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  • Kids learning to ski

    Things to Do With the Kids This Snow Season



July 2018


Amazing ways to enjoy winter with the family and tips on travelling with children to the snow.

Temperatures are dropping and there’s a layer of white frost on your windscreen every morning...which means it’s time to pull out the fluffy, warm jackets and hit the slopes! A trip to the Australian snowfields will keep visitors of all ages active and engaged, while providing plenty of opportunities for the entire family to spend quality time together. To help get you started, we’ve shortlisted a number of wonderful activities to consider when planning your perfect winter getaway. We also share some useful advice for first-time visitors to the snow.

Our favourite family-friendly snow activities

Australia’s snowfields are located exclusively in the picturesque alpine regions of Victoria and New South Wales. They are all fantastic for snowboarders and skiers of every age and ability, while also being ideal destinations to simply enjoy the enchantment of a white winter. Some great things to do during your visit include:

Lessons


Most snow resorts are well set up for families, offering specialist learning programs for budding snowboarders and skiers, with lessons tailored to specific age groups.

New South Wales

  • Charlotte Pass has an outstanding kids’ club for 3-12 year olds and hosts weekly races so competitive tykes can show off their snow riding skills.4

Victoria

  • Mt Hotham boasts an all-season indoor ski/snowboard slope5 where everyone can hone their skills even when there are whiteout conditions outside.
  • Falls Creek attracts young beginners for so many reasons. One being that they have a really good chance of bumping into mascot Pete the Snow Dragon, who is often spotted on the slopes!6

Prefer to learn together? Many resorts provide the option of private lessons so you can bond with your offspring whilst mastering the art of sliding down the side of a mountain. Make memories to last a lifetime, whilst enjoying the crisp alpine air.

Comprehensive kids’ clubs and childcare programs


Plenty of larger Australian snow resorts offer dedicated kids’ workshops or professional childcare facilities, some accepting infants as young as 3 months.

New South Wales

  • Thredbo boasts a range of programs specially designed to suit different age groups, from animal spotting on the slopes to pizza nights and kids-only races with LED flares - so much fun!7
  • Charlotte Pass welcomes children aged between 3 and 13 to join in supervised games and activities at Frosty’s Chill Out Zone.8 On Wednesdays, the staff dress up in their finest onesies and everybody else is encouraged to do the same!

Victoria

  • Mt Buller offers crafting, storytelling and music for the resort’s youngest guests,9 plus two magic carpets that make learning snowsports safe and easy for small children.10
  • Falls Creek’s conveniently located childcare centre accepts babies as young as 12 weeks.11 Often visited by PAW Patrol puppies and resort mascot Pete the Snowdragon, their PAW Patrol Snowclub Program12 (open to kids aged 3 to 5) is bound to be a hit.

Half and all day enrolments allow parents to enjoy some well-deserved adults-only downtime, so if you’ve been dreaming of exploring the resort with your partner or craving a few relaxing hours in the spa, you’re in luck.

Snow play and other winter festivities


Virtually all resorts have special snow play zones. Many also offer a variety of fun-filled winter activities such as tobogganing, snowshoeing, dog sledding, snow tubing, night skiing and snowmobile rides.

New South Wales

  • Perisher has designated toboggan trails and is also home to Australia’s only alpine railway - the Skitube.14 You can also go behind-the-scenes by riding a snow groomer,15 which spends its time smoothing out slopes to perfection when resort visitors are sound asleep.

Victoria

  • Mt Hotham’s popular Snowplay Park16 has moulds you can rent to help you build snowmen and snow castles in double quick time, in addition to kiddie snowmobiles, snow scooters and a mini luge toboggan.
  • Mt Buller lets you take your little folk “gnome hunting” around the village,17 and is where you’ll find the nation’s highest cinema.18

During peak travel season (July and August), enjoy event calendars packed with regular entertainment, from live shows to fireworks, offering exciting experiences for all.


Some helpful tips for snow travel with children

  • Layers: Icicles one minute and volcanoes the next, little people tend to have temperature regulation issues so dress them like onions. You’ll need at least two warm layers, with a waterproof jacket on top, as well as gloves, snow boots, beanies and goggles. If you don’t want to spend a fortune on clothing that won’t fit next year, borrow or rent gear.
  • Equipment: You’ll probably be preoccupied with fitting chains on your vehicle or filling up the fuel tank before driving up the mountain so why not pick up all your equipment before you tackle the challenging alpine roads? Most towns near snow resorts have shops where you can hire everything from clothes to boards and helmets.
  • Snacks: Snow play is hard work, and while there will be plenty of marshmallows and hot chocolate on the mountain, it pays to have healthy snacks on hand. Bliss balls, homemade muffins, fruit and nuts are all tasty, nutritious and portable - if the kids behave, you might even let them have some.
  • Hydration: You might be surrounded by snow and ice but the air sure is dry at the top of the mountain. Make sure everybody stays hydrated, drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Carry lip balm and moisturiser to keep tender young lips and skin supple.
  • Sun: It’s easy to underestimate just how high the UV is even on cloudy days up on the mountain. Bear in mind that snow reflects up as well as all around. Slip-slop-slap any exposed areas of the body and make sure everyone takes a break from the outdoors every so often. Perhaps re-group every few hours for an high energy meal or fortifying sweet beverage, then make sure every tiny face gets another application of sunscreen. Neck gaiters will also help protect an often overlooked part of the body!

The final word

A family snow holiday is a priceless opportunity for the whole tribe to connect, while learning something new and enjoying the magical white stuff that makes the cold weather worth enduring. Who knows? You might all love it so much you’ll make skiing and snowboarding holidays an annual winter tradition.


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