Snow is falling and baby it’s getting cold outside, which means ski and snowboard season is finally here! The Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. might not be known for the snowy slopes its northern sisters in Vermont and big brothers out West have, but if you live in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia, there is still hope. There are plenty of places to learn to ski within a few hours drive, but here are a few family-favorite destinations.
Think the south doesn’t have snow? Just under three hours from D.C., families can hit the slopes at Wintergreen Resort in Virginia. This resort has a state-of-the-art snowmaking system so families never see grass… until spring that is. If Mother Nature wants to warm things up, this resort can cool it down and keep the fun going. Ridgely's Fun Park is the perfect spot for young families to play in the snow, slide down the gentle tubing hill, crawl through tunnels or try out some bear paw snowshoes without fear of being run over by skiers and snowboarders racing down the mountain. Children of all ages can pick up a new sport or build on their skills through the resort’s ski and snowboarding program. Kids can enjoy a full or half-day program, which includes lessons, or can take a family lesson with their parents. Moms can join a women’s clinic or join the dads for a group or private lesson. The fun doesn’t stop there; families can also snow tube and ice skate together, before heading back to their hotel room, condo or rental home, all offered through the resort lodging system.
Back in 2014, Liberty Mountain Resort was named the best in the nation for beginners by the National Ski Areas Association, and that honor still holds true. This ski resort offers hour-long classes for adults that will make sure you can get off the ski lift by the end of your class and comfortably shush down the bunny hills. The all-day ski school for kids means that children can learn with their peers while parents hit the slopes for a little alone time; something many parents crave, especially when their children are young. Little shredders will love the Burton Snowboard School lessons, making it possible for children as young as three to get on a snowboard, something unheard of on most mountains because they don’t have the rental gear in stock for such tiny boarders. Lodging is available on site or you can head into the town of Gettysburg, about 20 minutes away, for even more options, and some great spots to eat.
Snowshoe has one of the best locations in the Mid-Atlantic for great skiing thanks to its elevation, which brings in lake effect snow, and the quality snowmaking and grooming happening on the mountain to fill in the gaps that Mother Nature misses. Snowshoe also has great restaurants and enough lodging options to keep families of all sizes happy and comfortable after a full day on the slopes. The ski school covers everything from tiny tots strapping on skis for the first time, all the way up to parents and grandparents looking to sharpen (or start) their ski skills. Best of all, Snowshoe has partnered with Challenged Athletes of West Virginia to create an adaptive ski program for those who are physically or visually impaired, and individuals with developmental disabilities. This mountain truly embraces the idea that skiing is for everyone.
Where is your favorite family ski resort?
Note: Available plans and coverages may have changed since this blog was published.
Keryn is an East Coast native living life as a freelance writer in Seattle surrounded by her two little boys and one incredible husband. When not dragging the men in her life across the globe you can find Keryn writing on her blog Walking On Travels, a site that gives hope to today's modern parent that doesn't see kids as a roadblock to travel, but an excuse to get out the door and explore. Keryn has laughed at the naysayers by bringing her boys to far off lands like China, Hong Kong, Japan, Hawaii, back and forth across the USA, Mexico, Canada, and even across Europe. Keryn loves to encourage families to take that first step out the door, the hardest step of all. Follow Keryn on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google Plus.
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