Day Trips Near Boston with Kids: 3 Local Ski Areas and Ski Lessons
December 19, 2014

by Audrey Trieschman

AMC's Kids Outdoors Boston and Mommy Poppins Boston are pleased to collaborate on a series of guest blog posts about things to do for families visiting Boston. Mommy Poppins Boston is the ultimate guide to what and where to do, see, read, splash, play, eat, learn, and enjoy in Boston.

One of the things that makes Boston a great place to live with kids is you don't have to travel far to find family outdoor activities. Whether you head to the ocean or the mountains, many of these destinations are perfect for day tripping. For skiing, Boston families have their choice of three local ski areas: Blue Hills, Nashoba and Wachusett. While a good snowstorm can happen at any time, the mountains are making as much snow as they possibly can. Please be sure to check hours and conditions before heading out. Beginner and intermediate skiers will find that the terrain at these ski areas is manageable, and while advance skiers may find few challenges, the convenience and proximity more than make up for it. All offer numerous lesson, rental and ticketing options. Here's a rundown of the closest family ski centers near Boston.

Blue Hills Ski Area
4001 Washington Street, Canton 02021

Just south of Boston in Canton, Blue Hills Ski Area is a great place to go if you want to ski on with your children on easy slopes. It has been around since the early 1960s. It is owned by the MA Department of Conservation & Recreation (DCR) and currently managed by Ski Blue Hills Management, LLC.

Blue Hills has a vertical drop of 309’ and 60 acres of skiable terrain. It has 12 trails and four lifts (1 Double Chair Lift, 1 300' Magic Carpet, 1 80' Wonder Carpet, 1 Handle Tow). Night lighting covers 50% of the mountain.

Ski School & Lessons. Blue Hills offers group lessons and private lessons for adults and children 4 years and older. Lessons can be booked in advance over the phone at (781) 828-5070 or via the Online Shop. Walk-ins are accepted as space allows.

Nashoba Valley Ski Area
79 Powers Road, Westford 01886

25 miles west of Boston, Nashoba Valley Ski Area is a full-service ski area offering lessons, rentals, skiing, and snowboarding. Snowmaking and night lighting cover 100% of the terrain. There are 17 trails, ranging in difficulty from beginner (20%) to intermediate (50%) to advanced (30%). The seven lifts include 3 triple chairs, 1 double chair, 2 conveyers, and 3 rope tows.

Ski School & Lessons. Nashoba offers group lessons, individual lessons, and multi-week lessons for pre-schoolers, school-aged children, and adults and is also host to local high school racing teams and its own Rovers racing team. A on-premises ski shop has skis, equipment, and clothing for the entire family.

If you’re looking for an alternative to skiing, Nashoba Valley's Snowtubing Park is the largest in New England, with four lifts, over 600 snow tubes and up to 16 lanes.

Wachusett Mountain
499 Mountain Rd, Princeton 01541

The biggest of the three ski areas, Wachusett Mountain has 110 skiable acres (novice 30%; intermediate 40%; advanced 30%), with a wide variety of terrain for skiers of all abilities. It has 22 trails and 8 lifts.

Ski School & Lessons. Wachusett offers a variety of lesson programs for all abilities, ranging from Special Beginner Packages to Advanced Training Clinics. The Wachusett Mountain Ski School gives class lessons daily (both private and semi private lessons are also available.) The MtnSide Ski & Ride is a full-service ski shop, with specialists who can custom fit new boots, a wide selection of ski clothing and equipment, and some good specials and ski packages.

Ski Train. No car? No problem. On Saturdays and Sundays, the MBTA offers commuter rail service from North Station to Fitchburg Station, with a free shuttle directly to the mountain. (You still have to pay the train fare.) The ski train is specially equipped with ski and snowboard racks. Trains leave North Station in the morning and return from Fitchburg Station in the early evening.

Originally published February 2011; Updated November 2014 by Tara D


February 27, 2015 (4)
This winter, instead of telling the kids to go outside and build a snowman or grab their gear for sledding, why not provide them with some new ideas?
December 23, 2015 (5)
This winter, try making your own pull-behind sled, also called a pulk or pulka.
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