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by Kaitlin Ahern; research by Alyssa Sparacino

Related: ski, mountain, resort, snowboard, family, kids, children, beginners, northeast, new york, new jersey, vermont, berkshires, massachusetts, poconos, pennsylvania, connecticut, ny, 2011, guide,





skiers on a chairlift; ski lift

The snow is here, and it's time to hit the slopes! Whether skiing or snowboarding is your style, this is your one-stop shop: We've compiled a comprehensive guide to the family-friendly mountains within easy traveling distance of the New York metro area (along with a few that are farther, but definitely worth the trip for real snow lovers). Many of these locations feature lesson programs tailored to youngsters as well as child care for the littlest ones in your brood. You'll also find up-to-date information on the best way to get from here to there -- without breaking the bank.



Belleayre Mountain

181 Galli Curci Road, Highmount

845-254-5600 or 845-254-5601

55 trails, five glades, and a terrain park. Offers ski and snowboard lessons, including a Learning Circle for first-timers (ages 8 to adult). Roundtrip service available from New York City via the Adirondack Trailways Ski Bus (departs from the Port Authority Bus Terminal); includes lift ticket, free beginner lesson, and luggage lock-up.



State Route 23 East, Hillsdale


The mountain has 32 trails, a quad lift, night skiing, a terrain park, and a junior park for beginning boarders. Fourth and fifth graders ski free on weekends and holidays with a paying adult; pre-registration and $15 processing fee required.


Holiday Mountain Ski and Fun Park

99 Holiday Mountain Road, Monticello


Seven trails, four lifts, night skiing. Snow tubing and ice skating. Beginner lessons available. Thursday and Saturday nights, from 5-8pm, are Family Nights, with reduced lift ticket and rental pricing; Friday night is Family Tubing Night. Tuesdays Ladies Day from noon-5pm, $14 lift tickets. Wednesday 1-5pm Men's Day with $14 lift tickets. Tuesday Night from 5-9pm, buy any lift ticket, get another half off.


Hunter Mountain

Off Route 23A, Hunter


Day Care available for children ages 6 months to 6 years available every weekend and each day between December 26 and January 2. The Explorers (ski) and Mountaineers (boarding) programs for ages 4-12. Snow tubing for those 42 inches and taller on Friday evenings and weekends. Several bus services offer roundtrip transportation from New York Metro Area locations to Hunter; see website for details.


Mount Peter Ski & Ride

40 Ski Lane, Warwick


Offers free beginner lessons on weekends and holidays with the purchase of a lift ticket; for ages 5 and up. There's also a Tiny Tots program for children who are potty-trained up to 4 years old; program includes a lesson, equipment, lift ticket, and hot chocolate.


Plattekill Mountain

469 Plattekill Mountain Road, Roxbury


35 trails and two terrain parks. Childcare on weekends for children ages 6 months and up; group ski lessons for kids as young as 4. Snow tubing on weekends and holidays; children must be at least three feet tall. Roundtrip service available from New York Metro Area locations via Adirondack Trailways.


Rocking Horse Ranch

600 Route 44/55, Highland


A family resort that includes downhill skiing in its long list of activities. Best for the ski 'dabbler,' there are beginner classes, free equipment rentals with stay, snow tubing, and horse-drawn sleigh rides. Free pickup service available from Poughkeepsie Train Station or Stewart Airport.


Sawkill Family Ski Center

167 Hill Road, Kingston


Ski and snowboard instruction for all ages. Snow tubing; children must be at least 3.5 feet tall and parents must sign a Release of Liability form. Improved snow making this season.


Thunder Ridge Ski Area

137 Birch Hill Road, Patterson


On weekends and holidays through March 13, you can take the MetroNorth ski train to Thunder Ridge ($33.50; $21.50 seniors; $15.50 children 6-11; free for children under 5). Ticket includes all-day/all-night lift ticket (night skiing not available on Sundays), shuttle between the train station and ski area, and a $5 discount on rental equipment.


Tuxedo Ridge

481 Route 17A West, Tuxedo


Seven trails and a bunny slope, a terrain park, snow tubing, and night skiing. Specializes in beginner and family lessons; group and individual classes available. Pickup and drop off service available on weekends to Tuxedo, NY, train station at 10:17am, 12:17pm, and 2:30pm. A three-day notice is required for pickup.


