First time to Alaska? Live here but want a little getaway? Winter, spring, summer, or fall, recreation abounds at Alyeska Resort in Girdwood, about 50 miles south of Anchorage and a favorite place with locals.
Skiing is steep and deep, but full of flavor for beginner/intermediate/ kids, and the Mountain Learning Center staff are top notch; our son had a blast skiing with his instructor. Lift tix range from $40-$60/day, and some night skiing is available. Look for special stay/ski deals on the resort's web site.
Non-winter seasons (that's partly an Alaskan joke) are great, too, with lower rates in shoulder seasons and plenty of hiking, mountain biking, and glacier dog sledding available. Kids will love running along the paved trails surrounding the resort, and an aerial Tram takes visitors to the tippy-top where views are incredible.
Restaurants abound in the resort and in little Girdwood, where locals mix with visitors and everybody gets along just fine.
Be sure to ask the concierge about tours to Crow Creek Mine, Portage Valley, and the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. They can help arrange transportation and/or tour companies.
The resort has worked hard to bolster up its family-friendliness; I think it's working.