A ski holiday brings the whole family together while being active during the day and snuggling up with a hot chocolate in front of an open fire at night. Family ski holidays include skiing, snowboarding, playing in the snow and for the non-skiers or tired legs in the family its important you have lots to do in the day including snowmobile tours, heli- skiing, paragliding, horse-drawn sleigh rides, snowshoeing and ice skating.
There is a wide variety of countries all promising fabulous snow and facilities though based on 16 years of experience we have put together an exciting “taste of skiing for families” from around the globe.
A taste of skiing in America with your kids
With the Aussie dollar currently sky rocketing there is no better time to head to America for some fabulous northern hemisphere skiing. Families have the added bonus of being able to stop in Disneyland and Universal Studios on the way back through Los Angeles.
American ski resorts offer spectacular scenery and impressive terrain on which to ski. Skiing in the US is all about convenience, and it’s the attention to detail which makes a US ski holiday such a pleasurable experience. Attentive guest service is a high priority and most resorts have a comprehensive range of ski school programs and options. Resorts in the US are littered with high speed lifts to enable fast access to vast expanses of terrain, and are renowned for their well-groomed trails, well planned trail design and variety of terrain. This allows for all standards of skiers and riders to enjoy easy navigation and access to all areas of the mountain. The American season generally opens late November and closes late April giving you heaps of time.
A family favourite is Aspen Snowmass Village. Aspen Snowmass is only seven miles from downtown Aspen in the heart of Snowmass Base Village. Viceroy Snowmass Resort offers ski-in/ski-out lodging in the heart of the village, restaurants and Generation V kids club. The hotel is ideally situated for families only minutes from Aspen/Snowmass Treehouse Children’s Centre. The Treehouse Kids' Adventure Centre boasts a family-friendly activities, Ski & Snowboard Schools check-in, rental, retail and family après entertainment all under one roof. The facility is linked to a system of seven new lifts, including kid-friendly gondolas and magic carpets. There are flights direct from Los Angeles to Aspen throughout the ski season.
What about Canada?
Big White is Canada’s largest ski in ski out village offering fabulous family actives including Ice Climbing Tower, Mega Snow Coaster tube park, Snowmobile tours, Ice Skating & hockey, Snowshoeing, Dog Sledding , Horse drawn sleigh rides and the famous fireworks. Truly the ultimate ski resort for families wanting a lot of snow.
Whistler is located an easy 3 hour drive from Vancouver by coach or car. A visit to Whistler / Blackcomb Mountains is a must for unforgettable skiing, snowboarding and activities and the only resort in North America where you can ski or ride on a glacier. It is perfect for those non ski bunnies having a very large township. Delta Whistler Village Suites is a charming all-suite hotel located in the heart of the heart of the village offering beautifully appointed with breathtaking mountain and valley views. The one and two bedroom suites are perfect for families as they offer all the comforts of home including full kitchens and in-suite washer dryer. Nannies are available.
A little closer to home?
Something more local and easy to fly into directly is Queenstown in New Zealand. Real mountains, incredible scenery, lively ski towns, friendly locals and fast access from Australia are just a few good reasons to discover what New Zealand has to offer. If you have been to New Zealand to ski or board before, but not for a while, you will be surprised at the changes – new express lifts, improved base facilities, accredited child-care centres and specialised kids lessons. With spectacular alpine views and a mix of open, cruisy bowls or rugged chutes to cater for all levels and styles, New Zealand offers a skiing and riding experience unlike anything at home.
Where to stay with kids in New Zealand.
Distinction Nugget Point Hotel Queenstown is the gateway to Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, and Cardrona and Treble Cone mountains and offers plenty of off snow family activities for those non ski days. Relax in this boutique luxury hotel offering onsite restaurant, gym, spa, room service, free WIFI, laundry service and keep the kids entertained with a game of tennis or squash or in our movie theatre room. A nanny service is available.
The Glebe Apartments are located just a brief walk from Queenstown's main shopping the Glebe apartments offer 36 luxurious contemporary spacious 1, 2, 3 and 4 bedroom suites perfect to relax in after a day on the slopes or an active day in Queenstown. All apartments are self-contained with gourmet kitchens, sumptuous bathrooms, full laundry facilities and are serviced daily. The reception offers booking and information services for all local activities and attractions.
Family ski holiday tips from the experts
- It is essential to pre-book ski school for your kids especially in school holidays
- Don’t hire your ski gear until you arrive at the mountain, it may not fit and you will be unable to change sizes.
- On snow hotels are worth the extra money. Kids do not like sitting in cars or transfer buses each morning and afternoon to the gondolas and chair lifts.
- Prepay everything including lift tickets, accommodation, ski school, meals when possible.
- Research prior to your arrival what activities are offered for non-ski days. Tired legs, injury or non-skiers are able to have a fun snow holiday.
- Stopping in a warm beach destination on the way back when possible after a ski holiday is a great idea.
- Plan ahead, if planning to buy ski gear plan the year prior and head for the sales. Savings of up to 50% are common at the end of season sale time.
- Buy your kids their own helmets. You need to ensure the helmet is “Australian standards” and has not been in an accident.
- Prepare your legs for skiing including the kids. A few squats and lots of hill climbs a few weeks prior will help you enjoy your trip
- When possible avoid local school holiday periods to minimise the waiting time at lifts in Australia. Waiting time in the northern hemisphere is minimal due to the huge number of runs and chair lifts.
- Do not leave home without it, travel insurance. It is essential to have travel insurance as accidents are common on the ski fields and emergency evacuation services are very expensive.