They say resorts are only as good as their ski school, so when it comes to choosing the right ski resort for your family, it’s important to find a good ski school that will transform your fearful kids into fearless downhill demons. To make your life easier, we’ve shortlisted the best ski schools for kids across the U.S. and Canada.
Park City Ski & Snowboard School, Park City, Utah
Park City Mountain Resort is hugely popular with families and offers a renowned Kids Signature Ski and Snowboard Program. The ski school limits classes for 6 to 12 year olds to five children and they take kids as young as 3½. After your snow bunnies are worn out from their lessons, it’s inside for arts and crafts or playing on the jungle gym. Young thrill seekers can take ski-jumping classes from the pros and Mom, dad and kids ski lessons are also available. Under 6s ski for free.
Snow Sport University at Smugglers Notch, Jeffersonville, Vermont
Consistently voted No. 1 kid-friendly resort in the East, Smugglers Notch is a dream destination for families as the terrain is ideal for little skiers and there’s an award-winning ski school. Snow Sport University takes children as young as 2 and the terrain is ideal for beginners. There’s a specially sculpted learning area for newbies, special lifts and fun trails just for kids. Don’t miss the daily Cookie Race, where kids cross the finish line with cookies stuffed in their mouths!
Beaver Creek Ski & Snowboard School, Beaver Creek, Colorado
The Beaver Creek kids ski program at this upscale ski resort is dubbed the ivy league of ski schools and is a huge draw for families. As well as high-caliber instructors, there is a world-class slopeside facility on World Cup Mountain for kids to find their ski mojo before ascending the mountain and traversing wide pistes and tree lined runs dotted with teepees on terrain that is ideal terrain for beginners. Kids are taught in small groups and the ski school even provides GPS armbands so your little adventurers can’t get lost.
Tremblant Ski School, Mont Tremblant, Quebec, Canada
The Tremblant Snow School at family favorite Mont Tremblant ski resort is outstanding. Groups are small, they take kids from 3 to 12 and instructors are English-speaking. The Mother Nature Camp for 3 and 4 year olds offers a half-day learn-to-ski, half daycare program and kids aged 7 to 12 can take snowboard lessons.
Whistler Blackcomb Snow School, Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia, Canada
The highly rated Whistler Blackcomb Snow School offers an array of ski programs for young skiers including action-packed multi-day camps for tots as young as 3. Daily group lessons and private lessons are also available and there’s a dedicated young beginners area with a magic carpet, towrope and lift and little characters who will put a smile on the face of nervous littlies.
Keystone Resort Ski & Ride School, Keystone, Colorado
A hugely popular option for families is the ski school at Keystone Resort, a two-hour drive from Denver. The famous Children’s Ski and Ride main instruction program takes place at Camp Keystone, which has its own clubhouse and lift and uses interactive gaming and a 24-foot slide to propel kids onto the snow. There also a dedicated snowboard learning area for kids aged 3 to 6. Wallet-friendly initiatives such as free skiing for under 12s with no blackout dates are an added bonus.
Steamboat Ski & Snowboard School, Steamboat Resort, Colorado
This resort in the Rocky Mountains is renowned for its award-winning children’s ski programs led by outstanding instructors. Tots as young as 4 can learn to ski on the resort’s kids-only terrain where you’ll find two beginners areas, gentle slopes and five kids’ only lifts. As an added bonus, children can ski free with parents or grandparents when you ski for five days or more. Children’s adaptive learning programs are also available.
Mountain Village Snowsports School, Big Sky Resort, Montana
Once a well-kept secret, Big Sky Montana is a haven for families wanting a ski vacation thanks to its 5,800 of skiable terrain, empty slopes and highly rated kids ski school led by top instructors. There’s a mini skiers camp for 4 to 6 year olds with half and full day programs and a full day Ski, Snowboard or Mini Rider Camp for 7 to 14 year olds. KIds under 10 can ski for free when staying in Big Sky Resort managed properties.
Janine Clements is a New York-based writer and contributor to numerous high-profile travel and lifestyle publications. She has lived in London, Paris and Singapore and travels all over the world with her two daughters, age 9 and 6.