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11 New Hampshire Ski Resorts For Big Family Fun – Comparison Chart and Where Kids Ski Free

    From charming, family-friendly resorts to those with a more robust après ski scene, New Hampshire offers a little something for every type of skier. Some areas feature full-service villages at their base, while others attract those seeking short lift lines and quiet evenings. For the more experienced skiers, New Hampshire’s White Mountains boast the tallest peaks in the northeastern United States. For the shopper in the family (there’s always at least one), the town of North Conway has one of New England’s best shopping scenes. So, here’s a look at New Hampshire’s ski resorts and the family-friendly details of each.

    Check out the Ski NH 4th & 5th Grade Passport – each child receives one lift ticket to each of Ski New Hampshire’s 32 member ski areas for one low price. No residency is required.

    Attitash, March 25, 2015

    Attitash Mountain Resort, Bartlett, New Hampshire

    Located just a few miles from North Conway and less than two hours by car from Portland, Maine, the Attitash Mountain Resort consists of two peaks – Attitash and Bear Peak. In all, the Attitash ski area features 68 trails, eight lifts, and 311 skiable acres. For the kids, their Children’s Ski and Snowboard School provides one-on-one learning for ages three to six and a maximum class size of six students for ages seven and up. The resort also lets beginners ski free in the Learning Terrain area, as well as use the surface lift at the base of Bear Peak (another area suited to novices). Nearby attractions like The Polar Coaster, Kahuna Laguna Indoor Water Park, and Echo Lake State Park make the Attitash Mountain Resort popular with families, as well.  

    Attitash Mountain Details for Families

    • Stats: 76 runs, 311 skiable acres, and 1750’ vertical drop
    • Terrain Overview: 20% beginner, 47% intermediate, 33% advanced
    • Average Snowfall: 155″
    • Lifts: 8 – 4 quads, 3 triples, 1 surface lift
    • Kids Club and Day Care: None available
    • Lessons and Ski School: Adult (ages 13+), Private, Child (ages 3-6, 7+)
    • Kids Ski Free: Kids 4 and under ski free

    Attitash Mountain Lift Tickets

    Big Family Lodging Near Attitash Mountain

    Attitash Mountain Ski Vacation Packages

    Black Mountain, Jackson, New Hampshire

    Just eight miles north of the Attitash resort area, Black Mountain’s 140 acres of terrain, 45 trails, and five lifts offer skiing for every ability and age of skier. The instructional programs for kids at Black Mountain include Black Sheep – for skiers ages seven to fourteen – Yearlings – for half-day instruction – and Little Lambs – for ages six and under. Black Mountain offers families the same off-mountain activities as Attitash but in a quieter and less crowded setting. Getting to Black Mountain from Portland takes less than two hours by car. 

    Black Mountain Details for Families

    • Stats: 45 runs, 140 skiable acres, and 1100’ vertical drop
    • Terrain Overview: 29% beginner, 35% intermediate, 23% advanced, 13% expert
    • Average Snowfall: 72″
    • Lifts: 5 – 1 triple, 1 double, 3 surface
    • Kids Club and Day Care: None available
    • Lessons and Ski School: Seasonal lessons, Child (ages 6 and under, 7-14)
    • Kids Ski Free: Kids 5 and under ski free with paying adult

    Black Mountain Lift Tickets

    Big Family Lodging Near Black Mountain

    Black Mountain Ski Vacation Packages

    Bretton Woods, Bretton Woods, New Hampshire

    Bretton Wood’s 62 trails, 35 glades, and 464 skiable acres make it New Hampshire’s largest ski resort.  It also offers some of the state’s best skiing thanks to state-of-the-art snowmaking on 92 percent of the trails, an average annual snowfall of more than 200 inches, and an eight-passenger gondola (New Hampshire’s first) that gets skiers up the mountain at a speed of 1,200 feet per minute. Along with skiing and snowboarding, other popular family activities at the resort include ziplining, fat tire biking, and snowmobiling. There are also sleigh rides, tubing, and a climbing wall at the base lodge. The slopes at Bretton Woods stay open late on Fridays and Saturdays for skiing under the stars. Along with a variety of money-saving specials on lift tickets, the Omni Mount Washington Resort offers its own ski and stay packages, as well.

