MAMMOTH FOR FAMILES
The ultimate Mammoth Mountain guide for kids of every age
It’s easy to see why Mammoth Mountain is one of the top picks for families heading to the United States for a holiday in the snow.
Open from November through to June each year, the lengthy season means that you can take the family for a white Christmas, make the most of the Easter school holidays, or book a trip at the very tail end of the season to make the most of kids of all ages skiing free after May 28.
With the most charming European vibe throughout the town, and plenty of options for ski-in, ski-out accommodation close to shops, dining and activities - you can’t beat the convenience, and the free public bus system to get you anywhere you’d like to go.
On the slopes, it’s even better. With 150 runs serviced by 28 lifts, there’s enough terrain to keep everyone from the beginners to the experts happy and entertained for the duration of your stay. And enjoy it all with a side of bluebird, considering the Californian average of 300 sunny days every year.
As for getting there, there are daily flights from LAX that get you to Mammoth in under an hour; or you can drive the journey to be on the slopes in just five hours, ready to get exploring.
Check out our guide for kids of every age group, catered to lessons, restaurants, activities and more.
If you’ve got a mini shredder, this is where your wallet might thank you. Kids four and under ski free at Mammoth all season, and they’ll enjoy the wide, groomed beginner runs as they get comfortable on the slopes.
The Mammoth Ski and Snowboard School offers group lessons, private lessons and childcare/lesson packages for children aged three and up. Or if it’s just child care you’re after, you can drop kids off at the centre in the Village for as little as an hour, through to an entire day.
Activity-wise, the little ones will love a ride on the Panorama Gondola to explore all the fun they can have at 11,053 feet up - the highest point in the state. Up to two kids (ages 12 and under) ride free with each paying adult. Once up there, enjoy the views over Yosemite National Park and get a photo with the Mammoth Mountain sign.
Or head to the fun snow park area near the tube park, where kids will enjoy a hot cocoa and a snow play session. They’ll probably meet Woolly while there, the resort’s furry mascot (no points for guessing what kind of extinct animal he is).
As for food, you can’t go past Toomey’s. The laid back atmosphere and convenient village location offers a classic kids menu to please even the fussiest of eaters, along with dishes for adults such as coconut mascarpone pancakes, fish tacos and more.
5 to 10s
For the kids really ready to explore the mountain, there’s a lot of fun to be found in the Adventure Zones hidden in the woods around Mammoth’s base lodges. Or there’s the Fun Zone, an enhanced-learning area featuring gentle rollers and small spines for those ready to take on the park for the first time.
As for ski school, the small group lessons for both skiers and boarders will ensure that your little ones get the attention they need. There’s also an adaptive ski school with specialised instruction for children with a disability.
The Tube Park is perfect for this age group, and they’ll love zooming down the lanes in a high-speed snow tube; or joining Woolly and his mates for a parade and dance party at the Village Plaza on Saturdays, complete with face painting.
As for food, you can’t miss the Eleven53 Cafe, which has a free interpretive centre. Kids can touch and feel animal pelts from the local area and learn about the area’s geography and history.
Or there’s bowling at Mammoth Rock ‘N’ Bowl, with everything from poutine to pizza delivered directly to your bowling lane or your booth. There’s also an arcade upstairs and full bar for the grown-ups.
Teens are in their element in Mammoth, with so much terrain to discover. Not to mention the five terrain parks scattered across the mountain, so they can hone their skills on the rails, jumps and jibs.
They might even spot gold medallists Chloe Kim or Shaun White in the halfpipe if they’re lucky - Mammoth is the official training base for the US Olympic free ski and snowboard teams.
Off-snow, there’s snowmobiling and snow biking to try. Or go on an adventure to nearby Bodie State Historic Park, a ghost town that was once a booming mining town. Now it’s ready to be explored, with the houses and businesses complete with furniture and merchandise still inside, all made creepier with the cemetery just up the hill…
When the teens are hungry, take them to Gomez Restaurant and let them fill up on generously sized burritos, sizzling fajita plates and enchiladas. Or head straight to Burgers Restaurant, which lives up to its name and serves everything from buffalo to veggie burgers.
While on mountain, make sure they also stop by McCoy station to create their own drink with the Coca Cola freestyle machine at the specialty all-new Coca Cola Lounge.
Ready to pack up the kids and take them to Mammoth Mountain? Find out more on our latest package offerings, with the perfect accommodation options to cater for the entire family.