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  • New Hampshire Resorts Are Full of Family Friendly Programs

    Here's a Quick Recap:

    Photo courtesy SkiNH Keeping kids happy, even on a vacation, can be a real challenge --but it's easy at any of Ski NH's kid-friendly winter resorts. The up-to-date programs and activities for winter fun at these resorts have plenty of options for kids of all ages -from little tykes to teens. Programs for younger skiers combine personal attention, safety, and instruction along with the opportunity to make new friends on the slopes. For older kids and teens, there's the exciting world of halfpipes, terrain parks, snowtoys, night skiing, snowtubing and any number of wild and crazy fun events to enter or watch. At Ski NH winter resorts, family members can do their own thing, depending on age, ability , and interest, while at the same time build great family memories of being together for winter fun.

    To make skiing more affordable for families, children age 5 and younger ski free at every Ski NH resort except Mount Sunapee, where children age 6 and under ski free. Each resort also offers discounted prices on lift tickets for juniors and teens, as well as when multiple days are purchased. Here are some of the other highlights:

    ATTITASH BEAR PEAK:
    The Adventure Center: Located right at the base area, the Attitash Adventure Center has everything under one roof for families and kids. All learn-to-ski and learn-to-ride programs, children's programs, seasonal programs, day care facilities, rental equipment, and adaptive programs for disabled skiers originate at the Adventure Center.

    The Family Fun Zone: This specially designated area is designed for families. Props from Story Land Amusement Park create a mini terrain park designed to teach and improve ski and snowboard technique.
    Young children: The Tiny Turns program (age 3-5) includes a lift ticket, one-hour introduction to skiing, and day care. The Buddy Bear Kids program (age 4-6) and the Adventure Kids and Low Riders program (age 7-12) also include lessons and lift tickets. For teens interested in joining seasonal programs that offer great instruction, exciting competition and peer camaraderie, there is the Attitash Racing Development Team, the Bump Busters Freestyle Team and the Snowboard Competition Team. Daily fun and excitement can be found at the snowboarding halfpipe and terrain park where there are plenty of bumps, dips and jumps. Almost every weekend there are just-for-fun events open to all ability levels.

    BALSAMS WILDERNESS:
    Named one of America' s 10 Best Family Resorts in Family Life magazine, The BALSAMS Grand Hotel Resort knows how to keep kids happy.
    At the ski area: There are no lift lines, no crowds, and no hassles. There is a separate slope for beginners and a ski play area for youngsters. Children's programs consist of the Wee Whistle Farm program for age 3-5 and a variety of youth programs for age 6-12. Each program is designed to build skills and confidence, teach safety and ensure a fun time for all ability levels.
    At the hotel: There are sleigh rides, bonfires, ice skating, winter nature hikes, game rooms, movies and evening entertainment for kids of all ages.

    Photo courtesy Bretton Woods BRETTON WOODS:
    Bretton Woods is an award-winning ski area that has long catered to families. Family Travel Forum named it one of the "Top Ten Getaways for Tiny Travelers" and SKI magazine's reader's survey gave superior ratings to its family programs, grooming, and scenery.
    Family Learning Center: The Family Learning Center offers a variety of child-friendly lifts to help make learning to ski or snowboard easier, and the Wonder Carpet, Handle Tow and Crawford Double Chair are all designed for easy use by kids. A nursery is available for children age 2 month-5 years.
    Young children: The Babes in the Woods program (age 3-5) includes two hours of semi-private instruction, rental equipment, lunch and indoor nursery care. The Hobbit Ski and Snowboard School (age 4-12) offers all day fun and instructional programs in skiing or snowboarding and includes two lessons, equipment rental, lift ticket and lunch. Children are matched with others of the same age and ability.

