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12 Best Vermont Ski Resorts for Big Families – Compare Resorts and Where Kids Ski Free

    Powder-white slopes, breathtaking scenery, and 26 different ski areas make Vermont one of the most popular winter destinations in the nation. Many of Vermont’s ski areas also offer tubing, snowboarding, skating, sledding, and cross-country skiing. And, unless otherwise noted, all Vermont ski shops rent and repair equipment. Here’s a rundown of Vermont’s most family-friendly ski resorts. We’ve consolidated info for each resort to include the availability of ski lessons, daycare, and if kids ski for free. See our summary table at the bottom of this post.

    If you have a fifth grader, check out Ski Vermont Fifth Grade Passport. For a low fee, the program gives fifth graders access to more than 90 days of skiing at participating member ski areas when accompanied by a ticket or pass-holding adult. you do not have to be a Vermont or US resident to purchase.

    scenic vistas at Bolton Valley

    Bolton Valley, Richmond, Vermont

    The Bolton Valley ski area features three terrain parks and 71 runs across its 300 skiable acres. Bolton Valley offers something for every level of skier, with a ratio of 34 percent of easy-rated trails, 38 percent of trails considered more difficult, and 28 percent of its trails falling into the most difficult category. An after-school program for elementary, middle, and high school students makes Bolton Valley popular with families, as well. Getting to the Bolton Valley Resort takes about three hours and 20 minutes by car from Boston and six hours from New York City. However, it’s only a half hour from Burlington and Montpelier.

    Bolton Valley Ski Details for Families

    • Stats: 71 runs, 300 skiable acres, and 1704’ vertical drop
    • Terrain Overview: 34% beginner, 38% intermediate, 23% advanced, 5% expert
    • Average Snowfall: 300″
    • Lifts: 6 – 2 quads, 3 doubles, 1 surface lift
    • Kids Club and Day Care: No, for employee children only
    • Lessons and Ski School: Adult (age 13+), Child (ages 4-6, 7-12)
    • Kids Ski Free: Kids 5 and under ski free

    Bolton Valley Lift Tickets

    Big Family Lodging Near Bolton Valley

    • Big family hotels near Bolton
    • Vacation rentals near the slopes

    Bolton Valley Ski Vacation Packages

    Magic Mountain as seen from Bromley

    Bromley Mountain Ski Resort, Peru, Vermont

    Due to its south-facing slopes, the budget-friendly Bromley Mountain ski area offers a mix of warm sunshine and reasonably priced lift tickets. Located in southern Vermont, Bromley’s small size also lets beginners feel more comfortable than at the larger nearby Stratton and Okemo resorts. In total, Bromley Mountain has 47 runs — divided somewhat evenly across all difficulties — which all return to its base lodge. Available daycare, as well as private or group lessons for kids as young as three years and up, helps parents find a little alone time, as well. Bromley’s First Timer package includes lessons, equipment rentals, and lift tickets.

    Bromley Mountain Ski Details for Families

    • Stats: 47 runs, 178 skiable acres, and 1334’ vertical drop
    • Terrain Overview: 30% beginner, 36% intermediate, 32% advanced, 2% expert
    • Average Snowfall: 169″
    • Lifts: 9 – 1 high-speed quad, 1 quad, 4 doubles, 3 surface lifts
    • Kids Club and Day Care: No
    • Lessons and Ski School: Adult (13+), Child (ages 3-5, 6-12)
    • Kids Ski Free: No

    Bromley Mountain Lift Tickets

    Big Family Lodging Near Bromley Mountain

    Bromley Mountain Ski Vacation Packages

    Jay Peak Resort, Jay, Vermont

    Vermont’s northernmost ski resort — Jay Peak — attracts families year-round. Thanks to its location just five miles south of the Canadian border, Jay Peak Resort enjoys the state’s longest ski season, which typically lasts from mid-November into mid-May. Off-slope activities include an indoor water park, a full-size ice rink, and an arcade. Thanks to on-site daycare (or as they call it, “Jaycare”), Mom and dad can enjoy the resort’s free-to-guests full-service spa. For the family’s young ladies, the Chickadee all-girls camp teaches 7 to 12-year-olds in a supportive and empowering environment. In all, Jay Peak boasts 81 runs serviced by nine lifts across 385 acres of terrain. 

