Family Bonding on the Ski Slopes – Family-Friendly Ski Resorts, Teaching Compassions and Making Memories


As a family we travel quite often and enjoy our time together. We mix up the activities and interest so that everyone has a good time and that my children also learn how to find joy through the joy of another. As a family we collectively enjoy ski trips and I find many parenting moments present themselves on the slopes.

From on, and off the slopes, I offer how our family develops stronger relationships and bonds between us and offer readers insights for a few family-friendly ski resorts including Steamboat Resort, Heavenly and Arizona Snowbowl.


I’m always looking for ways to broaden our gifts of compassion, time and the understanding for others in the face of acceptance that our own desires for some moments are often placed second; a much harder lesson to teach children in this instant society. The raging Freudian ID yelling “me, me, me” gets quieted as we take turns, find joy in another’s interest and learn new things that might not have been on our personal must-do list while also reinforcing the lessons of patience.

I found this article on Psychoanalytic Theory by Ocampo and Valleeser on that has educational slides on the id, ego and superego.


When we head out to ski it’s the one thing we all love equally. It’s on each of our lists. It’s even a collective pull to get things moving toward getting out the door and to the slopes. While we all have varying skill levels we ski together as a family and bond over the time in the lines, on the lifts and when we take a break to warm up with hot cocoa, a snack, lunch or dinner. Everything tastes better after you have a few hours on the slopes.

She’s ready and excited to head out for our ski day in her favorite, pink, warm and cozy Koolaburra boots by UGG.
Happy to be getting on his ski boots. It feels so good to pull your feet from you ski boots at the end of the day and slide them into a soft pair of boots.
That’s love and snack time with hot cocoa and popcorn.


We spend our time warming up with laughter, retelling our stories of what we saw on the slopes, our challenges of the day, wipeouts, our wins and improvements and what runs we’re hitting next.

Our brain bucket collection.


We make jokes about my daughter who flies down the slopes at the speed of heat; that girl can go! We talk about body mechanics and the snow conditions. We throw in the ski lingo and laugh about “chocolate chip cookies” or “death cookies” which are the worst, or “bombers” skiing out of control who weren’t wearing a “brain bucket” or hoping for a “bluebird day” or “Champagne Powder” that term is a trademark of Steamboat in Colorado and where we will be skiing later this year with what hopefully will be some “ego snow”. We all need a day of “ego snow”.

In the days of so many new words the kids come home using it’s nice to have this language we can share and share with a larger population of skiers ranging from five on up!

Beautiful views and fresh air just knocks the death cookies from your mind especially on a bluebird day.


At the end of the ski day we are charged with the excitement that comes from working as team and we are ready to wind down for our own family-themed version of Après Ski.


When in Steamboat Springs we’ll head downtown to Old Town Hot Springs and soak in the restorative waters or head out for dinner at La Fiesta Grill and Cantina; my number two Mexican restaurant anywhere and only number two because I haven’t been to number my number one yet.

Old Town Hot Springs in Steamboat Springs or visit Strawberry Park for a natural setting (evenings are adults only)

When we ski locally we head home and watch a movie with some popcorn to wind down, or play a family board game.


At Lutsen Mountain on Lake Superior we would play giant checkers in our pajamas at the Lutsen Lodge hotel lobby next to the giant old fireplace and take breaks to make S’mores and read from the book, “Just So Stories” because it’s our tradition, “O, Best Beloved.” Thank you Kipling for so many great nights.

Lutsen Lodge offers complementary makings for S’mores and keeps the fires burning. We stay at Eagle Ridge Resort on Lutsen when we want the comforts of our own kitchen to prepare meals and the ease of ski-in/ski-out accommodations.


Heavenly Ski Resort in Lake Tahoe, California has an amazing little donut hut; Heavenly Donuts in the Village and a fun shop Rocket Fizz for candy and pop… soda for the east coasters, or we head over to our favorite restaurant to warm up with hot pot at Lake Tahoe Hot Pot and then close our evening with a swim in the outdoor heated pool at Lake Tahoe Vacation Resort which is a perfect stay option for skiing Heavenly or Squaw.

Heavenly donuts at Heavenly Donuts at the Village.
Hot Pot at Lake Tahoe Hot Pot was excellent.
The young coconut was outstanding and they even gave her a drink umbrella which is only the greatest addition ever to any drink.


Arizona Snowbowl offers some great skiing… in fact the city of Flagstaff boasts record numbers in annual snowfall ranking it at number eight nationally. It has remained one of our favorite skiing destinations because of their excellent slopes, fantastic ski school and many affordable ticket and stay options. Tickets as low as $29 and FREE Season Passes for kids 10 and under make Arizona Snowbowl a budget friendly option.

We always stay a bit south in Sedona, Arizona and take the 40 minute drive out to Snowbowl each day but make sure you check out their Ski and Stay Free packages for great deals staying on the mountain.

When we return to Sedona in the evening our favorite spot to stop is Javelina Cantina with great chips, food, kids meal options, atmosphere and views, plus anything Javelina is number one in my book.

Heading out from Sedona to Snowbowl.


Wherever we are it seems the evenings following a day on the slopes are filled with laughter and a sense of calm, peace and joy. Our ski days are magical. They are family… wrapped with a perfect red bow and a side of hot cocoa with whipped cream. I don’t know how the future ski days will be as the kids become teenagers but I’m thinking ski days for us means family bonding and will always be the days we grow closer together and make lasting family memories on and off the slopes.

“Ski Skills” by Norman Rockwell

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