7 Best Ski Resorts Near DC for Kids and Families

Snowshoe Mountain Resort boasts a whopping 56 ski trails. Photo courtesy of snowshoemountain.com
Snowshoe Mountain Resort boasts a whopping 56 ski trails. Photo courtesy of snowshoemountain.com

When you’re ready for an outdoor skiing adventure with your family, you don’t have to drive all the way to New England for a great experience. These seven ski resorts near DC offer great ski-lesson programs and slopes for kids of all skill levels within a few hours' drive. They also offer all kinds of other amenities for families to enjoy, from snow tubing to indoor play spaces to heated pools.

Most of these ski resorts near DC are operating with capacity restrictions and social-distancing measures in lift lines and lodges to keep visitors safe during COVID. Be sure to check their websites or call ahead to confirm what’s open now.

Our Winter Activities Guide for DC Kids highlights plenty more ways for your family to have fun this winter. If skiing isn't your thing, check out our list of the best places to go snow tubing near DC. For even more skiing and snow sports ideas, browse our Ski and Snow Sports Guide.

If you are traveling to an activity outside of your state, check if COVID cases are on the rise in the area, as well as any travel restrictions, advisories, or quarantine orders. Be sure to check with the ski resorts before heading out, as some places are canceling or limiting activities at the last minute due to the latest COVID surge.

Most Affordable Ski Resort Near DC

 
Bryce Resort is an affordable option for kids who are ready for small ski slopes. Photo courtesy of Bryce Resort

Bryce Resort — Basye, Virginia

Bryce Resort is one of the most affordable ski resorts near DC, particularly for kids who are ready to ski small slopes. If your children don’t need a lesson but aren’t ready to hit the bigger trails just yet, there’s a bunny slope with a magic carpet lift designed for beginners. Lift tickets for just the bunny slope start at $30 on weekends for kids ages 6-12 and $37 for ages 13 and up. A day pass for all of the slopes starts at $64 for ages 6-12 and $70 for adults. Kids 5 and under ski free.

Bryce Resort's Kinder Ski School program is designed for children ages 4 ½ to 7, with small-group lessons starting at $160, plus $96 for rental equipment. The children’s ski learning center includes two magic carpet lifts. There’s also snowboarding, snow tubing, and ice skating to enjoy.

Best Ski Resort Near DC with Additional Activities for Kids

Massanutten Resort — McGaheysville, Virginia

Massanutten Resort offers fun for everyone, whether you want to ski, snow tube, swim, or relax in the spa. The ski slopes include 14 trails, with seven easy trails and three magic carpet conveyors. Massanutten is not offering group lessons for the 2021-22 winter season, but private and semi-private lessons for families are available, starting at $110 for a one-hour lesson. When families are done skiing, they can enjoy the amazing indoor water park, which includes a water fortress, lots of water slides, lazy rivers, and an arcade area.

Best Adaptive Ski Resort Near DC


Canaan Valley Resort offers adaptive ski lessons for people living with various disabilities. Photo courtesy of the resort

Canaan Valley Resort — Davis, West Virginia

Canaan Valley offers 47 ski trails, of which 20 percent are beginner level, 36 percent are intermediate, and 44 percent are advanced/expert level. This is a good choice for families with kids who are already more experienced, although there are still plenty of ski trails for beginners, including the Critter Crawl slope with a magic carpet lift. Canaan Valley Snowsports School offers lessons for all ages and ability levels at reasonable rates. The resort is particularly unique in offering adaptive ski lessons, designed to allow people with autism, cerebral palsy, hearing and visual impairment, and other disabilities to learn to ski.

Best Large Ski Resort Near DC

Snowshoe Mountain Resort — Snowshoe, West Virginia

Snowshoe is one of the largest ski resorts near DC, with a total of 56 trails spread across three areas. The longer drive time of about four hours is rewarded with better snow conditions. For parents with very young children who aren’t ready to hit the slopes, there’s “Pre Ski” school, a child care program for ages 2-4 with crafts, stories, and playtime in the snow. Kids ages 3-4 and their parent can also take a joint “Mommy and Me” lesson that provides an introduction to skiing for the child and teaching strategies for Mom or Dad. There are also a variety of group-lesson options for older kids of all skill levels.

Best Ski Resort Near DC for Families with Multiple Ages and Ski Abilities

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Wintergreen Resort offers ski programs for kids of all ability levels. Photo courtesy of Wintergreen Resort

Wintergreen Resort — Wintergreen, Virginia

With 26 slopes and trails for all ability levels, Wintergreen is one of the best ski resorts near DC for families of mixed ages and skiing experience. Wintergreen Resort offers a variety of kids ski programs for ages 4-10 of all ability levels. These camp programs can be half-day or full-day. Group lessons are not being offered for the 2021-2022 season, though private and semi-private family lessons are available. Children 5 and under ski free with a ticketed adult.

Ridgely’s Fun Park, currently closed due to COVID, is perfect for the littlest snow bunnies ages 3 and up to enjoy a gentle snow tubing hill, try snowshoeing, build snowmen, and play.

Closest Ski Resort to DC

Liberty Mountain Resort — Carroll Valley, Pennsylvania

Liberty Mountain Resort is the shortest drive if you’re looking for a day trip to hit the slopes. The resort has 16 trails, 35 percent of which are beginner level and 40 percent intermediate. There are three surface lifts for beginners, too. Private lessons and group lessons for kids ages 4-12 are available, starting at $110 per child for a two-hour group lesson. Families can also enjoy snow tubing at Liberty Mountain Resort.

Best Ski Resort Near DC for Beginners


Wisp Resort offers affordable ski lessons for beginners of all ages. Photo courtesy of Wisp Resort, Facebook

Wisp Resort — McHenry, Maryland

Wisp Resort offers a great deal for beginners, whether it’s kids or adults. The Learn to Ski or Snowboard packages starts at $99 for adults and $89 for kids ages 6 and up and includes a group lesson, a lift ticket, and equipment rental. For younger kids ages 3 and up, Wisp offers private lessons. Wisp’s ski trails include nine easy trails, including a beginner’s area with a magic carpet lift. And for a unique thrill, ride the mountain coaster with its twists, turns, and corkscrews downhill 3,500 feet.

If your kids are already winter sports lovers looking to sharpen their skills, there’s also the Wisp Kids program, an all-day program where kids can socialize and learn in an atmosphere designed especially for them. The program is $249 per child and includes an all-day lift ticket, equipment rentals, a helmet, lessons, and lunch and snacks.

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