ASK A SNOWMAMA: Would You Recommend Deer Valley or Park City to Ski With Kids?

Krista Parry
Posted by Krista Parry on November 3, 2009

QUESTION: We need to decide by Nov 3 (we put a hold on some tickets with AA that expire at midnight), so we need to decide pretty quickly if we're going to Park City. So, my questions...we have two boys (ages 3 & 5), and we really want fun activities that would also be convenient. Is there an area where we can take them skiing in either Deer Valley or Park City. Do y'all have a kids gondola or a kids area that is open to the public (not just ski school kids)? Would you recommend Deer Valley or Park City to ski with kids? I wasn't able to get this info anywhere. It's so hard to tell where to stay and ski with two little kids. Any advice, tips, etc would be wonderful! Thanks!

- Asked by Diana on November 2, 2009


ANSWER: Excellent question Diana. You will not find a more accessible or convenient ski resort destination than Park City. It's located only 35 minutes from the Salt Lake International Airport and offers a free transit system around town so you don't even need to rent a car. Park City Mountain Resort is located in the heart of Park City and Deer Valley is about one mile outside. Both Cookie and Parents magazines recommend Park City Mountain Resort for families because of their Kids Signature Programs, which guarantee small class sizes, and the variety of off-hill activities like the Alpine Coaster, Gorgoza Tubing Park and sleigh rides to name a few.  

Let me know if you need any help finding lodging in town. There are a lot of great packages being offered now. Hopefully I'll see you in Park City this winter.


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Comment posted by Hillary on January 29, 2010 8:34 AM MST

For Dianna,
I live in AZ do you know a website that I can order a ski vest with integrated handles?

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Comment posted by Bob on November 6, 2009 7:49 AM MST

If you trust the recommenations of a "skipapa", I'm happy to share my thoughts (I'm a ski-loving, stay-at-home dad, if that increases my credibility in any way). Last year we had our 4-year old daughter at both Park City and Deer Valley kid's ski programs. Both are fantastic, she had a great time, and she's hooked. There are just some small differences between the 2 in terms of price, inclusion of equipment, # of hours of instruction guaranteed, and teacher/student check the resort websites to compare those details. You really can't go wrong with either. And both mountains have beginner-friendly areas where you can ski with your kids near the base, plus plenty of green terrain up the mountain once they're ready to ride the lifts. What's fantastic about the area is that you can ski both mountains during your visit, since they're literally 5 minutes from each other, with free parking at each base area, plus the free Park City bus takes you to/from both. We stay at Lakeside Condos, which are within walking distance to Snow Park base lodge at Deer Valley...or you can drive in 60 seconds, or the condo's have a semi-private shuttle to take you to/from your door. My only preference for our beginner skier is that she doesn't have to worry about snowboarders at Deer Valley. But I know she'll be skiing both mountains for years to come. If you do plan to ski with your kids, I highly recommend the ski vests with the integrated handles on the back...they REALLY help with pulling them up (and holding onto them) on the some have long straps you can use to give them some space to learn their basic slowing/stopping/turning skills, but still allows you to rein them in if they gather too much speed.
Have a great time.

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Comment posted by mary flinn ware on November 5, 2009 1:59 PM MST

Diana, we have an excellent 3 1/2 - 5 yr. old program, feel free to call me at 435-658-5562 if I can answer more questions for you.
Thanks Mary Flinn Ware

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