Ski trips are a unique way to spend time with your fam. It’s a true adventure that calls you to bond with each other, otherwise inaccessible nature, learn new or hone old skills, then take that sense of accomplishment and elevation with you as you enjoy some warm food and drinks and après-ski activities. To take the experience to a state-of-the-art level, we’ve compiled the best ski resorts for families in USA to visit from Asia—some of them tweaked to accommodate even more of your inter-generational needs on and off the slopes this very season, all of them with impeccable ski and snowboarding schools for all levels and ages, a myriad of lodging and dining options, and, indispensable, nearby airports with frequent international flights, or direct flights to the biggest US cities. Find your kind of active winter wonderland below among these 10 best family-friendly ski resorts in the USA.
One of the most famous winter resorts in the world, Aspen Snowmass stretches over four glorious mountains and offers an increasing number of special offers and activities, on and off the slopes. Besides private family lessons, there’s a childcare centre for toddlers, uniquely fun ski & snowboarding school programs for ages 3 to 6, adventurous, kid-friendly trails for ages 7 to 12, beginner terrain parks for teens to learn tricks at and camp areas for whole families to enjoy time together next to bonfires, in-between tubing, as well as more extravagant options.
Check out their family guide to better navigate their (frozen) sea of insane offers.
Special offer: purchase tickets 7 days in advance to save! More info here.
Getting there: fly into Aspen/Pitkin County Airport and you’ll be just 4 miles away from Aspen and 5 miles from Snowmass Village.
Aspen Snowmass, www.aspensnowmass.com
Vail’s combo of 300+ days of sunshine and 370+ inches of snow each year make it an actual winter wonderland. You can take lessons as a family or send your kiddos ages from the age of 3 and up on an adventure without you. In either case, you’ll get much more than better skills; instructors also let you explore the mountain in a way you couldn’t on your own and offer additional perks like on-site photography and dedicated lift-lines!
There’s also an Adventure Ridge for the whole family and one of their signature events, Burton US Open, is coming up on Feb 25.
Special offer: book by January 24 to get save up to 30% on lodging! Peek here.
Getting there: fly into Eagle County Regional Airport and it’ll take you only 30 more minutes to get to Vail, or opt to fly into Denver International Airport and drive for two hours.
Vail’s neighbor and the only mountain in the US that regularly hosts the Men’s Alpine Ski World Cup is also incredibly family-friendly—so much so that they have a 3pm (complimentary) Cookie Time tradition and a mountaintop candy shop. They offer everything from private family to small group lessons for ages 3 and up, even offering adaptive lessons for disabled skiers and riders, and have a special ambassadors program if you want to be treated like actual royalty.
Also, they have a special culinary weekend from January 24 to 29. Check out their family-oriented guide here for an array of other activities.
Special offer: Save $117 when you purchase 3 days of kids group (if 3 aren’t enough to teach them, the fourth is free!) or buy 2 days of adult group lessons and get the third for free until Feb 6!
Getting there: fly into Eagle County Regional Airport and it’ll take you only 30 more minutes to get to Beaver Creek. Alternatively, the resort is two hours west of Denver International Airport.
Beaver Creek, www.beavercreek.com
Home of the Utah Olympic Park and Sundance Film Festival (Jan 24 to Feb 3 this year!), Park City Utah offers an unparalleled array of activities to enjoy in winter, including dog-sledding and a paddleboard yoga in a crater. It encompasses two skiing resorts, Park City Mountain and Deer Valley Resort; the former is the largest in the US at 7,300 acres and has improved upon its already state-of-the-art family-friendly learning areas this season, while the latter, among other things, boasts luxurious amenities, award-winning ski school, customized lodging and on-site child care.
For their family vacation guide, click here!
Getting there: Fly into Salt Lake International Airport and you’ll be 35 minutes away from Park City, with plenty of transportation options to Park City to choose from.
Park City, www.visitparkcity.com
photo credit: Zach Dischner Photography
Lake Tahoe is surrounded by numerous skiing resorts, each powdered with its own snowy flavor. Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows is arguably the one where you get the most, if anything because you get to access these two different resorts with a single ticket. Both resorts are praised for their variety of terrain, so 3-year-olds with over-protective parents and seasoned risk-seekers are equally well accommodated. There is A LOT to do and explore, but something you cannot do anywhere else is float 2,000 vertical feet in the Aerial Tram with 360 degree views of Lake Tahoe and the High Sierra.
