An Insider's Guide to the Best Family-Friendly Winter Activities at Killington Mountain Resort

The ultimate family resort
The ultimate family resort Killington Mountain Resort
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If you are searching for the ultimate family ski resort, a place where your children will not only learn great technique but also become truly passionate about snow sports, then look no further than Killington Mountain Resort. The Killington Snow Sports School won the 2014-2015 National Ski Areas Association’s Conversion Cup, distinguishing Killington as the best place in the nation to learn to ski. Throw in trailside lodging, heated swimming pools, kid-friendly après-ski activities, and free skiing for anyone under six years old, and you have the perfect family winter getaway.

Although some might find the sheer size of Killington overwhelming, all of the children's instructional programs, snow-play area, day care, rental facilities, and other family amenities can be found at the Ramshead mountain area. The trails at Ramshead are set apart from the rest of the mountain to reduce congestion and create a positive and gentle experience for first time skiers.

A ski-through underpass connects Ramshead to Snowshed, another region of the resort that is entirely dedicated to beginners. The learning terrain on these two mountains are serviced by magic carpet lifts, which provide kids and new skiers with a fun and nonthreatening ride to the top.

Killington offers childcare and instruction for the smallest members of the family. The Friendly Penguin Daycare is a warm and interactive facility, fully equipped to care for kids 12 weeks to 12 years old. If your tot is eager to hit the slopes, Killington is excited to help get them started. The one hour First Tracks Slide and Play lesson for 2 and 3 year olds can be included with daycare or purchased separately. All equipment, including helmets, is provided by the Friendly Penguin.

Killington has been voted the best place in the nation to learn to ski.
Killington has been voted the best place in the nation to learn to ski. Killington Resort

It’s amazing just how quickly little athletes can take to the slopes. While lessons for the four-to-six year old Mini Stars begin on gentle snow play terrain, they will often wind up on groomed cruisers and kid-friendly gladed runs by the end of the lesson! One level up, the Superstars continue to build confidence and work on developing essential skills, with coaching methodologies created just for the 7-12 age group.

The Snowzone Programs are specially designed to harness the energy and independent spirit of teens ages 13-17. Coaches maintain a high level of stoke as students scour the mountain, explore the trees, and hit the progression terrain parks.

The resort is so enthusiastic about little shredders that they even host an official competition just for ‘groms. Mini-Shred Madness is a Killington signature event where kids of all ages take over a specially constructed terrain park. Killington Park team riders cruise throughout the competitors, offering encouragement, demonstrating technique, and handing out prizes. At the end of the day, champions proudly accept their medals atop pint-sized podiums.

Pico Mountain, Killington's seventh, stand-alone peak, is also a great option for families, especially for those with big kids who want to take off on their own. With its single parking lot and mellow base lodge, visitors will enjoy the smaller scope and old-fashioned feel of Killington's sister resort. But rest assured, Pico is no minor mountain! Young daredevils can challenge themselves in the Summit Glades and on a handful of diamond and double-diamond runs.

When the lifts stop spinning, set your sites on the wealth of kid-friendly après-ski activities. The Killington Tubing Park is located across the street from the Grand Resort Hotel. The whole family will enjoy coasting at delirious speeds down a multi-lane track. A rope tow to the top helps you squeeze in as many runs as possible.

For an extra special treat, The Killington Grand Spa offers spa services just for kids and teens. A mini-mani/pedi for little hands and feet includes a relaxing soak, gentle nail treatments, and a color polish of their choice. Specialty facials and Swedish massages are designed to helped teens and tweens feel relaxed and pampered.

For a magical evening that your family will never forget, reserve a table at the Ledgewood Yurt's Family Night. The evening begins with a Snowcat-drawn sleigh ride across the mountain, and continues with a three three-course meal specially crafted for young palettes. Dessert is always a fancy delight-think warm berry sunday, or a gourmet candy bar with chocolate ganache and peanut butter mouse. There’s treats for mom and dad as well- including a full wine list and spiked peppermint hot chocolate.

A young shredder bombing down in a tube at Killington Resort
A young shredder bombing down in a tube at Killington Resort Killington Resort

When it comes to lodging, there are hundreds of options available to you. Have you been dreaming of a quiet mountain getaway in a trailside villa? How about a quaint Vermont bed and breakfast, or a well-appointed hotel that’s close to all the action? Perhaps you’re not too concerned with where you stay, so long as you're close enough to grab the first chair.

The Killington Grand Resort Hotel provides quick and easy access to the slopes. It is located across from Snowshed, and features a ski bridge that allows you to cruise straight from the front door to the mountain. This luxury hotel features its own restaurant, bar and coffee shop, so you won't even have to think about getting in the car. Kids love relaxing in the heated outdoor pool; swimming beneath the stars on a cold winter night is quite an adventure! A few soothing moments in a hot tub, steam room or sauna is a wonderful way to wind down after an active day.

For something a bit more tranquil, the Sunrise Condominiums offer the best of both worlds: they are set apart from the main resort area, but still offer that coveted ski-in ski-out access. The sunrise village includes an exercise center with a heated pool, hot tub and steam room, a restaurant and lounge, and even ice skating and snow shoeing on a private trail system. But the best feature by far is the dedicated chairlift, the Sunrise Village Triple, which connects the village to the rest of the mountain.

Killington strives to make a dream ski vacation an affordable option for families. Family Packages offer significant discounts on rentals, lodging, lift tickets, lessons, and kid’s programs. Certain packages offer free lift tickets to children 7-12 years of age. And of course, kids six and under are always welcome to ski for free!

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