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The Top Ski Resorts For Families

Family skiing holidays are something to be cherished – spending time with your children in the fresh air of the mountains, all doing something you love and coming together at the end of the day to tell tales of daring do and obstacles overcome is priceless.

The Best Ski Resorts for Families In The World

Here's our choice of ten of the best family-friendly ski resorts in the world to help you choose your next family ski holiday - whether you've got young tots or older teens, there's a dream holiday out there with your family's name on.

1. Alpbach, Austria
Alpbach, Austria - The Top Ski Resorts for Families In The World

Alpbach, in the Tirol is one of the prettiest villages in Austria and has long been a favourite with British families - the resort is compact, full of charm and sunny nursery slopes sit right next to it. While the slopes for intermediates aren't extensive, they're good for building confidence and practicing technique on, and both the village's ski schools are very child-friendly. For those in the know there's also some good skiing off-piste. Welcoming pensions and chalet-style hotels dominate the accommodation - some, such as Der Berghof, are as close as 20 metres from the nursery slopes. If a full day on the slopes is proving too much for the little ones there is an indoor swimming pool and outdoor ice rinks to entertain. Getting there: Innsbruck, the closest airport, is 50km away. Munich and Salzburg are 150km away.

2. Adelboden, Bernese Oberland, Switzerland
Adelboden, Bernese Oberland, Switzerland - The Top Ski Resorts for Families In The World

As a treat for style-conscious families, The Cambrian is that rare thing, a boutique hotel that doesn't turn its nose up at kids. Alongside the hip bar, a restaurant doing "new Alpine cuisine" (classics made trendy), there are two games rooms with Wiis, Playstations, snooker table and board games, plus kids' DVDs, two pools, a weekly kids' activity day, free sledges and, for any gourmands in waiting, regular kids' cooking and "mocktail" mixing classes. Adelboden has an abundance of family bakeries, cheese shops and hillsides covered with the sort of real estate that would make Heidi swoon. Extra curricular programming includes a traditional sledding race on 14 February, an "Easter bunny" jumping competition on Easter weekend, and a "jib" academy for teens on 28 March.
From £1,454 for two kids and two adults for three nights half board. Or book a week through Kuoni, departing 13 February, for £6,313 for a family of four (two adults, two teenagers), including flights, transfers and B&B, or £4,873 departing 3 April.

3. Vail, Colorado
Vail, Colorado - The Top Ski Resorts for Families In The World

Families are at home in Vail. With a pedestrian friendly village that is easy to navigate and a mountain that is easily accessible to all, Vail was made for family vacations. Quality family time is easy to find...spend a day on the slopes with the kids or simply snuggle up by the fire with hot cocoa. From Vail Ski and Snowboard School to the on-mountain activity center at Adventure Ridge, kids always have plenty of options for fun.

4. Puy St Vincent, France
Puy St Vincent, France - The Top Ski Resorts for Families In The World

Puy St Vincent is a couple of purpose-built stations plus an old village. Most of the accommodation, which is mainly self-catering, is in low-rise apartment blocks at the bottom of the slopes in the larger of the two stations, 1600. Tree-lined slopes sit immediately above the resort and are good for intermediates wanting a challenge, while beginners can find their feet in two nursery slope areas. The childcare facilities in resort are excellent, with both ski schools (the ESF and the International school) running kindergartens. The choice of tour operator can make or break a family skiing holiday so choose with care. Snowbizz, who have operated solely to Puy St Vincent since 1986, is a safe bet if you want a well-thought out and convenient family holiday. All the details have been taken care of, from Sunday flights (less hectic than Saturdays) to a full suite of childcare options from six months to 11 years. Getting there: Turin is the nearest airport, approximately two and half hours away.

5. Vemdalen, Sweden
Vemdalen, Sweden - The Top Ski Resorts for Families In The World

This small, quiet ski area makes up for its diminutive size with that super-friendly, personal service typical of Scandinavian ski resorts. It has a large dedicated kids' area, a creche for three- to eight-year-olds in a wooden cabin, a jolly ski school taught by perfect-English speakers and lots of extra activities, including kiddie-friendly evening entertainment such as discos and film screenings several times a week. For adults, the ski school motto is "it's never too late to learn", plus there's floodlit skiing and two fun parks for the more experienced.
Seven nights self-catering in the Ski Lodge Apartments costs £599pp departing 14 February, including return flights from Heathrow and transfers with Neilson (0844 879 8155).

