You can hit the slopes – or just play in the snow and indulge in some après-ski – all year round. Whether you’ve got toddlers or teens, Lightfoot Travel and Little Steps reveal the places to get a family snow fix no matter what the month is. Get your moon boots out!
Due to its powder white snow and 3,000-metre-high mountain peaks, Niseko is one of the top skiing destinations in the world – even more so post the Christmas festivities. There are several family-friendly accommodation options and a plethora of ski schools. We like Niseko Base Snowsports which hosts classes for children aged three and above. If they get bored of the snowy stuff, keep them occupied with sushi-making lessons, sledding, tubing, and glass bead making workshops (while you sneak off for a spot of sake!).
The go-to ski destination of the rich and famous maintains its powder long after the Christmas crowds have disappeared, meaning you get the glamorous slopes with a little more space. There’s daycare for infants aged from eight weeks to four years old, and lessons are available for older children, teens, and adults. Families can also enjoy private lessons together, while grandparents can hit the designer shops or test the après-ski on your behalf.
Combine snow with sunshine and head to Whistler where you’ll be greeted with impressive skiing opportunities and plenty of style. With runs for all abilities, great après-ski and friendly people, it’s a great Easter destination for those who like their holidays to come with an adrenaline rush. Also boasting a lift that connects Whistler and Blackcomb mountain, serious skiers will be in their element amid the 8,000 acres of pistes.
The Finnish ski resort of Ruka may be a little under the usual ski-radar, but it still manages to keep its pistes open until mid-June. This may be achieved with the help of a few snow machines, but when there are 24 hours of daylight you have plenty of time to practice your turns. There’s a beginner’s park, childcare, and a Kids’ Club, and if you can all stand up straight on your skis without falling over you might well be eligible for a family ski pass.
Skiing in July? Oh yes. Families can still enjoy endless dry powder in Chile from July to mid-September. However, July is said to be the optimum time. Valle Nevado is Chile’s version of the Three Valleys, so you have Colorado and La Parva to enjoy as well. Kids Camp is taught by instructors who specialize in teaching children aged four to eleven, and there’s also competition training for those who have dreams of the Olympics.
This resort will only have been open for a couple of months, but this is when they will indeed be at their best. A Queenstown 3 Peak ski pass gives you access to three breathtaking resorts – Coronet Peak, The Remarkables and Mt Hutt. Child-friendly runs and kids’ ski schools mean that after a busy day, Mums and Dads can leave tired toddlers in care and treat their aching muscles to a luxurious spa treatment.
The 39,000 acres of ski fields here attract a good share of professional skiers, but families of all abilities can also have some fun in the sun within this huge resort. The Little House of the Baby Lenas looks after little ones while excellent tuition awaits for older children who just want to play or learn some moves early. For older kids, the ski school runs the Snow Garden (for three – six-year-olds) and the Junior Ski Academy.
This Tyrolean glacier offers enormous pistes of fresh powder – yes, even in October. For this reason, you can expect to see ski teams from all over the world hitting the slopes – instant inspiration that motivates both parents and children! For novices and small children, there’s a baby lift that provides access to a small nursery area, and there are eight slopes for beginners.
Thanks to its high altitude, this Italian ski town can expect a blanket of snow throughout its season that runs from November to May. Accommodating skiers of all abilities, for beginners there’s a gentle slope with fun activities for young children, plus gentle blue and red runs in the Plan Maison area. If your kids can handle a medium red run, take them on a Matterhorn adventure. Their reward? Platefuls of freshly made pasta and pizza!
Being a steep and deep resort, you can pretty much guarantee a thick layer of snow at this 25,000-acre resort. This spot is also a winner for those with young children thanks to its Kid's Ranch which is hosted by instructors who are experienced in initiating those aged three and upwards. One rule: little ones must be potty trained and willing to participate (the same rule applies to adults!).