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12 best family ski resorts in the US

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Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information and offers.

Whether your child is a snowboarding teen used to shredding powder or a newbie headed to ski school for the very first time, many mountain resorts across the U.S. are perfect for a family ski trip.

Skiing can be a terrific family activity in winter, as the apres-ski scene provides just as much fun as time spent on the slopes. Many resorts also offer alternative snow-related activities — such as tubing, ice skating, snowshoeing and even sleigh rides — so the whole family can enjoy the mountain experience.

Related: Best travel credit cards

The best ski resorts for families are usually the ones that offer on- and near-mountain lodging, ski schools with a variety of programs, beginner- and intermediate-friendly terrain and some quality non-ski activities.

Ski and snowboard lessons can fill up well in advance, so if ski school — or even on-mountain child care — is a must-have for your vacation, double-check the options to ensure they fit your ski vacation goals. Just note that you most likely won’t be able to book ski school until the fall, at the earliest.

Once you decide on the best resort for your family, price out lift tickets and pass options ahead of time. You may be surprised at how much more affordable it is to buy ski passes in advance rather than purchase individual lift tickets — even if you are only skiing for a day or two. Buying ski passes earlier than later will ensure you get the best pricing; they will only get more expensive as the year goes on.

Some mountains also offer kids-ski-free programs, which can help keep the trip cost down. Additionally, many ski resorts have capacity limits, so you’ll want to make sure you purchase your tickets before arriving (or make advance reservations at select mountains).

With all these nuances in mind, here are some of our favorite ski resorts for the whole family.

kids skiing

Beaver Creek Resort, Colorado

Why Beaver Creek is a good ski resort for families

This may be surprising for those who are only familiar with the mountain’s luxury reputation, but Colorado’s Beaver Creek perhaps offers some of the friendliest slopes for family ski trips. About a two-hour drive from Denver International Airport (DEN) or 30 minutes from Eagle County Regional Airport (EGE) in Gypsum, this resort is relatively easy to reach, assuming you have good road conditions.

Beaver Creek has been upping its already solid family ski game even more lately, thanks in part to the relatively new, 250-acre, lift-served expansion called McCoy Park. This offers even more terrain for beginner and intermediate skiers and snowboarders; it also elevates the mountain experience with an additional 17 groomable trails, plus two more chairlifts.

Here, you’ll also find the Beaver Creek Candy Cabin, which is a great addition to the Ice Cream Parlour at the top of the Haymeadow Express Gondola. At Red Buffalo Park’s Cookie Cabin and at the bottom of the Centennial Express and Haymeadow Lift, you’ll also be able to experience the mountain’s famous 3 p.m. cookie time.


After a long day of skiing, you can enjoy ice skating in the village. On Thursday nights, kids and adults who are at least level four skiers can participate in a glow stick ski. For a unique experience, take an open-air, snowcat-led sleigh ride to Allie’s Cabin, Zach’s Cabin or Beano’s Cabin — three different mountain-top dining options.

The mountain also ensures that teens are fully entertained. This past season, the new Hawk’s Nest Cabin opened in Beaver Creek Village, where teens can enjoy the coolest underage club. There, those between the ages of 10 and 18 enjoy craft nonalcoholic beverages, music, interactive technology, arcade and table games, a ski simulator, lounge spots and more.

Lift tickets for Beaver Creek don’t have to cost a ton if you plan in advance and lock in an Epic Pass of some sort.

Where to stay at Beaver Creek

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Winter rates start at $800 or 35,000 World of Hyatt points per night.

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Winter rates start at $970 or 112,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.

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Winter rates start at $450 or 77,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.

TPG tip: You can add up to 15,000 Marriott Bonvoy points to certificates with fixed prices. Should you find any nights that cost 100,000 points or less, you can use the 85,000-point certificate awarded annually by the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card if you are willing to add some points.

Keystone Resort, Colorado

Why Keystone is a good ski resort for families

Out of all the great Colorado ski resorts (and there are plenty), Keystone is the hot spot for kids of all ages. There are the usual dog sledding, snow tubing, ice skating and sleigh ride activities, but the piece de resistance is the resort’s kids programs and accommodations.

family at bottom of slopes
Keystone Resort, Colorado. KEYSTONE RESORT

There are plenty of fun on-mountain experiences, such as snowcat skiing and night skiing (on weekends and holidays). Tykes should also like the famous Snow Fort. In fact, this past year, the mountain even had two snow forts to pick from: one up on Dercum Mountain and one in the Mountain House base area.

Additionally, the resort offers a ton of family conveniences, such as free preferred family parking for those with kids 12 and younger, as well as red wagons to help tow skis, boards or even tired kiddos.

