Winter is coming, which means we’re daydreaming about chairlift rides and carving lines. If you’re hoping to get your kiddos excited about powder days and ski slopes, we’ve rounded up the best skiing lessons in and around Seattle to help get your kids comfortable on their boards and sticks. Before long, your little skier will be yelling, “Pizza pie and French fries!” and bombing down the hill. You better get ready to keep up! Read on…these lessons are filling up fast!

kids ski lessons, ski resorts near Seattle
Kathryn Mueller

Summit at Snoqualmie

Meet the Mountain
The Summit at Snoqualmie offers a variety of skiing lessons for every age and ability, and great terrain for beginners and experts alike. Easily reached by traveling up I-90 through Snoqualmie Pass, you won’t miss the sprawling slopes. Summit at Snoqualmie is the closest ski area to Seattle, only about 45 minutes if you hit good traffic. It’s a perfect place to get some practices, and when tantrums inevitably hit, the car ride home won’t be too long. There are four different ski areas, all with a different tagline and thousands of skiable acres to explore. Summit West is the place to learn. Summit Central has something for everyone. Summit East is a fun playground ready to be discovered. And “when you’re ready” for a challenge, hop on over to Alpental.

Ski School Scoop
Winter programs for your little shredders sell out fast, but the good news is spring is just around the corner. Spring ski season offers great conditions to learn how to ski and snowboard and also gives little fingers and toes a bit of a reprieve from the chilly, wet weather. The snowpack is also at its highest, so falls can be like landing on a snowy pillow. It’s a great way to minimize meltdowns–fingers crossed.

Multi-week skiing lessons are open now for registration. If your little ones are just starting out, we got an inside tip to book Thunderbirds (ages 4-6) in March or Central6 for spring. The four-week sessions for Thunderbirds occur on Saturday and Sunday, and Spring Central6 is a six-week program filling up for the end for February. Just remember, for multi-week lessons, you will need a pass or ticket, as those aren’t included in the lesson price. Plus, students must provide their own gear, or rent gear, and purchase a lift ticket or season pass.

Insider tip: If you plan to rent equipment, Summit recommends renting take home rentals and bringing them back for multi-week lessons. It will save you from standing in rental lines and losing precious minutes on the slopes.

Thunderbirds (Summit West)
Days: Sat. & Sun., options starting Mar. 12, 9 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
Cost: $320/per child

Central6 (Summit Central)
Days: Sat. & Sun., options starting Feb. 26, 9 a.m.-11 a.m.
Cost: $470/per child

Daily Lessons
Daily beginner lessons are tailored to meet your family’s unique needs and are offered to kiddos 4 & up. Booking is available online. Lessons are available at Summit Central and Summit West. Reservations are required, and they are in high demand and may sell out fast. We’re sensing a theme–book early! It’s a pretty popular place, especially on the weekends, so don’t fret about braving the crowds. Even if you can't get into a lesson, they have ample places to ride the magic carpets. It's a great way to learn!

Insider tip: Remember to reserve online or over the phone before loading the skis on the rack. Reservations must be made at least 48 hours before the lesson date and time. Weekends and holiday book-up early, so sign up in advance!

West Kids Club and Central Kids Corral
Days: Daily, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.
Tickets: $199/per person

While you’re there, check out snow tubing. All the equipment is provided for a slipping and sliding good time. You’ll definitely want to bring your snow pants, jackets and gloves though! But if you happen to forget something, they have retail shops you can peruse.

COVID Info: Masks are required in all indoor facilities. Social distancing is also recommended.

1001 WA-906
Snoqualmie Pass, WA

kids ski lessons, ski resorts near Seattle
Ryan French via Crystal Mountain

Crystal Mountain

Meet the Mountain
Get ready to learn to ski at one of the most majestic resorts in Washington. With expansive views of Mt. Rainier, kiddos will be awed. Starting on Thanksgiving Day and running through mid-March, Crystal Mountain offers skiing lessons for all ages and abilities, starting as young as 4 years old. Daily youth lessons, for kids ages 4-12, provide an opportunity for young skiers and riders to gain confidence on the slopes as well as make memories that will last a lifetime. Taught by passionate and experienced coaches, half-day and full-day lessons are available.

