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On the Mountain with the Family; Create a Sensational Day of Schussing

By Kerry Phillips
Utah Ski Corner

There cannot be much better to do in the winter with a family than to take a ski vacation. There are so many options for where to go, what kind of lodging to stay enjoy, and different resorts that offer different types of experiences.

One thing most parents become quickly are aware of is how much time it takes to get a family out the door with everything they need for any kind of activity. A day of skiing is no different. A smart idea is to create a checklist of everything needed for each member of the family to have a great day on the slopes. Planning ahead helps people avoiding wasting those valuable ski hours getting everyone ready and on the hill.

For families who need to rent equipment, it is important to find a ski shop that offers gear for the whole family, including junior and adult ski and snowboard gear. Some resorts do not allow snowboarders and nearby ski shops might not offer them for rentals. A family of four can expect to spend about 45 minutes in the ski shop making sure everyone is fitted properly; longer on a holiday weekend. Reserving gear ahead of time will save time from filling out forms in the shop. Most recommend getting the gear the night before, after the 4:00-6:00 afternoon return rush. There will be fewer people in the shop and make it easier to manage the kids.

Many resorts are now requiring anyone under 18 years old to wear a helmet. When families pick up gear to buy or rent, it is important to know if a chosen resort has such rules. Most resorts rent helmets, but of course the cost will be greater than renting from a separate ski shop.

Nearly all of the resorts in Utah have some sort of program or specials that offer families a unique experience at a great rate. Most all resorts offer day care for those who are not old enough to ski or get a little tired during the day. Some, like Alta, offer a free daily afternoon ski program for teaching your young ones without breaking the bank. Brighton and Solitude offer kids full and half-day day camps, giving parents a chance to sneak off together to enjoy some of the tougher terrain.

Some resorts offer other activities to keep every member of the family happy and active. Park City Mountain Resort has an Alpine Coaster, Snowbird has a day camp with indoor and outdoor activities for kids, Deer Valley offers snowmobiling, and many have spa services and offer resort tours.

To save money while skiing with the whole family, Utah resorts offer discount lift tickets at select ski shops in Salt Lake City and throughout the Salt Lake Valley

Find ski and snowboard gear at great prices at