Can’t ski, won’t ski? Winter is coming and snowy getaways can be fun, even if you don’t ski or snowboard.
If you’re not keen skier, there are plenty of other activities available for you to enjoy in many resorts. So, to save you from sitting around looking glum while the rest of your party take on the pistes, here are 13 fun alternative snow-based adventures.
Ok, so they may not be the most stylish things in the world, but we can guarantee you’ll have a lot of giggles in a pair of snow-shoes. Basically, snow-shoeing involves walking, running or jumping around in the snow with two tennis rackets strapped to your feet. Little skill is required and it’s a great way to explore the mountainside.
Fell the rhythm, feel the rhyme, get on up to a bobsleigh track for some cool runnings with your mates. In teams of two or four, hurtle down these frozen tubes in a sled at speeds of up to 70mph. An international sport, there are many ski resorts that offer tourist rides, including Whistler in Canada, Cesana Pariol in Italy and La Plagne in France.
3. Build a snow sculpture
Get creative and build your very own snow sculpture. From your standard snowman to intricately carved ice maidens, there are some people who take this past time very seriously. It’s a great activity for children, but if you want to take it to the next level then check out Breckenridge in Colorado for the International Snow Sculpture Championships in January.
For some, the mountains are more about partying than conquering the pistes. Après-ski is the age-old tradition of unwinding after a day slogging it out on the slopes, drinks flowing and socialising with friends in your ski gear. It is possible, however, to cut out the first part and skip straight to the party. Some of the most popular après-ski drinking holes are in the Alps and Austria.
Relatively new to the extreme sports arena, snow-scooting is pretty much just that, riding a modified scooter in the snow really fast. It’s not a million miles away from skiing, being a bike with a snowboard attached to the bottom instead of wheels, but it’s a great alternative for adrenaline junkies to get their kicks. A recommended snow-scooting spot is Tignes in the French Alps.
6. Try the local food
Reward yourself after a long day exploring the mountains with some top-notch local treats. Skip the usual post-slope burger and opt for a traditional French quiche or casserole, or feast on cheesy fondue with friends at Alpenrose restaurant in Zermatt, Switzerland and enjoy gorgeous views over the Matterhorn.
7. Husky rides
Let man’s best friend tow you around in the snow as you recline on a sled beneath cosy blankets and experience dog sledding, otherwise known as mushing. Bred from wolves or domestic breeds like Alaskan huskies, these canines may look fierce but they’re really just a pack of softies! Check out dog sledding in Chamonix Mont-Blanc, France, for the chance not only to ride behind these powerful pups but to drive them as well
8. See the Northern Lights
If you’re visiting a ski resort in the northern hemisphere between October and March then look to the night skies to see one of the greatest light shows on earth, the Aurora Borealis. An activity that doesn’t involve strapping sticks to your feet, Canada, Norway and even the north of Scotland are great places to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights.
9. Relax in a spa
Take a break from sport and spend a lazy day in a luxury ski spa. The perfect cure for any sore muscles or après ski fatigue, many resorts offer a range of wellness treatments. Get a massage, chill out in the sauna or enjoy a traditional Turkish hammam at the 5-star Schwartz Alpine Spa and Golf Resort in Tyrol, Austria. Find you perfect spa break and book a hotel with Skyscanner.
10. Snow Tubing
Think traditional river tubing, except on ice and wearing a lot more clothes. Grab your inflatable rubber ring and hit the specially designed guided tracks, letting gravity do the work for you or being towed behind a snowmobile, the choice is yours.
11. Helicopter flights
Take to the skies for a bird’s eye view of the snow-capped mountain scenery on a helicopter tour. Many resorts, for example in Verbier Switzerland, can organise a trip for you. This activity is largely weather permitting, but if you get a fine clear day then the panoramic views of the Swiss Alps are unparalleled.
Get off the ground and soar above the mountains with a spot of paragliding. Tandem or solo, anyone can give it a go and it’s fast becoming a popular non-ski activity in some resorts, like this one in Schladming-Dachstein, Austria.
13. Watch a movie
If you really don’t want to be anywhere nature or the outdoors, then you’ve always got the option to settle in with a movie. Whether you have the full-on cinema experience or it’s more a case of snuggling up beside a log fire with a DVD, here’s a non-ski activity that should keep the whole group happy.
Read more: World’s weirdest ski resorts