Thousands of lucky British children will be going skiing for the first time at half term. For their parents it will be a brilliant break – but only if planned properly.
To help you plan and organise your debut on the slopes, here are our expert top tips for families.
Find more advice on family skiing here.
1. Don’t waste money on expensive ski clothes for your children; they’ll outgrow them by next year. Borrow what you can and also scour the charity shops. 2. Sew name tags on all your children’s ski wear. There’s then a chance they’ll come back from ski school and other outings wearing their own clothes. 3. If you need a pushchair, take one with large wheels. Then it won’t get stuck in the snow. 4. Pack sun block sticks not sprays. Then you won’t have to take your gloves off when you want to rub it on. 5. Don’t pack any best clothes. They’re wasted in a ski resort. Use the space for extra gloves and hats. 6. If you need a baby bottle warmer take your own. Then you won’t have to queue to share the only one in the chalet. 7. Imagine the mess a broken bottle of Calpol would make in your luggage. So take sachets instead. 8. If your child needs disposable nappies, find room for a pack of your usual brand in your luggage – they will be much more expensive in resort, if available at all. 9. Don’t forget slippers 10. If there’s a coach transfer to the resort, sit as near to the front as you can. There’s then less chance of a windy road making your children sick. 11. Write you mobile number on a child’s hand or arm if they’re going to ski school on their own. 12. Don’t be tempted to go to watch your children in ski school. It could distract and upset them. 13. Invest in a set of walkie talkies. Then if you get separated on the slopes you can call each other. 14. Three rigid rules for all the family – never ski without a helmet, never ski alone and never ski after drinking alcohol. 15. Take snacks and entertainment for the plane and coach transfer to resort. As half term is one of the busiest weeks of the season, delays are likely.
View our last minute Half Term ski holidays
What better way to ensure a white Christmas than in a ski resort? Christmas ski holidays give you a charming and traditional setting for enjoying the festivities with friends and family. Chalets and hotels are delightfully decorated, Christmas dinner is taken care of by the staff and you may even get Father Christmas stopping by for a visit! Skiing at Christmas also means that you enjoy guilt free overindulgence after a morning on the slopes.
Here's our top 5 Christmas' with a difference:
If you want to celebrate the festive season to the max then St Anton is your place. If you are looking for a party rather than Father Christmas, this is the resort to go to.
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St Anton village © TVB St. Anton am Arlberg / Thomas Klimmer
For a family friendly Christmas, La Rosiere in France is the place to be. The attractive, tree lined resort shapes the perfect setting for the festivities. Christmas eve kicks off with an torch-lit descent and instructors ski show, before waking up to beautiful snowy slopes on Christmas morning.
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La Rosiere © Julien Gadet
This cluster of small authentic style chalets is perfect if you are looking for an intimate Christmas with your family or group. The rustic alpine setting makes an enchanting retreat for festive period.
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Club Med Pragelato Chalets
Discover the true spirit of Christmas in Mayrhofen this winter. If you’re arriving Christmas week you can catch the last weekend of Advent at the Forest Festival to experience Tyrolean customs, the Christmas markets and enjoy the special anticipation of Christmas Eve. On Christmas Day head up the Ahorn and visit one of our favourite mountain bars, the White Lounge. The bar sits inside an Igloo and is the perfect stop for the first drink of this special day and creates an unforgettable festive experience.
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Mayrhofen Advent at the Forest Festival
For the perfect Christmas Ski Holiday this season head to the winter fairytale village of La Tania for a truly festive atmosphere. With fantastic ski slopes, chocolate box style chalets and the beautiful picturesque alpine setting, you are guaranteed a magical Christmas. On December 24th there is a Christmas party which Santa skis down the mountain to join in and then lifts are open as usual on December 25th for a fun packed day on the slopes.
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Christmas in La Tania
Head to Santa’s home for Christmas for a once in a lifetime experience. This winter wonderland tucked deep in the Arctic Circle will make all your childhood wishes come true. Meet Santa, take a ride in a Reindeer sleigh, go husky sledding and unearth this magical land. For more information on holidays in Lapland, call us a speak to one of our Lapland Experts
View more Ski Holidays at Christmas or December Ski Deals
Skiing can bring such enjoyment for the whole family and with a little preparation in advance while booking your ski holiday, you and your children will love the whole experience more and they will end up being keener than you by the end of the week. Here are our top tips to think about when planning your exciting adventure.
