The 10 Best Family-Friendly Vermont Ski Resorts

Family-Friendly Vermont Ski Resorts: From peaceful beginner slopes to thrilling advanced runs, Vermont is a haven for all skiing enthusiasts.

Explore The Top Family-Friendly Ski Resorts in Vermont for Every Skill Level

Nestled in the heart of New England, Vermont is synonymous with picturesque winter landscapes, charming ski villages, and some of the best skiing in the Eastern United States. A true skier’s paradise, the Green Mountain State offers an array of family-friendly ski areas, each providing a unique blend of trails, amenities, and atmospheres to suit skiers and snowboarders at all skill levels. Whether you’re organizing a laid-back family getaway or seeking an action-packed snow adventure, Vermont’s ski resorts boast a multitude of options that cater to every member of the family.

From toddlers strapping on skis for the very first time to experienced thrill-seekers chasing challenging runs, this guide will help you navigate through Vermont’s best family-friendly ski resorts, ensuring your family ski trip is both memorable and exhilarating. Discover the enchanting mountain settings where beginners can confidently take their first slides, intermediate skiers can refine their skills, and experts can explore demanding terrains — all within the family-friendly confines of Vermont’s most beloved ski areas.

Jay Peak Resort

Jay Peak Family-Friendly Vermont Ski Resort
Image Source: Jay Peak Facebook Page

Jay Peak Resort, established in 1957, has a rich history in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, frequently celebrated for receiving the most natural snowfall in the Eastern U.S. — averaging around 359 inches annually. The resort boasts 2,153 feet of verticle and an impressive 81 trails, glades, and chutes spread over 385 skiable acres, serviced by nine lifts, including a 60-passenger tram. For those who like a bit more adventure, you can explore the sidecountry area near Timbuktu, or if you have skins or want to hike, you can backcountry ski on Big Jay. And if you’re looking for more bang for your buck, Jay Peak is part of the Indy Pass network, giving you two free days of skiing.

Skiing Adventures for Everyone

Jay Peak caters to all skiing abilities, offering everything from beginner-friendly, smooth runs to challenging, tree-lined trails for the pros. Newbies and those improving their skills can head up the mountain on any lift and gently slide down on trails like Vermonter, Montrealer, Northway, Goat Run, or Ullr’s Dream. For those just starting out, the bottom of the mountain has mellow paths accessible via the Village Double Chair, Taxi Quad, and Metro Quad lifts. If you’re feeling adventurous, beginner-level tree runs like Full Moon and Bushwacker are great for an intro to glade skiing. Just a word of caution – the black runs at Jay Peak can be much more demanding than those in southern Vermont, so they’ll really test your mettle!

For those who love weaving through trees, Beaver Pond, Andre’s Paradise, Timbuktu, and North Glade are fantastic glade options. However, thrill-seekers looking for solitude and challenge might want to try Vertigo and Deliverance, but don’t go alone – they can be pretty intense. The most skilled skiers in your group will be thrilled by the steep, tough terrain of the Face Chutes, Tuckerman Chute, Valhalla, and Green Beret. With its reputation for deep, fantastic snow and a variety of slopes, Jay Peak attracts a diverse crowd – from expert skiers to families looking for fun winter activities in a stunning outdoor set

Mountain Details

  • Pass Affiliation: Indy Pass
  • Skiable Acres: 385
  • Summit Elevation: 3,968′
  • Base Elevation: 1,815′
  • Vertical Drop: 2,153′
  • Trails: 81
  • Trail Difficulty Ratings: 20% Novice, 40% Intermediate, 40% Advanced
  • Lifts: 9
  • Average Annual Snowfall: 359″
  • Miles from Burlington (66), Boston (230), Providence (278), Hartford (261), NYC (377), Albany (239), and Philadelphia (470)

2023/2024 Day Ticket Prices

Holiday periods include: December 23, 2023 – January 1, 2024 | January 13-15, 2024 | February 17-25, 2024

  • Adult (19-64): $109 M-Th, $125 F-Su, $129 Holiday
  • Junior (6-19): $87 M-Th, $102 F-S, $105 Holiday
  • Toddler (5 & Unde): $34 Mon-Thu, $47 Fri-Sun, $49 Holiday
  • Senior (65+ with ID): $87 Mon-Thu, $102 Fri-Sun, $105 Holiday
  • Vermonters & Other Mountain Passholders
    • Adult (19-64): $92 M-Th, $108 F-Su, $111 Holiday
    • Junior (6-19): $79 M-Th, $94 F-Su, $97 Holiday

Rentals and Lessons

Ski or snowboard rental packages are available for $70. Jay Peak’s ski programs are tailored for kids starting at age 3, making it an ideal resort for families with young children.

Activities Beyond Skiing

At Jay Peak, there’s plenty to do for those not into skiing or snowboarding. You can splash around at the Pump House Indoor Waterpark, enjoy some ice skating at the Ice Haus, watch a movie at Clips & Reels at the Stateside, or try out the attached climbing center. There are also two arcades to keep the kids occupied. Prefer cross-country skiing? Head over to the Jay Peak Nordic Center, where you’ll find all the equipment you need for a great time on the trails.

If you’re looking for a little quiet time, Jay Peak has you covered with childcare services. Enjoy some relaxation and pampering with spa treatments or a soothing massage at the Taiga Spa while your kids are safely looked after.

Feeling adventurous? Just 41 minutes away, Quebec’s Mont Sutton boasts excellent skiing terrain. And even if skiing isn’t your thing, a quick trip to Quebec (only 9 miles from Jay Peak) offers the chance to enjoy some authentic French pastries – but don’t forget your passport!

