Top Flight Family at Ski Resort

Embrace Winter Wonders at 6 Family-Friendly Resorts

Dropping temperatures may have you pining for warmer climes, but if you lean into the magic of winter, you’ll find no shortage of resort destinations where you can enjoy the coziest season as a family. 

We’ve rounded up six resorts around the country, from Washington to Vermont, where you’ll find all the traditional winter activities — from skiing and tubing to ice skating and snowshoeing. These amenities are available at most winter resorts, so your choice is likely to boil down to location and the selection of supplemental activities, which range from indoor water parks to laser tag to archery. Most destinations offer a variety of different accommodations, from hotel rooms to homes, so you can choose what works best for your tastes and budget. 

Suncadia Resort

Cle Um, Washington

suncadia winter sleigh ride

Located 80 miles from Seattle, the 6,400-acre Suncadia Resorts offers classic activities like skiing, ice skating, along with some unexpected experiences,  like axe throwing — a safe activity that anyone in the family can enjoy. Kids ages 8 and up can practice their aim with an archery lesson, and adventurous parents wcan rent snowmobiles to explore Washigton’s backcountry.

Big Sky Resort

Big Sky, Montana

Family in Snow at Big Sky Resort

Skiing is king at Montana’s Big Sky Resort, but there’s something here for everyone, including an on-site ziplining experience that can get your heart pumping. The resort’s partnerships with area vendors make it easy to arrange activities like horseback riding, dog sledding and forays into neighboring Yellowstone National Park. Ample lodging options include four hotels, as well as private cabins and condos.

Keystone Resort

Keystone, Colorado

Family Skiing at Keystone Resort

Just 90 minutes away from Denver International Airport, sprawling Keystone boasts the jaw-dropping Rocky Mountains as its backdrop. Skiing is a highlight here, but even if you skip the slopes, you don’t want to miss the scenic gondola ride up to the mountain. Skating on picturesque Keystone Lake is another must-do. And for an additional fee, you can sit back and relax on a two-hour horse-drawn sleigh ride that takes you past amazing scenery and includes a stop for hot cider.

Crystal Mountain Resort

Thompsonville, Michigan

Crystal Mountain winter lodging

For snowshoeing with a unique twist, head to Crystal Mountain Resort in Northern Michigan, where guests can explore an on-site sculpture park devoted to the state’s history. You’ll also find an ice skating rink and both downhill and cross-country ski trails, while older children can experience the thrill of snow biking. Come winter, Crystal Mountain’s outdoor water playground transforms into a laser tag course that welcomes guests ages 6 and up. Lodging ranges from cozy cottages to hotel-style accommodations and condominiums.

Smugglers’ Notch Resort

Jeffersonville, Vermont

With ski trails across three mountains and lessons for all ages, Smugglers’ Notch in Vermont is about as family-friendly as a winter resort gets. Don’t feel like hitting the slopes? Spend the day ice skating, snowshoeing or tubing, then relax in the heated indoor pool. Kids can frolic around in a bounce house, catch a round of mini golf or play air hockey in a 26,000-square-foot indoor playground. With a lineup of family-friendly events every day of the week—including bonfires, sing-alongs and science and magic shows—it won’t be hard to keep young ones entertained.

Camelback Resort

Tannersville, Pennsylvania

Camelback Resort // Native Digital // AWStudio // March 2021

The kids could spend all of their time at this Poconos resort taking ski lessons or tubing down more than 40 snow lanes (which are lit at night, meaning the fun doesn’t end at sundown.) But with 13 slides and the surfing simulator at the on-site Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark included with your stay, it may take some coaxing to get them outdoors. Bond over indoor activities like laser tag and an escape room that will put your problems-solving skills to the test.

Nathalie Alonso is a bilingual writer and journalist based in New York City. Her writing has appeared in National Geographic, Outside and Refinery29.