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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Family Skiing Discussions › Advice for Spring Break with 7 and 4 year old. Park City, Jackson Hole, Big Sky, Vail
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Advice for Spring Break with 7 and 4 year old. Park City, Jackson Hole, Big Sky, Vail

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I will have the opportunity to travel with my 7 year old and 4 year old over Spring Break.  The seven year old has skied once earlier this season with the ski school at Park City.   He had a good time, and wants to ski again over Spring Break.   This time his 4 year old sister would go with us.   
 
I am considering taking him back to Park City, or going to either Jackson Hole or Big Sky.   My priority is for them to have a good experience and develop a love of skiing.  I'm looking for a place with a good ski school experience, and since it will be just me with the kids I'd really like a place that makes the before and after care easy - a place where it will be easy to feed and transport them.   I liked Park City because it was ski in ski out, there was a grocery store in the village where I could get fresh fruit and milk, and there were plenty of dining options that were easily accessible.   While the 7 year old is a relatively non picky eater, the 4 year old really likes Chinese food.  She will eat grilled cheese, pizza, PB & J, etc, but if there was something as simple as a Panda Express in the village that would make feeding them much easier.    We liked the location of Park City.  Getting there was a breeze, the rental was easy, ski in ski out was convenient, and eating after a day of ski school was relatively hassle free.   The problem with it was that the conditions were really not all that good.  It rained while he was in school and he learned to ski on ice.   (I've tried to attach an embedded picture).  

 

My hesitation with Jackson Hole is that Teton Village seems somewhat small.   We could stay in town, but I'm concerned about shuttling them into ski school and shuttling them home.   If they were a little older ands had more sophisticated palettes then I would go to Jack Hole without a doubt.   I've never been to Big Sky.    I've been to Vail once (before I had kids) and don't remember if the Village was kid friendly or not.   I'm also a little concerned about the conditions as the Lower Rockies seem really dry this season.
 
My only preference is that I am a snowboarder, so Deer Valley is out.   My snow conditions, lift lines, and overall experience are really not even a priority.  As a relatively novice ski parent, I'd appreciate any input and advice from those more experienced than me.
post #2 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by georgenator View Post
 
I will have the opportunity to travel with my 7 year old and 4 year old over Spring Break.  The seven year old has skied once earlier this season with the ski school at Park City.   He had a good time, and wants to ski again over Spring Break.   This time his 4 year old sister would go with us.   
 

 

When you take a kid that young you either have to drop them in a day care ski wee/snow play service or you have to make the whole day and all activities centric to the 4 year old.  That includes the possibility that they may konk out and want to go inside or leave after thirty minutes outside in the snow. 

 

My kids are now 11 and 12.  I started taking them to the local mountains at ages 3 and 4.  I'd never have considered taking either of them to a major high dollar resort at age 4 simply because that's too much money to pay and have to bail on actually skiing if the 4 year old is acting like a 4 year old.  I can, and did do that at cheaper ski resorts three hours from my front door.

 

It might go great and both kids might totally rock the half day or full day ski programs.  Just be prepared to still be happy and make the best of it if you hardly get to ski at all yourself should they not cooperate with "the plan".

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

Great advice.  Thank you.

post #4 of 8

Park City does not have good conditions this year so I would not recommend going there.

 

I am a big fan of Snowbird and their ski school.  My kids really enjoy it and they attend every year.  There is also always the possibility of a good powder snowfall in any given day since the mountain can get in excess of 500 inches of snow in a favorable season  The expert skiing at Snowbird is excellent if you are advanced skiers.  The negative is that there are not many activities after skiing beyond the half dozen resort restaurants and the spa/pool/hot tubs.  We have no issue with this but if you are looking for shopping and other entertainment, you will find Snowbird lacking.

 

Another possibility that you should consider is Breckenridge.  Breck has a former mining town at the base like Park City.  Both are similar in terms of ambience, activities, and depth of restaurants & bars.  The base of Breckenridge is 10,000 feet and the peak is 13,000 feet.  That means that the snow conditions are usually good, which I can attest to since my family went skiing there last week.  My kids like the ski school at Peak 9 (for some reason, they do not like the ski school at Peak 8).  The mountain is very well balanced for beginners, intermediates, and advanced skiiers.  There is a very large amount of ski-in/out or near ski-in/out accommodations available at all levels of luxury & cost.  So, there is alot of favorable aspects to skiing at Breck.  The only negatives are that it can get quite crowded on the weekends and the high altitude means that some people can take a couple days to acclimate.

post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marathoner View Post
 

Park City does not have good conditions this year so I would not recommend going there.

