Taking the children skiing is always a little more challenging than when it was just you and your mates. Tess Bradshaw, skiing enthusiast, busy mum and Director at Little Skiers, gives busy parents 5 top tips to make for a successful family skiing holiday with the little ones.
Amaze your children with nature this winter
1. 2013 is the year when the Northern Lights (or Aurora Borealis) are forecast to be at their most active. This natural phenomenon can paint the night sky with surreal colours. Scandinavian ski resorts close to the Arctic circle, like those in Lapland’s ski resorts, have some of the best chances for seeing the Northern Lights.
And of course, this can be combined with the skiing and other snowsports activities Finland has to offer as well as the chance to meet Father Christmas in his Lapland grotto too.
Keep your little skiers entertained on and off the slopes
2. Consider booking your little ones into a childrens’ club at your hotel. These often book up fast so it’s worth thinking now about whether this would suit your family. We’ve used Crystal’s Whizz kids club in both Tignes and Flaine and they were brilliant – the club picked up the children from ski school and provided lunch enabling us to enjoy an extra couple of hours skiing. It also meant they were rested and ready for more fun in the snow for the afternoon. Going with another family with similar aged children is another great way of providing entertainment at the end of a hard days skiing.
Avoid the chill and higher prices – go Spring skiing
3. Think about skiing in the Easter holidays this season. Easter falls early in 2013 with most schools finishing on March 31, meaning you don’t necessarily need a high altitude resort to guarantee snow on an Easter ski break, plus you can enjoy the warm spring sunshine.
Just remember that the ski gear you take in spring will be different to what you need in January. Look at our Ski Extras information page on the Little Skiers website for more advice.
Research your trip for a stress-free holiday
4. Consider how easy the logistics will be for you and your family when you are actually in resort and pick what’s right for you. Research exactly where your accommodation is in relation to ski school and how suitable to resort is for all the abilities in your group.
Put yourself in your kids’ (snow) shoes
5. Skiing can be daunting when you’re little. Consider taking your children to a local indoor snow centre to have a few lessons before they head out on the mountain. Now’s a great time to start, as classes are often smaller and it will build confidence before the ski holiday.
One last idea, don’t keep mentioning the ‘school’ word – many parents have fed back to us that by going on about schools, lessons and learning quite often puts a dampener on things.
Re-brand ski school as going off on a skiing adventure – and see the difference in the way your children respond. They’ll soon be flying down slopes they wouldn’t go on with parents and trying ski tricks we wouldn’t dare!
This post was written by Tess Bradshaw, Director of LittleSkiers.co.uk and busy mum to two little skiers, Sam aged 8 and Amelie, aged 6.