From outdoor mountain coasters and tubing hills to black diamond runs and half pipes, the East Coast offers a plethora of ski resorts for families. We’ve narrowed down our favorites, with kids' programming and lodging in mind.

Written by Amanda Geronikos and Hilarey Wojtowicz

Shawnee Peak, Maine

Known for its long history, 239 skiable acres and 40 trails that span every skill level, Shawnee Peak is a great ski resort option for families on the East Coast. Located in Bridgton, Maine, Shawnee Peak is just over one hour away from Portland. Upon arriving, families can seek out the trails that meet their needs -- 70 percent of the trails are geared toward beginners and intermediate skiers and snowboarders, but the other 30 percent is for those with advanced skills.

Parents can sign up kids between 4 and 12 for one of three clinics -- SkiWee Skiers, Junior Mountaineer Skiers or MiniRider Snow Boarders -- which will teach them everything they need to know about their time on the mountain. And for those little ones who aren’t ready to hit the slopes, Shawnee offers programs for children between 3 months and 6 years. Fun activities for kids include movies, snow play, arts and crafts, and more. Parents and teens will also enjoy night rides, with 19 trails lit for evenings on the slopes, as well as the freestyle terrain park. Fuel up at Blizzard’s Pub, the Base Lodge Cafeteria or the East Lodge, the last of which offers a wine bar for parents.

For the 2014/2015-ski season, Shawnee Peak announced a new chair lift for beginners on the Rabbit Run Double, as well as free Wi-Fi throughout the lodge and a wheelchair lift for more accessibility within the lodge. Accommodations: The East Lodge Bunkhouse sleeps up to 14 and comes with a DVD player, free Wi-Fi and a fully equipped kitchen.

Smugglers' Notch, Vermont

When asked about the ultimate ski resort on the East Coast (or anywhere, for that matter), most families will tell you it's Smugglers' Notch<, and with good reason. The resort, located in Vermont, features three interconnected mountains of terrain for all abilities. Skiers ride 78 trails; 19 percent of them are best for beginners, and 50 percent of them accommodate the intermediate skier.

Smugglers' Notch offers highly-rated programs for new skiers and snowboarders of all ages. Children as young as 2.5 years can learn to ski, and those at least 3 years of age can try snowboarding. And little ones who aren't ready for the slopes can enjoy their days in the Treasures Child Care Center.

What we particularly love about Smugglers' Notch is that it has something for everyone in your family -- even those who have no interest in skiing at all. Families (especially kids) enjoy the FunZone Family Entertainment and Recreation Center, which features an arcade, bouncy house, obstacle course, pirate ship, giant sliding board and after-hours, teen-only activities. The resort also offers a child care center and babysitting services, indoor pool and hot tubs, Mountain Massage Center, arts and crafts workshops, ice-skating, snowmobile tours, year-round zip-lining and a plethora of food options! (Who needs skiing anyway?!)

Camelback Mountain, Pennsylvania

Located in the Poconos, and less than two hours from New York City, Camelback Mountain offers families 34 trails for skiing and snowboarding, as well as terrain parks, tubing runs and a mountain coaster for kids and teens. Majority of the trails are for beginners and intermediate riders and all are well lit for evenings on the mountain. Half- and full-day lesson packages are available for children and adults, and for those little ones who can’t stand on a board yet, the kids’ club activity center offers supervised indoor activities. When you’ve worked up an appetite, be sure to stop at one of the nine eateries on the mountain, too.

In Spring 2015, Camelback will debut its brand new 453-suite lodge and indoor water park, Aquatopia, the largest adventure water park in the Northeast. Other activities and amenities to enjoy include an arcade, indoor ropes course, 9-hole glow-in-the-dark mini golf course, laser tag, mini-bowling, a laser maze and more.

2014/2015 Ski Rates: Adult Season Pass (19 to 64): $219 before Nov. 30, 2014, $419 after; Junior Season Pass (6 to 18): $149 before Nov. 30, 2014, $349 after; children 5 and under free with paying adult.
Accommodations: Stay at the Great Wolf Lodge Poconos until the new resort opens -- it's right down the road! But when the lodge does open in Spring 2015, book a one-bedroom suite, which offers room for up to six guests, and comes with a fireplace and balcony.

Stowe Mountain, Vermont

Mount Mansfield and Spruce Peak comprise Stowe Mountain Resort, located in Stowe, Vermont. The resort has a total of 13 lifts and 116 trails! Set on 485 skiable acres, 59 percent of the terrain is geared toward intermediate skiers.

Ski and snowboard lessons and programs are offered for kids, teens and adults. Kids between 3 and 14 can learn to ski and snowboard and then they'll be ready for one of the many terrain parks! Children ages 6 months to 3 years like to hang out at Cubs Daycare, where they play with toys, puzzles, arts and crafts and more.