If shopping or dining is on your agenda, the nearby towns of Newport and Derby have you covered with various restaurants and stores, from quaint local shops to convenient big-box retailers. And if your travels take you to Derby Line, stop by the Derby Line Village Inn. Their German and Austrian cuisine is some of the most authentic and delicious you’ll find without crossing the Atlantic!

Lodging and Local Flavor

Pros and Cons of Jay Peak

The resort’s standout attraction, the Pump House Indoor Waterpark, is a massive draw for families. The advanced terrains appeal to older siblings and parents seeking a more challenging ski experience. However, the remote location of Jay Peak can make accessibility a challenge. The weather conditions can also be daunting, often featuring colder temperatures and potentially fewer nearby non-skiing activities, which could be a drawback for some visitors.

Related: Your Guide to the Best Ski Helmets for Kids this Winter

Stowe Mountain Resort

Stowe Mountain Resort family-friendly vermont ski resort
Image Sourcxe: Stowe Mountain Facebook page

Stowe Mountain Resort is a cherished gem in the skiing world, nestled within the picturesque Green Mountains of Vermont. Since its opening in 1937, Stowe has developed a reputation for its classic New England charm and the quality of its skiing facilities. With Mount Mansfield, Vermont’s highest peak, providing a stunning backdrop, the resort offers a substantial vertical drop of 2,360 feet and features 116 trails across 485 skiable acres, all accessible by 12 lifts, including the famous Over Easy Gondola which connects its two mountains.

Stowe stands out with its commitment to providing a high-quality skiing experience, receiving an annual snowfall of about 314 inches. The resort is also included in the Epic Pass program, giving pass holders access to its slopes along with numerous other world-class mountains.

A Mountain That Welcomes All Skiers

Stowe’s terrain is diverse, providing runs for all skill levels. Beginners can enjoy the gentle slopes of Inspiration and Easy Street, while the meandering Toll Road is the longest run, perfect for those who enjoy a relaxed ski. Intermediate skiers have a wide array of blue trails such as Sunrise and Lord, which offer more of a challenge without being too intimidating.

Advanced skiers can test their skills on expert runs like Front Four (National, Liftline, Starr, and Goat) which are steep and often bumped up, demanding technical prowess and stamina. For those who love off-piste adventures, the woods between the trails offer endless fun, and the legendary Nosedive provides a consistent challenge with its steep pitch and variable conditions.

Mountain Details

  • Pass Affiliation: Epic Pass
  • Skiable Acres: 485
  • Summit Elevation: 3,719′
  • Base Elevation: 1,559′
  • Vertical Drop: 2,360′
  • Trails: 116
  • Trail Difficulty Ratings: 16% Beginner, 55% Intermediate, 29% Advanced
  • Lifts: 12
  • Average Annual Snowfall: 314″
  • Miles from Burlington (41), Boston (204), Providence (254), Hartford (223), NYC (340), Albany (182), and Philadelphia (430)

2023/2024 Day Ticket Prices

  • 1-Day Lift Ticket Peak Window Price: $219
  • Epic 1-Day Pass (Unrestricted): $98

Rentals and Lessons

Equipment rentals are available for all levels, and Stowe’s ski and snowboard school offers a variety of lessons and programs for children and adults, starting from age 3. Whether it’s your first time on the snow or you’re looking to fine-tune your skills, Stowe has experienced instructors ready to assist.

Beyond the Slopes

Stowe is not just about skiing and snowboarding. Visitors can delight in the charm of the historic Stowe Village, go ice skating at the Stowe Arena, or enjoy a winter sleigh ride. The Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center offers cultural events, and for relaxation, the luxurious Topnotch Resort and Spa provides world-class treatments.

For those seeking a break from the slopes, Stowe’s cross-country skiing trails are a serene alternative. And if you’re feeling intrepid, a snowshoe excursion in the surrounding wilderness is a must-do.

After a long day of mountain activities, the village of Stowe provides a welcoming atmosphere with its selection of boutiques, galleries, and eateries. You won’t want to miss out on the local craft beer scene, with breweries like The Alchemist, famous for its Heady Topper IPA, just a stone’s throw away.

Lodging and Local Eats

  • Nearest Town: Stowe is right at the mountain’s base, brimming with dining and shopping options.
  • Lodging: The Stowe Mountain Lodge (ski-in/ski-out) offers luxury accommodations and the quintessential mountain experience.
  • Food: The Cliff House Restaurant at the summit offers breathtaking views with your meal. In town, you can find a range of options from the upscale Trattoria La Festa to the casual Piecasso for a family-friendly pizza night.
  • Coffee: Black Cap Coffee & Bakery in downtown Stowe is a local favorite for a warm brew and a cozy atmosphere.
  • Nearest Grocery Store: Shaw’s Market (6.6 miles) is less than a 12-minute drive from the resort.

Pros and Cons of Stowe Mountain

Stowe’s strengths lie in its beautiful landscapes, high-end accommodations, and a wide range of slopes that cater to all skill levels. Its vibrant village atmosphere enhances the overall experience, making it much more than just a skiing destination. The downside, however, is the cost. Stowe is known for being one of the more expensive resorts in the East, which may not fit everyone’s budget. Additionally, the popularity of the resort can sometimes lead to crowded slopes and long wait times at lifts during peak season.

