Whether you’re looking to ski with the littles for the day or a week-long family vacation this winter, you don’t have to travel far—there are plenty of day and overnight ski resorts in NJ (or close by). With each spot offering bunny hills to black diamonds, there’s a trail for everyone, including lessons, rental shops, and places for hot cocoa and snack breaks. Ready to hit the slopes? Read on to find the top sites for skiing—now, bring on the snow! And be sure to check out our Snow Tubing Spots Around NJ for more winter fun. (featured photo credit: @skijfbb)
Here are the 11 best ski resorts in NJ (or nearby) for families
If you are looking for ski resorts in NJ, this is a great choice—Mountain Creek is a full-service resort where you can go for a day trip or stay longer at an on-site townhome or one of the adjacent resort hotels. This mountain has four peaks, and beginners and experts can spend the day crankin’ turns and feel the thrill of 5 lifts, 12 trails, and various terrain features. Little ones can snowplow with Kids Camp’s pros, while older kids can get their kicks on the 67-acre terrain parks spread over 11 parks on three peaks, ranging from extra small to large. For a different kind of adrenaline-fueled activity, head to the snow tubing hill for a sliding experience that’s pure snowy fun.
Mountain Creek Resort
200 Route 94, Vernon Township, NJ 07462
Campgaw Mountain is another one of the local ski resorts in NJ, conveniently located in Mahwah, for an easy day trip. This mountain’s not-so-scary size makes it a perfect place for little ones (and adults new to skiing) to boot up and get acquainted with the sport. And a bonus with that mountain size—there are shorter lift lines and less crowded slopes, creating a safer and more pleasant environment for little ones. Snow bunnies ages 4 to 6 can participate in the children’s ski lessons, or if you’re a more advanced skiing family, check out the night skiing on Friday and Saturday evenings. Not so into skiing? Hit Campgaw’s snow tubing hill for the ultimate chill thrill.
200 Campgaw Rd, Mahwah, NJ 07430
Camelback Mountain Resort, just across Delaware, is known for its family-friendly mountain that’s welcoming and challenging, with 39 trails (all are fully lit for night skiing). There are lifts, including Magic Carpets, for little ones. If Ski School is what you’re after, Camelback offers children’s programs, beginner lessons, and privates. And thanks to a staggering 42 lanes of snow tubing, there’s plenty of non-ski fun too.
Camelback Mountain Resort
301 Resort Dr, Tannersville, PA 18372
With both mountains boasting summits of 2,000 feet or higher, Jack Frost Mountain and Big Boulder Mountain pride themselves in being the first to open the season and the last to close in the spring. For lovers of jumps, rails, and 180s, head to Big Boulder—the mountain dedicates 50% of its terrain to park features for extreme riders looking to take their tricks to the next level. Jack Frost is open during the mornings and afternoons every day, while Big Boulder operates during the afternoons and evenings. There are also plenty of family-friendly meal options for aprés-ski food and drink or mid-day refueling at the mountain’s cafeterias.
Jack Frost Ski Resort
434 Jack Frost Mountain Rd, White Haven, PA 18661
Big Boulder Mountain
357 Big Boulder Dr, Lake Harmony, PA 18624
Blue Mountain Resort’s impressive statistics speak for themselves—it boasts Pennsylvania’s highest vertical, the longest runs, and the most varied terrain with 40 trails. With 16 lifts, this mountain can keep even the most experienced skier busy for a full day of turns. If your kids have run their course with the beginner ski schools, try the Explorers Lesson or Winter Adventure Camp—they’re all more in-depth and challenging than regular ski school programs. Blue Mountain features five terrain parks for every skill level and encourages families to “redefine joy-ride” by visiting the snow tubing hill. Once you’ve worked up an appetite after a day of activity, grab a seat at the Slopeside Pub & Grill, and take in the terrific views while skiers whiz by.
