Just about a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Boston is one of the best Vermont ski resorts for families, Okemo Mountain. One of our family's favorite resorts – both for its proximity to Boston and for its outstanding Northeast skiing – this special place is one not to miss.
With an assortment of family amenities in ski season and year-round, Okemo is a great place for a getaway. Its' signature six-person heated lift with the orange bubble is notable for those of us who get cold in New England's bitter ski temps.
But there are so many amazing reasons Okemo is one of the top Vermont ski resorts for families.
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Okemo Mountain: One Of The Top Vermont Ski Resorts For Families
If you are looking for an established and esteemed ski resort, with ski-on/ski-off properties ideal for kids of all ages, Okemo should be near the top of your list. We love it for its variety of terrain, ranging from beginner to expert, and its fun family feel. And did I mention the mountain coaster?
Kids from toddlers to teens and experienced adults alike love the variety of amenities and ski offerings. Its cozy ambiance, Nordic feel, high-quality amenities, and range of family programming really make it an amazing Vermont ski resort for families.
In the fall, Okemo is also a great spot to visit. In addition to the variety of outdoor hikes and experiences, there is also a climbing structure, gold panning, hiking, trampolines, the mountain coaster, and more.
About Okemo Resort
Okemo Mountain Resort is located in Ludlow, Vermont. The lovely Vermont town setting also hosts a variety of shops and diners for an amazing Vermont breakfast – with (often local) maple syrup of course – and a grocery store in town. It is ideal for families.
Okemo Mountain is owned by Vail Resorts. While you can purchase local tickets, it is on the Epic pass system, which gives you access to a variety of esteemed ski resorts around the United States, including Vail, Colorado and Park City, Utah! It also provides access to partner resorts in a few locations worldwide.
Why Okemo Mountain Is Family Friendly
Okemo Mountain really offers something for all ages*.
For families who want to ski with a non-skier child, Okemo has slope-slide childcare for kids ages six months to four years old. They also host a Kids Night Out for kids ages six months to 12 years old.
*Note some of these offerings may not be available in the 2021 season.
Ski And Ride Program
For those who want to learn, Okemo is a great option for families with toddlers all the way up to teens because there is quite a range of terrain. Their top-notch ski/snowboard lessons from ages three to 14 years old is definitely a great place to start.
Fantastic instructors who know how to get children skiing, and keep the little ones engaged during breaks really make it fun. Our kids have loved the lessons at Okemo, and have progressed quite a bit from what they have learned at this resort.
Well Designed Lifts
I have to also note that one of my favorite features of this resort is the dual chair lifts up the central slope. Anyone who skis knows how valuable this is, particularly near the base area!
It is also great for beginner skiers because they can come down the front hill – a beginner slope – often. But they can get back up quickly without such a long wait in line.
And on those chilly ski days, their HEATED six-person heated lift with the signature orange cover, makes Okemo one of my favorite resorts and definitely why I rate it one of the top Vermont ski resorts for families!
Variety Of Terrain
There is a wide variety of terrain, often through beautifully scenic areas. Beginners have many options to choose from without having to ski the same slope over and over. Advanced skiers will find a variety of challenging slopes!
There are 120 trails, glades, and slopes at Okemo Mountain. Okemo also boasts 20 lifts, including the high-speed six-passenger chair with the orange bubble and heated seats!
The resort has two base areas, both with ski-on/ski-off properties, restaurants, and amenities. You can ski between the two.
Okemo Mountain Apres-ski Family Activities
Our kids love Okemo's mountain coaster, called the Timber Ripper, which is available for an exhilarating ride down the mountain even in the winter! The resort often hosts concerts during certain times of the year, including famed bands like Blues Traveler. There is also snow tubing, indoor swimming, a Nordic Center, and ice skating available.
Jackson Gore Lodge has a great restaurant, ideal for a nice family dinner or for a sit-down lunch. There are also plenty of cafeterias and restaurants in several of the lodges at various points on the mountain.
Several accommodations are available including ski-on/ski-off condos and properties in the Jackson Gore Village, which makes it ideal for staying for a weekend or a long week.
Check out my post What You Need To Know About Skiing with Kids Safely.
Where To Stay at Okemo Mountain Resort
One of the things that makes Okemo one of the top Vermont ski resorts for families is the variety of accommodations. Many of the condos you can rent include kitchens, laundry, bunk beds, fireplaces, and even board games to make them a cozy home away from home.
Options for accommodations at Okemo Mountain include rooms at Jackson Gore, resort condos, and nearby area properties. Some of these options are slopeside (ski-on, ski off). In our experience, we have found a lot of available slopeside rentals that really made staying at Okemo very easy and accommodating for families.
- Signature Properties At Okemo Mountain
- Jackson Gore Inn
- Adams House
- Bixby House
- Resort Condos – Individually owned resort condos from one to four bedrooms around the property.
- Area Properties – A variety of options available in Ludlow through VRBO.
You also can search for nearby Okemo Mountain hotels below ⤵.
