There is so much to think about when planning family skiing holidays that booking one can be quite stressful. To help you decide where to go, we’ve pulled together the 10 best ski resorts for families.
Planning family skiing holidays
There are so many resources out there to help you book family ski trips it can be pretty daunting. From newspaper articles about arranging Alpine childcare, to online reviews of children’s ski clothing, to articles dedicated to different types of family ski accommodation, there is advice for every aspect of a holiday.
Ultimately, there are resources out there that’ll answer all your questions, but a good place to start is by checking out our top tips for family ski holidays. But in this article we have decided to stick to the most important question of all, what are the best ski resorts for families?
There are hundreds of ski resorts in France alone and thousands if you are thinking globally. But some are too far from the airport, too loud in the evenings or too challenging on the slopes. Others are better-equipped for young visitors, and keep stress levels low for parents and skiing safe and fun for kids.
10 best ski resorts for families
So let’s get on with the list. We consulted friends, family and colleagues, who collectively have taken over 100 family skiing holidays around the world. So based on their experience and feedback, and in no particular order, below are what we consider to be the best ski resorts for families.
La Plagne, France
La Plagne is part of the immense Paradiski region, which with 425 km of piste is one of the biggest, most snow sure and confidence boosting ski areas in the world. If your children are beginners or improvers, you can watch them sail down wide, rolling pistes with the help of English speaking ski schools.
If they’re more experienced, they’ll find snow parks and plenty of more challenging runs to enjoy. Every season sees new and exciting activities in La Plagne, almost all aimed at families: husky rides, igloo sleepovers, snake glisse and airboarding being four family favourites.
The resort consists of numerous villages at different altitudes, with their own beginner areas and a mix of chalet, hotel and apartment accommodation. All have quick access into the ski area, childcare facilities and are quiet in the evenings.
Austrian resorts are very welcoming to families. However, many have low base stations and a walk or bus ride to the ski lifts which is not ideal for family skiing holidays.
Obergurgl is an excellent exception – as family friendly as the rest of the nation and also high in the mountains at 1,930 m with many hotels and chalets boasting ski-in/ski-out locations. The ski area totals 110 km of pistes (mostly blues and reds) and peaks at 3,082 m.
Most of the hotels have swimming pools and playrooms for après ski fun. Plus there’s an amazing toboggan run from Hochgurgl and an indoor golf park both of which help make Obergurgl one of the best ski resorts for families.
Only an hour’s drive from Innsbruck airport, the village has chalets, 4 star hotels and a 5 star hotel, with more accommodation higher up the mountain in Hochgurgl. It has reduced traffic areas and bans night traffic to maintain a peaceful atmosphere.
When Flaine was designed, convenience of skiing was the primary focus. It sits high up in the Grand Massif ski area, which is loved by families for its excellent snow record and long, gentle pistes (there are plenty of more challenging runs too).
Flaine has two kid’s clubs for children aged two and a half to three, and different ski school options for older children. Outdoor activities include ice skating and sledding, while indoors you can go swimming, climbing and bowling – all of which help make it one of the best ski resorts for families.
The village is ski-in/ski-out and car free. Shops, restaurants and lifts are within easy walking distance so perfect for family skiing holidays. Accommodation includes low-cost hotels, catered chalets and apartments.
This Lapland ski resort is focussed on being one of the best ski resorts for families, and offers so much more than most. The Rosa & Rudolf Family Park is perfect for anyone new to the slopes and Ski School Ruka gets rave reviews. Children under 6 ski for free which is a nice bonus.
With just 35 runs and 20 km of piste Ruka is small by Alpine standards but it somehow feels much larger than it is. It has a mix of easily navigable runs for family members with more experience. Plus for the advanced in the family there are a few blacks, great snow parks and so much more to do….
You won’t find a resort with a bigger range of activities for family skiing holidays. Unsurprisingly, meeting with Father Christmas is a favourite activity, but you can also go dog-sledding, snowmobiling, ice-fishing, snowkiting, ice-climbing, horse riding, snowshoeing, visit reindeer farms and if you’re lucky see the Northern Lights.
The village is pedestrianised and easy to find your way around. It’s also only half an hour from Kuusamo Airport which is one of the shortest airport to ski resort transfer times on earth. Yes, the climate is cold as you’re just outside the arctic circle, but don a couple of extra layers and you’ll be fine.
As transatlantic ski trips go, Tremblant is the most convenient. Unlike most North American ski resorts, it’s on the eastern side of the continent (shorter and cheaper flights than the west) and the transfer from Tremblant airport takes under an hour.
