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Winter Bonding

You know the old adage, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em? That's what I decided when my two older kids decided they wanted to learn to ski. I'd reluctantly tried skiing a few times pre-parenthood and managed to survive the experience, but let's just say that, unlike Lindsey Vonn, I am not fond of barreling down frigid mountainsides on snow and ice at speeds much past 5 miles per hour. Still, I knew it would be good for my kids to learn (before they were old enough to realize their mortality like me!), and an activity we could all do together as a family.

So after a few winters hitting some (gentle) slopes in our area, we headed for the big time: a family vacay at Okemo Mountain in Ludlow, Vermont. With 119 trails for all ability levels, and apres ski activities like indoor swimming, tubing, ice skating, an outdoor fire pit to gather round and even a giant igloo to play in, it's truly a winter paradise for both big and little kids. Family-owned and family-focused, Okemo offers a wide-range of slopeside accommodations and packages at affordable rates. The well-regarded ski school program lived up to its reputation as well: My 8-year-old was snowboarding like his older brother in just a day and a half.

 

 

My intrepid kids and husband (that's us in the pic above) spent our four-day visit alternating between trips to the black diamond (the hardest) slopes and terrain parks at the top of the mountain, and skiing the bunny hills with me, and we all had so much fun that we were rushing to get one more run in at the end of each day when the lifts were about to close. And aside from a little bickering over the sharing of the requisite electronics, all five of us got along amazingly well in a condo a fraction of the size of our home.

If you're up to your eyeballs in winter weather, I highly suggest passing these last chilly weeks embracing the snow, and heading outside with your kids for some Olympic-style fun before the season melts away. And don't forget your helmets.

Get cold-weather health and safety tips in our guide to winter sports, skincare, outerwear and more

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