Canada is spoilt when it comes to exceptional family-friendly ski resorts. These Canada ski resorts are the best for kids.
12 great family-friendly ski resorts in Canada
1. Sun Peaks
Sun Peaks Resort has an impressive ski-through village with some superb learning trails and a gentle eight kilometre top-to-bottom green run. It offers family activities at the Sundance Kids Centre, ice skating, free hot chocolate, bungy trampoline, horse drawn sleigh rides and more!
2. Kicking Horse, British Columbia
Kicking Horse might be smaller in size than some of the others but it has serious vertical and the tag the Champagne Powder Capital of Canada. Stay close in an intimate base village or stay in nearby Golden. They even have their own grizzly bear called Boo. You can ski right up to Boo’s den and read about him while he snores. As for skiing, experts will love the Terminator chutes, intermediates will love the Crystal Bowl.
The mountain has 121 runs, four alpine bowls and 85 inbound chutes, and also has excellent beginner terrain. The Telus Winter Sports School has ski and snowboard lessons for kids from three years old. Plus classes to teach parents how to teach their kids. Kicking Horse boasts seven on-mountain restaurants, including Eagle’s Eye Restaurant, which is the highest restaurant in Canada at 2346 metres.
3. SilverStar Mountain Resort, British Columbia
This gorgeous resort, easily accessed from Kelowna Airport, is as pretty as a picture with its mid-mountain village painted in an array of pastels. With four mountains and a buffet of runs for all levels – including experts – it has it all. Off the slopes, go snowshoeing, ice skating, fat biking, snowmobiling then ride a horse-drawn sleigh to dinner to Wild Horseman’s Cabin in the woods.
4. Big White, British Columbia
Canada’s largest ski-in, ski-out resort village and holder of a swag of awards, Big White has over 118 designated alpine trails and 25 kilometres of Nordic trails to suit skiers of all levels. Kids’ lessons are available for little shredders three and up, including the Mum/Dad & Me program where children learn to ski with their parents. FLAIK Real-Time Tracking makes monitoring your child’s location easy while seeing which runs they tackled in their day. Babysitting services are available and there is a range of accommodation options from cosy economical suites to large private chalets. Head for Happy Valley and test your skills on the ice-climbing tower, ice-skating rink or tube park. Or meet some animals with dog sledding and horsedrawn sleigh rides.
You’ll find an abundance of snow and mountain tops dotted with snow ghosts – frozen trees in weird and wacky shapes. There is 3052 hectares of terrain and 16 lifts. Big White is known for reliable snow cover, plenty of powder and great tree skiing.
5. Whistler Blackcomb
Whistler is nestled in the Coast Mountain Range, just over two hours drive north of Vancouver via the Sea to Sky Highway. In peak season they call Whistler Australia-on-snow because so many families from down under head that way. There is a good reason for that; the resort is the biggest skiable area across two mountains – Whistler and Blackcomb. Both mountains are linked by the Peak 2 Peak Gondola which has two cabins with glass floors.
Snow accommodation ranges from hotels like the Fairmont, Westin and Four Seasons to condominiums within strolling distance of the village.
6. Revelstoke, British Columbia
With a real town located close to the base, Revelstoke Mountain Resort – now part of Alterra’s Ikon Pass – has a lot to offer families: more restaurants, more things to do and even steam trains to explore at the Railway Museum. But the real star is the mountain with the biggest vertical drop in North America. It is the only resort in the world to offer lift skiing, cat-skiing, heli-skiing and backcountry from one village base. There is plenty of terrain for beginners and intermediates and, just once, tackle The Last Spike run; it’s 15.2 kilometres long.
7. Red Mountain Resort, British Columbia
Tucked 1,185 metres high amid Granite, Grey and Red Mountains in Rossland sits Red Mountain Resort. The resort has 110 runs spread across the three mountains. It is one of the best Canadian ski resorts because of its abundant snow, variety of runs and short queues. Kinder-Ski Packages for kids aged three to five are half-day programs with day-care, lunch and a lesson included, while for adults, try the free guided mountain tours. Off the slopes visit Rossland Museum and enjoy Jazz Nights at Miner’s Hall and The Old Fire Hall. There is a range of places to stay from private lodges to slopeside gems.
8. Panorama Mountain Resort, British Columbia
The snowy peaks of Panorama Mountain Resort offer premium skiing for the whole family. The ski-in, ski-out accommodation ranges from condominiums and townhouses to the more budgetfriendly Pine Inn. Panorama Ski & Ride School offers a range of lessons ranging from family private lessons to Taynton Tots where a blend of games, play and skiing work together to introduce little ones to skiing. Off the snow, relax in Panorama Springs Pools; it’s Canada’s largest. Half-day and full-day childcare is available for children 18 months to five years.
9. Fernie Alpine Resort
Fernie is the home of legendary powder with up to 11 metres of snow a year. This quintessential Canadian resort offers an authentic laid-back culture, great après-ski and plenty for kids. Situated on the Powder Highway, Fernie is becoming more popular with Australians with perfect powder, uncrowded runs, superb scenery, 142 named runs and the largest alpine bowl skiing in the Canadian Rockies. Fernie has a large learning area at the base of the mountain and more experienced skiers and riders can explore plenty of secret powder pockets. A highlight of Fernie is its historic, authentic ski town with quaint shops, restaurants and cafes; Rolling Stone Magazine named Fernie as the ‘Coolest Town in North America’. For a meal with a view, head up to Lost Boys Café which sits at 1725 metres and looks over the Elk Valley and beyond.
10. Banff Sunshine, Alberta
Just 20 minutes from the town of Banff, Sunshine is massive with three mountains – Goat’s Eye, Lookout and Standish – delivering as much fun on snow as it is possible to have. The ski school takes kids as young as two for private skiing lessons and three for snowboarding, so your little ones won’t miss out. As it is located within Banff National Park, the views are stupendous, so consider staying at Sunshine Mountain Lodge, the only ski-in, ski-out accommodation around. This way you can soak up the natural wonderland after everyone else has gone back to Banff.
11. Lake Louise, Alberta
With the incredible eye-popping panoramas that abound here, you will find yourself stopping mid-run or at the top of the lifts and just drinking in the beauty that is before you. And all just 40 minutes from Banff or 10 minutes if you choose to stay at the fairytale-like Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. Lake Louise is in UNESCO World Heritage-listedBanff National Park, with worldclass terrain. The Showtime Terrain Park is a drawcard for kids who like a bit of action. There is also a vast array of terrain from gentle beginner slopes to hair-raising chutes, glades, bowls and perfect cruisers that make your heart sing. Your ticket will allow you entry into the other two ski resorts in the Park – Norquay and Sunshine Village. Off the slopes, take the kids for a moonlight sleigh ride, go for an ice walk in Johnston Canyon, ice fishing, ice skating on a frozen lake. All three of these resorts are part of the Ikon Pass and Lake Louise and Sunshine are part of Mountain Collective
12. Mont Tremblant Ski Resort, Québec
If you are heading to Montreal, plan to spend several days exploring this gem of a ski resort. Located in the Laurentian Mountains, 90 minutes from Montreal, its pedestrian village is one of the prettiest you will find, and as for skiing and riding, 14 lifts open the door to more than 100 trails. Try ice fishing, explore in a dune buggy, go ice skating and dog sledding, or for something completely different, play paintball! Off the snow, the kids will love the Aquaclub La Source pool complex, with a new water park to be built before next season, complete with four water slides and 35 interactive water games.
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