The Northeastern United States is home to more than 100 ski resorts, and almost all of them are within a day’s drive of the major metropolitan areas of New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC. While the western ski resorts are a top choice for fluffy powder and serious vertical drops, eastern resorts are known for their woodland skiing, easy access, and family-friendly activities. These are our top picks for the best family ski vacations in the Northeast.
Camelback Mountain: Tannersville, Pennsylvania
Located in the heart of the Poconos Mountains, Camelback Mountain is an easy day trip for residents of New York and Philadelphia. It’s also home to the largest tubing park in the United States, a 453-room, family-friendly lodge, and the Aquatopia Waterpark. Skiers will enjoy 37 trails across 162 acres, and the fun doesn’t end when the sun goes down. Night skiing is available on every trail, and families who want to take their adventures inside can enjoy a hearty meal at Trail’s End Pub and Grille, followed by a night at the arcade, indoor ropes course, or climbing wall.
Smuggler’s Notch Resort: Jeffersonville, Vermont
Easily one of the best family ski vacations in the Northeast is Vermont’s Green Mountains. Home to some of the best skiing in the east, Smuggler’s Notch in particular has been attracting adventurous families for decades. Kid-friendly vacations are their speciality, and Smuggs has been rated as the top family-friendly resort in the east by Ski Magazine for 2018. All-inclusive packaging provides great value for families, and includes a rotating line-up of family-friendly entertainment, plus fabulous off-slope activities like guided snowshoe treks, zip-line canopy tours, an indoor pool, and special programs just for teens. The children’s ski and snowboard school is the best way to build your kids’ confidence on the mountain’s 78 trails, and there’s even a night school for practicing in the terrain park.
Mt. Washington Resort: Bretton Woods, New Hampshire
New Hampshire’s biggest resort offers more than 450 acres for skiers and snowboarders to explore, and plenty of family programs for fun off the slopes. With more than 97 trails, 10 lifts, and a 1500 feet vertical rise, this expansive mountain provides something for every level of adventurer. The Hobbits Ski and Snowboard School is available for kids 4-12, and includes cocoa breaks and lunch for hungry adventurers. Off-slope activities include sledding parties, nordic skiing, ice climbing, sleigh rides, and snowshoeing. There are several lodging options to choose from, but the Mount Washington Hotel is a historic treasure you won’t want to miss.
Sunday River Ski Resort: Newry, Maine
Located in the mountains of western Maine, Sunday River is actually eight individual peaks, enabling visitors to experience 135 trails and 870 acres of adventurous terrain. Families will enjoy six terrain parks, 300 acres of developed tree skiing, and the most advanced snowmaking and grooming available. Two hotels both offer heated pools, and evening entertainment is available nightly. Off-slope adventures include tubing, skating on a lighted rink, and night skiing. Because Sunday River is such a huge resort, even large crowds can spread out, making this backwoods experience feel quiet and serene.
Windham Mountain Resort: Windham, New York
Windham Mountain is a favorite of families commuting from New York City, with it’s impressive ski and ride packages, expansive Children’s Learning Center, and the kid-friendly adventure park. Nestled deep in the Catskill Mountains of New York, the mountain is home to the Winwood Inn, which offers plenty of deals throughout the season. When not zipping down the mountain, kids will enjoy snow tubing, ice skating, zip lining, and a snowmobile park just for kids. Parents can relax and recharge at the Alpine Spa, which offers massage, facials, and custom body treatments.