Man, woman, and child sitting in the snow

17 Best Winter Vacations for Families That Love Snow

17 Best Winter Vacations for Families Who Love Snow

There are some incredible destinations for families who like to play in the snow. Each of these family destinations offers amenities and activities for families of all ages and sizes. Winter family travel can be magical as your kids explore and enjoy this particular time of year. We’ve chosen some of the best winter vacation destinations and ideas that GoWhee families love.

1. Go Camping in Big Bear

Big Bear Lake, located near San Bernardino National Forest in southern California, is home to a beautiful resort that’s worth a visit in all four seasons. It’s known for excellent fishing, snowboarding, skiing, hiking, and mountain biking. Big Bear has lots of cabins if you want to take a winter vacation with your entire extended family. Most rental cabins include hot tubs, which are great for evening relaxation.

Basic Info: Cabin rental starts around $200 per night – Housing options include private cabins, rooms at a lodge, or hotel rooms – Free area trolley and transportation from the airport.

Nearby Attractions: Kids love the mountain coaster, the Big Bear Snow Play, and Ropes Course. There are even helicopter sightseeing tours for unparalleled views of the San Bernadino National Forest and the nearby mountains.

2. Vacation in the Mountains of Michigan

The Wolverine State has beautiful winter scenery and a thriving winter sports scene. The Boyne Mountain Resort has everything you need for a great family trip to the perfect winter getaway. Your kids will have a great time competing against each other on a twin racing zip line, ice skating, or snow biking. At the end of the day, you can relax in a hot tub, the heated indoor/outdoor pool, or enjoy a luxurious spa treatment.

Basic Info: Rooms start at $160 – Lots of dining options – Childcare for kids 3 months-12 years on site

Nearby Attractions: The resort’s Adventure Center offers all kinds of activities like a zip line course, horseback riding, and cross-country skiing.

3. Enjoy Christmas in Hershey, Pennsylvania

Take a day trip to one of America’s most amazing theme parks, Hersheypark. Check out their festive decorations, eat delicious foods, and ride holiday-themed coasters! If you visit during November and December, the park has a special holiday candy-themed overlay with over five million twinkling lights. They also feature a reindeer encounter and opportunities to visit with Santa.

Basic Info: Stay at the Hotel Hershey or the Hershey Lodge for resort benefits like early park access – Rooms start at $199 – Lots of dining options

Nearby Attractions: Hersheypark has 13 roller coasters and is packed with family fun. You can also catch a show at the beautiful Hershey Theatre and visit North American wildlife at ZooAmerica.

4. Stay at a Classic Austrian Ski Resort in Vermont

Located in beautiful Stowe, Vermont, the Trapp Family Lodge is a unique mountain resort featuring Austrian-inspired architecture. It has lots of amazing downhill and cross-country skiing. Plus, it’s run by the same Trapp family as featured in The Sound of Music!

Basic Info: Rates start at $355 – Rooms, suites, villas, and guest houses available – Seven restaurants on site

Nearby Attractions: The resort has lots to do, but if you want to leave and explore Stowe, there is a beautiful family-friendly hiking trail leading to the gorgeous Moss Glen Falls. There are also frequent screenings of The Sound of Music and free themed tours of the resort that tie into the family’s history. You might even get to meet some of the living Von Trapp descendants!

5. Go on a Fairytale Winter Getaway in Minnesota

Enjoy the beautiful Minnesota winter from the comforts of a lakeside resort. When you book a vacation at Cragun’s Resort on Gull Lake, you’ll have access to lots of fun winter activities and amenities. It’s one of the best winter family vacations for nonskiers – there’s plenty to do in the snow, even without ski slopes. 

Basic Info: Basic rooms start at $159 – Book ahead for 20% off winter lodging –  Five onsite restaurants

Nearby Attractions: There’s a huge indoor sports center, an indoor pool, and all kinds of outdoor winter fun. Your family can enjoy dog sledding, snowmobile riding, ice fishing, snow bowling, and much more.

6. Visit a Dude Ranch in Colorado

All-inclusive winter vacations for families are lots of fun for everyone because kids have a great time and parents don’t have to worry about anything. At the C Lazy U Ranch, you can kick back, relax, and enjoy the snow. Take a thrilling family horseback ride together and explore the beautiful, rugged Colorado landscape. Enjoy Western hospitality at this full-service, all-inclusive dude ranch.

Basic Info: Rates start at $525 for adults – The stay includes three meals per day and lodging – The resort fee covers special events and activities.

Nearby Attractions: The ranch offers horseback riding, fly fishing, and special winter activity programming for the holiday season.

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7. Stay at an All-Inclusive Ski Resort in Virginia

The scenic Omni Homestead Resort is a resort for the entire family. Enjoy luxurious accommodations in the Virginia countryside and discover why this area was a favorite destination for 23 US Presidents.

Basic Info: Rooms start around $390 – 24 hour concierge service – Ski school onsite

Nearby Attractions: You don’t even have to leave the resort property to ski, ice skate, or enjoy the indoor swimming pool and lazy river.

8. Take Your Kids Dog Sledding in Oregon

Your kids will love learning how to mush behind a team of energetic sled dogs when you stay at the Sunriver Resort in Oregon. This resort offers a lot of incredibly fun winter activities and has a relaxing spa where you can wind down after a day of winter adventures.

Basic Info: Book in advance–this opportunity sells out! – Resort rooms and cabin rentals are available – Rooms start at $123

Nearby Attractions: The resort has a heated indoor pool, build-your-own-teddy-bear factory, and fun horseback riding opportunities.

