12 Best New York Ski Resorts For Families

by Alaina Johnson | Updated On: June 27th, 2022
Holiday-Ski

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It can be difficult to find the most family-friendly ski resort in New York when there are so many great options to choose from! I struggled to find one that offered all of the amenities I was looking for, which is why I compiled this list!

There’s the expansive acreage of Gore Mountain and the scenic and history-rich Whiteface at Lake Placid. Hunter Mountain is also a strong contender due to its extensive snowmaking system — so you’ll always be guaranteed quality skiing! These resorts are the best of what New York has to offer.

Our Top Picks

    12. Buffalo Ski Club

    Ski Resort 1

    Buffalo Ski Club is located in Colden, New York, and is a popular stop for residents of nearby Buffalo. There is a variety of terrain for families to explore, ranging from beginner-level slopes to advanced slopes for those who are familiar with the sport.

    With over 40 trails, families are sure to have a jam-packed winter vacation full of thrilling slopes and memories that will last a lifetime.

    Fun for Kids

    Buffalo offers their PSIA certified instructors who teach both private and group lessons to students of all ages and ability levels. The Tamarack Lodge is where the ski school is located, as well as the ticket office and cafeteria. Students will enjoy the family-friendly atmosphere and will surely find a lifelong love of the winter sport.

    There are also weekly children’s ski programs available for those who live in the nearby area.

    Family Skiing

    Due to Buffalo Ski Club not having rental equipment available on the property, it’s recommended that families bring their own gear. With nearly 50% of the trails listed as intermediate, it’s a good combination of challenge and comfort and the kids still have quite a few “beginner” trails to choose from.

    Off the Slopes

    Families can retreat back to the lodge to enjoy a warm meal and beverage after skiing to their heart’s desire. With such a community-forward atmosphere — guests will enjoy the camaraderie between the employees and other guests.

    What We Love About Buffalo Ski Club:

    • Community-oriented atmosphere
    • Large acreage with trails spread out
    • Night skiing available during the evening
    • Close to Buffalo metropolitan area

    Buffalo Ski Club Stats

    Summit Elevation:34290 ft / 1045 metres
    Skiable terrain: 225 acres
    Lifts:6
    Runs:43

    11. Labrador Mountain

    Ski Resort 6

    Labrador Mountain is a great destination for central New York residents when they want to hit the slopes for the day. It can get crowded on the weekends, so it’s best to try for a weekday if at all possible.

    The mountain offers fairly priced packages for ski lessons — for kids and adults. Labrador makes a low-pressure place to learn to ski for the first time and many locals enjoy coming back year after year to create new memories.

    Fun for Kids

    The Labrador Mountain “learn-to-ski” package for kids 8-years-old and above costs $50 and includes the beginner area ski lift, rentals, and a group lesson. While the kids are taking their lessons and learning the ins and outs of skiing, parents can go off on their own and hit a few slopes.

    Family Skiing

    Labrador Mountain offers 20 trails for skiing and 17 of those are lit up for night skiing — which is a popular activity on the mountain. The trails are nicely groomed, so they’re enjoyable to go down and everyone stays safe from bare patches and random clumps of snow.

    Off the Slopes

    After a day on the mountain, families can head to the Puffinbird restaurant — which is open for lunch and dinner. They offer classic takes on American pub fare and also stock a variety of craft beers for the parents to enjoy.

    What We Love About Labrador Mountain:

    • Private lessons for any age (get them started young!)
    • One ticket for two mountains — Labrador and Song
    • Beautifully groomed trails
    • Most trails are lit up for night skiing

    Labrador Mountain Stats

    Summit Elevation:1825 ft / 556.26 metres
    Skiable terrain: 250 acres
    Lifts:4
    Runs:23

    10. Cazenovia

    Ski Resort 7

    Cazenovia is a private ski area but it opens to the general public on the weekends. It’s a hidden gem of a spot and offers guests some amazing skiing opportunities with a great family-oriented feel.

    Fun for Kids

    While there is no tubing available at Cazenovia, kids will love trying out the various trails around the property. Snowboarding and skiing are encouraged, so your kid can choose whichever they prefer. Once tired, kids will love grabbing a slice of pizza at Caz Pizza nearby.