    Bretton Woods Details for Families

    • Stats: 63 runs, 464 skiable acres, and 1500’ vertical drop
    • Terrain Overview: 23% beginner, 30% intermediate, 33% advanced, 14% expert
    • Average Snowfall: 200″
    • Lifts: 10 – 1 gondola & trams, 4 high-speed quads, 1 quad, 1 triple, 3 surface lift
    • Kids Club and Day Care: None available
    • Lessons and Ski School: Adult, Private, child (ages 4-6, 7-10)
    • Kids Ski Free: Kids 4 and under ski free with paying adult

    Bretton Woods Lift Tickets

    Big Family Lodging Near Bretton Woods

    Bretton Woods Ski Vacation Packages

    Cannon Mountain, New Hampshire

    Cannon Mountain, Franconia, New Hampshire

    Overlooking Franconia Notch, the state-owned Cannon Mountain ski area offers expert skiers some of the most challenging trails in the state. Known for its steep and varied terrain, Olympic Gold Medalist Bode Miller learned his skills on Cannon Mountain. Thanks to its 4,080-foot elevation, Cannon Mountain typically gets more snow than many of its White Mountain counterparts. For families who visit Cannon Mountain on a regular schedule, the resort’s Junior Development Program takes a progressive approach for young skiers ages 5-12 years old. Cannon Mountain’s location right off of I93 and about two and a half hours drive north of Boston also adds to its popularity with families.   

    Cannon Mountain Details for Families

    • Stats: 97 runs, 285 skiable acres, and 2180’ vertical drop
    • Terrain Overview: 30% beginner, 50% intermediate, 20% advanced
    • Average Snowfall: 160″
    • Lifts: 10 – 1 70-passenger Aerial Tramway; 1 Detachable Quad Chair; 2 Fixed Grip Quad Chairs, 3 Triple Chairs; 1 Fixed Grip Double Chair, 1 T-Bar, 1 Handle Tow
    • Kids Club and Day Care: Childcare is unavailable 2022-23 season
    • Lessons and Ski School: Adult (ages 13+), Child (ages 5-12)
    • Kids Ski Free: Kids 5 and under ski free with a paid adult

    Cannon Mountain Lift Tickets

    Big Family Lodging Near Cannon Mountain

    Cannon Mountain Ski Vacation Packages

    Vacation week fun, Cranmore

    Cranmore Mountain Resort, North Conway, New Hampshire

    Also located in the Black Mountain and Attitash Resort region, the Cranmore Mountain ski area has 56 trails, nine lifts, and 200 skiable acres of terrain. Thanks to mostly west-facing slopes, skiers at Cranmore enjoy an abundance of sunshine and gorgeous views of the Presidential Range and Mt. Washington. A 10-lane tubing hill with lift service located in the Cranmore Mountain Adventure Center adds to the family-friendly atmosphere at Cranmore Mountain. Getting to Cranmore from Portland takes just a little more than an hour and a half by car.  

    Cranmore Mountain Details for Families

    • Stats: 56 runs, 200 skiable acres, and 1200’ vertical drop
    • Terrain Overview: 37% beginner, 44% intermediate, 19% advanced
    • Average Snowfall: 76″
    • Lifts: 9 – 1 high-speed quad, 1 quad, 2 triples, 1 double, 3 surface lifts
    • Kids Club and Day Care: None available
    • Lessons and Ski School: Child (ages 3-5, 6-12)
    • Kids Ski Free: No

    Cranmore Mountain Lift Tickets

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    Cranmore Mountain Ski Vacation Packages

    King Pine, Madison, New Hampshire

    Part of Purity Spring Resort, King Pine’s short lines, old-fashioned family vibe, and a surprising variety of terrain draw skiers from all over the northeast. Scenic trails that weave through pine woods add a unique touch to King Pine, as well. For snowboarders, the mountain’s Twisted Pine Terrain Park offers challenges not found at most other resorts. For families with small children, as well as novice skiers, nine of King Pine’s trails are rated as easy. The Cubby tow and Bear Rug Carpet lifts make getting up the hill a breeze for those not yet comfortable with the chair lifts. Located at the mountain base, the Pine Meadows Tubing Park also has its own tow for tubers. Other popular activities at the resort include ice skating at the Tohko Dome Ice Skating rink (bring your own skates), snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. 

