Ski Brule in Iron River, Mich. is a family-centered resort that has made a promise for several decades that it will be the first to open (sometimes as early as October) and the last to close because of its location and snowmaking capabilities. The Rapids and Snowshoe Terrain Parks make it a favorite of snowboarders and there's even a Learn To Ride program that's free for first-timers, age 10 and up. The Homestead Lodge is popular and has the built-in coziness of a family homestead dating to 1891. There's even a tubing park on the Whitewater Trail.
Hillside dining, homestead BBQ, pro shop, gift shop, snowmobile trail access, shuttle service, instruction with kids' programs, childcare, NASTAR, and kids 9 and under ski and stay free.