    Family Skiing

    If you’re not a member, you’ll need to arrive at Cazenovia on the weekends when it opens to the general public. With 13 trails, there is something for everyone — even if you’re just getting your feet wet in the sport.

    Off the Slopes

    Brewster Inn Restaurant is a popular spot to grab a bite to eat after being in the winter cold all day and families can stay at nearby Bra Lock Inn, which is a Scotland-inspired property and sure to delight all of its guests.

    What We Love About Cazenovia:

    • A private ski area means fewer crowds
    • Family-oriented environment
    • Some of the steepest trails in New York state
    • Open to the general public on the weekends

    Cazenovia Stats

    Summit Elevation:955 ft / 291 metres
    Skiable terrain: 25 acres
    Lifts:3
    Runs:n/a

    9. Oak Mountain

    Ski Resort 4

    Oak Mountain is a ski area in New York that offers both skiing and snowboarding accommodations and also has a tubing park for guests! It’s a great bargain for the price and if your family doesn’t plan on staying the full day — you can purchase a 4-hour ticket instead.

    See also  6 Best Wyoming Ski Resorts For Families

    Fun for Kids

    Oak Mountain’s ski and snowboard school help the little ones tackle the slopes with ease and confidence and the experienced staff will even help fit them for their boots to ensure the proper fit.

    Family Skiing

    Oak Mountain is a great spot to learn how to ski and families can take lessons together if everyone is new to the sport. You’ll learn to balance, stop, turn, and even how to get up after you inevitably fall!

    Off the Slopes

    Once families are done for the day, they can grab a bite to eat and settle in a nearby lodging accommodation for the evening. Oak Mountain is sure to wear even the most energetic child out and everyone can get a great night of sleep before hitting the snow again the next day.

    What We Love About Oak Mountain:

    • Beautiful views of the surrounding area
    • Not overly crowded compared to larger parks
    • Private lessons for families available by the hour
    • Ability to ski on a 4-hour day pass

    Oak Mountain Stats

    Summit Elevation:2400 ft / 731 metres
    Skiable terrain: 46 acres
    Lifts:4
    Runs:22

    8. Catamount

    Catamount
    Photo by Massachusetts Office Of Travel & Tourism at licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

    Catamount Mountain Resort is one of the best mid-sized ski parks on the Eastern coast of the United States and it offers its guests varied terrain with a family-oriented feeling. All ski and snowboarders, regardless of ability, are welcome.

    Fun for Kids

    Kids will love the snow tubing that’s covered with 100% snowmaking, ensuring that it stays open all season. Catamount even offers a season-long program that allows kids to explore the mountain with experienced instructors.

    Family Skiing

    Families will enjoy taking on the 43 trails at Catamount (40 of which are covered by snowmaking!) which offer a varied level of terrain. Being such an easy 2-hour drive from NYC, families can make it a day trip or stay the night at the lodge after a long day.

    Off the Slopes

    For famished families who have been skiing all day, Catamount offers BBQ and Mexican food, as well as a coffee shop to give you that extra burst of energy to take on some night skiing.

    What We Love About Catamount:

    • Catamount Zip Tour — longest dual zip line in the USA
    • First Timer package available at a great value
    • The neatly groomed snow tubing hill
    • Night skiing multiple times a week

    Catamount Stats

    Summit Elevation:2000 ft / 610 metres
    Skiable terrain: 133 acres
    Lifts:8
    Runs:42

    7. Greek Peak

    skiresort3

    Founded in 1958, Greek Peak is central New York’s largest ski resort and it’s a popular spot for many people looking to get away from the city. While not as expansive as Gore Mountain, there are over 50 trails to ride and explore — from beginner slopes to terrain parks.

    Greek Peak may be smaller but they keep over 200 certified ski instructors on staff to offer lessons and tips to all of their guests. There is a strong history behind the children’s program and it’s one that many parents are fond of.

    Fun for Kids

    Kids will enjoy the structured day schedule of their lessons and will be able to show off their new skills to mom and dad at the end of the day. Greek Peak offers terrain-based learning, which allows children to pick up skills quicker.

    Family Skiing

    Of the 50+ trails located on the mountain, there are 20 that are beginner-friendly. Even if this is your family’s first season skiing, there will be plenty of opportunities to test the waters before taking on something more challenging. Greek Peak also offers night skiing, which can be a fun excursion once the sun sets for the day.

