Downhill skiing might get more attention,
but cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are becoming increasingly
popular with families, even those with young children, on winter
Notch in Vermont, for example, families can learn cross-country
skiing together through Mom & Me and Dad & Me private
lessons or they can participate in a guided snowshoe trek suitable
for children as young as age 3.
include hot cider breaks, fireworks and nature talks.
Roger Lohr, the
editor of XCSkiResorts.com, suggests that families consider
renting a pulk, a sled that attaches to a cross-country skier like
a belt. Little kids can sit in the pulk
and get pulled along.
skiing is something you can do as a group," Lohr said. "Older kids
can ski ahead, but the new equipment allows families to bring even
really young children along."
Lohr, top destinations for families interested in cross-country
skiing or snowshoeing include:
Lake Ski & Vacation Center: Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ice-skating,
tubing, sledding and kicksledding are among the activities at this
resort in Northville, N.Y. Accommodations are in cottages with full
Mountain Ranch: At this resort in Big Sky, Mont., kids can
take half-day and full-day ski lessons and enjoy snowshoeing, snow
tubing, scavenger hunting and ice cream socials. Guests stay in log
cabins or the Ridgetop Lodge.
Maplelag Resort: There are no phones or TVs here, but
families can top off a day of cross-country skiing with a
family-style dinner, by participating in a talent show or by
attending Saturday-night dances. Maplelag is in Callaway,
Montecito-Sequoia Lodge: A supervised children's program
has snow tubing, cross-country skiing, igloo building and nature
hikes to examine animal tracks at this resort in California's Kings
Canyon National Park.
Families can also
take in the giant trees for which Sequoia National Park and
Monument is famous. Dancing, karaoke and bingo are offered
Palmquist's Farm: Kids who don't want to spend the day on
the extensive network of cross-country trails can make friends with
the animals at this 800-acre working ranch in Brantwood, Wis., or
take a sleigh ride pulled by a team of Belgian horses.
are in cabins and a lodge, and activities include sledding and ice
skating on a pond.
Family Lodge: Owned by the von Trapp family of "The Sound
of Music" fame, the 116-room property in Stowe, Vt., features a
fitness center, an indoor pool and a supervised Mountain Kids
Verde Ranch: Activities at this resort in Steamboat
Springs, Colo., include guided cross-country skiing in the
backcountry and on groomed trails; guided horseback riding; dog
sledding; cooking classes; and evening entertainment.
Accommodations are in a lodge or in one-, two- and three-bedroom
To contact reporter Felicity Long, send e-mail to [email protected].