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The quiet slopes of New Hampshire are the perfect place for families, whether it’s to introduce children to skiing for the first time in the highly-rated local ski schools, or simply to enjoy time together on the piste.

Monday to Friday, you find yourself skiing a 3-mile long cruiser without anyone else around, so idyllic and peaceful, you feel like you actually own the mountain. And it’s not unheard for group ski school lessons to only have a couple of people in the group (and one of those may well be the instructor!). With nobody waiting at the lift, you’re back up the hill in no time to retrace your favourite run, or head off to a new part of the mountain.

Even at the weekend, whilst somewhat busier with the influx of leisure skiers from Boston and surrounding area, the slopes don’t suffer from the elbow-deep crowds of their European counterparts. There’s still plenty of room to investigate the mountain, and lift queues are kept to a minimum because they are so well organised (and because the locals are so friendly and polite!)

Child Care

Each of the resorts operates its own ski school and children’s centre. The latter provide a crèche for the very young, so mum and dad can enjoy their slope-time, relaxed in the knowledge that the kids are in the safe hands of fully trained, English-speaking staff, and what’s more they are only at the base lodge of the mountain, so it’s easy to pop in and say hi!

Children’s lessons generally start from 4 years old for skiing, and 7 years for snowboarding. Group sizes are very small compared to Europe, so children progress extremely quickly under the expert tutelage of enthusiastic English-speaking instructors.

For more info on child day-care
Cannon Mountain: www.cannonmt.com/daycare.html
Loon Mountain: www.loonmtn.com/info/winter/daycare.aspx
Waterville Valley: www.waterville.com/trip-planning/child-care.html

Children’s ski Lessons

Children’s lessons generally start from 4 years old for skiing, and 7 years for snowboarding. Group sizes are very small compared to Europe, so children progress extremely quickly under the expert tutelage of enthusiastic English-speaking instructors.

For details on lessons
Cannon Mountain: www.cannonmt.com/kids_programs.html
Loon Mountain: www.loonmtn.com/info/winter/learn-to-ski.aspx
Waterville Valley: www.waterville.com/trip-planning/kids-kamps.html

First Timers

With close to 25% of the skiable terrain carefully developed to suit beginner and novice skiers and boarders, adults will also struggle to find a better place to learn a new winter-sport.

Cannon Mountain has an extensive family and learning area: set away from the main mountain, Tuckerbrook does not attract faster skiers, so beginners can take their first turns on the 13 dedicated learning trails without interruption.

Valley Run is a 1½-mile novice run on Waterville Valley. This wide, gentle slope is great for practising turns on day two or three, and served by its own high-speed quad chair it’s a great warm-up run for intermediates to get their legs going before heading up to the rest of the mountain.

Bear Claw on Loon Mountain is a gentle family ski zone running from Loon Peak all the way down to the Octagon base lodge, meaning beginners will relish the experience of taking a top-to-bottom run before the end of their first week.