Have you ever wanted to go skiing but never knew where to begin? Maybe this will help you to get up off your butt and onto some skis for some downhill stuff.

Sure, all of your friends and their six-year-olds shoosh, shoosh, shoosh down the mountainside each winter in New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine, and you and your brood spend winter Sunday afternoons on the couch or at the mall because you don't ski and aren't sure how to begin without looking like a dope.

Take heart! There is help available.

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MommyPoppins.com says there are at least a half dozen ski areas in eastern Massachusetts where you and the little ones can learn to ski.

The site first recommends the Blue Hills Ski Area in Canton. It's less than an hour north of New Bedford, accessible by Routes 140 and 24. Blue Hills Ski Area, operated by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, has been around since the 1960s.

The site also recommends Nashoba Valley Ski Area in Westford. That's about an hour and a half and is accessible by Route 495 North. Nashoba Valley also has a snow tubing park.

Wachusett Mountain in Princeton is where my Uncle Bob learned to ski when he turned 60. It takes about an hour and 45 minutes to get to Wachusett using Route 146. There are bus trips that regularly go to Wachusett Mountain.

Skiing
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Ski Ward in Shrewsbury is about an hour and twenty minutes away. The best way to get there is by Route 495 North. You can also learn to snowboard at Ski Ward.

There is also Ski Bradford in Haverhill. It takes almost two hours to reach Haverhill, which is on the New Hampshire border, but they offer lessons to kids four and up. I-93 will get you to Haverhill, so that includes some Boston traffic.

Finally, there is the Weston Ski Track in Weston. The slopes are about an hour away in Weston, accessible by Routes 140 and 24 North. Weston Ski Track also offers lessons in cross-country skiing, which Mommy Poppins says "is hot right now."

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