    Off the Slopes

    Once the whole family is tired and wants to get out of their heavy ski boots — you can head to one of several dining venues for a bite to eat. Carvers Steakhouse and Trax Pub and Grill are popular and delicious options. You may also want to check out the full-service Nordic center that offers cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails.

    What We Love About Greek Peak:

    • Terrain-based learning opportunities
    • Children’s care facility with a large playroom
    • Located in the beautiful Finger Lakes region of New York
    • Rental shop to take care of all your equipment needs

    Greek Peak Stats

    Summit Elevation:2100 ft / 642
    Skiable terrain: 220 acres
    Lifts:8
    Runs:55

    6. Gore Mountain

    6. gore mountain

    When it comes to the most skiable terrain in New York, Gore Mountain holds the title with over 400 skiable acres for guests to explore and enjoy. There is plenty of terrain that is suitable for families at the base of the mountain and with the trails being so spread out, crowds are less of an issue compared to some resorts.

    Gore is the sister mountain to Whiteface and has plenty to offer to families, though not the enriching Olympic history. There are still beautiful views to be had and a sense of natural wonder that has been left unspoiled by commercial development.

    Fun for Kids

    Gore Mountain offers a full range of services for children as well as skiing lessons to teach them the basics of how to take on the slopes. Gore Mountain is more of an intermediate to an advanced mountain, so there are fewer green runs and bunny slopes compared to other large resorts.

    If your kids have already been skiing for a few years, Gore will be perfect as everyone can tackle the intermediate slopes and then work their way up.

    See also  6 Best Montana Ski Resorts for Families

    Family Skiing

    Families will enjoy the high-quality skiing available at Gore and won’t worry about the chaos of the crowds ruining their vacation. There is plenty of room for guests to move about undisturbed during their ski trip. The majority of the trails at Gore are intermediate and above, so it’s best that guests have an idea of what they’re doing.

    Off the Slopes

    Once your family is worn out and ready to recharge, you can head towards the lodge to relax for the evening and refuel with a variety of food options. With over 110 trails located on the mountain, it’s likely that everyone will be ready to kick their boots off and rest up for the next day of adventure.

    What We Love About Gore Mountain:

    • Close drive (1.5 hours) from Albany, New York
    • Prices are a bit cheaper due to it being government-run
    • Four peaks with seven distinct faces
    • Largest ski resort in the state of New York

    Gore Mountain Stats

    Summit Elevation:3600 ft / 1097 metres
    Skiable terrain: 448 acres
    Lifts:14
    Runs:108

    5. Titus Mountain

    skiresort5

    If you’re looking for family-friendly skiing in the Adirondacks, look no further than Titus Mountain. Located in Malone, New York — Titus Mountain is only a short drive away from the city of Pittsburgh and even from Northern Vermont for people wanting to hop the border to ski.

    Compared to the larger resorts, there are comparably very short lines at Titus and you won’t have to wade through the crowds to get to the lifts. There is also night skiing, which is popular amongst the guests.

    Fun for Kids

    The kids will love checking out the tubing hill, which offers long paths that offer thrills and adrenaline for guests young and old. The family ski center offers reasonably priced lessons for the young kids and the instructors provide patience and thoughtful tips in order to make skiing as fun as possible.

    Family Skiing

    Titus Mountain is ideal for families who are newer to skiing, as those who have advanced skills may find themselves a bit bored. However, it’s a great deal for beginner-intermediate level skiers as they can take on the vast majority of the trails.

    There are three terrain parks, which give guests the ability to try out any skills that they’ve picked up and want to practice. Being such a family-friendly resort, kids can join in on the fun and try out a half-pipe for themselves without getting skied over by a bunch of teenagers.

    Off the Slopes

    Families can head back to their cozy cabin after a long day on the slopes — and at only $275 a night, they’re quite a deal. This is a unique concept compared to the lodges that are dominant at most other large resorts and gives families the opportunity for more privacy.

    What We Love About Titus Mountain:

    • Cabins that guests can ski in and out of
    • Quaint and cozy charm for guests looking to get away from the crowds
    • Affordable ski packages are available
    • High-quality skiing lessons with patient instructors

    Titus Mountain Stats

    Summit Elevation:2025 ft / 617 metres
    Skiable terrain: 200 acres
    Lifts:10
    Runs:50

    4. Whiteface – Lake Placid

    Whiteface
    Photo by Marco Metzler at licensed under CC BY 2.0

    Whiteface located at Lake Placid has some of the most beautiful scenery around and there is no shortage of family-friendly activities for your winter vacation. During the drive into the resort, you’ll have your breath taken away by the expansive views and the visual drama of the High Peaks Region.