Killington Resort

Killington Mountain Resoort
Image Source: Killington Resort Facebook Page

Killington Resort boasts a rich history that has cemented its status as an iconic winter destination. As the largest ski area in the Eastern United States, it boasts New England’s greatest vertical drop of 3,050 feet. Since the 2013-14 ski season, it has earned the nickname “Beast of the East,” marking its prominence in the skiing community. Since its establishment in 1958, the resort has evolved significantly, offering over 155 trails and 21 lifts, including two high-speed gondolas. These trails sprawl across six interconnected mountain peaks, offering a wide variety.

Skiers and snowboarders have a vast range of options, from gentle beginner runs to challenging expert terrains and moguls. This expansive network of trails ensures that, regardless of skill level, every visitor finds slopes that suit their abilities and adventurous spirit. Killington boasts the longest run on the East Coast, stretching 9.9 miles via Bear Trax-Launchard-Great Eastern. The resort’s continual upgrades and commitment to providing a top-quality skiing experience make Killington a perennial favorite among winter sports enthusiasts.

Mountain Details

  • Pass Affiliation: Ikon Pass
  • Skiable Acres: 1,509
  • Summit Elevation: 4,241′
  • Base Elevation: 1,165′
  • Vertical Drop: 3,050′
  • Trails: 155
  • Trail Difficulty Ratings: 17% Novice, 40% Intermediate, 43% Advanced
  • Lifts: 21
  • Average Annual Snowfall: 250″
  • Miles from Burlington (77), Boston (155), Providence (203), Hartford (150), NYC (267), Albany (107), and Philadelphia (339)

2023/2024 Day Ticket Prices

  • Adult (18-64): $65 – $88 Weekday, $74 – $153 Weekend, $164 Holiday
  • Junior (7-17): $65 – $88 Weekday, $51 – $91 Weekend, $137 Holiday
  • Toddler (6 & Under): Ski or ride free all season!
  • Senior (65-79): $57 – $101 Weekday, $63 – $130 Weekend, $140 Holiday

Rentals and Lessons

Ski or snowboard rental packages are available from $67 – $84. Killington’s ski programs cater to a broad age range, covering children from 2 to 18 years old.

Activities Beyond Skiing

Apart from skiing, the resort offers various non-skier activities, such as a snow tubing park, mountain coaster, and unique snowcat-drawn sleigh rides. Ski rentals are readily available. For those interested in cross-country skiing, the Mountain Top Inn Nordic Center is an excellent choice, complete with rental facilities.

Lodging and Local Flavor

Pros and Cons of Killington

Killington is the largest ski area in the East, featuring multiple terrain parks and a superpipe, which attract skiers and snowboarders alike. However, its popularity can lead to crowding, particularly during peak season. First-time visitors might also find the resort’s vastness a bit overwhelming. Additionally, the pricing at Killington can be on the higher side compared to smaller resorts in the region.

Related: The Absolute Best Ski Socks of 2023

Smuggler’s Notch Resort

Smuggler's Notch Resort
Image Source: Smuggler’s Notch Facebook Page

Smuggler’s Notch Resort, established in 1956, is nestled in the Green Mountains of Vermont and has a deep-seated history of being a family-centric ski destination. The resort features three mountains – Morse, Madonna, and Sterling – each offering unique experiences with 78 trails connected by eight lifts, including the famous Madonna I lift, known for accessing some of the more challenging terrains. Morse Mountain is particularly favorable for beginners and families, with gentle, winding trails, while Madonna and Sterling Mountains boast more advanced and expert-level terrain. With a vertical drop of 2,610 feet, it ranks fourth highest in New England and the third highest in Vermont.

The varied topography across the mountains ensures skiers of all abilities have plenty of options. Smuggler’s Notch doesn’t just focus on skiing and snowboarding; it is known for its comprehensive range of winter activities, which, along with its award-winning ski programs, solidifies its standing as a top-tier family vacation spot. The commitment to a friendly, welcoming atmosphere mixed with serious snow sports and fun activities underlines why Smuggler’s Notch is often touted as one of the best family ski resorts in the East.

Mountain Details

  • Pass Affiliation: None
  • Skiable Acres: 1,000
  • Summit Elevation: 3,640′
  • Base Elevation: 1,030′
  • Vertical Drop: 2,610 ‘
  • Trails: 78
  • Trail Difficulty Ratings: 17% Novice, 53% Intermediate, 26% Advanced, 5% Expert
  • Lifts: 8 Lifts
  • Average Annual Snowfall: 280″
  • Miles from Burlington (41), Boston (211), Providence (260), Hartford (230), NYC (346), Albany (179), and Philadelphia (439)

2023/2024 Day Ticket Prices

  • Adult (19-64): $89 Weekday, $95 Weekend, $109 Holidays
  • Junior (6-18): $70 Weekday, $75 Weekend, $85 Holidays
  • Toddler (5 & Under): Ski or ride free all season!
  • Senior (65+ with ID): $70 Weekday, $75 Weekend, $85 Holidays

Rentals and Lessons

Ski or snowboard rental packages run $52 – $62. Smuggler’s Notch offers ski or snowboard programs and lessons at their Snow Sport University.

Activities Beyond Skiing

Smuggs isn’t just about skiing; it boasts a plethora of activities like an indoor pool, the famous FunZone 2.0 play area, and snowmobile tours. This diverse array of options ensures that non-skiers and skiers have plenty to enjoy throughout their stay. For those into cross-country skiing, the Smuggs Nordic Ski & Snowshoe Adventure Center provides another wonderful experience, complete with rental facilities.

