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Utah's Kid Ski Culture

Supporting Tiny Skiers for a Lifetime of Fun

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Sundance's Bearclaw Cabin   |  Marc Piscotty
Offspring of the winter-inclined may be born with ski legs, but that doesn't mean there aren't extra considerations for planning a family ski trip (like how and what to pack). And for those completely new to skiing and snowboarding, it's a whole other ballgame. To help you from bottom of the mountain to the top — and back down again — we've assembled some of Utah's best resorts for families, tips for starting ski school, and a few ideas for keeping things fun both on the slope and off. Your Utah family ski vacation starts here.

Watch the tiny grommets barrel down the mountain on miniature skis and snowboards with no fear, their parents trailing their tracks screaming, “Pizza, pizza!” Entry to snow sports for kids is simple, and family-based deals and amenities keep growing and evolving with every ski season. Utah loves teaching kids to ski and snowboard while keeping things fun for parents, too (Read: “When Ski School's in Session, Parents Head for the Powder”).

Ski schools abound at resorts throughout the state, and their instructors teach with loads of patience to help skiers of tomorrow start out right. Many families place their child in ski school for the morning to learn the basics and to give parents some quality ski time alone, and then all ski together as a family in the afternoon. (And don't forget, adults can always get better, too).

Resorts offer plenty of deals to get kids of all ages up on skis or snowboards and get a jump on learning the skills necessary to continue for the rest of the season. (Read: “Family and Budget Guide to the One and Only Ski City: Salt Lake”)

Ready to conquer ski school.

Photo: Marc Piscotty

Sundance Mountain Resort

Photo: Marc Piscotty

Finding my ski legs at Snowbird.

Photo: Marc Piscotty

Tired quads? Switch up the activity to something fresh like tubing.

Photo: Michael Kunde

More Snow Sports

If your family is Nordic-sport inclined, plenty of spots around the state are happy to support your adventures. Nordic centers, often with family-friendly tours available, can be found at Alta Ski AreaPark City MountainCherry Peak ResortSnowbasin ResortSolitude Mountain Resort and Sundance Mountain Resort. Sundance Mountain Resort has more than nine miles of dedicated cross-country terrain and another six miles for snowshoeing. Snowbasin is a prime spot, featuring 16 miles of cross-country trails from beginner to advanced. Learn more about cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

Off-the-Slopes Fun

Their energy on the slopes may seem endless, but eventually, even the most dedicated young learner needs a break. Check out top local picks for off-the-slopes winter fun.

Switch up the activity to something fresh like snow tubing. Ski resorts such as Brian Head, Cherry Peak and Snowbasin have lift-served tubing hills, making it easy to break up the day’s itinerary of activities. Woodward Park City is another great option. The world-class action sports facility offers camps and lessons in ski, snowboard, mountain bike, skateboard, scooter, parkour, cheer and BMX. In addition to terrain parks, half pipes and ski runs, Woodward includes lighted and lift-serviced tubing. 

Soldier Hollow in Wasatch Mountain State Park near Midway has 1,200-foot-long tubing lanes — the state’s longest. Slide there during the day or night, and lifts will allow you to get in as many runs as you can take.

Former Backcountry CEO Jill Layfield's Tips for Preventing Mid-Slope Meltdowns

  1. Layer up. A cold kid is a grumpy kid. Bring plenty of extra layers, dry socks and hand warmers.

  2. Embrace the bribe. Offer gummy bears for a mid-run reward and promise hot chocolate at the end of a good day.

  3. Bring a backpack. Great for extra layers of clothing, gear, accessories, snacks and sneakers for last minute boot changes.

  4. Make an early exit. Calling it a day before they run out of steam will mean more energy and enthusiasm for tomorrow.

Read more tips on how to pack

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When Ski School's in Session, Parents Head for the Powder

Written By Jill Robinson

5 minute read

Utah offers the best winter vacations for families at some of the best ski resorts for kids. With plenty of children’s programs, activities and ski school. Let’s ski!

Adventure, Family, Guided Experiences, Skiing, Ski Resorts

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