Your Family’s Guide To Skiing In Stowe With Kids

A sign in the mountains reads "Stowe".

Skiing in Stowe with kids this winter is bound to be the adventure of a lifetime! Not only is this quaint Vermont town home to world-renowned skiing and snowboarding, but it’s also very family-friendly. The slopes here are forgiving for beginners, and the terrain provides plenty of opportunities for keeping everyone entertained. Stowe is also home to famed elevations – perfect for those who love a challenge! It doesn’t stop there – the ski resort provides tons of amenities and activities ideal for kids, including tube rides, snowman-building contests, and more! So whether you’re new to skiing or a veteran, skiing in Stowe with kids is a great way to have fun and make memories. Keep reading to find out the best runs, where to stay, things to do off the slopes, and more tips! 

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How to Reach Stowe with Kids

Before jumping into this family guide to skiing in Stowe with kids, let’s talk about how to reach Stowe. There are many ways to get to Stowe as a family, from car to plane. If you’re traveling from a long distance, Stowe is only a 45-minute drive from Burlington International Airport (BTV). Direct flights from major cities include Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Newark, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, Toronto, and Washington, DC. There’s also Morrisville-Stowe State Airport for smaller domestic flights, located just seven miles north of Stowe village.

Families traveling via Amtrak can also reach Stowe from major cities like NYC or DC by taking a train to the Waterbury-Stowe Station in Waterbury, Vermont, and then taking a cab to Stowe. Of course, many families prefer to drive to Stowe if you’re traveling from another state in New England. Most major interstates or highways land right near Stowe’s doorstop.

Pro Tip: If you’re skiing in Stowe with kids this winter and plan to drive, make sure to invest in some winter tires! 

Transportation within Stowe with Kids

There are several transportation options to get around Stowe, from airport shuttles to buses and taxis. Taxis are one kid-friendly option to get from the airport to Stowe Village and around town. Depending on which hotel you stay at, you may be able to take advantage of a complimentary airport shuttle. Or, book a private one for your family. From late November to early April, the free Mountain Shuttle is a popular way to get around town. It connects Stowe Village to the Stowe Mountain Resort and loops throughout town every 30 minutes off-peak and every 15 minutes during peak hours. Stowe Village is also very walkable.

About the Town

Downtown Stowe in the snow.

Nestled in the picturesque Green Mountains of Vermont, Stowe is perfect for a winter getaway with kids! The town has a rich history dating back to the 18th century, and it’s also home to some of the best skiing in the Northeast. While it’s well-known for skiing, Stowe has a charming, old-fashioned feel with plenty of other family activities and attractions. This includes a quaint Main Street with shops and restaurants, plus a location near some of the best hiking trails in the state. After a long day of action on the slopes, you can easily relax in one of the many cozy lodges with a hot chocolate or enjoy a meal at one of the excellent eateries in town. 

Here’s The Ultimate Ski Trip Packing List For Families This Winter!

Skiing in Stowe with Kids

A resort nestled amongst snow and ski runs in the winter in Stowe, one of the best places to go when skiing in Stowe with kids.

One of the most popular places to go skiing near Stowe with kids is the Stowe Mountain Resort. From beginner trails to more challenging slopes for experienced skiers and snowboarders, the resort offers over 400 acres of skiable terrain, so there’s something for everyone. Mainly, the resort spans two areas: Spruce Peak and Mount Mansfield. Upper Spruce features more challenging terrain, while Lower Spruce has a learning area with two magic carpets. If you want to visit the Mount Mansfield area, take the Over Easy Gondola, then the Fourrunner Quad. Along Toll Road, you’ll find plenty of easy green runs. 

Left Image: A young boy stands with the Smuggler's Notch mascot in the snow. Right Image: Two kids wearing full ski gear, including helmets stand on a balcony overlooking Smuggler's Notch, one of the best places to go skiing in Stowe with kids.
Photo Courtesy: Tara Hutchinson

Try the Smugglers’ Notch Resort if you are looking for something more low-key and quieter. It’s located a little bit further away from town, but the access to the slopes and the incredible views more than make up for it. It’s known for its steep slopes and challenging terrain, perfect for those who love skiing with older kids. However, there are also many beginner areas and easy runs, like Dixie’s Knoll, Sam’s Run, and more. Plus, there are plenty of family-friendly activities, such as snow tubing and many other winter fun options.