Ski School Scoop
Your little skier and snowboarder will learn at a designated area at the base of the mountain, and their indoor meeting area helps keep kids active and engaged when they are not out on the snow. Younger children are typically grouped in groups of three. The littlest future Olympians need more hands-on support as they get used to their boots and boards, but class sizes for older kids, who are likely more experienced, are larger. For the full-day classes, lunch is included—so don’t worry about packing that PB&J. Kids also get hot cocoa. Yum! Parents can check their kids in 30 minutes before the resort opens (8:30 a.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. on weekends.), so get there early! Plan to pick up your kids between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m., after your day of solo schussing. Don’t be surprised if they don’t want to leave—your kiddos will be having too much fun!

Insider tip: Gear rentals are available for all ages as well, so don’t worry if you don’t have tiny boots, bindings and skis. Crystal Mountain takes the hassle out of all your equipment needs.

Good to know: Multi-week lessons are no longer available for skiers, but programs for snowboarders are. Cost starts at $499/per person.

Group Lessons
Hours: Half-day lessons, 10 a.m.-noon & 1-3 p.m.; Full-day lessons, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Cost: $175/child for half-day; $225/child for full-day

There are also lots of fun activities to enjoy after class. If you’re looking to kick off your boots and enjoy the scenic views, don’t miss out on the gondola. And dinner at 6,800 feet (with a killer view) is always a hit. Grab a bite at Summit House, Washington’s highest elevation restaurant at the top.

COVID Info: Masks are required indoors for all guests, regardless of vaccination status. Masks must meet CDC guidelines—no single layer buffs or perforated masks. Masks are recommended in outdoor areas such as lift lines, walkways and the base area, but are not required.

33914 Crystal Mountain Blvd.
Enumclaw, WA

kids ski lessons, ski resorts
via iStock

Mt. Baker

Ski School Scoop
The KOMO Kids Program is a longstanding tradition at Mt. Baker. Geared toward kids ages 7-15 years old, the ski program is split into four-week sessions, and kiddos ages 4 and up are divided into groups by ages and abilities. To asses your ability, Mt. Baker has a handy ability guideline so you can find the right lesson that's right for you and your family. The sessions are fun and focused on safety and learning.

KOMO Kids Program
Dates: Jan. & Feb.
Days & Hours: Sat. & Sun., 9-11 a.m.
Cost: $145/per child

Daily Lessons
Private daily lessons ($225/per person) are also available, which is great for one-on-one instruction. These lessons are for kiddos ages 7 and up at last about two hours. Your kiddos will get to try their skills on the beginner terrain and tow their way along to hone their ski and snowboard skills—hold on tight! Reservations are strongly encouraged, as walk-in lessons have limited availability.

Insider tip: There are lots of great lodging options nearby the mountain, but parking is very limited. If you’re hoping to get a prime parking spot, get to the mountain early, or come for an afternoon ski session. Weekdays are much quieter than weekends, so plan accordingly.

COVID Info: Facial coverings are required for everyone when indoors, regardless of vaccination status, unless actively eating or drinking. They're also strongly recommended outside, when physical distancing isn’t possible.

Mt. Baker Hwy.
Deming, WA

kids ski lessons, ski schools near Seattle
Kathryn Mueller

Mini Mountain

If slipping and sliding in the snow and frosty fingers and toes don’t sound like an ideal place to learn to ski, head on over to Bellevue. Mini Mountain isn’t like the other resorts included here. For starters, it's indoors. They have three rotating carpets that can help little skiers get comfortable on skis, load and unload from a chairlift and have fun, all while learning from instructors with more than 30 years of experience. No need to bring anything, which makes getting out the door super easy. The indoor facility helps set kids up for success so when they finally make it to the snowy peaks and majestic slopes, they are ready to go. Mini Mountain has a boot fitting area, lounge and an area for gear rental. An added bonus, parents can relax on comfy leather couches and watch as kiddos perfect their pizza pie.