6. Ylläs, Finland
Ylläs, Finland - The Top Ski Resorts for Families In The World

If you're looking for an alternative to the tried and tested Alpine holiday, head to Ylläs in Finland. The gentle Arctic landscape is ideal for beginners, and the alternative activities, such as husky-sledding, reindeer sleigh rides and snowshoeing, will enchant young children. The best time to visit is from March to the end of the season - any earlier and either the sun doesn't rise during normal daylight hours or it's February and the resort suffers the same fate as European resorts during the school holidays. Accommodation is not slopeside, but the resort is so quiet and peaceful this isn't an issue. Getting there: Kittilä airport is 50km away.

7. Park City, Utah
Park City, Utah - The Top Ski Resorts for Families In The World

Park City is Utah's best destination for families looking for the full ski town experience. The town boasts three individual resorts as well as a variety of shops, restaurants and off-slope activities. Park City Mountain Resorts provides a number of family-friendly tools including its Kids Signature Programs and Snowmamas, a family vacation-planning service. The Kids Signature 5 program guarantees classes of just five or less so that your child is given the individual attention and learning environment she needs to excel at the sport. Families with young children will enjoy a break because children six and under ski free. In addition to skiing, Park City Mountain Resort offers an ice skating rink at the base. Don't forget to take advantage of free day-of-flight skiing (Quick START) at PCMR, available through the Park City Chamber of Commerce.

8. Beaver Creek, Colorado
Beaver Creek, Colorado - The Top Ski Resorts for Families In The World

Beaver Creek is like Vail – though more upscale. While not as big as Vail, this resort is posh, well-pitched and has the personal touch I like on a family ski holiday. Maybe it’s the free, fresh homemade cookies in the village for après ski, or the centerpiece ice skating rink, or it could be the World Cup Downhill Course – Birds of Prey… Beaver Creek has something for everyone. Stay at the Ritz Carlton Bachelor Gulch for the best Colorado ski vacation.

9. Laax, Switzerland
Laax, Switzerland - The Top Ski Resorts for Families In The World

Young families will love the extensive beginner slopes at Crap Sogn Gion, high above Laax, and the excellent ski school with fluent English-speaking instructors. For families with older kids, they'll no doubt be wowed by the five impressive terrain parks, and if you time your visit right, you could catch one of the big international freestyle competitions the resort hosts - bound to help the brownie points with the teenagers. For maximum convenience, stay in an apartment at the RocksResort, striking modern blocks that opened a year ago and are right at the foot of the slopes. Getting there: Zurich is the closest airport. A seamless train and bus transfer from Zurich takes about two hours.

10. Selva, Dolomites, Italy
Selva, Dolomites, Italy - The Top Ski Resorts for Families In The World

Italians are renowned for their enthusiastic welcome for kids, but because Italian families tend to take along a granny to do the honours, some resorts aren't so hot on childcare. In Selva, though, even those as young as four months are cared for through the Casa Bimbo childcare service. There are several playgrounds, ice skating, snow-shoeing, indoor climbing and a choice of ski schools in the three linked villages of the Val Gardena area.
Casa Bimbo(01252 618300) has catered availability at Chalet Wiesenheim departing 28 March, £819 per adult per week, £245 per child, including flights from Gatwick (or Manchester for a supplement). A 7 February departure is £1,599 for a family of four.

11. Steamboat, Colorado
Steamboat, Colorado - The Top Ski Resorts for Families In The World

Steamboat has one of the premier teen programs in the States. "Rough Rider" clinics are offered daily for kids ages 6 to 15. Children ages 4 to 12 have five kids-only lifts and special ski terrain around frontier-style forts. On Special Occasions, a Kids Adventure Club features supervision, movies, games and snacks. Or drag the entire family over to Steamboat Springs for a look at an authentic Wild West town.

12. Obergurgl, Austria
Obergurgl, Austria - The Top Ski Resorts for Families In The World

For families with teenage kids, Obergurgl, the highest parish in Austria, is a good option. It's a small, focused village with friendly Austrian charm and snowsure slopes, but not so many that the kids would get lost on their own. Excellent English is spoken by the ski school instructors and class sizes are kept small - a promising start for pushing teenagers to their limits and ensuring boredom stays at bay. Most of the accommodation is in three- or four-star hotels - if you're travelling with younger children particularly, book with Esprit in one of their large chalets and take advantage of their extensive childcare options. Getting there: Innsbruck is the closest airport, 95km away.

