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8 Great East Coast Ski Resorts for Families
These retreats offer pristine powder and winter activities well-suited for ski enthusiasts of all ages.
Whether the kids are novices or seasoned skiers and snowboarders, these family-friendly ski spots cater to winter-weather enthusiasts of all ages, interests and skill levels.(Getty Images)
Grab your ski socks, gloves and jackets. It's time to head out to the mountains for winter fun with the kids. Whether you're taking youngsters to ski for the very first time or you and the gang enjoy skiing, snow tubing, ice skating and other cold-weather activities each year, there's a lot to do and see and do at the country's top ski and snowboard resorts this winter. Here are eight East Coast ski resorts that are convenient, kid-friendly and perfect for families.
Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa
Both on and off the slopes, there's plenty to do in the winter at Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa. Kids can take private or group lessons at the 75-year-old Stowe Ski School that's located just minutes away from the resort before joining a dog sledding tour or riding snowmobiles on miles and miles of trails. And after hitting the slopes, the whole family can hook up at the nearby Apple Tree Learning Center for ice skating, llama walks and sleigh rides. When you need a break from the elements, warm up with daily tea and cookies and fireside après-ski hors d'oeuvres.
Camelback Mountain Resort
Located in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, Camelback Mountain Resort is a favorite among skiers of all levels. Little ones can take part in the resort's terrain-based learning program to acquire the basic skills they need to tackle any one of more than 30 ski trails. And kids of all ages will love snow tubing, whizzing down a mountain coaster and zooming down a zip line. Afterward, go indoors to splash and slide at Camelback's new Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark, which offers a wave pool, 13 water slides and a lazy river.
Liberty Mountain Resort
Start your day at Liberty Mountain Resort at the Children's Learning Center where kids can take part in multiple ski programs, including day camps and group lessons. There's even a Ski with Me program that teaches children to ski while parents learn how to further their child's ski skills. Meanwhile, tweens will love the Mountain Adventurers program for skiing and lunch with kids their own age. Once the ski day is done, head to Boulder Ridge for snow tubing. And if you're traveling with little ones in tow, kids ages 2-4 can enjoy Pebble Ridge Kiddie Tubing.
Snowshoe Mountain Resort
Snowshoe, West Virginia
At Snowshoe Mountain Resort, children age 4 and up can enjoy Kids World lessons. They'll spend six hours learning to ski and growing a love for snow sports. Meanwhile, preschoolers can hit the Pre-Ski School Play Center for outdoor snow play and arts and crafts as well as story time activities. For snow tubing, head to the Coca-Cola Tube Park for eight lanes of tubing down six stories. And at the end of the day, ditch the snow gear in favor of swimsuits at Split Rock Pools for waterslides, a hot tub and indoor and outdoor swimming pools.
Lake Placid, New York
At Whiteface, you'll find ski and snowboard lessons for all ages and skill levels. There's even a Cub Camp for younger winter sports enthusiasts who aren't quite ready to take on the slopes as well as three different programs just for kids ages 4-6. Best of all, you and the gang can ski where Olympians skied at the 1980 Winter Olympics before skating on the Olympic speed skating oval, taking a gondola ride for spectacular views or trying out cross-country skiing. Stay at the nearby Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort to enjoy dog sled rides or pond hockey games.
Sugar Mountain Resort
Banner Elk, North Carolina
Even as far south as North Carolina, you can ski, snowboard and try your hand at snow tubing. Head to Sugar Mountain Resort to ski or participate in snowboard school in the morning and snowshoe in the afternoon. In the evening, venture back out for snow tubing before turning in for the night. Kids ages 4 and under ski for free, Plus, there's childcare on-site for little ones too small to ski. Keep your eyes open for Sugar Bear, the Sugar Mountain mascot, who can be found roaming around the lodge and even out on the slopes.
Smugglers' Notch Resort
Sign up kids as young as 2½ years old for Snow Sport University at Smugglers' Notch Resort to get them up on skis and out on the slopes at an early age. At Smugglers' Notch, kids can join all-day camp programs, two-hour group lessons and night lessons designed specifically for snowboarders. When you've finished up on the slopes, there's much more to do, including snowcat rides, snowmobile tours and airboarding. There's even a daily bonfire with hot chocolate, a winter carnival on Thursday afternoons and snowman painting classes.
Omni Mount Washington Resort
Bretton Woods, New Hampshire
At the Omni Mount Washington Resort, the Hobbit Ski & Snowboard programs offer a great way to get kids comfortable with being up on skis and sliding down the mountains. But don't spend all day on schlepping skis – there's plenty to check out away from the slopes at the Omni Mountain Washington Resort. Try a horse-drawn sleigh ride, zoom across the tree-top zip lines or set the kids up at the snowmobile park that was created just for little ones. There's even a snow tubing carousel and dog sled rides as well as an outdoor ice skating rink.
About En Route
Practical advice on the art of traveling smarter with tips, tricks and intel from En Route's panel of experts.
Contributors have experience in areas ranging from family travel, adventure travel, experiential travel and budget travel to hotels, cruises and travel rewards and include Amy Whitley, Claire Volkman, Holly Johnson, Marsha Dubrow, Lyn Mettler, Sery Kim, Kyle McCarthy, Erica Lamberg, Jess Moss, Sheryl Nance-Nash, Sherry Laskin, Katie Jackson, Erin Gifford, Roger Sands, Steve Larese, Gwen Pratesi, Erin Block, Dave Parfitt, Kacey Mya, Kimberly Wilson, Susan Portnoy, Donna Tabbert Long and Kitty Bean Yancey.
Edited by Liz Weiss.
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