Families can also visit the Bolton Valley Resort for a more budget-friendly option than Stowe Mountain Resort. While it’s not as fancy as Stowe and doesn’t have as many facilities, it’ll do the job if you’re looking for a fun ski experience with kids. There are also several good beginner slopes for those just learning how to ski or board. Most beginner skiing runs are concentrated around the base of Vista Peak. More advanced beginners can head to the summit of Vista Peak and take Sherman’s Pass down. The best beginner terrain is also on Wilderness Peak.

Best Ski Schools in Stowe for Kids

An instructor leads a few young skiers down a slope during ski school at Stowe Resort, one of the best places for lessons when skiing in Stowe with kids.
Photo Courtesy: Stowe Resort

When choosing a ski school for your kids in or around Stowe, you have many options. The Stowe Mountain Resort Ski School is the most popular ski school, which offers private and group ski and snowboarding lessons for all levels. Advanced skiers, like tweens or teens, can also try alpine skiing at the Mt. Mansfield Academy.

Another option is the Smugglers’ Notch Ski School, which offers private and group lessons and daycare for younger children. If you want a ski school that’s less crowded, try the Bolton Valley Ski School. ​​All of these are fantastic options and have highly qualified instructors with years of experience teaching kids how to ski. Several private ski schools in the Stowe area can tailor lessons to your child’s specific needs and abilities.

If you’re skiing with kids, read these Tips for Skiing with Kids for the First Time!

Where to Rent Ski Equipment in Stowe for Families

A skier moves effortlessly down a slope in Stowe.
Photo Courtesy: Go Stowe

To take your kids skiing in Stowe this winter, you’ll need to rent ski equipment for them. The best place to do this is at the Skirack, located right in the center of town. They have a wide selection of equipment for all ages, and they offer discounts for families. Another great option is the Stowe Mountain Resort, which has its own rental shop with everything you need for an epic ski vacation. This includes free overnight storage with multi-day rentals, a helpful staff, and even the chance to demo the equipment. For something more affordable, check out the deals at AJs Ski & Sports. Or, you could rent from one of the many lodges in town. Most of them have ski rental shops, so you can grab your gear and hit the slopes immediately.

If you’re skiing at nearby Smugglers’ Notch Resort, you’ll also find 3 Mountain Equipment Rental Shop on-site. It features all the latest gear you need to hit the slopes, plus custom boot fittings, available by reservation. Bolton Valley Resort also has a ski rental shop on-site.  

Ready to book your family’s stay in Stowe? Reserve here with Vrbo!

Where to Stay in Stowe with Kids

Wondering where to stay in Stowe with kids? There are plenty of family-friendly accommodations around catering to all types of travelers. If you want to stay at the only ski-in, ski-out hotel in Stowe, book a room at the Lodge at Spruce Peak. Formerly known as the Stowe Mountain Lodge, it’s located near the Stowe Mountain Resort and less than 6 miles from downtown Stowe.

Topnotch Resort is also near Stowe Mountain Resort (less than 5 miles), located on a beautiful wooded property at the foothills of Mount Mansfield. For an alpine-style hotel, Trapp Family Lodge is perched on a hilltop right outside of Stowe and offers amenities for families. Families skiing at Smugglers’ Notch Resort can also stay on the property and take advantage of guest perks like the giant indoor kids’ fun zone! 

Plan your next getaway to these Best Family Ski Resorts in Vermont!

Things to Do in Stowe with Kids Besides Skiing

When it comes to winter fun in Stowe with the kids, skiing is just the beginning! If you’re looking for fun things to do off the slopes, this guide to skiing in Stowe with kids has you covered. Keep reading for the best things to do in Stowe with kids besides skiing! 

Find more options for skiing in Vermont, when you read Best Family Ski Resorts in Vermont.

Take a Traditional Sleigh Ride

People sit on horse-drawn sleighs, ready to depart for an evening ride in Stowe.

There are so many things to do in Stowe with kids this winter! If you’re looking to add a little bit of Christmas magic to your trip, one great option is to take a traditional sleigh ride. Families can enjoy a leisurely ride through the snow-capped mountains while cherishing the company of their loved ones. You’ll get to see the town from a different perspective, and your children will love riding in a horse-drawn carriage. Not to mention, they make for a great photo opportunity! Countless sleigh companies in Stowe offer both private and group sleigh rides. Families often praise the sleigh ride experience at the Trapp Family Lodge. Whichever company you choose, bundle up and have a great time!

Try Other Winter Sports

An ice rink nestled under wintery lights in Stowe.

