With interactive ski schools, kid-friendly restaurants and fun activities off the slopes, these destinations are our top picks for families with kids of all ages this ski season.
Snowbasin Resort has a dinosaur-themed snow sports school and ski school for children divided by age groups (4-6 and 7-12 years old). The all-day lessons include a lift ticket and lunch specifically geared toward children’s age groups. Kids will find learning easier and more fun here thanks to the Terrain Based Learning approach that utilizes shaped snow features to intuitively facilitate the body movements and skills required to make first on-snow turns. Off the mountain, Roosters Brewing Company is a very family-friendly restaurant and Ogden’s only brewery. Roosters makes homemade root beer for the kids while parents can enjoy a local brew. For flat land snow action the entire family will enjoy, Ogden Nordic has a rental yurt and great trails for Nordic skiing and snowshoeing.
The Aspen Snowmass resort complex offers great ski and snowboard school facilities, including The Hideout for toddlers and young kids just learning to ski. Parents can also leave their littlest ones in safe hands at the Treehouse Kids’ Adventure Center, with a registered nurse on staff. Very Important Kids (VIK) programming includes bowling, sing-a-longs, storytelling and other après-ski activities for kids. For a day away from skiing, visit the free Ice Age Discovery Center where children can explore and check out mastodon and mammoth fossils. Older kids will fall in love with the huskies they meet at Krabloonik dogsledding. When it’s time for dinner, hungry youngsters will have a blast making their own pizzas and pretzels at Brunelleschi’s. Limelight Lounge is another great option, with a kid-friendly dinner menu that includes s’mores for dessert, and board games to play while they wait.
Stay at The Arrabelle, where kids come first. They’ll have their favorite snack delivered at turndown service after taking a cupcake bubble bath, and Sunbird Park is just outside. Bistro Fourteen is a great family dining option at the top of the mountain with a $10 kids menu. Learn about “ske-cology” and snow science at the Nature Discovery Center or go ski-biking or tubing for a break from skiing. Kids can cruise around the Blizzard Speedway in mini snowmobiles or take a private snowshoeing tour with an expert naturalist. The Imagination Station at the Lionshead Welcome Center is a fun stop for 12-and-unders to get creative and learn about science through play. Older kids and teens will also love Bol, a bowling alley restaurant with great food, and CineBistro, where you can dine while checking out the latest Hollywood releases.
Little ones will enjoy tobogganing at Whistler Olympic Park in the gorgeous Callaghan Valley. There are plenty of kid-friendly restaurants including barbecue and rotisserie at The Brewhouse, freshly made pasta at Pasta Lupino and the best burgers in town at Splitz Grill. To enjoy a meal from the comfort of your vacation rental or hotel room, the Whistler Dine In service delivers a variety of food from local restaurants. Visit The Squamish Lil’wat Culture Centre to learn about the Squamish and Lil’wat Nations and their joint history through art, performances, crafts and interactive guided tours. On Kids’ Night Out evenings, parents can relax and enjoy a romantic evening while children ages 5-12 have dinner and make friends tubing, cross-country skiing or ice skating at Olympic Plaza.
The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe, is known for offering a plethora of adventure and culinary activities, arts, crafts and recreational games daily at the Ritz Kids Club. Here, parents can drop off children ages 5-12 for a half or full day of fun while they take time for themselves. Kids can even pretend they are camping outdoors in the Sierra Nevada Mountains from the comfort of their guest room with the Just For Kids Campout package. An in-room 3’x5’ tent is sent up with a soft featherbed, camp light, activity book with crayons, teddy bear and s’mores kit to be enjoyed at the resort’s outdoor fire pit. The ski-in, ski-out resort offers accessible slopes for all levels and the ski valet is especially helpful with carting skis, poles and snowboards. The Village at Northstar has a movie theater and ice-skating rink, while the historic mountain town of Truckee is just 10 minutes away by car.
For a far-flung adventure, head to Gstaad Palace in the Swiss Alps, currently offering a special family winter getaway package to ensure that the whole family has a great time. This grand European resort is a couple hours from Geneva and just one hour from Bern by car. A play club with indoor playroom and outdoor playground is open every afternoon to keep kids entertained, and the whole family can cozy up at La Fromagerie, a restaurant serving fondue, raclette and other Swiss specialties that’s only open in the winter season. When kids have had their fill of the slopes, take advantage of the kid-friendly foodie experiences offered nearby. Learn about the traditional Swiss lifestyle by visiting an authentic farm where families can feed goats and see how milk is made into cheese. For dessert, chocolate workshop Maison Cailler gives children a chance to tour the factory and try their hand at making chocolate.