February 17, 2023

Make The Most of Your NH Family Ski Vacation

Kids Lessons at McIntyre Ski Area
Planning a family escape to NH? Take these tips from Ski New Hampshire. Shown here, kids lessons at McIntyre Ski Area.

Conway, NH – With February vacation week right around the corner, families planning to hit the slopes can find excellent snow conditions, score deals, and beat the crowds during school break. Ski New Hampshire, the trade association representing the state’s ski areas, shares tips for visitors to make the most of their trip to New Hampshire ski resorts.

Ski New Hampshire President Jessyca Keeler says it’s all about flexibility in your plans. “There are many ways to enjoy time outdoors at New Hampshire’s ski areas with your family this winter. If you consider taking the road less traveled or are able to be flexible about when you go and what you do, you can make the most of your time together.”

No matter where travelers go in New Hampshire, they can count on one thing - snow, and plenty of it. While it may not be white in everyone’s backyard, many New Hampshire ski areas received over three feet of snow over the last few weeks. The natural snow supplemented weeks of snowmaking at every alpine ski resort in the state as well as at several Nordic ski areas. Keeler explained, "Our ski areas are constantly investing in snowmaking to create the best possible experience for their guests, and to get better coverage across the trails.”

Here are Ski New Hampshire’s top tips for family fun this February:

Find a Deal

Visit SkiNH.com and look under the Deals section, where people will find discounts for seniors, military service members, and other ski area deals. The site also contains planning resources where guests can find hotels, motels, and resorts to fit their family's lodging needs. Check back often for the latest steals and deals for skiers.

Go Small

For those looking for great value, they’ll often find it at smaller ski areas which are typically less crowded yet still offer full snowmaking and lift-serviced terrain for all abilities. The Granite State is known for its many small family-friendly areas. Cruise through our member page online to discover your new favorite small mountain at www.SkiNH.com/resorts.

Here's a hint: Ski NH still has discounted lift tickets available online for Dartmouth Skiway, Black Mountain, King Pine Ski Area and McIntyre Ski Area that are good any day of the 2022-23 ski season - including February vacation weeks. Buy them on the Ski New Hampshire site here: www.SkiNH.com/ski-nh-lift-tickets.

Take a Lesson

Even experienced skiers and riders can learn a thing or two when they take lessons. Signing up for an adult group or private lesson offers many benefits, including getting an insider’s knowledge of the mountain (snowsports instructors are also savvy to the best terrain); access to the “snowsports only” lane in the lift maze; and getting one’s form in the best possible shape for the rest of a ski vacation. Some resorts even offer private group lessons that can be tailored for family groups. Ski New Hampshire’s website lists many resort learning programs here: www.SkiNH.com/learn/learn

Ski Early or Late

The early bird gets the worm - but so does the night owl! Try a different schedule to beat the crowds and score more runs.

Die-hard skiers know the best conditions and easiest access to parking and the base lodge is at dawn’s first light. Many ski areas open as early as 8am to extend the ski day. An early start helps get in more runs before the rest of the world rolls out of bed and pulls up in the drop-off area.

Afternoon and half day tickets can also provide better value. Check resort websites for half-day deals - such as Ragged Mountain, Whaleback Mountain and Black Mountain.

Many NH ski areas are open for twilight and night skiing. Some of the best deals on lift tickets are available at night. Gunstock Mountain Resort has the most night terrain open in the state and also offers night sessions in its terrain park. Cranmore turns on the lights until 8pm on Saturdays and holiday periods. Crotched Mountain has brought back Midnight Madness on select dates. Ski NH’s website lists the latest information on night skiing in the state: www.SkiNH.com/activities/night-skiing

Strap on Skinny Skis

Nordic skiing is a great choice to beat the crowds and get a great workout. The state has many top-rated Nordic areas including Jackson Ski Touring, Waterville Valley Resort, Loon Mountain, Great Glen Trails, Bretton Woods, Bear Notch Ski Touring and many more. Cross-country skiing is a lower-cost alternative to downhill, has a shorter learning curve and is great for the entire family. In fact, some centers rent pulks (a short, low-slung small sled) that mom or dad can pull behind them while skiing, making it a breeze for families to enjoy skiing with very young kiddos.

Try Something New

Many NH ski resorts offer additional activities on and off snow, including snow biking, canopy tours, skijoring (skiing with your dog), mountain coasters, snowshoeing or taking a snowcoach up Mount Washington. You can find the latest updates on non-skiing activities here: www.SkiNH.com/activities/winter-adventures

Make Plans Today

Regardless of how visitors plan to have fun on snow this February, Ski New Hampshire strongly recommends making plans early. Some resorts require advance lift ticket purchases or reservations for lessons, rentals and other activities, and during busy periods they often sell out. For best results, visit each individual resort website to find out what advanced arrangements need to be made.

Ski New Hampshire is the statewide association representing 32 alpine and cross-country resorts in New Hampshire. For more information on ski areas, trail conditions, vacation planning, and updated winter events at Ski New Hampshire resorts, visit SkiNH.com. For statewide travel info, go to VisitNH.gov.