UPDATED DECEMBER 2013: Skiing and snowboarding with the family this winter? Our guide includes resorts and mountains just outside of the New York metropolitan area, to the slopes of Connecticut, New Jersey, Vermont, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania. Beginner lessons and kid-friendly slopes for new skiiers and snowboarders are readily available at most mountains. No need to haul your gear, either—you can rent skis, snowboards, helmets, and all of your winter sporting needs right on site. Please note: Hours and programs are subject to change. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details before your visit.
Select a region:
Southeast New York
Upstate New York (Worth the Travel)
SOUTHEAST NEW YORK
181 Galli Curci Road, Highmount
845-254-5600 or 845-254-5601
Features 55 trails, five glades, and a terrain park. Offers ski and snowboard lessons, including a Learning Zone for first-timers (ages 8 to adult) and kids ages 4-7. Roundtrip bus service from NYC via Adirondack Trailways (trailwaysny.com) includes lift ticket, free beginner lesson, and luggage lock-up.
State Route 23 East, Hillsdale
Has 34 trails, six lifts including 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 (registration and $15 processing fee required).
Holiday Mountain Ski and Fun Park
99 Holiday Mountain Road, Monticello
Boasts seven trails, four lifts, night skiing, snow tubing, and ice-skating. Beginner lessons available. Thursday and Saturday nights (5-8pm) are Family Nights, with reduced lift ticket and rental pricing. Friday night is Family Tubing Night. On Tuesday nights (5-9pm), buy any lift ticket and get another at half price.
Route 23A, Hunter
Spans three mountains and includes 58 trails and 10 lifts. Programs for kids include The Explorers (ski only) for ages 4-6 and Mountaineers (snowboarding and skiing) for ages 7-12. Snow tubing for those 42 inches and taller on Friday evenings and weekends. Mini Park for those shorter than 42 inches. Day care available for children ages 6 months to 6 years on weekends (Friday-Sunday) and during school holidays. Several bus services offer round-trip transportation from the New York metro area; see website for details.
Mount Peter Ski & Ride
40 Ski Lane, Warwick
Has about a dozen trails, from beginner to black diamond, and a terrain park. Offers free beginner lessons on weekends and holidays with the purchase of a lift ticket (for ages 5 and older). There’s also a Tiny Tots program for children up to 4 years old (must be potty trained), which includes a lesson, equipment rental, lift ticket, and hot chocolate. Ski racing program for kids ages 6-18.
469 Plattekill Mountain Road, Roxbury
Features 38 trails and a terrain park. Childcare on weekends and holidays for children ages 6 months and older; group ski lessons for kids as young as 4. Lift-serviced snow tubing on weekends and holidays; children must be at least 3 feet tall. Kids younger than 7 ski free. Lift tickets are reduced to $20 from Jan. 29-31, and the first 50 skiers/riders get a $15 lift ticket on the following dates: Jan. 4, Jan. 10, Feb. 7, March 7. Round-trip bus service available from New York metro area locations via Adirondack Trailways (trailwaysny.com).
Rocking Horse Ranch
600 Route 44/55, Highland
GPS address: 13 Pancake Hollow Road, Highland
A family resort that includes downhill skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing, horse-drawn sleigh ridges, timber shoots, and ice-skating. Best for the ski “dabbler.” Offers beginner classes (in the Never Ever Area) and free equipment rentals (snowboards not available) with your stay. All-inclusive packages available. Free pickup service available from the Amtrak train station in Poughkeepsie and Stewart International Airport in Newburgh. ??
Sawkill Family Ski Center
167 Hill Road, Kingston
The slopes here are designed specifically for snowboarders and beginner skiers. Ski and snowboard instruction for children ages 12 and older available. Snow tubing for children who are at least 42 inches tall; parents must sign a release form.
