Best Winter Break Ski Resorts for Families

Find all the best winter break ski resorts for families here with key tips and insight on features, amenities, and activities at these stand-out destinations.

Family receives hot cookies after skiing in Beaver Creek, CO.

Best Winter Break Ski Resorts for Families

Winter is more than just a season; it’s a magical time when families can come together to experience the joy of snow-covered landscapes and embark on exciting adventures together. And if you’re looking for winter break ideas for the family, you’re in the right place. A skiing vacation offers an incredible mix of outdoor excitement, physical activity, and quality time–all essential factors when deciding where to head on your winter vacation. 

The Benefits of Skiing for Families

Before delving into the specifics of each ski resort, it’s essential to highlight the numerous benefits of skiing for families. Skiing is not only a fantastic winter activity but also a means of improving physical fitness, boosting mood, and connecting with nature. The sport engages various muscle groups, promoting cardiovascular health and overall well-being. The crisp mountain air and breathtaking scenery also create a serene environment that enhances mental health and fosters family bonding. With these benefits in mind, let’s explore some of the winter break destinations for families. 

Best Winter Break Trips for Families


  • Location: Keystone, Colorado
  • Features: Renowned for its family-friendly atmosphere, offering a variety of terrain suitable for all skill levels. There are plenty of activities to keep kids entertained and memories to be had off the slopes. 
  • Activities: In addition to skiing, families can enjoy ice skating, sleigh rides, tubing, and the largest mountaintop snow fort. 

Park City

  • Location: Park City, Utah
  • Features: The largest ski resort in the United States, providing an extensive amount of terrain for skiers and riders of all levels. The charming historic town offers a vibrant après-ski scene, and the resort has a host of other family-focused experiences that cater to unique needs and preferences. 
  • Activities: Beyond skiing, families can explore excellent dining, a mountain coaster, and the Flying Eagle zipline. 


  • Location: Vail, Colorado
  • Features: Vail stands as an iconic destination for winter sports enthusiasts. The resort boasts an impressive amount of terrain with diverse trails for everyone. The Kid’s Adventure Zones and Children’s Ski School make it an excellent choice for families with young children. 
  • Activities: Families can enjoy skiing and on-mountain dining or relax in the cozy village filled with shops and restaurants. 


  • Location: Breckenridge, Colorado
  • Features: Breck is famous for its authentic mountain town vibe and diverse ski terrain. There is a good mix of skiing and non-skiing activities for all ages, ensuring a well-rounded winter vacation. 
  • Activities: Off the ski slopes, families can go sledding, ride the Gold Runner coaster, hop on a sleigh ride, or visit the mountaintop children's museum. 

Beaver Creek

  • Location: Beaver Creek, Colorado
  • Features: Beaver Creek is well-known for its luxury and family-oriented approach. The dedicated family learning zones and ski school ensure that every member of the family has a safe and enjoyable time on the slopes. 
  • Activities: On top of skiing, families can experience snowshoeing or ice skating and enjoy complimentary chocolate chip cookies served daily in the village. 


  • Location: South Lake Tahoe, California/Nevada
  • Features: Heavenly lives up to its name with stunning views of Lake Tahoe. The resort offers a mix of challenging slopes and family-friendly areas. The Ski and Ride School provides expert guidance for all skill levels. 
  • Activities: Snow tubing is on the mountain and the Heavenly Gondola offers panoramic views of the lake and surrounding mountains. 


  • Location: Truckee, California
  • Features: Northstar combines a laid-back atmosphere with exciting skiing and riding opportunities. The resort’s Village at Northstar offers a charming backdrop, and the Snowboard Academy is perfect for families with aspiring snowboarders. 
  • Activities: Families can enjoy ice skating, tubing, snowshoeing, fat tire snow biking, and live music on select nights. There are also delicious treats and plenty to eat in the village. 

Hunter Mountain

  • Location: Hunter, New York
  • Features: Hunter Mountain is a popular destination on the East Coast, known for its diverse terrain and family-friendly atmosphere. The resort offers programs for children, ensuring they have a blast while learning to ski. 
  • Activities: The bubly snow tubing park is a no-skills, high-thrills activity for the whole family. There are also various live music events and competitions throughout the season. 

Tips for Family Trips for Winter Break

  • Choosing the Right Ski Resort: Consider the skill levels and preferences of all family members. Opt for resorts with dedicated family programs, suitable terrain, and a variety of activities beyond skiing. 
  • Book in Advance: Winter ski resorts can get busy, especially during peak seasons. Secure your accommodations, lift tickets, and lessons in advance to ensure a seamless and stress-free vacation. 
  • Pack Appropriately: Dress in layers to stay warm and dry. Don’t forget essentials like waterproof gloves, goggles, and sunscreen. For non-skiers, bring winter gear for alternative activities. 
  • Stay Safe of the Slopes: Familiarize yourself with the resort’s safety guidelines. Ensure that everyone in the family wears appropriate safety gear, and consider taking lessons if it’s your first time skiing. 
  • Learn Basic Ski Etiquette: Get yourself and your family in tune with basic ski etiquette to ensure a smooth experience on the slopes. Understanding the right of way, proper signaling, and how to use ski lifts can enhance safety and enjoyment. 
  • Consider Equipment Rentals: If you’re new to skiing or traveling from a distance, consider renting equipment at the resort. This can save you the hassle of transporting bulky gear and ensure that everyone has the right-sized equipment for an enjoyable skiing experience. 
  • Check Weather Conditions: Stay informed about the weather conditions at your chosen ski resort. Knowing the forecast can help you pack appropriately and anticipate any changes in skiing conditions. Be prepared for various weather scenarios, and plan accordingly. 
  • Explore Non-Skiing Activities: While skiing may be the highlight of a winter vacation, exploring non-skiing activities can add variety to your trip. Research the resort’s offerings, such as snowshoeing trails, spa facilities, or events in nearby towns. 
  • Create a Flexible Itinerary: While planning is crucial, leave room for flexibility in your itinerary. Weather conditions, energy levels, and individual preferences can vary. Having a general plan but allowing for spontaneity ensures that everyone can enjoy the vacation at their own pace. 
  • Engage in Pre-Trip Fitness: Skiing is a physically demanding activity, and being in good shape can enhance your overall experience. Engage in pre-trip fitness activities, such as cardiovascular exercises and strength training, to build endurance and reduce the risk of fatigue or injuries on the slopes. 
  • Understand Lesson Options: If any family members are new to skiing, consider enrolling in ski or snowboard lessons. Most resorts offer lessons for various skill levels, including beginners. Professional instruction can boost confidence and help everyone get the most out of their skiing experience. 
  • Review Resort Policies: Before arriving at the resort, review their policies on cancellations, refunds, and any other guidelines. Stay informed about the latest updates to ensure a smooth and stress-free vacation experience.