The great news about Mini Mountain is that you don’t need snow to learn how to ski—you can practice year-round, and many people do! Weekend lessons are currently booked out through January, but they have lessons throughout the week. Each lesson is about 20 minutes long, and kiddos get one-on-one attention from an instructor. They are able to teach kiddos starting from when they start to walk, but most children who enroll in lessons are 2 and up. Signing up for classes is a breeze. Simply call or register online. No need to worry about brining anything easier—everything is provided. Just sit back and imagine hauling down a mountain with your little one in tow.

Days & Hours: Mon., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Tues.-Fri., 10 a.m.-7p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sun., noon-5 p.m.
Cost: $55/person

1900 132nd Ave. N.E., A3
Bellevue, WA

kids ski lessons, ski resorts near Seattle
Andrew Strain via Whistler Blackcomb

Whistler Blackcomb

Meet the Mountain
Whistler Blackcomb, located in Whistler British, Columbia, is a majestic winter wonderland. With areas specifically designed for families, Whistler Kids Snow School offers an incredible atmosphere for your Littles to learn to ski or snowboard. And the snow school is just one of many family-friendly adventures you can embark on while visiting the mountain. From outdoor ice skating to tubing, there are plenty of other things to do that will bring a smile to your kiddos’ faces. Plus, there are hundreds of shops and dining options—more than 150 restaurants catering to all tastes and appetites, and 200 shops that will delight your inner window-shopper. If you needed more reasons to book your next family vacation to Whistler, they also offer camps, childcare and babysitting services. So, if you need a little time away after a long day on the slopes, your little adventurers are in good hands.

In between ski lessons and epic après ski adventures, check out the Magic Castle on Blackcomb, the Tree Fort on Whistler and the Enchanted Forest. These play areas are great for families of little ones, and a perfect excuse to kick off your skis and explore the magical outdoor playgrounds. The Magic Castle is located on Blackcomb Mountain in the Children's Adventure Park. The Tree Fort is located on Whistler Mountain, near the Big Red Express chairlift.

Ski School Scoop
If you’re looking for weekday, multi-day ski lessons, Whistler Kids Adventure Camp is a great option for your youngest little skiers and snowboarders, from 3 years old to 12 years old. Kids get to learn from the same instructor throughout the duration of the camp, and they will also make lots of friends in a program packed with events, themes and activities. The camp also includes a hot lunch and snacks. Kids will ski for a full five days with instructions, starting at 9 a.m. and ending at 3:15 p.m. Plan to drop them off between 8:30 and 8:45 a.m. and picking them between 3 and 3:15 p.m.—plenty of time for you to get in more than a few sweet runs on the mountain!

Where: Skiers Plaza, Whistler Village
Cost: $1,255/child

Daily Lessons
If you’re looking for less of a commitment than a week-long camp, Whistler offers teen group ski and snowboard lessons, child group ski and snowboard lessons and private lessons for families and children, which can all be booked in advance. Group lessons are a full-day excursion, meaning you’ll have lots of time on the mountain and ski runs. Private half-day lessons are also available. As spaces are limited, Whistler recommends booking well in advance to ensure you don’t miss out. By booking in advance, you’ll also get all the paperwork out of the way which will save you time at drop-off. Don’t forget to bring a helmet and also lots of layers. Nothing ruins a fun day on the slopes like cold fingers and toes.

Good to know: Children ages 6 & under ski for free. Tickets can be collected from a conveniently located ticket window in the village.

Insider tip: If you’re planning on renting equipment, Whistler Blackcomb makes it incredibly convenient. They even have complimentary delivery! If you want to make getting out the door a breeze, it’s recommended that you pick up equipment the day before. That way you won’t have to rush the first day of ski school.

