Tips for Choosing a Family Friendly Ski Resort

Dreaming of a snowy family ski vacation? How should you choose the best ski resort for your family? Choosing the ski resort that best fits the ages and ski experience of your family won’t be difficult with these tips. Use these tips to make finding the right kind of lodging easy. And deciding when to take your Colorado family ski vacation may be the easiest decision.

Choosing Ski Lodging for Families

What family-friendly lodging options does the ski resort offer? Condominiums abound at ski resorts and are the best option for a family that doesn’t want to have to eat out every night. Condominiums offer more space to spread out and many may also have the amenities of a hotel. What amenities are important to your family? One of the most fun times to enjoy a steaming hot tub is with snow flakes falling after an exhilarating day on the mountain. It is also fun to play family board games or read a book in front of the cracking fire in your condo. The hotel or the resort itself may offer extras such as roasting s’mores at a fire pit or hot chocolate in the lobby.

Find lodging close to the slopes. Fortunately, many of the resorts that don’t have ski in/​ski out do offer ski valet or some other form of help in schlepping skis. I will never forget the time when my youngest was three-years-old and I thought it would be a good idea to take a few runs while he was at a lesson. I parked, got our boots on, carried both pairs of skis and started the walk to the bus stop. A few steps in he started begging me to carry him too. I am sure a few people got a good laugh at the super (or crazy) mom carrying two pairs of skis, one pair of poles and a three-year-old in her ski boots.

(Photo: Liana Moore, Insider Families)

What Family Activities are Available Other than Skiing?

What off-mountain activities does the ski resort offer for families? Many ski resorts offer adventure centers that may include tubing and even snowmobiling. Alpine coasters have also become prevalent. Flying down the mountain on a coaster is fun for kids of any age. Your family may also enjoy sleigh rides or building or playing in snow forts. It is also the perfect opportunity to enjoy an outdoor ice skating rink.

Finding the Right Ski Resort or Timing for Your Budget

Is price a consideration? If so, you might want to think about timing. Can you visit early or late season. Many deals are available November to mid December and again in April. The slopes are also less crowded during these time frames. Look for ski resorts that offer kids ski free programs, which can add to to significant savings. These programs may be available for kids under five years-old or may be free with ski rentals, adult pass purchases or other purchase. Make sure to read the fine print. For the best prices purchase your lift tickets online, in advance. They will be significantly more expensive at the resort’s ticket window.

If budget is not a constraint then certainly consider a family ski vacation over the holidays. It is a magical time with lights twinkling in snowy ski resorts. The resorts pull out all the stops for the holiday season with special holiday events including visits with Santa, carolers and tree lighting ceremonies to spectacular fireworks.

Avoid Lines and Schlepping Ski Gear!

Avoid the ski rental shops! When you rent your skis from Ski Butlers they come to your condominium or hotel and fit you right there. No waiting in line or schlepping your equipment back to the hotel. And, another perk to using this service is that you can easily swap out different skis.

Consider Ski School & Ski Terrain

Ski school is imperative. Kids generally listen better to professionals other than their parents and also try a little harder when their parents aren’t around. Plus, putting your kids in ski school allows you a little more freedom to take turns on the hill yourself. Ski school can vary from a two hour lesson to all day. The all day lessons also have breaks and entertainment built in so don’t worry that it will be too much. Choose what works for your schedule and budget.

(Photo: Liana Moore, Insider Families)

The ski resort’s terrain may be most important to your teen. Do they like tree glades or terrain parks? Or do they like groomers or back bowls? Take a look at the resort’s terrain to help decide on your destination. A condo close to the slopes may allow your teens to head back without you, or vice versa. Teens may enjoy spectating a ski or snowboard competition such as the X Games in Aspen or the Burton US Open Snowboarding Championships in Vail.

Most Important of All Family Ski Vacation Tips

Drink plenty of water, wear sunscreen and come prepared with good gear. Most ski resorts are at a high altitude ranging from 7,000 feet at the base to over 12,000 feet at the top. At this altitude it is important to drink lots of water to prevent altitude sickness and to wear sunscreen. Not only is the sun closer but it reflects off the snow. But most of all, be prepared for fun!

(Photo: Liana Moore, Insider Families)

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