"People 13 and older must be accompanied by a child," proclaims the sign at the entrance to the Kids Zone at Grand Targhee Resort. Kids even have their own map that shows where to find Bird Brains or the Bear Den. Grand Targhee is adding new terrain features this winter to their already popular Kids Zone.

The area, located in trees and on beginner runs around the Shoshone Lift, is packed with special kid-friendly trails that are fun, but also build skills. "It's not an area filled with blowup dolls and Walt Disney characters, but authentic with natural features and native to our neck of the woods," Mark Hanson, ski school director, told us. "They're pretty simple facility-wise where the natural world takes the lead."

The Kids Zone is filled with wondrous routes, such as the Eyeball Forest, the Bat Cave, and Wacky Weasel Way. The resort started putting in kid features several years ago and discovered they worked well to animate the beginner terrain and teach skills without the kids knowing they were learning.

Enhancements to the terrain this winter will give kids new things to explore. The resort plans to upgrade existing trails by rerouting the Otter Slide, adding the Mouse House, and moving the Candy Cane Forest to end of Fred's Chute at Fred's Hideout. A new run called the Sacred Forest will contain a series of ski pole chimes. "Kids will ski around and whack the chimes to ward off evil spirits like snow snakes," explained Hanson.

The specialty terrain forces training for kids. Bobsled run, for instance, is a groomed, banked trail that skis like a bobsled course, where kids can learn unawares how to pressure skis. "Alley Oop Alley contains rollers that go through a woods channel, perfect for balance and speed control," added Hanson. "All of the terrain is designed to be engaging for kids."

The resort runs children's lessons available for half or full days. Many of the beginner lessons take place in the Kids Zone.

More information. Or call 800-TARGHEE.