Skiing is the perfect holiday activity for fun-loving, adventurous families who can’t get enough of being outdoors. Sound like you and yours? We’ve found nine ski locations offering everything from traditional skiing and snowboarding to tobogganing, snow tubing (we’ll explain), night skiing and even thrilling snowmobile rides. Check them out before sloping off on a fun-filled skiing holiday that the whole family will love.
Okanagan Valley in British Columbia is home to Big White, a ski resort with an award-winning kids’ centre. Ski schools here cater for everything from first lessons to fine-tuning. But for fun, you can’t beat snow tubing down the “snow coaster” in a rubber ring.
Silver Star resort, also in the Okanagan Valley, is another great option for a family ski fest. It has terrain suitable for beginners, intermediates and experts; perfect for the show-offs (sorry, serious skiers) in the family. Silver Star Daycare organises a programme of indoor and outdoor activities to keep the children entertained too.
Nestled in the French Alps near the Swiss border, Avoriaz is the perfect quiet alpine village. You can explore on foot or on your skis, but if you’re after a real winter wonderland feel, then one of the horse-drawn sleighs is the best way to get around.
Children as young as three can start at the kids’ ski school where specially designed courses help them to get to grips with the basics using fun games and cartoon characters. They’re looked after all day (lunch and snacks are provided) and après-ski activities include face-painting, theatre and drawing. The family ski pass provides great savings too.
Aviemore in the Cairngorms is proof that Brits don’t have to go abroad to find a top skiing spot. There are over 30km of runs (the longest is 3.3km) and there’s a black piste for the ski pros in your clan.
When you’ve had your fill of skiing, why not head to the Cairngorm Sleddog centre? Meeting the 30 working dogs and being pulled around the purpose-built trail is definitely a memorable experience for the whole family.
Tirol is a skiing paradise with over 3,000km of runs over 80 different resorts spread across the snow-covered Austrian peaks. Family friendly highlights include the Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis resort; it’s like a winter playground with miniature snowcat rides for the little ones and forest zipline thrills for the teens.
While you’re there, explore the Alpine Igloo village resort where you’ll find a world carved out of snow and ice, including a bar and restaurant.
Returning visitors to Cervinia say that the almost endless, cruising ski runs draw them back year after year. The resort’s pistes are perfect for beginners and intermediates to build their confidence. Even novices can end their stay by attempting the Ventina; an 8km run which drops over 2000 metres in altitude.
The setting is perfect for serious skiers and scenery lovers alike, with the summit of the imposing Matterhorn dominating the skyline. You can even ski across the border into Switzerland, but don’t get caught in poor weather: it can be up to a six hour car journey back.
The purpose-built village at the foot of Mont Tremblant has all the charm of Old Québec. The quiet, cobbled streets are lined with colourful buildings making it one of the most picturesque resorts in the French-speaking region of Canada.
It has a variety of runs to suit all abilities, so everyone will enjoy themselves whether they’re a novice or a know-it-all. But you might want to add an extra base layer: it gets perishingly cold in midwinter when the temperatures plummet.
The panoramic mountain views don’t get much more spectacular than in this region of Switzerland and nor does the skiing. Head to Adelboden and you’ll discover a high-altitude network of exciting ski runs as well as a charming village full of chalets and alpine huts. Its intermediate and advanced pistes make it more suitable for relatively experienced skiers rather than beginners.
There’s plenty for the non-skiers here with Jungfrau, one of the three magnificent summits in this area of the Alps, boasting Europe’s highest railway station. The Reichenbach Falls, where fictional detective Sherlock Holmes met his end, are nearby too.
This resort in central France comprises two picturesque villages set around the peaceful Lake Pavin. Its 27 runs cover 43km of the white stuff with a good variety of beginner, intermediate, advanced and expert courses. There are also cross-country ski routes which are by far the best way to appreciate the scenery.
Visitors love the warm welcome they receive from the locals and describe the atmosphere as lively and friendly. Attractions to please everyone in the family include spas, family walks and restaurants.
This resort in the Alpine region of Provence is a hit for families of all ages. It has long, gentle green runs, a compact layout and ski passes are among the cheapest in the Alps. Fortunately, it’s still a relatively well kept secret, meaning queues for lifts are minimal most of the year.
If childcare is an issue, the crèche caters for children from six months to 11 years. Older kids coming along? There’s no shortage of activities to keep them entertained from skidoo rides and tobogganing to a cinema and heated outdoor swimming pool.