Last Updated on July 15, 2023
If you are planning a ski vacation this winter or are looking for great winter weekend getaways near you, discover some of the best family ski resorts on the East Coast to visit with your kids.
These ski resorts all offer beginner-friendly slopes and terrains, great learning programs, and plenty of kid-friendly activities and events. You’ll also find more intermediate and advanced slopes, as well as fun things to do for teens and adults. The whole family will have a blast!
Get ready for an epic winter mountain getaway in the Northeast that the whole family will enjoy!
HELPFUL WEBSITES TO HELP YOU PLAN YOUR TRIP
HELPFUL WEBSITES TO HELP YOU PLAN YOUR TRIP
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Best Family Ski Resorts in Vermont
Vermont is one of the top destinations in the Northeast when it comes to kid-friendly ski resorts. Offering plenty of activities for kids of all ages and easy skiing opportunities, the ski resorts listed below are some of the best in the country for families.
Killington is a renowned winter destination and one of the best family ski resorts on the East Coast. With gentle slopes and beginner-friendly ski areas, the Killington Snow Sports School offers several winter programs for kids of all ages (and adults too!) to learn or practice skiing or snowboarding.
The Friendly Penguin Daycare cares for kids 12 weeks to 12 years old and can include the First Tracks Slide and Play lesson for 2 and 3-year-olds.
The resort also organizes snowmobiling and snowshoe tours and features a fun tubing park (participants must be at least 36″ tall).
If you need some relaxation during your winter family vacation, the Killington Grand Spa is the perfect place and caters to kids, teens, and adults.
For something more adventurous, try your hand at fat biking, the special tires are specially designed to work on snow and it’s a fun way to explore the resort.
Killington Grand Resort Hotel is one of the best-rated hotels by families in the area. With ski-to-door access, a game room, a heated outdoor pool, a spa, and comfortable family rooms, the resort is ideal for families.
Smugglers’ Notch Resort
Opens: December through April
Featuring some of the best skiing and snowboarding opportunities for kids on the East Coast, Smugglers’ Notch is a paradise for families, the entire resort is centered on family fun and caters to kids of all ages with plenty of cool activities for everyone.
They are known for their award-winning kids’ programs, leaving time for parents to relax and enjoy some quiet time without the kids.
The resort organizes plenty of events like bonfires, carnivals, fireworks… and there’s also a 26,000-square-foot indoor playground with bounce houses, slides, a craft area, laser, tag, arcade games…
When it comes to winter sports, they have a program to teach kids how to ski or snowboard divided by age group and abilities, with all-day camps and private classes.
If you travel with a baby or toddler, the resort offers a child care center for kids from 6 weeks to 3 years old as well as babysitting services.
The resort owns several condos in different areas you can rent – otherwise, the Wyndham Smugglers Notch is a great option with family-friendly apartments, entertainment, an indoor pool, ski-to-door, and a shuttle. There are also many convenient condos available for rent within the resort.
Okemo Mountain Resort
With 121 trails, slopes, and glades for all levels and the highest snowmaking efficiency in Vermont, Okemo Mountain Resort is a great winter destination for families. The resort is often voted as a top family ski resort in the US and aims for children to develop a love for snow sports.
In Okemo, children under 6 ski for free, and you’ll find plenty of spaces adapted for little kids and beginners (Jackson Gore is the main area to learn). The resort offers programs for kids 3 and up.
A daycare center is available for kids from six months to four years old.
Apart from skiing, families can have some fun at the Timber Ripper Mountain Coaster, go snow tubing at Jackson Gore, or do some ice skating at The Ice House. For something fun, go on a snowmobiling tour where five to twelve-year-olds can drive their own sled!
You’ll find plenty of apartment and condo rentals within the resort. Jackson Gore Village on Okemo Mountain is a great family-friendly option, with many ski lifts within walking distance, an indoor pool, a playground, and many restaurants nearby. They offer rooms, suites, and apartments.
The perfect ski resort for an outdoor adventure with the family, Stowe is a paradise for kids and parents alike with plenty of fun activities for everyone.
