Our guide to visiting Park City / Deer Valley this winter with kids will tell you everything you need to know for your next family ski vacation! If you have your heart set on skiing in Park City, Utah, this winter, you’re probably wondering if you should choose the Park City Mountain Resort or the Deer Valley Ski Resort around 10 minutes away. Though both are wonderful options for families, they each offer advantages depending on what type of vacation you’re looking for. Beginners may prefer the Deer Valley Ski Resort because of its abundance of green and blue runs. Meanwhile, Park City Mountain Resort provides access to downtown Park City. In this guide, we break down the difference between the two resorts. Keep reading to find out how to get there, where to stay with kids, and all about skiing in Park City as a family!
How to Reach Park City / Deer Valley with Kids
Reaching Park City or Deer Valley with your family won’t be too hard. By plane, Salt Lake City International Airport is the closest opinion. It’s also a hub for Delta Airlines, so you’ll find the most flights with this provider. By public transportation, the cheapest option to reach Park City is by taking the bus from the airport to downtown, then taking a Park City-bound bus. Keep in mind this takes much longer than the other options. There are also commercial shuttle buses available, such as Canyon Transportation. Families can also consider grabbing an Uber from the airport to Park City, though fares can be high during peak times. However, if you plan on exploring a lot, renting a car may be your best bet. It’s a particularly good option for families, especially if you’re comfortable driving in the snow.
Transportation Within Park City / Deer Valley with Kids
Next on our guide to visiting Park City and Deer Valley in the winter with kids is transportation. Getting to and from your hotel should be easy because most major resorts offer shuttle service. This will be the most convenient option if you’re staying downtown or near the Deer Valley Base. However, if you plan on staying at Park City Mountain Resort or branching out, it may be better to use your car. Multiple routes and stops along the Park City Public Transit system can also take you where you want to go.
Also, read: Guide To Skiing in Aspen With Kids This Winter
Where to Stay in Deer Valley With Kids
Deciding on where to stay in Park City or Deer Valley with kids all depends on the type of vacation you’re searching for. Many families feel Deer Valley is less crowded and more upscale. If you’re looking for a luxury resort, try the St. Regis Deer Valley. This huge, high-end resort offers ski-in/ski-out access, ski valets, and even ski butlers! Families also love the Stein Eriksen Lodge Deer Valley for its amazing staff and great location. Kids will love the outdoor waterslide at the Silver Baron Lodge, and parents can appreciate the convenient shuttle service. Montage Deer Valley also has ski-in/ski-out access, and is only 5 minutes from the Park City Main Street. With only a three-minute walk to the nearest chairlift, you can’t go wrong with The Chateaux Deer Valley, either!
Where to Stay in Park City with Kids
Park City boasts more affordable options like the Hyatt Centric Park City, which offers a shuttle service, ski-in/ski-out access, and an outdoor pool. Families looking for condominium-style accommodations can stay at the Lodge at Mountain Village, located right next to the chairlifts at Park City Mountain Resort. Or, try the Washington School House Hotel, located on a property with a heated outdoor pool. Of course, Park City also has some luxury hotel options, like the Waldorf Astoria Park City. It’s located at the base of the Canyons ski area and even has its own private gondola! Westgate Park City Resort and Spa is also located at the Canyon Base, popular among families due to its Kids’ Club. The Grand Summit Hotel is a fantastic option within Canyons Village, plus it is ski-in/ski-out. At Marriott’s Mountainside, families can enjoy a luxury ambiance with ski-in/ski-out access in downtown Park City.
About the Area
Before planning your family vacation to Park City/ Deer Valley with kids, it’s important to know more about the destination. Mainly, many parents are probably wondering: what’s the difference between Park City and Deer Valley? Keep reading to find out!
Deer Valley is perfect for families looking for a peaceful stay. Often quieter than Park City, it has a lot of upscale resorts and great beginner terrain. However, Deer Valley offers fewer extracurricular activities outside of the slopes, as it doesn’t have a downtown area or village. However, it does provide easy access to downtown Park City via shuttle, so you can always feel free to explore!
A lot of families also choose to stay in Park City due to its bustling ambiance. Beyond the ski resorts, you can visit downtown Park City, also known as the Park City Main Street Historic District. Here, you’ll find a variety of shops, restaurants, and other fun destinations to explore, like the Park City Museum. At the base of the Park City Mountain Resort, families can also visit Canyons Village. Enjoy farm-to-table dining, live music, and more!
All About Skiing in Deer Valley with Kids
Do you want to know all about skiing in Deer Valley with kids? Families looking for some great beginner slopes will love this tranquil resort. Keep reading to learn more about Deer Valley ski passes, where to rent equipment, and other information to plan your perfect family ski vacation!
