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Family Skiing Tips and Tricks

Are you planning to go skiing as a family this winter? Is this the year you’ve decided to teach your kiddos to ski?

You love to ski, you want to take your kids skiing, but there is so much stuff and so much to remember. Where do you even begin? I’m not going to promise you it will be easy, but I can promise you that by thinking ahead and using some of these tricks it will make it a much more enjoyable experience for everyone involved. If you spend the time upfront, then I think your kids will love the experience even more.

Two girls in ski clothes sitting in the snow.

** We realize that the 2021 ski season may be a bit different and these tips are for skiing in “regular times” Click here to see our tips for skiing during COVID.**

  • Pay attention to the weather - This may seem obvious but taking your kid skiing for the first time in freezing weather, during a blizzard, on the most crowded weekend of the year isn’t a great way for your kids to enjoy their experience. I firmly believe that thinking through the experience will help your kids have a great beginning and ensure success for years to come. I know we can’t always control the weather or the crowds but taking a few minutes to check the weather report and think about the conditions will help make your first days a huge win.
  • Take Breaks, play games – lots of breaks are key to making sure kids don’t get too tired and have lots of fun. Also, when we are on a run that is longer than expected or kids are starting to feel discouraged, we try to bring out the games – follow the leader, go around the cone, say hi to the trees etc.

  • Bring a sled - some ski resorts have wagons that you can borrow to haul your kids and their gear from the parking lot or shuttle to the lifts. If they don't, invest in an inexpensive plastic sled to pull your kids and their stuff. You can just stash it at the bottom of the mountain and then use it again for the end of the day for the "journey" back to your car. 

  • Bring lots of snacks and never underestimate the power of hot cocoa – snacks and hot cocoa can get expensive in the lodge, so we make it a habit to bring our own. Pro tip: You can always get hot water for free, so just put some hot cocoa packets in your pocket and mix it at the table.

  • Quit before you are done – stop before you think you are done. If you push yourself or kids too hard and try to do “just one more run” you may find that that last run feels like it is 50 miles long and everyone is cold and miserable. If you can, try to end the day on a good note, when everyone is still having fun and not too cold.

  • If you will need to be in the lodge with a baby, make sure to have a nice place to put the baby where they can stretch out and play and don’t have to be on your lap the whole time. Our Lay and Play Adventure Mat is perfect for this and also doubles as a changing mat so you don’t have to bring both. 

Need some help with packing?

Get our Skiing Packing List and Kids Ski Bag List here

 I don’t know about you but the mental load of trying to remember everything you need to bring can make this task harder than it really is. I tend to forget the obvious things (like my own jacket!), so if I have a list that I can cross off and look at as we are packing that it saves me time and energy. My husband and I usually pack different items (he does skis, boots etc. and I do more of the clothing items) so this ensures that we don’t forget something obvious by thinking the other one packed it (did I mention we forgot my jacket earlier this year?).