Where to Take Your Kids Skiing in NY and Connecticut

There are so many reasons people are fortunate to live in Westchester.  First and foremost, there is the proximity to New York City.  One can jump on the Metro North train and whiz into the city to work, play or eat.  Space is another issue – one can buy a house with a yard in Westchester.  But what some people don’t realize is one valuable reason: SKIING.  There are ski slopes that are less than one hour from our doorstep.  As a result, my kids are growing up to be born skiers.  There are ski slopes in Northern Westchester and Southern Connecticut that can be reached rather easily, making easy one-day trips to the slopes.

Before you go, a few things to remember:

–          Rent your skis and boots in advance at Pedigree Ski Shop in White Plains.  It’s much less expensive than renting them on the premises and you get coupons for ski lifts and passes included in the rental package.  You will also avoid long rental lines on busy weekends.

–          Look up all information about a resort before you leave home – check opening and closure times, as well as times of classes and ski school.   You can also check the amount of snow (although many of these resorts also make man-make snow.)

–          You can buy warm garments at these ski resorts, but it’s certainly better and easier not to forget anything.   The prices are higher than average and there’s always the chance that they won’t have what you need.

–          On a holiday weekend, be sure to get an early start to avoid long lines.

–          Make sure you get helmets for your children.  Keep them as safe as possible.

–          Keep your children fed and hydrated.  Skiing takes a lot out of a child.

–          Lastly, be sure to know where your children are at all times.  When they are in ski school, that’s the best time for you to catch some quality ski time.

Here are three ski resorts that are extremely child-friendly and are really close to NYC:

–          Thunder Ridge Ski Resort is located up the 684 and is approximately one-hour from New York City.  Pros: good snow (real and homemade), pleasant staff, reasonably priced and efficiently run ski school for children, easy sloped for children, babysitting is only $10 an hour.  Cons: crowded at times with long lift lines, only a few slopes so there’s not much variety, slightly greasy food in the cafeteria with no healthy options.  Given the cons, we still highly recommend Thunder Ridge.  It’s a short drive and an easy way to get your children familiar with the sport.  Just don’t compare it to Lake Tahoe or Park City and you’ll be just fine.

–          Mohawk Mountain Ski Area is about two hours from NYC in Cornwall, Connecticut.    Pros: great snow (real and homemade), well marked trails, new lifts, excellent ski school for children with extensive programming, challenging trails for adults, on-mountain restaurant, less crowded than Thunder Ridge.  Cons: slightly further than Thunder Ridge, slightly more expensive than Thunder Ridge but not very much.  This is more of a ski experience.

–          Mountain Creek Mountain House is about one hour  from New York City in Vernon, NJ.   Pros:  good snow, family-friendly, good views, close to NYC, lodging options on premises, good for first-timers . Cons: crowded on weekends, not cheap.

If you don’t mind driving further, check out Hunter Mountain and Windham Mountain.

So, whether you want to stay close or go further from your house to introduce or nurture your kid’s love of skiing, check out some of the above-mentioned ski resorts.

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this review nor did I receive anything in exchange for it.  All opinions expressed are my own.

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  1. Butternut is also a good place for families to ski!

  2. You should also check out Mount Peter in Warwick, NY about 50 miles from NYC. Family oriented place. Free beginner lessons on weekends and holidays. mtpeter.com

  3. Are you familiar with Sundown in CT?
    I have family that lives close by and I could stay with them for the weekend.
    I’m taking my 3 year old son on the mountain/ snow for the 1 st time,, we live in FL!
    Looking for advice to make it as enjoyable as possible for him.


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