More Whistler Magic
If you’re looking for something to get your heart racing, look no further than Blackcomb Mountain’s bubly™ Tube Park. No equipment is required, but you may need to be a bit brave and ready for an exhilarating rush. It's open weekends and holidays from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. on week days.

COVID Info: Face coverings are required in indoor settings including restaurants, lodging properties, restrooms, retail and rental locations. Face coverings will not be required outdoors but are required in gondolas.

3211 Grant McConachie Way
Richmond, BC V7B 0A4

kids ski lessons, ski resorts near Seattle
via Mission Ridge

Mission Ridge

Meet the Mountain
Mission Ridge is located only about 12 miles outside of Wenatchee. It’s a great mountain for family skiing, and you’re likely to get lots of blue bird days—it boasts 300 sunshiny days a year, so pack your shades. The direr, higher and east-sidier (it’s on the eastern slope of the Cascades) destination means your family will enjoy light, dry powder when you’re bombing down the mountain. With more than 36 designated runs spread over 2,000 beautiful acres of skiable terrain, we can’t wait to book our trip!

Ski School Scoop
Mission Ridge offers lots of different lessons for kids of all ages and abilities, but reserve your spot soon because space is filling up fast. Most of the multi-week lessons are already full, but here's the inside scoop to get in: call them today and get on a waitlist. If your little one is a snowboarder, there is still space. The Flyers programs are a great option for kiddos just starting out in the sport. The program is tailored towards the littlest skiers (ages 3-5) and snowboarders (ages 4-6) and the package includes lessons, lift tickets and rentals. What a deal! Your child gets paired with a youth instructor and gets a personalized one-on-one experience.

Mission Ridge also offers Kids Lessons for children ages 6-12. These lessons are a great way to introduce children to skiing and snowboarding. Kiddos will be grouped with other children of the same ability and age, so they’ll learn to ride and also make friends along the way.

For older kids who have more experience and are interested in becoming instructors, Mission Ridge offers a program called Cadets. It’s a unique offering that lets teenagers 13-15 improve their skills while learning to teach. The multi-week program prepares students to pass a Level 1 instructor certification and goes from December through March.

Cost: $69/child, one-hour private lesson; $119/child, two-hour lesson

Kids Lessons
Cost: $79 for lessons only; $119 for lessons, lift ticket & rental gear

Cost: $554/per person; includes season pass
Dates: Sat. & Sun., from Dec. 11-Mar. 13

Insider tip: You won't find this online, but another awesome kid's program is the Night Bombers. The class will be offered for kiddos ages 6-12 and will open on their website shortly. The classes will have a ratio of five students to one coach, and skiers and snowboarders will be grouped by age and ability. Kids will be able to make friends and have fun exploring the mountain at night. More details will be coming soon.

7500 Mission Ridge Rd.
Wenatchee, WA

kids ski lessons, ski resorts near Seattle
Ian Coble via Stevens Pass

Stevens Pass

Meet the Mountain
About two hours from Seattle, Stevens Pass can be accessed through the beautiful and winding Cascade Loop Scenic Byway. Perched at the top of sweeping mountain views, right off the highway, Steven’s Pass is a winter wonderland for skiers and snowboarders alike. It offers 1,125 acres of diverse skiable terrain. Children of all ages and abilities have learned to ski there for decades, which is one of the reasons the mountain is so popular. Kids can enroll in both full- and half-day ski and snowboard lessons. Group lessons are small and offer a chance for kids to get comfortable on their skis and boards. Before too long, they’ll be cruising along–probably faster than you!

There are also lots of family activities in and around the resort. Bring a sled and explore the free family sledding hill and snow play area at the Steven’s Pass Nordic Center, located just five miles from the resort. Other activities including cross country skiing, skating and snowshoeing are also just minutes away. And if skiing at night sounds like a good time, don’t miss out on adventures after dark skiing with the family.

