Family ski trip! It's time to pack up the crew and head to the hills. Of course, you want to make sure the trip will be fun for everyone. Luckily, Whitefish is a place the entire family will love.

Do some planning and everyone will have a blast!

Experiencing downtown Whitefish is a good time in itself, since you can watch some hockey at a sports pub, pop into Imagination Station—the toy store—with the kids or grab a coffee at the new Folklore Coffee and then browse downtown shops like Sappari and Mum’s.

Whitefish is the place to go, and we’ve got the kid-friendly plan. Read on for family hacks that will keep everyone smiling.

A family rides a ski lift on a snowy day.

1. Invest in ski lessons for the kids

You’ll definitely be spending time on the hill when you visit Whitefish. Take the universal advice to invest in professional ski lessons. It doesn’t have to break the bank! Whitefish Mountain Resort has plenty of lesson options for all ages and price ranges. Plus, you can take some turns while the kids are in lessons, ensuring that the whole family gets time on the slopes.

Check out skiwhitefish.com for more info on their child Ski & Play lessons, junior or adult group lessons, and private lessons by the hour. And if anyone is a “never-ever” (brand new to skiing!), take advantage of the one-time learn to ski package—a killer deal at $82 for two days of lift tickets, lessons and rentals. For children who don't need lessons, all kids under 6 ski for free.

Three kids get ready to snowboard with their parents.

A young child dressed up in snow gear smiles widely.

2. Make a fun post-skiing tradition

Skiing may be slightly tedious for the smaller ones—lots of gear and cold faces don’t always equal smiles, even though we adults know that any day on the hill is a good day. Create a post-skiing tradition they’ll love—many parents do hot chocolate in the Base Lodge or après snacks each day. For après, you can stop in to Logan’s Bar and Grill at Grouse Mountain Lodge for budget-friendly drinks for you and snacks for the littles.

A family of five walk alongside shops under an awning in downtown Whitefish.

3. Book the lodging that's convenient

For your weekend in Whitefish, go for value and quality at Grouse Mountain Lodge. There are views of the ski hill and quick access to town, cross country skiing and a great restaurant. The winter Ski and Stay deal at Grouse Mountain Lodge packages lodging and lift tickets together. Plus there's a pool and outdoor hot tub!

Two parents chat while holding one child.

4. Skate the Day Away

The Stumptown Ice Den offers public skating almost everyday of the week, usually starting between 12 PM and 3 PM. It’s $6 for admission and $3 to rent skates. Good deal! Public skate is a great place for kids and adults to get out on the ice and have some fun practicing skills or just zooming around. The Stumptown Ice Den is a welcoming, bustling community hub, so if you miss public skate, you can always stop in and watch some hockey.

5. Warm up at The Wave

Here’s the locals' secret—when the kids aren’t up for another day of skiing but you need to find an energy outlet for them, The Wave Aquatic and Fitness Center is your place. For a small town like Whitefish, this resource is amazing—you’ll find an indoor pool, water-slide, and kids' play pool, a gym, racquetball courts, daily fitness classes, sauna/steam rooms and a cozy place to hang out and read in the lobby.

Get the crew out the door if they’re dragging a bit from the cold—a few hours at The Wave will turn things around. Day passes start at $15 for adults and $5 for youngins, but you won’t pay more than $35 total if the whole gang is there. Visit whitefishwave.com for more info.

3 kids jump into an indoor swimming pool

Photo: The indoor swimming pool at Grouse Mountain Lodge

6. Find your escape

Pick the best base for everyone. Staying at Grouse Mountain Lodge means your escape is right out your door. When you need a minute to yourself, grab a coffee in Logan’s and enjoy the fireplace, or get out for a quick cross country ski on the golf course—a five minute walk (if that!) from the hotel. Plan some time for yourself, and you’ll remember the holiday for family fun and solitude.

This is the year to have the family winter vacation with the best memories and the biggest smiles. Book your lodging now and plan your trip around a cozy place to stay close to town. Lastly, check out skiwhitefish.com/events to see if you can catch any extra fun days on the mountain. See you on the slopes!

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