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13 Colorado Ski Resorts for the Perfect Big Family Ski Vacation with Kids – Plus Resort Comparison Chart

    Rustic towns, breathtaking scenery, and 28 different ski areas and resorts make Colorado one of the nation’s most popular ski vacation destinations for big families. And, thanks to their high elevation, Colorado’s slopes typically open earlier and close later in the season than any other ski areas in the country. Most resorts dedicate terrain for tubing, snowboarding, sledding, skating, and snowshoeing. All offer lessons for every age and ability of skier as well as equipment rentals and repairs. To help you decide which resort is best for your big family, we’ve consolidated the details of 13 of the best Colorado ski resort for families and compiled a comparison chart.

    The Colorado Ski Country Ski Passport program provides 3rd- through 6th-grade students the ability to access 20 ski areas and experience all that Colorado’s resorts have to offer at an unbeatable price. You do NOT need to be a Colorado resident to apply for a passport.

    Want to explore the state further? Check out our 6-Day Southwest Colorado Road Trip, looping through 3 National Parks, 6 National Forests, 2 divide passes, and fun mountain towns.

    Want to explore Denver? See our guide to the Mile High City.

    Compare Colorado Ski Resorts Kid-Friendly Amenities/Kids Ski Free

    Ski AreaSki LessonsDaycareKids Ski Free2022 Adult Price*
    ArapahoeYesNo5 and under$69-139
    Aspen SnowmassYesYes6 and under$159-229
    Beaver CreekYesYes4 and under$119-275
    BreckenridgeYesYes4 and under$119-255
    Copper MountainYesNo4 and under$135-179
    Crested ButteYesNo4 and under$90-179
    Eldora MountainYesNoNo$95-169
    KeystoneYesNo12 and under **$90-225
    PurgatoryYesYes12 and under **$44-100
    SteamboatYesNo12 and under **$115-240
    Sunlight MountainYesNo12 and under **$67-85
    VailYesNo4 and under$119-275
    Winter ParkYesNo12 and under **$83-212
    *price varies by day, purchased online vs in-person, other discounts **conditions apply

    Not ready to ski? Check out our list of 14 great places to go snow tubing in Colorado.

    Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, Dillon, Colorado

    Arapahoe Basin boasts one of the longest ski seasons in North America (typically from mid-October to early June). A-Basin – as the locals like to call it – also features North America’s highest-elevation terrain park. Small class sizes, hands-on attention, and a laid-back atmosphere make their Snowsports School the perfect place to get the kids on the slopes in no time. Schedule a day for a snowshoe tour. The snowshoe rental package includes equipment and a chairlift ride to mid-mountain. Its location 60 miles west of Denver, just off of Interstate 70, makes it popular for day trips, as well. 

    Arapahoe Basin Details for Families

    • Stats: 147 runs,1428 skiable acres, and 2530′ vertical
    • Terrain Overview: 7% beginners, 20% intermediate, 49% advanced, 24% expert, 3 freestyle parks
    • Average Snowfall: 350″
    • Lifts: 9 – 1 six-pack, 1 fixed-grip quad, 1 fixed-grip double, 2 conveyor lifts, 1 surface lift
    • Kids Club and Day Care: None available
    • Lessons and Ski School: Adult (15+), Kids (ages 5-14), Lil Kids (ages 3-4), Private
    • Kids Ski Free: Kids 5 and under ski free
    • Parking: All main parking lots are free, and the admin lot has a charge.

    Arapahoe Basin Lift Tickets

    • Direct – Arapahoe Basin
    • Ikon Friends and Family Tickets
    • Partner Exchange – pass holders from Taos, Monarch, Silverton, and Bluebird & CSCUSA 4th/5th/6th Grade Passports

    Big Family Lodging Near Arapahoe Basin

    Arapahoe Basin Ski Vacation Packages

    Aspen Snowmass Ski Resort, Snowmass Village, Colorado

    Four separate mountains around Aspen and Snowmass Village make up one of the country’s largest ski resort areas The four mountains – Snowmass, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, and Buttermilk – rival Vail in sheer size. Recent improvements to the area include a new high-speed quad chairlift, several new shops and restaurants, and increased snowmaking capacity. Snowmass, considered a family-friendly mountain, boasts over 3,000 acres of terrain and excellent beginner and intermediate skiing. With pedestrian-only streets lined with shops and restaurants, Snowmass Village sports a traditional ski village vibe. Visitors to Snowmass also enjoy free s’mores every day between 3:30 and 4:30 at the Base Village fire pits. Adults welcome too!

