We always wanted to get our kids on skis early. Last year, we pulled our daughter on a set of skis for a total of 5 minutes – she loved it! This year, she’s 3.5 and will hopefully get started on skis – I think the hardcore ski families have little ones on skis as soon as they can walk, but for the rest of us mere mortals, generally 4 years old is on the early side.
Quechee has a great Kids program – including “day care” which is basically games and activities for the younger ones… Ski Bees is the group program for 4-7 year olds, then a more intense “Skills & Drills” class for 8-12 year olds. We have friends with older kids who are on the Quechee Ski Team (which goes up until age 18). I met a guy who’s kids learned to ski at Quechee, were now nationally ranked juniors and were currently touring in Germany on a ski program. Not too shabby! Skiing / snowboarding has gotten so expensive, I love that Quechee is still pretty affordable – you can bring a family of 4 for about $100 (if you buy tickets in advance) and don’t stress out if one in the group has a melt down, or another’s foot hurts, or if mom just wants to relax at the fire.
The Swiss Alps, it ain’t. Then again, if you’re looking for more intense downhill action, there are many within a short drive:
- Suicide Six (Woodstock, about 15 mins drive): 2 lifts, 1 J-bar, 23 runs, 650′ vertical
- Mt Sunapee (Sunapee NH, about 30 mins drive): 11 lifts, 63 trails, 1510′ vertical
- Killington + Pico (Rutland VT, about 40 mins drive): 29 lifts, 212 trails, 3050′ vertical
- Swiss Alps (Switzerland, about 6 hrs flight)
The best part about Quechee is there’s tons of activities even if you don’t like skiing (or just want a day off): from ice skating, to sledding, to x-country, to snow shoeing, to just taking a sleigh ride, or getting a massage at the club. There’s something for everyone.