Thunder Ridge Ski Area
137 Birch Hill Road, Patterson
Boasts 30 trails with many slow and gentle slopes for beginners and intermediates. Has a ski racing program for kids ages 6-19. On weekends and holidays through March 17, you can take the Metro-North ski train to Patterson station ($57; $40 seniors; $45 children ages 12 and older; $23 children ages 6-11; free for children younger than 5) and then the free shuttle to Thunder Ridge. Ticket includes all-day/all-night lift ticket (night skiing not available on Sundays) and a $5 discount on rental equipment.
581 Route 17A West, Tuxedo
Has eight trails and a bunny slope, terrain park, snow tubing, and night skiing. Specializes in beginner and family lessons; group and individual classes are available. Metro-North/NJ Transit trains offer pick-up and drop-off service on weekends to Tuxedo, NY train station at 10:17am, 12:17pm, and 2:30pm; a three-day notice is required for pickup.
33 Clarence D. Lane Road, Windham
About 50 trails and six terrain parks (for beginner to expert riders), plus a Mountaintop Adventure Park with ice-skating, snow tubing, and two zip lines. Ski and riding programs for kids ages 4-12 (private lessons for kids as young as 3). Lessons for disabled children are offered through the Adaptive Sports Foundation (call 518-734-5070 for more information). Childcare is available. Bus service available from NYC via Adirondack Trailways (trailwaysny.com).
UPSTATE NEW YORK (WORTH THE TREK)
Bristol Mountain Resort
5662 Route 64, Canandaigua
Has 34 trails and two terrain parks. Ski lessons for children as young as 4; snowboard lessons for children as young as 6. Childcare program for children as young as 18 months and babysitting services for children ages 12 and younger.
793 Peaceful Valley Road, North Creek
518-251-2411 or 800-342-1234
Boasts 103 trails, including 24 glades, and nine 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
More than 80 trails, 11 lifts, and several terrain parks at this U.S. Olympic training site. There are expert trails as well as a Kids Kampus for kids and families learning to ski or board. Lessons for ages 4 and older, all skill levels. Nursery available for ages 1-6. Ski racing program for ages 6 and older.
Mohawk Mountain Ski Area
46 Great Hollow Road, Cornwall
860-672-6100 or 800-895-5222
The Parent & Tots program teaches parents (who must be at least intermediate-level skiers) how to ski safely with their 4-year-old children, while the children learn to ski; available Wednesday mornings, weekends, and holidays (registration required). Skiing and snowboarding lessons for kids as young as 5, as well as adaptive lessons for children with special needs. Ski racing program for ages 6-14. Connecticut fourth-graders get three free lift tickets ($10 processing fee). Discounted tickets for beginners; free lift tickets for children ages 5 and younger (with purchase of accompanying adult ticket).
396 Mount Vernon Road, Plantsville
Features 14 trails, most of which are beginner and intermediate level, and two terrain parks. Ski Threes, for parents and 3-year-olds, introduces toddlers to skiing while teaching parents to use tip connectors and harnesses while skiing (registration required). Introductory ski lessons for kids ages 4-10 are offered on weekends and holidays. Private ski and snowboard instruction also available.
126 Ratlum Road, New Hartford
Has 15 trails, two terrain parks, and night skiing. Group ski lessons for ages 4 and older; snowboarding lessons for ages 7 and older. Registration required for private lessons.
Woodbury Ski Area
785 Washington Road, Woodbury
Closest Connecticut ski area to NYC with 20 snow tube runs, three tubing parks, and night tubing. Learn to ski/snowboard group lessons and private lessons available. Skiing, snowboarding, and cross-country camps offered during February school break. Discounts available; check the website.
200 Campgaw Road, Mahwah
Small ski area with two lifts, night skiing, and snow tubing (must be at least 42 inches tall). Tiny Tot program offers group ski lessons for ages 4-6; group ski and snowboard lessons for ages 7 and older. Approximately 20 miles north of the George Washington Bridge.
Mountain Creek Ski Resort
200 Route 94, Vernon
Features 44 trails, mostly beginner and intermediate, and a large terrain park. Private lessons available. Night skiing and snow tubing for kids ages 5 and older who are at least 42 inches tall. Kids Camp on half-day school days and racing programs two days a week. Approximately 50 miles from Manhattan.
