Hit the Slopes

Okemo, Vermont

Okemo, Vermont

Popular with East Coasters, this resort is stepping up its services for parents and kids alike. Ski-in, ski-out condos are what it's all about here, so you don't have to schlep heavy equipment in the car each day -- and you can easily stop by the condo for lunch or to give the kids an afternoon break.

Just for Kids: The Jackson Gore base is a recent key addition to the resort, and it's quickly become the new family center of the mountain, complete with a ski and snowboard school (for kids 3 and up) and a daycare center. Less crowded than the main lodge and base area, it's a good spot for hassle-free skiing with kids. Another great feature is the private Parent and Tot lesson program, where you'll see your child improve up-close and get pointers on how to help her when you ski or board together.

Family Fun: Once you get off the slopes, head over to the Spring House fitness center, which has a family pool with a slide and water fountains. Your kids will also love snow tubing and playing inside the giant "king-of-the-mountain" snowplay zone built right next to the ski school. If you don't feel like cooking, head to Wicked Good Pizza (wickedgoodpizza.com) in town or the nearby Coleman Brook Tavern (802-228-1435).

Parent Perks: A try-before-you-buy policy means you can ski for an hour in the morning for free before you spring for a day's ticket -- good if it's really cold or if you're not sure your kid will like it. If you take a break from the slopes, check out the factory outlets, including stores for Coach, J.Crew, and more, in nearby Manchester (manchesterdesigneroutlets.com).

Where to stay: Both the Okemo and Jackson Gore base areas have condos in all sizes and price ranges (Jackson Gore condos are newer). Most have kitchens, washers, and dryers, and start at $73 night/person with lift tickets (okemo.com). Or try the Best Western in Ludlow (bestwesternludlow.com).

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