Lodging and Local Flavor

Pros and Cons of Smuggler’s Notch

The resort’s notable strengths include its award-winning kids’ programs and the FunZone 2.0, which provides a unique indoor play experience. The three interconnected mountains cater to skiers of all skill levels, enhancing its family appeal. However, the mountain roads leading to Smuggs can be challenging, particularly in heavy snow. The resort’s comprehensive family offerings can also make it pricier than other destinations. Additionally, the distances between different resort parts might require reliance on shuttles or personal vehicles.

Related: The Best Kids’ Ski Boots for 2023/2024

Mount Snow

Mount Snow - Family-Friendly Vermont Ski Resort
Image Source: Mount Snow Facebook Page

Founded in 1954, Mount Snow has evolved significantly from its early days. With a history steeped in ski culture innovation, it was one of the first ski resorts to embrace snowmaking technology, forever changing the winter sports landscape. Today, the resort boasts 600 acres of skiable terrain, including 20 lifts and over 100 trails. This breadth of terrain caters not only to hardcore freestyle enthusiasts drawn to the acclaimed Carinthia Parks but also to families and skiers at every skill level, ensuring a well-rounded skiing experience on its varied slopes.

Mountain Details

  • Pass Affiliation: Epic Pass
  • Skiable Acres: 601
  • Summit Elevation: 3,600′
  • Base Elevation: 1,900′
  • Vertical Drop: 1,700′
  • Trails: 85
  • Trail Difficulty Ratings:  16% Novice, 66% Intermediate, 18% Advanced
  • Lifts: 19
  • Average Annual Snowfall: 150′
  • Miles from Burlington (127), Boston (139), Providence (153), Hartford (99), NYC (216), Albany (66), and Philadelphia (298)

2023/2024 Day Ticket Prices

  • 1-Day Lift Ticket Peak Window Price: $169
  • Epic 1-Day Pass (Unrestricted): $98

Rentals and Lessons

The Mount Snow Ski & Snowboard School welcomes learners of all ages and abilities. Rental services for ski equipment ensure everyone is well-equipped for the slopes.

Activities Beyond Skiing

If you need a break and have little ones, Mount Snow Childcare can watch your kids from 18 months to 4 years old for $165 a day. With your children in good hands, you can unwind at the NatureSpa with massages, facials, and even yoga. If you love live music, check out the free concerts at the Snow Barn every Saturday night from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., running from December 23 to March 23. And for the youngsters not into skiing, Mount Snow has a fun tubing hill with a magic carpet lift to take them back to the top easily.

Lodging and Local Flavor

Pros and Cons of Mount Snow

The resort stands out for its terrain parks, superpipe, and Carinthia Parks, alongside a plethora of family-friendly activities. However, its popularity, especially during weekends, might lead to longer lift wait times. Additionally, while it offers a range of terrains, advanced skiers might find the challenging areas limited. Some visitors also note a more commercial vibe, which might detract from the quaint charm associated with smaller resorts.

Related: The Best Salomon Ski Boots of 2023

Stratton Mountain Resort

Stratton Mountain Family-Friendly Vermont Ski Resort
Image Source: Stratton Mountain Facebook Page

Stratton Mountain Resort, opening its slopes in December 1961, quickly established itself as a beacon of high-end skiing in the East. With a vertical drop of 2,003 ft., this Vermont icon has grown considerably, featuring 99 trails and a lift network comprising 11 lifts, including a high-speed six-person lift and a gondola. Its terrain spans 625 acres, catering to all levels, from novice to expert. The mountain’s commitment to quality and service shines in every aspect, from the pristine grooming of its trails to the luxurious amenities and vibrant après-ski scene in its charming base village. The blend of world-class skiing with an upscale, welcoming atmosphere makes Stratton Mountain a standout destination.

The Details

  • Pass Affiliation: Ikon Pass
  • Skiable Acres: 670
  • Summit Elevation: 3,875′
  • Base Elevation: 1,872′
  • Vertical Drop: 2,003′
  • Trails: 99
  • Trail Difficulty Ratings:  40% Novice, 35% Intermediate, 16% Advanced, 9% Expert
  • Lifts: 11
  • Average Annual Snowfall: 180″
  • Miles from Burlington (115), Boston (148), Providence (162), Hartford (121), NYC (226), Albany (76), and Philadelphia (308)

2023/2024 Day Ticket Prices

  • Adult (18-64): $100 – $142 Weekday, $100 – $199 Weekend
  • Junior (5-17): $108 – $115 Weekday, $80 – $161 Weekend
  • Toddler (4 & Under): $10 add-on with purchase of an adult lift ticket.

Rentals and Lessons

Stratton offers several ski and snowboard rental packages at various prices, from beginner to performance for kids and adults. Private and group ski and snowboard lessons are available for all skill levels and ages.

Activities Beyond Skiing

If you’re not into skiing and prefer to stay warm inside, the resort has a fitness center with a heated pool, tennis courts, and a rock climbing gym. But if you’re up for some outdoor fun, Stratton has lots of options like tubing, snowmobile tours, fat bike rentals, ice skating, snowcat rides with dinner, hikes with snowshoes, and cross-country skiing at the Stratton Mountain Nordic Center.

Lodging and Local Flavor

Pros and Cons of Stratton Mountain

Stratton Mountain is particularly noted for its high-end amenities and lively village atmosphere, adding a luxurious touch to the skiing experience. However, this comes with a higher price tag for both lodging and dining. The resort’s popularity can also result in crowded slopes, especially during peak times. Furthermore, expert skiers might find the challenging terrains somewhat limited compared to other resorts.

