You already know that the family that skis together, stays together. So forget the schlepping, awkward hauling, and mogul-like mountains of effort required to get everyone on a plane and instead stay within driving distance, and stay sane this season! Here are our top fave ski resorts and ski mountains (including some great deals!) near Bergen County, NJ.
Got a 3rd or 4th grader? Well they ski for FREE at participating NY Ski Resorts when you sign up for I SKI NY’s Free For Kids Ski Program. And at select ski mountains in Pennsylvania 4th and 5th graders ski FREE too.
Just Going for the Day
Camp Gaw (219 Ramapo Valley Rd, Mahwah, 201-529-2302)
Bergen County’s very own mini-mountain is high on fun and low on stress. Our local ski mountain has had lots of snow since mid-December so in just a few hours, you can catch a few runs to satisfy your urge to hit the slopes. Not in the mood to ski? Their snow tubing is lots of fun for a few hours too. (Daily passes range from $22 to $45 per day, 7 trails total)
Tips: Beginner skiers, ages 7 and up, can enroll in their 4-week "First Step" program and younger ones can enroll in the "Cruisers" program. Buy some tubing tickets on-line prior to your visit, and take a few runs bouncing down the hill post skiing and set up a skiing or boarding lesson for your tot prior to your visit, starting at $39 for ages 4-6, $79 for private, $128 for semi private.
Refuel At: On your way home hit The Mason Jar for pizzas, pub fare and a family-friendly vibe.
Mountain Creek (200 Route 94 Vernon, NJ)
Just about an hour from Bergen County, this ski resort is about as full service as you can get for just a day trip. With 44 trails on 4 peaks, the Creek offers skiing, boarding (with great board “camps”), and a Tube Park open from Thursday through Sunday and special attractions like Zoom Zip Lines for thrill seekers. (starting at $25, kids 6 and under ride free with a paying adult, $399-$449 for a season pass)
Tips: Mountain Creek is offering a great deal for beginners’ ages 7+, for just $169.99 snag three beginner lift tickets, three Anytime Ski or Snowboard Rentals and three 1.5 hour Group Lessons- guaranteed to get your kid skiing independently by end of season.
Mt. Peter (40 Ski Lane, Warwick, NY)
This family-friendly ski mountain boasts 4 lifts, over 10 trails and a terrain park. And now you can also go tubing down their 600 foot tubing hill- just added for 2017 the Little Tikes Tubing Play Area offering fun for children under 42” in height. Little Tikes Tubing Play Area is a winter wonderland with a small tubing hill and snow play area so no one is left out. (starting at $49 for a weekend full-day adult pass and $42 for juniors, ages 5-11)
Tips: Family-friendly features include FREE first time skiing and snowboard lessons for beginners (with purchase of a lift ticket; weekends and holidays only) and Pete's Pals program for kids ages 4 and under, which takes place at the base of the hill to familiarize young kids with equipment and balance and has one all-inclusive price for rentals, lessons and tickets. Hit the Woodbury Commons Outlets on the way home.
Refuel At: The Grange in Warwick, NY (called “excellent” by the NYTimes) is the perfect pitstop for stick-to-your-ribs, farm-to-table food that’s casual enough for the kids to love.
Windham Mountain (19 Resort Drive, Windham)
Just a two-hour journey up the New York State Thruway, Windham is home to 46 trails for skiing and boarding, snow tubing, ice skating (with a warming hut) and five terrain parks and has gone upscale, with uniformed valets who unload and store your skis and a well-appointed private locker room. Beginner adult or young adult skiers can take advantage of the OWNIT! Program which includes 3 days of lessons plus new skis for only $299. ($10 to $87 per ticket)
Tips: Let the kids try out one of the mountains' kid’s snowmobiles, which includes a free lesson when they’re done with their runs. Tired moms can escape to the Alpine Spa for massage and yoga.
Rest: At the slope-side Windham Mountain Village - a short walk to the slopes.
Camelback Mountain (301 Resort Drive, Tannersville, PA)
Head west on I-80 and in 2 hours you’ll arrive at Camelback Mountain, home to 34 trails on over 166 acres with the largest tubing park in the USA (now with Galactic Snowtubing – LED light show after dark), a mountain coaster and a lodge with tons of indoor fun for your “downtime”. ($45 and up per day for lift tickets)
Tips: Plan to spend some time off the mountain at the *huge* indoor Aquatopia Water Park inside the Camelback Lodge.
Refuel At: Hit nearby Desaki Japanese Restaurant for hibachi-style cooking on the tables.
Rest: Camelback Lodge so the kids can continue the fun into the wee hours.
Jiminy Peak (37 Corey Rd Hancock, MA)
A two and a half hour trip to the Berkshires will take you to Jiminy Peak in Hancock, Mass. The resort has 45 trails, 3 terrain parks, and is surrounded by spectacular views and wind farms used to generate the power for the lifts. (Lift tickets range from $33 to $74, kids 5 and under ride FREE)
Tips: Even kids, ages 3, who are potty trained can attend their ski school which offers ½ day on the slopes and ½ day in the “den”. Ride the Mountain Coaster for 3600 feet of twisting turning fun.
Refuel At: Skip the Lodge and dine in Lenox at Alta Restaurant and Wine Bar for fresh delicious food.
Rest: Sleep peacefully at the Cranwell Resort and Spa. With its 35,000 square foot spa, indoor pool and cross country skiing, you'll really feel like you've had an escape.(55 Lee Road, Lenox; 413-637-1364, rooms start at $300)
Whiteface Mountain (Wilmington, NY)
With 87 trails, 20% of which are for beginners, Whiteface Mountain in Lake Placid is a great place for a family ski-weekend. Plus, for those who want to challenge themselves, Gore Mountain is a nearby neighbor. (Lift tickets start at $64 for adults, $52 for teens ages 13-19, $42 for juniors ages 7-12, and kids ages 6 and up ride FREE)
Tips:“Kids Kampus” Ski school for every age category and level as well as their “Bears Den” nursery program for kids too young to hit the slopes. Indoor and outdoor ice skating facilities, snow tubing, cross country and their “Skeleton Experience” for your daredevils, ages 13 and up, who want to sled at 30 mph.
Rest: Gorgeous Whiteface Lodge was built in classic Adirondack style, but has luxurious touches like an upscale spa and fine dining, hence its high rating in the Conde Naste Travelers’ Readers Choice awards. An indoor/outdoor heated pool, ice rink, nightly s’mores and a movie theater will keep the kiddos happy (and occupied) too. (Rates begin at $316.33 for a junior suite)
Stratton (5 Village Lodge Rd. Stratton Mountain, Vermont, 1-800-Stratton)
Crowd-pleaser Stratton Mountain Resort in Vermont is one of the best east coast ski resorts for families, with 89 open trails and terrain for every skill level. (Daily lift tickets start at $92 for adults, $82 for teens ages 13-17, $72 for juniors ages 7-12, and $10 for kids ages 6 and under)
Tips: Stratton's award winning ski school starts kids as young as 4 on skiis and 7 year olds on snowboards with full day programs that include lunch, instruction and exploration, taught by young fun instructors your kids will love. You will love: the on-mountain spa services and village sushi flown in fresh daily.
Rest: Snag a Treetop Condo mountainside if you can, but there are tons of other options too (season pass tickets starting at $399).