Park City, Utah
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Just east of Salt Lake City in Utah is the Instagram-worthy area of Park City. This town has skiing down to an art, with numerous resorts that thrive when the snow is piling feet high and the sun is shining. DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Park City is just a mile from the Park City Mountain Resort ski area and has rates for a family of four starting at $219 a night. Here, the hotel can arrange lessons at the Park City Ski and Snowboard School, daycare, and access to gear you might need.
For more of a splurge, consider Montage Deer Valley with rates starting at $329 a night. This location is a little easier to navigate, with direct access to three high-speed chairlifts, giving your family access to more than 200 acres of terrain and 100 trails. When it’s time to come home and rest up for a night of stargazing and telling jokes, make sure to stop by their complimentary s’mores hour. After your kids get their s’mores fix, they can play arcade games, throw darts, or bowl. For animal-loving kiddos, the resort also offers meet-and-greets with the Canine Ambassador Program, where they can pet Bernese Mountain Dogs. For when it’s way too cold to go outside, try these fun winter activities to keep your kids busy indoors.
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In the heart of Colorado’s skiing regions is Snowmass, which offers much like what the name suggests: a wide variety of skiing excursions. Considering its location gives you access to Burnt Mountain, Baldy Mountain, Chapel Peak, Garrett Peak, and, of course, Snowmass Mountain and Peak, you can have your pick of where to venture to. While an expert guide can help you understand the best hot spots for your family, based on your skill level and interests, no matter where you find yourself in this area, chances are high you’ll be grinning as big as your snow goggles once you catch wind of the sights from a chairlift.
Though a tad on the expensive side, Viceroy Snowmass can be a worthwhile splurge since it provides a one-of-a-kind experience for your whole gang. Rates begin at $617 a night for a family of four, but their ‘Very Important Kids’ programming includes daily activities and dining menus. These range from apres s’mores, ski and snowboarding lessons, educational programs, storytelling, cookie decorating, magic shows and more. And when they stay at the on-site Elk Camp, they can also try their hand at snow biking and tubing, sledding, snowshoe tours, and a spooky visit to the ghost ship.
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If you can’t quite make it out west this year, don’t worry, there’s plenty of skiing on the East Coast that’ll provide the same delights. In fact, you can walk in a winter wonderland just 125 miles northwest of Philadelphia and New York City, in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Though this city is known as a Steamtown National Historic Site (where kiddos can tour former rail yards, a 19th-century mill and the trolley museum), during the winter, the slopes are a mere eight miles from downtown.
You can stay in Scranton with hotel rates for a family of four starting as low as $88 a night and make your way to Montage Mountain Resorts, where annual winter memberships begin at a cool $499. Here, the youngest family member who hasn’t soared through the powdery goodness yet gets a free lift ticket, rental, and lesson from a certified ski school instructor as part of their ‘First Timer Fridays’ program. Your group can also check out their Airboarding program, which happens to be the largest in the world with 185 boards. It’s also only one of seven places in the country you can try a lightweight inflatable sled that can get up to 60 miles per hour as it surges down the mountain. Check out these epic last-minute winter travel destinations.