Related: Blizzard Rustler 9 Review: The Best One Quiver Ski of 2024?

Okemo Mountain Resort

Okemo MountainFamily-Friendly Vermont Ski Resort
Image Source: Okemo Mountain Facebook Page

Okemo Mountain Resort, officially opening in January 1956, has long been a family favorite in Vermont. Throughout its development, the resort has significantly expanded and modernized, now featuring 123 trails and glades distributed over five unique alpine areas spanning 667 acres. It boasts a notable vertical drop of 2,200 feet, providing a diverse and thrilling skiing experience. The resort is serviced by 20 lifts, including a high-speed bubble chair with heated seats, ensuring a comfortable and swift journey to the mountain’s summit.

Okemo’s commitment to providing a top-notch skiing experience is evident in its extensive investment in snowmaking and grooming, which covers 98% of the terrain. The resort’s focus on quality, along with its diverse range of winter activities, enhances its appeal. Its renowned children’s programs and family-friendly atmosphere make Okemo Mountain a standout destination for those seeking a well-rounded winter vacation.

Mountain Details

  • Pass Affiliation: Epic Pass
  • Skiable Acres: 632
  • Summit Elevation: 3,344′
  • Base Elevation: 1,144′
  • Vertical Drop: 2,200′
  • Trails: 123
  • Trail Difficulty Ratings: 31% Beginner, 28% Intermediate, 31% Advanced to Expert
  • Lifts: 20
  • Average Annual Snowfall: 200′ inches
  • Miles from Burlington (91), Boston (140), Providence (155), Hartford (133), NYC (249), Albany (89), and Philadelphia (321)

2023/2024 Day Ticket Prices

  • 1-Day Lift Ticket Peak Window Price: $189
  • Epic 1-Day Pass (Unrestricted): $98

Rentals and Lessons

Rental Packages start at $59 for skis and snowboards. Okemo offers a multitude of lessons for skiers and snowboarders at their Ski & Ridge School.

Activities Beyond Skiing

Okemo offers childcare services for babies and kids up to 5 years old, with prices ranging from $179 to $189, depending on the child’s age. If you’re looking to relax, the Spring House has a fun pool for kids, a big pool for everyone, and a hot tub. They also have fitness classes like Zumba, Yoga, and Cardio Sculpt. Plus, there are water workout classes in the pool on certain days.

If downhill skiing isn’t your thing, there’s still plenty to do outside. You can ride on the Timber Ripper Mountain Coaster, do some cross-country skiing at the Grafton Trails & Outdoor Center (16 miles), or go ice skating at the Ice House. You can also try snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and riding fat bikes with big tires that are good for the snow.

Lodging and Local Flavor

Pros and Cons

Okemo Mountain’s strength lies in its variety of lodging choices and indoor activities catering to non-skiers. However, the resort is noted for its weekend crowds, potentially leading to longer lift lines. Some guests may find the resort layout slightly disjointed, requiring occasional shuttle use. Additionally, while the terrain parks are enjoyable, extreme freestyle enthusiasts might desire more advanced features.

Related: Blizzard Rustler 10 Review: The Best All-Mountain Ski of 2024?

Burke Mountain

Burke Mountain
Image Source: Burke Mountain Facebook Page

Burke Mountain, established in 1953, is the epitome of the Vermont skiing tradition, set amidst unspoiled landscapes and a strong community spirit. Boasting a 2,011-foot vertical drop, the mountain provides a wide array of skiing opportunities across 270 skiable acres, catering to beginners and advanced skiers. It features 55 trails and 15 glades, all serviced by six lifts that include two high-speed quads. This setup effectively links the upper mountain’s intermediate and advanced terrains with the beginner-friendly slopes of the lower mountain, facilitating quick and easy access and a more enjoyable skiing experience. The mountain’s northeastern exposure further ensures optimal skiing conditions throughout the season.

The skiing heritage at Burke Mountain traces its roots back to the early 20th century, beginning with the Carriage Road Trail constructed by Elmer Darling in 1910. In the 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) upgraded this trail to what is now known as Deer Run and established two important ski trails: Wilderness and Bear Den. These trails, particularly Bear Den, which still operates as Upper and Lower Bear Den, are integral to the resort’s legacy and commemorated at the Bear Den pub in the mid-base lodge. The Lyndon Outing Club’s sponsorship of skiing events on these trails even before the mountain’s official opening further emphasizes Burke Mountain’s deep-rooted connection to Vermont’s skiing history and its influential role in the development of the sport in the region.

Exceptional Deals and Indy Pass Affiliation

Burke Mountain is renowned not only for its beautiful terrain and family-friendly atmosphere but also for its exceptionally affordable skiing experience, making it one of the most budget-friendly ski resorts in Vermont. The mountain offers $45 tickets on weekdays, providing an economical option for those looking to enjoy the slopes without a hefty price tag. Adding to the appeal, Burke runs a special “Buy 1, Get 2 Free” ticket deal on Wednesdays, effectively dropping the price to a mere $15 per ticket, which is a fantastic offer for skiers and snowboarders looking to maximize their time on the slopes without breaking the bank. Additionally, as an Indy Pass Allied mountain, Burke provides even more value and accessibility for pass holders, further cementing its status as a top choice for budget-conscious skiers and families.

