Best Ski Resorts for Families in the Northeast

New England ski slopes are well-known for excellent ski and snowboard schools, instruction and a family-focused attitude, so it’s no wonder that these family-friendly ski resorts come highly recommended by many family ski trip experts. Taking a cue from said experts, we’ve compiled a list of the best Northeast ski resorts for families to ski and ride together.

Family Ski Resorts in Vermont

Smuggs_sterlingrideglodgeSmugglers’ Notch is consistently ranked by SKI Magazine’s readers as one of the best ski areas for families, and in 2014, those same readers named it the best resort in the East. Known for innovative children’s instruction, the programs at Smuggs teach kids ages 2.5 to 20, and child care is available for kids as young as six weeks.

Where to stay: Cozy up in a private log cabin at Sterling Ridge Resort in Jeffersonville, VT, a 10 minute drive from Smuggs. Cabins can comfortably sleep two to 14 people, and even pets, and for non-ski days, guests can snowshoe and snowmobile right at the resort.

Ski Resorts for Families in New Hampshire

New Hampshire’s largest ski area is Bretton Woods, and it’s known for friendly terrain, swift lifts and excellent children’s programs, according to Parenting.com. Ski and snowboard school programs start as young as 4 years, and younger children can play in the Babes in the Woods Nursery. When it’s time to call it a day, there are fun and games aplenty for winter enthusiasts of all ages.

Where to stay: The historic Omni Mount Washington Hotel is as much a reason to visit Bretton Woods as the skiing. A range of family rooms and suites are available, but the real star of the show is the long list of on-site activities — ice skating, tubing, snowmobiling, a rock climbing wall, to name a few — will entertain even hard-to-please teenagers. Mom & Dad can take advantage of babysitting and kids’ club programs so they can explore the resort, too.

BrettonWoods_family ski_Welsh-OmniMountWashingtonRstSince 1939, King Pine in East Madison, NH, has been a favorite with families, thanks in part to their popular Ski and Snowboard Camp for Kids — the longest-running ski camp in the US. The small, family-run ski area was mentioned by the Boston Globe for offering free lessons for first-timers (with the purchase of rental equipment and lift tickets).

Where to stay: Purity Spring Resort, the family-owned resort that operates King Pine Ski Area, has plenty of options for NH family-friendly accommodations, from rooms in the inn and lodges to condos with kitchen facilities. On-resort Nordic skiing, snowshoeing and ice skating on a covered, zamboni-groomed rink are all included in a lift ticket, and snowtubing and horse-drawn sleigh rides are also right there.

Family-friendly skiing in Maine

It’s easy to count the reasons that families will enjoy Sunday River, ME, according to Heather Burke, an expert on family ski trips: starting with serious snowmaking firepower, the massive ski resort also has plenty of terrain, family-friendly events, excellent lessons programs starting at age 3, and the base-to-peak Chondola for warmer lift rides.

Where to stay: Choose a townhome at the Bethel Inn Resort, which has all the amenities a skiing family needs: a full kitchen, 1-3 bedrooms, wi-fi, and even washer/dryers. The family-friendly resort in Bethel offers free skier shuttles to Sunday River, and once your ski day is over, everyone can relax in the outdoor heated pool, take a horse-drawn sleigh ride or try the cross-country ski trails outside the townhome door.

Skiing with kids in Massachusetts

For family amenities AND proximity to southern New England, including Connecticut, you can’t beat Jiminy Peak in Hancock, MA, according to Boston.com. Kids’ lesson programs start as young as age 3, and the Massachusetts mountain also boasts a mountain coaster and some night skiing.

Where to stay: Jiminy Peak’s Country Inn is right on the mountain, near the lifts, shopping, dining, and the resort’s après ski activities. Better yet, the Inn rooms are exclusively suite-style, with kitchenettes and separate sleeping arrangements for parents and kids.

Photos: Sterling Ridge Lodge, Jeffersonville, Vermont;
Skiing at Bretton Woods, courtesy of Welsh-Omni Mount Washington Resort