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

Grab the kids and hit the slopes at Okemo Mountain Resort.
Grab the kids and hit the slopes at Okemo Mountain Resort. Courtesy of Okemo Mountain Resort
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Okemo Mountain Resort is a family-owned and operated ski resort with a proud history of encouraging parents and children to develop a love for snow sports. It’s no wonder that it's consistently voted as one of the top family ski resorts in the nation by places like Parents MagazineThe Huffington Post, and

Children under the age of six are welcome to ski for free. The mountain is blanketed in a generous amount of friendly terrain, including bunny hills, novice trails, and no less than seven surface lifts, where kids can become familiar with the sport and comfortable on the mountain. Okemo is proud to offer family friendly terrain parks and beginner gladed runs to encourage children to tackle new challenges while developing a passion for the many varied components of skiing and snowboarding.

Grab the family and hit the groomers at Okemo.
Grab the family and hit the groomers at Okemo. Jasen Miller

Jackson Gore is the epicenter of family adventure at Okemo. This portion of the mountain features a healthy selection of green novice trails. Some, like Fast Track and Bright Star Basin, begin mid-mountain and are accessible from the Coleman Brook Express Quad, just steps away from the Jackson Gore Inn. Others, like Sunset Strip, begin at the top of the 2,725 foot peak and roll gently down the shoulder of the mountain, allowing new skiers to bask in the exposure and long-range views afforded from the summit.  Families will also enjoy gliding down Tuckered Out, a blue square that flows from peak to base lodge in one smooth, winding run.

Trailside lodging with direct mountain access makes it easy to keep a flexible schedule in case the little ones (or mom and dad!) get worn out. Rustic New England charm meets hotel conveniences at the Jackson Gore Inn, where you will find restaurants and bars, heated pools, hot tubs, child care, play structures, and a roaring lobby fireplace all under one roof. There’s even a complimentary ski check to help you keep your family's gear organized and secure.

For families looking for something a bit more secluded, Solitude Village is located midway up the mountain, at the base of Solitude Peak. Its ski-in ski-out access makes it a breeze to head out for a morning session, then drop back in for an afternoon siesta. The suites and villas are spacious and quiet, with private kitchens and multiple bedrooms. A game room, video arcade, and indoor/outdoor pools and jacuzzis make Solitude Village an ideal spot for families with older children who wish to explore independently.

Okemo’s skiing and riding school has excellent instructional programs for children as young as three years old. Whether they're just getting acquainted with wearing ski boots, or already barreling down the bunny hill, a low student to teacher ratio in the early programs ensure that each young student gets individualized attention and customized instruction on the mountain. Big kids and teenagers will love the advanced courses, which introduce little rippers to secret spots and unmapped, gladed pockets.

For the smallest family members, the Okemo Penguin Playground Daycare provides care for little ones six months to four years old. Penguin is a cozy, safe, and fully state-licensed facility where children enjoy stories, songs, and arts and crafts. Parents can rest assured that their little ones are well cared for as they savor the luxury of a few hours alone on the mountain.

Tubing fun is just one of the many opportunities Okemo has to offer kids after-hours.
Tubing fun is just one of the many opportunities Okemo has to offer kids after-hours. Courtesy of Okemo Mountain Resort

The Kids Night Out Program provides kids six months to six years with their very own après-ski experience. Mom and dad can enjoy a quiet dinner out while the kids enjoy an evening of entertainment all their own. Kid’s Night Out X is designed for 7 to 12 year olds, and includes outdoor activities like swimming, skating, and snow tubing.

The family fun continues at Okemo long after the lifts have stopped spinning for the day. For visitors who are still gunning for more downhill exhilaration, snow tubing at Jackson Gore is pure, fast fun. Specially groomed chutes create a track for inflatable snow tubes, so you can soar down the mountain so smoothly it feels as if you're floating. A magic-carpet surface lift brings you back to the top  for one more ride. (And another, and another...)

Ice skating is an old-fashioned New England winter tradition. Take a whirl in The Ice House at Jackson Gore, which includes a regulation sized hockey rink and a skating pavilion of smooth, polished ice. An attached warming room lets parents sit back, sip hot chocolate and take a break from the action.

Here’s something that the kids will talk about for years to come: a snowmobile tour designed just for them! Five to twelve-year-olds can drive their own sled on a guided, twenty-minute tour across a snowy meadow. Kids go crazy over the Indy 120 XC. It's not a toy, it's a real, kid-sized snowmobile (that tops out at eight mph)!

One of Okemo’s most popular attractions is the Timber Ripper Mountain Coaster. Riders can control the speed of their sled-car as they glide smoothly through the snowy alpine world. Following the natural contours of the mountain, the track includes includes waves, giant banking corkscrew turns and a twister section. There's no way you'll be able to ride the Timber Ripper just once.

When you've gotten your fix of outdoor adventure, step inside the Spring House fitness and aquatic center. You can relax in the hot tub as the kids play in the fountains and race down the whimsical frog slide into the heated splash pool. The Spring House is the perfect spot for little bodies to expend the last of their energy before settling in for the evening.

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