The 5 best family ski resorts
BY - Tim Latimer, 16 May 2023, ARTICLES
BY - Tim Latimer, 16 May 2023, ARTICLES
There’s nothing quite like a family skiing holiday to get everyone together to share a adventure and create lasting memories. This unique choice of vacation has so much to offer. Not only can your family enjoy bonding in breath-taking scenery, but getting active on the slopes can have a positive impact on the health and mood of young and old alike. You’re also guaranteed to enjoy a daily dose of adrenaline, fresh air and good old-fashioned fun in snow.
But with so much choice on offer, which resort should you choose for your family getaway? In this blog post, we give you a rundown of 5 ski resorts that are great for families.
When it comes to choosing a holiday destination, every family will be looking for something slightly different, depending on the ages of the children, ski ability, likes and dislikes. However, there are some key features that all good family resorts share.
When selecting a destination, it’s a good idea to pay attention to the following:
Access to a good nursery slope – These gentle, forgiving slopes with a ‘magic-carpet’ ski lift are ideal for beginners looking to practise their skills in a stress-free environment. If you’re travelling with little ones, having a good nursery slope from can take your holiday from fun to fantastic.
The number and quality of blue runs – Once past the nursery slope stage, which can be just a day or two, especially for older children, you will spend most of your time on blue runs. If your family aren’t seasoned skiers and not quite ready for steeper red or black runs but you’ll want plenty accessible, easy blue (intermediate) runs.
Village life – Unless travelling with older teenagers/young adults, a thumping nightlife won’t be at the top of your list of priorities when travelling with the family. However, you will may still want a lively village centre to explore, with some nice shops to browse and some charming restaurants to try. Pick the right ski resort and exploring the village can be like exploring a winter wonderland. It’s all part of the magic.
Family-friendly accommodation – At the world’s best luxury ski chalets, you’ll have no trouble keeping the kids happy with everything from home cinema and games rooms to playrooms and heated swimming pools.
Family-friendly activities – Of course, you don’t have to spend all your time skiing on a skiing holiday. You and your brood can enjoy everything from tobogganing and pony sleigh rides to swimming and ice skating at the best family-friendly resorts. You can also enjoy bowling, a trip to the movies or even husky-sled ride. And if you visit at that special time of year, you might even get to meet Santa!
Childcare facilities – If you fancy some time to yourself to ski without the kids or you want the option to have an adult evening out, many resorts have very good nanny companies. We can coordinate this for you if that’s needed.
Here are five of the most highly-rated resorts for families looking for fun and adventure in the snow.
Located in the heart of France’s 3 Valleys ski region, Meribel has something for everyone. You’ll find gentle nursery slopes that are perfect for introducing younger members of the family to skiing. There’s also a wide range of high quality ski schools to choose from. And you don’t have to compromise if you’re looking for slopes that are more challenging for yourself; you’ll find plenty of long thrilling black runs that will keep you on your toes as well.
When it comes to entertainment, you and your family will be spoiled for choice. You could pay a visit to the Olympic Park, with its ice rink, swimming pool (complete with big flume), bowling alley and more. Or why not get creative at La Refuge with a painting or pottery workshop? Thrill-seeking kids are also sure to enjoy tree climbing and zip lining at La Traye. You’ll find no shortage of activities your family will love in this boredom-free zone.
With family-friendly accommodation and a plethora of activities aimed at younger members of the household, Morzine is another popular destination for families. You’ll find a great selection of nursery slopes that are ideal for kids getting to grips with the sport. There is a wide choice of ski schools to pick from and there are plenty of childcare services available too, including kids’ clubs and nanny agencies.
Away from the slopes, you’ll find loads to keep the kids entertained. From Aquariaz waterpark and Cascade Adventure outdoor park to ice skating at Parc des Dérêches, there’s no end of fun things to do.
Zermatt is bucket-list destination for families with slightly older children. With the iconic Matterhorn dominating the vista and the pedestrianised village centre to explore, Zermatt is really a unique ski resort that has charm by the bucket-load. As it’s a car-free resort with only electro-taxis and electro-buses, Zermatt is best suited to families with children old enough to walk around town and to the lifts without assistance. Families with very young children will need to take electro-taxis to get around.
With some stunning luxury ski chalets and plenty of excellent eateries, you’ll be guaranteed a comfortable stay.
And there’s plenty to do if you decide to not to ski. Why not take the kids ice skating or spend an afternoon at the Matterhorn Museum? You’ll also find dedicated toboggan runs which are perfect for family fun for all ages. Or if you fancy a different vantage point, how about taking a sightseeing tour by helicopter with Air Zermatt?
Courchevel 1850 has a world class reputation for skiing with a good selection of gentle family-friendly green and blue runs such as the Green Bellecote Piste.
Courchevel 1650 also comes highly recommended by holidaymakers with kids. This lesser-known destination is a paradise for skiing novices, thanks to its beginner area directly in front of the lift building. Logistically, things couldn’t be simpler. Once the family progresses onto blue runs, there are some lovely blue pistes very close to the resort centre so ultra-convenient. There are several ski and snowboarding schools that caters to both children and adults.
Off the slopes there are lots of other kid-approved activities too so you shouldn’t find it hard to drag your youngsters away from their iPads. Aquamotion sports centre is a hit with the young and not-so-young. Whether you’d like to try your hand at indoor surfing, test your skills on the climbing wall or just enjoy the waterslides, you’ll love this indoor and outdoor aquatic centre. Or for an unforgettable experience, why not treat your family to a spot of dog-sledding against the winter wonderland backdrop of Courchevel?
If you want your kids to fall straight asleep as soon as they hit the pillow each night, the Dolomites is a good call. With so much to explore, this destination is perfect for families looking for an action-packed vacation. In addition to being beautiful in every direction, the ski area offers endless wide-open, easy-cruising blue runs. The pistes are very family friendly with an incredible choice of gentle, but fun, slopes.
If you’d like a break from your skis, the Dolomites FunPark children’s playground is a must-visit. With lots of sledges, slides, shovels and other play equipment, your little ones will love getting stuck in and enjoying all the magic snow has to offer. You should also add a trip to Bolzano’s Museum of Archeology to your itinerary. Home to Ötzi the Ice Man, this is sure to be a fascinating port of call on your adventures.
See our blog The 5 Best Ski Resorts for Beginners
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