Mountain Details

  • Pass Affiliation: Indy Pass Allied Resort
  • Skiable Acres: 270
  • Summit Elevation: 3,267′
  • Base Elevation: 1,210′
  • Vertical Drop: 2,011′
  • Trails: 70
  • Trail Difficulty Ratings: 9% Beginner, 47% Intermediate, 30% Advanced, 13% Expert
  • Lifts: 5
  • Average Annual Snowfall: 217″
  • Miles from Burlington (91), Boston (184), Providence (233), Hartford (220), NYC (336), Albany (208), and Philadelphia (430)

2023/2024 Day Ticket Prices

  • Adult (18-64): $45 Midweek, $89 Weekend
  • Junior (6-17): $45 Midweek, $62 Weekend
  • Toddler (6 & Under): Ski or ride free all season!
  • Senior (65-79): $45 Midweek, $62 Weekend
  • College Students: $45 Midweek, $65 Weekend
  • Vermonter Rates: Vermonter rates are available seven days a week to all residents of Vermont as well as the Coos and Grafton Counties of New Hampshire.
    • Adults: $45 Weekday, $65 Weekend
    • Juniors: $45 Weekday, $65 Weekend
  • Specials & Deals:
    • Other Mountain Passholders: Passholders of another mountain? Great! Purchase winter lift tickets all season long for just $65 per person.
    • Wicked Wednesday: Buy one, get two free! Purchase one all-day lift ticket at $45.00 and receive two same-day tickets. A party of three must be present at the Sherburne Base Lodge ticket window to receive the ticket deal (non-holiday). Not available online.
    • NEK Sunday and Monday: $35.00 Half-Day PM Tickets on Sundays and Mondays (non-holiday) are available for everyone. Tickets go on sale at 12:15 PM and can be used at the lift starting at 12:30 PM.
    • Military Free Ski Midweek Deal: Present your active duty verification at Guest Services Monday through Friday to receive your winter lift ticket. (non-holiday). Veterans receive a 10% discount any time of the season.  

Rentals and Lessons

Ski or snowboard package rentals are available from $42 – $59. Burke offers ski and snowboard lessons for all ages, ski programs for kids, and more advanced clinics for adults.

Visit the Lyndon Outing Club for Night Skiing

After a day exploring the slopes of Burke Mountain, a unique evening adventure awaits at the nearby Lyndon Outing Club (6.6 miles), where night skiing offers a charming and quaint skiing experience under the stars. Available on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday nights from 6 to 9 p.m., the Outing Club opens its “Face” trail, creating a serene, illuminated skiing environment. They also offer day skiing on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from Noon to 4 p.m., with all ten trails open for added skiing fun.

The terrain here is serviced by a classic T-bar and a rope tow, adding to the nostalgic feel of the ski experience. It is very affordable, with tickets at $15 for adults and teens and just $10 for those in 8th grade and under. The volunteer-run Lyndon Outing Club, founded in 1937, presents a warm, community-focused skiing experience – an ideal way to cap off a day at Burke or enjoy a weekend of varied skiing in Vermont. For those needing equipment, ski rentals are available.

Activities Beyond Skiing

In addition to the awesome skiing at Burke Mountain, there’s plenty more to do. If you’re into a bit of a chill adventure, you can try sledding near the base or even cross-country skiing at the Dashney Nordic Center. And if you’re not staying at the Burke Mountain Hotel, no worries – you can still pop into their big outdoor hot tub and indoor fitness center for just five bucks!

It’s perfect for relaxing those sore muscles after a day out in the snow. Plus, the hotel has an arcade with a bunch of classic games that adults will love, like USA vs USSR hockey, Ms. Pac-Man, and Galaga, plus loads of newer games that the kids will enjoy. There’s definitely something there for everyone to have a great time!

If you’re into museums, go to St. Johnsbury, about 18 miles away. Start with the Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium, set up by local industrialist Franklin Fairbanks in 1889, which boasts an impressive array of taxidermy, precious stones, ancient fossils, and historical artifacts. Then, there’s the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum, more than just a library; it’s a cultural gem with striking spiral iron staircases and features an art collection from Hudson River School artists, various genre paintings, and detailed copies of Renaissance and Baroque art, all showcased in lavish frames in the traditional style. A must-see is the massive “The Domes of Yosemite” painting by Alexander Bierstadt. Lastly, stop by the St. Johnsbury History & Heritage Center, a group dedicated to collecting and safeguarding items and stories that paint a picture of St. Johnsbury’s past.

Lodging and Local Flavor

Pros and Cons of Burke Mountain

Burke Mountain’s pros are numerous. It’s beginner-friendly and boasts an excellent ski school, making it perfect for young novices. Advanced terrains and glades cater to experienced skiers, while various budget-friendly lodging options enhance its appeal. However, the cons are worth noting. The limited après-ski activities and nightlife might not suffice for older teens, and the fewer advanced terrains compared to larger resorts could be a drawback for some. The less commercial aspect translates to fewer amenities and dining options, maintaining a charming but perhaps too quiet atmosphere for some visitors. Nonetheless, Burke Mountain’s allure lies in its serene, family-friendly environment, offering a peaceful escape with breathtaking views and various winter activities.

Related: The Best BOA Ski Boots for 2023/2024: The Ultimate Guide

Pico Mountain

Pico Mountain Family-Friendly Vermont Ski Resort
Image Source: Pico Mountain Facebook Page

Pico Mountain, with its rich history from its founding in 1937, is one of Vermont’s oldest operating ski areas. Its legacy began when the Pico Peak ski trail, cut by the Civilian Conservation Corps, opened to the public. Over the years, the mountain has expanded but has always retained its quaint, family-friendly atmosphere, distinguishing it from the larger, bustling resorts nearby. The resort offers 57 trails, serviced by seven lifts, including two high-speed detachable quads. These trails span a variety of terrains, catering to skiers and snowboarders of all levels.

