Whether you’re the kind of ski or snowboarding family that prefers blue and green-marked hills over challenging black diamonds, or far flung destinations in lieu of local family spots, we’ve got the run down on all the runs for you, both near and far.
Finally open for 2016, Bergen’s very own mini-mountain is high on fun and low on stress. In just a few hours, you can catch a few runs to satisfy your urge to hit the slopes. (Daily Passes range from $22 to $45 per day, 7 trails total)
Tips: Beginner skiers ages 7+ can enroll in their 4 week "first step" program, younger ones can enroll in the Cruisers. 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.
Eeeeats: 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. ($21.99 to $40 per ticket, kids 6 and under ride free with a paying adult, $399-$449 for a season pass.)
Tips: Take advantage of the mountain’s “Twisted Kids Fun Sessions” every Sunday for an hour of hour of free, fun, coached learning in their terrain park. Two options for lodging make a weekend of skiing an easy option.
Eeeeats: The Creek has tons of food options for those post-run hunger pangs but we love Hawks Nest for upscale on-mountain eats or Kites for more casual fireside fare located at the Resort.
Mt. Peter (40 Ski Lane, Warwick, NY) This family-friendly ski mountain boasts 4 lifts, over 10 trails and a terrain park. New in 2016 the mountain is now offering snow tubing down their 600 foot tubing hill.
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 four 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.
Eeeeats: 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 their special which includes 3 days of lessons plus new skis for only $299.($10 to $78 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 brand new Alpine Spa for massage and yoga.
Eeeeats: Spice it up at Rock N’ Mexicana or grab a waffle on the go at the on-hill waffle hut that serves up slopeside waffle goodness.
Rest: At the slope-side Windham Mountain Village - a short walk to the slopes.
Camelback Mountain (301 Resort Drive, Tannersville, PA) Head west on I80 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, 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 new *huge* indoor Aquatopia Water Park inside the Camelback Lodge.
Eeeeats: 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, three terrain parks, and is surrounded by spectacular views and wind farms used to generate the power for the lifts. (Tickets range from $30 to $69, 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.
Eeeeats: 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 is a nearby neighbor.
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 it’s high rating in the Conde Naste Travelers’ Readers Choice awards. An indoor/outdoor heated pool, ice rink, nightly s’mores and a movie theatre will keep the kiddos happy (and occupied) too. (Rates begin at $479 for a junior suite)
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.
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.