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11 Best Vermont Ski Resorts for Families

See recent posts by Kristin Franks and Carrie Calzaretta

Ski resorts for families are plentiful in Vermont, each one offering challenging slopes for serious enthusiasts, as well as gentle ones for beginners. All of the major Vermont ski resorts also have kids’ lessons and clinics, the majority of which are offered to kids as young as 3!

In addition to skiing and snowboarding, many of the Vermont ski resorts are open year-round and offer a variety of summer activities for families.

These are the best Vermont ski resorts for families; consider one of them for your next ski trip!

Written by Kristin Franks and Carrie Calzaretta


Bolton Valley Resort

Everything is better at Bolton Valley, with an average of more than 300 inches of snowfall each season and a wide range of trails and terrains for all skill levels. With over 60 trails for skiing and snowboarding, you'll have more than enough terrain to carve down the mountain. Several trails are open at night so you can enjoy a few rides under the lights.

Nothing could be more convenient then stepping outside and being right in the middle of it all. Bolton Valley's slopeside inn features 60 traditional hotel rooms, as well as studio units and one- and two-bedroom suites. For more spacious accommodations, one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom condo units are also available. With convenient lodging, get ready to jump on the slopes for a day of skiing and boarding.

After a day full of mountain activities, the family is sure to work up an appetite. Bolton Valley has it all, from flatbread pizzas to pub fare at the James Moore Tavern to Italian entrees at Bailey's Restaurant. For to-go sandwiches and last-minute supplies, visit the full-service Bolton Valley Deli & Grocery. If you are looking to take an early-morning break on the slopes, stop by the ski-in/ski-out Waffle Cabin for mouth-watering waffles and other delicious treats.

Recommended Hotel: The Inn at Bolton Valley

Jay Peak

Jay Peak in northern Vermont is a four-season resort that will leave you and your family completely speechless. Get slippin' and slidin' at the year-round indoor water park after a long and strenuous day of carving and turning on the mountain, break your skates in at the ice arena, escape to the championship golf course for a few hours with dad, or experience some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the East -- or do it all!

Jay Peak caters especially well to the kiddies by offering them activities such as summer camp and Ski & Ride School, as well as a daycare and nursery (JayCare) for the younger ones, all of which are free for guests staying on the resort property! There is also a spa to take advantage of and endless dining options perfect for the whole family.

Recommended Hotel: Jay Peak Resort

Killington Resort

Stretching over six mountains, this extensive ski resort offers families the ultimate winter getaway. With miles upon miles of skiable terrain, Killington Resort features 155 trails, 22 lifts and a 600-acre snowmaking system. The resort's 155 trails are evenly split between easy, intermediate and difficult, with five terrain parks and a 500-foot superpipe along the way.

For a day away from the mountain, museums, local attractions, shopping and entertainment provide families with several other options. A variety of other fun-filled winter activities are available, too, including snowmobiling, snowshoeing, dog sledding and sleigh rides.

Since one size doesn't fit all, families can choose from a mixture of lodges and accommodation sizes. With convenient bridge access to the slopes, Killington Grand Resort Hotel features gorgeous mountain views, hotel rooms, studios and suites. Just a short distance from the mountain, several condos and private homes offer nearby accommodations with full kitchens, fireplaces and spacious rooms. These one-, two- and three-bedroom units offer families some extra space to spread out.

Recommended Hotel: Killington Grand Resort Hotel

Mad River Glen

Treat your family to an adventurous trip to Mad River Glen, located in Fayston, Vermont, where the motto is "Ski It If You Can." It is small enough to evoke that old-school, friendly feel, but also big enough to attract the hardcore, daring skiers.

Families can enjoy reasonable lift ticket prices, ski school, and some fine nearby bed and breakfasts, condos, hotels, motels, hostels, inns and private homes, all located within the Mad River Valley. Cricket Club Daycare is also available for the little ones who aren't quite ready to start making turns just yet, and is located right by the lift so parents can quickly sneak in for a visit before jumping back on the chairlift and heading north.

