Family Story Ideas

KID FRIENDLY, PARENT APPROVED

Skiing and snowboarding are unique in that they are winter activities that the whole family can do together, and the tradition is typically passed on from generation to generation. For 70 years families from near and far have chosen Whitefish as their “home mountain” because they love the mountain layout, the consistent snow and our friendly, welcoming employees.

Whitefish Mountain Resort ranked in the top 10 for being kid friendly by SKI Magazine readers in the 2018 Resort Guide. This honor comes as no surprise to local parents who consider the mountain their kids’ winter playground. Kid-friendly terrain and facilities help make the entire day enjoyable for everyone. From the warm and welcoming Kids Center to lessons in the Ski & Ride School, every child will love their time on the mountain.

Parents also love that Whitefish Mountain Resort provides an affordable world-class ski experience with a natural, easy atmosphere in an uncrowded, laid-back, small-town setting.

Mountain & Facilities

The resort’s 3,000 acres feature fun terrain for every level skier or rider and enough variety to keep a family of skiers and snowboarders happy for days. The resort has state-of-the-art facilities, and conveniently located restaurants for lunch and hot chocolate breaks. The terrain is laid out perfectly with distinct areas for beginners, intermediate and advanced skiers and riders therefore offering a safe progression for families as their skills develop in the sport.

The best starting point is at the Base Lodge where Base Lodge Rentals and the Kids Center are located. Lessons start in the beginner area–a short walk from the lodge and easy for families with little ones or multiple kids. A surface conveyor carpet and two other lifts (Chair 6 – Village and Chair 9 – Easy Rider) service the beginner terrain. Everything is close to the Base Lodge for quick access to restrooms and hot cocoa breaks.

As kids gain skill and confidence they graduate to the Chair 2/Chair 3 area where they find several fun blue runs as well as the Fishbowl Terrain Park. The terrain park is divided into different levels–a “Park Smart” design where skiers and snowboarders can start small and build their skills. Runs in this area vary between 400 and 1,100 vertical feet–shorter runs for shorter legs–and lead to the mountain’s village including slopeside access to Ed & Mully’s Bar & Grill. Ed & Mully’s serves lunch and appetizers, and is the perfect place for a ski break to play foosball. Newly remodeled for winter 2017/18, the building has large windows looking up toward the slopes–making it easy to spot family members.

Eventually families advance to the summit where one can ski in any direction on more difficult terrain (blue, black and double black runs). Two chairlifts reach the peak of the mountain–Chair 1 on the front side and Chair 7 on the north side. Several other chairlifts (Chairs 5, 11 and T-Bar 2) provide access to additional terrain where families can ski laps on a variety of runs. The summit is also accessible to beginner and non-skiing family members as Chair 1 is available for uphill and downhill transport.

New for the 2017/18 ski season, the East Rim Chairlift, Chair 5, will provide access to the east side and family-favorite runs such as “Moose”, and “Moe Mentum” (named for Olympic Medalist Tommy Moe who grew up skiing Big Mountain when his dad Tommy Sr. was on the ski patrol–the run was Tommy Jr.’s favorite). From the top of the East Rim Chairlift, families can also access “Whitetail” and the Goat Haunt Skier/Boardercross Course on the north side of the mountain. Both runs lead to “George’s Gorge”–a natural halfpipe and a kid favorite–and everything leads to Chair 7 – Big Creek Express, which takes riders back to the summit.

The summit is home to the Summit House, conveniently located for a quick warm-up, hasty pit stop or lunch. Montana’s only mountaintop restaurant, the Summit House Restaurant features grilled items, international cuisine and soups, quick grab-and-go salads and sandwiches. Mom and dad can have a beverage at the full bar with a view of Glacier National Park, Canadian Rockies and the Flathead Valley. The Summit Shop sells the easy-to-forget or lose items you may need and much more. Last but not least, the Summit Nature Center is a must-do for families. Located on the lower level of the Summit House, the Nature Center is staffed by Flathead National Forest Rangers and offers kids the opportunity to learn about what animals live on the mountain, where they go in the winter, snow safety and features interactive displays. The Nature Center is open on weekends and holidays.

“The layout if this mountain is great for families. On the north side we always find great snow and my 5-year-old daughter can perfect her turns while my 8-year-old son finds powder and jumps on the side of the runs. Both kids love skiing in the trees and there are several tree areas where the terrain is easier for them. We love eating lunch at the Summit House–it’s convenient for one of us to warm up with our daughter while the other skis a few more runs with our son. Plus, the kids love to visit the Nature Center.”

– Kristi H., mother of two skiers

More Information:

  • 3,000 acres, 105 Runs, 14 lifts
  • Base elevation 4,464 feet
  • Summit elevation 6,817 feet
  • 300+ inches of snowfall annually
  • 4 terrain parks and 1 skier/boardercross course

Ski & Ride School

Our Ski & Ride School lessons are both affordable and fun–certainly one of the many reasons families come back year after year. Our instructors love what they do and their passion is contagious–be aware your kids may catch it! The Kids Center day care facility welcomes the little ones and provides a safe and warm place to play. Our beginner area is separate from the rest of the resort and close to the Base Lodge. Our casual atmosphere, propensity for fun and affordable prices make families fall in love with winter.

“I love how we can watch our kids in their first lesson from inside the Base Lodge. We can stay warm, and the kids will not be distracted. The instructors know how to make it fun for the kids–they play games to help them develop skills which my kids love. There are lots of runs that my kids love at every level. I think it’s great that they offer snowboarding lessons for as young as three, because that’s all my kids want to do.”

– Amanda W., mother of four snowboarders ages 4-9

More Information:

  • Kids Center: Infants (up to 12 months) – $105/full day or $23/hour; Kids (ages 1 & older) – $75/full day or $19/hour
  • Child Ski/Board & Play (ages 3-6) – $154/full day or $114/half day
  • Junior Group Lesson (ages 7-12) $109/full day or $73/half day

Night Skiing

The most family-friendly activity for apres ski is more skiing! Ski under the lights on green and blue runs and in the terrain park serviced by three lifts from 4 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. “Weekend warriors” love night skiing because they can start the weekend on a high note, making turns with the family on Friday night upon arrival. Families who get a late start on their Saturday can still get a full day of skiing by extending straight through to night with a Swing Shift ticket.

Ed & Mully’s Bar & Grill stays open until 7:30 p.m. for food and the bar is open until 8 p.m. and features live music on Saturday nights. The Base Lodge Cafe is open until 7 p.m. while the Base Lodge Bar stays open until 8 p.m.

“After a week of school and work, we can’t wait to hit the slopes–and the sooner the better. Night skiing gets us up there and the boys love skiing under the lights. We typically end up in the terrain park where my kids show off new tricks. Plus, it’s close to Ed & Mully’s so we can warm up and grab a bite to eat before heading back for more.”

– Nick P., father of three skiers who snowboard on occasion ages 9-13

More Information:

  • Available Fridays & Saturdays: January 5, 2018 – March 3, 2018
  • Available holidays nights: December 26 – 31, 2017 and February 18, 2018
  • Night Skiing ticket (4 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.): $23/Ages 6-69; FREE/6 & under and 70+
  • Swing Shift ticket (1 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.): $79/Adult; $40/Ages 7-12; $68/Ages 13-19; FREE/6 & under and 70+