Last updated: 03:00 AM ET, Tue February 09 2016

Opinion Home | Are We There Yet: Tips For Family Trips

  • Janeen Christoff | February 9, 2016 3:00 AM ET

    6 Under-the-Radar Ski Resorts Perfect for Families

    6 Under-the-Radar Ski Resorts Perfect for Families

    PHOTO: Kids skiing at Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia. (Photo courtesy of Snowshoe Mountain)

    Vail, Aspen Snowmass, Heavenly, Whistler, Park City — these are the big names in family ski and snowboard resorts. And each one has something special to offer families. But for those clans who want to change things up, there are some lesser-known resorts out there that can make multigenerational groups feel like they're at a big resort while having a more intimate — and less crowded — ski vacation.

    These are some of the unsung resorts for families who want to hit the slopes.

    Diamond Peak, Nevada

    Why tackle the summits of Heavenly when you can head to Diamond Peak, Nevada, located in Incline Village, where visitors will find miles of welcoming, uncrowded runs. In addition to skiing, there are Child Ski Center Theme Days such as "Star Wars" Day, Pirate Day and Wild Safari Day. There are also community snowshoe hikes, a terrain park and an award-winning ski school.

    READ MORE: Go West Snow Sports Enthusiasts!

    Sugarbush, Vermont

    This resort is home to 2,600 vertical feet, 111 trails — and the Kids Adventure Zone, complete with indoor games and activities, a bungee trampoline and two inflatable bounce houses. Sugarbush is guaranteed to keep the kids entertained both on and off the slopes. And if skiing isn’t number-one on the list — there are Cat adventures along with snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.

    Snow King Mountain, Wyoming

    If you are heading to Jackson Hole, Snow King Mountain is like a winter wonderland with gondolas, ski lifts, an aerial tram and miles of trails. But what makes it a true standout are the extra activities, perfect for everyone in the family. There’s night skiing for the night owl, snowshoeing for the adventurer and tubing for the thrillseeker — every family has one. There’s even the chance to take ice climbing lessons. But number one on your list when you go here should be the Cowboy Coaster — sledding nearly one mile through zips, twists and hairpin turns on a steel track.

    Showshoe Mountain, West Virginia

    Plan your adventure to West Virginia’s Snowshoe Mountain and get ready for Polaris off-road vehicle tours around the resort, snowmobile tours, tubing, a water park, The Big Top tent complete with Eurobungy and a climbing wall — oh and (of course!) there’s skiing, too, which is free for kids. Families will never tire of hitting the slopes at Snowshoe.

    READ MORE: Want To Go Skiing With Icelandair's CEO?

    Big Sky, Montana

    There are so many great reasons to visit Big Sky with the family — one of the coolest being the new kid’s adventure area. There is also a free kids club and free skiing for those staying at Big Sky Resort, a huge win for families, especially knowing the price of a lift ticket these days. There is also the mountain village, where families will find ziplining, a high ropes course, snowshoe tours, a dinner yurt, snowcat rides, sleigh riding and more.

    Bretton Woods, New Hampshire

    We already know that this is a great place to go when ditching a political rally (sorry, not sorry, Chris Christie) But Bretton is ideal for families. There is the winter ziplining, dog sledding, horse-pulled sleigh rides, snowmobiling, skating, tubing, snowshoeing, this place has it all — including skiing. For families that love to add a little adventure to their ski vacations, Bretton Woods is a perfect option.


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Janeen Christoff Are We There Yet: Tips For Family Trips

Janeen Christoff Janeen Christoff caught the travel bug while living in London, England. After two years on the road, she settled in Los Angeles and focused her writing on what she loved best — exploring the world. Today, she’s a well-traveled mother of two, an adventurer and a world wanderer who writes about destinations around the world for Want to know where she is headed next? Check out her blog at
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