There are few sports in which an entire family can participate together, but skiing and snowboarding are two perfect examples. And whether you’re newbies or veterans on the slopes, here are 7 family-friendly ski resorts for March Break plans this year.
Pro tip from a seasoned ski mom: Schedule lessons for the kids so you have time to ski on your own. (Photo credit: Andrea Traynor)
7 family-friendly ski resorts for March Break
- Smugglers’ Notch
- Ski Big 3
- Titus Mountain Family Ski Center
- Panorama Mountain Village
- Deer Valley
As parents, we repeatedly spend our days chauffeuring the kids from one activity to the next —sitting in waiting rooms or scrolling Facebook on our phones in the car until they’re done. But how often do we manage to get active as a family? With kids of varying ages and stages, it can be challenging to find something that everyone can do together.
Enter the ski hill. Not only is it a great way to enjoy winter, but if parents are taking up skiing or boarding at the same time as the kids, it’s also the great equalizer! This March Break, consider one of these 7 family-friendly ski resorts for a day trip, weekend or a week-long getaway to get outside and reconnect with your family and with nature.
1. Tremblant | Mont-Tremblant, Quebec
Take the gondola to the summit for a bird’s-eye view of Lac Tremblant. (Photo: Andrea Traynor)
Arriving at Tremblant’s resort, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to Europe. From Alps-worthy chalets set in the mountainside to traditional French raclette dinners, the whole place is awash in luxury. But it’s accessible luxury and exceedingly family-friendly thanks to its foot traffic-only village, myriad restaurants that cater to even the pickiest kids and a massive range of winter activities.
- Stay: in a family suite in the village (like Holiday Inn Express & Suites, Le Westin Resort & Spa, Ermitage du Lac); beside the village (through Tremblant Living rentals); or somewhere like Chateau Beauvallon that offers on-demand shuttles to and from the village
- Try: free Info Ski Guides who can show you around the mountain; all-day kids’ ski/board lessons (which includes a hot lunch!); dogsledding with Expedition Wolf through Tremblant’s Activity Centre
- Eat: pulled pork poutine at Le Shack; raclette and filet-mignon-red-wine fondue at La Savoie; sweet or savoury crêpes at La maison de la crêpe. Check out this Tremblant village restaurant guide for lots of kid-approved options
2. Smugglers’ Notch | Jeffersonville, Vermont
You don’t need to brave the highest peak at Smuggs on skis — reach it as part of a 12-person Cat Trax tour. (Photo credit: Andrea Traynor)
There’s a reason Ski Magazine named Smugglers’ Notch the No. 1 kid-friendly resort in North America — because everything is designed with families in mind. There are the all-condo accommodations with full kitchens and enough beds to house even the Duggars. There are the daily lessons included with several of the resort’s winter packages. There are the free hot chocolate meetups, included tubing nights and the Thursday evening Carnival complete with fireworks. Smuggs is the comfort food of ski resorts.
- Stay: in the North Hill Community’s Eagles condos, some of which could easily accommodate two families of four in a single rental
- Try: the snowmobile tour where you’ll learn how Smuggs got its name; a Cat Trax tour to the top of Madonna Mountain
- Eat: at the Hearth & Candle — five-star dining with a one-star dress code. Have the peppered pork belly confit (just trust me on this one)
3. Ski Big 3 | Banff and Lake Louise, Alberta
Killer views abound with runs for everyone off of every lift at Banff Sunshine Village. (Photo credit: Andrea Traynor)
While this is technically three different resorts, they’re all accessible with one Ski Big 3 pass so you can try three totally different mountains during one visit to Banff National Park. Daredevil experts will love the steep pitch and bowls of fresh pow that Lake Louise Ski Resort offers, while those who have family members with various ski or boarding abilities will flourish at Banff Sunshine Village. And the whole fam can take on the only night skiing in the area at Mt. Norquay.
