As they whizz fearlessly down the ski slopes with their flock of new friends, swaddled in ski suits and dwarfed by their helmets and goggles, children have the time of their lives on a ski holiday.
But keeping them smiling throughout the week requires planning, skill and the support of a crack team of English-speaking instructors and child care workers.
Catering to Children and Teenagers
In resorts such as Vermont’s Smugglers’ Notch and Colorado’s Aspen-Snowmass and Beaver Creek, children get exactly that, with dedicated learning areas, interactive trails, winding treasure hunt runs through the woods, children’s race arenas and terrain parks for even the tiniest skiers and riders.
Many USA resorts limit children’s group classes to just five students, so forget those never-ending human crocodiles ubiquitous in the Alps. Several resorts, such as Crested Butte in Colorado and Canyons and Park City in Utah, provide clinics dedicated to teenagers. Some include specialist camps like Teen Girls classes in Vail, Colorado, and Park City’s Freestyle Camp for 10- to 15-year-olds, which see budding freestylers benefit from hands-on coaching in the terrain park and digital media lab.
Beaver Creek ski runs and the village illuminated at dusk in Colorado
Activities Beyond Skiing in Vermont
Keeping the children happy off the snow is important, too, which is where three Vermont resorts excel. Jay Peak offers an indoor water park complete with Flowrider, an indoor ice rink and state-of-the-art games arcade. Smugglers’ Notch keeps teenagers entertained at two supervised centers with live music and games while Killington keeps families together for dinners in a remote mountain yurt reached by a snowcat-drawn sleigh.
Family time riding a Crested Butte ski lift in Colorado