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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.
Alpine Mountain Ski & Ride Center
780 Creek Road, East Stroudsburg
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
34 trails, four terrain parks, snow tubing, and night skiing. Explorer program offers ski lessons for ages 4-12 and snowboarding for ages 7-12.
Camelback Mountain Resort
One Camelback Road, Tannersville
34 trails, mostly 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 6 and under receive free lift ticket with paid adult.
Sister resorts, Jack Frost, 1 Jack Frost Mountain Road in Blakeslee, and Big Boulder, 1 South Lake Drive in Lake Harmony, have 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. 570-443-8425. www.jfbb.com.
Shawnee Mountain Ski Area
I-80 Exit 309, Hollow Road, Shawnee on Delaware
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. Kids 5 and under with a paying adult get a free lift ticket. Children age 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; nursery for ages 2-5. Snow tubing for those 44 inches and taller. Located two miles from the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport and Pocono Mountains Municipal Airport.
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