    Jay Peak Ski Details for Families

    • Stats: 81 runs, 385 skiable acres, and 2153′ vertical drop
    • Terrain Overview: 26% beginner, 50% intermediate, 24% advanced
    • Average Snowfall: 359″
    • Lifts: 9 – 1 gondola & tram, 1 high-speed quad, 3 quads, 1 triple, 1 double, 2 surface lifts
    • Kids Club and Day Care: Jaycare – ages birth to 35 months, 3-4 years
    • Lessons and Ski School: Adult (13+), Child (ages 4-12)
    • Kids Ski Free: No.

    Jay Peak Lift Tickets

    Big Family Lodging Near Jay Peak

    Jay Peak Ski Vacation Packages

    Killington Ski Resort, Killington, Vermont

    Spread out over six peaks and five terrain parks, the expansive Killington Resort — aka “The Beast in the East” — offers a little something for both skiers and non-skiers alike. One of the region’s largest ski areas, Killington divides its terrain equally among beginner, intermediate, and expert difficulties. Along with skiing and snowboarding, other winter activities include snowmobiling, snowshoeing, dog sledding, and sleigh rides. Available childcare ranges from kids 12 weeks to 12 years old. Getting to Killington by car from New York City takes a little over six hours. It’s two hours and 45 minutes from Boston. 

    Killington Ski Details for Families

    • Stats: 155 runs, 1526 skiable acres, and 3050’ vertical drop
    • Terrain Overview: % beginner, % intermediate, % advanced, % expert
    • Average Snowfall: 250″
    • Lifts: 22 – 3 gondolas & trams, 1 high-speed sixes, 5 high-speed quads, 4 quads, 3 triples, 1 double, 5 surface lifts
    • Kids Club and Day Care: Ages 12 weeks to 12 years old
    • Lessons and Ski School: Adult (16+), Child (ages 4-6, 7-15)
    • Kids Ski Free: 6 and under ski free

    Killington Lift Tickets

    Big Family Lodging Near Killington

    Killington Ski Vacation Packages

    Mad River Glen, Waitsfield, Vermont

    Located in one of the state’s most scenic regions, Mad River Glen boasts some of the Northeast’s most challenging terrain. The small old-school resort attracts experts and beginners alike. Families appreciate their reasonably-priced lift tickets and Cricket Club Daycare center. Mad River Glen’s 115 acres of ski and snowboard terrain has 53 runs in all.  

    Mad River Glen Ski Details for Families

    • Stats: 53 runs, 115 skiable acres, and 2037’ vertical drop
    • Terrain Overview: 20% beginner, 35% intermediate, 45% advanced
    • Average Snowfall: 228″
    • Lifts: 5 – 3 doubles, 2 surface lifts
    • Kids Club and Day Care: Available for children ages 6 weeks to 6 years
    • Lessons and Ski School: Adult, Child (ages 4-6, 7-12), Private for Child aged 3-4
    • Kids Ski Free: 5 and under ski free

    Mad River Glen Lift Tickets

    Big Family Lodging Near Mad River Glen

    Mad River Glen Ski Vacation Packages

    Mount Snow

    Mount Snow Ski Resort, West Dover, Vermont

    A combination of quality lodging, wholesome entertainment, and great skiing make Mount Snow a popular winter getaway for family fun. The expansive ski area spreads out on 600 acres of terrain across four separate faces — Main Mountain, North Face, Sunbrook, and Carinthia. Mount Snow’s 19 lifts can handle over 30,000 riders per hour. A tow bar and five magic carpets make it the perfect place for beginners and young kids to get their ski legs. A full-service resort, Mount Snow also has terrain for tubing and snowshoeing. Other family favorite activities include ice skating, snowmobile tours, and dog sledding. Mount Snow’s location in southwestern Vermont makes it popular with skiers from both New York and Massachusetts. 

    Mount Snow Ski Details for Families

    • Stats: 86 runs, 600 skiable acres, and 1700’ vertical drop
    • Terrain Overview: 16% beginner, 67% intermediate, 16% advanced, 1% expert
    • Average Snowfall: 156″
    • Lifts: 20 – 1 high-speed sixes, 3 high-speed quads, 1 quad, 6 triples, 4 doubles, 5 surface lifts
    • Kids Club and Day Care: Available for children ages 18 months to 4 years
    • Lessons and Ski School: Adult, Child (ages 4-6, 7-14)
    • Kids Ski Free: 6 and under ski free

    Mount Snow Lift Tickets

    Big Family Lodging Near Mount Snow

    Mount Snow Ski Vacation Packages

    Okemo Mountain Resort, Ludlow, Vermont

    Another of the state’s premier resort areas, the Okemo Mountain Resort boasts miles of well-groomed trails, lots of family activities, and a wide range of dining options.  Okemo is located in Ludlow, Vermont, about 45 miles north of Mount Snow. The resort’s ski school offers skiing and snowboarding lessons for children as young as 3 years old. Along with skiing and snowboarding, other popular family activities include snowcat tours, ice skating, and snow tubing. Okemo even has its own roller coaster — the Timber Ripper!