Renting A Condo Or House At Okemo
You can also rent a condo or a house near Okemo through VRBO The benefits of this option include more space, a kitchen and often laundry, living room, and you can house a larger group if skiing with friends.
It helps us reduce our ski trip packing list!
Where To Dine At Okemo
Okemo has plenty of family-friendly restaurants and meal options on property, including in the base of Jackson Gore Lodge. Because Vermonters take food seriously – especially breakfast with their maple syrup – you will find great quality food in the area, often locally sourced.
During your ski day, you will find an assortment of dining options at the variety of lodges on, and at the base of, the mountain. Additional dining options nearby in town include:
- Coleman Brook Tavern (for Jackson Gore Inn owners and guests)
- The Killarney Irish Pub
- The Hatchery (great for breakfast)
- Loft Tavern
- Mojo Cafe
- Homestyle Hotel Inn & Restaurant
- The Stemwinder
- Goodman's American Pie
Getting To Okemo Resort
Though it is nestled in South-Central, Vermont, it is actually quite accessible.
Driving Times To Okemo Resort From:
- Montreal, Quebec, Canada: 323 Miles/5-6 hours
- Boston, Massachusetts: 137 Miles/2-3 hours
- New York, New York: 249 Miles/4-5 hours
The following airports are accessible to Sugarbush, with a drive afterward (so you may need to rent a car.)
- Vermont's Rutland Regional Airport (via Boston on Cape Air) – RUT (30 minute drive)
- Boston Logan International Airport – BOS (2 to 3 hour drive)
- Albany, New York – ALB (2 hour drive)
- Hartford Springfield's Bradley International – BDL (2 hour drive)
- Manchester, New Hampshire – MHT-(2 hour drive)
Getting To Okemo By Train:
Amtrak's Ethan Allen Express From New York City serves nearby Rutland, Vermont. You will need to rent a car or hire an Uber/Lyft/Taxi to get from Rutland to Okemo (approximately 30-minute drive.)
Visiting Boston? Check out the 15 Best Things To Do With Kids In Boston!
Frequently Asked Questions:
Is Okemo good for beginners?
Okemo Mountain Resort is ideal for preschool-aged kids up to teens and adults. There is childcare available at the Penguin Playground Day Care Center for babies aged six months to four years old as well.
Okemo definitely offers enough challenge that teens and advanced skiers will definitely enjoy it, and little ones will love the family-friendly offerings. There are plenty of beginner ski learning areas and easy trails beginners will love. Its' terrain variety definitely makes it a great ski resort for all levels.
How Many Trails does Okemo Mountain have?
In total, Okemo offers 120 trails, glades, and slopes. Its variety of terrain, with something for skiers at all ski levels, makes it one of the top Vermont ski resorts for families.
Does Okemo have a terrain park?
Yes, Okemo has epic terrain parks! This is one of the reasons older kids and teens, and any adventure-seeker, love Okemo. There is also a family-friendly terrain park called Robin's Nest so budding shredders can give it a try. Check out Okemo's terrain parks here.
Does Okemo have a gondola?
Okemo does NOT have a gondola. But it does have a high-speed six-passenger chair with the orange bubble and heated seats, which is the next best thing!
How much is a day pass at Okemo?
Lift tickets range in price based on a variety of factors including the day you are skiing.
For 2021, all current ONE DAY prices:
- Children ages seven to 12: Lift tickets start at $71 and up (depending on day)
- For ages 13 to 64: Lift tickets start at $93 and up (depending on day)
- Seniors ages 65 and up: Lift tickets start at $82 and up (depending on day)
Additional day tickets will vary in price and may provide a discount for additional days. Okemo is on the Epic pass system, so you can also purchase Epic passes which may provide additional savings.
Can you rent skis and snowboards at Okemo Mountain Resort?
Yes, you can! The main rental shop has equipment rentals and packages. Check the Okemo Mountain Resort's rental page for details.
Is there snow tubing at Okemo Mountain Resort?
Yes, there is! Visit Okemo Mountain's Snow Tubing Park site for more details. This activity may not be open for 2021.
What else is there to do at or near Okemo Mountain Resort?
- Ice skating at the Ice House
- Okemo Mountain's Snow Tubing Park
- Nordic Skiing
- Indoor Swimming
- Fitness Center
- Indoor Golf Training Center
- Okemo Mountain Coaster
- Visit The Green Mountain Sugar House for some local products
- Fletcher Farm School For The Arts And Crafts
- Black River Academy Museum
Note: Some of these activities may only be open seasonally, so check before visiting.
The Last Thing You Need To Know About Okemo Mountain
Okemo Mountain Resort is definitely one of the best Vermont ski resorts for families. In addition to its' variety of family amenities, it also provides a top-quality ski experience with something for all levels.
Located right in the heart of South-Central Vermont, easily accessible via car, plane or train, Okemo offers a variety of activities and restaurants right on property and some of the best of what Vermont nearby. Okemo Mountain your list of the best ski resorts in Vermont to visit with your family.