13. Big White, British Columbia, Canada
Big White, British Columbia, Canada - The Top Ski Resorts for Families In The World

OK, it's not a small resort, but the family facilities in Big White would be enough to make expert skiers jealous (except they have the average 7m of annual snowfall and amazing terrain to keep them happy). The Kids' Centre is a big playground with lots of open runs, free helmets for nippers and a kitchen doing food they won't spit out. Snow tubing, ice skating, night skiing and mini-snowmobiles are all available.

14. Aussois, Maurienne Valley, France
Aussois, Maurienne Valley, France - The Top Ski Resorts for Families In The World

"France at eastern European prices" is how the operator Peak Retreats refers to Aussois – lift passes here are £107 per week, compared with £219 for the Three Valleys, just a few miles away. The areas aren't linked, but take reassurance that this resort is next to some serious mountains, and its Dent Parrachée tops out at 3,697m. You can ski over to La Norma and Valfréjus, too. Aussois is a pretty village of stone and slate houses, with a Tuesday food market (yummy bilberry tarts) and a cheap public creche (from €15 for a half day) – it also has the "famille plus" award. If your kids don't take to snow ploughing, try snow-shoe wildlife safaris, walking with donkeys, dog-sledding or tubing (sledging on inflatables).

15. Northstar California at Lake Tahoe
 Northstar California at Lake Tahoe

Northstar is the place to ski in California growing kids who love terrain parks. Northstar has dialed into young skiing families. The resort village is proof, so is the all natural Burton terrain park called The Stash. A Northstar Ritz Carlton now graces the mountainside with a ski valet and spa. This Lake Tahoe ski resort is a good choice for a winter family ski trip, and you can day trip to Lake Tahoe, Squaw Valley and Heavenly.

16. Snowmass at Aspen Colorado
Snowmass at Aspen Colorado  - The Top Ski Resorts for Families In The World

Snowmass is the largest of the four Aspen ski mountains, skiing the Big Burn at Snowmass will make everyone in the family feel like the big cheese – or a ski movie star. With lodging at the recently revitalized Snowmass Village, and the state of the art Tree House child care center – Snowmass is ideal for families. Recent glade expansion on Snowmass' Burnt Mountain make Snowmass the second largest ski resort in Colorado at 3,362-acres. Aspen's Buttermilk is teen heaven in January when they host the trendy Winter X-Games. Siblings Aspen Highlands and Ajax in downtown Aspen are also worth a day of skiing during your family ski week in Aspen. Down at Snowmass Base Village, the Treehouse Kids' Adventure Center features themed rooms -- such as one devoted to puppet shows -- entertain all children. Other activities include a guided snowmobile tour, ice-skating and a family Snowcat ride to a cabin, where there are Western barbecue dinners.

17. Big Sky, Montana
Big Sky, Montana  - The Top Ski Resorts for Families In The World

Big Sky is not so easy to get too - just one of the reasons we like it so much. This Montana ski resort is vast, very friendly and offers the most spectacular vistas in ski country. Now that Big Sky interconnects with Moonlight Basin, you have the biggest skiing in America. Staying slopeside at Big Sky’s Summit Hotel, you can walk to the lifts, to kids ski camp and to the new plaza with skier services, shops and restaurants. Take a day off to visit Yellowstone National Park -Old Faithful still goes off in winter, and the geysers and animals tracks are easy to spot in the snow.

18. Nassfeld, Carinthia, Austria
Nassfeld, Carinthia, Austria  - The Top Ski Resorts for Families In The World

Kinderhotels, a brilliant chain of family specific hotels throughout Austria, has Easter availability at the Hubertushof hotel, suitable for kids up to 18, with tennis courts, winter playground, swimming pool, cinema and discos plus a wellness centre for parents. Nassfeld is great for beginners with lots of easy tree runs and a snow park for learning tricks. There are loads of activities, including natural ice-skating and cross-country skiing on lake Brennsee.

