The Best Ski Resorts for Kids in New England
by Laura Hoot
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Looking for wide, well-groomed trails vs. double
black diamonds, day care vs. a hip après-ski scene, and an affordable
vacation vs. a wallet-consuming one? While some of the best New England
ski resorts for kids aren’t short on challenging runs and bustling
bars, those aren’t top selling points when you’re getting away with the
Luckily, if you’re visiting the Northeast, there are plenty of
kid-friendly slopes to hit.
A married couple with two kids, Tim and Diane Mueller, founded Okemo in
1982. The pair carefully crafted together a ski resort they’d want to
visit – and their ownership and influence is still very much intact.
From snow tubing at Jackson Gore to the Penguin Playground Day Care
Center to free lift tickets for kids 6 and under, Okemo is
uber-welcoming of families. Whether you’ve got little ones new to the
slopes or preteen pros, the resort’s ski programs will get your trip
off to a great start – choose from programs like “Star Booster
Privates” (for ages 2 to 7), “Mountain Explorers” (7 to 14), and
Bretton Woods, New Hampshire
When it comes to New Hampshire ski resorts, Bretton Woods is a
heavyweight, with 464 acres of ski and snowboard trails. Look forward
to private family lessons, a Kids’ Club, ice skating, the Kinderwoods
Playground, and more – all adding up to a getaway every member of your
crew will love. Are you on a tight budget? No problem. Unlike other
resorts, this one offers up the “Family Interchangeable Ticket,”
allowing Mom and Dad to take turns skiing on the same ticket.
Sunday River, Maine
At 743 acres and 133 trails, Sunday River may seem too big and
intimidating for a tight-knit family, but the variety of terrain and
kids’ activities make it one of the best New England ski resorts for
kids. Daring teens and timid toddlers are all welcome here. Make sure
to check out the Black Diamond Family Entertainment series (featuring
comedy shows and magic acts, to name a few), the routine fireworks
shows, snow tubing and ice skating at the White Cap Fun Center, and the
Zipline Tours! There is also a free lift ticket option for kids 5 and
under, and a daycare offering up the adorably titled “Tiny Turns” and
“Mogul Munchkin” ski programs. During your stay, be on the lookout for
Sunday River’s furry mascot, Eddy the Yeti.
Smugglers’ Notch, Vermont
Smugglers’ Notch is way more than a ski resort… it’s an indoor/outdoor
winter wonderland of sorts. Indoor pools, snowmobile tours, painting
classes, theFunZone Family Entertainment & Recreation Center
(complete with an arcade and obstacle course), and more, make a
vacation at Smugglers’ Notch a well-rounded one. Plus, the Treasures
Childcare Center, ski lessons for all ages and levels, and free lift
tickets for kids 5 and under, make it a practical one, too.
Besides visiting one of the best New England ski resorts for kids, you
can also keep your ski trip family and budget-friendly by booking a cheap but spacious slopeside vacation rental
Laura Hoot has been writing professionally since 2004, and currently
manages travel content, including New England vacation guides for
Homeaway Inc. She’s written for USA Today’s travel site,
GirlsGetaway.com, Cheapo Air, Travels.com, Trails.com, eFilmCritic.com,
The Budget Fashionista, Travellogged.com, and many more sites.
Book a room at
Bretton Woods and get a great rate
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