Plan to gather the kids and head to the hills during the winter school breaks—no need to head to warmer climates. Winter can be snowy, yet mild, perfect for a family vacation with plenty of activities such as snowshoeing and cross-country (XC) skiing. What families want and need is precisely what a snowshoe or XC ski vacation delivers: multi-generational participation, quality time, and shared memories.
Special touches such as talent shows, treasure hunts, child-friendly classes, and family-style meals help your snowshoe or XC ski vacation become the perfect memorable getaway with your loved ones. In addition, families can find resorts that offer beautiful trails, a carefree atmosphere, and picture-perfect views.
So, without further ado, here are a few suggestions provided by XC Ski Resorts for family-friendly destinations across the U.S.
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Venture to the Northeast for family snowshoeing, tours, and other physical and educational activities.
Trapp Family Lodge, Stowe, Vermont
One of the most famous family resorts is Trapp Family Lodge, where the hills come alive with the Sound of Music. In the Green Mountains of Vermont, Trapp Family Lodge is a paradise for families with outdoor trails, a fitness center, and an indoor pool. Furthermore, there are multiple activities for everyone in the family, even the kiddos.
Choose your snowshoe adventure, and rent a pair of snowshoes at the lodge. Then go solo or with a group to explore the area. Choose from the multiple trails onsite or check the activities calendar for tours and activities (like the Snowshoe Sugar Maple Tour).
Read More: Top Places for Snowshoeing in Stowe, Vermont
Mohonk Mountain House, New Paltz, New York
This Victorian castle resort located 90 miles north of New York City offers complimentary gear to overnight guests to accommodate XC skiers or snowshoers as young as three years old.
You’ll find many complimentary outdoor resort winter activities, including snowshoeing, snow tubing, ice skating, cross-country skiing, and winter hiking.
A stay at Mohonk Mountain House includes bountiful breakfast and lunch buffets, a four-course dinner, and afternoon tea and cookies. You can also partake in yoga and fitness classes, swim in an indoor heated pool with an underwater sound system, or take guided nature walks.
Read More: The Top 10 Resorts for Love on Snowshoes
Smuggler’s Notch Resort, Smuggler’s Notch, Vermont
Rated as our #1 resort for families, Smugglers’ Notch has a dynamic lineup of family programs with 1,000 acres of activities. Choose from family-friendly snowshoe tours and educational excursions, an alpine ski resort, a resort village with shops and restaurants, condo lodging, and walk-to-free shuttles.
There are also XC ski and snowshoe trails, winter walking, ice skating, and more. The recognition for family focus has been awarded by numerous magazines, and it’s the ultimate getaway to bring the family.
Read More: Smugglers’ Notch, Vermont Snowshoe Programs
Lapland Lake Nordic Vacation Center, Northville, New York
Lapland offers a variety of snowshoeing opportunities for the family. First, explore the 12km (7.5 miles) of snowshoe trails with your own snowshoes or rentals from the Lapland. The trails are marked and mapped on the property. Or, if you choose, head off the property onto the Northville-Lake Placid Trail or to Grant Lake. For little ones, parents can use a pulk sled on-site to pull the kids along the trails.
When not snowshoeing, try using a kicksled, go tubing, or try ice skating. Weekends feature bonfires, and the kids love to play Napa Kikku, a Finnish game on ice with a sled and a pole.
Pineland Farms, New Gloucester, Maine
This 5000-acre sustainable working farm in southern Maine features separate trails for XC skiers and snowshoers with on-site adult and youth snowshoe rentals. You can also join their adult programs, including guided snowshoe hikes, women’s hike night, and nature forest therapy walk.
Their family programs serve to educate and connect the community with the land via self-guided tours, a cheese-making and dairy tour, or a story walk. During your stay at the farm, you also try their outdoor ice skating rink for day or night, disc golf course, or fitness center.
Venture to the central part of the U.S. for some family fun and snowshoeing at small getaways or larger resorts.
Palmquist’s Farm, Brantwood, Wisconsin
As the name implies, this 800-acre farm offers kid-friendly animals such as rabbits, horses, cats, and dogs.
In addition to snowshoeing at the farm, there are tubes and sleds to use on sliding hills, cross-country ski trails, and an ice skating pond. Furthermore, enjoy horse-drawn sleigh rides and adult and kid snowshoe rentals. The scavenger hunt for kids is sure to be a big hit!
Crystal Mountain Resort, Thompsonville, Michigan
Snowshoeing for the family is permitted on the entire Crystal Mountain property, except for the downhill runs and the cross-country ski trails. For an artistic outing, snowshoe at the Michigan Legacy Art Park. Equipment rental and trail maps are provided on-site and guided tours.
In addition to snowshoeing at the resort, try fat biking, ice skating, cross-country skiing, archery, an outdoor hot tub, outdoor laser tag, or a horse-drawn carriage ride. So with more than 250 rooms ranging from a standard hotel room to bungalows to full houses, check out the superior accommodations at Crystal Mountain.
View the mountains and rolling landscape with the family or participate in special programs offered for kids at these cozy, family-friendly resorts.
Lone Mountain Ranch, Big Sky, Montana
Stay at one of over 20 cabins offered on the property and bond as a family. Snowshoeing or cross-country skiing on the picturesque trails on the property. Or, try animal tracking, tubing, snow kickball, finger painting, or scavenger hunts. Parents will love the cuisine and relaxing atmosphere.
Montecito Sequoia Lodge, Kings Canyon National Park, California
Visit giant trees in Sequoia National Park and Monument while at the Montecito Sequoia Lodge. With incredible views of Kings Canyon, take a guided snowshoe tour with the family or join in the lodge’s winter activities.
The kids can join the kids’ program and build igloos, go tubing and sledding, or indulge in arts and crafts. At night participate in activities including dancing, karaoke, bingo, and more.
Vista Verde Ranch, Steamboat Springs, Colorado
One of the most welcoming resorts we’ve visited, explore the area on your own or try a guided snowshoe adventure with the family to view the gorgeous mountain scenery.
While staying at Vista Verde, you’ll also find snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, snow tubing, sleigh rides, ice fishing, fat biking, cooking classes, evening entertainment, or plenty of other options. The resort also offers programs for kids and teens so parents can have some time on their own.
For more information, visit www.XCSkiResorts.com.
What are some of your favorite snowshoeing resorts for families? Have you been to any on our list? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
This article was first published on December 20, 2010. It was updated and re-published on December 1, 2022.