9 Midwest Resorts for Winter Family Vacations

Find family-friendly skiing, snowboarding, tubing, and more, along with tips for planning the perfect winter getaway in the heartland.

Guests pose for the camera at Wilmot

The Midwest is often overlooked for its winter vacation potential, but offers plenty of options for families seeking a bit of snow-filled adventure and fun. With a plethora of ski resorts scattered across Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Indiana, and Wisconsin, the Midwest can be an ideal cold-season destination for winter enthusiasts of all kinds. Below are some of the best spots for Midwest winter vacations for families, with key information and insight on each. 

Boston Mills Brandywine (Ohio)

Boston Mills Brandywine sits serenely in the picturesque Cuyahoga Valley National Park, offering a fantastic mix of skiing and family-friendly activities. The resort boasts a range of slopes suitable for skiers and riders of all skill levels, making it an ideal destination for families with varying on-snow abilities. The charming timber-style lodge at Boston Mills, ability to visit both resorts on a single lift ticket, and welcoming staff make this an excellent choice for an unforgettable winter trip in the Midwest. 

Alpine Valley (Ohio)

Another Ohio gem, Alpine Valley, is renowned for its scenic surroundings and diverse winter activities. Families can hit the slopes for skiing and snowboarding and the resort provides lessons for beginners, ensuring everyone can participate in the excitement. There’s also a cozy lodge with a family-friendly vibe that adds to this delightful destination for winter vacations. 

Mad River Mountain (Ohio)

Mad River Mountain stands out as the largest ski resort in Ohio, offering a range of activities for families. With 20 trails and 11 lifts, the resort caters to skiers and snowboarders of all levels. Families can also explore the dedicated tubing park that provides an alternative to traditional winter sports while still serving up plenty of thrills. The resort’s commitment to family-friendly amenities and events helps set the scene for a memorable winter vacation for visitors of all ages. 

Mt. Brighton (Michigan)

Venturing into Michigan, Mt. Brighton offers a fantastic winter escape for families. The resort features a variety of slopes, including designated areas for beginners and terrain parks for those seeking a bit more excitement. Mt. Brighton’s ski school is perfect for families looking to improve their skills or introduce the little ones to the joys of skiing. The resort's welcoming nature consistently makes it a top choice for vacationers in the Midwest. 

Afton Alps (Minnesota)

Heading north to Minnesota, Afton Alps is a premier winter destination with a rich history. Known for its scenic beauty and well-groomed slopes, Afton caters to families looking for a variety of winter activities. Skiers and snowboarders can explore a variety of terrain from the Alps to the Highlands, and beginners can take advantage of lessons offered by experienced instructors at the one of a kind Meadows Beginner Area. Afton Alps’ family-focused events and cozy Chalets ensure a warm and inviting visit for everyone. 

Hidden Valley (Missouri)

Hidden Valley is a haven for families searching for winter fun in the heart of the Midwest. The resort has a variety of slopes for skiers and riders to explore, from gentle runs for beginners to challenging lines for seasoned snow enthusiasts. Tubing is another option here and is a good way to get everyone out in the snow with little effort or equipment. Hidden Valley provides plenty for the entire family and hosts several special events during the winter, all of which make it a standout choice for one of the best Midwest winter vacation destinations. 

Snow Creek (Missouri)

Snow Creek is another top spot in Missouri that offers the Western spirit of fun for the entire family and a wide array of winter activities for trailblazing adventure. Skiers and riders can take advantage of slopes that cater to all skill levels, allowing families to bounce around together or venture on terrain that best suits their abilities. A dedicated tubing park adds an extra layer of excitement, making Snow Creek a well-rounded destination. 

Wilmot Mountain (Wisconsin)

Finally, heading to Wisconsin, Wilmot Mountain stands out as a stellar winter destination for families. The resort offers a perfect blend of home, adventure, and amenities, nearly all of which are family-friendly. Tucked away in a wonderful winter Wisconsin setting, there are plenty of slopes to explore for experienced skiers and beginners alike. With dedicated areas for lessons, families can learn and improve together, sharing the love of winter together. 

Paoli Peaks (Indiana)

Paoli Peaks in Indiana is where the Southern Midwest can experience winter magic, and the resort offers a variety of slopes to cater to all experience levels. With snowmaking capabilities and an Arctic Blast Tubing hill, there's always winter fun around. Paoli Peaks has a friendly, welcoming atmosphere and is accessible from Louisville, Evansville, Nashville, and more, making it an ideal getaway for families.

Midwest Winter Vacation Tips

  • Check the weather forecast and pack accordingly, ensuring everyone has appropriate winter gear. 
  • Take advantage of ski school offerings at the resorts mentioned here. 
  • Plan activities beyond the slopes like snow tubing, après-ski activities, or exploring nearby attractions. 
  • Utilize family-friendly amenities, such as cozy lodges and private events.
  • Purchase lift tickets and rental equipment in advance to streamline arrival processes. 
  • Stay open to trying new winter sports or activities to enhance your overall experience. 

The Midwest may not have the vast mountain ranges and terrain of some other well-known winter destinations, but it still boasts an array of family-friendly resorts and locations that make it an ideal vacation for snow and winter enthusiasts. The region provides diverse winter activities for families of all sizes and ages that are sure to provide a winter wonderland of adventure with enduring family memories.