Family Skiing and Snowboarding in the Twin Cities

Parent and child skiing. Text reads: "Family Skiing & Snowboarding in the Twin Cities" Family Fun Twin Cities.

Whether you have littles just getting warmed up in winter sports like skiing and snowboarding or you’re dealing with tweens and teens who seek more of a thrill, we’ve got family skiing and snowboarding suggestions for the season. One of the perks of living in Minnesota is the multitude of options for winter sports like downhill skiing and snowboarding. Need an excuse for the splurge? A study done in 2018, found that downhill skiing may contribute to healthy aging as well as offering a variety of other physical, emotional and social health benefits. We gathered a list of ski hills below.

Find More Winter Activities: Family Sports &  Fitness Calendar

DOWNHILL SKIING OPTIONS FOR BEGINNERS

While we are showing the single day passes, most of these venues offer a season pass and/or multiple-day discounts.

Como Park Ski Center | St Paul

1431 Lexington Pkwy N., St Paul, MN 55103

  • Open: Holiday Hours Dec 27, 2023-Feb 19, 2023. Find hours here.
  • Single Day Tow Rope tickets: $15
  • Equipment Rental: $12-$15
  • Lessons for both ski & snowboard
  • Ski Chalet with concessions available
  • Additional Activities: Snowshoeing, sledding, cross country skiing.
Youth with snowboards sitting on Como Park Ski Hill taking part in lessons.
Image courtesy of City of St. Paul

Hyland Hills Ski Area | Bloomington

8800 Chalet Road, Bloomington, MN 55438

  • Opening Day: Tuesday, December 1, 2023. Find hours here.
  • Single Day Lift Tickets: $25-$42/pp.
  • Equipment Rental: $26
  • Lessons: private, semi-private or public skiing, snowboarding instruction.
  • Ski Chalet with Hyland Grill restaurant
  • Additional Activities: Snow shoeing, sledding, cross country skiing. 
  • Family Skiing deal: Participates in the 4th Grade Passport Program
Family Skiing at Hyland Hills Ski Area
Image Courtesy of Three Rivers Park District

Elm Creek Winter Recreation Area | Maple Grove

12400 James Deane Parkway, Maple Grove, MN 55369

Looking for more places to sled and tube with the family? Try the list in our Winter Survival Guide.


Buck Hill | Burnsville

15400 Buck Hill Rd Burnsville, MN 55306

  • Opening Day: Friday, December 1, 2023
  • Single Day Passes: $25-$49
  • Equipment Rental: $35-$40
  • Lessons: Available for kids under 13 and adults 13+
  • Ski Chalet: Buck ’54 Bar & Grill – full restaurant with pool tables and arcades.
  • Additional Activities: Tubing.
  • More family fun: May through snowfall, Buck Hill is open for mountain biking, disc golf & concerts.

BEST FAMILY SKI RESORTS FOR THRILL SEEKERS

Afton Alps | Hastings

  • Open for 2023/24 Season
  • Single Day Lift Tickets: $65-$70 (prices can vary by date)
  • Equipment Rentals: $48-$58
  • Lessons: All ages, including children’s ski school
  • Ski Chalet: Multiple dining options
  • More family fun: Many family-friendly events hosted throughout the season. Look for s’mores bars near bonfire pits on select Saturdays!
  • For families who love to ski, Afton is part of the Vail Resorts company and sells Epic Ski passes that include resorts all over North America. Ski the Colorado Rockies or even Switzerland with an Epic Pass.

Trollhaugen Outdoor Recreation Area | Dresser, WI

  • Open for 2023/24 Season
  • Single Day Lift Tickets: $32-$63/pp (prices can vary by demand)
  • Equipment Rentals: standard and high performance ski & snowboard equipment rentals; packages start at $28-$33.
  • Lessons: All ages
  • Thrill-seekers can play in the terrain park, which includes a beginner’s section appropriate for ages 3-5.
  • More family fun: During the summer, Trollhaugen’s Adventure Park includes zip line tours and an Aerial Challenge Course.

Wild Mountain Resort | Taylors Falls

  • Open for 2023/24 Season
  • Single Day Lift Tickets: $34-$60/pp (prices can vary by demand)
  • Equipment Rentals: standard and high performance ski & snowboard equipment rentals; packages start at $29-$35.
  • Lessons: All ages, including joint parent-child sessions
  • For more thrills, head over to the Terrain Park or a purchase a 2-hr tubing session ($26 online)
  • More family fun: There is loads to do in the Taylors Falls area, particularly during the summer months: visit the water park and alpine slide at Wild Mountain, hike through Interstate State Park or meet wildlife at Fawn-Doe-Rosa. Try our list of 6 Things To Dear Near Taylors Falls.

Indoor Skiing? You Betcha

Alpine Factory | Arden Hills

Take lessons or host a party at this indoor downhill skiing facility in Arden Hills. The slopes can fit up to three people at a time and have a mirror at the bottom so you can watch your form.

SKI DESTINATION ROAD TRIPS

Welch Village | Welch

Located south of the Twin Cities, Welch Village offers single-day lift tickets for between $39 and $74. Rentals range from $30-$40.

Duluth

Anne writes about her favorite Ski Resort, lodging options and other family fun:  10 Best Things To Do in Duluth Over Winter & Holidays

Spirit Mountain – Duluth

Lutsen Mountains Ski Resort

We can’t leave out the highest peak in Minnesota. 90 miles northeast of Duluth, this resort offers the state’s only true mountain skiing.

