Ultimate Guide To Spring Break With Family

Written by Alexa Owen • Feb 09, 2016

If you haven’t heard yet, the groundhog did not see his shadow on February 1st. And guess what? That means spring is coming.

Yes, it’s still only February, and yes, winter is still acknowledging its presence in most parts of the country. Temperamental weather continues on the East Coast, while Jackson Hole, Tahoe, and much of the Rocky Mountains are getting blasted with snow in this perfect El Nino season. But spring break is right around the corner, and that means (if you haven’t already), this is the perfect time to plan your family’s ultimate spring break ski vacation.

The spring break ski vacation is unique in many ways. Weather can be delightfully unpredictable, leaving you with days of bottomless powder or warm, bluebird skies. Lifts have been spinning at most resorts for 3-4 months, so resort staff at every level are well broken-in and operations are running smoothly. The biggest music events of the season bring down the house. And there’s the unmistakable sense of the season’s ending, which encourages all ski vacationers to really make this one count. You may not be throwing back beers on the beach with your buddies like it’s 1995, but you can certainly still sport your fanny-pack and have one fantastic family ski vacation.

In this writer’s opinion, spring break is the best time to hit the slopes with your family. While Christmas can be crowded, mid-winter frigid, and weekend trips rushed, the spring break ski vacation offers fewer crowds, better weather, and enough time to kick back and relax into the days. Add the special spring festivals and concerts packed with pond skims, costume contests, all day long happy hours and all week long happy kids, and you’ve got plenty of reasons to start looking and booking. The late-season deals aren’t too shabby, either.

In this guide, you’ll get a comprehensive look at what to expect from your spring break family ski vacation. We’ll clue you in on the best places to ski, stay, and play; you’ll get insider tips on the best events and festivals for families, as well as resort profiles and who is offering the best deals. Read on for the ultimate guide to your spring break family ski vacation.

Summit and Eagle Counties, Colorado

The resorts along I-70 in Colorado offer prime options for spring break ski vacations; not only are they easily accessible (2 hours or less by car from Denver International Airport), but the resorts’ close proximity to each other means families can explore more than one area within a single ski vacation. Colorado’s reputation for good skiing and good times precedes it; that said, families need not be intimidated by rowdy college kids seeking raucous spring break parties. By all means, line up for a shotski if you wish, but you’ll find plenty of family-friendly activities to suit kids of all ages.

Getting There

The closest major airport is Denver International, about 35 minutes from downtown Denver. Car rental services are available onsite, or book a mountain carrier for direct trips to resorts. Eagle County Airport services Beaver Creek and Vail directly.

Resorts Overview

From the first stop family ski resort on the I-70 corridor to the last is under an hour drive. Between the two -- which are Keystone and Beaver Creek -- lie Breckenridge, Copper and Vail. Collectively, these resorts offer skiers and riders over 10,000 skiable acres of pristine Rocky Mountain terrain. Staffed with top-notch ski schools, upbeat lifties, and service-oriented support teams to meet all your families on- and off-slopes needs, this cluster of Colorado resorts is a top destination for a spring break ski vacation.

Just over an hour from Denver lies Keystone, a world-class resort with purpose-built village and the highest-ranked grooming in the state. Keystone is incredibly kid-friendly, and little park rats will love the multiple terrain parks with progressing sets of features to suit every ability. Throughout the season Keystone runs Kidtopia, the totally free, totally kid-centered festival featuring outdoor games, arts and crafts, live music and theme nights.

Breckenridge’s month-long Spring Fever festival brings plenty of party-lovers to the are, but the town remains family-friendly through the end of the season. For every adult-friendly festival, Breck evens the score with games, crafts, and special events for kids, including the all-season long Gold Runner Alpine Coaster, Mountain Top Children’s Museum, and annual Easter egg hunt. Terrain at Breckenridge favors intermediates, and the village retail stores offer massive late-season discounts during spring break.

Copper remains the lone resort in the area that is not run by Vail Resorts, and they march to the beat of their own drum. The resort’s varied terrain boasts trails for all ages and abilities, and Copper pays special attention to crafting great non-skiing experiences for little ones. Kids’ Night Out is free when you spend $30 at a village retailer, and Critterland boasts mini tubing and snow fort areas for kids under 6. Copper hosts the world’s largest Easter Egg Hunt, hiding 65,000 eggs across 2,500 acres and offering prizes to kids who recycle their empty eggs.