The resort offers a dedicated beginner mountain, Spruce Peak, ideal for little ones and beginners. Head to the Adventure Center where you can sign up your kids for classes or daycare.
Try something new by renting e-bikes and exploring the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail – or book a family-friendly snowshoeing or snow tube tour. You can also head to the country’s first Nordic center, the Trapp Family Lodge, and try your hand at cross-country skiing on some of their 37 miles of groomed trails.
The village is one of the cutest you’ll see on the East Coast. It offers plenty of fun indoor things to do for the whole family. A trip to Stowe wouldn’t be complete without a tour of the Ben & Jerry’s Factory, or seeing how cider is made at Cold Hollow Cider Mill.
The Stowe Rocks Climbing Center offers a kid zone for kids under 12 with instructors helping out.
The Lodge at Spruce Peak by Hyatt Residence is a great accommodation option for families. Conveniently located near Spruce Peak, the lodge features large family rooms and apartments, ski-to-door, a heated outdoor pool, 2 on-site restaurants, and a spa. Alternatively, you can rent a holiday home.
Best Family Ski Resorts in Maine
Shawnee Peak / Pleasant Mountain
Smaller and less crowded than the bigger ski resorts in the area, Shawnee Peak (changed its name back to Pleasant Mountain last year) is geared towards families yet features challenging trails and a fun après ski.
Known for their kids’ programs and their night skiing events, the resort will keep the whole family entertained. Kids from 4 to 6 and 7 to 12 have dedicated programs while teens who’d like to enter the snowsports industry can join the Junior Professional Program.
The resort features plenty of areas for kids to practice and gain confidence and many challenging trails, even for advanced skiers. There’s also a tubing area that is recommended for kids 5 and up.
The Noble House Inn is a charming bed and breakfast that is kid-friendly and is conveniently located near the resort. You’ll also find plenty of cabins and lodges with ski-to-door access or within walking distance of other lifts.
With over 135 trails and glades for skiing, snowboarding, nordic skiing, or snowshoeing, 8 interconnected mountain peaks, and 5 terrains, people of all levels can enjoy their winter vacation in Sunday River. The resort is known for having the most dependable snow in New England and a fun entertainment program for families.
The SnowSports School offers skiing, snowboarding, and ski biking lessons for kids and adults.
The Black Diamond Family Entertainment offers shows and events all winter long such as fireworks and live performances. Every night during the holidays, you can take a stroll through the Après Aglow and its trees wrapped in thousands of twinkling lights or go do some twilight skiing.
If you are traveling with teens, you can go on an ice climbing excursion with Equinox Guiding Service or try Sno-Go, a mix of biking and skiing (for kids 13 and older).
Down in the village, you will find plenty of things to do with kids. Bethel was ranked the #1 Ski Town in North America by USA Today and features an ice skating rink, a bowling alley, and a cinema.
The resort is open for skiing from November through April.
The Grand Summit Hotel is a top-rated choice for families with ski-to-door access and a free shuttle to farthest lifts. It features large family rooms, a heated outdoor pool, an on-site restaurant, and a health center.
Offering a plethora of outdoor winter sports and trails for all levels, Saddleback Mountain is a renowned ski resort in Maine that will keep the whole family entertained. Whether you’re just going for a day, the weekend, or a full week, you will find many activities and events going on in the village.
The Roger Page Ski and Ride School will teach your kids to ski and ride in a safe and fun environment while you enjoy some of the more advanced trails.
You can also join a snowmobiling tour or try your hand at fat biking (recommended for children age 9 and up).
Best Family Ski Resorts in Pennsylvania
Camelback Mountain Resort
Catering to families with kids of all ages, Camelback Mountain makes for a perfect winter mountain getaway on the East Coast.
The resort features 40 ski trails, a snowboarding park, and 42 snow tubing lanes (they have double tubes so younger kids can go as well) with morning classes for kids of all ages.
You’ll find a plethora of indoor activities as well, like laser tag, rock climbing, an escape room, arcades, VR experiences, and rope courses.
A stay in Camelback wouldn’t be complete without spending a couple of hours splashing around Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark with its water slides, rides, and plenty of poolside amenities.
