Mountain Creek has a new larger terrain park, and five new intermediate trails. There are new ‘Mom, Dad & Me’ private lessons for any-age kid, weekends only, 4-5pm, $80. There is also night skiing and tubing (you must be at least 42 inches tall and at least 5 years old). Vernon Valley, N.J. www.mountaincreek.com.
Hidden Valley has ‘Ski Wee’ learn-to-ski for 4- to 12-year-olds, and ‘mini riders’ for snowboarders ages 7-12. There is also night skiing. Vernon, N.J. www.hiddenvalleynj.com.
Campgaw Mountain is a small ski area in Bergen County, with two lifts, five trails, night skiing and tubing. There are group ski lessons for ages 4 and up, and snowboarding for 7 and up. Mahwah, N.J. www.skicampgaw.com.
Two nearby CT resorts have night skiing and enough varied terrain for a full day or weekend of mountain fun. At Mount Southington, in Plantsville, ‘Ski Threes’ is for parents and 3-year-olds, where parents learn how to use tip connectors and harnesses to keep their preschooler literally connected to both a parent and the sport. www.mountsouthington.com.
At Mohawk Mountain, in Cornwall, a ‘Parent & Tots’ program teaches parents how to ski safely with their 4-year-old child while the child learns to ski.
And Ski Sundown has 14 trails and two terrain parks, and night skiing. Group ski lessons for ages 4 and up; snowboarding for 7 and up. New Hartford. www.skisundown.com.
Bousquet Ski Area & Family Fun Center has one-hour skiing or boarding lessons for ages 5 and up. There is also night skiing and tubing. Pittsfield, MA. www.bousquets.com.
Butternut Basin has full-day ski programs for ages 4-12 and ski boarding programs for ages 7-12. There is night skiing and tubing. Cross country is closed this season. Great Barrington, MA. www.skibutternut.com.
Jiminy Peak has 44 trails, three terrain parks and a half pipe, and night skiing. There is day care, and lessons for kids as young as 3. There is also a year-round mountain roller coaster. Hancock, MA. www.jiminypeak.com.
Otis Ridge has group ski lessons for kids as young as 4, and snowboard for 8 and up. There is night skiing. Otis, MA. www.otisridge.com.
Berkshire East Ski Resort has varied terrain, a tubing park, and a daycare program for ages 2 1/2-6. There are full- and half-day children’s programs for ages 4-14, and private ski lessons for kids as young as 3. Charlemont, MA. www.berkshireeast.com.
Alpine Mountain Ski & Ride Center has tubing for those over 42 inches, as well as PenguinPlay Park for under 42 inches, with little slides and an igloo. Analomink, PA. www.alpinemountain.com.
Blue Mountain Ski Area has a six-seat lift, three terrain parks and tubing. There is also night skiing. Palmerton, PA. www.skibluemt.com.
Camelback: You can drive here Friday afternoon and still get in a few hours of skiing, if the kids rest in the car; lifts are open till 10pm and all 33 trails and the three terrain parks (two are new) are lit. Lots of tubing with 12 runs, and a new magic carpet lift. Weekends and holidays, 3-hour tubing sessions, with discounts for those who are also skiing. Family tubes for kids as small as 33 inches (accompanied by an adult). Tannersville, PA. www.skicamelback.com.
The sister resorts, Jack Frost in Blakeslee and Big Boulder in Lake Harmony, have ski programs for ages 3-10. Both offer terrain parks and tubing; only Big Boulder has night skiing. www.jfbb.com.
Shawnee Mountain Ski Area has a new learning center and beginner area. Shawnee has expanded its tubing park and has added tandem tubes. There is night skiing, and two terrain parks. www.shawneemt.com.
Ski Big Bear at Masthope Mountain has 18 trails, with ski lessons for ages 8 and up, snowboarding lessons for ages 12 and up, and tubing (for over 42 inches). Kids 5 and under get a free lift ticket, with a paying adult.
Lackawaxen, PA. www.ski-bigbear.com.
Snö Mountain Ski Resort has one-hour lessons for 3- to 5-year-olds, and a nursery for 2- to 5-year-olds. There is a terrain park that opened last year, and tubing for 44 inches and taller. Scranton, PA. www.snomtn.com.