9. Stay at an Ice Hotel in Canada

Stay in a hotel made of ice in Saint-Gabriel-de-Valcartier on the east coast of Quebec. It’s an unforgettable experience that will seem like fairytale magic to your kids.

Basic Info: Rooms start at $399 CAD – Arctic sleeping bags provided – Best for kids 3 and up 

Nearby Attractions: Enjoy local skiing and snowboarding, visit the Aquarium du Quebec, or take a day trip to go whale watching.

10. Hit Some of the World’s Best Slopes in Vail

Vail, Colorado is famous for its incredible ski slopes and resorts. While there are lots of great resorts, we recommend Sonnenalp Resort based on its unique kid’s clubs. There are indoor and outdoor clubs for kids that have awesome seasonal activities and take your kids on fun adventures.

Basic Info: Two-bedroom suites start at $329 – Ski concierge – Indoor/outdoor heated pools and hot tubs

Nearby Attractions: There’s lots of skiing in the Vail area, and families can enjoy the nearby Betty Ford Alpine Gardens or the Vail scenic gondolas.

11. Explore Yellowstone National Park in Winter

Yellowstone National Park is amazing in winter–the snow transforms the landscape into something truly magical. You will need to plan your trip carefully because some roads are closed due to snow, but winter in Yellowstone is perfect if your family likes cross-country skiing or snowshoeing.

Basic Info: There are lots of small cabins and resorts to fit any family’s needs – You will need to book snow coaches or snowmobiles to access the park’s interior – Be alert around wildlife

Nearby Attractions: Winter is an amazing time to see Old Faithful. Lamar Valley on the park’s northern ridge is open to regular vehicle traffic.

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12. Spend Winter in Texas

Every year, the Gaylord Texan Resort’s lobby and three massive atriums transform into a winter playscape. It’s here where families can enjoy games, live music, escape rooms, meet rescued wildlife, and much more.

Basic Info: Rooms start at $303 – Lots of dining options – Indoor waterpark

Nearby Attractions: Families can enjoy the old-fashioned Grapevine Vintage Railroad or the Sea Life Aquarium at the nearby Grapevine Mills Mall.

13. Ride a Real-Life Polar Express

Upstate New York is beautiful in the winter and home to one of the most magical experiences: a real-life Polar Express! Stay in charming Utica and enjoy this one-of-a-kind railroad experience.

Basic Info: Tickets start at $47 for adults and $29 for kids 2-12 – Local hotels start around $160 a night – Lots of family-friendly dining options like Georgio’s Village Café and Swifty’s Restaurant and Pub

Nearby Attractions: After riding the Polar Express, take a day trip to Cooperstown for the Baseball Hall of Fame. Visit the Utica Zoo to see how the animals like to play in the snow or stop by the Val Bialas ski center.

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14. Visit Gorgeous Whistler 

Whistler is one of Canada’s treasures and a wonderful hub for family winter vacations. You can explore the village and stay at the Whistler Village Suites where your family can enjoy a heated indoor/outdoor pool.

Basic Info: Rooms start at $317 CAD – Access to Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain – Family-friendly dining options

Nearby Attractions: Whistler has a vibrant arts culture and access to amazing skiing and snowboarding slopes. The Whistler Visitors Center also offers scavenger hunts and special activities for families with kids.

15. Take a Winter Sleigh Ride in Colorado

When your family enjoys winter at Colorado’s Keystone Resort, you can enjoy a magical sleigh ride through the snow! Keystone’s sleigh rides last about two hours and take you through areas of great scenic beauty. Powerful draft horses will take you through the Soda Creek Valley as your guide tells you stories about the area’s history. You’ll even stop at a historic Keystone homestead for a cup of hot apple cider before you return to the resort. It’s the kind of holiday magic you’ll want to repeat year after year. 

Basic Info: Sleigh rides are $50 – Keystone has several lodging options including hotel and lodge rooms, cabin rentals, and condos – Lodging options start around $144 per night

Nearby Attractions: Keystone is known for its skiing, and many of the area resorts in hotels have ski-in/ski-out options. If you’re traveling with nonskiers, you can enjoy snowshoe trails, wildlife viewing opportunities, and the Keystone Kidtopia Snow Fort. This is located at the top of Dercum Mountain. It’s the largest snow fort in the country and it’s free – you just need a gondola or lift ticket. 

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16. Enjoy ALL The Winter Sports in New Hampshire

When you stay at the Omni Mount Washington Resort, you can enjoy winter sports throughout the snowy season. There’s skiing, snowshoeing, snow tubing, and so much more! This beautiful grand New Hampshire hotel is a charming place to stay and your family will be sure to enjoy the indoor activities as much as the outdoor sports. The resort also has kid-friendly holiday activities like breakfast with Santa and tea with Mrs. Claus!

Basic Info: Rooms start at $509 – Attractions priced individually – Ski school available for people aged 7 and up

Nearby Attractions: In addition to the winter sports mentioned above, the resort offers horseback riding and adaptive winter sports for disabled family members. The resort is also home to the longest zip line in New England, which will whisk you through the canopy of a snow-covered forest.

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17. Introduce Tiny Tots to Snowboarding in Vermont

Smuggler’s Notch in Vermont is a family-friendly vacation destination that’s perfect for kids of all ages. They offer lots of ski schools and other programs to teach your kids how to have fun in the snow safely.

Basic Info: Vacation packages start at $299 – Lots of dining options – Childcare and babysitting available

Nearby Attractions: There are lots of mountain day lodges dotting the mountain to give you a place to relax and have a cup of hot chocolate when you’re not skiing or snowboarding.

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