    Familv Fun Days (December 26-28.2001 and February 15-March 1.2002): These holiday periods are filled with activities and entertainment for families and children age 4-12, including apres ski parties with magicians, clowns, sing-a-longs, storytelling, and sledding. The Mount Washington Hotel Kids' Kamp program, for children ages 5-12, also offers fun activities based on age and ability level, including arts and crafts, movies, cooking with the Chef, sledding, and animal tracking. New Hampshire's largest ski area provides teens with plenty of chutes, bumps, bowls, and glades on 75 trails, as well as a terrain park and halfpipe. The new Rosebrook Canyon Glades area has 10 new expert-only trails that run through 30 acres of trees full of curves, ravines, and breathtaking drop-offs. If this doesn't tire them out, they can continue the fun at night on 4 trails and 2 lifts that stay open for night skiing. At the Bretton Arms and The Mount Washington Hotel, there are indoor pools, as well as game rooms with billiards, pinball and electronic games.

    CANNON MOUNTAIN:
    The Brookside Learning Center: This newly renovated learning center has everything families need with regards to day care facilities and learn-to-ski programs. Great beginner slopes are located right outside the door, and intermediate skiers can enjoy the view from the top with access to top-to- bottom intermediate trails.
    A terrain park with bumps, banks and jumps, along with two professionally designed halfpipes, keeps the older kids challenged.

    CRANMORE MOUNTAIN RESORT: Cranmore's billing as "New England's Snowplay Resort for Growing Families" says it all. Cranmore offers a variety of family-friendly programs either by day or for an entire season.
    Young children: The Snowsports School has daily programs for young children, including a variety of Value Deals that package lift tickets with rentals, equipment, and lunch.
    Seasonal Programs: Season-long programs help young skiers and riders really advance in their technique- and they're fun, too! Cranmore's programs include the Rattlesnakes for age 4-12, the Pre-Race Team program for age 7-14, and the Teen Adventures program for age 12-15. The Shred Meisters, which helps young snowboarders fine-tune their ride, and the Mountain Challenge for proficient skiers, are programs for age 8-14. All meet on non-holiday weekends.

    Cranmore has become a major scene of activity for snowplay of all sorts -from traditional skiing and snowboarding, to activities like snowtubing or downhill gliding on snowscoots, snowfoxes, snowbikes and skiboards. There's plenty of terrain park and halfpipe activity and, with the addition of the new Palmer X Park, even beginner and intermediate sliders can have fun on banked comers, rolls, and jumps. The fun continues under the lights until 9 or 10pm.

    DARTMOUTH SKIWAY:
    Weekender Family Package: For $112, two adults can ski for two days and children ages 6-13 get two-day tickets for only $12 as part of the package. Lessons are available for all age and ability levels.

    GUNSTOCK:
    The Children's Center: The Buckaroo Program for 3-year-olds introduces skiing skills through the use of games and activities. It includes a lift ticket, lesson, lunch, and day care. The Belknap Bears for age 4-12 is a full or half day program focusing on fun and includes breaks, lunch, crafts and games. The Belknap Rangers for age 8-14 is an all-day program.
    A terrain park, halfpipe, and snowtubing provide plenty of options to traditional skiing and snowboarding, with night skiing for those who want to keep on going.

    KING PINE:
    Youth Ski Camp: For nearly 60 years, King Pine has hosted a youth ski camp designed for kids age 8-16. The all-inclusive price covers ski or snowboard instruction, meals, and lodging. Campers are grouped according to their ability from novice to expert. Instruction is provided twice a day in a small group setting with plenty of time allotted for campers to ski or ride on their own.
    Daily Programs: The Knee-Hi Program for age 4-7 offer three levels (Carpet, Rope Tow and Mountain) to provide varied program for all abilities. Also available is a terrain park, snowtubing, ice skating, cross country skiing, an indoor pool and fitness complex and, on weekends and holiday periods, night skiing, snowboarding and snowtubing. A nursery is available for infants-age 6.

