Whether Junior is a novice skier or was born on a pair of snowshoes, these five destinations around Pittsburgh are perfect for little legs and feet. Each also has plenty of expert instruction, lots of easy trails, convenient equipment rental and oodles of warm beverages to make your frosty extremities toasty once again. Make snow sports a family tradition that will last a lifetime.
Boyce Park Ski & Snow Tubing Area
675 Old Frankstown Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15239
Whether the weather is sunny or flurrying, Boyce Park is making snow all season long. Ski or board day and night on this 1,096-acre park, and enjoy the only location in Allegheny County for downhill skiing. Bonus: oftentimes Boyce will offer free helmet rental for the little ones, so check the website or Twitter feed often. After your kids have hopped their sillies out on one of Boyce’s super-easy bunny slopes, relax by an open fireplace while enjoying a magnificent view of the mountains through the Four Seasons Lodge’s observation windows while enjoying a variety of hot food and drinks of your choice.
Nemacolin Woodlands Resort
1001 Lafayette Drive
Farmington, PA 15437
Mystic Mountain at Nemacolin Woodlands is an ideal learning environment for first-time skiers and their caregivers, with 25 acres of fun, short lines, friendly trails and experienced instructors. Downhill skiing and snowboarding is available on seven slopes at this highly rated resort, with ski difficulty ranging from beginner to expert. Nemacolin Woodlands offerings also include snow tubing, dog sledding, cross country skiing and snow shoeing. A full range of rental equipment is available; please see the website for further rates and hours of operation.
Hidden Valley Resort
1 Craighead Rd.
Hidden Valley, PA 15502
Families always come first at Hidden Valley Resort, which has been the M.O. of the organization since its inception nearly 40 years ago. Hidden Valley is a beautifully appointed resort featuring 31 well-groomed slopes and trails, which are perfect for the youngest skiers on your list. The resort boasts excellent snow-making capabilities for those warmer winter days, an excellent team of instructors to ease your child’s trepidation and the most comfortable environment to learn to ski or even hone latent abilities. Best of all, the resort features affordable day and overnight packages so you can take your child’s skiing expertise to the next level with immersive training.
Related: Pittsburgh Winter Fun
Seven Springs Mountain Resort
777 Waterwheel Drive
Seven Springs, PA 15622
Let Seven Springs Resort be your go-to destination for family fun and frolic in winter, or all year round. One of the most popular resorts in Pennsylvania, Seven Springs sits on more than 285 acres of ski and snowboard terrain, so you and the kids can ski, snowboard or tube all day long. Expansive lodging packages will ascertain that you can hit the slopes early, with some overnight rentals even including a private chair lift and/or ski-in/ski-out amenities. Seven Springs also provides snowshoe and snowmobile trails, and can arrange a tour for you while the kids get one-on-one instruction from Seven Springs expert ski instructors.
Blue Knob Ski Resort
P.O. Box 247
Claysburg, PA 16255
Blue Knob All Seasons Resort offers 34 trails, some with the longest vertical drop of 1,072 feet. Blue Knob is the highest skiable mountain with the most challenging slopes in Pennsylvania, but do not let those statistics deter you or your children. Blue Knob’s hills are also comprised of 20 percent beginner grades and 35 percent intermediate grades, so everyone in your party, regardless of skill level, will be given an opportunity to fly downhill in that gorgeous, sparkly powder. In addition to Blue Knob’s downhill skiing, the resort also offers snow tubing and groomed Nordic skiing. Best of all, the resort partners with PSAA, which gives underserved children an opportunity to ski and snowboard for free.
Nikki Tiani-Moroney is a full time mum of two boys, wife of a professional poker player/photographer/amateur pencil-sharpening competitor and writer from Pittsburgh, PA. When she isn’t studiously neglecting her housework in favor of a good book, she’s out simultaneously fighting crime and picking up sidewalk litter while savoring an occasional cigarette. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.