Best Family Ski Resorts in North America

Mary Gormandy White
family on ski slope

Many of the top ski resorts in North America and around the world are known for being particularly good destinations for family getaways. Research some of the most highly recommended ski resorts and select the one with the most programs and activities your family will enjoy.

1. Steamboat, Colorado

According to Forbes, Steamboat has long been one of the best ski resorts for families. FamilySkiTrips.com points out that the resort's "ski terrain is mostly gentle," which is just one reason why this destination is such a great family-friendly choice. There are a number of other reasons, including their outstanding Kid's Ski Free program, Kids Vacation Center that offers children's ski lessons, and Kiddie Corral day care center for pre-schoolers. From music to entertainment, there is something for everyone.

2. Deer Valley, Utah

According to Condé Nast Traveler, the Deer Valley resort is one of the best family ski resorts. The say it is ideal for "first-timers out west, plus big families who need options." The Points Guy points out key family-friendly features, such as the fact that Deer Valley is ski-only and limits ticket sales each day (so the crowds aren't enormous).

The resort offers everything from skiing to snowmobiling for the entire family to enjoy. Located in Park City, Utah, this resort is very easy to get to, as it is only a 40-minute shuttle ride from the Salt Lake City airport. It's a family favorite due to its various dining options, entertainment and its wide range of winter activities. Check out the guided adventures such as snowshoeing, dog sledding and sleigh rides.

3. Beaver Creek, Colorado

USA Today recommends Colorado's Beaver Creek as one of the "best U.S. ski resorts for families." They have family ski lessons, terrain for beginners and advanced skiers, and a wide range of family-centered activities such as ice skating, cookie time at the bottom of several slope locations, bungee trampoline, mountain tours and private and group lessons for children 3 years and up.

They even have the Buckaroo Express, which is a kids-only gondola to help keep youngsters warm while on the bunny slopes. There are also several programs for the entire family to enjoy, as well as play school and day care services.

4. Northstar

OutsideOnline lists Northstar at the top of its list of the best ski resorts for families. Undercover Tourist points out that this Lake Tahoe resort has "more to offer beginners" than many other resorts in the area. At this family resort, you are sure to find groomed runs, parks and terrain for all skill levels and some of the best activities around. From skiing to mountain biking and from golfing to scenic lifts, there is something for everyone in the family to enjoy.

Their slopeside village even provides Radio Flyer-style wagons at no cost to help families get around easily with little kids. The village also has a trampoline, an ice skating rink and a central fire ring where you can make your own s'mores.

5. Aspen/Snowmass

According to TripSavvy.com, Aspen/Snowmass is among Colorado's best ski resorts for families, and USA Today includes the resort among its countrywide list. The resort includes four mountains (Aspen Mountain, Snowmass, Buttermilk, and Aspen Highlands), so there are slopes appropriate for every member of the family. Snowmass even has a tubing hill solely for kids between four and 14.

When visiting, check out the Treehouse Kids' Adventure Center featuring child care for kids between eight weeks and four years of age. There's also a terrain park and indoor ice skating rink to enjoy.

6. Whistler Blackcomb, B.C

Family Traveller describes British Columbia's Whistler Blackcomb as "one of the very best ski resorts for families." It has actually been rated at the best overall ski resort in North America several times, and is known as being particularly family-friendly. Whistler's varied terrain is appropriate for all ski levels and the resort offers a wide variety of family friendly activities. They even sometimes offer kids ski free promotions.

Ski and snowboard lessons are available for the entire family from children to teens to even adults. They also offer licensed childcare for children between 18 months and four years of age.

7. Sun Valley, Idaho

Condé Nast Traveler describes central Idaho's Sun Valley as the best ski resort for families with kids between the ages of six and 12, as well as those "who like to keep it simple." It offers a wide range of activities in addition to skiing, such as ice skating and sleigh rides. Skiers of all ages and skills can take part in Nordic clinics and classes.

Ciao Bambino reviewed the resort's ski school through a family-friendly lens and concluded that it has (in a good way) "unbelievable terrain for skill development," largely in part to the special area set aside for those who have just started learning to ski.

8. Vail, Colorado

Vail is a well-known resort in Colorado and around the entire world. Forbes lists it as one of the best places for family ski vacations, as does Snowpak. It offers outstanding skiing as well as a wide array of family-friendly activities. Lessons, child care and a nursery are all part of the resort's family offerings.

There are many affordable family dining choices as well as activities such as snowshoeing, snowmobiling, dog sledding and horseback riding. Additionally, as Forbes points out, Vail has "a huge range of lodging choices, from condos to condo-style hotels to small inns."

9. Park City Resort, Utah

Park City is recommended as a top family ski destination on Ski.com, largely due to the fact that "60 percent of its terrain marked as beginner or intermediate." It is also a top OnTheSnow.com choice. Luxury Travel Mom describes it as "hands down the best ski mountain for families." It's a great place to learn to ski, though there are plenty of options for advanced skiers as well. Their ski school offers both private and group lessons for skiers of all ages and skill.

Besides skiing, the family can enjoy tubing, ice skating, cross country skiing and taking a sleigh ride. This scenic resort provides a broad selection of entertainment and activities that will satisfy even the pickiest families.

10. Keystone, Colorado

Keystone is the perfect family resort, so it shouldn't be surprising to learn that this Colorada destination occupies the top spot on the ZRankings list of the best ski resorts for families. It has also been described as the best family friends ski vacation value on Forbes, and Ski.com says that it "is year-in and year-out one of the most popular family ski vacation destinations."

From dining to activities there is something for every family member to enjoy. In addition to skiing, guests can enjoy tubing and sleigh rides as well. After playing hard, you can relax at the lodge and spa.

Best Family Ski Resorts in North America