    Snowmass Details for Families

    • Stats: 98 runs, 3342 skiable acres, 4406′ vertical
    • Terrain Overview: 5% beginners, 48% intermediate, 17% advanced, 30% expert
    • Average Snowfall: 300″
    • Lifts: 20 – 1 eight-passenger gondola, 2 high-speed six-passenger lift, 1 six-passenger pulse gondola, 7 high-speed quads, 2 quads, 4 ski/snowboard school lifts (including surface lifts); 1 double chair: 2 platter pulls
    • Kids Club and Day Care: Treehouse Kids’ Adventure Center for children ages 8 weeks to 4 years
    • Lessons and Ski School: Adult, Private, Teen (ages 13-17), Child (ages 2.5-3, 3-4, 5-6, 7-12)
    • Kids Ski Free: Kids ages 6 and under ski free
    • Parking: Free parking, vehicles with 4 or more passengers can park free at Two Creeks Lot and Lot E

    Snowmass Lift Tickets

    • Direct – Aspen Snowmass – ticket provides access to all four mountains
    • Part of Ikon Pass
    • Part of Mountain Collective
    • No ski Sightseeing Tickets for gondola or chairlift rides

    Big Family Lodging Near Snowmass

    Snowmass Ski Vacation Packages

    Beaver Creek Resort, Beaver Creek, Colorado

    Also located right off of Interstate 70, 108 miles west of Denver, Beaver Creek attracts skiers looking for a quick and easy getaway. For families with small children between the ages of two years old and five years old, the resort at Beaver Creek operates the Small World Play School daycare center. The childcare facility separates the little ones into two classrooms – the Toddler room for 24 to 36-month-olds and the Preschool room for three to five-year-olds. Beaver Creek’s First-Tracks Program for early risers, White-Carpet Club, and Wine-and-Snowshoe excursions will also bring mom and dad back on a regular basis.

    Beaver Creek Details for Families

    • Stats: 167 runs, 2082 skiable acres, and 3340′ vertical
    • Terrain Overview: 38% beginners, 30% intermediate, 24% advanced, 8% expert
    • Average Snowfall: 325″
    • Lifts: 24 – 2 gondolas & trams, 11 quads, 1 triple chair, 1 double chair, 9 surface lifts
    • Kids Club and Day Care: Small World Play School offers care for children 18 months to 5 years old
    • Lessons and Ski School: Adult (ages 16+), Private, Child (ages 3-4, 5-6, 7-15)
    • Kids Ski Free: Kids 4 and under ski free
    • Parking: Paid parking is available at Ford Hall Garage, Villa Montane Garage, Elk Lot, and Bear Lot

    Beaver Creek Lift Tickets

    Big Family Lodging Near Beaver Creek

    Beaver Creek Ski Vacation Packages

    Breckenridge Ski Resort, Breckenridge, Colorado

    Diverse terrain, long groomed trails, and monster mogul runs make Breckenridge one of North America’s most popular ski resorts. Breckenridge also has plenty of beginner and family-friendly areas. As part of the Rocky Mountain’s Ten Mile Range, the Breckenridge resort area consists of five individual peaks numbered six through ten, each with its own distinct personality. For families, the lower half of Peak 9 has lots of learning terrain and family-friendly zones. Peak 9 is also the closest slope to Breckenridge’s historic and charming Main Street In all, Breckenridge boasts 2,908 skiable acres of terrain, 187 trails, and 35 lifts. Getting to Breckenridge from Denver takes about an hour and a half, about 70 miles on Interstate 70 west and 10 miles south on state route 9. 