When you've worked up an appetite, grab a bite to eat at one of the many dining options. Parents and well-behaved kids should consider a visit to The Cliff House, where they'll enjoy fine dining and panoramic view seating.

2014/2015 Ski Rates: Half-day adult (13 to 64) lift tickets from $89 per person. Half-day children (6 to 12) lift tickets from $69 per person. Adult season passes from $1,013 per person. Child season passes from $541 per person.
Accommodations: Stay at the Stowe Mountain Lodge for ski and stay packages and book a suite with a kitchenette and a private balcony for even more space with the comforts of home.

Gore Mountain, New York

Celebrating 80 years this season and home to the most skiable acreage in the state, Gore Mountain in North Creek, New York, offers families 107 trails, 2,537 vertical feet of mountain and 15 lifts to get you to the top in no time. The Adirondack ski resort offers a Snow Sports School for both beginners and those looking to improve their skills on the slopes. Kids between 4 and 12 can join the Mountain Adventures group for daily lessons, which vary in length and may even include lunch with new friends and instructors. And for the little ones who aren’t ready to hit the trails – 6 months to 6 years – the Bear Cub Den Daycare center offers a safe and playful environment.

Enjoy evenings on the slopes with lit trails, tubing with the kids and take the shuttle to the downtown area to check out the shops and restaurants when you need a break from the mountain.

Gore Mountain offers families dining options and lodging options, too, as well as ski specials and events. This year, kids can ski free during select weeks within the season. Fireworks, special ski and snowboarding clinics, holiday weekends and more are offered throughout the season.

2014/2015 Ski Rates: Adult Season Pass (23 to 69): from $475 and up; Young Adult/College Season Pass (13 to 22): from $299 and up; Junior Season Pass (7 to 12): from $299 and up; Children Season Pass (6 and under): from $30 and up. NOTE: Daily lift tickets and rentals are also available, starting from $40 per person and up.
Accommodations: The Clarion Inn & Suites Lake George partners with Gore Mountain for ski and stay packages often throughout the season, which offers lift tickets for families. Plus, the hotel offers free breakfast, free Wi-Fi and has a swimming pool.

Mount Washington Resort, New Hampshire

Mount Washington Resort is New Hampshire's largest ski area, with 102 trails and glades and four terrain parks on 464 acres; that's not why we love it though. The resort makes our list because of its exceptional offerings for kids.

First, there are the programs offered at Hobbits Ski and Snowboard School, where kids ages 4 to 12 learn to ski, and those ages 6 to 12 learn to snowboard. Then there are the Kids' Club day and evening programs, offered on Fridays and Saturdays in the winter. There's also an outdoor fire pit, playground, skating, evening movies, daily activities (arts and crafts, storytelling and games) and indoor and outdoor heated pools at the Omni Mount Washington Hotel, part of the ski resort. As if that's not enough, the resort opened the Kids Snowmobile Park! And did we mention the resort also offers zip lining, sleigh rides, dogsledding, snowshoeing, guided tours and a slopeside climbing wall? Phew, we need a break at the onsite spa after this!

2014/2015 Ski Rates: Half-day season passes for guests ages 5 and up from $145; Full-day season passes for guests 5 and up from $329; Children 4 and under are free.
Accommodations: The Omni Mount Washington Hotel is at the resort and offers ski-in/ski-out access, with seasonal packages available. Suites have fireplaces and refrigerators, too.

Attitash Mountain, New Hampshire

With more than 300 miles of skiable terrain across two mountains, Attitash Ski Resort has more than enough to keep you busy on the slopes this season. Located in Bartlet, New Hampshire, in the White Mountains region, Attitash offers families 67 trails with ski schools for kids as young as 4 years, plus daycare for infants and toddlers as young as 6 months. Children’s programs range from half-day programs with time on the slopes and in the lodge, to full-day programs that have your kids feeling like pros by dinner. Terrain parks are great for teens, too, and you’ll most likely find them meeting new friends at the Abenaki Terrain Park Yurt near the base lodge daily. Enjoy tubing as a family and don’t miss a ride on the Nor’Easter Mountain Coaster!

This year, the resort is offering a plethora of deals and discounts, including Sunday Fundays, where rates start from just $30 for a half-day lift ticket and $50 Fridays in December, January and February, where a full-day lift ticket is just $50!

2014/2015 Ski Rates: Adult Season Pass (30 to 64): from $589 and up; Adult Season Pass (19 to 29): from $499 and up; Junior Season Pass (6 to 18): from $499 and up; Children Season Pass (5 and under): from $50 and up. NOTE: Daily lift tickets and rentals are also available.
Accommodations: The Attitash Mountain Village offers families suites with kitchens, guest laundry facilities and patios or decks, plus an indoor pool and activity packages and promotions with Attitash and other surrounding attractions.

