As a keen skiier I’ve contemplated taking the kids for years.
However, knowing it’s going to be an insanely expensive holiday I wanted to make sure the kids were old enough to get the most out of it.
After moving temporarily to New Jersey in the USA, and with my youngest now 5 years old, we decided this was the perfect opportunity to hit the slopes.
With numerous world class ski/snowboard resorts on our doorstep, we decided to drive to Killington Ski Resort in Vermont.
Not only is it the largest ski and snowboard resort in the East of America, spanning over 2000 acres, but it’s perfectly suited for skiiers and snowboarders of all abilities.
It’s also only a 5 hour drive from New York so is a popular US skiing destination from the UK.
Date: February 2020
Kids ages: 10, 8 and 5
Ski Season: October to May
Killington Ski Resort
With seven distinct mountain areas and 212 trails to explore, Killington Ski Resort is referred to locally as ‘The Beast’.
Known for it’s endless trails, friendly community, tree lined pistes, excellent lift system and extensive snowmaking coverage, this resort has enough to ignite even the youngest member of the family’s passion for skiing.
As it’s such a vast area, there are two specific zones for beginners.
Beginners – Children
Ramshead Mountain is known as the family zone.
Here kids can learn how to ski in a safe environment without the threat of being knocked over or falling off ski lifts. Instead, they will be taught on novice and intermediate trails and use child friendly carpet lifts.
Beginners – Adults
For adult beginners, Snowshed is your dedicated area.
With the combination of 3 lifts plus carpet lifts and freshly groomed powder, you’ll be skiing with confidence in no time.
Intermediate & Experienced
For the more experienced skiier, you can truly discover the reason why this area is called The Beast!
Home to the second highest mountain in Vermont, Killington Peak at 4241 feet and Pico Peak at 3957 feet, this resort truly towers over its European counterparts.
And with over 70 miles of ski trails, six peaks, 5 base areas, 22 lifts and terrain parks to explore, you are truly spoilt for choice.
There are also plenty of mountain top restaurants and bars to enjoy with spectacular views and delicious food.
We hired our equipment directly from Killington Ski Rentals at the base of the mountain and it couldn’t have been easier.
With staff to assist you at every stage, the entire process was extremely simple and quick.
There is even a dedicated area for younger children so you can ensure that your child gets the right ski boots and equipment.
Here you will also discover a variety of shops where you can pick up any gear you need from ski socks to hats, gloves, salopettes, jackets and souvenirs.
You can book lessons directly at the resort for children aged 2 to 17 years old.
Lessons are either half day or full day (depending on their age) and lunch is included in the longer sessions.
The kids absolutely loved their instructors and I was extremely impressed with the set up.
At the start of the trip, we dropped off three kids who had never skied before and by the end of the trip, the older two joined us up one of the smaller mountains and we skied down together. Absolutely amazing!
Whilst this was the first ski trip where apres ski was more hot cocoa and an early night than drinking the night away, we really enjoyed all the local restaurants after a day on the slopes.
Don’t let this fool you though. Killington is known to have some of the best apres ski on the East Coast.
With restaurants, bars, live music events, brewing companies, spas and winter adventures such as tubing and snowmobiling, there truly is something for everyone.
Check out what’s on offer here.
From the luxurious mountainside Killington Great Resort Hotel with it’s own personal ski bridge accessing the slopes to hotels and motels, you are sure to find something to suit your budget.
For us, after paying for ski lessons, passes and ski hire we decided to budget on the accommodation as we figured we wouldn’t be spending much time in the room.
We stayed at Mountain Sports Inn as not only was it was reasonably priced, but it was super friendly and only a 5 minute drive from the base of the mountain.
Our room was comfortable and spacious enough for a family of 5.
The daily breakfast included in the price of our stay was substantial and set us up for the day and in the evening we made the most of the communal lounge where we watched movies and played games.
Please note, when booking a room for a family of 5 you will be provided with an extra mattress or you can book one of the larger standard rooms which has three queen sized beds.
Overall, our first family ski trip was a huge success.
The kids loved learning a new skill and were so proud of themselves at the end of the holiday. They all said that they wanted to go skiing again.
For me, the scenery was absolutely spectacular and unlike anything I had witnessed skiing in Europe before. It really made the trip for me,
If possible, I highly recommend taking the kids dry slope skiing before your trip. It’s the perfect opportunity to master some of the basics so that you can maximise your time on the mountain.
Invest in some good thermals and ski socks. It can get extremely cold in Vermont and there’s nothing worse than unsuitable clothing *and cold children*.
Book accommodation early as it can get extremely busy during peak times.
Disclaimer: We paid for this entire trip ourselves. All opinions are my own.