Where to Cross Country Ski in the Twin Cities

With acres of park land, we get plenty of snow in the winter. Several park systems offer cross country or Nordic skiing opportunities. It is probably best to pick your park system and stick with it as most park systems sell their own passes. While I find it frustrating that so many parks charge at all for cross country skiing (they don’t do the same for bike paths and its a lot harder to stay active in the winter), the price is generally reasonable if you stick to one park system:

Anoka County Cross Country Skiing:

Ski trails are maintained at four different parks in the Anoka System. Anoka County Parks also offer a variety of other outdoor winter activities, including sleigh rides at Bunker Stables.

  1. Bunker Hills Park, 550 Bunker Lake Blvd NW, Andover, MN 55304
  2. Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park, 9750 Egret Blvd NW, Coon Rapids, MN 55433
  3. Rum River Central Park, 17955 Roanoke St NW, Ramsey, MN 55303
  4. Chomonix Golf Course, 700 Aqua Ln, Lino Lakes, MN 55014.

Carver County:

Carver Count grooms and designates certain trails for cross country skiing at two of its regional parks. Use of trails is FREE and Carver County does not charge a vehicle fee, so it is complete FREE to cross country ski at Carver Parks if you have your own equipment. If not, both of these parks also have rentals available.

  1. Baylor Regional Park, 10775 County Rd. 33, Norwood Young America, MN 55397
  2. Lake Minnewashta Regional Park, 6900 Hazeltine Blvd., Chanhassen, MN 55331

Dakota County:

Dakota County Parks require daily or annual ski passes for adult cross-country skiers. Children under 18 do not need a pass. Daily is $6 and annual is $25. Passes are available beginning December 6, 2023. Trails are groomed after the first big snow event. These parks have groomed ski trails. Rent winter equipment from December 16, 2023 through March 17, 2024.

The Elm Creek Winter Recreation Area

12400 James Deane Parkway, Maple Grove, MN 55369

Lighted trail open from 5 a.m. – 10 p.m. Requires a Three Rivers Ski Pass. Ski rentals available when downhill skiing open. Day Passes are $10. Purchase online here.

Minnesota State Parks

The Great Minnesota Ski Pass allows persons 16 and older to ski on any groomed trails in Minnesota State Parks. Younger kids ski free. The price is $10/day or $25/season. (plus a daily or annual vehicle fee). This includes 23 State Parks, including several in the Twin Cities Metro, including:

  • Afton State Park, Peller Avenue South, Hastings, MN, USA 55033
  • Fort Snelling State Park, 101 Snelling Lake Road, St. Paul, MN 55111
  • St. Croix State Park, 30065 St Croix Park Rd, Hinckley, MN 55037
  • William O’Brien State Park, 16821 O Brien Trail N, Marine on St Croix, MN 55047

If you feel particularly adventurous, both Afton & St. Croix State Park offer winter camping. Some of the sites are even backpack sites, which may amount to ski-in, ski-out lodging, but most are accessible and you can drive in.

Read More About Metro Area State Parks: 9 Twin Cities Metro-Area Minnesota State Parks

Saint Paul & Ramsey County:

The City of St Paul maintains cross-country ski trails at three parks. Again 2023-24, Saint Paul has partnered with Ramsey County, which means no more free cross country skiing.  However, the pass allows access to all of Ramsey County’s trails and Saint Paul has added an additional trail in Highland National Golf Course.

St. Paul Courses:

All St. Paul courses are natural so only require the less-expensive natural snow pass.

  1. Como Park Golf Course & Ski Center, 1431 Lexington Pkwy N, St Paul, MN 55103
  2. Highland Golf Course, 1797 Edgcumbe Rd, St Paul, MN 55116
  3. Phalen Golf Course, 1615 Phalen Dr., St Paul, MN 55106
  4. Highland National Golf Course, 1403 Montreal Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55116

Ramsey County Ski Trails:

Trails marked with an * employ machine-made snow and require the all-access pass.

  1. Battle Creek Regional Park West*, 75 Winthrop Street S
    Saint Paul, MN 55106
  2. Battle Creek Regional Park East, 2300 Lower Afton Road, Maplewood, MN 55119
  3. Rice Creek Regional Trail, Park at Irondale High School, 2425 Long Lake Rd, New Brighton, MN 55112
  4. Tamarack Nature Center, 5287 Otter Lake Road, White Bear Township, MN 55110
  5. Vadnais-Snail Lakes Regional Park, 500 Gramsie Road, Shoreview, MN 55126

Annual Ski Pass: Purchase from Ramsey county. $35/natural snow pass; $80 for all access.
Equipment Rentals: Available at Como for $15/set.

Washington County Parks

Washington County grooms ski trails as conditions allow at these 5 parks.

If you plan to ski only once a year, get a one-day ski pass and equipment for $16/adult and $5/child at Lake Elmo.

  1. Big Marine Park Reserve, 17495 Manning Trail N, Marine on St Croix, MN 55047
  2. Cottage Grove Ravine Regional Park, 9653 Keats Ave S, Cottage Grove, MN 55016
  3. Lake Elmo Park Reserve, 1515 Keats Ave N, Lake Elmo, MN 55042
  4. Pine Point Regional Park, 11900 Norell Ave N, Stillwater, MN 55028
  5. St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park, 10191 St Croix Trail S, Hastings, MN 55033

Ski Pass: $6/day or $30/year. Free for kids under 18. Skiers can get a pass online, at a pay station, or at a park office.
Equipment Rentals available at Lake Elmo only. Adults: $10; Youth: $5 for up to 3 hours. Find more information here.


We would love to hear from you. Where is your favorite place for a family ski day? Do you have a favorite resort for the whole family? Do all your kids ski or do you look for child care on a family ski vacation? Does any local resort offer a Kids Night Out program? We couldn’t find one.

Related Articles:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top