DASH THROUGH THE SNOW Two miles north of Jackson, National Elk Refuge Sleigh Rides (Hwy. 89; 307-733-5386; http://nationalelkrefuge.fws.gov/; one-hour ride $15 for adults, $11 for children) runs tours through the 25,000-acre preserve. Watch for elks, coyotes, and bald eagles. At the base of the ski resort at night, join one of the Solitude Cabin Dinner Sleigh Rides (307/739-2603; sleigh ride and four-course dinner $66.95 per adult, $36.95 for children under 11). Destination: a secluded mountain cabin for a fireside prime rib or salmon (or chicken fingers) feast.
Where to Stay
Rates listed are for the regular winter season (holiday prices are slightly higher).
IN TOWN Alpine House Hans and Nancy Johnstone are both former Olympians (Nordic combined and biathlon, respectively). They are also the parents of three, and their 21-room inn, two blocks from the town square, is one of the best values in Jackson for families. There are rooms with a queen-sized bed and full loft bed, and two-room suites with pullout sofas. Before the lifts open, everyone fills up on whole-wheat cinnamon crêpes with maple-roasted apples, or Rocky Mountain-style eggs Benedict with house-smoked trout. 285 N. Glenwood St., Jackson; 800/753-1421 or 307/739-1570; www.alpinehouse.com; doubles, including loft rooms, from $150, suites from $260.
SKI-IN, SKI-OUT OPTIONS IN TETON VILLAGE Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole These slope-side accommodations are as cushy as they come. Expect to find everything you might desire, from strollers and baby-proofed rooms to foosball and video games. Committed to alleviating all the classic ski-vacation hassles, the resort has an on-site rental shop and a "ski concierge" who does in-room boot fittings and delivers lift tickets. 7680 Granite Loop Rd., Teton Village; 800/332-3442 or 307/732-5000; www.fourseasons.com; doubles from $550, suites from $775.
Snake River Lodge & Spa With 88 rooms and 44 condos (get your fireplaces and balconies here), Snake River is an ideal option for families who want to stay within seconds of the ski lifts. Another draw: the expansive indoor-outdoor heated pool (open till 10 p.m.) with four waterfalls and four hot tubs in the 17,000-square-foot Avanyu Spa. (Note to Mom: the Vichy Salt Glow is worth sneaking away for.) 7710 Granite Loop Rd., Teton Village; 800/445-4655 or 307/732-6000; www.snakeriverlodge.com; doubles from $229, condos from $349.
BETWEEN TOWN AND TETON VILLAGE Amangani The lone U.S. outpost of the Amanresorts chain is built directly into a cliff overlooking the valley. Its 40 suites have redwood platform beds, sandstone fireplaces, and soaking tubs with views of the Snake River Range. The heated outdoor pool is open round the clock. Kids are welcome—although they make up only about 10 percent of the resort's clientele. The staff will arrange ski rentals and lessons, and shuttle you anywhere at a moment's notice. And the room service chef will gladly prepare buttered pasta. 1535 N.E. Butte Rd., Jackson; 877/734-7333 or 307/734-7333; www.amangani.com; suites from $700, $75 for an additional bed.
Spring Creek Ranch This sprawling complex shares a butte with Amangani (so you get the same amazing views, minus the formality). There are dozens of log buildings scattered around the ranch's 1,000-plus acres, including the year-old Wilderness Adventure Spa, the Granary restaurant, and more than 125 rooms and condos. The ranch's Nordic Center has eight miles of beginner-suited cross-country trails—plus equipment rentals in all sizes and patient instructors. 1800 Spirit Dance Rd., Jackson; 800/443-6139 or 307/733-8833; www.springcreekranch.com; doubles from $195 ($15 extra per child), two-bedroom condos from $400.
Bentwood Inn At Bill and Nell Fay's log house, everyone gathers après-ski around the 30-foot-high river-rock fireplace for cocktailsor hot cocoa. There are five rooms to choose from; the Bunkhouse, with its balcony and upstairs loft, is popular with families. If you plan to spend Christmas with the Fays, feel free to bring your own stockings to hang on the mantel. Teton Village Rd., Jackson Hole; 307/739-1411; www.bentwoodinn.com; doubles from $215 ($25 extra per child).
Where to Eat
IN TOWN Snake River Grill Reserve a table near the double-sided stone fireplace in the timbered dining room, long considered the best in town. For everyone: pizza from the wood oven. For the more adventurous: tender elk and buffalo, or pecan-crusted Idaho trout. For dessert, without question: the molten chocolate cake. 84 E. Broadway, on the town square, Jackson; 307/733-0557; dinner for four $150.
Rendezvous Bistro A locals' hangout, the bistro covers all fronts, with its raw bar, extensive wine list, and crayons on the tables. There isn't a separate kids' menu, but macaroni and cheese, and burgers, are on hand; so are mussels in a red curry-coconut broth. 380 S. Broadway, Jackson; 307/739-1100; dinner for four $70.
Old Yellowstone Garage Despite its name—and casual ambience—this is a sophisticated Italian eatery, specializing in the owners' native Piedmontesecuisine, with nods to Liguria. That translates into flavorful dishes like house-made black linguine with scallops and pesto. There's also pizza, and lots of it on Sundays, the restaurant's Pizza Night—go for salad and all-you-can-eat slices. 175 Center St., Jackson; 307/734-6161; dinner for four $150.
Snake River Brewing Co. Though kids are not allowed on the main floor, they are welcome upstairs, where you'll find a view of the brewery's inner workings. The food is Jackson pub fare: freshly made soft pretzels, pizzas, and sandwiches. 265 S. Millward St., Jackson; 307/739-2337; dinner for four $40.