With over 5,000 acres and legendary spring skiing, Vail remains a top destination for the spring break ski vacation. The resort hosts a slew of late-season ski and snowboard competitions, offering families the opportunity to watch ski racing’s fastest youngsters in the U16 Junior Championships and the world’s best snowboarders in the Burton U.S. Open. Vail’s massive ski school offers little ones the perfect chance to improve skills and have a blast on the slopes. Most casual restaurants in the village slash prices in half the last week of the season.

Beaver Creek is more understated when it comes to late-season celebrations; book here for a no rowdy-college kids guarantee. Discounted lodging and lift tickets offer the best deals of the season. Beaver Creek’s notorious steeps are more friendly in slushy spring snow, and season-long family events like Jukebox Skate Night and the Thursday Night Lights glowstick parade are still running strong. The kid-centered SpringFest, which runs March 12th – April 2nd, features music, performers, and plenty of dress-up fun for kids of all ages.

Cheat Sheet

Stay…at Vail Cascade Resort & Spa for family-friendly luxury in a central location to I-70 resorts.

Ski… the groomers of Peak 7 at Breckenridge for best early-morning corduroy.

Dine… at Tosconini for fine Italian fare and lively atmosphere in the heart of Beaver Creek Village.

Apres… at 9280’ in Keystone for craft beer and sun-washed outdoor seating.

Don’t Miss… SpringFest at Beaver Creek for totally kid-focused concerts, performances, and activities.

Events

Most spring break events start the second week of March, and feature weekday and weekend festivities that include live music, holiday celebrations, and just-for-kids fun.

SpringFest at Beaver Creek features a kids carnival, family kickball game, skate night with DJ and live performances March 14th-April11th.

Settle in for fabulous food and happy kids at the Family PJ Brunch at Keystone; parents enjoy bottomless mimosas and kids get their own buffet and activity room 3/13 and 3/27

Partake in the World’s Largest Easter Egg Hunt at Copper; ski around the mountain with your kids in search of 65,000 hidden eggs and return them for prizes.

Activities

Season-long regular family activities are a great way for kids to enjoy off-slopes time away from the big spring break parties.

Kidtopia at Keystone runs every day and features arts and crafts, cookie hour, dancing to live music, and photo opps with Riperoo in the largest snow fort you’ve ever seen.

Vail’s Adventure Ridge offers tubing, mini-snowmobiling, ski biking, and learning opportunities at the Nature Discovery Center.

The Beaver Creek Loves Teens Program hosts programs for teens Tuesdays-Thursdays weekly, including tubing, pizza parties, and indoor tricks classes.

Dining

Whether casual pizza joints or white-linen luxury dinners are your thing, you’ll find family-friendly options throughout the I-70 area.

The CB Grille at Copper boasts an extensive menu of American western fare, including mac n’ cheese and bison meatloaf the kids will love.

Book a reservation at the Hearthstone Restaurant in Breckenridge for entrees sourced from local ingredients in an elegant, homey setting.

Indulge in fast, gourmet fare and wood-fired Neopolitan pizza at the Flatbread Pizza Company in Breckenridge.

Lodging

Staying with kids is easiest when you have plenty of space; consider a condo with kitchen access if you plan to eat in or make lunches.

The Pines Lodge at Beaver Creek offers luxury accommodation and unbelievable spring break deals.

Vail Cascade Resort & Spa offers slopeside rooms and daily Kidventure activities supervised by resort staff.

The rooms and suites at the Inn At Keystone offer budget-friendly accommodation within walking distance to slopes and village area.

Park City, Utah

It’s hard to believe how lucky skiers got with Park City’s prime location and terrain; it’s not hard to believe that Park City Mountain Resort, The Canyons at Park City, and Deer Valley continue to pull in top rankings in best places in the world to take a ski vacation. The skiing and riding hot spot is just 36 miles from Salt Lake City Airport, and boasts two European-styled, pedestrian-friendly villages, over 9300 skiable acres of the Wasatch’s finest terrain, and a world-class resort experience that will leave any family feeling like they just returned to their private club.