    Breckenridge Details for Families

    • Stats: 187 runs, 2908 skiable acres, 3398′ vertical
    • Terrain Overview: 13% beginners, 23% intermediate, 36% advanced, 28% expert
    • Average Snowfall: 282″
    • Lifts: 35 – 1 gondola, 5 6-person lifts, 7 4-person lifts, 1 3-person lift, 6 2-person lifts, 4 surface/t-bar, 11 magic carpets
    • Kids Club and Day Care: Peak 8 Child Care Center for children 12 months to 4 years old. Beaver Run Child Care Center for toddlers ages 2 to 4 years old.
    • Lessons and Ski School: Adult (age 15+), Private, Child (ages 3-4, 5-6, 7-14)
    • Kids Ski Free: Kids 4 and under ski free
    • Parking: Paid parking slop-side, in town, and outside of town. Free parking at the Airport Lot with free bus transportation to the Breck Connect Gondola

    Breckenridge Lift Tickets

    • Direct – Breckenridge
    • Part of Epic Pass
    • Part of Summit Value Pass

    Big Family Lodging Near Breckenridge

    Breckenridge Ski Vacation Packages

    Copper Mountain Ski Resort, Frisco, Colorado

    Just 10 miles west along Interstate 70 of the Breckenridge exit, Mother Nature created an almost perfect layout for skiers in the form of Copper Mountain. The mountain’s beginner, intermediate, and expert runs each feature terrain that is uniquely suited for the experience level of those who use them. Along with skiing and snowboarding, Copper Mountain has a range of ways to enjoy the snow, including the Green Acres Snow Play and Sledding Zone (guests can even bring their own sled), The Tubing Hill, and the Copper Mountain Snow Maze. One of North America’s longest Alpine coasters – The Rocky Mountain Coaster – boasts 5,800 feet of track, speeds up to 25 miles per hour, and stunning views of the entire Ten Mile Range. 

    Copper Mountain Details for Families

    • Stats: 140 runs, 2507 skiable acres, 2738″ vertical
    • Terrain Overview: 21% beginners, 25% intermediate, 36% advanced, 18% expert
    • Average Snowfall: 306″
    • Lifts: 24 – 1 six-person high-speed lift; 1 six-person bubble high-speed chair, 1 eight-person gondola, six-person telemix lift, 4 high-speed quads, 5 triple chairlifts, 5 double chairlifts, and 7 surface lifts
    • Kids Club and Day Care: None available
    • Lessons and Ski School: Adult (age 19+), Private, Child (ages 3-5, 6-17), Family (up to 6 guests, ages 3+)
    • Kids Ski Free: Kids 4 and under ski free
    • Parking: Free parking available, 5 lots of paid parking

    Copper Mountain Lift Tickets

    Big Family Lodging Near Copper Mountain

    Copper Mountain Ski Vacation Packages

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    Crested Butte Mountain Resort, Crested Butte, Colorado

    Considered Colorado’s last great ski town, Crested Butte features fewer visitors, gorgeous scenery, and a rich history. The diverse terrain of more than 1,500 acres, suitable for all levels of skiers, makes up the Crested Butte resort area. Its location in the Gunnison National Forest in southwest Colorado, and about four and a half hours from Denver by car, keep the crowds to a minimum. Surrounded by the Elk Mountains, Crested Butte’s 162 trails, 15 lifts, and spectacular scenery make it the perfect destination for big families seeking short lift lines and stress-free days on the slopes.  

    Crested Butte Details for Families

    • Stats: 121 runs, 1547 skiable acres, 3062′ vertical
    • Terrain Overview: 14% beginner, 25% intermediate, 25% advanced, 36% expert
    • Average Snowfall: 236″
    • Lifts: 15
    • Kids Club and Day Care: None available
    • Lessons and Ski School: Adult (age 15+), Private (up to 6 people), Child ( ages 3-4, 5-6, 7-14)
    • Kids Ski Free: Kids 4 and under ski free
    • Parking: Free parking

    Crested Butte Lift Tickets

    Big Family Lodging Near Crested Butte

    Crested Butte Ski Vacation Packages

    Eldora Mountain Ski Resort, Netherland, Colorado

    Eldora’s location, about 20 miles west of downtown Boulder, makes it an excellent destination for families looking to mix in a little nightlife and shopping with their ski vacation. Visitors to Eldora enjoy breathtaking scenery thanks to its location just south of Rocky Mountain National Park. Eldora also has several places to grab a bite, a range of shopping options, and plenty of lodgings to choose from in the nearby town of Nederland, CO.

