Insider's Guide: Best Ski Resorts for Families

Best Ski Resorts for Families

There’s no more perfect holiday for a family than a ski holiday. In the best ski resorts for families your children will be active, they’ll learn a new sport, they’ll make friends in ski school or nursery, and they’ll develop a love for the great outdoors.

Meanwhile, Mum and Dad can enjoy time together, exploring the ski slopes, mountain restaurants or maybe even one or two romantic visits to the spa! And at the end of the day, there’s a whole range of après ski activities the whole family can enjoy together, such as tobogganing, ice skating, and even husky safaris.

Discover your perfect family ski holiday this winter with Inghams. Our incredible collection of destinations includes the some of the world’s best ski resorts for families. Here are five of our favourites.

 

Levi, Lapland

Family ski holidays in Levi, Lapland

Highlights:

  • Gentle ski slopes with an excellent ski school
  • Great for non-ski family activities
  • The home of Santa Claus

 

Levi in Finnish Lapland is not only a fantastic ski resort, but it’s also the home of Santa Claus. What small child wouldn’t want to ski there? Levi, with its gentle fell landscape is ideal for beginner skiers, and children (as well as adults) will learn quickly with the fantastic English speaking ski schools.

A dedicated Kids Land at the front of the slopes offers a range of activities to keep children entertained. From sledge races, to an adventure with Leevi the Wolverine, the fun is non-stop and will keep children entertained for hours. Infants are warmly welcomed in Lapland. There is a warm and safe day care centre at nearby Tenavatokka for children of 6-months and up.

And unlike low Alpine ski resorts, Levi is guaranteed to have snow throughout the winter season. Levi resides within the Arctic Circle and is blanketed with snow from November through to March, gifting the resort with a uniquely winter wonderland atmosphere.

The memories from a holiday to Lapland will last a life time. Not only can you enjoy the incredible skiing, but the excellent range of family activities are truly magical. Experience exciting snowmobile rides through the arctic wilderness (small children under 7 get to be towed in their own sleigh), feed reindeer at the reindeer farm, and race along on a sledge pulled by a pack of huskies. If you’re really lucky, you might even see the Northern Lights.

But of course, the biggest draw for Lapland for children is visiting Santa Claus. Visit Levi between the start of December and January, and you can visit Santa at SantaPark or in Santa’s Elves Hideaway. Inghams also offer dedicated Santa Breaks in Levi for 3 and 4 nights. The kid’s eyes will light up when they see the real Santa for the first time!

For Mum and Dad: Finland is famous for its saunas and there is a great range of spas in Levi where Mum and Dad can enjoy a relaxing time together while the kids are in their ski lessons. A revitalizing experience for both body and mind.

Fun for all the family: Free for guests of the Levi Hotel Spa, the Spa Water World in Levi has 17 indoor and outdoor pools with mood lighting, sound effects and water slides in addition to an amazing range of wellness facilities and an 8-lane bowling alley. Ideal après ski entertainment for the whole family.

Find out more about Levi >

 

Avoriaz, France

Family ski holidays in Avoriaz

Highlights:

  • Small, family friendly, purpose built ski resort
  • Excellent quality lessons with ESF ski school
  • Extensive Portes du Soleil ski area

 

One of the major delights of Avoriaz, besides the stunning scenery, is its design. The village is a purpose-built ski resort and, because of that, no door is more than 50m away from the centre of the village. The whole area is unbelievably convenient for the modern family, with ski-in/ski-out access from all of Inghams properties. No more carrying your family’s skis over a great distance!

Avoriaz is an ideal resort for learning to ski. The ski school is run by the internationally renowned Ecole du Ski Francais (ESF). Children from 3+ years old can join ESF and Piou Piou (a large yellow bird) in the Village des Enfants in Avoriaz 1800. Here they’ll learn the basics of skiing and snowboarding before advancing onto Big Bear level. Lesson structure includes morning or afternoon practice and the rest of the time is spent with kid’s club style play and crafts. The ESF are fantastic at keeping young children entertained and safe on the mountain.

Now you can learn to ski as a family too! ESF organise family lessons, so you can stick together on the mountain. These small family groups needn’t be for complete beginners either, and they provide a perfect opportunity for the whole gang to polish their technique with the help of a professional.

Avoriaz is one of the most recognisable ski resorts in the Portes du Soleil ski area, which crosses the border of France into Switzerland. As a massive ski area, it provides an enviable variety of skiing. It’s as well suited to beginners as it is for advanced and off-piste experts. The resort also has an established freestyle scene, with a number of snowparks including one dedicated to children – the Burton Kids Parkway.

For Mum and Dad: It’s a family friendly resort, but that doesn’t mean the après ski scene isn’t alive and kicking in Avoriaz. There’s an incredible range of bars and restaurants, both on and off the piste. While the kids are in ski school, Mum and Dad can enjoy a drink while admiring the beauty of the snow and sun in the Portes du Soleil.

Family fun: Don’t forget your swimming costumes! On a whiteout day, families head to the fun-filled Aquariaz indoor swimming pool. With water slides, saunas, whirlpools, and more this non-ski attraction keeps everyone active and happy.

Find out more about Avoriaz >

 

Saas-Fee, Switzerland

Family ski holidays in Saas-Fee

Highlights:

  • Snow sure, high altitude resort
  • Chocolate-box village and beautiful scenery
  • Family-friendly ski ‘Funpark’

 

If you want to share your love of the mountains with your children, then head to Switzerland. The picture perfect Alpine country is the Disneyland of mountain scenery, and no ski resorts comes more chocolate-boxy in appearance than Saas-Fee, crowned ‘the Pearl of the Alps’. The quaint Alpine village and stunning mountains will charm your whole family.