 

I am a big fan of Snowbird and their ski school.

 

Snowbird for a 4 & 7 year olds?        It's a big jump from Chickadee to anything else at the Bird and the cat track from the Center down to baby thunder would be miserable. 

You'll be towing the kid and on a board, that's not going to work, plus how do you get back, bus?

 

 

Ski in/out is a necessity with kids that little.   Snowmass is perfect for families.

post #6 of 8

I have 4 kids and I agree that ski-in/out is close to mandatory with kids.  Cliff Lodge at Snowbird is ski-in/out and has good amenities.  All my kids started taking ski lessons a Snowbird at age 3 or 4.  They had no problems going from Chicakadee to Big Emma.  I agree that adults may have difficulty making the transition but little kids are different and they all did fine.

 

I agree that Snowmass is good but that is a 4 hour drive from Denver.  If the OP can swing flights into Aspen airport, then that is a good choice too.

post #7 of 8

I took my kids to Winter Park when they were young (although not quite as young as the OPs kids).  We stayed in town and took the public bus, but they also have a lot of lodging available as the base. Although my kids skied a lot of the mountain with me (and in fact my daughter was transitioning from skis to snowboard at that time) and did not take part of any kids programs, it seemed like they had quite a few options in that respect, and the lower mountain had a good number of easy cruisers for the kids to expand their skills. 

post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by georgenator View Post
 
I will have the opportunity to travel with my 7 year old and 4 year old over Spring Break.  The seven year old has skied once earlier this season with the ski school at Park City.   He had a good time, and wants to ski again over Spring Break.   This time his 4 year old sister would go with us.   
 
I am considering taking him back to Park City, or going to either Jackson Hole or Big Sky.   My priority is for them to have a good experience and develop a love of skiing.  I'm looking for a place with a good ski school experience, and since it will be just me with the kids I'd really like a place that makes the before and after care easy - a place where it will be easy to feed and transport them.   I liked Park City because it was ski in ski out, there was a grocery store in the village where I could get fresh fruit and milk, and there were plenty of dining options that were easily accessible.   While the 7 year old is a relatively non picky eater, the 4 year old really likes Chinese food.  She will eat grilled cheese, pizza, PB & J, etc, but if there was something as simple as a Panda Express in the village that would make feeding them much easier.    We liked the location of Park City.  Getting there was a breeze, the rental was easy, ski in ski out was convenient, and eating after a day of ski school was relatively hassle free.   The problem with it was that the conditions were really not all that good.  It rained while he was in school and he learned to ski on ice.   (I've tried to attach an embedded picture).  

 

My hesitation with Jackson Hole is that Teton Village seems somewhat small.   We could stay in town, but I'm concerned about shuttling them into ski school and shuttling them home.   If they were a little older ands had more sophisticated palettes then I would go to Jack Hole without a doubt.   I've never been to Big Sky.    I've been to Vail once (before I had kids) and don't remember if the Village was kid friendly or not.   I'm also a little concerned about the conditions as the Lower Rockies seem really dry this season.
 
My only preference is that I am a snowboarder, so Deer Valley is out.   My snow conditions, lift lines, and overall experience are really not even a priority.  As a relatively novice ski parent, I'd appreciate any input and advice from those more experienced than me.

Exactly when is the Spring Break?  Early or late March?  You are correct that conditions in Park City could be less than optimal.

 

Is cooking in a condo an option?  What I'm thinking about is Solitude.  Have heard that families who stayed there had a good time.  But the "village" is pretty small so limited options for eating out.  No food court type places.

 

The Big Sky resort village is similar to JH.  Definitely limited in terms of places for eating out with young kids.  You could call Big Sky Resorts and ask though.  Certainly would not be crowded compared to SLC.

 

What about Steamboat?

 

If your budget could handle it, staying at a lodge at Alta would be great fun for you and your kids.  But don't know if you could find a reasonable room at this late date.

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