In the mood to try more winter sports? Stowe is an adventure lover’s paradise during the colder months! If you’re looking for more activities to try off the slopes, consider ice skating in the heart of Spruce Peak Village. Near the Lodge at Spruce Peak, there’s a complimentary rink where kids can rent skates or bring their own. You can even walk around the village after to take in the holiday ambiance and warm up with a hot chocolate! 

Families who want a thrilling adventure can also go snowmobiling. Not only is it a great way to spend time with the family, but it can also be a lot of fun! Several places in the area offer snowmobiling rentals, and all of them have certain advantages. For instance, some places allow you to ride on groomed trails while others provide more challenging terrain that will give you a real workout. Beginners can also take guided tours. 

Families with advanced skiers can also learn how to cross-country ski at the Trapp Family Lodge’s Nordic Center, the first-ever in the country and the biggest near Stowe! In addition to being fun and educational, cross-country skiing can help improve balance, coordination, and strength. It also offers snowshoeing and back-country skiing. 

Visit Stowe Rocks Climbing Center

Several kids climb a rock wall while at Stowe Rocks Climbing Center, one of the best indoor things to do when skiing in Stowe with kids.
Photo Courtesy: Stowe Rocks Climbing Center

Looking for things to do with your kids this winter in Stowe? Consider visiting the Stowe Rocks Climbing Center. Located in the Adventure Center at the Lodge at Spruce Peak, this family-friendly facility offers a variety of exciting climbing experiences for all ages. Older kids can check out the sixteen different stations to get some exercise and test their skills. Meanwhile, there’s the Kids’ Zone for kids twelve and under. It features a 12-foot wall with fun climbing holds such as airplanes, trains, letters, numbers, boats, and trucks. Plus, the knowledgeable staff is eager to help you find the perfect adventure for your family! 

Tour the Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory

This winter, Stowe is full of things to do with kids besides skiing! The nearby town of Waterbury is home to Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory, one of Vermont’s most popular tourist destinations. You can tour the factory between Tuesday and Saturday during the winter, getting an in-depth look at the manufacturing floor and its overall production process. Lasting around a half-hour, the tour is very interactive for kids and even features a fun photo opportunity. Of course, little ones will love the free samples of ice cream! Once you’re done, you can also visit the shop to buy more ice cream to take home. Order your favorite ice cream flavors from the menu, or try something new by ordering a flavor inspired by one of Ben & Jerry’s founders! 

Soar to the Top of a Mountain on the Scenic Gondola Skyride

A gondola move along a track with snow on the ground on a scenic mountainside in Stowe, one of the best things to do when skiing in Stowe with kids.

Looking for things to do in Stowe with your kids this winter? Look no further! The Gondola Skyride at the Stowe Mountain Resort is a great way to get up high and see the beautiful scenery. ​​Overlooking Lake Champlain and the surrounding idyllic countryside, this picturesque ride takes you up to the top of the mountain in just a few minutes.

Once at the top, families can meander or grab lunch at the Cliff House Restaurant. It’s also a fantastic option if you want to get close to the ski slopes without walking or taking the bus. What a wonderful way to get some fresh air while spending time with your family! 

Plan an extended stay in Vermont and check out these Vibrant Vermont: 14 Perfect Fall Foliage Vacations For Families!

Watch a Movie at Stowe Cinema 3Plex

The entrance to Stowe Cinema 3Plex.
Photo Courtesy: Stowe Cinema 3Plex

Stowe Cinema 3Plex is the perfect place to take a break from skiing with the kids. ​​The theater is located right in the heart of Stowe, so it’s easy to find and convenient to fit into your family’s winter itinerary. (Plus, it’s a great way to let the kids rest their legs after a long day of skiing!) From animated movies to blockbuster hits, they have a large selection of family-friendly movies playing all day. And with three different screens showing various movies, there’s bound to be something that everyone will enjoy. You can buy tickets online in advance or at the box office when you get there. They have a concession stand with all your favorite movie snacks if you get hungry. Don’t forget the popcorn!