Windham Mountain

33 Clarence D. Lane Road, Windham


Mountaintop Adventure Park with ice skating, snow tubing, and a rock climbing wall. Ski and riding programs for kids ages 4-12. Child care is available. Bus service available from NYC via Urban Sherpa.



Beyond (but worth the trip)...


Bristol Mountain Resort

5662 Route 64, Canandaigua


34 trails and two terrain parks. Ski lessons for children as young as 4; snowboard lessons for children as young as 6. Child care program for children as young as 18 months.


Gore Mountain

793 Peaceful Valley Road, North Creek

518-251-2411 or 800-342-1234

90 trails, including eight snowshoeing/cross-country trails. Daily ski and snowboard lessons for children as young as 4. Daycare available for children ages 6 months to 6 years.


Whiteface The Olympic Mountain

5021 Route 86, Wilmington


86 trails, 11 lifts, and several terrain parks at this US Olympic training site. There are expert trails as well as a Kids Kampus for kids and families just learning to ski or board. Lessons for ages 4 and up, and all skill levels. Nursery available for ages 1 to 6.



young kids snowboarding; snowboardersConnecticut


Mohawk Mountain Ski Area

46 Great Hollow Road, Cornwall

860-672-6100 or 800-895-5222

The Parent & Tots program teaches parents how to ski safely with their 4-year-old child, while the child learns to ski. Available Wednesday mornings, weekends, and holidays. Parent must be at least an intermediate-level skier. Pre-registration required.


Mount Southington

396 Mount Vernon Road, Plantsville


14 trails, most of which are beginner and intermediate level. Ski Threes, for parents and 3-year-olds, introduces toddlers to skiing while teaching parents to use tip connectors and harnesses while skiing. Pre-registration required.


Woodbury Ski Area

785 Washington Road, Woodbury


14 snow tube runs, three tubing parks, and night tubing. Learn to ski/snowboard group lessons and private lessons available.



New Jersey


Campgaw Mountain

200 Campgaw Road, Mahwah


Small ski area with two lifts, night skiing, and snow tubing (must be at least 3.5 feet tall). Tiny Tot program offers group ski lessons for ages 4-6; group ski and snowboard lessons for ages 7 and up. Approximately 20 miles north of the George Washington Bridge.


Mountain Creek Ski Resort

200 Route 94, Vernon


41 trails, mostly beginner and intermediate, and a large terrain park. Private lessons available on weekends and holidays. Night skiing and snow tubing (you must be at least 42 inches tall and at least 5 years old). Located 45 miles from Manhattan.


The Hidden Valley Club

44 Breakneck Road, Vernon


Offers a Ski Wee Weekend Program for ages 4-12 and Mini Riders Weekend Program for snowboarders

ages 7-12, of all skill levels. Also offers the Mountain Masters Program, a five-week after-school program that runs Mondays-Thursdays for skiers and boarders ages 5-14. Future Stars skiing program new this season for skiers only; ages 8-12.



Berkshires, Massachusetts


Berkshire East Ski Resort

66 South River Road, Charlemont


Full- and half-day ski lessons for ages 4-14 (8-14 for snowboarding). Saturday night is Family Night, includes discounted lift tickets, rentals, and group lessons.


Bousquet Ski Area

101 Dan Fox Drive, Pittsfield


Private and group ski lessons for ages 5 and up; snowboard, ages 8 and up. There is also night skiing and tubing (parents must sign Release from Liability form).


Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort

37 Corey Road, Hancock


45 trails, three terrain parks, and night skiing. Offers a SKIwee program for children ages 4-6 and Explorers program for ages 7-12 (buy six sessions, get the seventh free this season) and a program for 3-year-olds (register in advance), in a designated beginners-only learning area. Play room available for children ages 6 months and up. Roundtrip service from Long Island and shuttle service from NYC available via Danril Ski Tours.


Otis Ridge

Route 8 and Route 23, Otis


Group ski lessons for kids as young as 4, and snowboarding lessons for ages 8 and up. Also offers night skiing.


Ski Butternut

380 State Road (Route 23), Great Barrington


Adventurers ski programs for ages 4-13 and miniRIDERS snowboarding programs for ages 7-13. Reservations encouraged. Snow tubing is also available. Day care available for ages 6 months to 8 years.



