Hit the slopes with the kids this winter and go skiing. There are options for every skill level at these spots in NJ and beyond.
You don’t have to go far to learn to ski. Mountain Creek in Vernon is NJ’s highest skiiable vertical with eight lifts, four peaks, night skiing and three terrain parks for kids who want to practice their snowboarding tricks. If you have beginners in your crew, Campgaw Mountain in Mahwah has a handful of trails and offers lessons for all ages and skill levels. The newest slope on the block is Big SNOW (expected to open December 5), offering year-round skiing in a temperature-controlled environment inside East Rutherford’s American Dream. The goal: Teach everyone to ski with packages including slope time, rentals and lessons (costs vary if you bring your own equipment).
When you’re ready to start conquering bigger mountains, work your way north. The family-operated Mount Peter in Warwick offers ski and snowboard school (free with the purchase of a lift ticket). Pete’s Pals teaches toddlers the basics of skiing for an additional fee. Hunter Mountain in Hunter offers more than 300 skiable acres, 13 lifts and 67 trails, plus four freestyle terrain parks. If she’s ready to feel like an Olympian, there’s no better place than Whiteface Lake Placid. One of the hosts of the 1980 Winter Olympics, Whiteface offers intense expert trails and big vertical drops. You can even try bobsledding or taking a gondola ride to catch some amazing panoramic views from the top of the ski jump tower.
Across the Pennsylvania border, the fam can tackle black diamonds at Tannersville’s Camelback Mountain, then swap skis for swimsuits at the on-site indoor water park, Aquatopia. The resort also offers full-service adaptive skiing and snowboarding lessons, so those with special needs can hit the slopes, too. At Shawnee Mountain Ski Area in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, you can take on 23 slopes and trails, two terrain parks and even snow tubing. If the kids are just starting out, sign them up for lessons as early as age 3. Boasting some of the biggest vertical drops on the East Coast, Stowe Mountain Resort in Stowe, VT is worth a weekend trip. If you’re the family member who doesn’t ski, hang in the lodge or explore the quaint town known for its food and drink scene. For that mountain feel and a shorter drive, try Mount Snow in West Dover, VT. The resort offers downhill options and terrain parks, plus snowmobiling tours, tubing and dogsledding.