Pocket Friendly Family Travel
We checked out two ski resorts that totally rock during the off-season. Thinner crowds, fewer dollars, and more fun!
Rocky Mountain High Jinks
After years of skiing there, the Haaijer family of Toronto returned to Utah's Park City Mountain Resort (parkcitymountain.com) last July. “We loved riding the lifts—especially my three-year-old—to go hiking and biking. We couldn't believe how many moose we saw,” recalls mom Kristen. Start your little ones at the Adventure Zone, where they'll traverse the neon Climbing Web—a Spidey fantasy. The theme continues on the Spider Slide: Tiny hikers scale five different routes through crosshatched netting and bolt down a lightning-fast inflated chute.
Big-Kid Fun: The resort has one of the world's longest, steepest (at over 3,000 feet), and curviest alpine slides. The mountain coaster (like a roller coaster, but set on a mountainside) covers more than a mile.
Indoor Action: Check out the Park City Museum (parkcityhistory.org), where kids can “set off” dynamite explosions and “drill” with a jackhammer. Utah Olympic Park (utaholympiclegacy.com), home of the 2002 Winter Games, is also just five minutes away. The whole family can learn (gulp!) freestyle ski jumping. OK, it's just a mini-ramp and you land in a heated pool—but still, you're totally catching air!
Drop the Bags: Spread out in a suite at the chalet-style MountainSide (marriott.com). Younger kids can make survival bracelets (cool must-haves for camping or hiking) out of parachute cord at the Mine; the Blast Shaft is a tween hangout with computers, couches, and a big-screen TV.