Deer Valley Passes
As part of the Ikon Pass program, staying in Deer Valley offers holders extra perks and access to a variety of destinations throughout the resort for a maximum of seven consecutive days. Enjoy restaurant discounts, family and friend tickets at a lower rate, and early access to the slopes. Lift tickets must be purchased in advance. Full-season passes with unlimited access are also available for adults and children. There are also mid-season passes for weekdays, not including the period from Christmas to the New Year. Families can also save on multi-day purchases for three days or longer.
Where to Rent Ski Equipment in Deer Valley with Kids
Families will usually agree that skiing is one of the best things to do in Park City/Deer Valley during the winter with kids. But before you hit the slopes, you need to rent your gear first! Many hotels offer rental equipment, so be sure to contact them before you explore other options. For example, if you’re staying in Deer Valley, you can get your gear directly from the Deer Valley Resort. It offers a variety of rentals, including ones for children.
Skiing in Deer Valley with Kids
Of course, a family guide to visiting Deer Valley/Park City this winter with kids would be incomplete without some information on skiing! So, we have some answers for you on our guide to visiting Park City / Deer Valley this winter with kids!
Is Park City Mountain Resort or Deer Valley Resort best for my family? Kids who are newer to skiing may prefer Deer Valley Resort, which has its own wide beginner ski area. Unlike other resorts where blue and green runs are scattered throughout, the beginner area lets little ones practice safely without other skiers zooming by at high speeds. Try the Bandana off the Ruby Express lift, Ontario off the Quincy Express lift, and Homeward Bound from the top of Sterling Lift. Since there’s no snowboarding at Deer Valley, the area is calmer in general.
Best Ski Schools in Deer Valley for Kids
If you’re looking for the best ski schools in Deer Valley for kids, our guide can help you out! Families with extremely young children love the Deer Valley Ski School, ideal for kids under seven. Since there’s no snowboarding, the area is a bit calmer and easier to learn your way around. Skiing lessons include the Fawn Special for three-year-olds, the Bambi Club for four-year-olds, and the Reindeer Club for kids between five and six. Older kids and teens can take lessons too.
All About Skiing in Park City with Kids
Skiing in Park City will be a ton of family fun! But before you embark on your winter adventure, you should know your ticket options, where to rent ski equipment, and other important information first. Keep reading to learn all about skiing in Park City with kids!
Park City Mountain Resort Ski Passes
Park City Mountain Resort is part of the Epic Pass Program. This pass gives you access to similar discounts to the Ikon Pass Program but offers unlimited access to skiing at the resort. Even lesser tier options give you more time on the slopes, so this is a great option for an extended ski vacation in Park City. You can purchase lift tickets online at least a week in advance, including a seven-day option, and even bundle them with your lodging to save more. Unfortunately, season passes are currently sold out.
Where to Rent Ski Equipment in Park City with Kids
Looking for where to rent ski equipment in Park City with kids? Your family has plenty of options! Similar to Deer Valley, Park City Mountain Resort also offers rentals for adults and children. Families can also visit Park City Sport on Main or Christy Sports for all their rental needs. If you want ski gear delivered directly to you without any hassle, try Ski Butlers!
Where to Skiing in Park City with Kids
With both skiing and snowboarding, Park City Mountain Resort has comparable terrain for a variety of skill levels. Families looking for an easy run can take the Crescent Lift or Payday Express to Bonanza and cruise down the Claimjumper. Drift is another good run for beginners looking to sharpen their skills. More intermediate skiers can enjoy multiple options off the King Con Express, Silverlode Express, and Motherlode Express. Another famous run, the 3.5-mile Home Run Train, is one of the longest in the state, great for intermediate and beginner skiers. Or, get an amazing view from Georgeanna from the top of McConkey’s Lift. It’ll provide incredible panoramas of Guardsman Pass, Heber Valley, and beyond! For even more thrilling terrain outside of Park City, advanced skiers can visit the Snowbird Ski Resort or Alta Ski Area.
Best Ski Schools in Park City for Kids
Families looking for the best ski schools in Park City for kids also have wonderful options. In contrast to Deer Valley, the Park City Ski School offers both skiing and snowboarding lessons, with smaller classes. Children between three and fourteen can split up into separate groups for ski or snowboarding lessons. There’s also a new All Terrain Program for kids between seven and fourteen years old, featuring thrilling adventures for all skill levels!
Where to Eat in Deer Valley with Kids
If you need somewhere to eat in Deer Valley with kids, we have some pointers for you. Since Deer Valley doesn’t have a downtown area, most people choose to eat in their resort. For example, if you’re staying at the Stein Eriksen Lodge, you can start your day with sweet crepes or savory toast during brunch at the Giltretind. For dinner, try the freshest sushi in Park City at Yama Sushi, located inside Montage Deer Valley. Or, head to the Goldener Hirsch Restaurant inside the Goldener Hirsch Resort for fancy renditions of typical Alpine food, served by a cozy fire. If you’re looking for a true restaurant experience, you can always head to downtown Park City, which is easy to reach!
