It may seem like summer just ended, but now is the time to plan your family's winter getaway. Fortunately, Canadians don't even have to locate their passports to experience some of the best skiing and snowboarding conditions in the world.
These five Canadian ski resorts combine terrain for all levels of winter athletes with off-mountain attractions, kids' clubs, and more to create a family-friendly atmosphere that will draw you back year after year.
Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia
Ski Magazine recently named Whistler Blackcomb the top ski resort in North America for the third year in a row. It's no wonder the praised resort, located just 121 kilometres north of Vancouver, offers a long list of amenities for families. Whistler Blackcomb features a number of special ski and activity zones designed for kids, including the Coca Cola Tube Park, the Tree Fort and Magic Castle, and the Whistler Kids Snow School. Off the mountain, families enjoy a picturesque resort village with a huge selection of family-friendly restaurants, the Olympic Plaza outdoor skating rink, and so much more.
Mont Tremblant, Quebec
Photo credit: Andrea Black
Just a 90-minute drive north of Montreal, nestled in the Laurentian Mountains, is one of the most family-friendly resorts in Canada -- Mont Tremblant. Kids love the TAM-TAM Trail kids' zone, and more than 50-per cent of the resort's trails are Green Circles (easy) and Blue Squares (intermediate). Parents love that the Mother Nature Camp and Kidz Club Daycare programs can occupy little ones for half or full days, allowing them to tackle some of the resort's more extreme terrain.
Sun Peaks, British Columbia
Sun Peaks appears small compared to other British Columbia mega resorts, but it's the more low-key atmosphere that makes it ideal for families. A number of daycare and sports school options help kids advance their skills or ensure they have an action-packed day while they're parents are on the steeps. Off the mountain, families can keep the excitement going with snowmobile tours, Cat Trax groomer rides, sleigh rides, dog sled tours, ice skating, tubing and tons of other activities.
Lake Louise, Alberta
Photo credit: Larry Kwan
Lake Louise Ski Resort is one of the most scenic ski resorts in the world, and it's also one of teh best for families seeking a picturesque, unforgettable escape. The resort's 991-metre vertical drop and 4,200 acres of ski-able terrain will undoubtedly excite parents, but the more than 145 trails offer plenty of fun for skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels. The resort's renowned daycare centre welcomes infants and kids up to the age of six, while full and half-day lessons are offered for kids between five and 12. Off the mountain, UNESCO World Heritage-listed Banff National Park offers one of the most picture-perfect backdrops for an adventure-filled winter getaway.
Blue Mountain, Ontario
Blue Mountain's 42 trails and 14 lifts may make the resort seem tiny compared to some of Canada's more famous mountains, but families love spending time at this laid-back and affordable Ontario resort. The terrain park, glades, and some of the province's best powder appeal to parents, while kids love skiing under the lights at night, mastering their skills at ski school, tubing, skating, and taking part in Blue Mountain's long list of on and off-mountain activities. Head to Blue Mountain for a day or stay for a week; your entire family will thank you.
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