For kids who are at least 36″ tall, you can ride the fun mountain coaster, the only one in Pennsylvania!
For the best place to stay, check out the Camelback Lodge. Its big rooms and suites are ideal for families, with some featuring a fun space for kids, and the Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark is included with the room. The lodge offers 6 restaurants, ski-to-door, and a free shuttle.
For houses and condos, check out VRBO.
Liberty Mountain Resort
With around 100 acres of skiing and snowboarding terrain, 15 snow tubing lanes, and three terrain parks, Liberty Mountain Resort is a premier ski resort catering to children and adults alike, from beginners to advanced skiers. It’s also one of the closest ski areas to Washington D.C.
Small-group ski and snowboard lessons are available for children ages 3 to 14 as well as private classes for all ages and abilities. You can also do some snow tubing and ice skating.
Near the resort, you can take a day trip to visit Gettysburg and learn more about American history.
The Liberty Mountain Resort is the perfect place to stay for families. This kid-friendly resort features 11 restaurants, an on-site spa, an indoor pool, free breakfast, and convenient family rooms.
If you’d rather stay at a condo or house, you’ll find plenty of options within the resort.
Best Family Ski Resorts in New Hampshire
Loon Mountain Resort
Nestled in the heart of the White Mountain National Forest, Loon Moutain Resort features plenty of amenities for families and fun things to do with kids of all ages. It definitely is one of the top ski resorts on the East Coast and a perfect winter getaway!
The resort offers great programs for kids from 4 to 15, seniors, aspiring athletes, and people with disabilities – as well as lessons for kids as young as 2 years old.
There are two tubing areas one for kids aged 8 and up, and one for kids under 8.
Make sure to ride the famed White Mountain Express Gondola, New Hampshire’s longest scenic Gondola Skyride, for stunning views over the mountains.
If you are traveling with teens, rent sno-gos for the day, the resort offers a complimentary tour with the rental.
The slopes are open for winter activities from late November through mid-April.
The kid-friendly RiverWalk Resort at Loon Mountain features studios and suites with a kitchenette, a restaurant, and a pool. The hotel is conveniently located near many lifts, shops, and restaurants.
Cranmore Mountain Resort
Opens: Late December
A true winter wonderland, Cranmore is a family-friendly ski resort famous for its ski school, sunny, south-facing slopes, and its many events and entertainment options.
The resort features 56 trails and glades with a variety of terrains for all ability levels, a fun snow tubing park (kids under 42″ ride with an adult), and a Mountain Adventure Park featuring rides and tons of fun activities for kids.
The KidsRule Mountain Camps will teach kids from 4 to 14 how to ski and snowboard using the Terrain-Based Learning Method™. You can also book private lessons for all ages and abilities.
The resort is open for winter activities from early December to the end of March.
Mount Washington Resort at Bretton Woods
One of the biggest ski areas in the White Mountains, Mount Washington Resort offers a plethora of kid-friendly winter activities.
With 63 trails and 35 glades, you can do alpine or nordic skiing, go snowshoeing, take a guided backcountry tour, ride a fat bike, or go tubing.
If you have kids over 12, head to Bretton Woods’ canopy for some ziplining adventure, soaring above the trees and taking in the views.
For some indoor relaxation, bring the family to the spa at Omni Hotel, the kids can enjoy the pool while you get a massage or spa treatment.
The Omni Mount Washington Resort is a top choice for families, the resort features large family rooms, great amenities for kids, an indoor pool, and several restaurants, plus, the location is ideal.
Best Family Ski Resorts in New York
Whiteface Mountain, Lake Placid
Known for having the greatest vertical east of the Rockies and the best learning terrain in the East for first-time skiers and riders, Whiteface Mountain is a top winter vacation spot for families and is often considered one of the best skiing destinations in the Northeast.
With lessons and programs for kids 4 and up, your kids will gain confidence and develop new skills, no matter their starting level.
You’ll find plenty of activities and attractions within the resort like ziplining, a cliffside coaster, gondola rides, bobsledding (for kids 52″ or taller), ice skating, and a climbing center.
