Family ski resorts
Our top choices for the best family skiing holidays
After spending months trying to organise the perfect family holiday you decide on an exciting, fun-filled ski trip. Sounds perfect, except five minutes after arriving at your destination you realise that the picturesque town is in fact a sleepy town that won’t have enough to keep the kids busy when they’re not on the slopes. Rather than ruling out another family ski holiday, have a quick read through our pick of the best resorts - in Europe and North America – that have plenty to keep the kids, and the adults, happy for the entire trip.
The glamour and glitz of St Moritz might sound appealing when you’re travelling with friends, however when you’re travelling with young ones the crèche is definitely more important than the Kirsch.
Morzine and Flaine, French Alps: In the French Alps, Courchevel and Val d’Isere are the obvious choices, but Morzine and Flaine are becoming firm favourites, especially among families. Morzine, situated in the middle of the Portes du Soleil, has ski slopes for all levels, traditional chalets, special childcare services, and fun activities for all the family. Flaine also has much to offer families, but its true charm lies in its setting: a car-free town with an extensive nursery ski area and two ski kindergartens.
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St Anton, Austria: After hosting the 2001 World Alpine Championships, St Anton quickly became a top choice for skiers, particularly those looking for a challenging piste. But even beginners or children will find slopes to suit their abilities and plenty to keep them busy après ski including ice skating, bowling and tobogganing. And although the town retains a cosy Austrian village feel, it’s one of the liveliest ski resorts in Europe.
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North America has its share of outstanding resorts, and if you’re willing to travel the distance (especially with young children) you may as well choose the right one. Our top two choices are: Smugglers' Notch in Vermont, USA, and Whistler in British Columbia, Canada. Both offer exceptional facilities for the kids and lots of fun après ski for adults.
Smuggler’s Notch, Vermont: Nestled in the Green Mountains of Vermont is Smuggler's Notch, an award-winning ski resort. Year after year the resort has been voted No. 1 in North America for family programmes offering kids of all ages an abundance of activities and facilities including Treasures, a state-of-the-art childcare centre, an indoor FunZone, a teen centre and mini-golf. There’s also lots going on after dark with bonfires and fireworks lighting up the town and fun family games nights.
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Whistler, British Columbia: The town of Whistler resembles a Walt Disney winter wonderland and kids relish the special treatment: kids-only lifts, Kids Adventure Zones, skiing and snowboarding adventure camps and day care centres. And while the kids are well looked after, so are the adults. Spas, gyms, shops, world-class restaurants, and cinemas will keep you busy while you take a break from the piste.
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Read our Skiing Airports travel tip for more information on how to get to these and other ski resorts.
Updated May 2014