Ski School Scoop
The group lessons are a great opportunity for children to engage in small groups with an instructor specifically trained to teach little ones, toddler temper tantrums and all. Group lessons are capped at a maximum of three to six participants, depending on the age group. Half-days are only available for the littlest skiers and snowboarders, and for those enrolled in the full-day group lessons (think: older kiddos) lunch is included. Stevens Pass recommends reserving ski and snowboard lessons in advance by booking through their website. You can also purchase a three-pack if you want to ensure you get your kiddos up at least a few times this year.

If you’re hoping to experience the mountain on quieter days, be sure to visit mid-week. Arriving early, before 9 a.m. also helps ensure parking is available and kiddos get to their lesson on time. Renting equipment ahead of time will also help alleviate some stress and keep you from waiting in lines. Morning check-in will be much smoother if your equipment is ready to go and sized correctly ahead of time.

Insider tip: Lift tickets are complimentary for kiddos ages 3–6.

Good to know: If private lessons ($539/per person for full-day) sound like a better fit for you and your family, this personalized approach to learning is also available. Included in private lessons is an expert instructor and also a nice perk of not waiting in lines. Yes, please!

Three-Pack Three Maximum
Cost: $465/child (ages 3 &4); $555/child (ages 5 & 6); $585/child (ages 7-14)

Group Lessons Ages 3 & 4
Days & Times: Daily, Half-day, 9:30 a.m.-noon or 1-3:30 p.m.
Cost: $149/child, mid-week; $169/child, weekends and holidays

Group Lessons Ages 5 & 6
Days & Times: Daily, Half-day from 9:30 a.m.-noon or 1-3:30 p.m.; Full-day from 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Cost: $149/child, mid-week; $169/child, weekends and holidays; $189/child, full-day mid-week; $209/child, full-day weekends and holidays

Group Lessons Ages 7-14
Days & Times: Daily, Half-day, 9:30 a.m.-noon or 1-3:30 p.m.; Full-day, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Cost: $139/child, mid-week; $159/child, weekend; $179/child, full-day mid-week; $199/child, full-day weekends and holidays

COVID Info: All tickets, passes, lessons and services must be purchased online and masks are required in all indoor facilities. They're not required outdoors but are recommended in lift lines.

Summit Stevens Pass
93001 US Hwy. 2
Skykomish, WA

skiing near Seattle
Mission Ridge Ski and Board Resort via yelp

Expert Advice for Beginning Skiers

Mark Music, Mission Ridge’s Ski School Director, offered up some great tips to help set kiddos up for success on the mountain. He says to focus on comfort and to set realistic expectations. Bring lots of layers, never keep boots out in the cold (your kiddos toes will thank you) and bring hand warmers. That’s the secret he says, having a balaclava or neck gaitor ready, both hand and feet warmers ready to deploy at any moment, and a pair of spare mittens to keep hands dry on a damp day. Also, make room for lots of breaks during the day and head to the bathroom before gearing up in the many, many layers you’ll be packing on your tiny skiers.

It’s also never too early to get a child used to their boots and skis. Before making a trip to the mountain, have your kiddo walk around the living room in their ski gear. It can be a fun way to make believe while also getting them comfortable with what will hopefully be their favorite winter attire.

Music says just getting to the mountain is something to celebrate. “Congratulate yourself for getting to the hill,” he says. “Don’t be hard on yourself. The primary goal is more about getting outside together and making some great memories you’ll be talking about years from now.”

—Kathryn Mueller


Snow Much Fun! Where to Go to Play in the Snow

Where to Find Seattle’s Coolest Ice Skating Rinks This Winter

Dive Into the City’s Coolest Indoor Pools

Skate Into Seattle’s Best Roller Rinks for Families

9 Bowling Alleys Where You Can Strike Up Serious Family Fun

Your daily dose of joy and connection
Get the Tinybeans app