When thinking of a family ski trip, most parents hope for a certain ideal: cocoa by the fire, capturing a child’s first parallel turns on camera, and board games to replace screen time. But most seasoned trip-planning parents also know those beautiful moments can come with a lot of complication if they aren’t planned just right. When traveling with kids in tow, the name of the game is keeping everyone entertained, keeping gear organized, and staying comfortable and sane. The good news is that Deer Valley Resort is particularly well-known for its family-friendliness, starting with how easy it is to get everyone there. Salt Lake City International Airport is only 35 miles away from the resort, so you can skip the awful post-flight road trip demanded by many ski destinations.
Where to Stay
When it comes to transportation, you can rent a car if you prefer, or skip driving altogether and take a shuttle straight to the resort, which the resort lodging staff can help you arrange. Once you’re at the resort, it’s perfectly possible to go car-free the entire time. Of course, as you look at flights and transport, you’ll have a look at your lodging options as well. The area has infinite variety with something for everyone, including plenty of rental homes. If you want ultimate simplicity, stay right in the resort-managed lodging rather than another hotel or rental home. (You can find a list on their site here.) The most kid-friendly ski runs, childcare, and ski school are clustered around the Snow Park Lodge base area. The resort-managed properties near Snow Park Lodge include Black Diamond Lodge, Silver Baron Lodge, Lodges at Deer Valley, and Trail’s End Lodge.
Here’s a pro tip to parents who are juggling travel logistics: There are a few good reasons to stay in a Deer Valley-managed hotel or condo. At Deer Valley’s lodging, you can get your lift tickets right at the front desk, and you’ll also receive complimentary shuttle service around town and around the resort in one of the resort’s Cadillac Escalades. And you have all the plush concierge services Deer Valley® is known for—the staff are truly at your beck and call if you need literally anything, whether your kid wants a certain type of breakfast cereal or you need help exchanging your rental boots. When you’re staying at a Deer Valley property, you have a team whose job it is to make your trip easy and smooth. It takes a lot of weight off a busy parent’s shoulders, to be sure.
Planning Your Time on the Mountain
Once you have your flight and lodging booked, the very next thing to do is book everyone’s ski lessons and, if needed, child care. Deer Valley’s ski school is famous for its quality instructors, and for that reason, it books up *fast. *So think ahead while you’re trip planning. Will your kids need lessons? And, moreover, just how much skiing will they have energy to do? When their ski legs are all worn out, the Children’s Center offers exceptional child care with great adult-to-child ratios. Kids love it so much that they generally beg to go back the next day. By letting your kids have a blast at the Children’s Center while they’re not skiing, you can enjoy some valuable adult-only ski time or hours on the ski hill with just one kid at a time.
While you’re booking lessons and child care, think about whether the adults in your group would like a lesson or two as well. In a session with a private instructor or in a small group of similarly skilled adults, you can make excellent progress that helps you enjoy skiing even more. Maybe you overcome your fear of trying your first intermediate run, or maybe you work from “advanced” to “expert” on the moguls. It’s always worthwhile to become more competent and confident.
You can arrange your gear rental online in advance, which trims down the time spent waiting in line at the rental shop, getting you out on the mountain faster. Have a look at rental options here. One of the hardest things about skiing with kids is, honestly, packing all their gear back and forth from your lodging to the lift. Fortunately, Deer Valley’s anticipated this and offers ski valet service at the base of Snow Park Lodge. You can leave your skis with the attendants right at the base of the hill at the end of the day, then come back the next morning to pick them back up. Anyone who’s tried to carry multiple tired children, their skis, boots, helmets, and gloves, plus the adult gear, can attest that the ski valet is a godsend.
Yes, There’s Lots To Do Besides Skiing
If you’re traveling with extended family, there may be non-skiers in your group as well. At Deer Valley, that’s okay. There’s tons to do, both outdoors and indoors. You can book a snowshoe tour, take a sleigh ride, or even try dogsledding. The resort has multiple top-notch spas and fitness studios, and five minutes away in downtown Park City, you’ll find even more fitness studios, spas, and yoga studios, plus all the shopping anyone’s heart could desire. It’s entirely possible for a non-skier to stay as busy as the skiers. Just mention the kinds of activities your non-skiers might be into, and the resort concierge will help make it happen.
Finally, you can start getting excited about one of the things Deer Valley is best known for: food. If you’ll have a kitchen or kitchenette, you can easily stock up on easy-to-prepare meals and take-away meals at the Deer Valley Grocery~Café. There is no end to the amazing lunch spots on the mountain that you can enjoy during the day. Grab hot breakfast or a quick coffee and pastry in Snow Park Lodge in the morning, then take advantage of the exceptional (and family-friendly!) mid-mountain restaurants at Silver Lake or Empire Canyon Lodges during the day.
Reserve dinners well in advance if possible. Fortunately, there are few things as fun as reading all the resort’s restaurant menus online and selecting the places you’re most interested in trying. Most of the evening restaurants can accommodate children, or you may speak to your concierge about arranging a babysitter to enjoy a night out for grownups. Your delectable options range from the exceptional Mariposa (rated the number one restaurant in the state for food and service by Zagat) to European-style Fireside Dining, to Deer Valley’s famous Seafood Buffet, or brick-oven-cooked comfort food at The Brass Tag. That doesn’t begin to include options on Main Street in Park City—a foodie wonderland in its own right. Whatever you do, bring a big appetite when you come to Deer Valley. There are plenty of things to do with it.
Originally written by RootsRated Media for Deer Valley.