This past season, Keystone added another 550 acres of diverse terrain among 16 new trails, bringing the total up to 3,500 acres. With so much terrain, your family can experience a wide range of trails, including the 3.5-mile-long Schoolmarm — a timeless run for the family to work on turns.

Best of all, kids 12 and younger ski free when staying at one of the resort’s properties for two or more nights. (There are no blackout dates.)

Where to stay at Keystone

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Winter rates start at $300 or 12,000 World of Hyatt points per night. This property is a great use of the Hyatt Category 1-4 certificate that’s available annually for those with the World of Hyatt Credit Card.

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Winter rates start at $825 per night for a four-bedroom accommodation, with 20% discounts available to those with an Epic Pass.

Snowmass, Colorado

Why Snowmass is a good ski resort for families

Snowmass is one of the mountains in Colorado’s swanky Aspen ski area, so you can check a high-end ski resort off your bucket list while entertaining the kids at the same time.

A bit less showy than its big sister Aspen, Snowmass notably includes the Treehouse Kids’ Adventure Center, a licensed kids club for children between 8 weeks and 4 years old. Children at least 2.5 years old can also hit the slopes, as the mountain offers many ski school options.

inside Snowmass treehouse
Inside the Snowmass Treehouse. SUMMER HULL/THE POINTS GUY

On top of that, Snowmass allows kids to ski free all the way through age 6, which makes it a more affordable choice for a young family than most mountains; other areas typically start charging kids by the time they turn 4. For those 7 and up, know that the mountain participates in both the Ikon and Mountain Collective ski passes.

Other kid-friendly Snowmass activities include on-mountain snow tubing, alpine coasters, ice skating, snowshoeing tours and even an indoor climbing wall. During select dates throughout winter, Snowmass will offer a nighttime winter wonderland party called Ullr Nights filled with evening activities for families. This includes a gondola ride to Elk Camp, bonfires, tubing, alpine coaster rides, snow biking, s’mores and hot chocolate.

Where to stay at Snowmass

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Winter rates start at $620 or 58,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night. This means you could add Marriott points to a 50,000-point free night certificate on select nights.

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Winter rates start at $750 per night.

Related: Yes, you really can visit Aspen on a budget. Here’s how

Copper Mountain, Colorado

Why Copper Mountain is a good ski resort for families

If you are looking for a Colorado ski resort experience with lower prices than its neighbors, Copper is a great choice. This resort has family-friendly written all over it, and it offers an array of activities for all ages.

In addition to skiing in what are often prime snow conditions, you’ll have the Rocky Mountain Coaster, plenty of snow tubing, ice skating on West Lake in Center Village and even daily complimentary ambassador ski tours.

Additionally, whenever there is a full moon, Copper Mountain will offer ambassador-guided Full Moon Snowshoe Tours in the evenings. For an off-mountain activity, the 19,400-square-foot Woodward Copper Barn serves as an indoor action sports facility, offering many unique activities at Copper Mountain.

For the past three years, Copper has also featured a Snow Maze, which we should see return for the 2024-2025 season as well. Near the base of the Super Bee lift in Copper’s East Village, this maze is extremely fun for kids, as it’s made entirely of snow.

skiers at Copper Mountain

This past season, visitors were able to experience the resort’s brand-new mid-mountain lodge, Aerie. This 25,000-square-foot building offers more dining options and a beautiful 270-degree view. Best of all, the gondola unloads right at the lodge’s deck.

Copper is also continuing to make improvements to its Western Territory Expansion. This area is on the far west side of the mountain and is designed to inspire beginner skiers, kids and families to connect with Copper’s history and heritage. With new trails that have debuted over the past few years (including kid-friendly tree trails), guests will be able to experience 2,538 acres of skiable terrain.

Where to stay at Copper Mountain

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Winter rates start at $161 per night. You can also use your Choice Privileges points to book a stay, though award pricing hasn’t yet been set for the 2024-2025 season; however, this past winter cost 35,000 Choice Privileges points per night.

Deer Valley Resort, Utah

Why Deer Valley is a good ski resort for families

When kids are getting their bearings and making big side-to-side turns on a slope, it can be easier to start on runs where you won’t find any snowboarders.

At the ski-only Deer Valley Resort, there’s a children’s adventure area on the mountain with 14 pint-size trails allowing tots to practice new techniques. However, their favorite part will probably be the tiny cabin hidden in the woods. The mountain limits its ticket sales each day, which keeps crowds (and lift line waits) at a minimum.

If you are looking for a ski resort that can also entertain a non-skiing child, the Deer Valley Children’s Center offers licensed full-day child care with many activities, as well as outdoor and indoor playgrounds. Children between 2 months and 12 years old can enjoy this facility.

