Family ski vacations, especially those with young children, are not without frustration. Parents, myself included, make mistakes along the way to raising avid skiers. Before setting out, it is important to get a few things straight. I wish somebody had told me about these tips before I brought my kids to the slopes, but hey, these types of blogs didn’t really exist back then. Regardless, if you’re considering taking your younger children skiing, here’s what you need to consider and how to improve your chances of success.
Put the kids in ski school.
Unless you worked as a ski instructor, you probably don’t know how to teach people the sport. Ski school instructors know how to make the sport fun for young children, and they often have more patience than you—they have less to lose if the kid doesn’t like the sport. Your kids will also likely have more patience with a stranger. Plus, ski school allows parents to get some ski freedom—something you’ll desperately need.
Prepare them correctly.
Young children are often scared to try new things. If you’re considering starting them on skis this year, show them videos of skiing and look at mountain cameras of the resorts you’re planning to visit. The more they know about the sport, the more comfortable they’ll be when they finally strap in. For the youngest of children, be sure to get in quite a bit of snow play before hitting the slopes; snow and cold weather can be a shock to young kids.
Start with a smaller resort.
If you’re bringing your kid to ski for the first time, don’t go to Vail. Don’t go to Breckenridge, either. Smaller resorts will often fit the bill much better than larger mountain resorts. These slopes allow you to park closer to the lodge, eliminate long walks to the lifts, and have short lift lines. Plus, prices are often more reasonable; if your kid decides to have a tantrum after the first thirty minutes, you won’t feel like you’ve wasted money. Plus, smaller resorts often mean fewer people, allowing your kid to have the space they need to learn and explore.