Arapahoe Basin Ski Area – Colorado Family Ski Vacation

 abasinArapahoe Basin is one of the closest ski areas to Denver and offers more than 1,400 acres, nine lifts, a kids center and a new European bistro at 12,500 feet with panoramic mountain views. A-Basin is known as The Legend for having the longest ski and ride season in Colorado. Come enjoy a pure skier’s and snowboarder’s mountain that welcomes anyone and everyone whether you are learning for the first time, looking for a serious challenge or simply tailgating with friends on The Beach. A-Basin offers an authentic big-mountain, high-alpine Colorado ski experience with a laid-back culture and vibe.
Best Gear for Keeping Families Warm. There are plenty of places to cut corners and save money on Colorado’s ski slopes but having quality gear is not among them. Our must-haves include these Smartwool Merino 250 Base Layer Top and Bottoms, Hestra Classic 3-Finger Snow Glove (also available in junior sizes), Minus33 Merino Wool Balaclava, and Obermeyer’s I-Grow Ski Jackets and Pants which provide a simple way to lengthen the sleeves and cuffs of your child’s jackets and pants (our quickly-growing kids could wear them 2-3 seasons!) Columbia has a similar line of expandable winter jackets for kids. Nothing kills a good ski day like having a whining, cold child so be sure to have a bulk supply of hand warmers available (and you can even find rechargeable hand warmers that are like a portable pocket heater). 

Arapahoe Basin Ski Area – Colorado Family Ski Vacation

Season dates and hours
Mid-October to early June. Mon-Fri 9 am-4 pm; Sat, Sun & holidays 8:30 am-4 pm.
Area (acres)
1,428 acres
What family-friendly amenities does your resort offer? 
A-Basin is a great place for kids and families to learn in a beautiful, laid-back setting. The single base area is simple to navigate; get your rental equipment, have your lesson and enjoy lunch all in one location. Also in the base area is a dedicated Kids Center that’s all about providing the best possible experience for your little ones. And if you have four or more people in your car, you get FREE priority parking adjacent the lifts, learning area and main buildings. 

A-Basin features two kid- and first-timer-friendly learning areas, with two magic carpets and a slow, double-chair lift to practice for the full mountain. Gracie’s Grove is a small glade area where kids can learn how to navigate through trees. Class sizes are small and the full-mountain lift ticket included with all lessons means you can go exploring. When it’s break time, head to the second floor of the A-Frame (primary base-area building) to hang out in the kid’s play area. 

Options for families to learn together include the FLEX 4 Discounted Lesson Pack which includes four transferrable lessons; or private lessons for up to four people. Youth ages 6-14 can get two, free ski days plus a half-price lesson. Not sure if your prodigy will love skiing or riding? Sign them up for A-Basin’s Free 2 Ski pass and let them try. Kids 5 and under get a free season pass. 

 Adult lift ticket prices?

Child lift ticket prices and at what age kids ski free?
$79* (ages 15-18); $59* (ages 6-14). Kids 5 and under ski free every day. 
Is there on-site childcare and if so, what is the starting cost?
No on-site childcare.
What is the the starting cost of ski/ride school? Ages?

Skiing and snowboarding lessons are available for kids of all ability levels, age 3 and up. Prices for half-day start at $180. Full-day lessons include lunch; all lessons include a lift ticket. Pre-school-aged learners are guaranteed small class sizes of no more than 4 kids per instructor. 

A-Basin also offers several, multi-day kids ski and ride programs for ages 3-16 taking place from January through March. Kids Club Arapahoe, Lil’ Kids Club and XTreme Teen are 4-8-week programs for all ability levels designed to transform your child’s skills on the mountain at their own pace. Groups are divided by age and ability level and students keep the same instructor throughout the program.

 Where can families go for deals on lift tickets/lodging or special promotions? is the best place for lift ticket deals. Book lodging through the website to get an A-Basin Bucks Gift Card that can be used on the mountain for food and drink, souvenirs, lessons, rental equipment and more!
What area (off-mountain) activities would appeal to families for their winter vacation? 
 Arapahoe Basin is a skier’s and snowboarder’s mountain and there is nothing else to distract from The Legend’s high-alpine, big-mountain experience. Generations of families have learned at the Basin since 1946. If you’re passionate about snow, A-Basin is your home. 

While you’re at A-Basin, you can enjoy a scenic lift ride to and from Black Mountain Lodge at mid-mountain if you’re not comfortable skiing or riding. Enjoy brunch or lunch while rubbing elbows with the longtime locals in the 6th Alley Bar & Grill, the base-area restaurant. 

A-Basin is very near to the towns of Summit County, where visitors can enjoy snow tubing, Nordic skiing, snowshoeing and other off-mountain family activities.

 Distance from Denver
 68 miles 

Arapahoe Basin is serviced by the FREE Summit Stage countywide bus via the Swan Mountain Flyer route. During peak winter months, A-Basin will also be serviced by the pay-to-ride “Snowstang,” a public bus service to and from downtown Denver. 

 28194 US Highway 6

Dillon, CO


*Note: Information and prices are subject to change and most resorts offer discounted rates if you purchase online seven days in advance. Many resorts do not publish a set lift ticket price. When compiling our list, we used the date Saturday, January 10, 2023 as our base to compare prices. Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. While clicking these links won’t cost you extra money, they help us keep this site up and running. See our disclosure policy.