Deer Valley has a fun approach to ski school that includes the Teen Escape for teens ages 13 to 17, the Adventure Club for kids ages 7 to 12, the Reindeer Club for 5- and 6-year-olds and the Bambi Club for 4-year-olds. For the younger kids, the class sizes are incredibly small, with just two to four kids in a class — depending on age.

Because Deer Valley participates in the Ikon Pass ski program, the more economical way to lock in lift tickets might be to opt for a pass instead of paying the window rates.

Where to stay at Deer Valley

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Winter rates start at $1,175 or 100,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.

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Winter rates start at $1,500 per night.

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Winter rates start at $900 or 21,000 World of Hyatt points per night.

Northstar California Resort, California

Why Northstar is a good ski resort for families

California’s Northstar Resort, along the California-Nevada border by Lake Tahoe, is excellent for families — especially due to the average 350 inches of annual snowfall. Here, families can ski together in the Kids Adventure Zone, where two mountain areas have blue trails safely tucked away from bigger, faster skiers and snowboarders.

Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, you can kick up your feet and unwind midday while enjoying a glass of apple cider (or a glass of bubbly for the adults) with the mountain’s one-of-a-kind Tost tradition. Additionally, families can enjoy the apres-ski scene by cozying up around the fire pit or zipping around on ice skates while listening to live music. At other times, you can enjoy fireside s’mores and hot cocoa.

If cross-country skiing is your activity of choice, the Nordic Center offers nearly 22 miles of scenic trails for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and fat biking.

Where to stay at Northstar

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Winter rates start at $685 or 90,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.

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Winter rates start at $210 or 60,000 Hilton Honors points per night.

Smugglers’ Notch Resort, Vermont

Why Smugglers’ Notch is a good ski resort for families

An uber kid-friendly ski resort, Smugglers’ Notch focuses on the entire family experience. This is why it’s known as “America’s Family Resort.”

Smuggs, as it’s called by those who know and love it, offers an award-winning Snow Sport University. It starts lessons with little ones as young as 3 years old. Sir Henry’s Learning and Fun Park has two “magic carpet rides” that gently guide new skiers to the top.

Kids dressed in ski gear

For those who already know how to ski and board, the mountain has everything they could want: 78 trails, eight lifts, the highest vertical drop in northern Vermont at 2,610 feet and more than 300 inches of natural snow each year. Multiple terrain parks and 1,000 acres for skiing and riding are also available.

For those staying at the resort, everything is a few steps away, and an on-demand shuttle will take you wherever you need to go.

Off the mountain, you’ll also find a plethora of activities — both during the day and night. Activities include snowshoeing, tubing, cross-country skiing, swimming, ice skating, bingo and magic shows. You can also experience the updated Fun Zone 2.0 complex, which features a “Ninja Warrior” course, laser tag, miniature golf, an arcade, large inflatable slides and more spread across 26,000 square feet of indoor space.

Where to stay at Smugglers’ Notch

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Winter rates start at $289 per night.

Stowe, Vermont

Why Stowe is a good ski resort for families

Stowe has a world-class ski school and plenty of long, beautiful blue trails to keep your not-yet-expert skiers and snowboarders engaged. The relatively new Adventure Zone has continued to be a big hit; these low-angle, gladed areas are appropriate for anyone in the family looking for a fun experience skiing or boarding through the trees on Mount Mansfield.

After a great family day on the slopes, enjoy a free pre-dinner skate at the Spruce Peak outdoor ice rink, embark on a guided twilight snowshoe tour through the woods or enjoy indoor rock climbing at Stowe Rocks. If you’re looking for a resort with a village atmosphere, this is one of the best you’ll find in the Northeast.

Stowe Mountain Resort at night

The main issue with Stowe Mountain is its ticket prices compared to many other East Coast resorts. Luckily, the Epic Pass can save your family over the walk-up lift ticket rates. You could even look at Epic’s Northeast Value Pass if you expect to only ski at East Coast mountains this winter.

Where to stay at Stowe

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Winter rates start at $400 or 45,000 World of Hyatt points per night.

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Winter rates start at $265 per night.

Jay Peak, Vermont

Why Jay Peak is a good ski resort for families

People love Jay Peak thanks to its indoor water park, which is ideal for families who want to take a day off from skiing or have something to do after morning ski school. The Jay Peak Pump House features slides, a FlowRider surf simulator and an entire kids play area. Many lodging packages include water park access, or you can purchase a daypass. (We recommend purchasing in advance.)

skiers at Jay Peak, Vermont
Jay Peak, Vermont. JAY PEAK RESORT

Aside from the water park, there are two arcades, a climbing gym, an ice skating rink and a slopeside movie theater. Not all activities are available every day, so double-check ahead of time. Aim to make advance bookings where available.

