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 ski resorts for families to ski and ride together in the Northeast.

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.

Further south, near the picturesque town of Woodstock, is Suicide Six. Don’t let the name dissuade you — this little mountain is one of Vermont’s most famously family-friendly ski areas. Over half of its terrain is well-suited to learners, while the steeper “Face” puts up a good challenge for progressing skiers and riders. More low-key than larger resorts, the easy-going vibe at Suicide Six is welcoming and comfortable for families just starting out on the slopes.

Where to stay: Suicide Six is operated as part of the Woodstock Inn & Resort, and at certain times during the season, the inn offers free skiing for guests (especially kids!). With comfortable suites, resort amenities (including a spa and snowshoe trails) and a prime location in the center of Woodstock, VT, this hotel is the complete package for families.

For even more options, see our full list of hotels near ski areas in Vermont.

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 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.

There’s a lot more where that came from — see more inns & resorts near N.H. ski resorts.

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.

Maine has no shortage of lodging at and near great skiing; see all Maine ski lodging here.

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 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.

For the full list of ski- and family-friendly properties, take a look at our Massachusetts ski lodging list.

Sugarloaf Family Skiing in MaineStill looking for the perfect ski resort for your family?

We can help you find small inns, family hotels and luxury resorts near your favorite ski hills in New England. See all ski lodging options. 


Photos: Sterling Ridge Lodge, Jeffersonville, Vermont; Skiing at Bretton Woods, courtesy of Welsh-Omni Mount Washington Resort; Sugarloaf / Carrabassett Valley, Maine.