Getting There

Park City is a short drive from Salt Lake City International Airport. Shuttle services are available daily. If you plan to explore Salt Lake City or the surrounding area, consider renting a car. Otherwise, transportation within the Park City villages is convenient and free. Many hotels offer complimentary shuttle service to and from the airport, so be sure to check with the concierge when you book lodging.

Resorts Overview

This year marked the installation of a gondola that connects the historic Park City Mountain Resort with The Canyons, recently acquired by Vail Resorts. Skiers and riders now have 7,300 acres of terrain to cover, which means you’ll never have to ski the same thing twice. A convenient 50% of terrain is marked as intermediate, and park and pipe rippers can play in extensive terrain features – maybe even with some of the pros. The town of Park City is no stranger to major festivals and events (like the annual Sundance Film Festival), and this spring you can look forward to two weeks of Spring Gruv.

Deer Valley could be called the Aspen of Utah – but perhaps more bougie. The resort markets itself as a skiers only oasis for families seeking utmost care in ski vacation experience and customer service. Wide-open groomers wind down most of the resort, and the kids ski school programs are renowned. Young kids love DV: not only can they cruise around the mountain looking for the resort’s life-size mascots, there’s also the specialized online games and coloring book they can use to wind down after a day on the slopes.

Cheat Sheet: 

Stay…at Park City Peaks Hotel for value rooms in a family-friendly atmosphere.

Ski… 94 turns at The Canyons, which offers skiers the chance to make (you guessed it) 94 GS-sized turns from top-to-bottom.

Dine… at award-winning Riverhorse on Main for eclectic American cuisine sourced from local, seasonal ingredients.

Apres… at High West Distillery and Saloon, the nation’s only ski-in/ski-out distillery – at the base of Park City Mountain Resort.

Don’t Miss… Michael Franti & Spearhead’s free concert on March 26th, part of Park City’s annual Spring Gruv festival. 

Events

Spring Break events at Park City revolve around the Spring Gruv festival, which runs for 16 days the second half of March; enjoy free concerts, pond skimming, and holiday celerations in both villages of Park City and The Canyons.

Watch skiers and riders dressed in their best costumes attempt to cross a 100-foot pond at Park City’s annual Pond Skimming Contest March 19th.

Take the kids to the Snow Park Lodge at Deer Valley March 27th to see the Easter Bunny; you might get some skiing time together as well.

Participate in the EpixMix Scavenger Hunt for chances to win great prizes by completing tasks all over the mountain; there’s usually a hunt just for kids, too!

Activities

There’s plenty to do in the Park City area between major events; traditionally warm late season temperatures and longer daylight hours make this the best time of the winter for outdoor fun.

After the lifts close, take the family on an evening horse-drawn sleigh ride through the base of Park City.

Take a ride on the Flying Eagle Zip Line to see the sights of Park City from above; two people ride at a time, and kids must be 42” tall to ride.

Spend the afternoon in Gorgoza Park, complete with beginner and advanced snow tubing lanes, as well as the Fort Frosty area – a winter wonderland just for the little ones.

Dining

Park City boasts some of the finest cuisine you’ll find in a ski town. Case-in-point: some tourists vacation here for everything but the skiing.

Riverhorse on Main has it all: elegant menus with high-end wine pairings, bustling, upscale dining area, and occasional live music.

Bandits’ serves up tasty BBQ, seafood, and sandwiches in comfy booths and old cowboy décor on the walls; the kids menu is the best in Park City.

Grub Steak is a classic modern American steak house, complete with salad bar, excellent wild game and seafood dishes, and two childrens menus: one for tweens, and another for kids under 6.

Lodging

Lodging options vary at Park City; high-end elegance can be found close to the bases of PCMR and Deer Valley, while prices drop substantially a short shuttle ride away from the resorts.

The Stein Eriksen Lodge at Deer Valley is in a league of its own: stay here for ultimate luxury (and price tag), complte with cathedral ceiling common areas, en-suite fireplaces, and the epitome of fine service.

The Lodge at Mountain Village offers family condos with plenty of common space for hanging out after a day on the slopes; the staff are exceptionally helpful.

Park City Peaks Hotel is our top pick for value, with modern lodge-style rooms just over 1 mile from Park City Mountain Resort.

