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Tips For a Successful Ski Day In The Village With Littles

Posted on Jan. 6, 2019


Welcome to Teton Village! Whether you’re a local or a visitor we may be able to answer some of your most pressing questions about skiing and enjoying beautiful Wyoming with your loved ones, especially kiddos. Teton Village has so much to offer and even after vacationing here for 7 years and going on 2 years of being locals, we are still learning new tricks to enjoy it to the fullest; which we hope to share with you to make your trip even more memorable!!


Parking
There are so many prices and things to consider as to what works best for your family.

  • Ranch Lot and very short bus ride: $10 ($15)* before 1pm and free with 3 or more people. They also have a nice little waiting area inside and restrooms (although the wait for a bus is never long). This is our primary parking lot. If you don’t have 3 people you can always consider swinging by Stilson and picking up a fellow friendly skier waiting for the bus. Someone will always be there and happy to chat- the people in Jackson are so friendly and special!
  • Village Lot: $20 ($30)* 6:30 am-1:00 pm; $10 1:00 pm-3:00 pm (Base Village) You can also park up front and unload for up to 15 minutes. The wait for a spot can sometimes be long but it’s worth circling and waiting if you have a lot to carry.
  • Crystal Springs Lot: $20 ($30)* 6:30 am-1:00 pm; $10 1:00 pm-3:00 pm (Mid Village)
  • Cody Lot: $20 ($30)* 6:30 am-1:00 pm; $10 1:00 pm-3:00 pm (Upper Village)
  • Village Transit Center/Stilson: Many people opt to park at Stilson as it is free, equal-distant to town and the village, and there is a constant stream of buses shuttling people to and from the Village. It will drop you off as close as you can get via vehicle to the lifts. The only downside to the busses are they can fill up pretty quick around 4PM when the mountain closes and you can’t always get a seat. Just something to consider if you have smaller children and a lot of gear.
  • Ski School Drop Off: Drive to the upper village and turn left onto Cody Lane (Passing in front of Teton Mountain Lodge). Continue down this road for less than a mile and you’ll reach a cul-de-sac a sack where you can park your car for about 20 minutes while you drop off your child to ski school or the Kids Ranch.
  • *Holiday/Peak pricing will be in effect from Dec. 22, 2018-Jan. 6, 2019 and weekends thereafter until March 17: $30 for the inner lots (Village, Crystal Springs, Cody) and $15 for the Ranch lot. Parking from 1:00-3:00 pm is $10 for the inner lots and free in the Ranch lot during these peak days.


Public Restrooms
Located at Mangy Moose, Tram Building, Bridger Center, Ranch Parking Lot, Kid’s Ranch


Rentals and Passes
When renting skis and boots for the littles, head to the JH Sports Junior inside the Kids Ranch building. Allow time as it can get really busy. Other great places for rentals in town are:

  • Hoback Sports: You can rent skis, boots, and poles for any child 14 and under for $26 if you book in advance online. They allow you to pick up the day before after 3PM as well.
  • Snow King Mountain Sports: Prices for Juniors are roughly $30

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort offers children 5 and under a season pass for a one-time payment of $5! They can be picked up at any one of the ticket counters at the resort but the Kids Ranch is likely the simplest.

During prime holiday season, be aware of timing and make plans ahead of time for a more enjoyable experience.


Childcare
The Kids Ranch is great but it’s important to book in advance to secure a spot. We also love ski school for all ages (again, registering in advance is key). Feel free to reach out to us for babysitting referrals if your child isn’t in the mood to ski on any particular day!


Where to Ski with Beginners?
Sweetwater to Solitude Station Magic Carpet: The new Solitude Station development is fantastic and has a great fire pit overlooking the magic carpet. You can purchase lift tickets and rentals inside and there is a cafeteria-style dining area. The facility is designed for beginners and it’s isolated location lends itself to being a calmer environment compared to the hustle and bustle at the base. If you’re not there to ski but just want to watch your child then no lift ticket is required. Just be sure you’re wearing street shoes. There’s one other magic carpet at the base of the mountain but it’s reserved for ski school.

Teewinot: Once your kiddos get some practice and confidence, we also like the Teewinot lift a ton. If you go left off of the lift, it’s less steep terrain with the option of heading into a terrain park (which our littles call humpty dumpties). If skiing with young kids, still on a harness or getting their ski legs, these are great places to start.

Sweetwater to Casper Cat Track: Head up to the base of Casper and ski down the cat track.