Berkshire East Ski Resort
66 Thunder Mountain Road, Charlemont
Boasts 45 trails (18 night skiing trails), most for intermediate to advanced skill levels, and a terrain park. Ski lessons for ages 3 and older; snowboarding lessons for ages 8 and older. Kids’ clubs for children ages 6 and older. Snow tubing for children at least 42 inches tall. Children’s Center offers childcare for children ages 2-5. Saturday nights are Family Nights, with discounted lift tickets, rentals, and lessons.
Bousquet Ski Area
101 Dan Fox Drive, Pittsfield
Has 24 trails and three terrain parks. Private and group ski lessons for ages 4 and older; snowboard lessons for ages 7 and older. There is also night skiing and tubing (parents must sign Release from Liability form). $10 lift tickets and tubing on Thursday nights.
Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort
37 Corey Road, Hancock
Features 45 trails, three terrain parks, nine lifts, and night skiing. KidsRule program features lessons for kids ages 3-14. Play room available for children ages 6 months and older. Mountain Coaster and Soaring Eagle Zip ride for non-skiers and riders on weekends and holidays. Round-trip service from Long Island and shuttle service from NYC available via Island Ski Tours.
159 Monterey Road off Route 23, Otis
Has 10 trails, four lifts, and night skiing. Group ski lessons for kids as young as 4; snowboarding lessons for ages 6 and older. Private lessons offered for younger children, no age restriction. Overnight ski camps ($120 per day) for kids ages 8-15, including ski instruction and other recreational activities, are offered Jan. 17-20, Feb. 14-17, Feb. 17-21, and March 7-9.
380 State Road (Route 23), Great Barrington
Boasts 22 trails, two terrain parks, 11 lifts, and an eight-lane snow tubing center (tubing is for ages 4 and older). Adventurers ski programs for ages 4-13 and miniRIDERS snowboarding programs for ages 4-13. Reservations encouraged. Daycare available for ages 6 months to 8 years.
Alpine Mountain Ski & Ride Center
Route 447 North, Analomink
Features 21 trails of varying difficulty. Learn to ski and snowboard lessons for children ages 4-12. Snow tubing for those at least 42 inches tall. Children ages 5 and younger receive a free lift ticket with the purchase of one regular full-priced adult lift ticket.
Blue Mountain Ski Area
1660 Blue Mountain Drive, Palmerton
39 trails, 6 terrain parks, snow tubing, and night skiing. Explorer program offers ski lessons for ages 4-12 and snowboarding instruction for ages 5-12. (Also offers a Pioneer Program for the same age group, which is recommended for an older crowd who already completed Explorers.) Children 5 and younger ski for free with a paying adult.
Camelback Mountain Resort
1 Camelback Road, Tannersville
Boasts 30 trails, most for novices and beginners. Night skiing offered. Learn to ski and snowboard classes for kids ages 4-12. Snow tubing with double tubes available for children as small as 33 inches, accompanied by an adult. Mountain coaster experience open on weekends. Kids ages 5 and younger receive free lift ticket with paid adult.
1 Jack Frost Mountain Road, Blakeslee
Sister resort: Big Boulder, 1 S. Lake Drive, Lake Harmony
Ski programs for ages 3-10; snowboard lessons for ages 6-10. Both offer terrain parks and tubing for those at least 42 inches tall. Only Big Boulder has night skiing.
Shawnee Mountain Ski Area
401 Hollow Road, East Stroudsburg
Has 23 trails, two terrain parks, night skiing, and snow tubing, with tandem tubes for one parent and a child shorter than 46 inches. Offers a SKIbaby program for ages 3 and younger; a Mommy & Me program for 3-year-olds and parents; ski lessons for kids as young as 4; and snowboard lessons for kids as young as 7.
Ski Big Bear at Masthope Mountain
192 Karl Hope Blvd., Lackawaxen
Features 18 trails, with group ski and snowboard lessons for ages 7 and older and tubing for those at least 42 inches tall. Children 5 and younger receive a free lift ticket with paying adult.
