While winter is slowly coming to an end in the valleys, snow-capped mountains are calling us to pay them a visit or two before the skiing season is over as well. Ski resorts are still up and running, and many families flock to the slopes for some adventure and fresh air.
What should a family look for when booking a ski resort? It’s very important there are runs everyone in the family can enjoy. Parents appreciate it if the resorts have nurseries, ski schools and children’s areas to keep the children busy, so they can choose to have a day to themselves if they want to. It’s great if the resort offers some extra snow activities the family can enjoy when the skiing for the day is done.
Every parent knows that when their kids are treated like royalty, adults will have a better time as well. So, here is a list of 10 such resorts, followed by 5 that families should stay away from.
15 Deer Valley, Utah: Plan Your Visit In Advance
Deer Valley is such a popular ski resort among families that it's best to plan and book everything in advance, including their famous ski school, which teaches both children and adults. Those who hate carrying around the clumsy skiing gear can leave it with the ski valet.
14 Les Gets, France: Children Love The Little Train, Parents Love The Carefree Lifestyle
Children have their very own skiing area, sledding area and an ice rink at Les Gets in France. Parents know that their children are in safe hands even when left without their immediate supervision and can enjoy the 47 lifts and 120 km of slopes with excellent snow.
13 Whiteface Mountain, New York: The Best Skiing In The Eastern USA
We all know about the fabulous ski resorts in Colorado and the luxurious European chalets, but not many would think that New York has any decent skiing to offer. But Whiteface Mountain is great for families. It's neither crowded nor intimidating. Most of the pistes are appropriate for intermediate skiers.
12 Bretton Woods, New Hampshire: Family Activities Galore
All parents know that a skiing vacation can be exhausting. Children get tired much faster than adults, so it is important that the ski resort offers a wide array of family activities besides skiing. Bretton Woods resort does this right. Besides awesome skiing, they also offer horse-drawn sleigh and snowmobile rides.
11 Okemo Mountain Resort, Vermont: Great Day Care Options For Children Who Can't Ski Yet
Another ski resort that families absolutely adore is Okemo Mountain Resort. They too provide nursery services for the youngest and amazing ski schools for beginners. The runs are long and it’s hard to get lost, so parents often let their children ski at their own pace.
10 Want To Learn? Ski Schools Are Amazing In Saas Fee, Switzerland
If you would like your children to learn how to ski like professionals while enjoying the whole day off, consider visiting Saas Fee. Group lessons for children take all day and cover lunch as well. After skiing, the family can visit an ice pavilion or take a ride on an Alpine roller coaster.
9 Children Have Their Own Area At Winter Park, Colorado
So far, it is obvious that every decent family-friendly ski resort also has a special area designed just for children and Winter Park is no exception. It could as well be named Winter Amusement Park: besides skiing, there’s also snow tubing and sledding, as well as a human maze.
8 Panorama Mountain Resort, BC: Never Too Crowded
Even those who don’t care about winter sports have definitely heard of Whistler, a skiing institution in British Columbia. But how many have heard of Panorama? Its size is not daunting and there are no queues keeping impatient children waiting. Top that with breathtaking views and you get a perfect family vacation.
7 Families Absolutely Adore Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Wyoming
Everyone loves Jackson Hole. Families, professionals, and even celebrities appreciate the dramatic winter scenery far away from the hustle and bustle of more urban areas. Contrary to a general belief, there are slopes for everyone, including children. It also makes for a great summer destination.
6 There's A Children's Village In Avoriaz, France
The last of the highly recommended resorts on this list is Avoriaz. This resort is pure magic: all accommodation is insanely close to the slopes, and there’s a ‘ski-or-walk-only’ policy in place. While kids are away at ski school or ice-skating, parents can treat themselves to a day at the spa.
5 Skiing Vacation At Crested Butte Mountain Resort Can Be Dangerous
Crested Butte Mountain Resort is by no means a bad resort, it’s just that many of the slopes are simply too difficult for families to enjoy together. Sadly, accidents are a relatively common occurrence on the slopes of Crested Butte. Some are related to avalanches and others to bad luck on expert pistes.
4 Arizona Snowbowl: Poor Snow Quality And Beginner Unfriendly Slopes
It’s logical that the locals love Arizona Snowball, since traveling to far-away ski resorts can be taxing for the whole family. However, a Yelp review reads: “So many accidents and injuries here … As a parent I would NEVER bring my child here knowing their accident record.”
3 The Insanely Steep Delirium Dive In Banff Is Family-Unfriendly
Delirium Dive is an insanely formidable ski slope with a cool name kids won’t forget once they hear it. If you don’t want to spend your holidays being a nagging parent, explaining to your children why they can’t give it a go, don’t visit Banff.
2 Adults Only: Harakiri Slope In Mayrhofen, Austria
The name suggests that this slope in Mayrhofen is not for the faint-hearted. The grade reaches 78% and it is the steepest slope in Austria. Once you’re up there, there’s only one way down. Families, consider yourselves warned. Harakiri is for experts only.
1 Your Patience Will Run Thin At Snowbird, Utah
There’s nothing more annoying than busy runs and queues at ski resorts, especially when you are trying to manage the whole family. Add bad traffic and insufficient parking and you’re setting yourself up for having a very stressful day. Snowbird is a decent resort, but it just can’t handle that many visitors.