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Utah's kid-friendly Deer Valley Ski Resort

Deer Valley is the most upscale and sophisticated of Park City's resorts but is genuinely down-to-earth when it comes to kid-friendly skiing. My daughter learned how to cut turns at this ski-only resort six years ago. Progressing from "pizza pie" and "french fry" turns to fearless downhill skiing, her experience was a perfect start to what I expect will be a life-long love for downhill fun.

Kid-friendly features abound at Utah's Deer Valley ski resort
Photos courtesy Deer Valley Ski Resort
Ruby Raccoon mascot at Deer Valley greet little skiers on the resort's magic carpet
Photo courtesy Deer Valley Ski Resort

Deer Valley boasts an abundance of kid-friendly terrain, from a wide-open beginner area with the SunKid magic carpet (flanked by two beginner-level lifts), to a Candyland-themed race course and a beginner/intermediate ski run that features a fun collection of carved "yard art". Especially fun are a cadre of costumed characters that roam the slopes entertaining the littlest ones.

The Children’s Ski School at Deer Valley is packed with non-stop fun and includes activities like hot cocoa and snow cone parties and explorations of natural and man-made terrain features. Taught by enthusiastic instructors, Deer Valley's children's lessons are designed to ensure that each child receives personal instruction, supervision and have fun with their peer group. Ski instructors are trained specifically in techniques for teaching children how to ski and instilling a love for the sport in a fun, nurturing environment. It's literally a world class act (many of the instructors are from overseas.)

Once they learn how to negotiate the slopes, there are lots of beginner and easy intermediate runs for kids to explore at Deer Valley. They even produce a children's adventure map for the newbies to follow. Several of these runs bring you past multi-million dollar mansions, gorgeous stone, glass and wood creations, built right on the slope. If mom and dad enjoy looking at these homes while swooshing down the ski runs, perhaps daydreaming about moving the family to a palatial on-slope mountain hideaway, one of the most entertaining family runs at the resort is the Last Chance yard art run off the Carpenter Express chair. Take the Carpenter lift from the Snow Park base to the beginner (green) Success ski run, ski the first pitch of Success, then continue straight to the intermediate (blue) Last Chance run. This wide, easy-going cruiser brings you past a half-dozen on-slope homes whose roofs, walls, decks and grounds are decorated with quirky collections of carved yard art, from totem poles to skiing bears and mischievous raccoons. The whole family will love it.

For Deer Valley's interactive trail map:

For Deer Valley's Children's Adventure map:

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