Where to Ski With Kids This Winter: Europe Edition

val-thorens-ski-school

Ski school at Val Thorens, France. Photo: Val Thorens Office of Tourism

Just as skiing in Vermont is nothing like skiing in Utah, Europe’s ski resorts vary greatly from country to country. Each has something different — and rewarding! — to offer families. Although choosing the right resort for your brood takes a little research, time on the front end pays off in a truly memorable, action-oriented vacation. Browse the guide below for a high-level look at our favorite European ski resorts with kids.

Best Ski Resorts for Kids 2015 in Europe

AUSTRIA

Saalbach-Hinterglemm

Highlights for kids: Ski and snowboard school, ages 3 and up; tobogganing; ice skating; sleigh rides; tubing; snowmobiling; treetop path; archery; paragliding

Family deals: Lift tickets for kids 18 and under, 10€ on Saturdays. Kids born after 2009 ski free; kids born between 1999 and 2008 receive a 50% discount; youths (born up to 1996) receive a 25% discount. Family Unlimited package available.

Fine print: For Family Unlimited package, one child per parent (up to age 14 years) stays free of charge in the same room. Every child thereafter receives a 50% discount. Children born in 1999 and later receive a free ski pass with purchase of at least one adult ski pass for three days or more. Valid from March 21, 2015.

Obergurgl

Highlights for kids: Local ski and snowboard schools, ages 3 and up; kids’ clubs/childcare (select ski schools); hiking; tobogganing; ice skating; indoor horseback riding

Family deals: Kids 8 and under ski free. Reduced lift tickets for kids under 16.

Fine print: Must present a photo ID for reduced lift tickets.

FRANCE

Chamonix/Mont Blanc

Highlights for kids: Local ski and snowboard schools, ages 3 and up; speed-riding; dogsledding; ice skating; horseback riding; indoor pool; paragliding

Family deals: Up to 4 kids ski free with 2 paying adults and 1 paying child

Fine print: No specific rules published

Courchevel

Highlights for kids: International Ski School program; ski school for ages 3 and up; dedicated kids’ ski areas; kids’ clubs for ages 18 mos-6 years; play area for ages 3-8 (parental supervision required); family snowsports park; sledging; snowcat rides; snowshoeing; snowmobiling; bowling; climbing wall; adventure trail; hang gliding; paragliding; carousel; Tarzan vines; winter camps

Family deals: Kids under 5 ski free. Select draglifts free for beginners. Family pass for families skiing 6 to 21 days.

Fine print: Must show proof of age. Family pass: up to 20% discount for family of 4 (2 parents and 2 children ages 5-17).

Val Thorens

Highlights for kids: Local ski and snowboard schools, ages 3 and up; kids’ club, ages 3 mos-35 mos; beginners’ ski area; luge; paragliding; zip line; bowling; snowshoeing; Segway tours; activity and adventure center; aqua club

Family deals: Kids under 6 ski free; 50% off beginner ski pass; reduced family passes

Fine print: Must show proof of age. Family pass is designed for a family of at least 4 (2 adults and at least 2 children ages 6-20).

ITALY

Alta Badia

Highlights for kids: Local ski and snowboard schools, ages 3 and up; kids’ ski park; kids’ club; snowshoeing; playgrounds; sledging; ice skating; climbing wall; horseback riding; indoor pool

Family deals: Kids under 8 ski and stay free; 50% discount on lift tickets and accommodations for kids under 12. Kids under 12 get a 20% discount on rentals at participating shops.

Fine print: Must show proof of age. One child free or reduced, depending on age, with each parent lift ticket purchased (6-day minimum). Maximum 2 children per couple, staying in parents’ room. Valid for a stay of at least 7 nights between March 14-April 12, 2015.

SWITZERLAND

Crans-Montana

Highlights for kids: Ski and snowboard school, ages 3 and up; secure beginners’ area; small jumps for beginning snowboarders; kids’ club for ages 3-12; snowshoeing; sledging.

Family deals: Kids under 6 ski free. Action Familles 1-day pass for 3 people; discounted rates for each additional child

Fine print: Action Familles pass valid Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, Jan. 3-Feb. 6, 2015 and March 14-April 3, 2015.

Davos Klosters

Highlights for kids: Ski and snowboard school, ages 3 and up; kids’ ski and snow play area; kids’ club; ice skating; curling; sledging; indoor pool; climbing wall; indoor tennis; indoor horseback riding; bowling; game libraries

Family deals: Families (2 parents plus kids) receive discounted lift tickets with a stay in a holiday apartment booked through Davos Klosters

Fine print: No specific rules published

Grindelwald

Highlights for kids: Ski and snowboard school, ages 3 and up; sledging; hiking; tubing; zip line; snowshoeing; ice skating; curling; ice palace; Lindt chocolate experience

Family deals: Kids ski free on Saturdays. Family Day in the Snow package on Saturdays and Sundays with discounted lessons.

Fine print: Up to 3 children ages 6-15 ski free on Saturdays with purchase of 1 adult day pass. Family Day in the Snow package valid for 2 to 8 participants; discounted rates are per family and per instructor.

St. Moritz

Highlights for kids: Local ski and snowboard schools, ages 5 and up; kids’ snow play areas; kids’ ski areas and lifts; tobogganing; tubing; snowshoeing; sleigh rides; snowkiting; ice skating; bobsledding; curling; ice hockey; playground

Zermatt

Highlights for kids: Local ski and snowboard schools, ages 3 and up; kids’ club, age 2.5 and up; sledding; tobogganing; ice skating; ice hockey; curling; paragliding

Family deals: Kids under 9 ski free. On Saturdays, Zermatt ski pass is free for kids under 16.

Fine print: Must show proof of age.

Need Help Planning a Family Ski Vacation in Europe?

Ciao Bambino’s expert Family Vacation Consultants offer comprehensive trip planning assistance, including itinerary development, hotel selection and booking, and activity and guide recommendations. Request assistance on My Trip Planner.

Relevant Links:

Browse our collection of family-friendly ski hotels

Family travel tips: Skiing in Europe with kids

Where to ski with kids this winter: North America edition

How to find the best family-friendly ski resorts

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