Everybody remembers their first trip to the ski hill as a kid. The steep terror of the "beginner" slope, the pain of squeezing tiny feet into tinier plastic boots, Mom and Dad abandoning you with an overeager Aussie instructor who insisted on calling you Peanut... No? Maybe that was just us. Maybe you remember the thrill of being young and in the outdoors, and the freedom that skis suddenly offered, and the hot chocolate that always ended every day. Skiing as a kid can be one of the best experiences of youth, but it can also be one of the worst. (Right, Peanut?) That's why choosing the best resort for your kids is an important step in the evolution of a skiing family. For your kids, you want excellent ski schools, convenient and smooth learner slopes, and just as much off the hill -- ice skating rink! -- as on it. For yourself, you want trustworthy ski schools, worthwhile terrain, and just as much fun off the hill -- spa day! -- as on it. Lucky for you and your family, Parents magazine has rated the Top 10 places in ski country for families. (Sure, we at SKI Magazine have our own best-for-families lists here and here, but we know when to leave the parenting advice to the experts.) Parents worked with tourism boards to research inns, lodges and resorts that cater to families to come up with their Top 10 list:
1. Jackson Gore Inn at Okemo, Vt.
2. The Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa at Beaver Creek, Colo.
3. The Lodge at Suncadia near Snoqualmie, Wash.
4. Mount Washington Resort in Bretton Woods, N.H.
5. The Peaks Resort & Golden Door Spa in Telluride, Colo.
6. Woodloch Pines in Hawley, Penn. (near Ski Big Bear and other resorts)
7. Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vt.
8. Crystal Mountain Resort & Spa in Thompsonville, Mich.
9. Resort at Squaw Creek in Lake Tahoe, Calif.
10. Dakota Mountain Lodge & Golden Door Spa in Park City, Utah