Getting there: Fly into Reno-Tahoe International Airport, and then choose one of their ground transport options to reach the resort. These include North Lake Tahoe Express (reservation needed), Anytime Taxi, FAST TAXI Airport Shuttle and Resort at Squaw Creek Transportation.
Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows, squawalpine.com
Idyllic Vermont is also home to numerous ski resorts, but Smugglers’ Notch is just unparalleled in its family-friendliness. They have award-winning children’s ski and snowboarding programs for kids aged 2 and a half to 15 (divided into no less than 5 age groups + an adolescents, adaptive and night school programs) which include tracking miles, feet and conquered trails, while little penguins aged 6 weeks to 3 years have the Treasures care center to keep them cozy and engaged while you enjoy the slopes. The caregivers will document their daily activities, too. There’s also a 26,000 square foot family FunZone, a zipline canopy and tube sliding and arts & crafts and… actually, they have an activity for the entire family or just adults for every night single of the week.
Getting there: fly into Burlington International Airport, then drive for some 45 minutes. There’s a shuttle service that can get you from the airport to the resort, but you have to book it 48 hours in advance at (800) 419-4615 or 802-332-6854
Smugglers’ Notch, www.smuggs.com
photo credit: Smugglers' Notch
Big Sky Resort is arguably the best place on the list to go to marvel at the vastness of nature (and the world’s most technologically innovative lift system!). Kiddos can be kept entertained before their lessons start with fun activities. These guys know the importance of small child per instructor ratios, but they don’t stop there. Kids under 6 always ski for free, while those under 12 have free lift passes for days they are enrolled in lessons. Other family-friendly stuff includes a family-friendly zipline tour, dog sledding, sleigh rides, bungee trampolines, giant swings and more!
Special offer: click here for limited time offers on lodging packages and specials!
Getting there: fly into Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport, and then opt for one of these ground transportation options.
Big Sky Resort, bigskyresort.com
photo credit: Zach Dischner Photography
Teaching kiddos to hit the slopes (softly) as early as at the age of 2, these pros offer low ratio, in this case 1:1 lessons. If skiing gets too mundane and your kid is 3 or older, try the Rocky Mountain Coaster, one of the longest in North America. Copper’s child care for non-skiers aged 6 months to 6 years keeps them engaged indoors and outdoors, and there’s even a free Kids’ Night Out childcare service that allows you to enjoy the less kid-specific parts of the resort, even if it’s just drinking a bottle of wine, watching Dumb and Dumber, and enjoying the movie’s ski scenes filmed at Copper like never before.
Special offers: booking online grants you discounts, and lodging with Copper grants you additional discounts on activities. Take a peek here!
Getting there: fly into Denver International Airport. From there, you can use Copper’s official ground transportation provider Summit Express. These should be booked in advance here.
Copper Mountain, www.coppercolorado.com
Rocky Mountains are home to another world-class, incredibly kid-friendly resort. Kids under 12 ski for free at Keystone, and have a lot to look forward to, like skiing with instructors who truly get them, complimentary cookies, the world’s very largest snow fort and free daily delivery of fun at this actual Kidtopia. Opt for customizable family ski lessons that come with trivia, secret stashes and immediate access to slopes, or go on the family snowcat adventure tour to soak in the views and each other’s company.
Special offer: all your saving options in one place right here!
Getting there: fly into Denver International Airport or Eagle County Airport. The former is 90 miles and the latter 65 miles from Keystone. Both have shuttle services that can get you to Keystone!
Jackson Hole made sure kids feel like the resort was made for them specifically. First, kids under 14 ski and rent equipment for free under these conditions. Second, third, and so on, they have maps with alternative names for the entire mountain so they can say on top of their route as they master new skills from the age of 3 onwards (Jackson Hole warns your kids will make you return!). There are also hidden playgrounds, the mighty Kids Ranch, a Kids Night Out program on select dates (in Feb) and a myriad of other more or less kid-friendly adventures like snowmobiling, paragliding, wildlife & park tours, even scenic flights over the Tenton Mountain Range!
Getting there: fly into Jackson Hole Airport located within Grand Teton National Park. From there, take a taxi or a rental car to Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.
Jackson Hole, www.jacksonhole.com