    Eldora Details for Families

    • Stats: 53 runs, 680 skiable acres, 1600′ vertical
    • Terrain Overview: 17% beginners, 45% intermediate, 17% advanced, 20% expert
    • Average Snowfall: 300″
    • Lifts: 10 – 1 6-person, 2 quads, 1 triple, 3 doubles, 1 surface, 2 carpet
    • Kids Club and Day Care: None available
    • Lessons and Ski School: Adult ( age 15+), Private, Child (ages 4-14), Family (5 people, ages 4+)
    • Kids Ski Free: No

    Eldora Lift Tickets

    • Direct – Eldora
    • Part of Ikon Pass

    Big Family Lodging Near Eldora

    Eldora Ski Vacation Packages

    Keystone Resort, Keystone, Colorado

    The sprawling Keystone Resort area encompasses three mountains. Decorum Mountain, the nearest to the resort, has mainly groomed cruisers and beginner runs. A bit further from the resort area, North Peak features more advanced terrain which includes steep runs and moguls. Intermediate and advanced skiers will most likely find The Outback, Keystone’s furthest and tallest peak at 11,980 feet, to their liking Keystone’s one hour and twenty-minute drive from Denver – mostly on I-70 West – attracts daytrippers as well as vacationers. 

    Keystone Details for Families

    • Stats: 130 runs, 3149 skiable acres, 3128′ vertical
    • Terrain Overview: 12% beginners, 39% intermediate, 49% advanced
    • Average Snowfall: 235″
    • Lifts: 20
    • Kids Club and Day Care: None available
    • Lessons and Ski School: Adult (age 15+), Private, Child (ages 3-4, 5-6, 7-14)
    • Kids Ski Free: Kids 12 and younger ski free when booking lodging for two or more nights
    • Parking: Free and paid parking

    Keystone Lift Tickets

    Big Family Lodging Near Keystone

    Keystone Ski Vacation Packages

    Durango Mountain/Purgatory Ski Resort

    Purgatory Resort, Durango, Colorado

    Just outside of the town of Durango, in the San Juan Mountains, the Purgatory Ski Resort sports a friendly local atmosphere and old-school attitude. Its gentle and unintimidating slopes make it one of Colorado’s most family-friendly resorts. Along with terrain geared towards beginner and intermediate-level skiers, Purgatory also offers reasonably priced lift tickets and amenities. Its Inferno Mountain Coaster, Pitchfork Terrain Garden beginners’ park, and tubing hill also make Purgatory a hit with families. The resort also provides childcare from 9 AM to 4 PM daily. Its location in the far southwest portion of the state makes getting to the Purgatory Resort somewhat of a challenge, but well worth the effort. 

    Purgatory Details for Families

    • Stats: 105 runs, 1635 skiable acres, 2029′ vertical
    • Terrain Overview: 23% beginners, 35% intermediate, 30% advanced, 12% expert
    • Average Snowfall: 260″
    • Lifts: 12 – 1 6-person, 2 quads, 3 triple chair, 3 double chair, 1 rope tow, 1 magic carpet
    • Kids Club and Day Care: The Den offers care for kids ages 1-4
    • Lessons and Ski School: Adult (13+), Private, Child (ages 4-6, 7-12)
    • Kids Ski Free: Kids 12 and under ski free on the Powder Kid pass
    • Parking: Free parking

    Purgatory Lift Tickets

    Big Family Lodging Near Purgatory

    Purgatory Ski Vacation Packages

    Steamboat Springs Ski Resort, Steamboat Springs, Colorado

    Far from the I-70 corridor and most of Colorado’s other major resorts, Western heritage, and prevalent cowboy culture give Steamboat Springs a casual Wild West feel. The resort, located on Mount Werner, enjoys an average of 334 inches of “Champagne Powder Snow” each year. The Steamboat ski area has five cruiser runs perfect for kids, beginners, and intermediate skiers. Other winter activities at Steamboat include horseback riding, sleigh rides, tubing, snowmobiling, and snowshoe tours. Steamboat Springs even has a small airport – the Yampa Valley Regional Airport – for visitors who prefer to avoid the three-plus hours drive from Denver. 