    King Pine Details for Families

    • Stats: 17 runs, 48 skiable acres, and 350’ vertical drop
    • Terrain Overview: 52% beginner, 45% intermediate, 3% expert
    • Average Snowfall: 121″
    • Lifts: 6 – 3 triples, 3 surface lifts
    • Kids Club and Day Care: None available
    • Lessons and Ski School: Adult (13+), Private, Child (ages 4+, 6-12)
    • Kids Ski Free: 5 and under – $15

    King Pine Lift Tickets

    Big Family Lodging Near King Pine

    King Pine Ski Vacation Packages

    White Mountains

    Loon Mountain, Freedom, New Hampshire

    New Hampshire’s nearest full-service ski resort to I93, the Loon Mountain ski area consists of 370 acres and 61 trails spread out across three separate peaks. Loon Mountain has terrain parks for every level of skier, from young beginners to polished experts. Thanks to north-facing slopes combined with more than 650 high-efficiency snow-making guns, Loon’s season typically starts earlier and runs longer than most of the state’s other resorts. Loon Mountain also adds a little fun to getting up to the top with one of the state’s two gondolas, an adjustable magic carpet, and the Kancamagus 8 – an eight-seat chairlift with ergonomic, heated seats. Kids age five and under, as well as seniors ages 80 and over, ski free at Loon Mountain. Getting to Loon Mountain by car from Boston takes just a little over two hours. 

    Loon Mountain Details for Families

    • Stats: 61 runs, 370 skiable acres, and 2100’ vertical drop
    • Terrain Overview: 20% beginner, 60% intermediate, 20% expert
    • Average Snowfall: 160″
    • Lifts: 10- 1 gondola & tram, 1 eight-person lift, 3 high-speed quads, 1 quad, 2 doubles, 2 surface lifts
    • Kids Club and Day Care: None available
    • Lessons and Ski School: Adult (ages 13+), Private, Child ( ages 4-12)
    • Kids Ski Free: Kids 5 and under ski free

    Loon Mountain Lift Tickets

    Big Family Lodging Near Loon Mountain

    Loon Mountain Ski Vacation Packages

    Sunbowl

    Mount Sunapee, Newbury, New Hampshire

    Just a 40-minute drive from Concord, New Hampshire, Mount Sunapee features 233 skiable acres, a summit elevation of 2,743 feet, and 67 trails served by 10 lifts – including the Sunbowl Express, which hurries skiers up to the mountaintop in just a little over four minutes. Mount Sunapee’s four terrain parks offer something for everyone, with four mogul runs, nine glades, and 18 trails classified as easier. Separate from the main mountain, a small learner’s area lets newbies and young children get their bearings before taking on the slopes. Handicap skiers also appreciate Mount Sunapee’s leadership in adaptive skiing with lessons provided by the New England Handicapped Sports Association.  

    Mount Sunapee Details for Families

    • Stats: 67 runs, 232 skiable acres, and 1510’ vertical drop
    • Terrain Overview: 30% beginner, 46% intermediate, 11% advanced, 13% expert
    • Average Snowfall: 100″
    • Lifts: 8 – 2 high-speed quads, 1 quad, 2 triples, 3 surface lifts
    • Kids Club and Day Care: None available
    • Lessons and Ski School: Adult, Private, Child (ages 3-14)
    • Kids Ski Free: Kids 4 and under ski free

    Mount Sunapee Lift Tickets

    Big Family Lodging Near Mount Sunapee

    Mount Sunapee Ski Vacation Packages

    Pats Peak, Henniker, New Hampshire

    Owned and operated by the same family for over 50 years, Pats Peak attracts families for its 14 novice trails, friendly atmosphere, and reasonable prices. Two carpet lifts and three tow bars get skiers up the hill in three separate beginner areas. Pats Peak also has the only novice runs from the summit in southern New Hampshire. Its location in the southeast portion of New Hampshire, less than an hour from Nashua, along with the only beginner run in the state that’s open for night skiing, makes Pats Peak perfect for a few after-school runs during the week or full days on the weekend. Plan some time tubing, the tubing park offers 6 lanes of fun.