Blue Mountain Resort
1660 Blue Mountain Dr, Palmerton, PA 18071
Elk Mountain Ski Resort in Union Dale, Pennsylvania, is considered one of the “Six Unsung Heroes” by Ski Magazine. The mountain’s top elevation is 2,692 ft, the highest of any operating resort in eastern Pennsylvania, and the ski resort features 1,000 feet of sheer excitement. With two terrain parks—one for beginners and the other for experienced skiers and boarders—the whole family can find their groove. Elk’s ski school and children’s program is part of the Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA) and utilizes the American Teaching System. When you want to take a break to refuel, there’s Elk Mountain Cafeteria and the newly-renovated Winter Garden Restaurant for the whole family to enjoy.
Elk Mountain Ski Resort
344 Elk Mountain Rd, Union Dale, PA 18470
If you are looking for one of the most unique ski resorts in NJ, you won’t want to miss Big Snow at American Dream. This indoor ski and snowboard resort is the only one of its kind in North America and has chilly temps to make you feel like it’s winter 365 days a year. If you’re new to the slopes or want to brush up on skills off-season, there are private lessons with Snow Day Packages and Slope Access Tickets. The coolest thing to do? Rent a Sno-Go Bike and ride downhill in a whole new way.
1 American Dream Way, East Rutherford, NJ 07073
Shawnee Mountain Ski Area is a family favorite in the Poconos with 23 slopes and trails, including the Pocono Plunge Snow Tubing Park and two Terrain Parks that feature boxes, spines, rails, rollers, stairs, wall ride, and a sound system. The Learning Center is on its own designated beginner’s slope, so tiny skiers and adult beginners all have a safe space to learn. While you can buy tickets at the slopes, they encourage you to buy online to reserve your spot. And if you’d rather slide than ski, enjoy the thrill of snow tubing at their Pocono Plunge Snow Tubing Park.
Shawnee Mountain Ski Area
401 Hollow Rd, East Stroudsburg, PA 18301
Montage Mountain Resort in Scranton, PA, challenges families to experience winter head-on with 27 trails, 1000 vertical feet drop, valley views, tubing, and night skiing. Looking for a unique apres-ski experience? The Midland slopeside spot has private tents with firepits for rent where you can take a midday break or hang after an exciting day on the slopes. If you need to warm up indoors, the Slocum Hollow Bar & Restaurant is the ultimate apres-ski experience with 22 craft beers on tap, signature bites, yummy gourmet pizzas, and food for the kids.
Montage Mountain Resort
1000 Montage Mountain Rd, Scranton, PA 18507
Mount Peter has been operating since 1936, making it the oldest ski area in New York. This resort has built a reputation as a premier family destination for snow lovers, particularly beginners and small children. Since 30% of the mountain’s trails are for beginners, it’s a great place to gain a lifelong passion for the sport. And with a newly recreated learning center offering three progressive trails, each with a carpet lift, littles can feel at ease going up and down the slopes. The best part? With a lift ticket, anyone over the age of 5 can learn to ski (or age 6 for snowboarding) for free on holidays and weekends with a group lesson in their Beginner Central program. Kids will get an introduction to equipment, sliding movements, basic balance and stance, stopping, and direction changes.
51 Old Mt. Peter Rd, Warwick, NY 10990
Hunter Mountain is New York’s top four-season resort for families featuring renowned terrain, snowmaking and grooming, an award-winning Learning Center, snow tubing, slopeside condominiums, and the Kaatskill Mountain Club luxury hotel. Though Hunter is the furthest mountain from New Jersey on our list, it is the place to go if you’re looking for a big mountain in the tri-state area. Its summit hits 3,200 feet above sea level with a 1,600-foot vertical drop, and that’s not all—with 13 lifts and an impressive 67 trails spread across the 240 acres, skiers of all levels can find challenging terrain and slopes for easy runs too.
64 Klein Ave, Hunter, NY 12442
Which ski resorts in NJ or nearby are your favorite?
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