Lake Tahoe, California

The thing about Lake Tahoe is that Spring Break basically lasts all season. Over 300 days of sunshine and laid-back California vibes make Tahoe a year-round destination, and you could easily find yourself lounging on a deck sipping beer and soaking in the sun in mid-January, let alone in late March and April. There’s also, however, the exciting potential for a massive snowstorm this time of year; most Tahoe resorts now have upwards of 25 feet snowfall this season, and counting. Spring Break, however, boasts an added element of fun to the mix for party-goers and families alike.

Getting There

Fly into Reno-Tahoe International Airport; spend a day in downtown Reno if you wish, or head directly to the mountains. Shuttle services run several times per day to North Lake Tahoe resorts and South Lake Tahoe hot spots; the drive takes 1-3 hours depending on weather and stops. Be camera-ready for stunning lake views along the way, and keep your airline ticket to cash in for free skiing on the day you arrive.

Resorts Overview

The Lake Tahoe area has the highest concentration of ski resorts in North America; they range quite a bit in terms of size, accessibility, and liveliness. Squaw Valley, which recently merged with Alpine Meadows, is perhaps the most popular. Together these resorts boast 7,000 skiable acres, a free shuttle to go between resorts, and an iconic history that put recreational skiing on the map in the U.S. Nearly 500 inches average annual snowfall makes for excellent late-season skiing, with plenty of coverage on intermediate and advanced terrain.

Northstar has gained notoriety in the past five years with a renovated base village and luxurious installment of the mid-mountain Ritz Carleton. Just outside of Truckee, the resort maintains its homegrown roots and hospitality. The 3,100 acres caters to intermediates, as well as your little tykes anxious to get into the parks and pipes. Late-season events like the Riperoo Parade and Family Snowshoe Tour are up-and-coming favorites.

Kirkwood is South Lake Tahoe’s mellow getaway. Located one hour south of the bustling casino town, Kirkwood stays out of the hardcore party-goer limelight, making it an ideal spring break getaway for families and vacationers who simply want to ski. This is a big mountain in a small town of laid-back locals. If your family is hoping for spring break powder, this is your best bet: the resort’s specific location and elevation on the Pacific Crest ensures the best snowfall in Tahoe.

Sierra-at-Tahoe is the South shore’s destination for hardcore skiers and families on a budget. Three quarters of terrain is marked as intermediate and expert, and the tree skiing is the best in the region. Sierra-at-Tahoe is popular with day trippers from South Lake Tahoe, as there isn’t much going on at night, so families interested in skiing hard all day and laying low at night will be right at home. The resort also loves kids, and boasts a lift-accessed tubing hill, 4 Kids Adventure Zones, and a few late-season events.

Cheat Sheet

Stay…at the Olympic Village Inn at Squaw Valley for mountain views and spacious suites.

Ski… Prosser at Northstar late morning, just as the sun starts cooking the snow.

Dine… at The Wall, Kirkwood’s slopeside fine dining restaurant for classic western American fare.

Apres… in style at the Corkscrew Bar at Sierra-at-Tahoe for organic spirits and hip craft brews.

Don’t Miss… the Riperoo Parade at Northstar for a kid-friendly après gathering of dancing, family photos, and free cookies.

Events

Tahoe is most famous off the slopes for the party and gambling scenes, but spring break also offers opportunities for families to get outside in the beautiful scenery and enjoy a few late-season gatherings.

Sign up for the Family Afternoon Snowshoe Tour at Northstar March 27th for an afternoon of nature sight-seeing, snow play, and snacks.

Saturdays in March and April head to the ice rink at the base of Northstar for the Riperoo Parade; kids will have the opportunity to dance along with the resort’s mascot and snap some photos.

Sierra-at-Tahoe hosts Scout’s Weekend March 5th and 6th, where boyscouts can participate to earn their Snow Sports merit badge.

Activities

Assuming your kids aren’t blackjack sharks (or over 18), you’ll probably steer clear of casinos in Reno and South Lake Tahoe; the good news is spring break offers good old, healthy outdoor fun.

Blizzard Mountain is Sierra-at-Tahoe’s destination for lift-serviced tubing and snow play; it runs 10-4 on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Glide around Northstar village’s 9,000 square foot skating rink in the daytime or under the lights.

Treat the family to a guided dogsled tour through Squaw Valley Meadow.

Dining

Even the ultra-exclusive feeling spots are family-friendly in the Tahoe area; no matter where you go, you’ll enjoy finely crafted cuisine from locally sourced (and often organic) ingredients.

