Kids love Jackson, too: Seeing wild buffalo and moose and elk. Rafting. A sleigh ride onto the National Elk Refuge. Going to the rodeo. Tandem paragliding. Stinking, bubbling mud pits. And, of course, skiing—especially thanks to programs such as Jackson Hole Mountain Resort’s much-lauded Kids Ranch, which offers age-specific winter activities for kids ages six months to 17 years. With two national parks nearby, Jackson Hole has long been a destination for families. Every hotel in the valley welcomes kids, but kids seem to like some hotels better than others. I conducted a highly scientific poll (of friends’ kids) to learn where and why. Whether I was asking a local kid, or a kid who had vacationed here with her parents, the answers were similar. Interestingly, most hotels on this list are also on another Jackson Hole list, as a great place for adults to stay. How often do you get to make yourselves and the kids happy? And who knew kids had such great taste?
With an idyllic setting just blocks from downtown Jackson, an abundance of outdoor-sy amenities such as tipis, a boardwalk winding above a wetland, creek-side swinging benches, fire pits, and many “rooms” that are stand-alone cabins—some of which are even historic—the Rustic Inn is perfect for kids.
Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole
Parents love the Four Seasons’ two- to five-bedroom suites. Kids love the adventures the resort’s Base Camp offers, as well as the Explorer Backpacks—packed with a compass, binoculars, sun photo paper and exploration boxes—that they can check out from Base Camp for the duration of their stay.
Snake River Lodge & Spa
All the activity at the pool here sometimes scares away adults, but kids love it. The Snake River Lodge’s pool (heated, of course) is giant, with half inside and half outside. The outdoor area has made-made grottos for the ultimate game of Marco Polo. The hotel’s new summer Junior Ranger Program also gets high marks.
Signal Mountain Lodge
As the only lakeside lodge in Grand Teton National Park, Signal has a campground, rustic cabins and larger suites with kitchens. At the nearby marina, you can rent boats to sightsee, or fish on Jackson Lake. And the lodge’s restaurant might have the biggest plate of nachos in the world.
The kids might not appreciate the luxury linens in the “glamping” tents here, but you will—along with not having to set up a tent yourself. The kids, however, will remember making s’mores around a campfire, and falling asleep under the stars while listening to the sounds of nature.