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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.
Lake Tahoe, California
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Here, you have a plethora of resorts and options to choose from, in all budget and price ranges. When you book a stay at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe (with rates for a family of four starting at $369 a night for a suite), you can skip driving and take their free ski shuttles and rent their on-site ski and snowboard rentals. When you’re not trying your hand at new tricks for the New Year, your family can snack on their many dining options or lounge in the indoor pool or spa to recover from a long day.
For another option, book your stay at The Village at Squaw Valley in North Lake Tahoe. Inspired by European ski resorts, there’s something for you and your partner, with more than 50 bars, restaurants and boutiques, all intermingled with condominium-style suites. Another fun perk of this Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows is their “Kids Ski Free” package, where booking two nights at a slope-side room lets your kids take to the hills sans cost. And for families looking to save even more, each suite, with rates starting at $224 a night, features a full kitchen, private balcony, fireplace, and access to hot tubs.