Family Fun on the Slopes
Off to your first ski adventure with the kids? Many ski resorts are now a popular family destination with many programs and services just for kids!
Look for resorts that offer special packages catering to families. These include ski or snowboarding lessons, childcare services, and special family discounts. You’ll even find special events to keep the kiddies interested such as snowboard and tobogganing races.
Children as early as four years old can begin to take up some basic ski lessons. Be sure that your chosen resort has these programs as one of their main attraction and that they have qualified instructors to train your kids. Choose resorts that have designated areas for the little ones ski lessons and practice, away from the busy trails.
Get the Gear
Another key aspect of skiing is the gear. Rental equipment is available at resorts. Safety and comfort (not style) should be your number one priority. Once your kids are interested in skiing, consider buying your own equipment to save on rentals costs but go to a ski-swap so you’re not buying new. Kids outgrow their equipment fast!
Remember, it is very cold out on the slopes, and your kids should be protected and tucked warmly in their gear. Don’t forget the ultraviolet rays which are just as strong in the winter. Apply sun block with the appropriate SPF protection. You’ll also need goggles to protect little eyes from UV rays. Choose water-resistant clothing, gloves, hats and undergarments. Ski helmets are also a requirement.
Are you ready for some fun ski adventures? Here are our top picks for some family-friendly hills in the Greater Toronto Area…
101 Horseshoe Valley Road, Barrie, Ontario L4M 4Y8
Situated in a natural snow belt area surrounded by beautiful forests and scenery - Horseshoe offers a truly memorable setting. It's considered one of the favourite winter activities destinations in Ontario with one of the longest ski seasons around. It’s about having fun on 26 Alpine runs to gliding along their 35 kms of scenic double track set Cross-Country trail. The Kids’ Korral program, for children ages 4 to 12 years, is second to none for those future snow sport enthusiasts. These individualized programs are developed to provide a fun and empowering atmosphere for your children to learn in.
Brimacombe (Formerly Oshawa Ski Club)
4098 Regional Road 9 (Ganaraska Road), Orono, ON
Phone 905-983-5983 or 1-877-672-2582
On Saturdays and Sundays, they offer a six-week Peewee Ski Camp, open to children, ages 5 to 13, who have little or no experience on skis. Each 1 hour, 20 minute weekly ski session is designed to provide a fun, memorable ski experience by connecting new ski friends and helping to build a lifelong passion for the sport, while also teaching important safety lessons.
790 Chalk Lake Road (Off Lakeridge Road, Durham 23), RR#4, Uxbridge, ON
905-686-3607 (TORONTO) - 905-649-2058 (UXBRIDGE)
Skiing and Snow Tubing are available at Lakeridge Resort. Nestled in the beautiful Oak Ridge Moraine, Lakeridge is an exciting and safe place for you and your child to develop skills and passion for Snow Sports. Beginner lessons for kids start at age 7. Kids can also register for Holiday Camps.
Snow Valley Barrie
705-721-SNOW or 1-877-404-4744
Ski Snow Valley in Barrie offers many family-oriented winter programs, including skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing. You can download a first time skier guide from their website.
Glen Eden Ski and Snowboard Centre
5234 Kelso Road, Milton, ON
905-878-5011 ext. 221
Glen Eden is a great place to learn snow sports with its beginner terrain and highly popular lesson programs offered to children beginning at age 4 (Kinder Ski), to adults. Junior Programs are offered for kids ages 7 & up, and kids can also register for Holiday Camps.
Do you have a favourite place where you ski with your family? Share below!