With plenty of off-hill activities, great ski schools and a plethora of dining options for picky eaters, these are five of Canada’s most family-friendly ski resorts.
1. Big White Ski Resort, British Columbia
Families who love to ski and snowboard will be wowed by this resort’s broad, powder-covered slopes, picturesque snow ghosts (large trees encased with snow) and thoughtful ski school. Offering condo-to-ski-hill shuttle service, an instructor picks up (and drops off) your kids. There is also plenty of family-friendly après-ski activities such as skating, tubing and mini-snowmobiling for kids.
2. Panorama Mountain Resort, British Columbia
Panorama’s prime location, tucked into the mountains near Invermere, may be picture perfect, but the resort’s real beauty is its family friendliness. Panorama’s lodging is slope-side and poolside (there’s an outdoor heated pool). Plus, its Discovery Zone offers a stress-free intro to skiing and snowboarding with easy-to-ride lifts, a Little Ripper Carpet for beginners and easy ski routes through the snowy forest.
3. Sunshine Village, Alberta
Situated high in the mountains of Banff National Park, Sunshine Village is a family favourite. Sunshine’s vast terrain provides plenty of room for the kids to roam and the resort straddles the B.C.-Alberta border, allowing kids to ski in and out of two provinces—a geography lesson wrapped in winter fun. Better still, Sunshine Mountain Lodge is situated at the top of the hill’s gondola, offering Banff National Park’s only slope-side lodging.
4. Blue Mountain Resort, Ontario
With 12 lifts and 42 named trails, Ontario’s Blue Mountain is bigger than you might expect. There is a vast learners’ area manned by highly efficient ski pros and featuring three terrain parks—Badlands, Grove and the new L-Park—which are well maintained. Blue’s après-ski options are bountiful and include skating, tubing, shopping, a mountain coaster and an aquatic centre, plus proximity to outdoor hot pools, steam rooms and saunas of Scandinave Spa. This last one is for the adults only, though.
5. Mont-Sainte-Anne, Quebec
With its long and languid trails, all-skill-levels tree runs, four FIS-approved ski racing runs, boardercross course and expansive terrain park, Quebec’s Mont-Sainte-Anne is a lovely place for families to ski and snowboard. Sleds are scattered at the resort’s base for easy transport of equipment and little ones, and kids and parents will love the slope-side sugar shacks serving up hot and sticky maple taffy. Mont-Saint-Anne’s fat-biking trails add adrenaline to a family’s après-ski fun.