Boynehighlands would be the place I would pick for a great family learning environment, they have certified instructors, and a great beginner area.
They have a magic carpet lift (you basically stand on a carpet conveyor that takes you up a small beginner hill) lots of little things that keep the kids learning and having fun, little snow forts and stuff like that they can play if they get board with skiing.
Once you are ready to take a chair lift up, they have a great beginner one that is very slow, and the hill you come down is very flat, perfect for beginners. They have a tubing hill, dog sled rides, and 2 or 3 great outdoor pools.
The town of Petoskey (about 10mins away from Boynehighlands) is also a great area with lots of little shops, and some good places to eat, places to stay if you don't want to stay at Boyehighlands, and a few spots to stop and check out the light house and mostly frozen over lake Michigan. Keep in mind you must be a guest at Boynehighlands to use the outdoor hot tubs/pools.
Boyne Mt is almost the same as Boynehighlands, but they don't have a slow beginner chair lift, and the beginner area is smaller and don't have all the little forts and stuff they can play in. They have 1 outdoor hot tub from what i recall, not as nice as Boynehighlands.
Boyne MT does have the new indoor water park, avalanche bay, i have never been, but it looks really fun for kids and adults (they have an indoor surfing wave thingy, i want to try one day)
If you eat in Petoskey you must try http://www.cityparkgrill.com/
non-smoking till 9pm
I am not sure about nubs-nobs beginner area, I know at one time the beginner lift was free. The is no on site lodging at nubs-nob
I am on this message board just about everyday, so ask away with questions.
I don't have any kids yet (wife's due this summer!), but i have been going to these ski areas for 25years, and know the hills and towns around them very well.
Hope this helped!
And welcome to http://www.firsttracksonline.com/
message boards, you found a great site with lots of great people that love the sport and are willing to pass along REAL information!