I’m ashamed to admit that I grew up in New England, but never learned to ski! I can ice skate and ride a rubber tube down a hill with the best of them, but I have never strapped on a pair of skis.
The four ski resorts on this list not only offer killer slopes for experienced skiers and snowboarders, they also have excellent programs for children and beginners like myself. If you or your little ones have “Learn to Ski” on your list of New Year’s resolutions, head to one of these New England resorts this winter!
Mount Snow | West Dover, Vermont
The Ski School at Vermont’s Mount Snow boasts more than 300 instructors to train children as young as three to tackle the slopes. Classes for the youngsters include “Cub Camp’’ for 3-year-olds featuring “magic carpet’’ lifts, “Snow Camp,’’ for ages 4 to 6 which groups kids by ability and age, and “Mountain Camp’’ for skiers ages 7 to 14 who are still beginners. There are also snowboarding programs for kids of the same age.
Inexperienced teens and adults may join the “Learn to Ski’’ program which starts with an indoor introductory session. Instructors take you through boot/ski-fittings and the basics of the sport. You can even choose to take a private one-on-one lesson with one of the talented instructors.
Wachusett Mountain | Princeton, MA
Wachusett is perfect for kids and conveniently located just an hour and change from Boston. They offer Learn to Ski and Learn to Snowboard packages for ages 6 and up starting at just $99 including rental equipment. The “Polar Kids’’ program is for beginners age 4 to 8. They learn on a gentle slope with kids of their own age and ability. There are even snack breaks provided. Older kids from 9 to 12 may join the “Arctic Aces’’ weekend program.
Cranmore Mountain Resort | North Conway, NH
Cranmore has a reputation for being extremely kid-friendly with their beloved penguin mascott, C-more. Their learning programs are designed for ages 3 and up to instill an early love of skiing. The “Ski & Play’’ program is designed for the toddlers and includes a 60-minute private lesson, rental equipment, and lunch followed by child care for just $139 per 3-year-old.
Similar packages are available for 3 to 5 year olds and 4 to 14 year olds depending on skill level. Adult or teen first-timers might opt for the “Beginner Lesson Passport,’’ which includes three 2-hour beginner group lessons, lift tickets, and equipment rental. Snowboarding group packages are available for kids as young as 3 all the way up to adults.
Bretton Woods | North Conway, NH
If you are truly committed to tackling the slopes in 2018, there is no better time than January at Bretton Woods! It’s their annual “Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month’’ where first-timers ages 13 and up can learn to ski or ride for free during the week of Jan. 7 – call 603- 278-3303 to get the deal!
For younger kids, Bretton Woods offers their regular-season “Hobbit Ski School’’ for ages 4 to 12 and “Hobbit Snowboard School’’ for ages 6 to 12. Private and semi-private lessons are also available for ages 3 and up.