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Until last year our list of family winter destinations included the Caribbean, the Bahamas, and Mexico. Living in the Northeast, our winters can get cold so we head south on vacation to warmer climates. But last year we decided to take up skiing. We thought it would be something that the kids would enjoy and so we headed to the mountains instead.
We had no idea where to go, but we knew that we needed a top notch ski school since my wife and I hadn’t been skiing in years and my kids had never gone. While we were only going for a day at a time, we knew that in the coming years we’d want to make more of a vacation out of it. But where?
Here are five family winter destinations for skiing and so much more.
Camelback Mountain. Located in the Poconos of northeastern Pennsylvania and only two hours from New York City, Camelback resort offers plenty of things to do. While not as big as some of the resorts of the Rockies or New England, Camelback offers a terrain based learn to ski program, a mountain coaster, and a huge snow tubing hill. The nearby Great Wolf Lodge and their indoor waterpark gives you a chance to warm up when the skiing hill gets too cold.
Lake Placid. Home to both the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics, the picturesque village of Lake Placid in the Adirondacks of New York offers more than just a world class ski slope. There’s great hiking, snowmobiling, ice skating, ice fishing, and so much more. You can also go bobsledding down the Olympic bobsled run. Take a stroll down Main Street and go shopping in its various boutiques or stop in at one of its world class bars and restaurants.
Park City, Utah. Possibly the easiest to reach ski area in the western part of the United Sates, it’s only a short ride from Salt Lake City. Home to the 2002 Winter Olympics there are numerous kid-friendly resorts in the area with varying terrain features for everyone in the family. Take a spin on the Olympic bobsled track or a stroll downtown; you won’t be at a loss for things to do.
Squaw Valley. One of Lake Tahoe’s largest resorts, this was home to the 1960 Winter Olympics. Their Belmont Terrain Park boasts kid friendly jumps, mini cross-course, and more. Kids four and under ski free making this an affordable option for the budget conscious. If you don’t want to stay on the slopes, other activities include yoga, climbing walls, and sky jumping.
Smugglers Notch. Located in the Green Mountains near Burlington, Vermont, Smugglers Notch has a focus on family entertainment. From two teen centers and a slope side child care facility, every member of the family is covered. While learning to ski is the focus, they also offer tubing, sledding, horseback riding, snowmobiling, weekly fireworks, and so much more.
If you decide to head to the beach or the ski slopes this winter, make sure your focus is on family fun.