From kids-ski-free programs to pizza parties and on-site child care, a newly released list of family-friendly ski resorts across the US features the best destinations for appeasing families made up of everyone from wobbly, knee-high tots to hormonally volatile tweens.
Family Vacation Critic's annual Best Ski Resorts for Families was compiled based on a number of factors, including special programs for kids, lessons, slopes for all ages and skill levels, and money-saving packages.
Beaver Creek Resort in Colorado, for instance, has created a program that aims to keep kids - and by extension parents - happy. Before starting their morning ski run, kids are given a cup of hot cocoa to fuel them through the day.
To help avoid mid-afternoon meltdowns, at precisely 3pm, the resort hands out freshly-baked cookies to little cookie monsters. Other activities include a children's theatre, educational nature tours guided by a Forest Service Ranger by ski or snowboard, and village parades led by the resort mascot Ripperoo.
For older kids aged 13 to 17 - and for parents in need of alone time - the resort also offers apres-ski pizza parties, tubing escapades and visits to the ‘anti-gravity' training centre, where kids can learn how to pull off snowboard tricks.
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The Beaver Creek Resort is one of 10 resorts on the list. It was also named one of five top ski resorts for families by Forbes magazine for 2014.
And new this year, Aspen and Snowmass ski resorts in Colorado announced plans to launch a Kids Ski Free program and discounted rates.
Here are the best family-friendly ski resorts for the 2015-2016 season, as deemed by Family Vacation Critic in no order:
- Okemo Mountain Resort - Ludlow, VT
- Stratton Mountain Ski Resort - Stratton, VT
- Camelback Mountain Resort - Tannersville, PA
- Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort - Hancock, MA
- Beaver Creek Resort - Beaver Creek, CO
- Badger Pass Ski Area - Yosemite National Park, CA
- Greek Peak Mountain Resort - Courtland, NY
- Smugglers' Notch - Jeffersonville, VT
- Northstar California Resort - Truckee, CA
- Aspen/Snowmass Ski Resort - Snowmass Village, CO
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