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Snowmass

+Ideal family vacation spot. Treehouse Center rocks. - Limited dining options. Have to hit Aspen for good après.

Snowmass can teach us all a lesson in resort development: You needn’t turn your base into Wally World to attract families. There’s a refreshing absence of bungee trampolines and alpine coasters; Snowmass caters to the younger set with 3,132 acres of kid-friendly greens and blues, three terrain parks (no. 7), world-class grooming (no. 3), high-speed lifts (no. 4), ski-in, ski-out lodging (no. 4) and its innovative Treehouse Adventure Center, which is surely to thank for the resort’s consistently high ranking in Family Programs for the fourth straight year. The 25,000-square-foot facility boasts a climbing gym, teen activities, kids’ retail and a host of themed rooms for ages eight weeks to four years, all right at the base of the slopes. The center also brings Snowmass’s ski-school check-in, rentals and family après under one roof. But to land in the overall Top 5, a resort needs to lure more than just families, and Snowmass’s high-quality snow and varied mountain layout please the masses. “As good as it gets,” exclaims one reader. “Wonderful variety of terrain.” The whole package in one convenient place. —Tess Weaver

On-Hill Lunch » The rustic Lynn Britt cabin offers panoramic views of the Snowmass Valley and high peaks beyond, plus a tasty menu of Colorado’s seasonal best.

Must Ski » Whichever run is the recipient of the daily Noon Groom, a fresh combing that reopens the trail at 12 o’clock.

Family Activity » Kids Adventure Maps point out myriad on-slope Fun Zones, with rollers, moguls and natural obstacles.

Learning to Fly

Learning To Fly
Learning To Fly
How to know when it’s time to let your little skier venture out on her own.

If you’re a ski parent, passing your passion for the sport on to your children is as important as teaching them
how to tie their shoes. Kids who start perfecting turns before
they have full command of the English language often reach
adulthood as strong skiers with a healthy love of the sport. For
parents who want their children to follow the path to skiing
greatness, the question of how and when to let the kiddos roam free on the hill looms. Parents looking for a quick and consistent answer are out of luck.

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