Kirkwood’s only fine dining option is also one of the best in the region: head to The Wall for hearty favorites like truffle mac n’ cheese and bacon wrapped pork tenderloin.

Head to Manzanita in the mid-mountain Ritz Carleton when at Northstar; even the “Petite Gourmet” kids menu drips with elegance.

The Chef’s Tasting Menu with wine pairings at The Plumpjack Café in Squaw Valley is not to be missed for it’s creative tastes and cozy far west atmosphere.

Lodging

Condos are the most popular for families in search of a low key, skiing-centered spring break; splurge on one of the many luxury hotels for the ultimate vacation.

Book a suite at the Squaw Valley Lodge for slopeside views, luxurious spa, and high-end service.

The Fireside Lodge of Sierra-at-Tahoe may be the most family-friendly spot in the region; not only will you have cozy digs for your own family – you’ll become a part of theirs.

The Iron Horse Lodge condos at Northstar are a value bargain for simple, spacious living areas a short walk from the lifts.

Vermont

It’s safe to say that Vermont hasn’t had the easiest winter. A late December season start and wildly fluctuating temperatures put a damper on New England’s 2015/2016 season, and just now are most resorts settling into wintry normalcy.

A couple of snowstorms swept through the tristate area in January but just grazed the Green Mountain State. And if you haven’t gotten some turns in yet this year, we’re guessing you can’t wait to get out into the mountains. The good news is, spring break will be your perfect opportunity. Vermont resorts like families, and we know they’ll like ushering in the end to this not-so-perfect season. So if you’d like to stay local and save some time and cash this spring break, hit the road and check out what Vermont has to offer.

Getting There

Vermont ski resorts are a stone’s throw for East Coasters compared to the other areas on this list. From New York City, mid-Vermont is just over 4 hours drive; from Boston, just under 3 hours. Fly into Logan International Airport in Boston for the cheapest fares, or Burlington International Airport if your destination is northern Vermont. Car rental services are available at both airports.

Resorts Overview

We like Stratton for its location (in Southern Vermont, it’s one of the closest to New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts), and also for its wide range of activities. Snow coverage is reliable, and even if base depth is lacking, their events schedule is chock full of live music, free fitness classes, and camps for kids. Stratton has a hip (albeit small) foodies scene and high-end village shops that slash prices for great spring break deals. Stratton boasts 4 progressive terrain parks and otherwise intermediate-friendly terrain.

Okemo is mid-Vermont’s classic family favorite. After investing millions into 2 new high-speed 6 pack lifts (complete with bubble covers and heated seats), lift ticket sales spiked. That said, it usually steers clear of major crowds. This season, Okemo boasts the most open terrain in the East, as well as the only open Superpipe in the East. Haters can call it “Slow-kemo,” but the rolling groomers and top-notch snowmaking make this resort a top pick for family ski vacations. As spring break approaches, you can count on Okemo to maintain extensive open acreage and lively weekend events.

Smugglers’ Notch names itself America’s Family Resort, and rightfully so. Their events calendar caters completely to families with youngsters, and provides enough off-slopes activities that you could easily fill your days with snowy fun without even hitting the slopes. You should, however, definitely hit the slopes: over 1,000 acres of terrain across 3 peaks offer challenging lines for families looking for big-mountain style terrain. Most terrain is marked intermediate, and the learning center is prime. Spring break boasts a winter carnival and special events on the slopes.

Stowe is located 45 minutes southeast of Smuggs’, and offers similar terrain in a quaint New England town you’ve probably seen on a postcard somewhere. The town hosts a number of cultural events and concerts, as well as famous regional ski events like the Sugar Slalom held at the beginning of April. Recent improvements to infrastructure have boosted Stowe’s popularity, but the resort and surrounding town maintain their rich community history. Kids love Stowe for its noticeably laid-back atmosphere. The late-season themed parties aren’t bad, either.

Cheat Sheet

Stay…at the Innsbruck Inn of Stowe, complete with affordable suites and game room for the kids.

Ski… The Black Hole at Smugglers’ Notch – the only black diamond in the East.

Dine… at The Downtown Grocery in Okemo’s downtown for carefully crafted local, fresh bites.

Après… at family-friendly Grizzly’s at Stratton with craft beers and live music.