At the end of each day, families can refuel and rehydrate with a delicious meal at one of the three dining locations located within the resort, or venture off-site to one of the nearby restaurants.

Recommended Hotel: Sugar Lodge at Sugarbush

Mount Snow Resort

Offering the best lodging, dining and entertainment, this Vermont ski resort provides a perfect winter escape for avid skiers and boarders. Covering more than 600 acres, this resort features 80 trails, 20 lifts and numerous riding clinics and programs for adults and children. With green, blue, black and double black diamond trails, riders of all ski levels are accommodated.

More than 70 percent of trails are dedicated to intermediate riders, while those more experienced can try out the terrain parks and super pipe. If shredding down the mountain isn't your thing, Mount Snow offers other great family activities including tubing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling tours, ice skating and dog sledding.

Families won't have to go far to find great lodging at Mount Snow. The ski-in/ski-out Grand Summit Resort Hotel is located at the base of Mount Snow, providing families with convenient accommodations. Located on the lake, Snow Lake Lodge offers budget-friendly accommodations with complimentary shuttle transportation to and from the slopes. If you are looking for a more private and spacious stay, consider one of the ski-in/ski-out condos with full kitchens, fireplaces and spacious living areas.

Recommended Hotel: Snow Lake Lodge

Okemo Mountain Resort

Located in the village of Ludlow, this Vermont ski resort for families features miles upon miles of playful terrain. Perfect for a winter retreat, this popular ski resort offers immaculately groomed trails, terrain parks, family programs and resort dining.

Fresh powder is just steps away with Okemo's convenient slopeside lodging. With standard rooms, studios and one- to four-bedroom suites, families can choose from a variety of accommodation sizes at Jackson Gore Inn. For budget-friendly accommodations, the Mountain Lodge at Okemo offers conveniently located one-bedroom residences. The Winterplace features spacious accommodations with two- and three-bedroom units. A popular place for snowboarders, this property is located near the super pipe and terrain parks. If you are looking for a great trailside location, Kettlebrook features one- to three-bedroom units with spectacular views, fireplaces and full kitchens. Okemo Trailside offers families classic one- and three-bedroom ski-in/ski-out units.

Catering to all skill levels, Okemo features green, blue, black and double black diamond trails, so families can carve down the mountain however they would like. Learn to ski with group lessons, private lessons and riding programs. Special ski programs provide hours of fun and useful learning experiences for children ages 4 to 14.

There are a variety of other activities for families besides skiing and snowboarding. Families can go snowshoeing, snow tubing, play a round of indoor golf or zip through the mountain on the four-season Timber Ripper rollercoaster ride. Snowmobiling rides are available for kids, too.

Recommended Hotel: Okemo Jackson Gore Inn

Smugglers' Notch

Smuggler's Notch, located about 30 miles south of Burlington, is hugely popular with families. The resort offers some of the best ski programs for kids out there. Group and private lessons are available for children starting at age 2.5, and daycare is available for kids as young as six weeks old. One unique feature for families: The resort employs GPS technology so you can track and record your child's day on the slope. "Smuggs" is also known for its adaptive programs for children with special needs.

There are countless activities other than skiing and snowboarding at Smugglers' Notch, including nine onsite restaurants, teen centers, a Fun Zone, a spa, an indoor pool, arts and crafts workshops, dog-sledding and an arcade. And Smugglers' Notch is just as impressive in the warm weather months, with activities like hiking, swimming, golf, waterslides and even llama treks.

Recommended Hotel: Smugglers' Notch Inn

Stowe Mountain Resort

With major real estate on Vermont's largest mountain, the Stowe Mountain Resort features 485 acres of terrain for skiing and snowboarding newbies, enthusiasts and experts. Stowe features 116 trails, with a total of 13 lifts, and two freestyle terrain parks. Although the terrain park features an 18-inch wall, a halfpipe and a variety of other challenging features, there are small and medium size jumps and rails for those looking to try it out or build up their skills.