Appreciate the Work of Glassblowing Artists

Five glass-blown vases sit on display at Little River HotGlass Studio.
Photo Courtesy: Little River HotGlass Studio

Take your kids to Little River HotGlass Studio this winter to appreciate the delicate art of glassblowing! Glassblowing is a centuries-old technique that uses a blowtorch to create intricate designs. While there are no official tours at the studio, you can stop by to see the artists at work and appreciate the intricate and beautiful pieces they produce. Kids will love wandering around and meeting glassblowers who specialize in one or more types of glassware, from simple cups and bowls to intricate sculptures. Admission is free, and there’s always something new happening at this family-friendly business. Occasionally, the studio also hosts glassblowing classes for families to learn and experiment together. This is an amazing experience for kids and adults alike. And it’s a great way to get out and enjoy the winter season! 

Explore the Vermont Ski & Snowboard Museum

The lobby of Vermont Ski & Snowboard Museum, with a model gondola overhead, one of the best indoor things to do when skiing in Stowe with kids.
Photo Courtesy: Vermont Ski & Snowboard Museum

If you’re looking for something to do besides skiing on a snowy day in Stowe, the Vermont Ski & Snowboard Museum is the perfect place to go! Located in the heart of Stowe, the museum is dedicated to preserving the legacy of skiing and snowboarding in Vermont. It showcases fascinating exhibits on the history of skiing and snowboarding, as well as interactive displays that kids will enjoy. They can also try out some of the equipment used by athletes in both sports. Plus, there’s a kids’ area where they can play games and learn about safety on the slopes. You can also watch ski and snowboard films and participate in workshops. End your visit with a trip to the museum cafe. You can warm up with a hot chocolate after exploring! 

Celebrate the Stowe Winter Carnival

Several ice sculptures sit in the town center during the Stowe Winter Carnival.
Photo Courtesy: Go Stowe

Winter in Stowe would be incomplete without some seasonal events! Luckily, the Stowe Winter Carnival is a celebration of everything winter. Often occurring at the end of January, this four-day event features festive food and drink, hearty winter games, and scores of family-friendly activities. Watch expert ice carvers create works of art for the annual ice carving competition, listen to live music, go stargazing, or participate in the famous Snowvolleyball tournaments. Not only is it a must on our guide to skiing in Stowe with kids, but it’s also the perfect way to get your family excited for the colder months ahead!

Where to Eat in Stowe with Kids

A table filled with menu items from Cork Restaurant and Natural Wine Shop, one of the best places to eat when skiing in Stowe with kids.
Photo Courtesy: Cork Restaurant and Natural Wine Shop

If you’re looking for the best restaurants in Stowe for families with kids, you’re in the right place! Start your day with breakfast at Butlers Pantry, a rustic spot with classic choices like pancakes, french toast, eggs, etc. When you need to grab a quick lunch or to-go meal, you’ll appreciate Stowe Sandwich Company, located along Mountain Road on the way to the Stowe Mountain Resort. Piecasso is another family favorite for lunch and dinner, serving up some of the best pizzas in Stowe! 

Families will also love the burgers and other laidback dinner options at The Bench, The Blue Donkey Bar, or Doc Ponds. Harrison’s is another wonderful restaurant right in the heart of Stowe Village. For casual fine dining with gorgeous mountain views, visit The Dining Room at Edson Hill. Stowe also has many family-friendly breweries where kids can play while parents enjoy a drink, like The Alchemist Brewery. Or, take kids for a meal at Von Trapp Brewery and Bierhall, located on the grounds of the Trapp Family Lodge. Cork Restaurant and Natural Wine Shop also serves small plates like burgers and pasta. Topnotch Resort also features delicious dining options for families, like The Roost.

In nearby Waterbury, families can also check out Hen of the Wood, which features a seasonal menu perfect for a date night. Of course, if your kids have a sweet tooth, don’t miss the cider donuts from Cold Hollow Cider Mill!

Happy Travels! 

Left Image: A young boy stands in the snow at Stowe in Vermont. Right Image: A young boy plays in the snow at Stowe in Vermont.
Photo Courtesy: Yvonne Barriga

We hope you liked this Guide To Skiing Stowe With Kids This Winter! Whether you’re an advanced skier or a beginner looking to experience Mount Mansfield in the winter, this winter wonderland will welcome you with open arms. Have a wonderful time in Vermont with your kids! 

*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 are compiled from submissions submitted by the generous members of our Families Who Love To Travel community.

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Families Love Travel Team

The Families Love Travel Team has a zest for life and an even bigger passion for globetrotting! Comprised of real-life travel professionals, we work hard behind the scenes to provide dynamic solutions for adventuring with children. Our enthusiastic team understands the challenges that often accompany traveling with kids and is committed to making Families Love Travel an inclusive space to convey these experiences.