Where to Eat in Park City with Kids
Families looking for somewhere to eat in Park City have a ton of options thanks to its downtown area. For dinner, stop by Fletcher’s for casual American dishes with a twist. Kids will love the build-your-own sundae option! For something more upscale, visit Chimayo, which serves Southwestern food in a stunning dining room. Riverhorse on Main has unique dishes for adults, and there’s a healthy kids’ menu too. Parents who want to enjoy a fancy date night can visit Firewood Restaurant for craft cocktails and New American cuisine in a rustic-chic setting. Handle Park City is another fantastic restaurant for seasonal American cuisine with a twist, from pork belly to hamachi Crudo. For dessert, head to Rocket Fizz inside Canyons Village for classic candy and soda pop. Or, gather the whole family and head to Snowed Inn Sleigh Co. Restaurant for great food and a sleigh ride all-in-one!
Child-Care Options in Deer Valley for Non-Skiers
Little non-skiers will love spending time at the Deer Valley Children’s Center while everyone else hits the slopes. Providing child-care to kids between two months and twelve years old, it’s located within the Snow Park Lodge at the Deer Valley Resort. Here, children can split up into small groups based on age and enjoy a variety of fun activities, from storytelling to arts and crafts. Quiet time and a reading nook can provide educational experiences too. Meanwhile, outdoor and indoor playgrounds let little ones tire themselves out for the day. This is definitely one of the best things to do in Deer Valley with kids, so reserve your spot ahead of time!
RELATED ARTICLE: Utah National Parks Road Trip Itinerary For Families
Things to Do in Park City with Kids Besides Skiing
From educational museum visits to thrilling roller coaster rides, it won’t be hard to entertain your family off the slopes in Park City. Keep reading for our guide to visiting Park City and Deer Valley this winter with kids!
Attend a Holiday Event
Start the holiday season in Park City with the Snow Globe Stroll beginning on November 25th. Through January 5th, you can walk down Main Street to spot snow flurrying inside these life-sized holiday displays! On December 17th, families can attend Silver Sky Nights in Canyons Village, complete with live music, sweet treats, and spectacular fireworks. Kids will especially love seeing Santa Come Down The Town Lift on December 18th, as he and his elves lead Christmas celebrations down Main Street! Then, starting on December 22, Canyons Village also hosts Outdoor Winter Movie Nights every Wednesday and Sunday through the end of February. Stick around for the Torchlight Parade on December 30th to see Park City illuminated with magical colors! Utah also hosts various other events throughout the season, such as the Sundance Film Festival, a perfect time to hit the slopes without much crowding!
Go Ice Skating
What better way to kick off winter than with a spin around the ice? For a classic outdoor experience, visit the Resort Center Ice Skating Rink inside The Lodge at the Mountain Village. Enjoy the ambiance of nearby downtown Park City with holiday music, bustling shops, and more. Rentals are available, and you can even roast some s’mores around the rink! Little ones who aren’t ready to ski on their own can also use ice walkers. For competitive skaters or families who want to stay indoors, there’s also the huge Park City Ice Arena. Ice skate, play hockey, or even try your hand at “broomball.” Other options include the outdoor rink at Versante Hearth + Bar inside the Peaks Hotel. Rentals are available from Christy Sports, and kids can even see live reindeer between December 26th and January 1st! City Park will also have open ice skating rinks this winter.
Try Other Winter Sports
If you have active kids, you may want to try other winter sports in Park City. For tubing, head to Woodward Park City. This adventure center offers some of the longest tubing lanes in Utah, available for kids 4 and up. Inside, you’ll find other action sports like tumbling for kids to try out. You can even explore Park City on a snowmobile tour thanks to Thousands Peak Snowmobiling, around 20 minutes outside of Park City. Of course, little ones will love soaring through the powdery snow on a dog sledding adventure! Book this experience through Luna Lobos Dog Sledding, All Seasons Adventures, and North Forty Escapes. Kids who are expert skiers can even visit the White Pine Nordic Center. It’s the only groomed Nordic track open exclusively for cross-country skiers!
Get Creative at the Kimball Art Center
Creative kids will love a visit to the Kimball Art Center. Located in downtown Park City, this art and educational center showcases a variety of exhibits for all ages to enjoy. Learn about local Utah artists and others from around the Southwest or even the United States with stunning paintings, experimental films, and more. Exhibits usually rotate, but right now they’re featuring artists who focus on the natural world. Beyond the exhibitions, the Kimball Art Center also gives aspiring artists a chance to refine their skills. Enroll kids in a class, workshop, or even camp if you have time when visiting Deer Valley with kids.
