Don’t let the lack of a car keep you from hitting the slopes this winter. Nearly all of the big (and small, for you first-timers) ski resorts nearby offer bus and train package deals from New York City. These packages are convenient, wallet-friendly, and often include discounted lift tickets and equipment rentals.
Even if you own a car, these deals are worth considering: After a hard day on the slopes, it's wonderful to kick back and relax while someone else battles traffic back to NYC. These seven destinations, in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, offer ski packages to get your family to the mountains.
Find more ski and snow sports fun in our Family Ski Guide, covering the tristate area and beyond.
Under Two Hours Away
Mountain Creek – Vernon, New Jersey
The largest ski resort in New Jersey features 41 trails, night skiing, an all-mountain terrain park, and snow tubing. There are plenty of nice, long trails for beginners and ski camp options for kids. At less than 50 miles from Midtown Manhattan, Mountain Creek works with three tour operators.
Mountain Creek Ski Bus Package 1: Urban Sherpa offers its package on weekends with pickup points in Midtown Manhattan and near Union Square. The package includes round-trip transportation and lift ticket. Add-ons include rentals, lessons, and even outerwear. One-way tickets are available.
Price: $86 per person.
Mountain Creek Ski Bus Package 2: The NYC Snow Bus offers a package to Mountain Creek, too, with service from Downtown Brooklyn, Astoria, Queens, and Union Square. There are various packages from which to choose. Visit the website for more details.
Price: $84.90 per person for transportation and lift ticket. Lessons and rentals are available for an added fee.
Mt. Peter– Warwick, New York
Known as "the friendly" one, this mountain in Hudson Valley is perfect for beginners, including kids. It even offers FREE ski and snowboarding lessons for those over the age of 5 (paid options are available for all-ages), plus a brand-new snow tubing section. It's around 90 minutes from Midtown.
Mt. Peter Bus Package: Yehuu, a partner of the resort for decades, makes three stops in Manhattan: Chinatown, Times Square, and Columbia University. It deposits you at the mountain by mid-morning.
Price: Round-trip bus fare to the mountain is $45 ($40 when on sale). There are options to add on rentals and lift tickets, depending on your needs, which could help you circumvent waiting in line at the lodge.
Shawnee Mountain – East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania
This Poconos' family-friendly resort offers 23 trails for skiing, plus two terrain parks, and a snow tubing park.
Shawnee Mountain Ski Bus Package: Poconos Day Tripper offers daily departures from Port Authority to Shawnee Mountain. Options include adding lift tickets and equipment rentals.
Price: From $125 for children, $135 for adults. Weekend rates $10 more.
Another option for Poconos-area resorts is to board Martz Trailways buses from Port Authority. Though the company doesn't go directly to any of the resorts, you can disembark in Mt. Pocono and take a cab to your preferred destination. Round-trip ticket prices range from $70 to $80 for adults, about half that for children.
Thunder Ridge Ski Area – Patterson, New York
This small resort caters to families, offering trails for all experience levels, including several areas for kids that contain "green circle" trails.
Thunder Ridge Ski Train Package: The Metro-North Ski Train runs weekends and holidays. Check the website for specific dates. Packages can be purchased online or from any ticket office or vending machine—be sure to ask for the ski train when buying your ticket. The package includes round-trip travel, shuttle to and from the train station, lift ticket, and discounts on rental equipment.
Price: From Grand Central Station, $63.50 for adults, $51.50 for 12-year-olds, $27 for children ages 6-11, $12 for 5-year-olds, $10 for kids younger than 5.
RELATED: Snow Tubing Spots Near NYC
Under Three Hours Away
Belleayre in the Catskills has skiing for all levels.
Belleayre Mountain – Highmount, New York
This popular Catskills resort is run by New York State and boasts more than 50 trails covering all levels of skiing. It offers a good beginner's program, snowboarding, and even cross-country trails. Belleayre works with a number of travel companies to provide car-free day and overnight trips.
Belleayre Mountain Ski Bus Package 1: The Adirondack Trailways bus runs from Port Authority. The package includes round-trip transportation and lift ticket. Overnight packages are also available.
Price: $103 per person.
Belleayre Mountain Ski Bus Package 2: The I Love New York Ski Bus services Belleayre Mountain on select Sundays. Package includes round-trip transportation and lift ticket; add-on rentals and lessons for an additional fee.
Price: $99 per person.
Hunter Mountain – Hunter, New York
The granddaddy of New York ski resorts, Hunter welcomes skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels and is a popular and often crowded spot. (Tip: It's great in the off-season, too.)
Hunter Ski Bus Package 1: Sundown Express includes round-trip bus fare and access to all three mountains.
Price: From $89.99 per person.
Hunter Ski Bus Package 2: Paragon Sports runs bus trips from its Union Square store. Visit the website for a complete schedule. All packages include round-trip bus fare, a light breakfast, movie on the bus, and a lift ticket. The store also offers a bus fare only price ($42.50) if you already have a season pass. You can add a ski rental from Paragon for an additional $30 and skip the rental lines at the resort.
Price: $85 per person.
RELATED: 10 Inexpensive Winter Getaways for NYC Families
Windham Mountain has an excellent ski school.
Windham Mountain – Windham, New York
This family-friendly destination is located in the northern Catskill Mountains. It offers everything from ice skating to snowmobiling and is known for its great ski school.
Windham Mountain Ski Bus Package: Island Ski Tours has departures from East 42nd Street in Manhattan. You can also add on optional services such as lessons and equipment rental for an extra charge. See the website for details.
Price: $55 per person for bus fare only.
Find other great winter day trip ideas in our Family Travel Guide and additional seasonal fun in our Winter Guide.
A version of this article first published in January 2010, but it is revised annually.
Top photo: Windham Mountain. Photos courtesy of the resorts.