A family enjoying skiing at Big White.
Copyright: Big White Ski Resort
Looking for family fun on the slopes for the holidays? If you need reservations for Christmas, consider these family ski destinations. Top-notch kids lesson programs, childcare for the wee ones and plenty of family activities are only the start. These five resorts pour out a big cup of family fun and top it off with a dollop of holiday cheer.
Tubing fun at Big White.
Copyright: Big White Ski Resort
1. Big White Ski Resort, British Columbia
Located in the Okanagan Valley, Big White attracts families for its kid-friendly terrain and loads of activities. Happy Valley Lodge serves as the fun center where families can tube, ice skate and drink hot chocolate around fires together. If parents need alone time, they can indulge in glasses of Okanagan wine inside the lodge while the kids whoop it up outside.
Family activities: Skiing, snowboarding, terrain parks, night skiing, tubing, ice skating, kiddie snowmobiling, ice climbing, bonfires, game nights and after dark attractions.
Best holiday fun: Bundle up for a sleigh ride through the snowy woods to a cabin with a warm fire and yummy dinner.
Kids at Deer Valley can visit with four mountain mascots.
Copyright: Deer Valley
2. Deer Valley Resort, Utah
Luxury on and off the slopes at Deer Valley lets families unwind for the holidays. Kids get personal attention from four mountain mascots, and a special Children’s Adventure Map can direct families to fun places to visit on the slopes. Ski valets, concierges and complimentary ski storage ease the movement on and off the slopes each day. (That translates into help with the kids and all of their gear.)
Family activities: Skiing, sleigh rides, ice skating, snowshoeing, tubing and children’s snowmobiling.
Best holiday fun: On Christmas Eve, kids can meet Santa. Then, the family can hop to Park City Mountain Resort’s plaza to watch the evening torchlight parade with hot chocolate and cookies.
Santa skis with kids at Schweitzer Mountain Resort.
Copyright: Schweitzer Mountain Resort
3. Schweitzer Mountain Resort, Idaho
Secluded in northern Idaho, Schweitzer is a family-style resort with an intimate village. Kid-friendly terrain flanks the big mountain in between glades and powder bowls where families with split abilities can ski parallel routes. Kids and Parents Night Out lets the adults enjoy an evening alone while kids have supervised fun with jumpy balls, slack line, Nintendo Wii Dance and cookie decorating.
Family activities: Skiing, snowboarding, terrain parks, Nordic skiing, tubing, photo scavenger hunts and treasure hunts.
Best holiday fun: Holidays feature Santa on skis, carolers and cookies and village campfires. Two lifts run for Twilight Skiing and Stomping Grounds Terrain Park until 7 p.m. between Christmas and the New Year.
Grouse Mountain is home to real reindeer known as Dancer and Prancer.
Copyright: Devin Manky/Flickr
4. Grouse Mountain, British Columbia
Perched above Vancouver, Grouse Mountain turns into a holiday playground while the city serves up cosmopolitan lodging. The compact ski and snowboard terrain corrals the kids, giving parents peace of mind turning the kids loose. Decked out with a gingerbread village and Santa’s workshop, the Peak of Christmas stretches out the holiday celebrations with three-course Christmas lunches overlooking the city, breakfasts with Santa, holiday movies and various elf-themed activities.
Family activities: Skiing, snowboarding, terrain parks, night skiing, ice skating and sleigh rides.
Best holiday fun: Visit Dancer and Prancer, two real reindeer, and learn reindeer facts from wildlife experts.
A family ice skates at Squaw Valley.
Copyright: Jeff Curtes
5. Squaw Valley, California
At Lake Tahoe, Squaw Valley gives families a double-dose of fun. On skis or snowboards, families can explore two ski areas—Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows. Non-ski fun splits between village activities and snow play at High Camp. Staying at the Resort at Squaw Creek can add on more fun: swimming, broomball, sledding and a supervised play program.
Family activities: Skiing, snowboarding, terrain parks, tubing, ice skating, mini-snowmobiles, special night skiing and kids scavenger hunts during holidays, sleigh rides, and dog sled tours.
Best holiday fun: In the village, cozy up around fire pits to sip hot cocoa while carolers fill the air with song. On the slopes, ski with Santa or Olympic Gold Medalist Jonny Moseley.