    Steamboat Springs Details for Families

    • Stats: 170 runs, 2965 skiable acres, 3668′ vertical
    • Terrain Overview: 14% beginners, 42% intermediate, 44% advanced
    • Average Snowfall: 314″
    • Lifts: 17 1 8-person gondola, 1 6-person, 6 quads, 5 tripple chairlifts, 2 double chairlifts, 1 surface lift, 1 secondary lfit
    • Kids Club and Day Care: None available
    • Lessons and Ski School: Adult, Private, Teen (ages 13-17), Child (ages 2-4, 3-6, 7-12)
    • Kids Ski Free: Kids 12 and under ski free with adult 5-day or more lift ticket; Kids 4 and under $10/day
    • Parking: Free parking available at 2 lots and paid parking at 2 garages and 2 lots

    Steamboat Springs Lift Tickets

    Big Family Lodging Near Steamboat Springs

    Steamboat Springs Ski Vacation Packages

    Peace and Quiet

    Sunlight Mountain Resort, Glenwood Springs, Colorado

    About 15 minutes away from the Aspen ski area, the Sunlight Ski Resort attracts families for its reasonable rates and gentle slopes. Geared towards families, their Swim, Ski, and Stay package lets kids 12 and under ski for free (one per paying adult) during the day and soak in the Iron Mountain Hot Springs at night. The nearby historic town of Glenwood Springs has lots of family-friendly shopping, restaurants, and activities, including the Glenwood Springs Adventure Park.  

    Sunlight Details for Families

    • Stats: 72 runs, 730 skiable acres, 2010′ vertical
    • Terrain Overview: 20% beginners, 55% intermediate, 20% advanced, 5% expert
    • Average Snowfall: 250″
    • Lifts: 3 – 2 doubles, 1 triple fixed-grip chairlifts
    • Kids Club and Day Care: None available
    • Lessons and Ski School: Kids (ages 3-6, 7+)
    • Kids Ski Free: Kids 12 and under ski free with stay package
    • Parking: Free

    Sunlight Lift Tickets

    Big Family Lodging Near Sunlight

    Vail Ski Resort, Vail, Colorado

    When it comes to Colorado skiing, or skiing anywhere for that matter, Vail Colorado holds its own with pretty much any other ski vacation destination in the world. Vail’s extensive and varied terrain easily accommodates every level of skier. While not as high as some of the other Colorado resorts, Vail averages over 350 inches of snow each season. The Vail ski area also has one of the largest adjacent towns of any other resort in the country. Staying in Vail can be pricey, but families on a budget will find lodgings in the nearby towns of Silverthorne, Frisco, Avon, and Eagle much more reasonable. 

    Vail Details for Families

    • Stats: 195 runs, 5317 skiable acres, 3450′ vertical
    • Terrain Overview: 18% beginners, 29% intermediate, 53% advanced
    • Average Snowfall: 354″
    • Lifts: 32 – 2 Gondolas (12- and 10-person), 3 six-packs, 14 quads, 1 fixed-grip quad, 2 fixed-grip triples, 9 surface lifts
    • Kids Club and Day Care: None available
    • Lessons and Ski School: Adult (age 16+), Child (ages 3-4, 5-6, 7-15)
    • Kids Ski Free: Kids 4 and under ski free
    • Parking: Free parking, paid parking, free satellite lots

    Vail Lift Tickets

    • Direct – Vail
    • Part of Epic Pass

    Big Family Lodging Near Vail

    Vail Ski Vacation Packages

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    Winter Park Resort, Winter Park, Colorado

    Its proximity to Denver – just a little more than 65 miles from downtown, along with a wide range of activities and reasonable rates, make the Winter Park ski area one of Colorado’s most popular family ski vacation destinations. Along with skiing and snowboarding, Winter Park’s tube hill boasts banked curves, multiple lanes, and a covered conveyor lift ride back to the top. On the Snowcat and S’mores Tour, guests enjoy stunning views of the nighttime sky, topped off with s’mores and a hot beverage, as they travel up the mountain in a snowcat.

    Winter Park Details for Families

    • Stats: 166 runs, 3081 skiable acres, 2220′ vertical
    • Terrain Overview: 8% beginners, 18% intermediate, 19% advanced, 52% most difficult, 3% expert only
    • Average Snowfall: 344″
    • Lifts: 23 – 3 six-packs, 1 10-person gondola, 6 quads, 3 triples, 6 double chairlifts, 3 surface lifts, and 1 rope tow
    • Kids Club and Day Care: None available
    • Lessons and Ski School: Adult (age 15+), Child (ages 4-6, 7-14)
    • Kids Ski Free: 12 and younger ski free with the purchase of Winter Park lodging and a 3-day adult lift ticket
    • Parking: Free and paid parking are available

    Winter Park Lift Tickets

    Big Family Lodging Near Winter Park

    Winter Park Ski Vacation Packages

    Pin now to your Colorado travel board!

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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.