Boasting a vertical drop of nearly 2,000 feet, Pico Mountain presents a diverse array of slopes – from gentle, welcoming trails for beginners to smooth, cruising blue runs perfect for intermediate skiers and challenging black diamond terrain designed for the more experienced skiers. Pico Mountain’s intimate feel, combined with its historical background and varied trails, makes it a unique gem in the Vermont skiing landscape. Its proximity to Killington (3.3 miles) allows visitors to experience two ski areas in one trip, giving them both the charm of old-school skiing at Pico and the expansive terrains of Killington.

Mountain Details

  • Pass Affiliation: None
  • Skiable Acres: 468
  • Summit Elevation: 3,967′
  • Base Elevation: 2,000′
  • Vertical Drop: 1,967′
  • Trails: 58
  • Trail Difficulty Ratings: 17% Novice, 46% Intermediate, 37% Advanced
  • Lifts: 7
  • Average Annual Snowfall: 250″
  • Miles from Burlington (72), Boston (155), Providence (203), Hartford (150), NYC (267), Albany (107), and Philadelphia (339)

2023/2024 Day Ticket Prices

  • Adult (18-64): TBA
  • Junior (6-17): TBA
  • Toddler (6 & Under): TBA
  • Senior (65-79): TBA
  • Ticket Deals
    • Vermonter / New Hampshire Days: $49 on Monday, Thursday, and Friday (non-peak) for VT and NH residents.
    • Military Discount: TBA

Rentals and Lessons

You can rent ski or snowboard gear for $51 to $74. Pico has private and group lessons for both kids and adults.

Activities Beyond Skiing

If you’re not into skiing, you’ll still find loads of fun down the road on Killington Mountain. There’s a snow tubing park that’s great for family fun. You can also take a scenic gondola ride and enjoy the amazing views and crisp mountain air. If you want to try other snow activities, there are snowshoe and snowmobile tours. Is being outside not your thing? The Pico Fitness Center has a 75-foot heated indoor lap pool, fitness classes, and a gym. Additionally, just down the road in Rutland, you’ll find lots of stores and places to have a good time.

Lodging and Local Flavor

Pros and Cons of Pico Mountain

Pico Mountain’s main attractions are its family-friendly environment and its more affordable pricing structure compared to larger resorts. This makes it an excellent choice for those who prefer a calm and relaxing skiing experience. However, it is a smaller ski area and offers fewer amenities. Additionally, nightlife and entertainment options are less abundant when compared to the vibrant scene at nearby Killington.

Related: Best Stocking Stuffers for Skiers this Christmas

Bolton Valley Resort

Bolton Valley Resort
Source: Bolton Valley Facebook Page

Founded in 1966, Bolton Valley sits amidst the breathtaking Green Mountains, creating a scenic and charming ski destination. This family-owned resort spans 165 skiable acres, featuring 71 trails serviced by six lifts, including three quad chairs, which cater to a full spectrum of skiers, from beginners to experts. With a vertical drop of 1,704 feet and a high elevation that often captures natural snowfall, Bolton Valley provides some of the most reliable skiing conditions in the region. Its night skiing offering on ten trails extends the skiing day, adding a unique charm and experience.

The historical essence of Bolton Valley is felt through its community-oriented spirit and classic Vermont ambiance. It’s a place where the simplicity and joy of skiing are at the forefront, offering a more relaxed, down-to-earth experience compared to larger, more commercialized resorts. This, coupled with its efforts in renewable energy and environmental stewardship, showcases Bolton Valley as not only a bastion of winter sports but also as a responsible, future-thinking member of the skiing community.

The Only Resort with Night Skiing

Bolton Valley, Vermont’s exclusive ski resort offering night skiing and riding, typically opens its slopes for this unique experience five nights a week. When night skiing is available, usually from Tuesday to Saturday, skiers and riders can enjoy up to 13 hours on the slopes with their lift ticket. Alternatively, a “Night Ticket” allows access from 4 PM to 10 PM, just in time to catch a breathtaking sunset. The resort’s west-facing slopes, along with stunning views of the Adirondacks and Lake Champlain, make the sunset vistas from both the slopes and the chairlift truly remarkable.

Mountain Details

  • Pass Affiliation: Indy Pass
  • Skiable Acres: 300
  • Summit Elevation: 3,150′
  • Base Elevation: 1,446′
  • Vertical Drop: 1,704′
  • Trails: 71
  • Trail Difficulty Ratings: 34% Beginner, 38% Intermediate, 23% Advanced, 6% Expert
  • Lifts: 6
  • Average Annual Snowfall: 300″
  • Miles from Burlington (24), Boston (201), Providence (249), Hartford (219), NYC (335), Albany (160), and Philadelphia (428)

2023/2024 Day Ticket Prices

  • Adult (18-64): $69 Midweek, $89 Weekend, $99 Peak Periods
  • Junior (6-17): $59 Midweek, $79 Weekend, $89 Peak Periods
  • Toddler (6 & Under): Prices not listed yet.
  • Senior (65-79): $59 Midweek, $79 Weekend, $89 Peak Periods
  • Ticket Deals: $39 Mondays (Non-Peak)
  • Night Skiing: $25 – $33

Rentals and Lessons

Rental packages are available from $35 – $60 for either skis or snowboards. Bolton Valley offers season-long lesson programs and ski and snowboard lessons.