    This area is unique as it has hosted the Olympic games not once, but twice! There is a proud history of skiing on these slopes and it’s something guests can fully immerse themselves in on their trip.

    Fun for Kids

    The kiddos will love the bobsled track that takes turns at a whopping 55 mph! This is a truly unique touch to the resort that goes back to the Olympic days of the park. Kids can also attend the Bears Den Nursery and Snow Sports School while mom and dad go off on their own adventures.

    Family Skiing

    If your family is relatively new to skiing, you’ll be happy to hear that the beginner terrain was thoughtfully designed in that Bear Den is also where all the lessons are taught. You can brush up on the basics and hit the trails immediately

    Off the Slopes

    If you want to take a down day, a popular thing to take your family to is the Olympic Museum where you can take in the history of the area and see the gold medalists who once skied in the same area. The charming village area is lined with lights and shops and it makes for a relaxing family walk after dinner.

    There is also dog sledding available on the lake, which kids are sure to get a kick out of. The village of Lake Placid is only 10 miles away from the mountain and it has been consistently ranked as one of the best ski towns in the East.

    What We Love About Whiteface – Lake Placid:

    • Charming ski village for the classic atmosphere
    • Highest vertical drop of any resort located east of the Rocky Mountains
    • A multitude of restaurants, bars, and bistros for the evening time
    • Enriching history from the Olympics that were hosted in the area

    Whiteface – Lake Placid Stats

    Summit Elevation:4650 ft / 1417 metres
    Skiable terrain: 299 acres
    Lifts:11
    Runs:89

    3. Holiday Valley

    skiresort2-1

    Holiday Valley has a loyal following and it’s beloved by skiers whether they’re a beginner or an expert who’s been skiing for decades. It’s near several major cities — Buffalo, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and even Toronto.

    Fun for Kids

    You can entrust your young ones to the PSIA and AASI certified ski instructors who are highly experienced and are trained on all of the most up-to-date training techniques. Kids can begin private lessons as young as 3-years-old and group lessons between 4-11-years-old. The Snowsports School is a highly renowned facility that prioritizes safety on the mountain.

    See also  3 Best Alaska Ski Resorts for Families

    Family Skiing

    If families are looking to introduce their younger kids to a terrain park, Holiday Valley offers up the Mardi Gras Rail Park for beginners. This allows kids to learn at their own pace without being overwhelmed by the experts who often dominate the terrain parks at other resorts.

    Parents can hit the slopes by themselves while the kids are enrolled in the dual daycare + ski school program — then everyone can ski together at the end of the day and show off what they’ve learned. The park also offers snowshoeing and cross country skiing opportunities if you’re looking for a change of pace.

    Off the Slopes

    Located near Tannenbaum Lodge is the Sky Flyer Mountain Coaster — which is a big hit with the children (and their parents!). This is a ride that takes guests through the snowy woods and it’s a unique feature offered by Holiday Valley.

    What We Love About Holiday Valley:

    • The Sky Flyer Mountain Coaster ride
    • Highly qualified ski school with experienced instructors
    • The high powered snowmaking system
    • Tubing park with 20 lanes + the special “Li’l Tubers” area for children under 7

    Holiday Valley Stats

    Summit Elevation:2250 ft / 686 metres
    Skiable terrain: 290 acres
    Lifts:13
    Runs:60

    2. Windham Mountain

    Windham Mountain
    Photo by Sarah Lou at licensed under CC BY 2.0

    Windham Mountain is another popular ski destination in the Catskills and it has a wide range of winter-related activities to offer to families who are looking for a good time. There is a great balance between beginner, intermediate, and advanced skiing trails — depending on the ability level of your family.

    The mountain is an easy trip from the big city of Manhattan and there is a quaint small-town charm that is lacking at Hunter Mountain. Windham has a 97% snowmaking capability, so regardless of weather and recent snowfall, you’re sure to be in for some great skiing.