Stowe offers several lessons and programs at their ski and snowboarding school for adults and children. Choose from private and group lessons, full-day programs for kids or lift and lesson packages for adults. Childcare services are available at the Cubs Day Care for kids 13 months to 3 years.

If you are looking to stay mountainside, the Stowe Mountain Lodge is the perfect place to retreat to after a long day on the slopes. This upscale luxury hotel offers standard hotel rooms, condo units, cabin rentals and one-, two- and three-bedroom suites. With its perfect ski-in/ski-out location, this hotel will complete your Vermont ski resort vacation.

Recommended Hotel: Stowe Mountain Lodge

Stratton Resort

The ultimate in New England family ski resorts, Stratton Mountain stands apart with its first-class accommodations for families, outstanding ski school, quaint village situated at the base of the mountain and last but certainly not least, its fantastic snow. A variety of lodging options will meet most families' needs and several accommodations are conveniently located slopeside or just steps from the mountain.

On the mountain, the highest peak in southern Vermont, families will enjoy the speedy lifts and the wide variety of terrain, from an extensive beginners' park to challenging double black diamonds, with the bulk of the 94 trails wide cruises groomed perfectly for family skiing. And when the kids tire of skiing, there's plenty more to keep them entertained at the resort, including ice skating in the village, snow tubing at the Tube Park, and swimming in the heated indoor and outdoor pools. Several family-friendly restaurants are located in the village and many resort accommodations include kitchens for your own meal preparation. For the adventurous, Manchester is just a short 20-minute ride away and awaits with even more restaurants and attractions for families to enjoy.

Recommended Hotel: The Equinox Resort & Spa

Sugarbush Resort

If you are looking for a Vermont ski resort that's a little less crowded than the others, Sugarbush is the perfect place for you and your family. Situated in the Mad River Valley, this resort provides great skiing and snowboarding and a variety of accommodations to suit all your family's needs.

Whether you're looking to stay slopeside or retreat somewhere nearby, there are plenty of places for you and your family to stay. With standard to five-bedroom suites, the Clay Brook Hotel provides luxurious slopeside lodging. Experience the charm of the Sugarbush Inn, or choose from an array of spacious mountainside condos and town homes.

Hit the slopes and enjoy mountains full of skiable trails. With over 500 acres and six distinct peaks, Sugarbush features more than 100 trails, 16 lifts and two terrain parks. A skiing and riding school provides kids and adults with fun learning programs and lessons for all skill levels. Both half and full-day lessons are available. Advance reservations for all ski and snowboarding lessons are strongly recommended.

Explore the slopes with guided ski and ride tours, along with self-guided or guided snowshoeing tours. Families can also go ice skating and experience the countryside on horse-drawn sleigh rides.

Throughout the resort and neighboring town, there are more than enough dining options for families. Choose from a wide variety of cuisines and specialty restaurants, sure to please everyone's taste buds. For slopeside dining, families should head to the Timbers Restaurant, serving up a selection of light fare and entrees, as well as kid-favorites including mac and cheese, chicken fingers and flatbread pizza. Other family favorites include the American Flatbread and The Grille at the Sugarbush Inn.

Recommended Hotel: Clay Brook at Sugarbush

Suicide Six Ski Area

Located in Woodstock, Vermont, Suicide Six Ski Area is especially ideal for families with young children. The resort has just 24 trails, with 70 percent of them for beginner or intermediate levels. The small Vermont ski resort also offers lessons, as well as sledding opportunities and ice skating.

There is an onsite cafeteria when it's time to grab something to eat, but more restaurants and overnight accommodations can be found at the nearby Woodstock Inn & Resort.

Recommended Hotel: Woodstock Inn & Resort

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