- Stay: at the Post Hotel & Spa in Lake Louise, which offers scheduled and on-demand shuttles to Lake Louise Ski Resort (just five minutes away) and can arrange transportation for you if you’re heading to Banff for the day
- Try: a horse-drawn sleigh ride to a frozen waterfall; ice skating on Lake Louise; dogsledding through the Great Divide with Kingmik Dog Sled Tours
- Eat: anything and everything at The Post’s onsite restaurants; bison short ribs at Lake Louise Ski Resort’s mid-mountain Whitehorn Bistro; pork belly gnocchi at Chimney Corner at the heart of Banff Sunshine Village
4. Titus Mountain Family Ski Center | Malone, New York
Ski or board across bridges and through tunnels at this resort. (Photo: Andrea Traynor)
Just 20 minutes from the Cornwall, Ont., border, Titus Mountain is the very definition of a hidden gem — and one that the season pass holders (who are mostly Canadian) don’t want broadcasted. And that’s because this family-run operation feels like a family from the minute you arrive. It’s like the “Cheers” of ski resorts, where everyone knows your name — or soon will. Titus somehow manages to escape the icier conditions typical of skiing in the east and features three mountains, all of which offer green, blue and black runs.
- Stay: in one of the four new ski-in and -out slopeside cabins, or the stunning onsite chalet that sleeps 15!
- Try: the adjacent tubing park, where you (and your tube) get pulled back up the hill by a tow rope!
- Eat: anything that Chico’s making for breakfast at Shredding Betty’s Bistro; wings at Mo’s Moon Valley Grill; or head offsite to Mo’s Pub & Grill in Malone, NY, for a Reuben and homemade potato chips
5. Brimacombe | Orono, Ontario
One of the best “local” hills in the Greater Toronto Area, Brimacombe is about a one-hour drive east of the city and has something for every level — from wide-open greens to terrain parks to a double black diamond that will make most break a sweat just looking at it. Perfect for day trips, there are even easy glades that allow novice skiers and snowboarders an opportunity or two to try their skills through a few trees.
- Stay: since Brim is more of a staycation destination, there’s no onsite lodging. However, if you’re from out of town there are several nearby B&Bs
- Try: a Discover Package, which provides beginners with a lift ticket, rentals and a one-hour lesson for one flat rate
- Eat: poutine in the main lodge!
6. Panorama Mountain Village | Invermere, British Columbia
Steps from the Panorama Springs Lodge’s back doors, a bubbling hot paradise awaits. (Photo credit: Andrea Traynor)
Choose Panorama for the ultimate Western Canada March Break vacation, which sits in the Purcell Mountains of B.C.’s interior (hint: this range is older than the Rockies!). It’s the ideal combination of perfect grooming and powdery glades, ensuring there’s terrain for everyone. There are so many activities and restaurants that even a week-long visit simply won’t be enough to try them all.
- Stay: in the perfect ski-in and -out family suite in Panorama Springs Lodge
- Try: the heli-fondue tour at dusk; Panorama Hot Springs
- Eat: a bowl of chili at T-Bar; duck wings at Monticola; the elk spaghetti at Cliffhanger (accessible only on skis or boards on the Greywolf Golf Course)
7. Deer Valley | Park City, Utah
If you’re a family of foodies looking for champagne powder and a luxury ski resort experience — sorry, no snowboarders allowed — Deer Valley is it. Leave the icy patches at home because here you’ll be met with a base that’s 12 to 16 feet deep and perfect in every way. Deer Valley prides itself on capping ticket sales each day to keep runs and lifts from clogging up, even during peak periods. Not for the faint of wallet, this Park City mountain is five-star in every way, with ski valets and food so outstanding you’ll forget you’re dining in ski boots.
- Stay: at Black Bear Lodge, just a short walk to both an equipment rental shop and retail store (in case you managed to forget something important) as well as the slopes
- Try: bobsledding at Olympic Park if your kids are 16+ or snowmobiling together through the meadows
- Eat: all the things at Deer Valley’s seafood buffet
Disclosure: Consideration may have been provided by brands mentioned in this post.
Tagged under: March Break,ski,skiing with family,winter family vacation,family