If you want to spend some time indoors, pay a visit to the Lake Placid Olympic Museum where you can learn more about the winter Olympics hosted there in 1980.
In Lake Placid, the Mirror Lake Inn Resort and Spa features spacious family rooms with mountain and lake views and great amenities. Closer to the ski resort, the Hungry Trout Resort is a good choice, or rent an apartment right next to the slopes.
Nestled in the Adirondack Mountains, Gore Mountain offers 4 interconnect peaks with a maximum vertical drop of 2,527 feet. Gore Mountain is ideal either for intermediate or advanced skiers or for first-timers, beginners who already have some experience will find most trails too difficult and the beginner terrain too easy.
The resort offers lessons and programs for all abilities and ages, and plenty of family-friendly activities.
The Gore Mountain Nordic Center at the North Creek Ski Bowl is famous for its cross-country skiing tracks where you can also do snowshoeing on the side of the trails.
Goose Pond Inn Bed & Breakfast is a charming option for families. Near the slopes, it offers a complimentary breakfast and comfy family rooms. You can also rent a cabin or condo for more privacy and access to a kitchen.
Best Kid-Friendly Ski Resort in West Virginia
Snowshoe Mountain Resort
Opens: Late November
Not far from Washington D.C., Snowshoe is home to 257 acres of skiable terrain, 1500 vertical feet, 60 trails, 5 terrain parks, and features activities like night skiing, snowmobiling, tubing, swimming, and backcountry adventuring.
Lessons are available for kids as young as 2 with a special “Play Care” program for 2 to 4-year-olds.
If you want to try something more adventurous, book an Off-Road Adventure Tour, exploring the backcountry and admiring the scenery.
When you’re ready to relax book a spa treatment at the Spa at Snowshoe or enjoy the sauna at Split Rock Pool while the kids enjoy the swimming pool.
Nearby, you can take a day trip to Cass Scenic Railroad State Park and ride the train to the overlook at Bald Knob.
As for accommodations, the easiest option is to rent a condo near the lifts, so you’re within walking distance of everything.
Top Ski Resorts in North Carolina for Families
Sugar Mountain Resort
With tons of fun activities and events for kids, gentle slopes for beginners, and great lessons for children 4 and up, Sugar Mountain Resort is one of the best family ski resorts on the East Coast.
Apart from plenty of skiing and snowboarding opportunities, the resort organizes snowshoeing tours dedicated to children from 8 to 11 and tours for adults and teens.
You can also go tubing, even at night. The 700 ft long tubing lanes are serviced by a Magic Carpet lift and are free for 3 and 4-year-olds (riding with an adult). Next to it, you’ll find an ice skating rink.
Make sure you check the events calendar, as the resort organizes many things for children throughout the season.
The resort is open for winter activities from mid-November to the end of March.
You’ll find a couple of hotels in Banner Elk and around, but if you don’t want to have to drive every day, book a cabin or apartment within the resort.
Ski Sapphire Valley Resort
Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains and not far from Atlanta, Ski Sapphire Valley Resort is one of the most affordable ski resorts on the East Coast and is a great winter break destination for families.
From skiing and snowboarding to snow tubing and ice skating, you’ll find plenty of kid-friendly things to do.
The resort features a great learning slope with an easy ride ‘moving carpet’ lift and plenty of room to practice! The ski school caters to kids 4 and up and offers affordable group and private lessons. Most of the resort is designed for beginners, making it a top destination among families wanting to practice and learn how to ski or snowboard.
The resort is open for winter activities from mid-November to early April.
If you are looking for a place to stay near the resort, the Hampton Inn & Suites Cashiers Sapphire Valley is a great option for families.
Best Family Ski Resort in Massachusetts
Otis Ridge is a budget-friendly ski resort dedicated to families and specializing in ski and snowboard lessons for beginners.
The resort features 11 trails and 4 lifts, with a wide range of terrain types and night skiing. The small size of the area is ideal for parents wanting to keep an eye on their kids during practice. Some slopes are also perfect for intermediate skiers and snowboarders.
The resort is open from the end of December to the end of May.
There are not many hotels nearby but you can easily find a place to stay on VRBO.
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