With temps finally cooling down this winter, it’s time to plan that ski day trip! Think your kids are too young? Actually, most ski schools will tell you that the younger the better when learning how to ski. Here are a few smaller, family-friendly mountains in the area that give lessons to kids as young as 3 or 4. Just remember that if you’re planning on signing up for any lessons, they almost always have to be booked in advance.
Mount Peter, Warwick, NY
Mount Peter’s got a couple of things going for it: At about an hour from Westchester, it’s relatively close to home, and it offers free beginner lessons with the purchase of lift tickets! In addition, the ski school is willing to give lessons to kids at any age, so long as they’re potty-trained (check out the Pete’s Pals program). Parents can also book private lessons, or put kids ages 5 and up in group sessions.
51 Old Mount Peter Road, Warwick, NY; 845-986-4940
Mount Southington, Plantsville, CT
One of the best things about Mount Southington is that there’s the Glacier, a designated children’s section of the mountain, so you don’t have to worry about adult learners barreling into your kids. Here, kids 4 and up can participate in group sessions or private ski lessons; 6 and up for snowboarders. There’s also a special parent & preschooler lesson offered to moms and dads who want to learn how to use connectors and harnesses so they can teach their own kids.
396 Mount Vernon Road, Plantsville, CT; 860-628-0954
Ski Butternut, Great Barrington, MA
At just over 2 hours away in Massachusetts, Butternut is a bit more of a trek, but many local families swear by this mountain and say it’s worth the trip. It’s larger than most family-friendly mountains and serious about its snowmaking, but not quite as overwhelming as Hunter Mountain or Mountain Creek may be. Parents can book private lessons for their kids or reserve a spot in their popular half-day or full-day skiing and snowboarding programs.
380 State Road, Great Barrington, MA; 413-528-2000
Shawnee Mountain, Stroudsburg, PA
I have fond memories of this mountain, located less than two hours away, in the Poconos, as it was one of the places where I learned to ski. Parents will love that there’s a huge variety of kids’ lessons, from Mommy & Me to 3-hour-long SkiWee group sessions to WeeRiders snowboarding lessons for kids ages 4 to 6. Check out all their offerings for kids here.
401 Hollow Road, East Stroudsburg, PA; 570-421-7231
Also take a look at our past post on other popular mountains in the area, including Catamount, Thunder Ridge, Jiminy Peak, Windham and Mohawk.