Don’t Miss… MapleFest Winter Carnival at Smugglers’ Notch for games, sugar on snow, and specialty food samples showcasing Vermont maple.

Events

Vermont spring break events often involve ‘80s costumes and copious amounts of beer; but the kids will love themed ski days, pond skimming contests, and family-friendly winter carnival days.

Watch costume-clad skiers and riders in Okemo’s annual Slush Cup and Splash for Cash competitions April 9th.

Learn about the time-honored practice of maple sugaring at Smugglers’ Notch MapleFest Winter Carnival March 31st

Don’t miss 24 Hours of Stratton for the chance to ski all day and all night (or any time in between) with your family and raise funds for a good cause, March 19th-20th.

Activities

Soak in the last days of winter on sledding and tubing hills, or tour around Vermont’s historic towns; spring break is a lovely time to experience this part New England.

Tour the Ben & Jerry’s Factory while visiting Stowe for a look into how the ice cream is made, trivia games, and delicious samples.

Spend a day at the FunZone Family Entertainment Center at Smugglers’ Notch for table games, a bouncy house, and other indoor activities.

Head to Stratton’s Sun Bowl for lift-serviced, fast-paced tubing under the lights.

Dining

Fine dining options are expanding across Vermont resort towns; wherever you end up, snow boots and flannels are acceptable attire.

Indulge in farm-to-table gourmet cuisine at The Downtown Grocery, one of Okemo’s newest spots.

Harrison’s in the heart of Stowe has been serving up hearty American fare for 35 years; both kids and adults love the rustic décor.

The Fire Tower Restaurant at Stratton offers fine dining and casual selections (check the bar menu) good for kids; they also do timely take-out.

Lodging

Hotels and slopeside condos are readily available; if you’re looking for something different, try a B&B – the state is known for them.

The Jackson Gore Inn at Okemo boasts slopeside rooms in the heart of bustling Jackson Gore base; there’s an on-site spa, fitness center, restaurant and outdoor skating rink.

Kick back in the comfort of Hearthstone 434 at Stratton, which features slopeside rooms and décor modeled after the American West.

At Stowe, kids will love the Innsbruck Inn for its game room and open floor layout; you’ll love the value prices.

Whistler Blackcomb

Ski Magazine’s #1 Overall Resort gets top rankings in North America for terrain variety, après, and off-hill activities. This year, the US Dollar pulls in its best exchange rate in ten years, making Whistler Blackcomb the best resort for overall value of your spring break ski vacation.

Over 8,000 acres of terrain spread across the two major peaks, which converge at the Whistler Village base area. The spirit of adventure is alive and well in these iconic British Columbia mountains, and you could ski from powdery bowls to gladed trees to cruising groomers all in one run. Family zones and designated children’s play areas across the resort offer everyone in your family outdoor ski breaks in safe, fun environments. Whistler Blackcomb’s social calendar lights up in March and April; you can expect days-long festivals and plenty of off-hill entertainment for kids of all ages.

Getting There

Enjoy the 2.5 hour drive north from Vancouver International Airport on the Sea to Sky Highway, which boasts breathtaking views for the British Columbia backcountry. Fly into Seattle Tacoma for slightly cheaper fares and 4.5 hour drive. Buses run daily from Sea-Tac to Whistler for under $100.

Resorts Overview

Much to the chagrin of Vail Resort’s Park City/Canyons marriage, Whistler Blackcomb reigns as the largest ski resort in North America, boasting a whopping 8,171 acres of skiable acres, 3 glaciers, 16 alpine bowls, and 200+ marked runs. The spread for beginner/intermediate/expert terrain is about 15%/55%/30%, and a 5,000 foot vertical drop offers runs that will last you way longer than you can imagine. The snow school offers specialty programs for backcountry and avalanche awareness, and kids adventure camps for children of all ability levels. Whistler Blackcomb regularly ranks at #1 for longest ski season on the continent, so you can be sure to enjoy late season skiing long after the U.S. lifts stop spinning.

Cheat Sheet

Stay…at Le Chamois Hotel, a boutique hotel with fine rooms and services in Whistler’s upper village.

Ski… Green Road down Easy Out for the resort’s longest run at 7 miles.

Dine… at Mongolie Grill, where you create your perfect entrée and chefs stir fry it in front of you.

