Family Ski Vacation

Your guide to the best family ski resorts

When it comes to winter family vacations, the family ski trip is a classic. Whether it's a day trip to the nearby slopes or a longer trip to one of many popular ski destinations, there's nothing like fresh powder to bring family together.

Physical activity is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, and skiing works just about every muscle in the body. Plus, you get fresh air and sunshine while you're at it. Skiing is also great for families because everyone can participate no matter how skilled. Little ones can hit the bunny slopes, beginners can take a lesson, and experienced skiers can take to the slopes at beginner (green circle), intermediate (blue square), or advanced (black diamond) levels. Most ski resorts also include snowboarding, and some even provide cross-country trails.

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The Best Family Ski Resorts

Perhaps the best argument for a family ski holiday is the presence of so many terrific options right here in the United States. Traditional destinations like Aspen, Colorado, continue to provide great skiing, with the added bonus of top-notch restaurants and excellent shopping nearby.

Lake Placid, New York, has not only skiing but bobsledding and tobogganing, as well, with programs for kids and teens that make it an ideal destination for a family ski vacation.

Vermont is another popular ski destination, and Okemo offers free skiing for kids under 6 years old, as well as a variety of kids and family programs, such as the family New Year's Eve party. With a wide array of lodgings and several intermediate runs, Okemo does its best to cater to the diverse needs of families.

Utah's slogan is "The Greatest Snow on Earth" -- at least, according to the Ski Utah website -- so it should be no surprise that it offers several different mountains that have all become popular ski destinations. Two of the better known are Alta Mountain and Deer Valley, both near Salt Lake City. These two mountains are skiers-only (no snowboarding, etc.), and space in kids programs is limited, so you'll have to book early.

Finally, don't assume all the great skiing is in the north. Northstar-at-Tahoe and Big Bear Lake are both kid-friendly ski resorts in California. Northstar-at-Tahoe is a veritable wonderland with tubing hills and adventure parks for kids to enjoy, and Big Bear Lake is just hours outside both Los Angeles and Las Vegas, so you can do more than ski if you're so inclined.