How to survive skiing with kids

By on June 8, 2021

Take it from me we’ve learnt the hard way! Despite hubby and I having skied ourselves, the first day up the mountain with our boys was a steep learning curve. Fitting ski boots on our boys, knowing what to take up the mountain and what to expect on the slopes leads to an exhausting first day. But we went back for more and now after three family ski trips we know the tricks for how to survive skiing with kids. If you follow these ten tips you will not only survive your first family ski holiday but you will be booking your next snow trip the minute you get home!


Before hitting the slopes

  • When purchasing or borrowing ski gear make sure outer layers are fully waterproof especially gloves. The first time we went skiing our boys gloves got very soggy and wet. This made them uncomfortable and their hands cold. We purchased better quality waterproof gloves the second trip and it made a world of difference. Our boys wear their ski gear for probably a week of the year. It’s important to get quality gear but worth considering borrowing or purchasing second hand. We also recommend buying from Aldi’s annual ski sale which is great quality without the expensive price tag. Anaconda has some good deals too and we specifically like their snow boots for wearing up and down the mountain.
  • Check the ski field snow reports from 6am daily. The conditions on the slopes and between ski fields can vary a lot from day to day. If conditions are particularly bad consider using this as a rest day. I remember skiing with no visibility years ago and aside from being scary it doesn’t provide good memories for the future!

Check the snow conditions online before heading up the mountain.

  • On your first and second day up the slopes book in lessons for your kids prior to going up the mountain. On the day of the lessons arrive extra early. You need plenty of time for fitting your equipment and checking in to classes.
  • In your jacket pocket take lip balm to prevent sore, dry lips and tissues for dripping noses. Also don’t forget to apply sunscreen before you ski. Top up your kids with sunscreen throughout the day as needed.
  • On the bigger runs with your kids pack a small muesli bar or something sweet in their jacket pocket. They may ask for something to snack on while they’re on the slopes. It’s also a good way to keep up their energy levels after an hour or so skiing.

My youngest dressed in his ski gear for beginner lessons.

  • When planning your trip, make sure you allow at least one or two rest days. We give our boys down-time by ordering delivery or cooking at our accomodation rather than going out for dinner. Also make sure they have adequate breaks throughout the ski day. Eating an energy fuelled snack and having frequent drinks is essential.
  • Lay ski clothes out the night before. Our boys get up early to be on the mountain soon after opening. If their clothes are laid out for them it means they can get themselves dressed and no layers are forgotten. We find this is a less stressful start to the day. Use a drying room if available at your accomodation. Also a reminder to get kids to go to the toilet before they get dressed in their layers!

On the slopes

  • Once on the slopes ensure kids are properly dressed, tucked in and ski socks pulled up. We dress our boys top half in three layers and their legs in two layers plus long thermal socks. This includes a thermal top and leggings, a lightweight fleece, waterproof insulated jacket and ski pants. Warm comfortable kids are happy kids!
  • Lift passes should be put in your child’s sleeve pocket or high jacket pocket. Kids can then reach the scanning gate without taking the pass out of their pocket. This is the only way to make sure the ski pass doesn’t get lost.

On my boys third visit to the snow they were skiing the big runs with their Dad.

  • One for the parents – lower your expectations! When our boys are in the ski school hubby is free to go off and ski the runs he wants to do. However when he’s with our boys he takes a step back and does what they’re capable of doing. A slower pace is to be expected when skiing with kids.

In relation to COVID we would recommend getting up the mountain early in the day. If the ski slopes limit numbers there’s a chance you might miss out. For more advice about what gear to purchase and tips specific to skiing in Queenstown New Zealand head to our previous blog.

Are you heading to the snow with your kids? Please let us know if you have any questions or tips in the comments below. We’d love to help! Belinda x