As the winter season ramps up, America’s many ski resorts are welcoming winter sports enthusiasts. But what about the rest of the crew who just might not be quite as wild about the whole skiing experience? Fortunately for them, there are several ski areas that cater to the non-skier and go well beyond skiing with fun attractions for the whole family. Here’s a look at some of America’s best ski areas with family attractions.
Ober Gatlinburg, TN
On a mountain at the gateway to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Ober Gatlinburg offers fun for the whole family plus breathtaking views everywhere you look. You’ll get the full view from the start by boarding the Aerial Tramway in downtown Gatlinburg to reach the ski area. A ride on the scenic chairlift lets you soak in the scenery even more (the lift and the resort area are open all year round, by the way).
From your base station in one of the countless Gatlinburg cabins nestled in the foothills, you can venture out to ski and snowboard up on the mountain, or sample any of the countless family-friendly attractions in town. Visit the many attractions, arcades, and funky museums, take in a show, drive bumper cars and go-karts, cruise on mountain coasters, or slow down for mini-golf, black-light adventures and mirror mazes. On top of all that, you have tons of shopping and dining options at your fingertips.
Windham Mountain, NY
With just a two-hour trip from New York City, you can land in a winter wonderland in the Catskill Mountains built for the whole family. Windham makes skiing and snowboarding accessible to everyone with their world-class lessons, but their offerings don’t end there. The Adventure Park lets you all go tubing down the hills with no skill required, plus they have snowmobile rides just for kids. Want the full skiing and snowboarding experience but without the wipeouts? Try out the Ski & Ride Simulator for a feel of how the pros do it.
If you’d like to take your snow explorations a little slower, be sure to join their guided snowshoe tour to skip the adrenaline rush and still see the sights. You can get a full view of the Catskills on the Skyride, which takes you up to the 3,050-foot mountain summit and back down again.
Mount Washington Resort, NH
Set in the gorgeous Bretton Woods, Mount Washington Resort serves as the place to go in New Hampshire for memorable wintertime adventures. If you want to enjoy skiing, snowboarding, ice climbing, or snowshoeing, the family can go it alone or join one of the guided winter adventures for a thoughtfully planned trip onto the mountain.
For a low-key way to attack the slopes, consider going tubing instead. Or you can settle your kids in at the snowmobile park for a chance to tackle the banks and turns all around the track. Just don’t forget to check out the Fat Bike rentals, too. When it comes time to warm up, you’ll all love conquering the Slopeside Climbing Wall before taking a scenic gondola ride to enjoy all the amazing views.
Jay Peak Resort, VT
At the gateway to Jay State Forest at the northern end of Vermont’s hugely scenic Green Mountains, Jay Peak Resort lets you enjoy all the best wintertime activities plus a huge world of indoor fun as well. If you adore the snow, you can go skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing along the trails. For an all-new way to slip and slide along the snowy ground, you’ll love to ride the Fat Bikes through the woodlands on a guided tour.
When you want to skip the snow without compromising on fun, the indoor water park is the place to go. With its heated pool, lazy river, and waterslides galore, it’s easy to have the time of your life while keeping plenty warm – especially true for your youngest kids if you made sure to give them swimming lessons at the earliest age. You’ll want to try the Double Barrel Flowrider at least once to see what it’s like to ride the waves. The resort offers wave riding lessons if you want to master all the best techniques.
If that’s not enough, there are two arcades, a movie theater, and a skating rink to keep you busy during your stay. When you’re all tuckered out, visit the Taiga Spa for a massage and hit one of the many onsite eateries for a bite to eat.
Camelback Resort, PA
Acclaimed for offering some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the Poconos, Camelback Resort goes above and beyond in helping families make memories. For snowy fun without the skis, go sliding down the hills on a snow tube, and then quickly get to the top again on the magic carpets. The fun and excitement last well into the nighttime with lighting on the lanes for the Galactic snow tubing experience.
Although the outdoor water park closes for winter, the indoor water park will keep you zooming down the waterslides and splashing around to your heart’s content. Exploring the resort, you can find ax throwing, laser tag, arcade games, escape rooms, ropes courses, bumper cars, and a lot more.
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