9 Best U.S. Ski Resorts for Families

Courtesy of Sun Valley Resort

We've all heard that the family who plays together stays together. Even if a clan contains all types—from shredders to spa-lovers—the slopes can offer wintry entertainment for varying activities, skill levels, and tastes. The following resorts across the country have a reputation for being especially kind to kin. Not only will kids of all ages find happiness at these spots, there’s plenty for parents to enjoy, too. —Kathleen Squires

Jack Affleck/Vail Resorts

Beaver Creek Resort

WHERE: Beaver Creek, CO

The promise of hot chocolate on the mountaintop in the morning and a warm chocolate chip cookie break each afternoon awaits at this picturesque resort. In addition to seemingly endless entertainment options from sleigh riding to shopping to a skating rink, Beaver Creek has been recognized by the National Ski Area Association with an award for overall safety.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Beaver Creek Guide

Warren Zelman Photography

Stowe Mountain Resort

WHERE: Stowe, VT

This New England ski area is home to one of the most well-known families in the world: the Von Trapps of Sound of Music fame settled in Stowe after they fled Europe. The family continues to run a lodge in town, the Trapp Family Lodge, where families can enjoy miles of cross-country skiing on property, along with activities such as baking classes and yoga. Mount Mansfield lies just minutes down the road. And the famous Ben & Jerry’s factory offers tours, and tastings, in nearby Waterbury.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Stowe Guide

Courtesy of Northstar California Resort

Northstar California Resort

WHERE: Lake Tahoe, CA

The Tahoe Value Pass allows access to three resorts—Heavenly, Kirkwood, and Northstar—so there’s little risk of becoming bored in Tahoe. Families especially enjoy Northstar for its tubing hill, bungee trampoline, moonlight snowshoe tours, and après-ski activities such as “build-your-own-smores” cookouts right in the village at an outdoor firepit.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Lake Tahoe Guide

Jack Affleck/Vail Resorts

Keystone Resort

WHERE: Keystone, CO

While the snow fort “Kidtopia”—with its tunnels and climbable exterior—will enchant the little ones, weekend fireworks, parades, and mountain lightshows entertain any age at the snowy western respite of Keystone. Snowbiking, snowcat tours, and a horse-drawn wagon to dinner in a rustic cabin amp up the usual seasonal fun.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Keystone Guide

Courtesy of Deer Valley Resort

Deer Valley

WHERE: Park City, UT

Who wouldn’t be impressed by slopes where you can ski side-by-side with an Olympian? Live the dream at Deer Valley. Be sure to give Heidi Voelker, who will be on the premises all winter, a wave when she swishes by (or maybe ask her for a tip or two). NASTAR onsite ski racing provides another great reason to rub elbows with the athletes.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Park City Guide

Ryan Turner Photography/Courtesy Big Sky Resort

Big Sky Resort

WHERE: Big Sky, MT

Some of the best ski patrollers in the nation are also the cuddliest; a team of rescue dogs demonstrates their skills to Big Sky audiences daily, right in the backcountry of Yellowstone Park. Unsurprisingly, dog sledding is also a popular activity on the mountain. Those who like the sound of a revving engine instead of barks can take advantage of the snowmobiling trails. The best place for skiing and other family activities like a daily kids' craft is Big Sky Resort where kids under 10 ski free with lodging.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Big Sky Guide

Thatcher Dorn Photography

Taos Ski Valley

WHERE: Taos, NM

Run by the third generation of its founder, Taos Ski Valley is renowned for its excellent ski school and state-of-the-art children’s center. The outstanding facilities and activities for kids are great, and the mountain holds a wide selection of trails for experienced adult skiers. Off the slopes, the ancient pueblo of Taos is not only a favorite for history buffs, but also for shoppers, and art lovers, too.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Taos Guide

Courtesy of Sun Valley Resort

Sun Valley Resort

WHERE: Sun Valley, ID

Known for its annual, weeklong Nordic Festival, it’s no mystery why this Sun Valley is cross-country central. During the festivities there are demos, races, and seminars to keep skiers busy. Sun Valley is also a great destination for those who are not too keen on the cold, with an abundance of indoor activities, from virtual golf to bowling to a grand theater for movie viewing.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Sun Valley Guide

Alex Fenlon

 

Crested Butte Mountain Resort

WHERE: Crested Butte, CO

The amusements at Crested Butte Mountain Resort include an adventure park that featuring mini golf, a bungee trampoline, a climbing wall, and a Coke Zero Bag, a vast cushion that provides a safe landing pad for jumpers. More traditional fun includes winter trail rides on horseback, snowshoeing, and guided ski tours.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Crested Butte Guide

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