Top 5 Family Friendly Ski Resorts near NYC

Okemo Tubing

Are you planning a family ski trip? Looking for a family friendly ski resort near NYC? The good thing about living in the New York area is that there are so many ski resorts within driving distance. Wondering which ski resorts to go to? We asked Joanna Y., Suburbs 101 contributor, mom of two and ski enthusiast to give us her go-to family friendly ski resorts in the New York area. Whether you are planning an easy day trip from New York or an overnight ski trip with the family, this is a must-read. Check out Joanna’s top 5 family friendly ski resorts near NYC.

If you read my last article you know that I love skiing out West, but most of the ski season actually find us a bit closer to New York.  While I’ll admit that getting the whole family up on skis can feel like a Sisyphean task at times, once you get past the initial hurdles (the cold! the gear! the long car rides! the lessons!), you will have given your kids a lifelong skill and created a family experience that you can share for years to come.  And so, in my second installment, I bring you my top 5 family friendly ski resorts near NYC suburbs, all within driving distance of Greenwich, CT.

Top 5 Family Friendly Ski Resorts near NYC

First Things First – Rent Your Ski Gear Before You Go

One of the biggest tips that I have for enjoyable family skiing is to have all of your ski gear before you get to the mountain.  Seasonal ski rental packages, especially for children’s skis, are both practical and economical, and allow you to skip the often long lines and lengthy process of renting gear on site.  Trust me when I say that this is a game changer, especially for small children who can tire of the whole process before they even get on the mountain.  There are a number of local rental options, but I like Outdoor Sports Center in Wilton, CT the best.

You should also check out ski trip packing shortcuts by Suburbs 101 contributor, Zineb (mom of 2 boys who takes her family skiing every week!). Here is her article: What to Pack for a Family Weekend Ski Trip: The Ultimate Packing Guide

Beginners Ski Resort 1.5 Hours from NYC: Thunder Ridge Ski Area, Patterson, NY

Thunder Ridge at 137 Birch Hill Road, Patterson, NY (845) 878-4100. Thunder Ridge is approximately, 1.5 hours from NYC.

My first recommendation is really a day trip ski destination, but is truly the best option for first time skiers or younger skiers.  Only about an hour away from Greenwich, CT or 1.5 hours from NYC, Thunder Ridge Ski Area is a great beginner mountain. With 22 trails, 3 lifts and 4 magic carpets, Thunder Ridge is the perfect start to family skiing.  It can get quite crowded during the weekends, so to avoid the crowds I recommend going after school on a weekday as the mountain is lighted and stays open until 9:00 pm.  Thunder Ridge also offer group lessons Monday through Friday afternoons.  When my son was first learning how to ski, I used to take him for a lesson every Friday after his preschool dismissal, which was a great way for him to learn the basics and build up his confidence before tackling a bigger mountain. Thunder Ridge is a great beginners ski mountain near NYC for families looking to get their kids learning how to ski.

[Get discounted lift tickets! Check out lift ticket deals from Liftopia: Thunder Ridge Single Day ticket from $14 (save 30%)]

Ski Resort 3 Hours from NYC: Butternut Basin, Great Barrington, MA

Butternut Tubing- Top 5 Family Ski Destinations near NYC

Ski Butternut at 380 State Road, Great Barrington, MA (413) 528-2000. Butternut is a family friendly ski resort approximately 3 hours from NYC.

If you have graduated from a day trip and are looking for a family friendly ski resort that is slightly more challenging and little bit farther away, Butternut Basin, located in the Berkshires, is a great next step. Butternut is a family friendly ski resort located approximately 3 hours from NYC or 2 hours away from Greenwich, CT.  At 110 skiable acres, 80% of which are beginner or intermediate, Butternut Basin is a great family mountain, with terrain options for everyone. There are two lodges with cafeteria dining options, and the Upper Lodge offers a fairly good salad bar. There is also a small tubing hill on the mountain, and a nursery daycare program if you have littles that aren’t ready to ski yet.  There are a number of hotel and motel options in the area, but my top recommendation is the Fairfield Inn and Suites.  About a 15 minute drive from the mountain, it is convenient and incredibly family friendly.  There is an indoor heated pool and game room, and they show children’s movies in the conference room every evening and offer board games.  While the hotel doesn’t have a full service restaurant, they allow you to eat and drink in their common areas.  We often packed wine and ordered take out (Four Brothers Pizza Inn is especially good) to enjoy some adult conversation in the lobby while the kids watched movies.  If you are looking to eat out, Barrington Brewery, 5 minutes down the road, is a family friendly pub with handcrafted beers.

