Tips for skiing with children

Planning on booking a family ski trip? Unsure what you should pack or which ski school to book? It can be quite a daunting task preparing yourself to go skiing with the family, but with a fair few ski seasons under my belt (I might sound like a pro, I’m really more ‘all the gear no idea’) I’ve put together my top tips for skiing with the family and making it run as smoothly as possible.

What to pack

I’ve put together a separate blog post on what I pack for myself, you can find that here, but here’s a quick run down of what I pack for each child (mine are aged 11 and 4). 

  • Thermal baselayers
  • Mid layers (fleece zip up, hoody) You can vary the layers depending on the weather each day.
  • Ski jacket (if your children are younger it might be better to consider an all in one ski suit rather than separates to keep them warm)
  • Sallopettes
  • Ski gloves or mittens
  • Warm wooly hat
  • Snood (I find these work better than scarfs if you get a particularly cold day)
  • Ski helmet & goggles (don’t worry if you don’t have a helmet, you can hire these in resort along with your ski equipment)
  • Ski socks
  • Snow boots (make sure these are warm and waterproof)
  • Sun Cream
Ski Trip Essentials for kids

Other than that just the usual items you would pack for a holiday, pj’s, tops, bottoms etc. Less is more, ski trips tend to be pretty casual including what you wear in the evening for dinner. It’s always worth packing an extra pair of gloves and hat if you are planning venturing out after your day of skiing encase any items are damp.

Tips for skiing with children
Tips for skiing with children

Make it fun

Be prepared that your child may not take to skiing straight away. We’ve loved skiing since the moment our feet stepped on the slopes, as did our eldest. This was not the case with our youngest, even though we’d been taking him along with us on ski trips from 9 months old. He found the whole process extremely tiring, from wearing all the layers everyday, to getting back up when he fell. In this case we decided to put no pressure on him to love skiing, we knew this would come with time. Instead we concentrated on making the trip fun for him, adding in lots of sledging, horse and cart rides, trips to the swimming pool and anything else the resort had to offer. A great tip is to bring some small toys up to the slopes with you, something that will fit into pockets so they can play with in the snow if you are having a coffee. Hot wheels cars tend to work for us.

Tips for skiing with children

Book a smaller resort

If your children are young, or this is their first time skiing I would research a smaller ski resort to start off with. Smaller resorts tend to be less busy, so a little less daunting when trying to get on and off lifts and manoeuvring your way down the nursery slopes.

Ski School or Private Lessons?

This is a personal preference depending on the confidence level of your child. For instance our eldest is quite social and good at making new friends, so we opted for an ESF ski school for him (Usually 3 hours every morning), our youngest is a lot quieter and we knew he wouldn’t enjoy this, so for him we chose an English speaking private instructor. If your child is younger then most family resorts have good childcare facilities on the slopes. We tend to go to France and have previously used both the ESF creche and the younger ski school club Piou Piou.

Tips for skiing with children

Rent your equipment 

Unless you are planning to ski a lot, renting your skis, boots and poles is probably the best way forward. Most ski resorts have great equipment and are happy to help find the right choice for you. The only equipment we invest in for our children apart from their clothes is a good quality ski helmet and pair of goggles. It’s always worth asking if you can rent a locker within the rental shop so you can leave your equipment there each day instead of lugging it around. Trust me, trying to carry a child who’s legs hurt and a couple of pairs of skis all the way back to the chalet is not the one!

Take snacks!

Chocolate bars and snacks upon the mountain are expensive!!! Unless you’re in the minority that is happy to pay €3 for a mars bar to keep the kids happy while you indulge in a coffee with a view, its a good idea to pop a couple of snacks in a backpack or your pockets.

I hope you manage to get some good tips from this post, we enjoy skiing as a family every year, I never thought I’d say it but it’s easily become my favourite holiday. If you have any extra tips for skiing with kids I’d love to hear them.

Family Ski trip to Megeve

Where the love of skiing started…

About 7 years ago my Husband suddenly announced “Why don’t we go skiing?” He’d been a couple of times before but I’d never set foot on a pair of skis, to be honest at the time I couldn’t think of something I wanted to do less! We just had the one child aged 4, and within weeks somehow i’d been convinced and there we were in the lift on our way up the mountain.

I’d be lying if I said I took to it easily, you’ll soon realise if you take children on a ski trip with you that they will be far more natural at it and be overtaking you in no time. However, the scenery, the atmosphere, the apres ski (I was very good at that)… its addictive. As soon as our trip was over all I could think about was when could we go back, the girl who was only interested in hot sunny climates (and certainly not an adrenaline sport lover) suddenly wanted to don the thermals again and get back on the slopes.

