A family snow holiday is always fun, with snowballs to throw, snowmen to build and slopes to master, but when it comes to planning, every family’s needs are different depending on age and experience. Here we share what to look for when you’re choosing your resort.
Skiing with kids aged 5—8
At this age, you need to choose a resort that has a snow sports school that combines learning to ski with fun indoors when they need a break. Most experts recommend that the age of four or five years is a good time for kids to begin lessons, but it is important that the experience remains enjoyable and isn’t too tiring for little legs.
Most five- to eight-year-olds can ski down a slope unassisted by the second day, but progress is best measured over a week. If you have planned a snow stay of a week or more, consider booking morning lessons each day so you can spend some fun family time together each afternoon. And parents should remember to take it in turns with tired kids, one parent taking a break when necessary, leaving the other to ski with older siblings or to enjoy some solo fun on the slopes.
Skiing with kids aged 9-12
It is important to find a resort that has a good selection of learn to ski programs catering not only to the level but the age of children. A nine-year-old starting out is not going to want to be learning alongside a 5-year- old and vice versa. Children over the age of eight can usually pick up the basic skiing skills within the first or second lesson. This is a great age to begin snowboarding as by this age they have developed stronger leg muscles required to master boarding. Choose resorts that have plenty of other off-piste activities for the kids, like sledding and snow tubing or indoor activities, so you don’t end up with bored kids once the ski lifts close for the day.
Skiing with teens
When you’re skiing or snowboarding with teens it is important to do your research when looking for a ski resort. While your 13-year- old probably won’t be looking for entertainment after dark, your 16-year- old probably will be. And it is also a good idea to find a resort that has programs specifically geared for young adults. No teenager wants to be treated like a kid, nor do they want to be seen hanging out at lessons with their parents. There are also resorts that have great terrain parks for adrenalin seeking teens if that is what yours are into, and places that have lessons for those new to terrain parks. Après-ski entertainment is an essential ingredient for a successful snow holiday with easily bored teens and many of the bigger resorts offer indoor swimming, gaming and snowmobiling.
Michelle is a publishing consultant who has worked as a journalist, foreign correspondent and travel writer for the past two decades.