Keystone Ski Resort with Kids: Outstanding Ski School for Family

Ski With Kid - Keystone Ski School near Denver

Learning to ski has been something I have been afraid to commit to since my first experience 10 plus years ago when my friend encouraged (ok.. maybe pushed) me downhill on the slippy slopes in New England. It wasn’t a pleasant experience that has scared into my mind since.

Ski With Kid - Keystone Ski School

So when we first planned our family ski trip to Keystone Resort this winter, the first thing I checked was the ski school program. I don’t want Miss J and Mr. Z to have the same experience. Fortunately, we have picked one of most family friendly ski resort in the Colorado mountains.

The Keystone Resort Ski & Ride school has a great system and programs that make this nervous parent feel at ease.

Easy & Efficient Ski Rental

Ski With Kid - Keystone Ski School Ski rental Denver

We took a bit longer to get our ski rental gear ready with our bulky ski-ready jacket and pant. But the process in itself was easy and quite efficient even during the busy winter season in Keystone Resort. After register our family members to their system, a knowledgeable attendant quickly measured our feet size and found our ski boot. Then we went to the next station to get our ski binding. Then off to the cashier to pay for the rental.

Private Lesson

Ski With Kid - Keystone Ski School Children Lessons Magic Carpet

There are several lessons for you to choose from. Group lessons, private lessons or family private lessons are all excellent option for beginner or even more experienced skiers. On the first lesson, we took family private lesson with the most AMAZING and patient instructor ever, Mrs. Kim Hesh Olson. So if you plan to book private lesson, make sure to ask for her!

After we were all set, Mrs. Kim took us up the gondola ride to the mid station to start our lesson. We started slowly by learning how to put our ski on, glide on one foot and move around.

Ski With Kid - Keystone Ski School Private Lesson

With high altitude (it’s called a mile high city for a reason, we were at least 8,000 feet above sea level), we took it easy on the first day. There were several breaks for us and the kids. The learning area at mid station is also used by Ski & Ride School children lessons where we saw kids as young as 3 years old enjoying their lesson.

By mid day, the high altitude had hit Miss J hard so I took her down and rested while Mr. Rojo and Mr. Z continued their lesson. By the end of our first private lesson day, Mr. Rojo and Mr. Z had already learned how to turn and went down green slopes a few times!!

If you have never ski before, I would highly recommend taking private ski lesson. The cost might seem high from the price tag but you can have up to 6 people in your private group. So if you have a group of friends who have similar skill, private lesson will be the way to go.

Children’s Ski & Ride School

Ski With Kid - Keystone Ski School near Denver Check in

The process of checking in our kids to their lesson couldn’t be easier. We arrived at the Ski & Ride school at the River Run village about 20 minutes before the class. After confirming our registration and our information (including our phone number so they can contact us in case of emergency), the kids were tagged with their class information and personal information.

Ski With Kid - Keystone Ski School Ski rental

The school will take care of fitting and getting kids’ ski gear ready. We didn’t have to worry about getting their gear since we already had our ski rental from yesterday. Even if you didn’t have your rental from previous day, the school will take care of providing proper gear for them in the school. You don’t have to do anything except dropping them off with proper outfit and on time.

Ski With Kid - Keystone Ski School Children Lessons

Kids were assessed and put into group of similar age and skill level. Since Miss J missed half her private lesson the previous day, she started in Beginner group while Mr. Z moved to Green group. The instructor also paid close attention to kids’ skill level so that they can adjust the group accordingly.

Ski with Kids: Keystone Ski School Dercum Mountain

The ski & ride school has several separate learning area. They went up to the Summit station on top of Dercum Mountain in another learning area. So we were able to see them in their classes a few time. It’s amazed me to see Miss J who was still fighting her high altitude sickness participated and enjoyed her lesson with her new friends. Mr. Z had a blast learning more advance skill and racking up his points on EpicMix on his several runs that day.

The school also provided end of day lesson review and recommendation. As we picked them up at the end of their lesson, the instructor gave us detail information on how they did on their lesson including runs & terrain and what they can work on.

It’s true that kids are fast learners. So I know it’s a great idea to put them in ski school instead of continuing with private lesson with us because by day 2 our skill level within our family has already varied. The least athletic one in the family, I still need a lot of coaching and hand holding while Mr. Z is more comfortable with Green slopes. The boy has no fear and already start talking about Black diamond.. Ha.. He will have to find someone else to take him down that path!

If you are thinking or planning a ski trip for your family, I would highly recommend checking out Keystone Ski & Ride School for your kids (or even yourself). There are various type of lessons and discount for different packages.

Thank you Keystone Ski resort for providing our family with complimentary accommodation, ski lessons and lift tickets during our stay.

About Amy Querido

Amy is the owner & author of The Q Family Adventures Travel blog, family blog chronicles her family trips, tips and tricks. She hopes to inspire family to travel with kids one adventure at a time. Connect with Amy on Google+, Twitter and Facebook.


  1. Awww, look how cute your little snow bunnies are! I really hope to make it back to Keystone this winter–love that resort.

  2. We love Keystone! Great ski school, too!!

  3. Happy New Year Amy! I’m going to have to remember this post when we try and take the kids. We keep meaning to and I keep putting it off. I’m a little nervous but this looks so fun!

  4. So glad you had a great ski experience. Having grown up in Louisiana, I can relate to your first ski trip that didn’t go so well…same for me, too and unlike you, I haven’t braved skiing again. BUT my kids and husband love skiing so it has become an annual trip for us. I find that I love ski trips now because it means I get to lounge by the fire, reading and sipping hot chocolate while they all hit the slopes each day! Our most recent trip to Austria was the best one yet. Both the kids loved their ski school instructors and improved a lot each day. It was great to seeing their big smiles coming off the slopes. Glad your kids had great experiences, too. I am bookmarking this post because we’ll need to start researching U.S. ski trips for next year.

    • You will love Keystone Ski resort! They are very family-friendly but yet great resort for the more experienced skiers as well. Maybe you can start from there to get back on the ski. :) But I know sitting by the fire, reading and sipping hot chocolate sounds like a great vacation to me too! :)

  5. I want to inquire about a stay & ski/board for children 2@11,&1@10; ski school rates ;however I have epic pass. We want to stay in village

  6. Umpahlumpa says:

    Great write up. we are going to Keystone in March and my 2 oldest are gonna try skiing for the 1st time (they’ve never seen snow even, being from FL). They are 6 and 5. Do you recommend the Mountain House Ski School or the River Run one? I understand the River Run goes up Dercum Mountain but Mountain House is less busy and possibly more kid-friendly. Does that make a difference? We already booked a condo at River Run, so I want to stay at the River Run school, unless its smarter to do Mountain House for the young ones…

    • Oh! How fun!!

      We didn’t try Mountain House Ski school. But since you will stay at River Run, I will say River Run school will be more convenient. The school will take kids up Dercum mountain and they have separate learning area for kids plus the view is gorgeous! My kids went to the mid station on their first half of the session which is very kid-friendly (with magic carpet, bathroom, break room).

      Have fun on your trip!

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