Winter fun for kids in Southern California can mean several things – a play date at the beach, a Saturday soccer game in the park as well as a snowy day in the local mountains. So Cal ski resorts are within driving distance, which makes it convenient for families to plan a weekend getaway or even a day trip. Whether you have a green, blue or black diamond skier in tow, these five local mountain resorts are ideal for a family ski trip. Each offer special deals for kids, ski and snowboarding lessons, fun trails and picturesque views.
10001 Minaret Rd.
Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546
Mammoth Mountain is making family ski vacations a big draw this year. Kids 12 years old and younger are invited to stay and ski free at any Mammoth Lodging Collection Property from February 22 to March 15 (check website for details and for booking reservations). Mammoth, 11,053 feet high, is the highest summit of any California resort, and with 115 trails, Mammoth keeps 40 of them groomed and primed for skiers/riders at all abilities. Group lessons (ski or snowboard) are available to purchase for children three to 12 year olds, giving parents a chance to ski on their own.
3819 Hwy 158
June Lake, CA 93529
A great spot for families, June Mountain invite kids 12 and younger to ski free, every day, all season long. Kids of all abilities especially enjoy skiing here for the wide variety of run difficulties. The Mambo Playground chair lift is a great starting place to learn the basics, and Bucky’s Adventure Zone is a fun tree journey just waiting for kids. Every Saturday throughout the season, June Mountain welcomes families to participate in Bucky’s Bonfire, where kids can take selfies with Bucky the mascot, sip on hot cocoa and dance in the snow.
43101 Goldmine Dr.
Big Bear Lake, CA 92315
Olympic winner Shaun White grew up on Bear Mountain, which is known for its snowboard park, but it also appeals to skiers for its various and fun terrain. Kids definitely enjoy the resort for the mountain’s jumps and jibs on a board or on skies. Beginner skiers love Bear’s Skill Builder Park, where they learn to develop slope strategies in a safe and large area on the hill. Other kid-friendly areas on Bear Mountain include Burton Riglet Park designed especially for three- to six-year-old snowboarders, Red Bull Plaza featuring an urban-style street park for all skier levels and an Adaptive Recreation Center that offers opportunities for children and adults with physical and cognitive disabilities.
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880 Summit Blvd.
Big Bear Lake, CA 92315
This family-oriented ski resort is one of the best with 31 runs and 18 skiable miles. Snow Summit has multiple slopes for children to ski or learn. Groomed and wide-open slopes encourage families to spend the day together in a beautiful California mountainous setting. Westridge Terrain Park is where snowboarding all began, and today, riders from beginner to intermediate are invited to jump, jib, box and rail. Friday and Saturday nights, skiers and boarders are welcome to shred under the night sky. Group or private lessons are available through Snow Summit’s ski school.
24510 California 2
Wrightwood, CA 92397
Local families love going to this ski mountain because it is so close to Los Angeles and Orange County. In fact, the 90-minute drive from Downtown L.A. gives parents the flexibility to plan a ski day last minute. Kids love Mountain High’s Magic Forest for a fun, interactive skiing experience and because the resort has three different areas to ski or board. Mountain High and Toyota have partnered to offer free ski passes to fifth graders from San Diego to Santa Barbara. The Fifth Grade Pass Program encourages kids to stay active during the winter months. North Resort is the best area at Mountain High for families and beginners, and features a tubing park which is open through Memorial Day.