Q Can you recommend some resorts with snowboard lessons for kids that also offer other activities? We prefer a destination we could fly to nonstop with a relatively short trip to the resort, or someplace we can drive to in no more than four hours.
A Snowboarding is now as mainstream as alpine skiing, so you will find lessons and X-treme terrain parks at most North American ski resorts (just skip Taos, N.M.; Deer Valley and Alta, Utah; and Mad River Glen in Vermont, where the sport is banned). For apres-boarding amusements, look for a larger town that is known for more than its snow-sport parts -- ideally one that was a vibrant mountain community before the schussers invaded.
Out west, Jason Rogers -- marketing manager of Moguls Mountain Travel (888-894-9725, www.skimoguls.com), a Colorado agency that books ski vacations -- recommends family-friendly Keystone (877-753-9786, keystone.snow.com), which is 90 miles from Denver (United and Frontier fly there nonstop) and has a top-rated ski school. There are also free activities for guests, including sleigh rides, wine tastings, snow biking and yoga classes. He also suggests Steamboat (877-237-2628, www.steamboat.com), which is 160 miles from Denver and sits in a lively old hot springs and mining town. Park City Mountain Resort (800-222-PARK, www.parkcitymountain.com), 45 minutes from Salt Lake City (fly Delta nonstop), also is rife with cultural and wintery events, restaurants and shopping.
On this coast, Waterville Valley (800-468-2553, www.waterville.com) is in a Rockwellian New Hampshire town 130 miles north of Boston and organizes various snowboarding events and races for young boarders, such as the Little Slammer Minipipe. Even closer, Wisp at Deep Creek Mountain Resort in Maryland (180 miles from D.C.) boasts a terrain park with 40-foot snowboarding jumps as well as such off-slope attractions as heritage sites and dog sledding. Info: 301-387-4911, www.skiwisp.com.
For other ideas, check SkiTown.com, which offers a detailed search of resorts with snowboarding.
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