Before you had children, did spend your holidays throwing yourself down snow-covered slopes, warming up in the bar and retiring to your shared chalet with friends? Well, if you enjoyed it, you’ll probably have realised that the bug for skiing never really leaves you…
The good news is that outdoor snowy holidays are still a possibility, even with a family in tow. All you need to do is kit your children out in good quality kids ski gear and choose the right location to take them to. Below are five ski resorts that are perfect for families, and well worth consideration if you’re family are new to skiing…
Ski Welt, Austria
Ski Welt is one of Austria’s biggest ski areas, but they do a fantastic job of welcoming children and getting them excited about the skiing ‘scene’. You can reassure reticent family members that there'll be heated chairlifts, picture-perfect villages (the kind of thing your kids have probably seen in fairy-tale books) and mugs of delicious hot chocolate every day. And, the Kinder Kaiserland teaches skiers aged as young as two years old in a dedicated area that’s safely separated from the rest of the slopes, so doubtless the kids will be adept at it in no time!
Arosa, Switzerland, is another great place to take your family skiing. Not only are the slopes sheltered from the wind, but there are special ski tuition lessons for children with two designated 'kids-lands' and also a Junior Club. This means you can leave the kids to learn the ropes in the snow school while you enjoy the slopes. This destination is perfect if you don’t want to pay too much for your first family skiing holiday, but like the idea of having professionals on-hand to show the kids how its done.
How about some cross-country skiing? It’s great way of getting kids comfortable on the snow, but it’s also a fantastic way to boost their fitness too. Fortunately, the Leutasch Valley in Austria offers what feels like endless cross-country skiing within a landscaped children’s park. The park features fun wave runs and trails (to hold your kids’ interest), and best of all, there’s a special course on offer for children aged 6 to 12 years old where they’ll learn how best to navigate this challenging terrain. If you have little ones who are younger than that, you can pay for one-to-one tuition if you like. Here are some reviews for the resort if you’re interested in finding out more.
Panorama, Canada (British Columbia)
If you think your family will love being on the slope, but you also want some ‘back up’ activities that won’t require being strapped to a set of skis (just in case), Panorama is the perfect family resort. As well as good beginner and intermediate slopes, the resort has club nights, movie night and karaoke for children of all ages. So, if the little ones decide they
don’t like skiing after all, they’ll still have a great time doing all the other activities the resort has to offer.
Finally, if you can’t face the idea of a long-haul flight with the kids and fancy skiing something a little closer to home, take the ferry across the channel and drive on down to Avoriaz. This French ski resort is a fantastic location for families as it’s compact with high quality snow. As well as skiing, there’s a water park to keep the family entertained, and there’s even childcare available at the ‘Village des Enfants’ – so you can spend as long as you want on the challenging terrain while the kids are being safely entertained by the on-site professionals.
Will you be heading to any of these ski resorts this year? And are there any you’d recommend?