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The Best Ski Resorts for Kids in New England

by Laura Hoot

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Best ski rsorts for kids in New EnglandLooking for wide, well-groomed trails vs. double black diamonds, day care vs. a hip après-ski scene, and an affordable vacation vs. a wallet-consuming one? While some of the best New England ski resorts for kids aren’t short on challenging runs and bustling bars, those aren’t top selling points when you’re getting away with the kiddos.

Luckily, if you’re visiting the Northeast, there are plenty of kid-friendly slopes to hit.

Okemo, Vermont
A married couple with two kids, Tim and Diane Mueller, founded Okemo in 1982. The pair carefully crafted together a ski resort they’d want to visit – and their ownership and influence is still very much intact. From snow tubing at Jackson Gore to the Penguin Playground Day Care Center to free lift tickets for kids 6 and under, Okemo is uber-welcoming of families. Whether you’ve got little ones new to the slopes or preteen pros, the resort’s ski programs will get your trip off to a great start – choose from programs like “Star Booster Privates” (for ages 2 to 7),  “Mountain Explorers” (7 to 14), and many more.

Bretton Woods, New Hampshire
When it comes to New Hampshire ski resorts, Bretton Woods is a heavyweight, with 464 acres of ski and snowboard trails. Look forward to private family lessons, a Kids’ Club, ice skating, the Kinderwoods Playground, and more – all adding up to a getaway every member of your crew will love. Are you on a tight budget? No problem. Unlike other resorts, this one offers up the “Family Interchangeable Ticket,” allowing Mom and Dad to take turns skiing on the same ticket.

Sunday River, Maine
At 743 acres and 133 trails, Sunday River may seem too big and intimidating for a tight-knit family, but the variety of terrain and kids’ activities make it one of the best New England ski resorts for kids. Daring teens and timid toddlers are all welcome here. Make sure to check out the Black Diamond Family Entertainment series (featuring comedy shows and magic acts, to name a few), the routine fireworks shows, snow tubing and ice skating at the White Cap Fun Center, and the Zipline Tours! There is also a free lift ticket option for kids 5 and under, and a daycare offering up the adorably titled “Tiny Turns” and “Mogul Munchkin” ski programs. During your stay, be on the lookout for Sunday River’s furry mascot, Eddy the Yeti.

Smugglers’ Notch, Vermont
Smugglers’ Notch is way more than a ski resort… it’s an indoor/outdoor winter wonderland of sorts. Indoor pools, snowmobile tours, painting classes, theFunZone Family Entertainment & Recreation Center (complete with an arcade and obstacle course), and more, make a vacation at Smugglers’ Notch a well-rounded one. Plus, the Treasures Childcare Center, ski lessons for all ages and levels, and free lift tickets for kids 5 and under, make it a practical one, too.

Besides visiting one of the best New England ski resorts for kids, you can also keep your ski trip family and budget-friendly by booking a cheap but spacious slopeside vacation rental

Laura Hoot has been writing professionally since 2004, and currently manages travel content, including New England vacation guides for Homeaway Inc. She’s written for USA Today’s travel site,, Cheapo Air,,,, The Budget Fashionista,, and many more sites.

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