Is there a better family holiday than a ski holiday? As well as the snow, there’s breath-taking views and shared moments to enjoy, with ski resorts full of fun activities to ensure your family stay in the mountains is full of unforgettable experiences.
Learn to ski as a family
French ski resorts know that if you want the best conditions to learn how to ski with children, you need an area dedicated to your needs. So this winter, there are even more special ‘Débutants’ zone. Parents and children alike can enjoy the luxury of learning in complete safety in a space entirely dedicated to beginners. In Les Orres, the brand new base area is available for beginners of all ages. There are two covered ‘magic carpets’ giving you access to your first learner slope, as well as a green run to test your growing skills.
Piste des Indiens in Les Gets © Keno Derleyn
In the Pyrenees, Peyragudes has a new beginners' area, completely redesigned since the opening of their new gondola, the Skyvall. More ‘magic carpets’ provide access to three slopes allowing you to learn to ski in complete safety, having fun at the same time. For little ones just starting to have fun on skis, the ‘Indiens’ play area in Les Gets is a great place to mix up skiing with games of skill, tipis and more. In Val Thorens, there’s also a new family fun piste to discover.
Snowy fun in all its forms
We know that family times are special times! For unforgettable skiing memories, why not try the new snow tubing in Alpe d'Huez and Peyragudes, both resorts with the Family Plus label. A rubber ring and some snow is all you need for a thrilling descent. For toboggan fans will enjoy a short family session in the moonlight in Puy Saint Vincent in the Hautes-Alpes. There are three sledging runs available in the Sancy Park space at Mont Dore. Children can also try out an electric skidoo, tubing and disc golf. In Orcières, in the Hautes-Alpes, children aged 5 to 10 can also get their kicks by driving mini-snowmobiles at the base of the resort.
Tubing on snow © IDM snowtubing
There are so many games and fun ideas for little ones to enjoy on the ‘Charlotte La Marmotte’ trail in Saint-Gervais Mont-Blanc, with, as a bonus, a magnificent panorama of the roof of Europe. For the adrenalin junkies, there’s a brand new ski cross in the Serre Doumenge sector of Peyragudes. Or for the fun for the whole family, head to Western Ski Park in Courchevel. Based at a large teepee, you can try face-painting, learn archery and continue to learn to ski in a secure area. Even better, there is a picnic area with microwave and water, phone recharging, wifi and children’s games.
Ski with toddlers, too
For young parents, there are options to stay with your baby in tow. In Le Grand Bornand - another Family Plus resort – ‘Grand Bo Duo’ packages allow you to buy a lift pass that can be used alternately by either parent and let you take turns babysitting while the other skis. It’s a godsend for the wallet and means you can make the most of your skiing holiday.
In Montgenèvre, look out for ‘Family Packs’. Choose any combination of two adults and up to five children under 18 for great rates on ski passes. In Les 2 Alpes, you can book a special package for families, that includes accommodation, as well as the crèche/nursery/leisure centre. It’s a great offer that means parents can enjoy skiing while leaving your toddlers in good hands.
Keep your Teens busy
We know teenagers are different from their younger brothers and sisters, so they need to be kept busy. In La Bresse, in the Vosges, your whole tribe can test the new ‘Opération Flocon Noir’ Escape Game in the Nordic zone. It’s a real challenge to share with the family, on foot, in the snow! And for teens who prefer to chill on their own, away from their parents, then head to Val d'Isère and its new ‘Village Perdu’ (‘Lost Village’). The concept is a new games and chill-out area at 2000m, with suspended walkways through the trees and a chance to lose yourself in nature.
And what about thrill-seeking teenagers? Try Mountain Karting in Peyragudes in the Pyrénées. These fat-wheeled machines mean you can speed down the Carrousel piste at the end of the day. And in Saint-Gervais Mont-Blanc, teenagers will love the free ‘Parcours Ninja’. Located at 1800m, built entirely from wood, you can tackle testing challenges including ropes, balance tests and even a zip line.
Parcours Ninja in Saint-Gervais Mont-Blanc © Guillaume Borga
Dedicated Family Ideas
There’s plenty of activities going on throughout the day to keep all families occupied. In Valmorel, parents and children can enjoy with cozy mornings in the company of Professor Morelus, with sweets, board games and films to entertain the kids. Sporty families in Valmorel should head to Les Olympiades, where the ESF organises events where teams can try a cross-country course, a fun biathlon event, learn how to do DVA search (finding people in an avalanche) and test their snowball throwing skills. Finally, what could be more fun with the family than celebrating a birthday? Crest-Voland Cohennoz is celebrating its 70th birthday this winter and has a educational outdoor photo exhibition, for young and old to discover the history and growth of the resort.
Family snowshoe hike in Peyragudes © Gang of Mothers
To ensure you find the best resort for a family holiday look out for the ‘Famille Plus’ badge. These resorts offer activities and services specially designed for families, to guarantee that everyone in your group has an unforgettable holiday.