Ski Week is met with a chuckle here in San Diego, as our kids are in board shorts on the beach throughout winter and there’s no snow in sight. But the break from school gives us a chance to venture into cold territory and change it up with snowy adventures. We’ve found snow-covered mountains (that aren’t too far) that offer a plethora of winter activities from skiing and snowboarding to tubing and snowmobiling. Read on to see where to take your kiddos to have the coolest week off.

photo: Mammoth Mountain Ski Area

Mammoth Mountain

Hit the slopes to snowboard and ski at the 3,500 acres of Mammoth Mountain. You can tube it at Woolly's Tube Park, or even ride a snowmobile. A good family stay-over is The Village Lodge, where you can walk to the gondola and cook meals in a full kitchen. Your crew will be cozy in the three-bedroom condo with full-sized bunk beds. After a day of snow fun, warm up at the heated pool and five hot tubs. Another option is the Mammoth Creek Inn, although you'll need to shuttle to the slopes. Here you'll get complimentary breakfast and the rooms can sleep six. Notably, there's a spa, steam room, sauna, gym and jacuzzi. Plus, the fam can play board games by the cozy lobby fire.

Travel Time: About 6 and a half hours from San Diego.

Mammoth Mountain Ski Area
10001 Minaret Rd.
Mammoth Lakes, Ca
760-934-2571
Online: mammothmountain.com

The Village Lodges
111 Forest Trail
Mammoth Lakes, Ca
760-934-1982
Cost: From $269 /night
Online: thevillagelodgemammoth.com

Mammoth Creek Inn
663 Old Mammoth Rd.
Mammoth Lakes, Ca
Cost: From $150 /night
Online: themammothcreek.com

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photo: Big Bear Mountain

Big Bear Lake

Big Bear Mountain is a winter wonderland full of activities and sports for your whole family. Whether your crew is full of beginners or advanced snow sport athletes, you'll find something for everyone. For example, beginning pint-sized shredders can learn to snowboard at the Burton Riglet program, designed to make learning fun. On the other hand, more avid skiers and snowboarders can take a half or full day lesson at either Bear Mountain or Snow Summit.

If your snow angels want to skip the lift lines and go tubing, slide over to the Grizzly Ridge Tubing Park at Snow Summit or Big Bear Snow Play (both with Magic Carpet conveyor belts) for easy downhill fun. Even more, two good places to stay as a family are The Lodge at Big Bear Lake with free Wi-Fi and a walk to the village or Big Bear Frontier where we recommend the cabins that sleep up to 12––and furry friends are welcome too.

Travel time: About 3 hours from San Diego.

Bear Mountain
43101 Goldmine Dr.
Big Bear Lake, Ca
909-866-5766
Online: bearmountain.com

Big Bear Snow Play
42825 Big Bear Blvd.
Big Bear Lake, Ca
909-585-0075
Online: bigbearsnowplay.com

Snow Summit
880 Summit Blvd.
Big Bear Lake, Ca
844-462-2327
Online: snowsummit

Grizzly Ridge Tube Park
880 Summit Blvd. Ste 1170
Big Bear Lake, Ca
909-866-5766
Online: grizzlyridgetubepark.com

photo: Snow Valley

Snow Valley Mountain Resort

This smaller mountain is great for snow angels at the beginner or intermediate level. It's also less crowded than big brother mountain (Big Bear) which is 30 minutes further away. For the little ones, there's the Children's Learning Center with full and half-day classes where snow bunnies can learn to ski or snowboard (ages 4-12). Moreover, there's a snow play area where kiddos can sled for a fee. Another perk: kids six and under ski free (with a paid adult). You can do this trip up and back on the same day. However, if you decide to stay overnight, we recommend the Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa, with a fitness room and restaurant. (It's about a 30-minute drive).

Travel time: About 2 and a half hours from San Diego.

Snow Valley Mountain Resort
35100 State Hwy 18
Running Springs, Ca
909-867-2751
Online: snowvalley.com

Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa
27984 Hwy 189
Lake Arrowhead, Ca
909-336-1511
Online: lakearrowheadresort.com

Mountain High Resort

For newbie skiers or shredders (or those just wanting to improve) the Mountain High’s Children’s Academy will take snowboarders from four years old and up and toddlers can try the virtual snow simulator which helps them to balance, stop and turn. Even more, there are lessons and all day includes lunch. If your crew is looking for a different type of downhill fun, head to the North Pole Tubing Park which has ten lanes and two moving carpets. Best bet for staying over is to rent a cabin via Airbnb or Mountain High has a few suggestions for rentals.

Travel time: About 2 and a half hours from San Diego.

Mountain High Ski Resort
24510 State Highway 2
Wrightwood, Ca
888-754-7878
Online: mthigh.com

Where does your family do snow sports over ski week? Let us know in the comments below.

-Nikki Walsh