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Best resort for skiing with kids ages 9-11?

marzNC

Angel Diva
Hmm, just realized that no one mentioned Steamboat. That's another resort I thought of taking my daughter to. After exploring it for a few days over Pres. Day weekend, it's clearly very popular with families. There are a lot of lodging options, including resort and private condos that are slopeside.

The comment about altitude made me think of Steamboat. It's much lower than most ski mountains in Colorado.
 

Patronainthe801

Certified Ski Diva
If you're interested in coming to Utah:

-Deer Valley: A lot of runs that perfectly groomed, no snowboarders, very friendly staff, and lots of fun activities around the resort. The passes themselves are the most expensive in Utah, however.
-Park City Mountain Resort or The Canyons: Less expensive than DV, while still having access to a lot of other fun activities.
-Brighton: The most affordable option. Will have to go down into SLC for activities. Very family friendly and lots of kids.
-Solitude: Just up from Brighton, not as many kids, a solid option. You will still have to go down into SLC for some activities, but their onsite lodging is more of an option than Brighton.
-Alta: Skiers only! Smaller resort. Will have to go down into SLC for other activities.
-Snowbird: More expensive, excellent snow, next to Alta. Onsite lodgings with pool/hot tub, etc. Will have to go into SLC for some activities.
-Snowbasin: Very family friendly. No onsite lodging but the staff works well with children. Becoming increasingly crowded and grooming is not as good as it used to be. Great ski school. Will have to go into Ogden for other activities.
-Powder Mountain: Closer to Snowbasin but more expensive and better grooming. Will need to go into Ogden for other activities.

I would say anything in Deer Valley and Park City if you do not have a vehicle. A lot more to do in general. Cannot recommend enough, to avoid the holiday rush, and Sundance...if it happens this year.
 

Patronainthe801

Certified Ski Diva
PS - I have boys ages 10 and 13 that would love to ski with your kids if you come to Utah. They have passes at Snowbasin, but in Utah, all 5th graders get one free ski day at every Utah resort. (Assuming ski Utah is still doing this program.) I have an Ikon and told my 10 year old that I would take him to any of the other resorts for a change from Snowbasin. My kids enjoy meeting new friends on the mountain and love feeling like they can ditch me to be a big-wheel on their own. (They're quickly becoming better at skiing than I am.)
 

SkiBabyMD

Certified Ski Diva
Great summary! We went to Snowbird for the terrain, but there's woefully little to do for apres ski for the kids. We will definitely try Park City next time! Would do Deer Valley but DH/DS are both snowboarders!
 

AriannaM

Diva in Training
We loved Breck last year, for our first family ski trip. We are planning another trip this Christmas and wondering if there are other family friendly reports we should we consider? We need easy access to the slopes, and lots of easy runs for the kids.

Beaver Creek is a great resort for families and offers a lot of easy terrain. Another resort no one has mentioned is Telluride. Have you looked at going here? There is a good amount of easy terrain, and it's truly a magical vacation destination for families. You can enjoy the town of Telluride and then take the free gondola up and over the resort to Mountain Village. It's really easy to access the resort if you stay in Telluride or Mountain Village.
 

Mamabear3

Certified Ski Diva
Do the kids want to return to Breck? For beginners, there is something to be said for sticking with the same resort for a few trips. It's easier to progress when don't have to take the time to learn a new place in terms of logistics of getting to the slopes and which trails are the most fun during a given ski trip. This winter, I think Vail Resorts will be working very hard to make sure those guests who make advanced reservations based on having an Epic pass have a good time. So will other destination resorts not on Epic, but VR has an advantage based on their experience in Jun-Aug in Australia.

I didn't take my daughter anywhere but our home hill, Massanutten in northern VA, until she could ski both of the short black trails on the upper mountain. She started at age 4 so that happened when she was 6. Helped that she loved ski school. Exploring new ski areas in the southeast was good fun since she could ski any blue in the region by then. I was only an intermediate back then. Our first spring break trip to Alta together was when she was 7. After a day of ski school, she was having fun on any groomed blue.
 

Mamabear3

Certified Ski Diva
I agree that familiarity is a positive. How many days of lessons should
We plan on this year? What makes sense and what would be overkill?
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
I agree that familiarity is a positive. How many days of lessons should
We plan on this year? What makes sense and what would be overkill?
Assuming you plan to ski 6-7 days, I would say 2-3 lessons for the kids if the budget can stand it. Just warm up and have fun the first day. Lesson on Day 2, preferably in the morning. That should get them off to a solid start. Maybe schedule for Days 3 and 4, or Days 3 and 5. Would be good to find out the cancellation policy. Assuming it's reasonable, then schedule 3 lessons but keep open the possibility of cancelling one of them. During a holiday period it's better to have the lessons scheduled in advance.