Making sure the whole family enjoy the ski area, the resort has 96 trails, a brilliant ski school, Mother Nature camp for 3-4-year olds (mixing childcare and ski lessons) and day care for anyone aged 1-6. The beginner’s areas make me want to learn all over again – especially the Burton Riglet park for young snowboarders aged 3 and up.
You can’t get bored in Tremblant, which has ice skating, tubing, laser games, snow biking, dog sledding, ice-fishing and water fun at Aquaclub La Source. The pedestrian village, with its brightly painted buildings, feels like Disney World on snow. Its 3, 4 and 5 star hotels come with swimming pools and spas and have ski-in/ski-out locations.
Near the Swiss border, Avoriaz holds the highest position of the resorts in the Portes du Soleil ski area. The ski schools and beginner areas are excellent and the resort is especially good for children who snowboard, or want to learn to snowboard – with Mint Snowboarding teaching kids aged 3 and upwards.
More advanced skiers and snowboarders have snow parks, mogul runs and the chance to ramp up mileage on a route over to Switzerland and back. A splash around at the ‘Aquariaz’ tropical water park (made by the same company as Centre Parcs) is a great non-ski activity, alongside ice skating, laser tag and bowling.
The resort is completely car free and ski-in/ski-out, there are excellent kids clubs and local creches. If you’re not walking or sliding around on skis, snowboard or toboggan, you can get around in a horse-drawn sleigh making it easily one of the best ski resorts for families.
Beaver Creek, Colorado USA
Beaver Creek has all kinds of tricks to make skiing with kids amazing. The ski school is superb, and with English being the mother tongue of instructors – plus the promise of a trip to the Candy Cabin at the top of the mountain – kids progress quickly.
The ski area has 150 trails, with ample beginner and intermediate terrain and a decent amount of challenges for the more experienced. Once you’ve collected a free, freshly baked cookie (handed out each day at 3pm), you can take a sleigh ride, go ice skating or toast marshmallows at the fire pits.
Unlike many American ski resorts the village has ski-in access which is perfect for family skiing holidays. As an added bonus every Thursday there is a firework display.
Les Gets, France
Les Gets belongs to the same Portes du Soleil ski area as Avoriaz, but is more of an authentic chalet resort. Families are very well catered for, with nurseries for 6-month olds and upwards as well as numerous ski schools offering lessons.
The beginner zones and themed pistes ensure new skiers and snowboarders enjoy their first time on the snow. While the enormous linked ski area has plenty to explore for more accomplished winter sports enthusiasts.
Off the slopes, children love the merry go round and sledging slopes while hunting for geocaches and bowling make for great family activities. The tourist office often put on events such as chocolate workshops and storytelling which is a nice bonus for family skiing holidays.
The village is quiet and largely made up of chalets, with some apartments and a couple of hotels. Geneva airport is under an hour away, so you shouldn’t have too many repeats of “are we there yet?”.
Passo Tonale, Italy
Family skiing holidays can be expensive. But Italy is well known for being a cheaper country to visit in terms of lift passes, lessons and perhaps most importantly, piste-side pizzas! It’s also famously welcoming to families.
Some dismiss the Italian ski resorts for having inferior snow conditions, but that’s certainly not the case in Passo Tonale, where the resort base is at 1,883m and the skiing goes up to 3,016 m. There’s a big, sunny kindergarten for learners, and a good amount of blue and red runs above and below the treeline.
You won’t find the level of activities you’ll get in Lapland, but there is dog sledding and ice skating and the higher end hotels have swimming pools and spas. The resort has a lot of ski-in/ski-out hotels and apartments (not common in Italy), and isn’t too hilly, which makes walking around easy.
La Rosiere, France
The Espace San Bernardo has something for every level of skier and snowboarder and crossing the French-Italian border is always a treat. But it’s families La Rosiere really bends over backwards for.
The Galopins Kids’ Club looks after kids from 18 months old, incorporating ski lessons into the childcare when children are ready. There are also performance courses aimed at teens keen to develop their skill set.
The resort has a sledding area at the bottom of the pistes plus an indoor ice rink, bowling alley and cinema showing films in English and French. La Rosiere has lots of chalets and some hotels plus there is ski-in/ski-out access. Buses run through the village and you can borrow buggies from the tourist office if needed.
So, now you have the 10 best ski resorts for families, all you need to do is pick one and prepare the kids for an incredible time on the snow!
We hope you enjoyed our guide to the 10 best ski resorts for families. If planning to book family skiing holidays be sure to check out our ski discounts as you could save a fortune.