Skiing is kids' stuff

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Younger visitors don't have to feel left out while mom and dad are flying through the powder.

Whether they want to be on the snow themselves, meet new friends or have fun with indoor activities, the Steamboat Ski Area offers children options.

For children who want to learn how to ski, there are programs through the Kids' Vacation Center for children up to kindergarten, as well as other group lessons for all abilities and ages that encourage children to have fun on the mountain.

"We want them to start snowboarding or skiing and continue until they're 80 years old," said Johanna Hall, the director of the Steamboat Ski and Snowboard School.

"We don't just teach them to ski, we teach them a lifelong love of the mountains."

Several instructors specialize in teaching kids, from those who are extra timid to those who are ready for speed.

"It's our instructors -- they specialize in making sure each previous kid has a memorable experience in developing a lifelong sport," Hall said.

And although children are guaranteed to have a good time skiing, they also are guaranteed to learn the basics.

"We teach skiing and boarding, whether they're 3 years old or they're 80 years old," Hall said.

For children who already have a lot of skiing and boarding experience and want even more advanced instruction, private lessons are a great option.

So is the Billy Kidd Performance Center, which offers exceptional programs for children ages 8 and older, Hall said. Founded in 1981, the center provides motivated skiers of all ages with the tools to ski and board with the best.

For children who want a break from the snow, or who prefer staying warm and toasty inside, the Kids' Vacation Center also offers a separate day-care program for children 6 months old to kindergarten.

The day care, which is separate from the ski school, follows all state guidelines for child care, Hall said. n

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