Snö Mountain Ski Resort
1000 Montage Mountain Road, Scranton
Boasts 30 trails and two terrain parks. Ski lessons for kids as young as 3. Snow tubing for those 44 inches and taller. The Learn to Ski Program for children ages 6-18 includes two-hour lessons for kids ages 6-10 and 1.5-hour lessons for kids ages 11-18. Located about 7 miles from the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport and 30 miles from Pocono Mountains Municipal Airport.
Direct service is available to these resorts from New York City, Westchester, and Connecticut via Adventure Northeast Transportation Service (917-861-1800). Urban Sherpa bus service also provides direct transportation from NYC to Killington (917-692-5222).
Bromley Mountain Ski Resort
3984 Vermont Route 11, Peru
Boasts 46 trails, 10 lifts, and four terrain parks. Ski and snowboard lessons for ages 5 and older. Childcare available for ages 6 weeks to 6 years. Children ages 5 and younger receive free lift tickets (with paying adult). On Family Fridays (every Friday except during holiday periods), children ages 17 and younger are $15 with a paying adult (limited to three children).
Killington Resort & Pico Mountain
4763 Killington Road, Killington
Features 155 trails, 29 lifts, and several terrain parks, including a “superpipe.” Group ski and snowboarding lessons for beginners as young as 2 with a maximum of three children per class; group snowboard lessons for those as young as 4. Friendly Penguin Day Care for children ages 12 weeks to 12 years.
39 Mount Snow Road, West Dover
Spans 588 acres with 80 named trails, 20 lifts, 10 terrain parks, 11 lanes of snow tubing for all ages, snowshoeing, nearby cross-country skiing, and snowmobile tours. Ski and snowboard lessons for kids as young as 3; available in half-or full-day programs. Childcare available for children ages 6 weeks to 6 years. Children ages 5 and younger ski for free.
Okemo Mountain Resort
77 Okemo Ridge Road, Ludlow
Boasts 120 trails, 19 lifts, and seven terrain parks. Free skiing and riding for children ages 6 and younger. Reduced price 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.
Smugglers’ Notch Resort
4323 Vermont Route 108 S., Smugglers’ Notch
One of the Top 30 resorts in North America and winner of best family programs for 13 years (SKI Magazine), this resort spans three mountains and has 78 trails, including 13 easy trails and eight lifts. Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, dog sledding, and snowmobile touring are available. Families enjoy indoor pool and hot tubs, arts and crafts workshops, and kids of all ages play in the FunZone, the family entertainment and recreation center. Treasures Child Care available for kids ages 6 weeks to 3 years. Ski lessons for kids as young as 2.5 and snowboarding lessons for kids as young as 3. Have fun on the ArborTrek Zip Line canopy tour, the only one of its kind in Vermont, where you can whiz through trees higher than 65 feet off the ground.
Stratton Mountain Ski Resort
5 Village Lodge Road, Stratton Mountain?
Ski and snowboard lessons for ages 3 and older. Childcare available for ages 6 weeks to 3 years. Snow tubing in the Coca Cola Tubing Park (must be at least 5 years old and 42 inches tall). Mini Snowmobile Rides for kids ages 2-7; riders 6 and older can drive their own mini Arctic Cat snowmobile on Saturdays and during holiday periods.
Cranmore Mountain Resort
1 Skimobile Road, North Conway
10-lane tubing park open weekends (Friday-Sunday) and major holidays, including Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Has 57 trails, nine lifts, and five terrain parks. I Wanna Ski program for ages 3-5, I Wanna Snowboard program for ages 5-7, and group lessons for ages 3-14. New GET (Guaranteed Easy Turns) skiing and snowboarding program for ages 8 and older. Indoor Adventure Center open Friday-Sunday and holidays including Christmas and February vacations as well as MLK Day (hourly, half-day, or full-day) for children ages 9 and older, as well as an indoor tennis court, a bounce house, bungee trampoline, and spider mountain.