Skiing & Winter Sports

5 Places Where Kids Can Learn to Ski or Snowboard Near Boston

Teaching a child to ski is no easy feat. Between the gear, ticketing costs, and the awkwardness of little ones, it can often be a better bet to sign a child up for ski lessons. Luckily, within an 80-minute drive of Boston, there are a handful of simple ski facilities—four downhill mountains, and one cross country course—with gentle, wide-open slopes that are perfect for learning this great winter activity. All offer rentals and lessons, courtesy of experienced instructors who are accustomed to working with new (and sometimes overwhelmed) skiers, and a family-friendly atmosphere where a slopes-confident parent can, alternatively, have plenty of space to teach a child by herself. While a good snowstorm can happen at any time, the mountains are making as much snow as they possibly can. Call or register online ahead as far in advance as possible remember—just like a potty training and two wheeling, they will get the hang of it eventually!

Free and Cheap Kids' Ski Programs in the Northeast This Winter

Let's face facts: No matter how exhilarating skiing and snowboarding are, they are also among the most expensive activities in which a family can participate—especially if your kids take a single run and spend the rest of the day sipping cocoa.

Thankfully, many nearby state ski associations offer free or mostly free lift tickets to grade-schoolers, even if you're not a resident of that state. Of course, there are hurdles to clear to get those benefits—kids need to be the appropriate age, apply online and, in some cases, be accompanied by a paying adult. There are also "processing fees" attached to several, but it breaks down to a very discounted ticket if you use it more than once. But for avid skiers and riders, or those who merely want to try out the sports, these programs can save you plenty of cash when skiing with the kids.

Read on for more information on how to ski for free in New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. (Note: Connecticut has a residents-only program for free ski passes for kids at Mohawk Mountain.)

Check our Ski and Snow Sports Guide for more fun on local hills and mountains.

Where To Go Ice Skating Indoors with Kids in NJ

Indoor ice skating is a fun way to take part in a winter activity without exposing yourself to the elements. Happily, there are many indoor rinks throughout the Garden State. We've focused on those that host public skate sessions, but most of them also offer skating lessons, hockey, birthday parties, and more.

Read on for our indoor rink recommendations for NJ families—and for more wintry sports, check out our Ski & Snow Guide.

Snow Sledding or Tubing for Los Angeles and SoCal Kids

They whiz down the hill, rosy-cheeked and squealing, sometimes making it to the bottom and sometimes not, their sleds in one direction, their giggling bodies in another. The magical mixture of snow, cold air, velocity, and the unknown makes snow sledding and tubing endlessly enticing; skiing is great, but sometimes there's nothing quite like good, old-fashioned sledding. And lucky us: even though we live in Southern California (where sleds are more often used on sand than on snow), we can still partake in this splendid winter adventure.

The Best Indoor Ice Skating Rinks for Long Island Kids

When it’s too cold for little ones to skate outdoors—or not cold enough for the ice to stay frozen—an indoor ice rink is an ideal solution. Here on Long Island, there is no shortage of indoor rinks. So, whether your family is new to the sport or your child is interested in joining a hockey league or taking figure skating lessons, we have just the rink for you.

This roundup of the best local indoor skating rinks on Long Island features information on open-skate times,  group and private lessons, birthday parties, and sports leagues.  Of course, if your family prefers to do its skating outdoors, be sure to check out our guide to Long Island’s best outdoor rinks.

Most of these rinks offer skate rental, but note that some are run by local municipalities that offer discounted fees for residents.

Sand Sledding: Winter Fun on the Sand Berms at Venice Beach

The berms are back!

Rumor has it that in some parts of the country sledding involves getting cold and wet. How very... un-Californian. Oh, sure, there are places near LA to go sledding on snow if that's your thing, but we're raising California kids—and that means beach sledding. Every winter a few Los Angeles area beaches get their annual sand berms—intended as protection against winter storms and violent surf. Or so they say. The real purpose is clearly to lay the groundwork for the ultimate SoCal winter sport.

9 Outdoor Ice Skating Rinks to Visit with Kids in NYC

It's time to sharpen those ice skates. Many of New York City's outdoor rinks are open for family fall, er, winter fun.

Whether you prefer to twirl with the tourists at Rockefeller Center and Central Park's Wollman Rink, or go off the beaten path to a Mommy Poppins favorite such as Lasker Rink, the city offers plenty of options for newbies to polished skaters—even a FREE skate spot. If it ever gets too cold to glide outside, you can always hit one of NYC's indoor ice skating rinks.

Easy Spring Break Getaways for New Jersey Families

Spring break means sunshine and outdoor fun. But if a trip to Florida or the Caribbean is not in your family's plan this season, a low-key getaway that's closer to home is an ideal way to welcome warmer weather.

From New Jersey beach towns to campgrounds and indoor water parks and resorts, we've found the best options for fun family destinations right here in the Garden State. And if you're looking for a shorter jaunt minus the overnight stay, check out our guide to New Jersey family day trips. But don't forget we just profiled some pretty cool family travel deals too!

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