Best family-friendly ski resorts
Child-friendly slopes and great ski trails make for an excellent family holiday. Most resorts even offer fun ski lessons of programs so that the little ones can fulfil their passion for the powdery goodness. Give yourself a trouble-free, safe, and jam-packed holiday for the whole family with our pick of the best 6 ski resorts that are specialised for absolutely anyone, from toddlers to teens to parents. If this sounds like the perfect holiday for you, contact one of our ski experts today and start planning your next ski trip.
KEYSTONE RESORT, COLORADO, USA
Keystone Resort’s Kidtopia takes its name seriously. This entire ski resort’s brand is defined by a utopian commitment to families. Keystone Resort wants to ease the exhausting tasks of managing kids, luggage, snow gear as well as fitting in parents’ own time for fun.
This starts from the moment you arrive in the parking lot, with family-friendly and free parking close to the base. Including a bonus of free gear waggons scattered around to help unload all your luggage, snow gear and even your kids into the waggons for a juggle free and painless walk through the village.
The dreaded walk from the car to lodging to slopes is no more! Even better, the mountain is home to an abundance of ski in and out accommodation combined with different styled restaurants for the fussiest of eaters and plentiful kids activities to keep them entertained.
Private family or group lessons and Kid’s Ski Free Programs are available before heading off to one of Keystone’s 16/17 lifts. Made up of long, wide beginner and intermediate runs fit for any skill level, and families to find the terrain that works for them. Do take advantage of Kidtopia’s never-ending fun activities such as face painting, fort building, family tubing, daily scavenger hunts and special snack times. Mum and Dad can unwind with a yoga class or smash out a work out at the gym – that’s if you have any energy left. A romantic scene, night skiing under the stars, or better yet, pamper yourselves at the spa with a facial and personalised body treatment.
WHISTLER/BLACKCOMB, BRITISH COLOMBIA, CANADA
The biggest ski resort in North America, Whistler Blackcomb has an enchanting charm surrounding it which will make you a seasonal regular. There are more than 200 marked trails, 36 lifts that have no problem moving roughly 70,000 people per hour and an easy 11-minute switch of mountains with their Peak 2 Peak lift.
Staying at the Whistler, you are spoilt for choice with 5-star hotels, lodges and condos. The mountain and surrounding town have a pick of over 25 restaurants to meet the needs of any grumbly hungry monster.
On Whistler Blackcomb, the Kids’ Training Centre is a great start for kids of any skill level and age bracket to get a feel for their choice of skiing or snowboarding. When they’re not occupied with that, the kid’s brains are going to kick into overdrive trying to pick what to do first! Run wild at the Tree House playground, do circles in the outdoor skating rink, splurge on sweets at the Glass Elevator Candy Shop, test their brains in Escape Whistler.
With each night adopting a Family Apres Ski at Whistler Olympic Park, more action-packed family fun galore is guaranteed, with no extra cost. Snowman building competitions, tobogganing, storytelling, hockey, concerts and music are just some of the activities that change on a week to week basis.
PERISHER, NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA
Perisher, the biggest and largest snow resort in the Southern Hemisphere. Perfect for all skiing and snowboarding levels, providing several different terrains to fit any skill set. The terrain has over 1200 hectares and 50 ski lifts, while the town has stacks of hotels, lodges and apartments.
Perisher instructors take pride in finely detailed programs accommodating children from 15 years and younger. Adult lessons are also available. When you’re game enough, try out the latest mini half pipe at Yabby Flat Terrain Park. Allowing beginners to learn the basics of halfpipe riding before challenging the Front Valley Pipe. Every Thursday night, the park shoots off fireworks to make for an unforgettably unique and beautiful ski experience.
CADRONA ALPINE RESORT, NEW ZEALAND
Cadrona, New Zealand’s most luxurious and popular Alpine Resort, boasts the country’s most reliable snow conditions and some of the best intermediate skiing in the country. Cadrona is more suited towards families that have mastered the skills of skiing or snowboarding. If you are worried about getting in the way of intermediate skiers, don’t fret, an allocated beginner’s area grants you plenty of space to test your skills. For the youngest of novices, there are also isolated children only ski areas and slopes. All with highly recommending First Timer lessons for both kids and adults of any age as well as instructor training in ski or snowboard courses at Cadrona’s Snow Sports School.
Had enough of skiing? Why not gather the whole family for a tube race down the mountain, right by the beginner’s area? Or head down early to join family après where more fun-filled activities await. Kid’s will be distracted while you lounge with a warm glass of mulled wine. Sit back and chat while the fire warms your toes, before heading back to recharge for another full day in the snow at one of the Cadrona’s accommodating family apartments.
HANAZONO NISEKO, HOKKAIDO, JAPAN
Hokkaido is the coldest and most northern island of Japan. There, you’ll find hundreds of snow lovers flocking to find one of the world’s most ultimate powder resorts. Add the promise of an average 15+ meters of snowfall each season, beginner to challenging terrain, drool worthy sushi and some of the best luxury apartments to stay in. You’ve got yourself a ski trip.
Book your family in for a group lesson with Niseko Base Snowsports or book a spot for your little one in the Kid’s Club. Loads of fun filled activities await, such as sledging, tubing, zip lining, dog sledging, horse riding and if you’re brave enough to compete with icy cold waters, winter water rafting. That’s not all, immerse yourselves for a full Japanese cultural experience. Try beating in time with Taiko drumming lessons, learn the elegant dance of a tea ceremony or create your inspired sushi roll.
A day of skiing in Japan is not complete without a long steamy soak in one of Japan’s most famous attractions, an onsen. These natural thermal hot springs are separated into male and female onsens usually with a choice of indoor or outdoor bathing, saunas and steam rooms. For an exclusive family soak, book your private onsen at Kanronomori Hotel or Ki Niseko, free if staying at this luxury retreat.
LES DEUX ALPES, FRANCE, EUROPE
Who wouldn’t want to ski on a glacier? Les Deux Alpes sits high up in the Oisans mountain range, rising to 3,600 meters altitude making it one of the highest skiable summits in the world. Real snow is guaranteed! With over 415 hectares of a groomed ski area, 47 ski lifts and 96 marked pistes for an action-packed snow adventure, available nine months of the year.
If being on a glacier isn’t enough, Les Deux Alpes services excel and go the extra mile for families. All-inclusive activities are planned for every member of the family, no matter age or skill level to create the most unforgettable snow trip of your lives. Tiny tots can experience sliding down the snow with the inventive ‘baby snow’ device, in the Snow Gardens. Teenagers’ adrenaline will be pumping at the Big Air Snowbag, risk-free ski jump. For a little something out of the ski routine, experience a simulated avalanche in the Robocoaster, or the mystical ice caves at the top of Jandri Express.
For a hearty meal don’t forget to stop by Diable Au Coeur for some homemade French delicacies like confit de canard (duck confit) and superbly fresh seafood. Grilled meats, soups, pizza and pasta will please the little ones. Warm your stomach as well as your body by the roaring fire.