Many couples with children think of a winter ski vacation as something to do when the kids get older - much older, like old enough to live away from home. Visions of schlepping whining toddlers, retrieving lost mittens, and cajoling bored teenagers out of their surly moods are enough to scare anyone away from the slopes. But the truth is, skiing with the kids has never been easier. Throughout the U.S. and Canada, savvy ski resorts have discovered the profit potential in catering to families. Children spend their days on the slopes or doing off-slope activities, while parents slalom their hearts out. From day care for infants (complete with electronic pagers that anxious moms can wear on the slopes) to activity centers geared to teens, ski resorts are going to great lengths to lure families into winter wonderland. "They are trying to attract the next generation of skiers and snowboarders by making it easy for parents," explains Laura Sutherland, author of The Best Family Ski Vacations in North America. "One of the big benefits of a family ski vacation is that it can become a family tradition, something you can do every single year with your children."
Here's a sampling of some of the best ski resorts in the U.S. and Canada for families with kids. Are you imagining your skis cutting through the powdery snow? Read, and get ready to ski.
SMUGGLER'S NOTCH RESORT, VERMONT