Choosing your ski accommodation is a big decision for any ski holiday, and is even more important when deciding for your family trip. There are many factors that can make your week on the slopes an easier and more enjoyable experience so you can make the most of your time in the mountains. Being near the slopes and ski school meet point is paramount and makes the mornings less hassle when getting the kids, plus equipment, to ski school on time. There are some resorts and accommodations with childcare that take care of your children throughout the ski day so you can head for first lifts and the child care team will take the little ones to ski school and pick them up again after so you can stay out till last lifts. A catered chalet or club hotel provides the perfect setting for any family ski chalet holiday. Cosy surroundings, an intimate level of service and professional childcare all add up to a perfect week on the slopes. There are plenty of holiday options with childcare available in your chalet or hotel so you can enjoy peace of mind during your week. Childcare services include qualified English speaking nannies, exclusive ski school classes, variety of services depending on ages and flexible care. In selected resorts there is evening child care available which is perfect for children who aren’t quite ready for bed when it is time for the adult only dinner. Evenings are normally themed with a variety of games, storytelling, quizzes or even a mini disco! Resorts in France with evening childcare
Many resorts have an array of ski schools available but some of our ski holidays have the added bonus of exclusive small ski classes just for selected accommodations. With classes with no more than 8 children per instructor, you can have peace of mind that your children are having a safe, enjoyable time on the mountain whilst learning to perfect their turns.
Ski schools in France & Switzerland
For complete satisfaction on your family ski holiday, you cannot beat the services from an all-inclusive Club Med holiday. For 40 years Club Med has been running clubs for infants through to teenagers and has adapted its facilities so that kids can discover the pleasures of winter sports, as well as the fun of skiing. Some family holidays do not cater for teenagers, but at Club Med your youngsters will love their winter getaway with ‘Special Teenager Ski Programmes’ that gives them a chance to experience all techniques of alpine skiing, from freestyle to slalom and ski jumping. Read about our family trip to Club Med Valmorel
Igluski are pleased to offer a wide range of family ski holidays that can cater for children as young as 3 months. The correct childcare is key to a good family ski holiday and rather than packing all the toys and kit you need for the week we can help you find the perfect family location that will have basic childcare equipment already in resort, such as cots, monitors, bottles and much more.
Little Skiers are our favourite supplier of kids ski wear. It’s a family business, run by parents who love to ski, so they really know what they’re talking about when it comes to figuring out what to pack for your first ski trip with the family, along with what sizes you will need . They are a one-stop shop for everything from skis to helmets and jackets, so if you’re thinking about preparing for next season, head over to their website. We recommend taking an extra pair of gloves to avoid expensive purchases if they are misplaced, plus a good base layer as the kids will enjoy their day on the slopes much more if they are warm.
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A ski holiday is a great opportunity for the family to spend some quality time together. With family-friendly accommodation, ski schools and a range of family fun, there is no better way to spend time away with your family.
We spoke to 11 year old Zara and here is what she had to say:
"I love skiing, I have been skiing for seven years now and visitied lots of ski resorts. My favourite ski holiday was Meribel, I love the snowpark and the beds in the Hotel Tarentaise are super comfy. Tignes is a really friendly resort, Evolution have great English speaking instructors and after a day on the slopes I love skiing back down to resort and hearing the music blasting from Loop Bar. I go to the swimming pool most evenings and love the husky rides. In La Plagne it is so easy to go bum boarding after skiing as the hotel is on the piste. There are lots of children in La Plagne so ski school and kid’s club was really fun."
With a huge range of beginner and intermediate pistes, it is the perfect resort for a family holiday. Children benefit from plenty of beginner friendly ski areas, and will love the mini boardercross and animal themed Moon Wild.
Skiing in Tignes in so vast, it is great for all abilities. There are several free lifts for beginners and has excellent ski and snowboards schools. Children will love the après ski in Tignes, with ice skating, bowling, swimming pool and Husky rides.
3. Saas Fee
Saas Fee has one of the largest beginner areas separate from the main slopes, yet is still next to town and right behind the Chalet Hotel Annahof. Families will love the Ice Pavilion and the 3500m high revolving mountain restaurant.
4. La Plagne
This skiers Paradise is an ideal choice for families of all abilities. There is an excellent selection of family friendly accommodation throughout the resort and has a great reputation for it’s encouraging ski schools.
Children will love skiing at the Home of Santa Claus. Families can enjoy the thrill of Reindeer sleigh rides, husky sledding and snowmobiling. Ski resorts are much smaller in Finland but there is so much more to experience in this magical winter wonderland.
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