Scout Picks: Best Resorts for Families

Best Resorts for Families

Niseko: Making family ski trips to Japan easy

For families heading to Japan, Niseko makes an excellent choice. There are several English speaking ski schools, an excellent shuttle system and great slopes for all standards. Plus there's an abundance of apartment accommodation with western furnishings as well as stores selling western groceries. However a word of warning, if you are after an authentic, cultural Japanese experience for the kids, this probably wouldn't be your best choice since it is now so heavily developed by westerners.

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Best Resorts for Families
Best Resorts for Families

Cardrona: Kiwi charm and personality

All of the resorts in New Zealand's Southern Lakes area offer some great facilities for kids, but Cardrona is Scout’s pick for its charm, relaxed atmosphere and excellent facilities. Even their website has a fun and playful children’s section. Kids aged from three months to four years can be placed in daycare, while three and four year-olds wanting to hit the slopes can do so with Ski Kindy. If you’re there for a week there are programs called Skiwees and Lowriders to help them progress. And the best part – kids aged under six ski for free.

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Best Resorts for Families

Family friendly resorts where parents and kids are guaranteed a great time.

Even thinking about a ski vacation with kids is daunting. Just getting them ready each day can be every parent’s worst nightmare. You have to be practically a circus act to juggle skis, boots, poles, helmets, goggles and gloves – all before you’ve even hit the slopes. While most resorts have great facilities and ski schools for kids, here are Scout’s tips for destinations that will create a memorable and relatively pain-free ski vacation.

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Best Resorts for Families
Photo: Vail Resorts

Like Disneyland at the Snow.

Keystone would have to be one of the best ski resorts for families, anywhere in the world. The Vail Resorts owned resort has packed a ton of kid oriented activities into the village and on the slopes. From ice castles to organised snowball fights to a parade, one would be forgiven for thinking you're at Disneyland. Fortunately there's also plenty of family friendly condos, it's gentle on the wallet and it's easy to get to - just a two hour drive from Denver Airport. 

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Photo: Vail Resorts
Best Resorts for Families

Big Sky: Big on Families. Big on benefits. Big on Fun.

Big Sky sure knows how to please families. When staying in resort lodging (including all those booked via Scout) this awesome Montana resort lets kids under 10 ski free and all kids 4 and up have free access to the afternoon kids club (more time for the parents to enjoy Apres - or the hot tub). Plus the varied terrain will please all members of the family no matter what their level.

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Best Resorts for Families
Photo: Aspen Snowmass

Snowmass: Families come first

Snowmass is one of the best mountains for families who love to ski. Its slopes are perfect for the beginner and intermediate and it has some decent advanced terrain for skiers looking for more of a challenge. But the extreme skiers tend to stay away, so you’ll never feel intimidated or worried about the kids. It almost feels like it’s been reserved as a family-friendly mountain.

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Photo: Aspen Snowmass
Photo: Whistler Blackcomb / Toshi Kawano

Whistler Blackcomb: A mountain playground.

Whistler Blackcomb is the kind of place your kids will have so much fun they won’t want to leave and may even forget you exist. Its ski school is one of the biggest in the world, boasting more than 1000 instructors who will not only teach your kids to go from “pizza” to “spaghetti” in no time but they’ll have a blast doing it. There’s some child-specific areas, including a special terrain park with kid-sized features and adventure playgrounds on both mountains.

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Photo: Whistler Blackcomb / Toshi Kawano
Photo: Park City Mountain Resort

Park City: Where skiing is almost an afterthought

Zip-lining, alpine coasters (4000ft of curves, bends and loops), Viking yurts, sleigh rides, tubing, snowmobiling … the list goes on and on. Park City Mountain Resort has endless opportunities to keep the kids entertained plus some good value options for mountainside accommodation. There also happens to be some great skiing too.

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Photo: Park City Mountain Resort
Photo: Vail Resorts

Northstar: Compact, easy and super fun

One of the lesser known destinations for families is Northstar in Lake Tahoe. The resort has a compact European style village that is perfect for families. It has a huge ice-skating rink, movie theatre, bowling alley, plenty of shops, bars and restaurants and free S’mores at the fire pits in the afternoon. The mountain has gentle slopes and fantastic park and pipe facilities. And with plenty of condo accommodation in and around the village and close proximity to Reno International Airport it all makes for a very easy ski vacation.

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Photo: Vail Resorts
Photo: Vail Resorts

Beaver Creek: Spoil the kids, and yourselves

If there’s one thing that keeps any kids happy when they’re skiing, it has to be hot chocolate and choc chip cookies (actually that’s two). Beaver Creek has plenty of both and they’re free. With a European-style village centered around an ice-skating rink, escalators leading to the slopes and exceptional service, staying in Beaver Creek is not only easy, it’s a luxury.

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Photo: Vail Resorts
Photo: Steamboat

Steamboat has kids flying high

One of America’s favorite resorts for families, Steamboat has everything to keep you and the little ones happy; a plethora of good value condos (many of which are ski-in ski-out), an easy-to-navigate base area, a centrally located ski school and an abundance of activities for when they’re tired of skiing. Where else can your child learn to fly off a real ski jump?

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Photo: Steamboat
Best Resorts for Families

Val D'Isere: European charm. Great facilities.

Nestled deep in the French Alps lies Val d'Isere - one of Scout's favorite ski resorts in the world. We've also picked it as one of the best family resorts in the world because of the excellent services it offers for families, combined with a good variety of accommodation options, a charming yet functional European village (including a working dairy where you can see the animals), easy transport and world-class skiing. A family vacation in Val d'Isere will be memorable and fun.

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Best Resorts for Families

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