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Family friendly skiing: winter sports for kids

Skyscanner brings you a guide to some of the most child-friendly ski resorts in the world.

Skyscanner brings you a guide to some of the most child-friendly ski resorts in the world.

You notice things when skiing with children that will not occur to you on a holiday with adults: bus transfers, walks to the lift, how much traffic there is, the number of nursery slopes, how competent the ski school is, whether there is a crèche in your hotel – all of these things become of paramount importance when you have children in tow.

With that in mind, we look at some of the best resorts for family skiing.

family.snow.JPGAlpe D’Huez, France

With its wide, gentle beginners’ slopes, Alpe D’Huez is a perfect resort to choose for the little ones’ first adventures on the slopes. Whilst they get expert tuition, you can explore the 200km of piste with something for all levels to enjoy. There is good child care available, and the resort also has great sporting amenities if you have any energy left after a long day on the slopes. Find cheap flights to France

Snowmass, Colorado, USA

This American resort boasts a state of the art Treehouse Kids’ Adventure Centre. The first of its kind in the snow-sports industry, it offers a range of fantastic activities for kids and is described by one of the people behind it as the “centrepiece of the renaissance of Snowmass and will take the family experience to an entirely new level.” It is linked to a system of lifts with child-friendly gondolas and magic carpets, and they also offer expert tuition to children with disabilities and those who are on the autistic spectrum. Find cheap flights to Colorado

Geilo, Norway

This is one of Norway’s most popular and famous ski resorts. Not only does it offer excellent skiing, but being in Scandinavia, there are also over 200km of cross-country ski trails to get those fitness levels up. Child care is offered in, amongst other places, the endearingly titled Trollklubben (troll club), and there is a wealth of child-friendly options available like treasure hunts and ski orienteering. Find cheap flights to Norway

Big White, British Columbia, Canada

Despite being one of Canada’s most popular resorts, with a reputation for amazing powder skiing, Big White still has an un-crowded feel to it. Almost all accommodation is ski-in/ski-out which is ideal for families. Nursery provision is available for children aged 18 months upwards, and the resort also organises family oriented evening events like firework displays and carnivals. Find cheap flights to Canada

Sainte Foy, France

With excellent childcare facilities and its close proximity to resorts like Val D’Isere and Les Arcs – Sainte Foy has long been a popular choice with families. It represents a cheaper alternative to some of the so-called “premier” resorts, and yet it offers a great range of amenities, family-friendly restaurants, and often importantly for people watching the pennies, more affordable lift passes. Find cheap flights to France

Copper, Colorado, USA

Whilst Copper offers some great skiing, it is also a very child oriented resort. Purpose built for the task, slope-side accommodation means that you don’t need to move far to be at the lifts. Several areas are designated as family skiing zones, and these are patrolled to ensure there is no reckless behaviour. Children as young as six weeks old can be looked after in the crèche at the bottom of the slopes. Find cheap flights to Colorado

Avoriaz, France

This resort is France’s first and only car-free resort, so it’s ideal to let the kids wander around on their own. Additionally, the ‘Village des Enfants’ in the centre of the resort offers a host of activities to keep the children happy whilst you go off and enjoy the huge skiing area and maybe investigate the nearby resort of Morzine. And since Avoriaz is on the Swiss border with France, why not ski over to a completely different country for the day and pick up some chocolate. Find cheap flights to France

Killington, Vermont, USA

The closest major US ski resort to Europe, Killington offers great skiing for families. There are highly professional child care services available, and the area offers terrain for all abilities. Killington has the most extensive snow-making system in the world, so even if Mother Nature hasn’t provided the white stuff, the resort still can. The average snowfall is 250 inches and the season starts earlier than in Europe in mid-November. Find cheap flights to Vermont

Puy-St-Vincent, France

If you want to avoid the crowds, then consider this small resort. It’s mostly a family ski area and apart from the odd few weeks during French holidays, you are not likely to queue. The resort is mostly used by families since it lacks the big après ski scene often favoured by child-less skiers. There are good nursery runs for beginners, a wide range of child care provision and a couple of black runs to test yourself on too. And the best bit? Its lift pass prices for this season are about a 100 Euros less than the bigger resorts in France. Find cheap flights to France

Obergurgl, Austria

Located in the Otztal Alps in western Austria, Obergurgl has one of the lengthiest seasons in Europe due to the height of the resort and the extensive snow-making coverage. It looks how all ski resorts should do, and this traditional and relaxed ambience makes it an ideal resort for families. Add to that, terrain to suit all skiing levels and a very fast lift system, and you have a winning family friendly combination. Find cheap flights to Austria

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