Start 'em young!

So there's a foot of fresh snow and blue skies, and you really don't feel up for the whole child care thing just this moment. I mean, yeah, you love 'em, but. No worries. If you're a parent of young children on Mount Hood and you'd rather be out shredding, you have options.

All of the resorts on Mount Hood offer lessons for small children, and Mount Hood Meadows has a certified day care program for ages 6 weeks to 11 years.

At Skibowl East kids as young as four can sign up for skiing and snowboarding lessons with the Mogul Busters program. Mogul Busters has a long traditions of emphasizing fun and fundamentals since 1958. Kids can get four days of all-day lessons , $255 for ages 6 and under and $320 for 7 and up. They can also do one-day lessons for $65 (6 and under) or $85 (7 and older). Take Hwy. 26 to Government Camp, follow Multorpor Road over the highway to Skibowl East. Find the Mogul Busters yurt up above Multorpor Lodge.

Mt. Hood Meadows has lessons and camps for kids, and they also have day care for the very young. Full-day lessons are $124 on weekends/holidays and $99 on weekdays, not including lift tickets and rentals. There is also a $15 charge for kids 4-6 years old to cover the costs of guaranteeing class sizes of three kids or fewer. Meadows also runs 3-Day Holiday Kids Camps, $260 for the lesson only, $290 for the lesson and lift, and $30 for rental equipment plus an additional $30 charge for kids ages 4-6.

For older kids Meadows offers freestyle coaching, and weekly group coaching sessions for elementary-aged kids that include bus rides. And for the very young there is day care. Meadows can accommodate up to 46 children at its day care center for $100 per day. The number for day care is 503.337.2222, ext. 1374

Summit Ski Area is a very affordable option for newbie families, with a $57 group Learn to Ski package that includes less, rentals and a lift ticket. Summit is a kid-friendly resort with a lot of charm, but keep in mind that the vertical drop is just 306 feet. The resort is at the east end of Government Camp.

The Timberline Kids Club offers a variety of lessons for skiers 4-10 and snowboarders 6-10. Three days of full-day lessons with rentals for $285, or single-day lessons for $125 with rentals, $110 without. Timberline also accepts kids 2-4 years old for lessons during weekends and holidays, provided the child is potty-trained. Call 503.272.3341 for more info.

Cooper Spur is an excellent location for kids, with private lessons available on the weekend for children under 4 and group lessons for kids over 4. Call ahead to make sure they are operating, because Cooper Spur is at a fairly low elevation of Hwy. 35, not far from Hood River. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (541) 352-6692 for prices and details.

If skiing and snowboarding really aren't your kids' thing, there are some excellent choices for sledding and tubing on Mount Hood.

And if the little ones are starting to show some serious potential you might want to consider one of Mount Hood's Mitey Mite ski racing teams.