Steamboat, Colorado; Okemo, Vermont
Resorts in both locations have ski school for every level. You can choose full- or half-day programs, so Mom and Dad get some time to themselves. If you stay slope-side, you spend less time lugging skis and poles. You can also save money by going home for lunch, and "if you get tired midday, you can ski home and not affect everyone else's plans," says Heather Burke, editor of familyskitrips.com. Other pluses: Steamboat is just 45 minutes from the natural springs at Strawberry Park Hot Springs. At night, ride the Steamboat gondola to restaurants on the mountain. Okemo, meanwhile, offers a picturesque village, and its wide, gentle slopes are perfect for kids. "There's a lot of grooming in Okemo," says Burke, meaning there are fewer icy patches.
Where to stay: The Steamboat Grand hotel (steamboatgrand.com) offers good packages with airline discounts. And in Okemo, the Jackson Gore Inn has rooms right on the mountain and slope-side condos to rent (okemo.com). For the best prices at U.S. ski resorts, go in January, after the holidays, or in late March for the nicest weather.