If you haven’t heard yet, the groundhog did not see his shadow on February 1st. And guess what? That means spring is coming.

Yes, it’s still only February, and yes, winter is still acknowledging its presence in most parts of the country. Temperamental weather continues on the East Coast, while Jackson Hole, Tahoe, and much of the Rocky Mountains are getting blasted with snow in this perfect El Nino season. But spring break is right around the corner, and that means (if you haven’t already), this is the perfect time to plan your family’s ultimate spring break ski vacation.

The spring break ski vacation is unique in many ways. Weather can be delightfully unpredictable, leaving you with days of bottomless powder or warm, bluebird skies. Lifts have been spinning at most resorts for 3-4 months, so resort staff at every level are well broken-in and operations are running smoothly. The biggest music events of the season bring down the house. And there’s the unmistakable sense of the season’s ending, which encourages all ski vacationers to really make this one count. You may not be throwing back beers on the beach with your buddies like it’s 1995, but you can certainly still sport your fanny-pack and have one fantastic family ski vacation.

In this writer’s opinion, spring break is the best time to hit the slopes with your family. While Christmas can be crowded, mid-winter frigid, and weekend trips rushed, the spring break ski vacation offers fewer crowds, better weather, and enough time to kick back and relax into the days. Add the special spring festivals and concerts packed with pond skims, costume contests, all day long happy hours and all week long happy kids, and you’ve got plenty of reasons to start looking and booking. The late-season deals aren’t too shabby, either.

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