Saddleback Mountain, Maine

With low rates, high elevations and small instructional classes, Saddleback Mountain is a great option for families with skiers and snowboarders of all ages. Located in Rangeley, Maine, Saddleback is just over two hours from Portland. The mountain has 220 skiable acres, 66 trails and three terrain parks. Kids between 3 and 6 years will always have one-on-one instruction in the ski schools or can join their parents and siblings in a Family Lesson, for skiers or snowboarders. Dual lessons are offered, too, where kids can learn both ways down the mountain! And for those too young to participate, the Day Care is open to infants and toddlers as young as 6 months, too.

Saddleback really has everything for families on and off the mountain. This year, visit on January 17, 2015, for the resort’s Family Fun Day, where additional activities for children of all ages will be hosted with the theme of safety on the slopes. Contests, crafts, activities and prizes will be available for families.

2014/2015 Ski Rates: Daily lift tickets start from $59 for adults and from $49 for students and children; children 6 and under are free. Season pass rates will be announced soon.
Accommodations: At Mountain Brook, families can choose from one-, two- and three-bedroom units, with fully equipped kitchens, fireplaces and free Wi-Fi. Ski and stay packages are offered on select dates throughout the season, too.

Hunter Mountain, New York

Hunter Mountain earned its claim to fame in 1967, when it became the world's first ski resort with summit-to-base snowmaking. And sure, we love its awesome snow, but what we love more is its extensive accommodations for families, especially those who have new skiers and snowboarders in tow.

The mountain, located in the Northern Catskills, has 58 trails, 10 lifts and a 1,600-foot drop. Rookies utilize several specialized programs and camps at the Learning Center, housed in its very own building. Kids between 4 and 12 can learn to ski and ride before hitting the slopes while little ones, ages 6 months to 6 years, spend time in PlayCare, located beneath the Learning Center.

Other activities at Hunter Mountain include snowtubing and zip-lining. Hungry families have several dining options, including Family Vacation Critic favorite, Van Winkle's Restaurant (at the Kaatskill Mountain Club, which we also recommend).

2014/2015 Ski Rates: Adult (18 to 65) season passes from $859; young adult (13 to 18) season passes from $389; junior (7 to 12) season passes from $365; and toddler (6 and under) season passes from $49 per person
Accommodations: The Kaatskill Mountain Club allows for true ski-in/ski-out accommodations near Hunter Mountain. Suites have full kitchens and fireplaces, too.

Windham Mountain, New York

Windham Mountain is often underrated, but after a visit to the resort, we think it's worthy of our list!

The mountain keeps eight trails, five lifts and three parks open at night, when skiers and boarders enjoy a unique experience on the slopes, which provide breathtaking views of the Northern Catskills region. Altogether, Windham Mountain provides 49 trails on 269 skiable acres, with five terrain parks and 10 lifts.

Windham Mountain provides ski lessons for everyone in your family, from your toddler to your grandpa; for those over 50, Windham Mountain has a program that focuses on improving skiing skills and enjoyment. Children ages 2 to 7 hang out at The Children's Learning Center, where they play indoor games, make crafts and more.

That's not all. Windham Mountain also offers an Adventure Park, where families find a slew of four-season activities, including a Kids Snowmobile Park, snowtubing, ice-skating rink, Euro Bungy and a Big Air Bag, which allows skiers and riders to practice their jumps.

Additionally, Windham Mountain is undergoing a major expansion of terrain for new skiers and riders, as well as a redevelopment of the resort's base area.

2014/2015 Ski Rates: Half-day adult (18 and older) lift tickets from $50 per person. Half-day young adult (13 to 17) lift tickets from $45 per person. Half-day junior (7 to 12) lift tickets from $29 per person. Lift tickets (no length) for children 6 and under are $10 each.
Accommodations: Stay at the Windham Mountain Village for accommodations within walking distance of the mountain. Book an Efficiency Condo and enjoy room for four, plus a kitchenette and mini-fridge.
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Smugglers' Notch Reviews
Beachbabe - Apr 6th, 2015

Our family had a wonderful experience at SMUGGS. We loved the kids ski school. My 9 and 11 year old learned to ski in just one day! My son has a medical disability and the instructors took great care with him and we felt very comfortable leaving our ... read more
dandfox - Mar 30th, 2015

What a great experience. From the front desk to the guys at the rental shop stopping to check my name to talk to me. The people on the mountain were beyond friendly and always willing to help. The room was cozy and clean and everything was ... read more
Smugglers' Notch reviews
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Omni Mount Washington Resort Reviews - May 11th, 2013

My family stayed for two nights at the Omni Mount Washington in August 2012. It was absolutely wonderful, and I wish we could have stayed for a few more days. The rooms were spacious and well kept. The pool and hotel grounds were amazing. The ... read more
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