Park City may not have the cash swinging swagger of Vail, or the mini gondola that keep Beaver Creek kids toasty. But it’s hands down the best ski mountain for families. West coast families, east coast families, even Australian families. There’s a reason SKI Magazine voted them #1 Family Ski Resort.
I’ve been skiing since I could walk, so have my children. They give Park City eight thumbs up. Here are the reasons why:
#1 Small Ski School Classes – and awesome instructors (inserted per Wilson)
Park City boasts an almost unheard of student/instructor ratio. Their Signature 5 program guarantees that no class will have more than five children in it. That’s at no extra charge. Ever watched your kids snake down the hill in a line of 15 skiers learning very little? Some ski schools are barely glorified snow day care, Park City prides itself on developing great skiers and riders.
My kids also love that lunch is not some soggy pasta in a massive basement cafeteria, they eat at one of the on mountain restaurants with their instructor. I’m pretty sure cookies might be involved.
As I am writing this my nine year old is peeking over my shoulder asking “Did you write about the great ski school?” “Did you write about Brandon??” This is Wilson’s favorite instructor who has convinced my children to become ski racers. Thank you Brandon, I think.
#2 More than just skiing/riding
There’s more to do than just ski on the mountain. The alpine coaster whips down the hill just fast enough to thrill, but you control it with hand brakes, and screams.
The Flying Eagle Zip line works a little like a sling shot, up the mountain you go and then BAM you’re flying through the air.
#3 Adventure Alleys
Keep your eye out for these adorable “snow bugs”. They mark the beginning of an Adventure Alley with names like Powder Monkey and Detonator. These are groomed runs through the trees. I hate skiing trees, all I can think of is Sonny Bono. My kids LOVE them. I feel safe in the Adventure Alleys, even a little bad ass.
#4 Park City – the town
Apres ski takes on a whole new meaning when you have children. No more mexican coffees and chatting with the cute liftie (I mean, I heard that’s what people used to do). Now it’s that magical time when you’re done skiing but it’s still too early to put them to bed. Park City is packed with great after ski activities for the whole family.
My children’s two favorites are:
Gorgoza Tubing Park. Slick ice lanes, steep for the big kids, not so steep for the littles, AND they let you make chains. If you’ve ever tubed at some party pooper hill you know how much better it is when you can make a human train. They also have kid sized snowmobiles. If you are between 5 and 12 years old you can take a spin around the track on a mini version of a real snowmobile. While this video doesn’t feature children, it shows Snowmamas acting like kids. The best part about tubing is that you can’t do it and not laugh until you cry.
Jupiter Bowl. It’s sort of like disco bowling, they have surprisingly good food, and they serve alcohol. Call ahead for reservations during the busy season. Trust me.
#5 Easy in/Easy Out
They’re not kidding about Park City being 35 minutes from the Salt Lake City Airport. This is no rinky dink regional airport either, they have flights arriving from every city (and many countries). You can always find a deal, I like AirfareWatchDog.com to keep me updated on great prices. Getting a rental car is easy, they always have lots of SUV’s, AND the rental car attendants help you load your car. It freaks me out every time. And they won’t take tips. I don’t get it, but it’s great.
You can get more information about booking your trip to Park City on Snowmamas.com. The website was designed by Park City to help busy moms and dads plan a family ski trip because they know it can be confusing.
I have been a Snowmama for the last three years and have had my ski school, lift tickets and accommodations provided for me. We pay our own airfare. Having skied most of the mountains in the west and many in the east, I can tell you that Park City has been the easiest family ski trip – even compared to “just” driving to Vermont.