Activities Beyond Skiing

While Bolton Valley shines with its skiing, it also provides non-skier activities like Nordic skiing and snowshoeing and a sports center with a pool and games. This variety ensures something for everyone, regardless of skiing ability or interest. Though sledding isn’t available, the Bolton Valley Nordic Center provides excellent options for cross-country skiing with rental facilities.

Lodging and Local Flavor

Pros and Cons of Bolton Valley

The resort’s strengths lie in its night skiing offering and varied terrain, appealing to a wide range of skiers. Additionally, the reasonably priced lodging options add to its attractiveness. However, the resort’s older lift infrastructure might lead to slower lift rides, which could be a drawback for some. Furthermore, the limited luxury accommodations and upscale dining options might not meet the expectations of those seeking a more lavish ski experience. While night skiing is a unique and enticing feature, it may not be suitable for very young children, something families should consider.

Related: Best Kids’ Skis for 2023-2024 Skiing Adventures

Bromley Mountain Resort

Bromley MountainFamily-Friendly Vermont Ski Resort
Image Source: Bromley Mountain Facebook Page

Founded in 1936, Bromley Mountain Resort is one of the oldest continuously operating ski areas in the United States, deeply rooted in the history of American skiing. Bromley Mountain Resort was established by Fred Pabst Jr., the grandson of the renowned Captain Frederick Pabst, founder of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer. Boasting a vertical drop of 1,334 feet, the resort offers 47 trails and glades across 178 acres, accommodating various skill levels. Its terrain ranges from smooth, groomed runs perfect for beginners to challenging steeps and bumps suited for advanced skiers. The resort’s nine lifts, including a high-speed quad, ensure skiers and snowboarders spend more time on the slopes and less in lines. Bromley Mountain’s commitment to maintaining a welcoming, family-friendly environment is reflected in its layout, making it easy for families to navigate and enjoy their time together.

Mountain Details

  • Pass Affiliation: None
  • Skiable Acres: 178
  • Summit Elevation: 3,285′
  • Base Elevation: 1,950′
  • Vertical Drop: 1,334′
  • Trails: 47
  • Trail Difficulty Ratings: 32% Novice, 37% Intermediate, 31% Advanced,
  • Lifts: 9
  • Average Annual Snowfall: 280″
  • Miles from Burlington (105), Boston (159), Providence (167), Hartford (126), NYC (210), Albany (66), and Philadelphia (298)

2023/2024 Day Ticket Prices

  • 1-Day Lift Ticket: $99

Rentals and Lessons

Bromley offers ski and snowboard rental packages for both kids and grown-ups, along with a wide range of lessons. You can join a group class, get one-on-one lessons, find adaptive programs for people with disabilities, learn how to telemark ski, and even sign up for full-day courses.

Activities Beyond Skiing

While skiing is a primary draw, Bromley Mountain also offers activities like snowshoeing and cross-country skiing at the nearby Wild Wings Ski Touring Center (4.8 miles) in Peru. Want to get out for some shopping? If so, check out the Manchester Designer Outlets (8 miles), the legendary Vermont Country Store (12.2 Miles) in Weston, and the Northshire Bookstore (8.1 miles) in Manchester Center.

Lodging and Local Flavor

Pros and Cons of Bromley Mountain

Bromley Mountain’s biggest attraction is its warmer skiing conditions, thanks to the Sun Mountain aspect. Its children’s programs have received accolades, including recognition from Ski Magazine. However, the smaller size of the resort might lead to a more limited selection of terrains for advanced skiers. The resort also offers limited nightlife activities, which might not appeal to older teens and adults. Additionally, dining options on the mountain are somewhat limited compared to larger resorts.

Related: Nordica Enforcer 94 Unlimited Review

Final Thoughts

When it comes to planning that perfect winter getaway, Family-Friendly Vermont Ski Resorts offer a treasure trove of options for every kind of family. Looking to get the most bang for your buck? Resorts like Burke, Bolton Valley, and Jay Peak, which are all part of the Indy Pass, might just hit the sweet spot. But it’s Jay Peak that’s stealing the show with its epic indoor waterpark and a vast expanse of skiing terrains. Clearly, Family-Friendly Vermont Ski Resorts have gone above and beyond in ensuring that there’s something for everyone.

If you’re one of the lucky ones with an Epic Pass in your pocket, places like Okemo, Mount Snow, and Stowe are calling your name. Each of these Family-Friendly Vermont Ski Resorts offers unique experiences that cater to families of all shapes and sizes. On the other hand, if luxury skiing is more your vibe, then Stratton and Killington, favorites among Ikon Pass holders, offer a blend of thrilling slopes and plush amenities, proving that Family-Friendly Vermont Ski Resorts know how to mix adventure with relaxation.

Burke Mountain, though lesser-known, is making waves among families looking to up their ski game. It offers the right balance of beginner-friendly yet challenging terrains. This spot demonstrates that Family-Friendly Vermont Ski Resorts are not just about catering to the pros but ensuring everyone gets a piece of the action.

To sum it up, if you’re on the hunt for the ultimate ski vacation with the fam, Jay Peak is where it’s at. Its impressive size and the assortment of family-centered amenities make it stand out among the plethora of Family-Friendly Vermont Ski Resorts. So, whatever your budget, ski preference, or the kind of après-ski scene you’re after, Vermont’s got you covered. Here’s to snowy adventures and making memories at Family-Friendly Vermont Ski Resorts!


Header Image by wavebreakmedia_micro on Freepik.


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