    LOON MOUNTAIN: The Adventure Center: Apres ski family activities are held in the Adventure Center and include arts and crafts, magic shows, bon fires, and storytelling by Wajoid, Loon's famous mountain man. This is also the place for renting cross country , snowshoe and ice skating equipment, or trying out the new tubing hill for tykes. There's even an indoor climbing wall with ropes and harnesses.
    Young children: The Loon Snowsports School offers a wide variety of daily and seasonal kids programs. There's P .K. Boo Bear for kids age 3-4, Kinder Bear for kids age 5-6, and Adventure Camp for kids age 7-12. Day care is available for kids 6 weeks to 8 years.
    There's plenty of halfpipe and terrain park action at Loon, as well as sliding fun on a variety of rental snowtoys such as snowscoots, snowfoxes, snowbikes or skiboards. Snowtubing is available day or night and, at The Adventure Center, there is an ice skating rink, climbing wall and Nordic center for renting cross country skis or snowshoes.

    MOUNT SUNAPEE: Young children: Mount Sunapee offers comprehensive programs for youngsters for both skiing and snowboarding. The Snowstars (age 4-7) and Mountain Explorers (age 8-12) learn with others of similar age and ability, and Mother Goose Day Care is available for the wee ones. The layout of the mountain is family-friendly with all trails ending at the base lodge, and a separate beginner area has been enhanced with new beginner-friendly lifts and trails.
    The half pipe and terrain park are definitely a popular places for teenagers. Kids' programs: Pats Peak has lessons available for all age and ability levels in skiing and snowboarding. Snowtubing, a quarterpipe, and a terrain park provide plenty of thrills for older kids, and night skiing and snowboarding is also available-

    RAGGED MOUNTAIN:
    Kids' programs: There are plenty of kids' programs to choose from including Snow Puppy for age 5- 12, MINI Rider for age 7-12, and the popular SKIwee program. Ragged also has a halfpipe and plenty of bumps and jumps to keep the older kids busy. A nursery and day care is available.
    Ridge Line Cabin: Get several families together and rent the mid-mountain Ridge Line Cabin for a night, complete with wood stove, kitchen facilities and bunk beds that sleep up to 30 people. It's an adventure the kids will love, complete with a snowcat ride to the cabin door.

    Photo courtesy Waterville Valley WATERVILLE VALLEY: Waterville Valley is consistently ranked among the top of SKI Magazine's reader survey for providing families with high quality , affordable kids' programs.
    Young children: A ward-winning programs include Mountain Moguls for kids 3-4, Explorers for age 4-6 and Scouts for ages 7 -12; all have full and half day options for group lessons with kids of similar ages and ability. Childcare is available for kids age 6 months-4 years. New this year is Snowball the Tiger, who greets children and welcomes them to Waterville Valley. At the end of the day, kids can log onto Waterville Valley's web page on Snowmonsters.com and give feedback or talk to their instructors.
    Older kids and teens: Exhibition Park and Little Slammer Terrain Park provide jumps and halfpipes for skiers and snowboarders, and there are plenty of snowtoys, short skis and snowtubes to try for added fun. For other diversions, a free shuttle bus can deliver guests to Waterville Valley's Town Square where there are specialty shops, a variety of restaurants, horse drawn sleigh rides, and indoor recreational facilities including an ice-skating rink, swimming pool, tennis courts, and fitness center. Fireworks are regularly scheduled on Saturday nights.

    WILDCAT:
    The children's programs at Wildcat are arranged by age and ability, in recognition that each age group requires a special approach to help develop new skills. Tiger Tykes is for age 4-6, Snowcats for age 6-9, Coolcats for age 9-12, Mountain Masters for age 13-16, and Snowboard for age 8-12. The Lion's Cub day care is open from 8:30 am-3 pm.

    For more information on New Hampshire resorts, call Ski NH at (800) 88-SKI-NH (800-887-5464) or visit the web site at www.skinh.com . For statewide visitor information, contact the New Hampshire Division of Travel andTourism at (800) FUN-IN-NH (800-386-4664) or visit www.visitnh.gov .

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