The traditional village centre is traffic free, so you and your children can wander the streets safely – which is especially reassuring to know when you’re strapped into a pair of ski boots! The centre of the village is home to a large nursery slope with gentle green and blue slopes, ideal for children (and adults) learning to ski for the first time.

The small and accessible ski area means parents and children will never be skiing too far away from each other. And you can easily return to the village centre to pick kids up from ski school. For young children, childcare packages including lessons, lunch and afternoon play time are available. The Snowli the Rabbit’s ski school in Saas-Fee provides expect expert, safe tuition to children from the ages of 3-years.

There is a good choice of restaurants on and off the mountain, many of them suitable for families. And the quiet après ski scene means children will enjoy undisturbed sleep in the early evenings and parents can have a restful night to themselves.

For Mum and Dad: Saas-Fee is a high altitude ski resort with some great glacier skiing. We highly recommend exploring the more demanding pistes on the glacier (which are best suited for intermediate skiers) while the kids are in ski school. Once the children have grown in confidence and ability, this is a great area to explore as a family.

Family fun: Saas-Fee provides great value, and sometimes free, lift pass offers for children - - so you and the family will have an incredible time skiing together. You might also enjoy the family-friendly Saas-Fee Funpark. Full of gentle bumps, tunnels, arches, and woodland runs, this is great way to spend time skiing together. Don’t forget to high-five the big pillow on your way out!

Find out more about Saas-Fee >

 

Pila and Aosta, Italy

 Family ski holidays in Pila and Aosta, Italy

Highlights:

  • Typically Italian family-friendly atmosphere
  • Attractive, snow-sure ski area
  • Thriving, historical town of Aosta

 

Hugely popular with families, the ski resort of Pila is a snow sure village in Italy hidden above the Roman town of Aosta. Italy is a fantastic country to bring the kids to ski. Italians are typically very friendly towards children, and most restaurants and cafès are welcoming of families. And Pila is no exception.

The compact ski area surrounding Pila is very manageable, with 70km of typically uncrowded pistes. The resort offers beautiful (and unusually high) tree-lined skiing and there are spectacular views towards the Monte Blanc, Monte Rosa and Matterhorn mountains. Not only can Mum and Dad enjoy the plentiful red runs, but you’ll also be confident that the kids are never too far away and you can easily make it back in time for the end of ski school.

The excellent children’s lessons in Pila are led by the brilliant instructors of Evolution Pila Ski School. The large, red, inflatable igloo situated directly on the ski slopes acts as the ski school’s office and the meeting point for classes. It’s a great visual representation of the playful and friendly nature of this professional ski school.

As any winter enthusiast can tell you, skiing isn’t the only way to slide down the mountain and the Pila ‘Funpark Chacard’, which offers activities from bob sledge to snow tubing, is adored by children of all ages.

For Mum and Dad: If Mum and Dad’s ski legs struggle to cope with a full week on the slopes (they’re not as young as they used to be!), neighbouring Aosta is only a 20 minute cable-car ride away. The historic town, with its ancient Roman monuments, is fantastic for sightseeing and it has an eclectic range of shops, cafés and restaurants too. It’s a great break from skiing if you need it, and you can be back in time for the end of ski school!

Family fun: There are a ton of classic non-ski activities that the whole family can enjoy in Pila. There is a great ice skating rink in the town centre, or you can trek into the magical winter landscape in a pair of snowshoes. But perhaps the most exciting non-ski activity is a winter balloon ride high above the beautiful Italian Alps.

Find out more about Pila and Aosta >

 

Arinsal, Andorra

Family ski holidays in Arinsal, Andorra

Highlights:

  • Amazing value ski destination
  • Excellent for beginners
  • Lively ski resort with lots to do

 

Arinsal is a great value ski destination in the Pyrenees, and a favourite resort with British skiers. There are a huge range of brilliant offers for price conscious families, including a free lift pass for children under the age of 15 when adults pre-book, free helmet hire for children when booking child skis and boots, and free crèche or kindergarten for children under 6 when adults book ski lessons.

The ski terrain is ideal for beginners and early intermediates, with an extensive choice of cruisy blue and red runs. The tree-lined slopes of Pal offer good variety of skiing and is easily access from the main part of Arinsal via chairlift. And, only a short bus ride away, is the Arcalis ski area which has quieter slopes and good bit of off-piste. Definitely worth a couple of day trips.

Non-ski activities include everything from tobogganing to dog sledding and snow biking, while a lively après ski scene pretty much means there’s always something exciting happening in the resort. In the evening, the family can head to the bowling alley or even join a local quiz evening.

For Mum and Dad: Andorra is well known for its low price duty free shopping, and a holiday is a great opportunity to stock up on a few supplies. Explore the shops while the kids are in ski school, but don’t forget you don’t want to exceed your luggage allowance!

Family fun: The capital of Andorra, Andorra La Vella, is only 15 minutes away form Arinsal by car. The small city is great for sightseeing, shopping and eating out. One of our personal highlights is paying a visit to the Caldea Thermal Spa which offers a huge range of spa and pool facilities, including a dedicated spa area for children between 3 and 8 years old.

Find out more about Arinsal >

(age at the date of return)
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