    Fun for Kids

    Kids can enjoy the green runs on the mountain while they’re still trying to get a feel for their skis and they can even pick up a lesson or two from the instructors working on the mountain. Being such a family-friendly atmosphere, kids are prioritized and they’re encouraged to grow their skillsets at their own pace.

    Family Skiing

    If your family has some experience with skiing, you’re in luck because Windham Mountain has dedicated nearly 50% of its trails to intermediate skiers. If your family is still a bit green, the Wanderer trail is a must ski for those starting out and it’s the longest green run on the mountain.

    Off the Slopes

    Once you’ve put up your skis for the day, you can head on over to the main base lodge to enjoy a wide choice of dining selections. There are also condominiums available for guests if you’d prefer to go that route.

    For families who are looking to avoid some of the crowds found at Hunter Mountain, Windham offers a great alternative and still offers many of the same amenities and activities for their guests.

    What We Love About Windham Mountain:

    • The charming Winwood Inn is only 1 mile from the mountain
    • The family-oriented atmosphere around the town
    • Multiple terrain parks that allow skiers to practice their tricks safely
    • Night skiing available on some of the lower runs

    Windham Mountain Stats

    Summit Elevation:3100 ft / 945 metres
    Skiable terrain: 285 acres
    Lifts:11
    Runs:54

    1. Hunter Mountain

    Hunter Mountain
    Photo by Rym DeCoster at licensed under CC BY 2.0

    Hunter Mountain is one of the most popular ski resorts in the Catskills region and for great reason — as it boasts of the “Most Powerful Snowmaking System in the World” that has the ability to cover 100% of the trails within the park.

    There are four separate and distinct mountain faces on Hunter Mountain, which allows guests a wide variety of terrain that spans from beginner-friendly to more advanced trails. No matter your ability level, you’ll be able to find trails perfect for you at the resort.

    Fun for Kids

    If your kiddos are new to skiing, Hunter Mountain provides in-depth lessons taught by experienced and qualified instructors. A quarter of the trails located on the mountain are beginner-friendly, so there will be plenty for your children to practice on once they learn the basics.

    Family Skiing

    Families can take on Hunter One for some great beginner to intermediate level terrain — while the more daring and experienced members of your group can head on over to Hunter West, which has steep double black diamond trails (some of the steepest in the Catskills!).

    Off the Slopes

    After a long day of skiing, families can hit the snow tubing lanes for a couple of hours or head to the lodge to relax and unwind. The resort also offers to snowmobile and snowshoeing if you’re looking to switch out your skis for a new experience.

    There is limited shopping on the mountain but there are plenty of dining options ranging from pizza, burgers, BBQ, and even sushi! Once the kids are tucked in for the evening, parents can enjoy a nightcap at the lodge.

    What We Love About Hunter Mountain:

    • Less than 3 hours from New York City
    • Wide variety of terrain (beginner slopes to double black diamond trails)
    • Spa treatments available
    • Top of the line rental equipment available

    Hunter Mountain Stats

    Summit Elevation:3200 ft / 975.36 metres
    Skiable terrain: 320 acres
    Lifts:13
    Runs:67

    Why Choose New York for Skiing

    There is no shortage of high-quality skiing to be found in the state of New York. Most of these resorts offer lessons for children so you can get them started with a love for winter sports while they’re young!

    Our overall pick for the best New York ski resort for families is Whiteface Mountain at Lake Placid. Nothing beats the beautiful scenery and families can immerse themselves in the rich history of previous winter Olympics held there — plus, the bobsled ride is truly a memory you won’t forget!


    How Did We Order This List?

    To help rank our top selection of ski resorts for this list we compared the following ranking factors:

    👨‍👩‍👦 Ranking Factor📈 Power to affect Rank
    Amount of Beginner Trails (Mi) 4x
    Amount of Skiing Area (Mi) 3x
    Cost of two adult tickets + child ticket1x
    How many magic carpet lifts1x

    We gave each factor its own weighting depending on how important we feel it is for family fun across all ages. For example, a resort with more beginner trails is higher ranked than a resort with a lower-priced family ticket – with all else being equal. That’s because while cost is a factor, it’s not a primary one. We may also use our editorial judgment to remove or add resorts that we believe should make the list.

    When taking all of this into account, it gives us our awesome list above. We hope it was helpful in planning your next family ski vacation.


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    Best Ski Resorts for Families In New York

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