Family Skiing | Ski Holidays with Children
Read our guide to family ski holidays, we've covered everything from our favourite family-friendly ski resorts to packing tips!
When you're ready to book, browse our resorts and book online or give us a call. Alternatively, tell us what you're looking for and when you'd like to go on this form and we'll find the perfect ski holiday for you.
What age should children learn to ski?
There is no right age to teach your child to ski – wait until they feel ready to try out something new. This could be from as young as 3 years old or not until they are school age. In resorts, children can usually go into lessons from the age of 3 to ski and 8 to snowboard, although there is some variation in some resorts. We are seeing more resorts offer snowboarding to younger children.
Try introducing them to skiing without putting any pressure on them, make it fun and they will probably love it. Like anything, if they aren't ready, don't rush them; try again next season.
You could book a session at a dry ski slope or real snow slope in the UK. This will give a good indication as to whether your child is ready or not. It also gives them a head start in the resort. Read more advice on prepping kids for a ski holiday.
What to pack for a family ski holiday
- Sunscreen & SPF lip balm - you can get sunburned in the middle of winter at altitude. We recommend factor 50+ Remember to do under the chin!
- First aid kit - just all the basics you may need
- Adapters for chargers including in-car if you're driving
- Books, toys, colouring books and card games
- Ski gloves - these should be good quality, warm and waterproof. We recommended an additional pair for snow fun in case they get wet inside.
- A multi-purpose headscarf/bandana/neckwarmer
- Snowsuit or a jacket and salopettes
- Clothes to layer under jackets – vests, fleeces, t-shirts, tights etc.
- Thermals/baselayers - our children tend to live in these when in the apartment as they're so comfortable! Take a few sets.
- Warm hat
- Snow boots
- Ski socks - we recommend a pair a day as little people tend to get them wet walking about!
- Small rucksack
- Little packs of tissues for those runny noses!
Top tips for a happy family ski holiday
Make time for a breakfast packed with carbohydrates (e.g. cereal) to provide energy for skiing. Full bellies make happy skiers!
Wear warm, waterproof clothing – several thin layers are best as they trap warm air. Looj for moisture-wicking, quick-drying fabrics. Good gloves make a big difference to little fingers.
Apply sunscreen and lip balm with SPF before you head out for the day and take spare lip balm and sunscreen with you.
Before your child heads off to ski school or snow kindergarten (the equivalent for little ones) make sure you pack them an energy boosting snack and something to drink
Going to ski school can feel like a big thing for little ones but learning in a group is great fun. The ESF (Ecole du Ski Francais – French Ski School) varies the activities in its lessons so children won't get bored. The ESF has lots of videos on its YouTube channel that will give your child an idea of what ski school is all about. Our kids have always had great fun at ski school, making new friends and exploring the mountain!
Do call us if you have any questions about the best ski school level for your child.
How long to ski for
Skiing all day long is normally too much for most children. As a guide 8-12-year-olds can normally manage about 3 hours, so 6 half-days worth of lessons should be just right.
If required, most ski schools can offer full days for children with a break for lunch. Some will offer skiing in the morning and activities in the afternoon, others offer skiing both morning and afternoon, this usually depends on the age and ability of the child.
How to choose a resort for a family ski holiday
We are passionate about ensuring your whole party has the best time on your ski holiday, so along with the advice below, please do feel free to call us on 023 9283 9310 to discuss your specific requirements.
Family-friendly slopes - Look for a resort with plenty of gentle runs and nursery slopes. These are a must for children (and adults!) learning to ski. Ski boots and skis are heavy and children often get very tired even walking a few hundred yards in their kit so easily accessible nursery slopes are key.
Ski-in/ski-out accommodation - This type of accommodation is great for families as it means that you can ski from/to where you are staying, minimising the amount of walking you need to do with your ski equipment. These properties book up quickly, especially at peak times (such as Christmas, New Year and February half-term) so it’s wise to book early. As an alternative, accommodation with a ski bus stop just outside makes getting to the slopes easier.
Off the slopes - Choose a resort with plenty of activities besides skiing to keep everyone in your party happy in case any children aren't so keen. Accommodation that has a swimming pool is a real bonus for some off-slope fun.
We've chosen all our resorts with families in mind. Here we've picked out a few that we think are particularly well-suited to families. Resorts labelled FAMILLE PLUS have earned recognition from the French Ministry of Tourism for improving resort services and facilities for families. Find out more about Famille Plus.
Organising ski extras
We can pre-book ski hire, lift passes and ski school for your family ski holiday so you have peace of mind that everything is organised before you leave and you won't have any surprise costs in the resort.
Lift Passes - Lift pass prices vary from resort to resort. In most resorts, children under five will get a free lift pass. Children will need lift passes if they are going to ski school. See our offers on lift passes as we often have some good deals.
Ski School - ESF ski school can be booked through us before you travel.
Ski Insurance - Don’t forget your Winter Sports insurance!
Peak Retreats voted 'Best Family Ski Tour Operator'
We know family ski holidays. Peak Retreats was voted Best Family Ski Tour Operator at the Family Traveller Awards 2015, was a finalist in 2017 and won again in 2018!
We pride ourselves on offering a service that is tailored to families that give skiers the opportunity to discover the real French Alps in some of the most family-friendly ski resorts.