Taking the kids to the snow for the first may seem a little daunting, and a far cry from those carefree days (on and off piste) before the kids came along! But, nothing beats the look of delight and wonder when your child sees snow for the first time. Whether it’s tobogganing, making snow angels or learning to ski, the kids will have SO MUCH FUN, you’ll want to return every season! With the help of our friends at Visit Snowy Mountains, we’ve put together our Top 10 Tips for Visiting the Snow with Kids. With a little bit of planning and a flexible attitude you’ll all get to experience the fun!
Choose accommodation wisely
Make sure your small ones are catered for when you choose your accommodation – a self contained apartment with a kitchen can be better for kids over a family hotel room, and make sure you look out for extra kids amenities such as welcome packs, cots, separate TV with DVD, board games and toboggans – these always go down a treat.
Location is important – ensure you have easy access to the kids ski-school and other child-friendly activities. Being able to get back quickly for a mid-day nap with exhausted toddlers will be a bonus. Make sure you pick up the phone and talk to accommodation agents about your requirements to help choose the best for your budget.
If you find yourself staying a little distance away from your ski school, hire a locker at the location. This way you don’t need to carry all 5 sets of skis and boots. The kids are happier as they have normal shoes on and are not weighed down by ski boots.
Don’t buy ski gear- borrow or hire it
Kids grow out of their gear way too quickly, so save yourself the money and simply borrow from friends or hire in advance, especially if it’s your first time around and you’re still working out how it all works! Adults, children’s suits, boots, skis and poles are available to hire at most ski resorts. If you do really want to buy check Ebay, Gumtree or ask on your local buy, sell, swap sites for pre-loved bargains.
Kids Ski Free
Don’t restrict yourself to hitting the slopes just during peak season in August; look at taking a trip at any time during the whole ski-season which runs from the beginning of June to the end of September. Organise your lift tickets and hire the afternoon before you start skiing to avoid early morning queues. Nothing worse than waiting in line with kids. There are some great ‘kids ski free’ deals to be had in June and September.
Ski-schools are great fun for kids; they’ll burn off some energy, learn something new, meet other kids and have an adventure – and you’ll be free as a bird! If you haven’t skied before, book yourself a half day or private lesson. If you and your partner want to take turns skiing while the other looks after the kids, joining a ski school group is a fun way to make the most of time.
Make a packing list and break up your drive
A simple point, but nevertheless, these two things can make or break any trip! Making sure you have everything you need before you get to the snow makes for a much easier holiday, so make a thorough list and leave yourself plenty of time for packing. Before you leave, research some stops or interesting places along your journey so you have something to look forward to. There are some great places to stop en route to break up your journey and start acclimatising to the cooler weather. If you’re travelling from Sydney, Canberra has some great activities for kids, like Questacon
Grocery shop ahead of time
Some of the resorts can be limited and expensive in supermarket shopping, so it can be a good idea to stock up before you get there – Woolies at Cooma is excellent. If you have a real fire (or even a BBQ or a gas hob) in your apartment – bring marshmallows to toast, as well as hot chocolate, whipped cream – and spices to make your own mulled wine.
Dress Like an onion!
Layer, Layer, Layer – it can get pretty cold and pack some neck warmers for those windy days. Googles are good if the weather is wet or snowing. Make sure your kids have enough warm clothing if they’re going off to ski-school, get a string on those gloves and put through the sleeves of their jackets. Don’t forget to pack lots of comfy cosy clothes to relax in.
Take a break from the slopes
Make sure you factor in some time for additional fun in the snow, besides skiing. From simple snowmen to using some of your resorts facilities. Thredbo, for example has an Indoor Swimming Pool complete with kids slide. New to the slopes this year is an experience that you will never forget – seeing Australia’s highest point from the air, an adventure waiting for you on our Mount Kosciusko Explorer tour. See skytrax.com.au for more details.
Whilst there’s plenty of eating-out options, there’s nothing wrong with packing a lunch in your back pack if you’re on a budget or to get you an extra hour on the slopes. Pack the kids up with slope snacks – trail mix, or muesli bars are great to stuff in little pockets.
Hitting the slopes after dark is an amazing experience and a great way to have wholesome family fun, and a sure way to exhaust everyone before a sound nights sleep ready to start all over again in the morning!