Best of all, there’s a surplus of ski-in, ski-out condo and hotel options, giving families the perfect opportunity to stay in accommodations that work best for their needs. For those with little ones — or even big ones — Jay Peak offers child care for children as young as 6 weeks old both during the day and in the evenings.

Where to stay at Jay Peak

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Winter rates start at $300 per night.

TPG tip: You can also check to see if you like any of the on-mountain condo options that take Wyndham points through Vacasa.

Bretton Woods, New Hampshire

Why Bretton Woods is a good ski resort for families

Just across the Vermont border is New Hampshire’s answer to family-oriented skiing: Bretton Woods.

house with sleigh in front

Home to the family-friendly Omni Mount Washington Resort, Bretton Woods features fat-tire snow biking trails, a 62-mile trail network for cross-country skiing, sleigh rides, snow tubing, canopy tours and an indoor-outdoor heated swimming pool (just for guests). The recently built Rosewood Lodge at the top of the mountain also gives skiers and riders that top-of-the-mountain lodge and luxury dining experience that you won’t find at many other nearby mountains.

Unfortunately, unlike what you’ll find at many other mountains, Bretton Woods only offers ski school on the weekends (Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and select holidays). If ski school is a must-have, just ensure the mountain has an option that fits your needs. However, we did find ski school was much more affordable here than those at many other resorts.

From the hotel’s architecture to the incredible views of Mount Washington, it’s no surprise that the resort is a top destination for families. With many fun activities for the entire family and more than 464 acres to ski, there should be no shortage of on-mountain family fun.

Where to stay at Bretton Woods

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Winter rates start at $300 per night.

Mont-Tremblant Ski Resort, Quebec

Why Mont-Tremblant is a good ski resort for families

In case you haven’t found the perfect family ski resort for you this far into the list, we are cheating a little and including two near-to-the-U.S. family ski resort options in Canada.

At Mont-Tremblant, your family can experience the international skiing vibe without crossing the pond. This French-influenced getaway is just a couple of hours outside Montreal. Featuring 102 slopes and usually great snow conditions, Mont-Tremblant is one of the best ski experiences in North America, with the highest peak in the Laurentians region.

While older family members explore the high peaks of Mont-Tremblant, kids as young as 3 years old can enjoy practicing their turns at ski school. Or, if you happen to be visiting during spring break, Tremblant’s Ski Week program will give you four full days with the same instructor.

Mont Tremblant Resort in Quebec, Canada
Mont-Tremblant Ski Resort in Quebec. PGIAM/GETTY IMAGES

Guests can explore a unique European-style pedestrian village directly at the mountain’s base. The pedestrian village allows easy access from the front step of your hotel door to the bottom of the slopes. With its colorful buildings — including more than 75 shops, restaurants, bars and boutiques — there is plenty to do in any weather.

On a non-skiing day, grab the kids and hit the snow-covered trails ripe for fat biking, dune buggy rides, snowshoeing, ice fishing, sleigh rides and even ice climbing. Families will not want to miss the Brind’O Aquaclub water park, which offers four slides, indoor and outdoor hot tubs, 35 interactive water games and a revamped fitness room. There is also laser tag and a virtual reality arcade.

If Mont-Tremblant is on your radar, you can save money with the Ikon Base Pass.

Where to stay at Mont-Tremblant

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Winter rates start at $350 per night.

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Winter rates start at $360 or 56,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.

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Winter rates start at $272 or 59,000 Hilton Honors points per night.

Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia

Why Whistler is a good ski resort for families

British Columbia’s Whistler is another Canadian winter ski hot spot with a family-friendly focus. Your kids will love the pint-size ski experience at the resort’s Enchanted Woods, which is usually clear of more experienced and faster skiers. Or, embark on the thrilling Bubly Tube Park.

village at bottom of slope

In addition to Magic Castle and Tree Fort outdoor playlands at both Whistler and its sister mountain, Blackcomb, families will be entertained with the mountain’s free Fire & Ice performances every Sunday night (a display of ski and snowboard skills). Families can also exchange their ski boots for ice skates and skate for free in Whistler Village; the area is chock-full of shops, restaurants and things to do in the after-ski hours.

Where to stay at Whistler

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Winter rates start at $840 per night.

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Winter rates start at $685 or 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.

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Winter rates start at $297 or 80,000 Hilton Honors points per night.

Bottom line

Though you may have to shell out a little more for a vacation on the slopes, planning a family ski trip is more than worth the effort (and added expense). Whether you’re dreaming of a powder-filled getaway in Colorado or a winter sports adventure in Vermont, there’s a destination and slope-adjacent resort made for you and your crew.

Ready to plan a family ski trip? Check out the following stories for more tips on how to book your ski trip with points and miles and make the most of your family ski vacation: