Posted: Feb 14, 2013 11:00 AM
Does winter make you yearn for a beach vacation? Summertime has its perks, but winter fun in the snow is great for the whole family. Take advantage of the winter weather and take your family for a mini ski vacation that everyone will love.

Whether you are an avid skier — or have never given it a try — skiing is a great way to enjoy the outdoors with your family. There's something for everyone in the family during your weekend in the snow.

Lessons for everyone

Many ski resorts offer lessons for both kids and inexperienced adults, as well as advanced lessons for people who are looking to improve their skills. Kids as young as 3 years old can learn to navigate the bunny hill after just a few lessons. Ski instructors make the lessons fun for kids, and take the pressure of teaching off parents. You can usually choose either half-day or full-day lessons, depending on the age and ability of your child.

For infants and children too young to ski, most resorts have a daycare on site with fun activities planned all day. They offer indoor activities, free play and snack time — maybe even a bit of outdoor snow play. Plan ahead and reserve a spot for your young one, because these tend to fill up quickly.

Get your gear ready

To make sure your ski weekend is off to a great start, make sure all family members have warm clothing. Even if skies are blue and forecasts call for sunny weather, mountain climates are fickle and conditions can change quickly. Dressing in layers is key for staying warm and dry.


  • Jacket, preferably waterproof and hip-length. You will be chilly on the chairlift, even if you are a bit warmer when making your way down the hill.
  • Ski pants or bibs, with a fitted section inside the legs that goes over the top of the boots to keep snow out. They should be made of waterproof material and be breathable.
  • Long underwear, both top and bottom, to provide a warm layer next to the skin.
  • Fleece top layer or turtleneck, worn over the long underwear.
  • Mittens with liners for added warmth.
  • Ski socks, which are made to wick away moisture and keep your feet warmer, as opposed to plain cotton socks.

SKI Gear^

If skiing isn't something you do more than twice a year, it makes sense to rent your equipment at the resort, especially for kids who tend to outgrow things quickly.

Make it fun!

Family time on the slopes can be a lot of fun, if you go in with the right frame of mind. There will be falls, wet mittens, hungry kids and maybe a tear or two. Bring snacks and a change of socks, underwear and gloves for everyone in case of an emergency. Promise hot chocolate in the lodge after a certain number of runs, or maybe a sweet treat at the end of the day. Take it slow with kids who are just learning, and don't push them to keep going if they get tired or cold.

Stay warm and have fun — the two most important things about a family ski weekend. You may have just found one thing that everyone enjoys together that isn't an app.

More family fun

Family time: Getting back to basics
Parent-friendly things to do this weekend
Family-friendly resorts