    Pats Peak Details for Families

    • Stats: 28 runs, 115 skiable acres, and 770’ vertical drop
    • Terrain Overview: 50% beginner, 21% intermediate, 12% advanced, 17% expert
    • Average Snowfall: 100″
    • Lifts: 11 – 4 triples, 2 doubles, 1 J-Bar tow, 1 beginner handle tow, 1 park handle tow, 2 carpet lifts
    • Kids Club and Day Care: None available
    • Lessons and Ski School: Adult, Private, Child (ages 2-3, 4-6, 7 and up)
    • Kids Ski Free: Kids 5 and under ski free with paying adult

    Pats Peak Lift Tickets

    Big Family Lodging Near Pats Peak

    Pats Peak Ski Vacation Packages

    P4065099

    Waterville Valley, Waterville Valley, New Hampshire

    Surrounded by the White Mountain National Forest, Waterville Valley offers a complete getaway experience for families, large and small. South-facing slopes make the Waterville Valley popular in the colder months, and snowmaking on all trails means no disappointments when it comes to downhill fun. A quaint village center has plenty of lodging and dining options, as well as ice skating, swimming, and nighttime entertainment. Speaking of which, the resort also offers childcare services for children aged one to three years old for when mom and dad need some time alone.  

    Waterville Valley Details for Families

    • Stats: 62 runs, 265 skiable acres, and 2020’ vertical drop
    • Terrain Overview: 16% beginner, 56% intermediate, 24% advanced, 3% expert
    • Average Snowfall: 149″
    • Lifts: 12 -1 high-speed sixes, 1 high-speed quad, 2 triples, 2 doubles, 6 surface lifts
    • Kids Club and Day Care: Childcare is available for ages 1-3 years old
    • Lessons and Ski School: Adult (ages 13+), Child (ages 3-5, 6+)
    • Kids Ski Free: Kids 5 and under ski free

    Waterville Valley Lift Tickets

    Big Family Lodging Near Waterville Valley

    Waterville Valley Ski Vacation Packages

    Whaleback Ski Park

    Whaleback Mountain, Enfield, New Hampshire

    Located right off Interstate 89, along the Vermont-New Hampshire border, less than two hours from Boston by car, the non-profit, community-owned Whaleback Ski area features some of the state’s most reasonably priced lift tickets. The mountain has something for every type of skier, with trail ratings divided somewhat evenly between novice, intermediate, advanced, and expert only. Whaleback makes family-friendly, affordable skiing a top priority and also runs a variety of after-school programs and ongoing events. 

    Whaleback Details for Families

    • Stats: 30 runs, 85 skiable acres, and 700′ vertical drop
    • Terrain Overview: 27% beginner, 37% intermediate, 20% advanced, 16% expert
    • Average Snowfall: 110″
    • Lifts: 4 – 1 double, 3 surface lifts
    • Kids Club and Day Care: None available
    • Lessons and Ski School: Private & Semi-Private Lessons for ages 4 and older
    • Kids Ski Free: Kids under 5 ski free

    Whaleback Lift Tickets

    Big Family Lodging Near Whaleback

    Whaleback Ski Vacation Packages

    New Hampshire Ski Resort Comparison for Families

    Ski AreaSki LessonsDaycareKids Ski Free22-23 Adult Price*
    AttitashYesNo4 and under$99-109
    Black MountainYesNo5 and under w/adult$55-85
    Bretton WoodsYesNo4 and under w/adult$105-129
    Cannon MountainYesNo5 and under w/adult$94-104
    Cranmore MountainYesNoNo$89-178
    King PineYesNo5 and under $15$50-75
    Loon MountainYesNo5 and under $56-121
    Mount SunapeeYesNo4 and under$54-100
    Pats PeakYesNo5 and under w/adult$69-92
    Waterville ValleyYesYes5 and under$116
    Whaleback MountainYesNo5 and under$40-50
    *prices fluctuate depending on day, purchased online vs in-person, other discounts
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    Theresa Jorgensen

    Theresa is the mother of four including twins. She is the owner of SixSuitcaseTravel, a travel site for big families of 5, 6, 7, 8. She enjoys helping other big families build life-long travel memories. Her family's travel bucket list includes Washington, DC (done!), Yellowstone (done!), London, and anywhere in the Caribbean.