Skiing with kids: where to go on a ski holiday this winter (COVID permitting!)
While we might not have managed to hotfoot it overseas this summer to a sun-drenched beach, that hasn't stopped us living in hope that perhaps we might just get a winter holiday instead. And do you know what kinda winter vacation we love best during the winter months? One filled with powdery snow, fast slopes, adventure and, of course, a big mug of hot chocolate at the end of each fun-packed day. Yep, skiing, we're talking about you, and thanks to our friends at Ski Safari knowing which spots to hit up, as well as a few more we've tried ourselves, we know exactly where to go on a ski holiday with kids this winter! And, with savings of up to 50% right now on ski holidays through until Easter 2022, now's the time to plan ahead and keep your fingers crossed that the pes-ski 'traffic light' system won't stand in the way of you and your snowy getaway.
The skiing in Sweden varies across resorts and the kids will love keeping busy by spotting local reindeer: you'll sometimes find them venturing onto the slopes or even in the ski villages. There are also plenty of other wintery activities to enjoy, such as husky sledding across frozen lakes, zip wires through forests and even magical trips north to stay in an Ice Hotel and gaze up at the Northern Lights. #dreamvacay
Scandinavia's largest ski resort is Åre where children under seven ski for free and the tree-lined slopes are uncrowded, even during peak weeks. There are ski areas for beginners and intermediates, plus the historic lakeside town offers everything from zip wires and a chocolate factory to a distillery and live bands at the weekends.
Where to stay: Located close to ski school, ski rental, a supermarket, shops, bars and restaurants, the spacious Bear Lodge apartments are warmly minimalist.
Compact and easy-to-navigate Stöten is perfect if you or the kids are just starting out and makes for a fantastic destination to try skiing for the first time. It's also a great location for delish, locally sourced food with options to please all tastes. There's everything from local, traditional specialities like Wallenbergare and reindeer, through to plenty of regular dishes made to a high standard like pasta, burgers and pizza.
Where to stay: In the heart of town you'll find Stöten Ski Hotel, a ski-in ski-out hotel located steps away from ski rental, a swimming pool and a bowling alley.
Switzerland is not all cheese, chocolates and posh watches: it also boasts some of the best ski resorts for families nestled amongst the jaw-dropping Alpine terrain.
As one of Switzerland’s most famed ski resorts, Verbier offers plenty of sporting activities in winter (and in summer). There’s abundant nightlife (plus babysitting options!), stunning scenery, charming villages and chalets a-plenty. Families are well catered for, and a beginner’s area on La Chaux is especially good for kids (and adults!) finding their ski feet, while Le Tzoumaz and Nendaz have nursery slopes and children’s play areas. If the little ones are getting weary on their skis, take a break and go dog-sledding or ice karting instead. Oodles of fun guaranteed! Where to stay: With on-site facilities including six restaurants and bars, an indoor/outdoor pool, nine treatment rooms, a hammam, jacuzzi and steam rooms, there's something for everyone in the family at the gorgeous W Hotel Verbier.
Norway has become popular in recent years as a ski destination, and, with a good chance of also ticking the Northern Lights off your bucket list, it’s a stunning option that generally offers less eye-watering ticket prices than some of its European counterparts.
Kids are not only welcome but actively encouraged to be part of the adventure in this Norwegian ski resort, Hemsedal. There’s a huge dedicated area for small skiers where kids will have a (snow) blast in the mini-park and teepee tents. Plus, there are great childcare options available for when you want to blaze down the slopes without the kids in tow. There’s even a ski kindergarten for the super small family members! The area also provides plenty of snowy challenges for skiers of all abilities. Where to stay: The ski-in/ski-out Rådyrlia Cabins are nestled smack bang at the base of the slopes. Plus, it’s a short distance of ski school, the lifts, shops and restaurants. A whirlpool bath, sauna and games console seals the deal.
The hills are alive not only with the sound of music, but with plenty of fun skiing opportunities, too. This patch of the world is stunning and well worth popping on your ski-vacay hitlist.
Once considered the party town of the skiing resorts found in Austria, Söll has been working hard to change that rep into a more family-friendly destination, and it’s done a stellar job. Kids are taken care of at the awesome Snow Pirate kids club, while the grown-ups can ski on the bigger slopes without worrying about little ones keeping up. Söll also makes a great resort for date night with a difference: the slopes are floodlit during the evening.
Where to stay: Family rooms sleeping up to six are what’s on offer at the pretty four-star Hotel Postwirt, and beds are hypoallergenic! This is a family-run hotel so it totally gets us.
Go big or go home’ is a motto we’re on board with, so if you’re after one of the ultimate skiing experiences then be prepared to fly to Canada! Also: maple syrup and bacon... just sayin'. The borders JUST opened, so let's hope they stay that way.
Silver Star Mountain Resort
Silver Star Mountain Resort's colourful ski-through village is a delight for families while the varied terrain offers something for everyone, from gentle beginner slopes through to challenging steeps. Although popular with locals, it's still relatively unknown in the UK - and it's a great place to immerse yourself in winter. As well as the extensive ski area, there are 105km of cross-country trails, 16km of snowshoe trails and a natural ice skating pond, plus horse sleigh rides and snowmobile tours.
Where to stay: Firelight Lodge gets our vote for its outdoor hot tubs with fireplaces and all-season BBQ grilling stations on the Terrace Level, to shops and restaurants on the Plaza Level. There are a variety of room types, from Studios to Penthouse units and we love them all!
Whistler is comprised of two mountains: Whistler and Backcomb. Connected by a record-breaking peak-to-peak gondola, Whistler is the crème de la crème of the ski resort world and takes winter adventures to a whole new level. With over 50 kilometres of alpine trails, a Family Adventure Zone (bungee jumping or zip lining, anyone?) and slopes for all levels of expertise, this is one winter holiday that will fill the memory banks for years to come.
Where to stay: If you’re going all that way for your dream ski holiday, it’s only fair to spend it in one of the best resorts in Whistler: Fairmont Chateau Whistler. Fun fact: it’s also been voted one of the best hotels in Canada (quite the accolade), so this ski-in/ski-out pick is guaranteed five-star luxe all the way.
Need some help?
Skiing holidays at the best of times require some skilled planning, and even more so during these crazy Covid-times, so we say, if you can, outsource! And luckily we know just the people: we've known Ski Safari for years now and can vouch for their top notch ski specialist skills personally. No matter where in the world you want to go, nothing is too much trouble when it comes to tailor-making the perfect ski holiday for families, and staff all have first-hand knowledge of the ski locations and resorts they suggest. This is a small business with a big heart, and you can't go wrong when it comes to trusting this team with your ski-holiday dreams. www.skisafari.com
Top image credit: Ski Safari
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