Are you planning to take the family to Mont Tremblant? Here is everything you need to know to plan a family ski vacation in Mont Tremblant: Family Vacation in Mont Tremblant

Family Friendly Ski Resort 4.5 hours from NYC: Okemo Mountain Resort, Ludlow, VT

Top 5 Family Ski Destinations near NYC Okemo Mountain Resort Super Pipe
Okemo Super Pipe
Top 5 Family Ski Destinations near NYC Okemo Mountain Coaster
Okemo Mountain Coaster
Okemo Tubing- Top 5 Family Ski Destinations near NYC
Snow Tubing at Okemo

Okemo at 77 Okemo Ridge Road, Ludlow, VT (802) 228-1600. Okemo is a family friendly ski resort that is approximately 4.5 hours from NYC.

Okemo has become our family’s favorite mountain, and you will find us there most weekends throughout the winter. Okemo is a family friendly ski resort that is only 4.5 hours away from NYC and 3.5 hours away from Greenwich, CT.  With 121 trails and 667 skiable acres, it is one of the larger mountains in the area and boasts the East’s longest Superpipe (a large halfpipe that remains a perennial favorite for my kids) and 7 terrain parks.  When you’re done skiing for the day, there is also snow tubing, snowmobiling, and a mountain coaster on site. We stay at the Inn at Jackson Gore, which has two full service restaurants, a game room, two pools (one indoor/outdoor located inside the hotel complex and another indoor one, with a slide, in the Spring House next door) and an ice skating rink.  Also, if you’re looking for an adults only dinner, there is a Saturday night Kids Night Out program offered for ages 6 months through 12 years.  Important to note is that Okemo is now part of the Epic Pass, a group of 19 ski resorts nationwide including Vail, Beaver Creek, Whistler, Blackcomb, Breckenridge, Park City, Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood and Stowe that all share one season pass.  If, like us, you tend to ski both locally in the Northeast and out West, this is a great option.

Do you need help packing for your ski trip? Check out our article: What to Pack for a Family Weekend Ski Trip: The Ultimate Packing Guide

Family Friendly Ski Resort 5.5 Hours from NYC: Stowe Mountain Resort, Stowe, VT

Stowe Slayton pasture cabin
Slayton Pasture Cabin in Stowe

Stowe Mountain Resort at 5781 Mountain Road, Stowe, VT (802) 253-3000. Stowe is a family friendly ski resort that is approximately 5.5 hours from NYC.

Travel another hour farther and you come to the delightful town of Stowe, VT and the Stowe Mountain Resort.  This family friendly ski resort is approximately 5.5 hours from NYC located at Mt. Mansfield, the highest peak in Vermont. Stowe boasts 116 trails and 485 skiable acres, as well as a plethora of other activities including ice skating, horseback riding, snowmobiling, ice climbing and sleigh rides.  The Lodge at Spruce Peak (formerly The Stowe Mountain Lodge) is our favorite on-site hotel.  A luxury, ski in/ski out hotel, the Lodge at Spruce Peak offers an outdoor heated pool, indoor climbing wall, game room and special pop up children’s activities such as Laser Tag and Build a Bear workshops.  Another hotel that we really enjoy in the area is the Trapp Family Lodge (yes, those von Trapps).  This family centered, Austrian chalet inspired resort located 7 1/2 miles away is a great option if not everyone in your group is up on skis.  They offer snow-shoeing (a highlight was a 3 mile snow shoe hike to rustic Slayton Pasture Cabin for lunch), on-site cross country skiing, and sleigh rides.  If you do have adventurous and advanced skiers, there are 25 miles of un-groomed, back country skiing available.  The hotel also offers a rock wall, indoor swimming pool and outdoor hot tubs, a daily kids camp and evening movie nights, and family programming including, of course, von Trapp sing-a-longs.  If you want to break up the drive, the Ben & Jerry’s Factory Tour in Waterbury, VT is a good option.  You can take the 30 minute factory tour or just purchase an ice cream cone or sundae (including some special factory-only flavors).

[Get discounted lift tickets! Check out lift ticket deals from Liftopia: Stowe Single Day ticket from $86 (save 12%)]

Are you thinking of skiing out West? Check out our article: Where are the Best Places to Ski in Colorado?

Family Friendly Ski Resort 5 Hours from NYC: Whiteface Mountain, Lake Placid, NY

Dog sled Lake Placid
Dog Sledding at Lake Placid
Bob Sled Experience White Face Mountain
White Face Mountain Bob Sled Experience

Whiteface Mountain at 5021 Route 86, Wilmington, NY (518) 946-2223. Whiteface Mountain is a family friendly ski resort that is approximately 5 hours from NYC.

