(credit: Beaver Creek Resort)
Once the snow hits, a few days at one of the many local ski resorts is a wonderful way to enjoy the season with the whole family. However, if your kids haven’t learned how to ski, then you’ll want to start with some professional lessons. Just about every major ski resort offers lessons of some kind, but the best have integrated programs for different skill levels and other fun amenities that are included. Whether you are looking for some private classes for the whole family, or you want to separate for a few hours so mom and dad can hit the slopes while the kids learn the basic skills, here are some of the best resorts in Colorado offering fantastic family-friendly lessons.
Telluride Ski Resort
565 Mountain Village Blvd.
Telluride, CO 81435
The Telluride Ski Resort Children’s Ski and Snowboard School is the perfect place to bring the whole family for a day of learning on the slopes. Children are separated into different programs for age-specific educational experiences. Kids ages seven to 14 can learn snowboarding while ages three to 14 are able to take lessons for skiing. There are even some family-friendly mascots to enjoy while the kids are there. The kids will love having their pictures taken with Olivia the Otter, Morris the Bear and Eddie the Eagle, who help teach about safety on the slopes as well as the history and environment of Telluride.
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Beaver Creek Resort
40 Village Road
Avon, CO 81620
Located about eight miles west of Vail, Beaver Creek is home to one of the best ski schools in the state. There is a dedicated kids area with its own gondola called the Buckaroo Express, a family-friendly restaurant and plenty of age-appropriate classes. Right near the Buckaroo Express, be on the lookout for the Centennial chairlift, where the chefs offer up warm chocolate chip cookies every day at 3 p.m. There is also an ice rink in Beaver Creek, so if you want to take a break from the slopes, you can still enjoy some other wintertime fun as a family.
Breckenridge Ski Resort
1599 Co Road 3
Breckenridge, CO 80424
There is a lot to do for families in Breckenridge so you may want to arrange for a long weekend or even a full week. The ski school offers classes for kids as young as three years old and snowboarding lessons for ages seven to 12. There is also a program called the Peak Adventure Series which offers different mountain adventures to different skill levels. The adventures include things like race runs, beginning half pipes and other kids trails, all of which take about three days to complete and everyone who finishes receives a special award. If your kids are too young for the slopes, there is also childcare offered at two different Breckenridge Children’s Centers.
Related: Best Ski Areas For Kids In Colorado
Copper Mountain Ski Resort
0509 Copper Road
Copper Mountain, CO 80443
Ready for lots of family fun? Head to Copper Mountain this winter for all of the wintertime activities you can handle. There are youth lessons for ages three to five which include special instruction for the youngest of skiers. The lessons even include lunch and real-time GPS tracking so mom and dad always know where the kids are. For the older group, ages six to 15, there are different lessons offered, with lots of chances to ski with other kids their own age and to explore lots of cool trails. The family can also head to the nearby tubing hill and just have a ton of fun slipping and sliding down the massive hill together, or you can take a family sleigh ride in the woods. There are lots of great family ways to make some memories at Copper Mountain.
Vail Ski Resort
Vail, CO 81657
Vail is probably the best-known ski resort in Colorado, and for good reason. In addition to all the swanky restaurants and amazing shops, Vail is also home to the biggest ski area in North America, with more than 5,000 acres of terrain to explore. The whole family can have fun at the tube park, with its own covered lift, or take some lessons and enjoy the wonderful kids program. Lessons range from beginner to expert, or you can book private instruction for the whole family. All instructors cover everything your kids will need to know to have a blast on the slopes this winter.
Deborah Flomberg is a theater professional, freelance writer and Denver native. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.