The mountains are calling but you have a baby! It might feel like you have to put your ski holidays on the back burner for a few years but actually you can go on a family ski holiday with a baby.
Ski holiday with a baby
Ok so you might have to forego some of the apres ski when you book your ski holiday with a baby but you can definitely get some time on the slopes. If you know where to go and how to organise your trip skiing with kids can be so much fun!
The best accommodation for a family ski trip
If you want to go on a ski holiday with young children I highly recommend booking a Kinderhotel in Austria. These hotels are baby friendly all inclusive resorts and are perfectly set up for families. From the room layouts to the kids buffets to the childcare, they make your family ski holiday actually feel like a holiday!
We’ve stayed in two different Kinderhotels – the Galtenburg and DachsteinKonig. The DachsteinKonig is a slightly higher price point but both are incredible for baby skiing holidays offering round the clock childcare if you need it, family sized suites and plenty of non-skiing entertainment for anyone who doesn’t want to ski too much.
A Kinderhotel will be the easiest, most stress-free accommodation option for you if you want to ski with a young family.
We stayed at the Galtenburg in Austria at the start of the Easter holidays 2019. The girls were 5 and 6 years old and they joined ski school every day. We had the freedom to ski most of the day knowing the girls were in safe hands.
After ski school we had access to an incredible swimming pool with slides, then it would be dinner time and as soon as the kids had eaten they would run off to the kid’s club to play. We would finish our dinner in peace and we even had a chance to have a drink at the bar uninterrupted. The kids club at the Galtenburg has a giant soft play space, rock climbing walls and so many cool toys and activities. There’s also a cinema room which is usually where we had to drag our two out from at bedtime.
We stayed at the Dachsteinkonig when our girls were 7 and 9 and the baby was just 8 months old in February 2022. This was our first ski holiday with a baby in tow. With a baby our routine was a little different. Had we wanted to, we could have put the kids in ski school all morning, left the baby in kids club (yes they take them from just a few days old!) and skied to our heart’s content.
As Max was a pandemic baby, by 8 months old he’d never really been left with anyone before, he probably would have been fine. But I wasn’t! I practised leaving him to play in the gorgeous baby room – it was well stocked with toys and he would get one to one care from a fully trained member of staff and he was very happy in there while I nervously drank a coffee down the corridor.
On this ski trip Rich and I took turns to be on the slopes with one of us always being based at the hotel or the bottom of the ski lift to look after Max. The hotel provided Thule buggies which could get across the snow with ease so when the girls were getting their ski legs back on the nursery slopes we could take Max for a nice walk to watch the skiers.
We stayed in a catered chalet in Courchevel when our girls were just 4 and 6 years old. This was way before baby number 3 came along. This was the girls first ever ski trip and they attended ski school for most of the week. It worked well for us because we travelled with my extended family.
Having aunties, uncles and grandparents to share childcare and even help with collections from ski school if us parents were still on the slopes was perfect. And because we ate in our chalet most nights we could put the kids to bed and stay up later ourselves. If it’s just your immediate family though it might not work so well. You’re going to feel like the pressure is all on you to provide for and entertain your kids around the clock and there won’t be much freedom for you to ski yourselves.
The best resorts to take a baby skiing
As your baby won’t actually be skiing the runs and lifts available at the resort aren’t going to be top priority for making your choice – although if you’re a keen skier or boarder definitely take that into account!!
If you’re travelling with a young family it’s likely you will have beginner skiers with you. You can read my round up of the best ski resorts for beginner skiers here.
Here are the top things for you to consider when choosing your ski resort when planning your ski holiday with a baby:
Proximity to the slopes
Choose accommodation very near the runs. If you’re only going to get a couple of hours away from baby to ski you don’t want to be wasting your time trying to get to the mountain. It might mean you pay more, but it will maximise your skiing time. Being close to the runs also makes it a lot easier to get little ones to ski school, it’s hard enough carrying your own skis but getting a little person who is wearing uncomfortable ski boots for the first time and can’t carry their own skis is another level of effort! Many of the family-friendly ski hotels run a kids ski bus to their lessons.
Non-Ski snow activities
Tobogganing, hiking, shopping, cafes, ice rinks … while baby won’t necessarily be doing any of these activities they are all activities in the snow that baby can spectate or just tag along with. If you’re not up the mountain you will want somewhere to go. It’s not fun being stuck in a hotel room the whole time. This Kinderhotels I mention above were both slightly out of the villages so there was no where to walk to as such but there was a lot going on within the resort so no grown up ever got bored.
Flight time and jet lag
If you’re in the UK it’s probably best to stick to Europe for skiing while you have young children. Early starts are so much more difficult when you’ve travelled west so I would not recommend skiing in America or Canada until your children are older. The flight to Salzburg, Austria is just under 2 hours which we found perfect for a ski holiday with a baby. If you really want to go to north America to ski be sure to read my jet lag tips here.
Many ski resorts are a long way from the nearest international airport. Taxi or coach rides are often very slow and wind up mountainous roads which is not great for babies who don’t like to sit in a car for long periods of time. Choose a ski resort with a transfer time of around an hour (you won’t find many places with less than a 1 hour transfer).
Who to take with you on your ski holiday with a baby
We’ve travelled all over the world in our little family unit and usually we are really happy just in each others company. However, when planning a family ski trip I do recommend going away as part of a bigger group. Ski trips were always a group activity before we had kids and they should remain a group activity now we’re parents!
We’ve been away on a family ski trip with my extended family (aunties, uncles and grandparents all make excellent babysitters) and with another family who love the snow. Essentially when choosing who to go with on your family ski holiday you need to consider who YOU want to ski with. You’re not choosing a buddy for your baby to go away with, you’re choosing a buddy for you to ski with while your partner is with the baby.
You really want to avoid going up the mountain alone. Even if you’re a very accomplished skier or boarder it’s still a risky sport and you want someone else there if anything nasty happened. It’s also way more fun when you’re not on the mountain alone. You need someone to celebrate with when you master a scary run and someone to laugh with when you wipe out.
Know who you’d love to go skiing with soon? Why not send them the link to this post and see if it inspires them?