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Instead of hibernating this winter, celebrate the snowy season by hitting the slopes with the family. A day or weekend of skiing or snowboarding is a fun way to get some exercise and is sure to put a rosy glow into your little one's cheeks. Never skied/boarded before? No problem-these family friendly locations have beginner programs for all ages, and most offer day care for the tot who's not quite ready to strap on skis. Whether you're looking for a conveniently close bunny hill or a well-worth-it trip out to real snow country, have a look at our guide to find the best fit for you and your crew.
Direct service is available to these resorts from New York City, Westchester, and Connecticut via Adventure Northeast Transportation Service. Call 917- 861-1800 or visit www.adventurenortheast.com for reservations and pricing. Urban Sherpa bus service also provides direct transportation from NYC to select resorts; for more information, call 917-692-5222 or visit www.urbansherpatravel.com.
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 3 years. Children 5 years old and younger receive a free lift ticket. On Family Fridays (January 8, 22, 29) 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, group snowboard lessons for those as young as 7. Friendly Penguin Day Care for ages 12 weeks to 12 years.
12 Pisgah Road, West Dover
Ski lessons for those as young as 4, 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 ages 5 and under receive a free lift ticket.
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 on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday; Mini Snowmobile Rides for kids ages 6 and up on Saturday and holiday nights.
WORTH THE TRAVEL...
Bristol Mountain Resort
5662 Route 64, Canandaigua, NY
33 trails, mostly intermediate, 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.
793 Peaceful Valley Road, North Creek, NY
518-251-2411 or 800-342-1234, www.goremountain.com
90 trails, including eight snowshoeing/cross-country trails. Daily ski and snowboard lessons for children as young as 4. Day care available for children ages 6 months to 6 years.
Whiteface, The Olympic Mountain
Route 86, Wilmington, NY
85 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 just learning to ski or board. Lessons for ages 4 and up, and all skill levels. Nursery available for ages 1 and up.
Also see our complete 2010 Where to Ski/Snowboard Guide for NY, NJ, CT, MA, PA, and VT