsite. Then catch the complimentary shuttle to the Treehouse Kids’ Adventure Center, a Colorado-themed wonderland for little ones at the foot of the mountain in the town’s scenic base village. The facility welcomes kids from eight weeks to four years old for fully supervised childcare and activities, as well as group lessons for beginners aged two to four on the bunny hill and magic carpet just out the door. Snowmass’s children’s ski school is one of the most renowned in the country.”

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The West: Northstar California, California

What was once a side trip from Palisades and Alpine, is now a winter village reminiscent of a ski resort in the Alps. Northstar in beautiful Lake Tahoe is among the West Coast ski resorts that offer the most variety, with so many family-friendly activities.

Northstar’s mountain, Mount Pluto, is an extinct volcano. When it last erupted 2 million years ago, it created this unforgettable place. And rest assured, scientists confirm it shows no signs of becoming active again.

While the main events are the 3 gondolas, 20 lifts, and over 100 trials, families can also enjoy ice skating, bungee trampoline, snow tubing, crafts, movies, holiday festivals, and fire pits for roasting s’mores. Convenient gear wagons make transporting equipment to and from the parking lot quick and easy.

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The East: Stowe Mountain Resort, Vermont

Stowe Mountain Resort is an east coast family favorite. Known as the birthplace of alpine skiing, from its opening in 1937, Stowe has long been a premier Vermont skiing & riding destination. Surrounded by majestic Mount Mansfield—the highest peak in Vermont—and Spruce Peak, Stowe is filled with activities and adventures for every guest: skiing, snowboarding, Gondola SkyRide, the historic Auto Toll Road, shopping, dining, and more.

When not skiing or boarding, families can learn to cross-country ski at the country’s first Nordic center or bundle up and go for a traditional sleigh ride on the Trapp property. Different-sized carriages allow for a couples’ ride or a journey with a family or two.

After a day of skiing, the Spruce Peak Base area offers an outdoor ice skating rink, après-skiing, a candy store, and even an indoor climbing wall. The town of Stowe also has a lot to offer, with many restaurants, breweries and outdoor activities. There’s everything from snowshoeing to horse and carriage rides, and then, of course, the Ben & Jerry’s factory tours.

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The West: Park City Mountain Resort, Utah

Topping our list for winter families is the Park City Mountain Resort in Utah. Getting there in the winter is easy as the mountain is located just around 30 minutes from the Salt Lake City airport. As one of the largest ski resorts in the United States, there’s also a variety of terrain for every skill level. With more than 330 trails, you can spend the entire day challenging yourself to new adventures.

And it’s just as easy to start your ski day.

You can ski right from Main Street on the gondola or hop on the Town Lift back out, creating a seamless town/resort experience like nowhere else. Beginners, kids, and families have always come to Park City for the comfortable learning environment. Now you and your family can ski and ride into our new High Meadow Park, a dedicated learning area with gentle terrain and new snowmaking for an even better snow surface.

With skiing, zip lines, an alpine coaster, and dog sledding, you’ll never run out of things to do. And after a day on the slopes, Park City has so many great stores and restaurants to choose from.


What is your favorite family ski resort?


  1. I used to snow ski as an elementary and middle school student with my parents and their friends and LOVED it! So much fun being in the snowy outdoors and sunshine! Would love to travel to some of these places-I’ve done Colorado, Indiana, and North Carolina! ❄️⛷️🎿

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