Enjoy Dinner and a Sleigh Ride at Snowed Inn Sleigh Co.
Enjoy a one-of-a-kind dining experience at the Snowed Inn Sleigh Co. Restaurant! Located on the slopes of the Park City Mountain Resort, this unique restaurant lets families enjoy a horse-drawn sleigh ride before their meal. Ride up to the Snowed Inn guided by a real cowboy as you snuggle under warm blankets. Then, you’ll proceed to the dining portion of the evening. On the menu, order anything from roasted chicken to boneless trout. Kids can order off the Main Menu, or try mac & cheese from the kids’ menu. Though sleigh rides are available without booking dinner, we suggest doing both to make the experience all the more magical!
Visit Utah Olympic Park
Learn more about Park City’s Olympic legacy when you visit Utah Olympic Park. Located a little north of Park City, this sprawling park once hosted the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. Today, it’s a multi-part complex dedicated to preserving the history of this momentous event, featuring lots of fun activities for families! Take a guided or self-guided tour of the indoor museum, where you can see old Olympic uniforms, medals, and more. Once you’re done, head outside to enjoy six Nordic ski jumps, perfect for advanced skiers who want to kick it up a notch. Teens sixteen and up can even experience the thrill of the Olympics on the bobsled track!
Things to Do With Kids Outside of Park City
Travelers looking to venture outside of Park City and Deer Valley with kids will find plenty to do with kids in the surrounding areas. Here are our favorite suggestions!
The Loveland Living Planet Aquarium
Get up close and personal with over 4,500 animals at the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium! It’s located in Draper, Utah, around 40 minutes from Park City. From Japan to South America, the aquarium houses animals from all over the world, all waiting to be discovered by your family. See rare spide crabs in the Deep Sea Lab, or transport yourself to a tropical rainforest filled with colorful creatures. Kids can also watch penguins swim and waddle at the Penguin Research Station. Plus, don’t forget about the Ocean Explorer, a 40-foot underwater tunnel where you can spot sharks and touch stingrays!
The Hogle Zoo
Looking for things to do in Salt Lake City with kids? Visit The Hogle Zoo! Located 35 minutes from Park City, this 42-acre property showcases animals from Utah and around the world. Exhibits encompass different destinations, from the African Savanna to Rocky Shores, the Asian Highlands, and the Elephant Encounter. You’ll get the chance to spot snow leopards, sea lions, giraffes, and so much more! Once you’re done seeing animals, you can take a spin around the property on the Zoofari Express Train. Or, take a spin on the Conservation Carousel!
Climb Aboard the Heber Creeper
All aboard the Heber Valley Railroad! Otherwise known as the “Heber Creeper” among locals, this family-friendly train departs from Heber City, Utah, around 20 minutes from Park City. Not only is it a great way to get a scenic view of the area, but your ride will be educational too! Seasonal scenic train rides like the Deer Creek Express, which starts in January 2022, run for 90 minutes. Enjoy incredible views of the Wasatch Mountains, Deer Creek Reservoir, and beyond during this interactive experience! If you happen to be visiting during December, you should definitely buy tickets for the North Pole Express. Drink hot chocolate with Santa as you make your way toward “The North Pole!”
Hop in the Crystal Hot Springs
There’s nothing like warming up after a long winter day. Luckily, families visiting Park City, Utah, can hop in the Crystal Hot Springs! Located in Honeyville, around 90 minutes from Park City, this unique geological formation attracts visitors from all over the state. As the world’s largest natural hot spring, it’s open all year, featuring three hot tubs, a large soaker pool, and a freshwater pool, and a lap pool. Kids will love getting the rare chance to splash outside during a winter vacation, and they can even take advantage of the winter slide! Hours vary per month and season, so be sure to check ahead of time to make a reservation.
We hope you liked this Guide to Planning An Exciting Visit To Park City / Deer Valley This Winter With Kids! Whether you’re an advanced skier or a beginner looking to experience Utah in the winter, we’re sure you’ll enjoy this vacation too. Have a wonderful time in Park City with your kids!
A special thank you to Gretchen Rubell, whose local tips and expertise helped enhance this article.
*Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the attractions, accommodations, or things to do on this list may be closed. Please ensure availability before making your decision.
*This post may contain affiliate links that may earn us a small commission, at no additional cost to you. Affiliate links in no way inform the hotels, sights, products, or other recommendations included in our articles. All opinions and recommendations expressed here are compiled from submissions submitted by the generous members of our Families Who Love To Travel community.
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