You and your significant other used to enjoy skiing together but you’ve since had kids and haven’t yet skied as a family. When is the right time to get the kids on skis and how can you make it as fun and successful as possible? Read on for our tips for the ultimate success of a first family ski vacation.
When is the right time to start skiing as a family
We believe the right time to start skiing as a family is when your youngest can walk and balance on skis. You probably don’t want to have to find childcare for an infant. But ski school can double as child care for preschool aged kids. As long as the kids are old enough to balance on skis (and are potty trained) they can be fully entertained at ski school.
How to locate a family-friendly ski resort
Does the ski resort offer any amenities geared towards kids? Do they have assistance for schlepping gear whether in the form of complimentary wagons or ski valet? Are there babysitting services? Do they offer ski school? Are there activities geared towards kids (see below)? Here are a few of our favorite family-friendly ski resorts in Colorado.
Stay in a ski area with lots of other activities for kids
Find a ski town or resort that has lots of other activities for the kids. Don’t plan to ski every day. Rather make it more of a winter wonderland experience. From enjoying hot cocoa to ice skating and sledding, plan on making it a fun vacation. Don’t feel pressure to ski every day. There should be plenty of other fun activities to do on your family ski vacation. Check into alpine coasters and other on-mountain activities such as tubing. Some resorts have ice sculpture festivals and there are even a handful of ski resorts with full blown ice castles.
Find kid-friendly lodging
Stay in a condo that has space to spread out and a way for you to stay up when the kids go to sleep. Find a place with a kitchen so you can have some meals in and the kids don’t have to sit at a restaurant for every meal. The benefit to renting a ski condo over a home is that you will then have the services that come along with a hotel. Likely you will have daily housekeeping services, maybe a restaurant and possibly even ski valet so you don’t have to schlep the entire family’s ski equipment to and from the lifts.
Use ski school
This may be the most important item for a successful first family ski vacation. Just as you wouldn’t teach your spouse to golf, don’t plan on teaching your kids to ski. Leave it to a professional. Once the kids are a level five skier and have earned their poles then you can take them out on the mountain yourself. You still might want to bring some pocket candy as a reward along the way. But most kids will try harder for someone else.
Come properly equipped
Bring layers. Moisture wick (no cotton) under layers and waterproof outer layers. Warm snow boots. Gloves & hats. Bring a swimsuit for the hot tubs and heated pool at your hotel or condo property. Camelbak or water bottles to stay hydrated and prevent altitude sickness. Sunscreen and lip balm to protect skin from the sun at altitude. Rent ski gear. It is costly to transport and kids outgrow gear too quickly. Check out our ultimate ski trip packing list at TravelingMom for a free downloadable printable list!
Is there anything else that you think makes for a successful and fun first family ski vacation? Tell us in the comments below!