If you wake up one morning and think, “This is a perfect day to ski,” you can hop a bus to Belleayre. Friday-Monday, you can get a roundtrip ride to Belleayre from the Port Authority for just $68, which includes lift ticket. Highmount, NY. www.belleayre.com.
Or, on a Saturday or Sunday, take the MetroNorth ski train to Thunder Ridge — $44 adults, $14.50 kids 6-11, under 5 free. This train ticket includes lift ticket (with night skiing on Saturday), shuttle to and from resort, and $5 rental discount. Patterson, NY. www.thunderridgeski.com.
Catamount is generating all its electrical needs with wind power. The mountain has a new quad lift, night skiing, a terrain park, and a new junior park for beginning boarders. 4th and 5th graders ski free with a paying adult but you must pre-register. Hillsdale NY. www.catamountski.com.
Hunter Mountain has PlayCare for 6 months–6 years, and Explorers (ski) and Mountaineers (boarding) for ages 4-12. There’s tubing for 42 inches and up. Hunter, NY. www.huntermtn.com.
Mount Peter’s Free Beginner Ski and Snowboard School offers free beginner lessons, in skiing and snowboarding, every day at 10am, noon, and 2pm, with the purchase of a lift ticket. For ages 5 and up, and for adults, too. There’s also a Tiny Tots program for children who are potty-trained to 4 years old, introducing children to ski equipment, balance and gliding. 10am-noon or 1-3pm, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. $45, which includes lesson, equipment, lift ticket, rental and hot chocolate. Warwick, NY. www.mtpeter.com.
Rocking Horse Ranch includes downhill skiing in its long list of activities. Best for the ski ‘dabbler’, there are two lifts, snow making, and free rentals. There is also tubing. Highland, NY. www.rockinghorseranch.com.
Tuxedo Ridge has eight trails, a terrain park, tubing and night skiing. Tuxedo, NY. www.skituxedoridge.com.
At Windham, you can continue to have fun after skiing at their Mountaintop Adventure Park, with ice skating, tubing, rock climbing wall and bungee trampoline. There are ski and riding programs for kids 4-12, and babysitting for ages 2-7. Winwood, NY. www.windhammountain.com.
Plattekill Mountain has 35 trails and two terrain parks. There is child care on weekends for 6 months and up, and two-hour group ski lessons, “Snowkidding”, for kids as young as 4. Tubing runs 5-9pm; children must be at least 3 feet tall. Roxbury, NY. www.plattekill.com.
BY THE FIRE
The Interlaken Inn in CT has packages with Butternut and/or Catamount; these include two nights at the inn, with breakfast, two-for-one dinner, and two days of lift tickets. You can try out each place for a day, or ski two days at either; $89 per person per day, Sunday-Thursday nights. Or, on a Saturday night, stay at the Interlaken and get two lift tickets at Mohawk, rentals, lesson, dinner and breakfast, $329 for two. Lakeville, CT. www.interlakeninn.com.
WORTH THE TRIP
Mount Snow has the friendliest staff, along with over 100 trails for skiing and boarding. There are also extensive X-country trails across the road at its adjacent condo development, Timber Creek. West Dover, VT. www.mountsnow.com.
Smugglers’ Notch has three mountains, three terrain parks, cross country and snow shoeing, full-day ski programs for kids as young as 2 1/2 (4 for snowboarding), and child care for ages 6 weeks to 3 years. There is also free tubing, ice skating and a teen center. Smugglers’ Notch, VT. www.smuggs.com.
Stowe Mountain Resort has night skiing on Saturdays, child care for ages 3 months to 3 years, and all-day programs for kids as young as 3. There are extensive cross country and dedicated snow shoe areas. Stowe, VT. www.stowe.com.
Here’s a parent’s list of tips:
—Dress in layers
—Kids — and adults — need waterproof pants and jackets
—Hat or fleece headband. Helmet for kids (make sure the hat fits under the helmet — no pom poms!)
—Waterproof, insulated gloves or mittens
—Long underwear made of polypropylene or polypro-blends
—Turtleneck shirt or neck gaiter
—1 pair of warm wool or wool blend socks, plus a pair to change into for the way home
—Ski goggles for snowy days, or sunglasses for sunny weather
—Sunscreen and lip balm