Après… at Dusty’s, Whistler’s classic ski bar with huge, sunny outdoor patio; kids are welcome until dinner.

Don’t Miss… the World Ski & Snowboard Festival for huge outdoor concerts, competitions, art shows, and film showcases – April 8th – 17th.

Events

Whistler Blackcomb is a well-oiled machine for family events; the party atmosphere can be heavy in mid-April, but kids are welcome.

Enjoy Family Après in the Whistler Olympic Plaza for music, storytelling, tobogganing, and more on select nights throughout March.

Visit the Whistler Sliding Center March 13th for the BC Luge Championships; world-class athletes compete, and the kids will love to watch.

Don’t miss the all-out World Ski & Snowboard Festival, which features major music and cultural events as well as nail-biting extreme sport competitions.

Activities

The usual outdoor activities like tubing and sleigh rides are abundant; Whistler village is fun to explore in sunny spring weather.

The Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre holds regular workshops like drum making and educational tours featuring the art and history of Squamish and Lil’wat Nations.

Fly high above the BC canopy with Ziptrek Ecotours tours; check their website for discounts on ski and tubing tickets.

Three of Whistler’s lodges house Nintendo Gaming Lounges, perfect for kids needing a warm-up and ski break midday.

Dining  

Splurge at Rimrock Café for high-end game and seafood with global wine selection in a cozy atmosphere.

Mongolie Grill features a do-it-yourself stir fry bar; craft your own entrée and take it to the expansive grill to watch chefs stir fry your meal to perfection.

Elements is a family favorite for hearty, no-frills breakfasts and lunches; for fast service on busy village nights, it’s also a great spot for tapas dinner.

Lodging

There’s no shortage of luxury lodging in Whistler; for the best budget deals, consider an (almost) slopeside condo.

The Westin Resort and Spa at the base offers ultimate luxury in its rooms, suites, ski and spa amenities, and ski-in/ski-out location.

For a more intimate experience, book Le Chamois Hotel; they offer luxury rooms for mid-range prices.

Studios at the Alpenglow offer the best bang for your Canadian buck; a short shuttle ride to the gondola is complementary.

Honorable Mention

Jackson Hole

True to its Wild West roots, Jackson Hole really lets loose as the season comes to a close. Closing weekend comes early this year on April 2-3, making the March events calendar full with free concerts and legendary competitions. Much of Jackson’s best terrain is best skied late-season, after abundant snowfall has covered natural terrain features on steep aspects. Specialty lessons like the TGR Fall Line Camps in March coach young rippers in big mountain skiing. The Rendezvous Spring Festival brings in big names for free outdoor concerts, and live music under the Tram on Saturdays celebrates the turning of the season.

Stay…at Hotel Terra in Teton Village for prime access to village events without all the late-night noise.

Ski… Rendezvous Bowl to Bivouac Woods late morning when the snow warms up.

Dine… at Local for quality steaks and game on the town square.

Après… at the ice bar outside Nick Wilson’s Cowboy Café for cold beers and live music.

Don’t Miss… the Zac Brown Band concert at Rendezvous Festival on Saturday, March 19th.

Aspen Snowmass

Aspen Snowmass is located 55 miles off I-70 West, and offers its own unique spin on the classic family ski vacation. Contrary to popular belief (and the Dumb & Dumber movie), Aspen is an economically eclectic ski town with roots that run deeper than stretch pants and fur boots. The terrain is excellent for intermediates and experts, and the village is pedestrian-friendly with a free shuttle service loop. Spring Break brings celebration of all things ski culture – including the infamous Schneetag competition, where participants build their own watercrafts to skim across a pond.

Stay…at the St. Moritz Lodge and condos for the best late-season deals.

Ski… Summer Road off Ruthie’s lift for a family-friendly cruiser.

Dine… at Ajax Tavern with kids for high-end pub fare at lunch or dinner.

Après… at the Lynn Britt Cabin at Snowmass for classic western scene and prime outdoor lounging; the kids can enjoy quality snow play.

Don’t Miss… the the 8th annual Schneetag competition; participants perform a creative skit, then launch down a hill and attempt to float across a pond at the base.

We hope this guide helped you get stoked for your ultimate family spring break ski vacation. For more tips on planning and saving, visit the Snowpak blog. To book the best spring break deals around, click here. Happy vacationing!