19. Cervinia, Italy
Cervinia, Italy - The Top Ski Resorts for Families In The World

20. Avoriaz, France
Avoriaz, France - The Top Ski Resorts for Families In The World

Avoriaz may not be the prettiest of resorts, but it's certainly one of the most functional and striking. A car-free collection of towering self-catering apartments perched on a cliff, accommodation is ski-in, ski-out and horse-drawn sleighs are the only vehicles on the snow-covered roads. The Village des Enfants is in the heart of the resort, with Disney characters and special slopes to entertain and educate children aged three and older. There's a British-run ski school, Avoriaz Alpine Ski School, for older kids needing a challenge or some friendly encouragement. Accommodation is pretty much all in apartments - there are a few small chalets if you're seeking a comfortable alternative. Getting there: Geneva is the closest airport, about two hours or 90km away. - See more at: http://www.ultimate-ski.com/features/family-ski-holidays/ten-best-ski-resorts-for-families.aspx#sthash.hA5DDswj.dpuf

21. Saas Fee, Switzerland
Saas Fee, Switzerland - The Top Ski Resorts for Families In The World

The car-free village of Saas-Fee in Valais is a perfect choice for young children and families - it's a rural haven perfect for just strolling around and relaxing in. Saas Fee is also a great destination for those with older kids - it has two terrain parks, one, a truly world-class set up, with a huge halfpipe and interesting features like a gondola roof job; the other, aimed at beginners with entry level jumps, rails and lines, near the nursery slopes. Choose your accommodation carefully - the majority of the lifts leave from the southern end of the village, and the large nursery slopes are also at this end. Getting there: Sion airport, served by SnowJet, and Geneva are 75km and 225km away respectively. The nearest train station is Brig, and regular buses run to and from the station to Saas-Fee. - See more at: http://www.ultimate-ski.com/features/family-ski-holidays/ten-best-ski-resorts-for-families.aspx#sthash.hA5DDswj.dpuf

22. Mammoth, California
Mammoth, California - The Top Ski Resorts for Families In The World

23. Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Jackson Hole, Wyoming - The Top Ski Resorts for Families In The World

Jackson Hole is reputed for its steep and deep terrain, but this Wyoming ski resort is also a great choice for families looking to get away, see wild game in the National Parks and stay slopeside in Teton Village. The five-star Four Seasons Jackson Hole hotel is the perfect place to stay with its own kids camp, ski concierge and s'more roasting by the fire for après ski, plus a spa and sophisticated surroundings for parents. While you are in Wyoming, go to nearby Grand Targhee, very family friendly with big snow, ego pleasing terrain and ample snow at 500" annually.

24. La Plagne, France
La Plagne, France - The Top Ski Resorts for Families In The World

A vast expanse of intermediate cruising runs spread out above the 10 villages that together make La Plagne, and the different characters of the bases make it an ideal destination for all types of families and children, from young tots to energetic teens. Most Brits stay in Belle Plagne (good for youngsters with a children's playground for tots to learn in), Plagne 1800 (lots of chalets so best for groups of families) or Montchavin (the village is pretty and traffic-free, and there are confidence-building wooded blue runs leading to it). Each village has good ski schools and its own nursery run or two, then there are endless intermediate slopes (225km of them) plus five terrain parks or boardercross courses to keep the more adventurous children and big kids entertained. Getting there: Chambery is the closest airport, 120km away. Or take the train to either Aime or Bourg St Maurice at the bottom of the valley.

25. Lungau, Salzburgerland, Austria
Lungau, Salzburgerland, Austria - The Top Ski Resorts for Families In The World

Learning to ski in a blizzard is no fun, so try traditional St Martin in Lungau, a region renowned for receiving record amounts of annual sunshine. At 3,000m, the local mountains and better-known Obertauern (ski-able via Grosseck) should have plenty of the frosty stuff, too. Chalet Zirbe is part of the St Martin Chalets, one of Europe's first energy self-sufficient eco-villages (boasting a veg-oil system), which has a natural outdoor pool and barbecue, tobogganing and snowshoeing.

If you know of any other ski resorts to add to our list then please add your suggestions in the comments below and we will get them included.

Source: 1. Ultimate Ski 2. The Guardian 3. Family Vacation Critic 4. Family Ski Trips
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The Top Ski Resorts For Families The Top Ski Resorts For Families Reviewed by Eli Snow on 7:38 AM Rating: 5

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