    Okemo Mountain Ski Details for Families

    • Stats: 122 runs, 667 skiable acres, and 2200’ vertical drop
    • Terrain Overview: 33% beginner, 38% intermediate, 21% advanced, 9% expert
    • Average Snowfall: 200″
    • Lifts: 20 – 1 high-speed sixes, 4 high-speed quads, 5 quads, 3 triples, 7 surface lifts
    • Kids Club and Day Care: Available for children 6 months to 4 years old
    • Lessons and Ski School: Adult (15+), Child (ages 3-4, 5-6, 7-14)
    • Kids Ski Free: 6 and under ski free

    Okemo Mountain Lift Tickets

    • Direct – Okemo
    • Part of Epic Pass

    Big Family Lodging Near Okemo Mountain

    Okemo Mountain Ski Vacation Packages

    Pico Mountain Resort, Killington, Vermont

    Adjacent to the Killington Resort area, the Pico Mountain Resort offers all of the comforts and conveniences of a big resort but in a smaller and less intimidating setting. For first-time skiers and snowboarders, Pico’s Bonanza Learning Area has its own chairlift and rope tow that serve two gentle learning trails. More experienced skiers and riders will appreciate Pico’s steepest run — the double-black diamond Giant Killer. In all, Pico has 58 trails, over 460 acres of terrain, and seven lifts. Thanks to Pico’s location alongside Killington, a visit to Pico Mountain means plenty of available restaurants, shopping, and family activities.  

    Pico Mountain Ski Details for Families

    • Stats: 58 runs, 460 skiable acres, and 1967’ vertical drop
    • Terrain Overview: 20% beginner, 48% intermediate, 32% expert
    • Average Snowfall: 250″
    • Lifts: 7- 2 high-speed quads, 2 triples, 2 doubles, 1 surface lifts
    • Kids Club and Day Care: None available
    • Lessons and Ski School: Adult (16+), Child (ages 4-6, 7-15)
    • Kids Ski Free: 6 and under ski free

    Pico Mountain Lift Tickets

    Big Family Lodging Near Pico Mountain

    Pico Mountain Ski Vacation Packages

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    Smugglers’ Notch Resort, Smugglers’ Notch, Vermont

    One of the country’s best ski programs for kids attracts families to the Smugglers’ Notch Resort Their award-winning program introduces children as young as 3 years old to the slopes. Using Flaik GPS, the program also tracks the students’ miles, vertical feet, and trails skied each day. And, thanks to the resort’s adaptive program, children with special needs get to enjoy the sport in a safe and relaxed environment. Other family-friendly activities include an arcade, an indoor pool, a spa, and ongoing arts and crafts workshops. Smugglers’ Notch is located in northern Vermont, about 30 miles northeast of Burlington.

    Smugglers’ Notch Ski Details for Families

    • Stats: 78 runs, 1000 skiable acres, and 2610’ vertical drop
    • Terrain Overview: 17% beginner, 53% intermediate, 26% advanced, 4% expert
    • Average Snowfall: 280″
    • Lifts: 8 – 6 doubles, 2 surface lifts
    • Kids Club and Day Care: Babysitting available through TREASURES Child Care Center
    • Lessons and Ski School: Child (ages 7-15)
    • Kids Ski Free: 5 and under ski free

    Smugglers’ Notch Lift Tickets

    Big Family Lodging Near Smugglers’ Notch

    Smugglers’ Notch Ski Vacation Packages

    Stowe

    Stowe Mountain Resort, Stowe, Vermont

    Just five miles south of Smugglers’ Notch, the 40 miles of trails at Stowe Mountain Resort feature some of Vermont’s best skiing and snowboarding. Stowe’s 18 beginner-rated trails, serviced by two surface lifts, attract families with young children and new skiers as well. A high-speed gondola gets the more experienced skiers up the mountain quickly and comfortably. Stowe’s historic New England village has lots of shops, restaurants, and activities, including ice skating, a Ben and Jerry’s ice-cream-factory tour, a movie theater, and a sports complex with an indoor swimming pool. The resort’s Cubs Childcare Center offers daycare for children ages 24 months to 4 years old.