Bridger Gondola to Cat Track: If we are feeling adventurous, we will go to the top of Bridger and take the cat track all the way down (it can be a long experience but it’s a fun change of scenery when you’ve been on the magic carpet for weeks). Prepare to have some flat spots where you’ll need to pick up speed to traverse across active runs. We also like the option of stopping at the Casper Restaurant halfway down for hot chocolate defrosting sessions and bathroom breaks. From here you can either take the Gondola down or ski the rest of the beginner level cat track.


Lunch & Apres Ski
We love good food and places where they make it easy and fun to take kids. Some of the resort prices can be a little over the top so we do recommend packing a lunch and snacks to avoid extra costs. But if you’re feeling a little fancy here are a few of our favorite places to indulge in. The Handlebar (Burgers, Mac and cheese and some salad options), Osteria (more sit down Italian), Southcable Cafe for a quick and pretty reasonable slice of pizza, Off Piste Market is at the top of the Bridger Gondola for yummy pizza and snacks, Piste for a delicious sit-down lunch.

For Apres Ski we have been really into the Handlebar and their homemade pretzel with cheese. They also always have a $3 beer special. The Spur is on point with their nachos, margaritas, and kids room. For a more casual Apre Ski, the General Store is a nice option for snacks or libations to go and the Bodega serves the infamous Jackson Sloshie (non-virgin) to go that you can sip on while you enjoy anything from a tailgate to just sitting outside and enjoying the amazing view. There is also a chicken truck right next to the Bodega that is only open occasionally but totally worth checking out. Reasonably priced and delicious sandwiches and tacos. This list continues to grow so we will keep you posted regularly with new additions!

During holidays, be prepared for a wait and consider sending a few folks from your group in early to secure a good spot.


What to wear?
It seems obvious that you need to ‘dress warmly’ because it ‘gets really cold in Jackson’ whatever that means— but, seriously, what does that mean? We love this place and realize, dressing appropriately is key to everyone’s happiness. I’ve seen winter days in Jackson where temperatures have dipped below -40 degrees F and I’ve seen sunny bluebird days at 50 degrees. Just remember, there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad preparation! Layering is your friend. If you dress appropriately, you and your family will have a lot more fun! We highly recommend the following: Solid base layers made out of synthetic materials (nylon, polypropylene, rayon). You’ll want a material that will wick the sweat off of your skin and proceed to dry quickly. Cotton is not your friend. Topping that with a fleece layer (vest or long sleeve and fleece pants) has proved to be very effective. The advantage of fleece is that it stays warm when it gets wet.

And finally your ski jacket and pants, which should be both water and windproof. When considering colors, think bright to ensure your little skier stands out and is safe and protected always. Wool ski socks are our personal favorite due to their ability to keep feet super warm and dry and a buff/gator/gator hat combination is way more effective than a scarf as it fits snug and remains right where it needs to be covering your neck, nose, and sometimes ears. My ski mittens feel like my most crucial layer some days. I always choose mittens with liners over gloves and if you’re anxious about cold fingers I recommend you do the same. It’s easy enough to slip them off quickly if you really need free fingers and they keep your hands so much warmer. A proper (not expired) helmet and goggles are also major safety considerations.

Being stuck on a mountain during a freezing, windy pow day with no goggles is truly dangerous (Totally not speaking from experience). Especially if you have littles, bring a backpack with some extra wool socks and gloves. Hand and feet warmers are never a bad addition either. I also make an attempt to keep a snack for me and another on my person at all times. There are a lot of things in life that can quickly be cured with a good snack. Check those exposed areas often. With the inversion, it’s colder at the bottom, a lot of times where the little ones are learning to ski. Make it really fun by ensuring they are 100% covered and dry. Being wet is not fun and it’s super dangerous.


Kids Night Out
We haven’t personally explored this opportunity but it looks worth the mention! If your kids are uninterested in dining with you at the Village post skiing consider dropping them off here for some structured activities with the Kids Ranch staff! They accept kids ages 4-14 and it runs from 6PM-9PM. Reservations must be made by 1PM day of.

2019 Dates:

  • February 14, 16, 18
  • March 14, 19, 22
  • Location: Meet at the Pioneer Room at the Kids Ranch
  • For reservations and information call 1-800-450-0477 or 307-739-2788 or email kidsranch@jacksonhole.com


We hope you have an amazing visit and please reach out directly if we can be helpful in any way as you’re planning your wonderful Jackson Hole visit!