I grew up doing family ski trips around Christmas every year. Now it's my turn. I didn't start until I was about 6, but my kids are now 2 and 4. I know they're old enough to start learning but...
What I'm looking for is a great christmasy winter wonderland type vacation that also allows for some skiing. We live in texas which means no snow and no mountains. Kids activities, holiday spirit, and a bunch of things to entertain the kids... besides skiing... are what i think would work best for us. I'm thinking cool parks, sledding, snow forts, kids running around having a good time. If I can get them on the bunny slope for a few days here and there, great... If my wife can entertain them for a few mornings with all the things to do and I can get out and ski for a few hours... this would be the perfect vacation. MAYBE some ski school, but this is a FAMILY vacation so we don't want to just dump the kids and take off.
Because we're traveling with kids, it should be easy to get to. Direct flight out of Houston or Dallas would be ideal, and no more than an hour or so from the destination airport.
I've been to Steamboat over a dozen times but my memory of it is all about slopes and not about what kids can do at the base/in town. I remember the town being nice for an evening stroll around dinner time, but we never spent much time there. I also visited Vail one summer 20 yrs ago. I dont remember it being very big or having much to do off mountain... but then that was 20 yrs ago.
I've researched for a few hours and find vague information here and there stating certain resorts are "family friendly" or "plenty for the kids" but that's about as specific as it goes.
I'm looking at most of the big resorts - Steamboat, Vail, Beaver Creek, Deer Valley, Park City, Breckenridge, Aspen, Snowmass, Crested Butte, Telluride, etc... however since skiing isnt as important as overall experience, I'm definitely open to suggestions.
We'd be going for probably 7-10 days around christmas/new years.
Thanks for any help/suggestions/info ... really want to make this a great trip for the wife and kids.