    Stowe Mountain Ski Details for Families

    • Stats: 116 runs, x skiable acres, and 2360’ vertical drop
    • Terrain Overview: 16% beginner, 55% intermediate, 15% advanced, 15% expert
    • Average Snowfall: 315″
    • Lifts: 12 – 2 gondolas & trams, 4 quads, 2 triples, 2 doubles, 2 surface lifts
    • Kids Club and Day Care: Cubs Childcare – 24 months to 4
    • Lessons and Ski School: Adult (ages 13+), Private, Child (ages 3-4, 5-6, 7-14)
    • Kids Ski Free: 4 and under ski free

    Stowe Mountain Lift Tickets

    Big Family Lodging Near Stowe Mountain

    Stowe Mountain Ski Vacation Packages

    Stratton Mountain Resort, Stratton Mountain, Vermont

    First-class slope-side accommodations, a top-rated ski school, and ample annual snowfall attract skiers of every ability to Stratton Mountain. Southern Vermont’s highest peak also boasts one of the most charming base towns in the country. Available Friends and Families pricing takes the sting out of buying lift tickets for large groups. With 40 percent of Stratton’s 99 trails suitable for novice skies, everyone gets in on the fun. For a break from the slopes, a magic carpet takes tubers up the hill for day and evening runs at Stratton’s Coca-Cola Tube Park. Other popular winter activities at the resort include fat-tire biking, ice skating, and snowmobile tours. Stratton also has a training and fitness center with swimming, spinning, tennis, and weight training. For a few hours off from the kids, Stratton Mountain Resort offers snowcat excursions to their mid-mountain lodge for an evening of fine dining with spectacular views. Getting to Stratton Mountain by car takes about three-and-a-half hours from Boston or a little over four hours from New York City. 

    Stratton Mountain Ski Details for Families

    • Stats: 99 runs, 670 skiable acres, and 2003’ vertical drop
    • Terrain Overview: % beginner, % intermediate, % advanced, % expert
    • Average Snowfall: 180″
    • Lifts: 11 – 1 gondola & tram, 4 high-speed sixes, 1 high-speed quad, 2 quads, 1 triple, 1 double, 1 surface lift
    • Kids Club and Day Care: None available
    • Lessons and Ski School: Adult, Private (ages 2+), Child (ages 3-4, 5-6, 7-13)
    • Kids Ski Free: 4 and under ski free

    Stratton Mountain Lift Tickets

    Big Family Lodging Near Stratton Mountain

    Stratton Mountain Ski Vacation Packages

    Spring Skiing

    Sugarbush Resort, Warren, Vermont

    The sprawling Sugarbush ski area includes two mountains, four terrain parks, and six peaks. Despite its expansive size and a long list of amenities, Sugarbush Resort has a quieter and more relaxed feel than many of Vermont’s other popular resorts. Lessons start for kids as young as 3 years old at Sugarbush’s Ski and Ride School. The resort also has an advanced camp for children between the ages of 7 and 15 who have already honed their skills. The ski school’s Boomer series caters to newbies 65 and older. For families celebrating a special occasion, Allyn’s Lodge offers fireside dining and spectacular views of the surrounding mountains. The resort has something for every family member, with an on-site spa, a kid’s adventure zone, and a full range of winter activities. Sugarbush is located in northwestern Vermont, about 40 miles southeast of Burlington.

    Sugarbush Ski Details for Families

    • Stats: 111 runs, 581 skiable acres, and 2600’ vertical drop
    • Terrain Overview: 23% beginner, 42% intermediate, 27% advanced, 7% expert
    • Average Snowfall: 250″
    • Lifts: 16 – 5 high-speed quads, 5 quads, 2 triples, 1 double, 3 surface lifts
    • Kids Club and Day Care: Available for children aged 6 weeks to 4)
    • Lessons and Ski School: Adult (age 13+), Child (ages 3, 3-4, 4-6, 5-6, 7-12)
    • Kids Ski Free: No

    Sugarbush Lift Tickets

    Big Family Lodging Near Sugarbush

    Sugarbush Ski Vacation Packages

    Vermont ski Resort Comparison for Big Families

    Ski AreaSki LessonsDaycareKids Ski free2022 Adult Price*
    Bolton ValleyYesNo5 and under$69-99
    Bromley MountainYesNoNo$96
    Jay PeakYesYesNo$99
    KillingtonYesYes6 and under$184
    Mad River GlenYesYes5 and under$99
    Mount SnowYesYes6 and under$149
    Okemo MountainYesYes6 and under$155
    Pico MountainYesNo6 and under$119
    Smugglers’ NotchYesYes5 and under$99
    Stowe MountainYesYes4 and under$199
    StrattonYesNo4 and under$189
    SugarbushYesYesNo$109-189
    *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.