Poconos, Pennsylvania


Alpine Mountain Ski & Ride Center

Route 447 North Analomink


Learn to ski and snowboard lessons for children up to age 12. Snow tubing for those over 42 inches tall. Children 5 years old and under receive a free lift ticket with the purchase of one regular full-priced Day or Twilight Adult lift ticket.


Blue Mountain Ski Area

1660 Blue Mountain Drive, Danielsville


37 trails, four terrain parks, snow tubing, and night skiing. Explorer program offers ski lessons for ages 4-12 and snowboarding for ages 6-12.


Camelback Mountain Resort

One Camelback Road, Tannersville


34 trails, most for novices and beginners. Learn to ski and snowboard classes for kids ages 6-12. Snow tubing with double tubes available for children as small as 33 inches, accompanied by an adult. Night skiing. Ages 5 and under receive free lift ticket with paid adult.


Jack Frost

1 Jack Frost Mountain Road, Blakeslee

Sister resort: Big Boulder

1 South Lake Drive, Lake Harmony


Ski programs for ages 3-10; snowboard lessons for ages 6-10. Both offer terrain parks and tubing; only Big Boulder has night skiing. Sunday night is Family Night at Big Boulder, with reduced pricing on lift tickets, rentals, and tubing.


Shawnee Mountain Ski Area

I-80 Exit 309, Hollow Road, East Stroudsburg


23 trails, two terrain parks, night skiing, and snow tubing, with tandem tubes for parents and children under 42 inches. Offers a SKIbaby program for ages 3 and under; a Mommy & Me program for 3-year- old children and parents; ski lessons for kids as young as 4; snowboard lessons for kids as young as 7.


Ski Big Bear at Masthope Mountain

192 Karl Hope Boulevard, Lackawaxen


18 trails, with group ski and snowboard lessons for ages 8 and up, and tubing for those over 42 inches. Children 5 years and younger receive a free lift ticket with paying adult.


Snö Mountain Ski Resort

1000 Montage Mountain Road, Scranton


30 trails and a terrain park. Ski lessons for kids as young as 3. Snow tubing for those

44 inches and taller. Located two miles from the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport and Pocono Mountains Municipal Airport.



Southern Vermont

Direct service is available to these resorts from New York City, Westchester, and Connecticut via Adventure Northeast Transportation Service. Urban Sherpa bus service also provides direct transportation from NYC to select resorts.


Bromley Mountain Ski Resort

3984 Vermont Route 11, Peru


43 trails, nine lifts, terrain parks. Ski lessons for ages 3 and up; snowboard lessons for ages 6 and up. Child care available for ages 6 weeks to 5 years. Children 5 years old and younger receive a free lift ticket. On Family Fridays children are $15 with paying adult (limit three children).


Killington Resort & Pico Mountain

4763 Killington Road, Killington


191 trails, 28 lifts, terrain parks, and Superpipe. Group ski lessons for those as young as 2 with a maximum of 5 children per class; group snowboard lessons for those as young as 7. Friendly Penguin Day Care for ages 12 weeks to 12 years.


Mount Snow

39 Mount Snow Road, West Dover


Ski lessons for those as young as 3; snowboard lessons for those as young as 7. Available in half-or full-day programs. Child care available for children ages 6 weeks to 6 years. Children 5 and under receive a free lift ticket. With a purchase of a lodging and lift ticket package, one child age 12 and younger, gets a free lift ticket for each adult lift ticket. Available all season on weekdays with a limited stay of 3-5 nights. Not available during holidays.


Okemo Mountain Resort

77 Okemo Ridge Road, Ludlow


119 trails, 19 lifts, six terrain parks. Free skiing and riding for children ages 6 and under. Five free beginner surface lifts. Reduced price Young Adult lift tickets for ages 13-18. Private lessons for children as young as 2; group ski lessons for children as young as 3; group snowboard lessons for children as young as 5. Penguin Playground Day Care Center for ages 6 months to 4 years.


Stratton Mountain Ski Resort

43 Vermont Route 30, Bondville


Ski and snowboard lessons for ages 4 and up. Child care available for ages 6 weeks to 3 years. Snow tubing in the Coca Cola Tubing Park (minimum of 5 years old and 42" tall) Mini Snowmobile Rides for kids ages 6 and up on Saturday and holiday nights.



Also see: Our Online Calendar, for family activities in the New York metro area


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