With a state (New York) that offers more ski resorts than any other place in the country and the entire region of New England to boot, the East Coast hardly lacks for quality ski resorts, making the task of listing the best areas a difficult one. Nevertheless, these are our favorites, in no particular order, for their unparalleled dedication to family fun.

Written by Amanda Geronikos

Holiday Valley, New York

Holiday Valley has it all, and by that we mean skiing, snowboarding, tubing, sleigh rides and a mountain coaster (a low-to-the-ground, roller coaster-like ride), not to mention an extensive spa, lodging and dining options aplenty.

Set on 1,400 acres in Ellicottville, New York (approximately 45 minutes from Buffalo), Holiday Valley offers 58 trails, 37 of which are open at night. Trails are accessible by 13 lifts. Nine different ski programs teach various age groups of kids, and adult lessons are offered as well. The resort also offers great promotions, and allows children 5 and under to ski free. Daycare services are offered for little tikes who aren't quite ready for the slopes.

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 Vermont resort, which recently invested $1 million in snowmaking enhancements, 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 1/2 years can learn to ski, and those at least 3 years of age can try snowboarding.

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?!)

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.

Rookies utilize several specialized programs and camps at the Learning Center, housed in its very own building. Little ones, ages 6 months to 6 years, spend time in PlayCare, located beneath the Learning Center. The mountain, located in the Northern Catskills, has 58 trails, 10 lifts and a 1,600-foot drop.

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).

Stowe Mountain, Vermont

Mount Mansfield and Spruce Peak comprise Stowe Mountain Resort, located in Northern 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. 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.

If you're looking for a luxurious, yet cozy place to stay, consider Stowe Mountain Lodge, a 312-room hotel and spa. Parents and well-behaved kids should also consider a visit to The Cliff House, where they'll enjoy fine dining and panoramic view seating.

Whiteface Mountain, New York

Made famous by the Olympic Winter Games in 1980, Whiteface Mountain is located in the charming town of Lake Placid, New York. Both skiers and non-skiers flock to the mountain just for the Olympic Center, where they watch figure skating competitions and the Saturday Night Ice Shows. Guests also enjoy ice-skating on four rinks (three of which are indoors).

As for skiing, the mountain doesn't disappoint -- 86 trails (a third of which are rated for expert skiers) and 11 lifts, which include a gondola. The resort's Play-n-Ski program is perfect for little ones. Kids are grouped according to ability and are out on the snow for hour-and-a-half increments. Between lessons, they are supervised in the Bear's Den Nursery, where they enjoy arts and crafts and games. Various other programs are offered, including the Junior Adventure Program, Teen Experience and even a Future Medalist Program.

Unique to Whiteface Mountain is its Bobsled Experience. With a professional driver and brakeman, you'll speed faster than you can in a car through town, and want to do it all over again when you get to the finish line! Tubing, snowshoeing and boarding are also offered.

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 recently 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!

Sunday River, Maine

What does Sunday River do best, you ask? Snow. The resort makes more snow than any other ski area on the East Coast, investing at least $2.5 million in fresh powder each year. Self-proclaimed The Most Dependable Snow in New England, it covers 132 thrilling trails. Skiers utilize 16 lifts, including America's first Chondola, a high-speed (under seven minutes) ride to six of the resort's peaks.

Sunday River offers seasonal programs and group and private clinics for ages 3 and up. On weekends and holidays, both new and expert skiers and snowboarders enjoy the 12-Hour Skiing & Riding program; the resort is open from 9 a.m to 8 p.m. on Fridays and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturdays. Families also have the opportunity to try ice skating, snowshoeing, zip lining and snowtubing.

One reasonably priced hotel is the Grand Summit Hotel and Conference Center, which is located onsite, and offers package deals with lodging and lift tickets.

If you're lucky, you'll see Eddy the Yeti, the resident abominable snowman!

Killington, Vermont

Sprawled across 3,000 acres in the Green Mountains of Central Vermont, Killington is a favorite amongst diehard skiers. The resort features 72 trails and an extensive network of 22 lifts on 752 skiable acres. It also boasts a 3,050-foot vertical drop! But don't let its size and serious reputation fool you -- Killington is every bit as family friendly as the others on our list!

Children as young as 4 years old can learn to ski at Killington, and several programs are tailored to each age group's needs. Mom and dad -- do you know how to ski? If not, it's never too late to start at Killington! The resort offers private ski and snowboard lessons, as well as group lesson programs.

When you need a break from your skis or snowboard, try a snowcat-drawn sleigh ride or a snowmobile tour, or consider dog sledding, snowshoeing or snowtubing. Also be sure to check out the region's delectable dining options -- there's over 100 of them!

Planning a weekend (or week-long) visit to Killington? We recommend the Killington Grand Resort Hotel, which provides ski-in, ski-out lodging at the resort.

Sugarbush, Vermont

Sugarbush, which encompasses two mountains, is often recognized for its extraordinary terrain, but what we really love about the resort is that it's uncrowded. Families enjoy reign of 111 trails, 20 beautifully wooded areas, 2,600 feet of vertical terrain and 16 lifts. Ice-skating, ice fishing, snowshoeing (we suggest a moonlight tour!), mountain tours and Cabin Cat excursions are also offered. Plus, Sugarbush and the surrounding area of Mad River Valley cater to families with unique activities, childcare services and kid-friendly menus.

The resort's Adventure Learning Center provides ski and snowboard programs for every age group and ability level, as well as an action-packed calendar of events, including competitions.

For non-winter sport enthusiasts, Sugarbush's Health and Racquet Club offers fitness classes, an indoor pool, sauna, spa, steam room and rock-climbing gym.

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.
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