I wouldn't do more than 3 lessons. That's pretty much the max that my daughter and her friends ever did when we did spring break at Alta Lodge. Usually the lesson were at the beginning of the week. They were strong advanced beginners with plenty of energy to do a full-day lesson on Day 1. That worked best for me because then I could ski 9:30-2:30 and get the kinks out. The advantage was that Alta Ski School doesn't require reservations so there was no need to plan in advance. We made the decision the day before based partially on what the kids wanted to do, and partially on snow conditions.

Even as a beginner at our home mountain in VA, I'm pretty sure I never had my daughter do more than 3 days of ski school during the week before Christmas. That was the only time we would go for the entire week. That left time to do other fun stuff since she wasn't hooked on skiing . . . yet. But a different situation than your family since she was 4 when she started and good enough to ski Alta blue groomers by the time she was 7. She was better than I was by age 11. That was about the time I started taking lessons myself.
 

Mamabear3

Certified Ski Diva
Assuming you plan to ski 6-7 days, I would say 2-3 lessons for the kids if the budget can stand it. Just warm up and have fun the first day. Lesson on Day 2, preferably in the morning. That should get them off to a solid start. Maybe schedule for Days 3 and 4, or Days 3 and 5. Would be good to find out the cancellation policy. Assuming it's reasonable, then schedule 3 lessons but keep open the possibility of cancelling one of them. During a holiday period it's better to have the lessons scheduled in advance.

I wouldn't do more than 3 lessons. That's pretty much the max that my daughter and her friends ever did when we did spring break at Alta Lodge. Usually the lesson were at the beginning of the week. They were strong advanced beginners with plenty of energy to do a full-day lesson on Day 1. That worked best for me because then I could ski 9:30-2:30 and get the kinks out. The advantage was that Alta Ski School doesn't require reservations so there was no need to plan in advance. We made the decision the day before based partially on what the kids wanted to do, and partially on snow conditions.

Even as a beginner at our home mountain in VA, I'm pretty sure I never had my daughter do more than 3 days of ski school during the week before Christmas. That was the only time we would go for the entire week. That left time to do other fun stuff since she wasn't hooked on skiing . . . yet. But a different situation than your family since she was 4 when she started and good enough to ski Alta blue groomers by the time she was 7. She was better than I was by age 11. That was about the time I started taking lessons myself.
 

Mamabear3

Certified Ski Diva
Thank you for the suggestion. I like the idea of spacing out the lesson and I’m interested to see what would happen if we didn’t do a lesson o. The first day. I’m also considering half days to have more play time. Lots to consider and I will definitely check out the cancellation policy. My boys are a little overconfident so that concerns about going without an instructor right off the bat but if we stick to the beginner area we should be good.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
Thank you for the suggestion. I like the idea of spacing out the lesson and I’m interested to see what would happen if we didn’t do a lesson o. The first day. I’m also considering half days to have more play time. Lots to consider and I will definitely check out the cancellation policy. My boys are a little overconfident so that concerns about going without an instructor right off the bat but if we stick to the beginner area we should be good.
LOL. One reason to not start with a lesson on Day 1 is so that they can figure out what works and what they forgot because they do not have quite enough muscle memory yet. I imagine at that age they are growing and probably stronger than a year ago. So waiting a day you won't have to pay an instructor to spend time waiting for them to get up after falling. The boys can't really develop bad habits in just one day.

Here's a related story about my nephew when he was 11. He was and is a natural athlete (30-something now). His father had arranged a family ski trip where we all went to Heavenly. I met up with the two of them a couple days earlier than the rest of the family to get in more ski days. I was a solid intermediate skiing with gear that I owned (rear-entry boots, straight skis). Father was a low intermediate, Nephew had had some lessons on other ski trips out west, rental gear. After a few runs, father and son wanted to ski down a blue bump run. I didn't have enough experience to assess the trail from the top. Heavenly is huge, so I didn't want to check it out solo because I was afraid we would get separated. So we went down without much of a preview. I went first (another mistake) for a few turns (plenty of side slipping) and tried to tell them where it was easier. The boy didn't listen and was out of control after perhaps the second turn, ended up going straight down the middle where the bumps were the biggest at speed, lost skis quickly, and fell hard just above me. I had to hike up a bit to get to him (skis on). Got the wind knocked out of him, but was fine otherwise. The upside was that he was far more careful the rest of the week.

On a beginner trail, if you can get the boys to follow an adult that can help keep them from going too fast. The trick is to get them to make as many turns as possible, as opposed to straight lining a green. A competition to see who can make the most turns going towards a specific target is a tip I've read from instructors who teach kids who are beginners. I suppose a competition between brothers to see who can finish a run WITHOUT falling might work. :-)
 

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