Travel through a Kid's Eye

Ski Vacations: Alpine Adventures

A ski trip is sure to be one of your most memorable family vacations. Everyone can do their own thing during the day, then meet for an apres-ski warm-up in the hot tub or a hot chocolate around the fire.

Children as young as 3 can learn to downhill ski. Cross-country skiing requires more strength, endurance, and balance so it's generally advisable to wait until they are a bit older. Make sure your children are dressed comfortably; parents tend to overdress kids, hampering their movement—and consequently their fun. Whether you rent or purchase skis (look for a buy-back program where you can trade in equipment each year), let your kids adjust to the equipment at home before they hit the snow banks.

One of the keys to successful family skiing is to start with professional lessons. Leave the first lessons to the pros. (Remember the indignities of learning to drive from your parents!) Many resorts offer Montessori-style teaching method that's play-oriented, using familiar games like soccer, red rover, and relay races to impart basic ski techniques.
Cost is a major factor when it comes to family ski trips. Be sure to contact individual resorts. Many offer special family discounts and excellent children's services.


Paul McMenamin is the author, editor, and photo director of the original Ultimate Adventure Sourcebook.

Published: 29 Aug 2001 | Last Updated: 14 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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