Fast forward 7 years, another child and a LOT of ski lessons I can firmly say this is one of my favourite holidays. Once you get the bug for skiing its hard to shift. A couple of weeks ago we headed out to our favourite resort Megeve for a week in the mountains.

Family Ski trip to Megeve
Family Ski trip to Megeve

What’s Megeve Like?

Quite simply, Megeve is beautiful. It’s so easy to get to, we fly into Geneva usually from Southampton or Heathrow, and have about an hours transfer over to France. It’s been attracting the rich and famous since the 1920’s and you can see why. Infact in 1963 the Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant film Charade was made on location in Megeve. The centre is filled with cobbled streets and a huge Christmas tree (anywhere with a huge Christmas tree up for months on end is a hit with me), where you can enjoy a walk around the designer boutiques, a glass of something in one of the many bars or maybe a horse drawn sleigh ride.

Family Ski trip to Megeve

Megeve At Night

Walking through the centre at night you’re met with a sea of fairy lights hung from every buiilding. I remember my first time here and couldn’t believe how beautiful it all looked. Megeve certainly comes alive at night, bars, restaurants, music, there’s something for everyone. If you’re holidaying with kids I can recommend Deli’s Pizza, but if you’re popping out for dinner as adults and looking for something a little more special then Hotel St George is the place.

Family Ski trip to Megeve
Family Ski trip to Megeve
Family Ski trip to Megeve

Heading up the mountain

The slopes are in three parts, Rochbrune, Mont d’Arbois and Le Jaillet, with Mont Blanc in full view. Rochbrune is easily accessed via a main lift from the centre of town, the others via the free ski-buses which mostly run every 10-20 minutes, although there is a cross valley cable car which runs between Rochbrune and Mont d-Arbois. So all slopes are easily accessible from the town, perfect for both beginners and the more advanced skier. Megeve is definitely a family friendly resort, something that was important for us.

Up at the very top of Rochbrune you will find one of my favourite restaurants, ‘Super Megeve’ to sit and have lunch, or maybe just a coffee whilst taking in the most amazing views.

Family Ski trip to Megeve
Family Ski trip to Megeve

Family Ski trip to Megeve
Family Ski trip to Megeve
Family Ski trip to Megeve
Family Ski trip to Megeve

Is there much to do if you don’t ski?

There is lots to do if you don’t fancy getting on a pair of ski’s. You can purchase a walkers pass which will give you access to the lifts to get up to the top and enjoy a walk around and take in the scenery. Also available amongst many other activities I’m sure I’m forgetting is snow walking, hiking, ice skating, sledging etc to indulge in.

In the town you’ll find the Palais des Sports which has various amenities such as rock climbing, a gym, a spa, an ice rink and the most beautiful outdoor thermal pool and sauna in full view of the mountains. There’s nothing to describe swimming around in the warm waters whilst the outside air is in freezing temperatures, it’s heavenly.

Family Ski trip to Megeve

That sums up our little trip to Megeve for this year, it’s so easy to get to if you’re a family looking for a place to ski with a bit of something for everyone. We’re already looking forward to returning next year! Are you a family that ski’s? I’d love to hear where you go!

It has to be said that my absolute favourite time of year to visit Paris is in the winter. Granted I’ve never been to this part of France in the Summer but I’m pretty sure the lure of the Marche de Noel and the twinkling lights of the Champs Elysees would outweigh what the summer months could offer.

Back in December we had a short break in Paris with some friends, child free (thanks mum) so I thought I’d share a little photo diary of our time there. Most of our photos were quick snaps taken on my iPhone, as we really wanted to switch off and enjoy.

Our first stop was of course the ionic landmark that is the Eiffel Tower. We decided to go right to the top and the view was incredible, entirely worth it if you are thinking of visiting. We booked our tickets for late afternoon so we could witness the sparkling lights of the tower at night, it really is magnificent. Of course we took in the usual sights such as the Notre Dame, the Louvre and I certainly enjoyed the wonderful shopping. We enjoyed finding little cafes dotted around the streets to stop and enjoy a caffe latte and a macaroon or two, sitting outside under a little blanket and watching the busy people of Paris stroll by.

Passage de l’ancre – home of Pep’s umbrella repair shop

Throughout Paris there is an abundance of boutique hotels, however this time we booked an apartment through Air B&B, which was in a cute little street Passage de l’ancre hidden behind a private blue door. Once behind the door you are greeted with a charming cobbled street full of colourful potted plants and vines. After a bit of research we found out it is home to the oldest umbrella shop in Paris, apparently quite the find.

The Eiffel Tower at night is always a pleasure
The view from the top of the Eiffel Tower
Notre Dame Cathedral
Marche De Noel