Ski resorts can be crowded and expensive, which isn’t always an ideal combo when you’re traveling with kids. But ski vacations are a great winter family activity, particularly if you can travel to a location with a ski school for little ones. Check out these less-popular, but still great resorts to make the most of your family ski vacation this year!

  1. Alpine Meadows, CA


    Boasting more than 2,000 skiable acres and a lower profile than neighboring Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows is a good ski destination for families who have some experience on the slopes. Parents who want to hit intermediate and advanced trails while the kids hang out with instructors on bunny slopes will be pleased with the variety available in Alpine Meadows. Look for vacation rentals in nearby Truckee to save some money on the trip.

  2. Taos Ski Valley, NM


    That’s right, New Mexico isn’t all desert. Taos has a particularly good ski resort for families who want to avoid all the pretension and glitz of some better-known Western ski destinations. At Taos Ski Valley Resort, you’ll find ski lessons and daycare options for those who don’t want to hit the slopes. This is a good destination for parents who want to head out on their own for the day!

  3. Mt. Hood, OR


    Oregon’s Mt. Hood is home to several different ski resorts, all of which have options for skiers and snowboarders of different levels. One upside for families is that the resorts on Mt. Hood offer a range of different activities. Some resorts even make space for snow tubing and other pursuits for kids who don’t enjoy standing on skis or boards. Nearby towns like Government Camp and Welches provide a wealth of vacation rental options for families to consider. Be aware that the drive out from Portland International Airport can take a couple of hours, so kids who don’t like car rides might not be too excited about this part of the journey.

  4. Crystal Mountain, WA


    Are you and your kids completely new to skiing? Crystal Mountain is the ideal place to find out whether this winter sport is right for you. The ski school at this affordable destination has special programs for first timers. Lift tickets are also relatively cheap, so if you end up deciding that you’d rather cozy up to the fireplace at your vacation rental house after your first couple of runs, you won’t feel like you spent too much money.

  5. Smuggler’s Notch, VT


    As a ski resort that specifically markets itself to families, Smuggler’s Notch is one of the best choices among the several New England options on offer. This is a suitable destination for families that take skiing seriously and want kids to join the tradition of hitting the slopes. The kids’ ski school at Smuggler’s Notch has an excellent reputation.

Ready to plan a ski trip this winter? VacationRenter can help you get started.