Nestled in the Adirondacks, Lake Placid is actually one of our favorite family vacation destinations year-round, but has the added Winter bonus of being home to Whiteface Mountain, the highest vertical ski mountain in the Northeast.  Whiteface Mountain is a family friendly ski resort approximately 5 hours away from NYC or 4.5 hours away from Greenwich CT. The mountain offers a number of options for serious skiers, such as their First Tracks Weekend program and The Slides, 35 miles of off-piste double black diamond wilderness skiing.  For non-skiers, Lake Placid also has an incredible amount of off-mountain activities and events to experience.  Host to both the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics, the Olympic spirit still runs strong through this adorable mountain town.  You can tour the Olympic Museum and the Olympic Jumping Complex (and if you’re lucky, watch an Olympic hopeful practicing a jump), watch Figure Skating Exhibitions or ice skate on the Olympic rink, cross country ski on the Olympic course, or brave the Bobsled Experience (my son’s favorite!) where you can ride a bobsled with a professional driver down the Olympic track at 55 mph.  Don’t miss the dogsled rides on Mirror Lake, in the center of town, as well as The Cottage for beautiful lakeside views and a good apres ski scene.  There aren’t any ski in/ski out hotels, but we love the Whiteface Lodge, a luxury resort modeled after the Adirondack Great Camps located 20 minutes from the base of the mountain.  The resort offers a basement entertainment level for kids that includes a full-size movie theater, an old fashioned ice cream parlor, a bowling alley and a game room.  There is also an indoor/outdoor pool, ice skating rink and sledding hill and a complimentary daily kids camp.  Saratoga Springs, NY is at about the half-way point in the drive and a good stopping point.  My husband loves PJ’s BAR-B-QSA, a roadside BBQ with the best smoked brisket and burnt ends.  For a longer stop, venture into historic downtown for Hattie’s Restaurant (amazing fried chicken!) or explore The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame for some horse racing history.

[Get discounted lift tickets! Check out lift ticket deals from Liftopia: Whiteface Single Day ticket from $38 (save 34%)]

Do you need help packing for your ski trip? Check out our article: What to Pack for a Family Weekend Ski Trip: The Ultimate Packing Guide

Discount Ski Lift Tickets within Driving Distance from NYC

If you plan ahead, you don’t have to pay full window ski lift ticket prices! You can buy discount lift tickets from discount sellers like Liftopia, GetSkiTickets and REI. Please know that offers may change and there may be a limited supply of discount ski lift tickets in the 2020-2021 ski season.

New York Discount Ski Lift Tickets

New Jersey Discount Ski Lift Tickets

Pennsylvania Discount Ski Lift Tickets

Vermont Discount Ski Lift Tickets

Note about REI Lift Tickets: REI sells discounted ski lift tickets to REI Co-Op Members only. That means, you will need to be a member to buy the lift tickets. The REI Co-Op membership fee is $20 and the savings you get usually pay for the membership fee. Plus REI Co-Op membership is a lifetime membership that gets you access to in-store REI semi-annual garage sales (50%+ off sales), members-only offers, 10% member dividend and special pricing on classes, rentals and events. Click here for more information on the $20 Lifetime membership at REI.

Massachusetts Discount Ski Lift Tickets

Mont Tremblant Discount Ski Lift Tickets

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Pro Tip: How To Dress for Skiing

The secret to being comfortable on the slopes is to dress in layers. You start with the thermo base layer and leggings. Then you layer over a thin moisture-wicking turtleneck or mid-weight fleece (your choice depending on the temperature). Then you top the layers off with a ski jacketski pants and ski gloves. You need to take care of your neck too with a neckwarmer. If it’s cold, you will want a balaclava instead of a neckwarmer. Then for safety, you need to wear a ski helmet. I suggest buying your own ski helmet instead of renting (it’s more sanitary). You can usually buy discounted ski helmets from Backcountry.com. You won’t feel bad buying kids ski helmets because they are adjustable, so it will last you a few seasons. For your feet, don’t use regular socks, you will need ski socks because they are moisture wicking. I suggest keeping a few toe warmers and hand warmers handy for cold days. Below is a list of all our recommended ski gears for a comfortable day skiing.

About Joanna Y

Joanna is the Content Creator behind My Candid Closet, an Instagram feed following her detail-obsessed, chronically overdressed day to day life and travels featuring collaborations with fashion and lifestyle brands.  She is a passionate mother, a voracious reader, an overzealous coffee table book collection and has a weakness for pink peonies and anything with a monogram.  A former Public Relations Executive, Joanna started her Instagram feed to document her own personal style and share her favorite tips and finds.  Instagram: @mycandidcloset

About Suburbs 101

Suburbs 101 is an online lifestyle guide for the New York Suburbs of Westchester County, Long Island, Fairfield County and Northern New Jersey.  Get the inside scoop on what it’s really like to live in the New York suburbs through our interviews with local suburbanites and features on Food, Fashion, Home, Travel, and Local Events. Be sure to Follow Us on InstagramLike Us on Facebook and subscribe to our Monthly Newsletter.