4 great slopes for Western ski fun

Western ski resorts pull out the stops to show families a snow-filled good time. Here are five places where fun and deals abound.

1. Keystone, Colo. With 3,148 skiable acres, this Rocky Mountain resort 90 minutes west of Denver invites kids to join in Kidtopia. The high-altitude playground atop Dercum Mountain is sure to delight kids with the Snow Fort, slides, disco tubing and clever mazes.

Details: www.keystonekid .

2. Beaver Creek, Colo. It's all about kids during this Rocky Mountain resort's Beaver Creek Loves Kids tribute to junior snow riders. Join other snow-loving families during the event Feb. 27 through March 11 and enjoy free kids' lift tickets, ski and snowboard lessons, gear rentals and some meals. A slew of other family-friendly activities will be available, including snowshoe tours. Available for 12 and younger. Some booking restrictions apply.

Details: www.beaver .

3. Big Sky, Mont. Despite its impressive expanse, many families enjoy Big Sky skiing because of the uncrowded runs, easy access to Basecamp activities and family-style lodging and dining.

Plus, two kids younger than 10 ski free with every paying adult. Enjoy terrain parks, sleigh rides, snow tubing, cross-country skiing and snowmobile rides. New this year are the area's fourth and fifth zip lines. Two family members can ride Twin Zip at the same time and enjoy views of the surrounding mountains.

Details: www.bigskyre .

4. Sun Valley Resort, Sun Valley, Idaho. All season long, this picturesque and historic resort will celebrate its 75th year. In addition to a day on the slopes, families can enjoy tubing on Dollar Mountain. Speed down one of three 600-foot lanes, then warm up with a cup of hot chocolate. Hop aboard the horse-drawn wagon and snuggle under blankets as you head to dinner in the cozy Trailside cabin. This Sun Valley tradition, along with renowned ice-skating shows, are always family favorites. Kids 15 and younger ski and stay free when sharing a room with a paying adult.

Details: www.sunvalley .com .