Top 5 family holidays this winter | Ski and Snowboard

Top 5 family holidays this winter

Pleasing everyone from tiny tots to too-cool-for-school teenagers (and not forgetting Mum and Dad) can be a struggle on holiday. Check out our round up of some of the best family trips for this winter and we reckon you’ll all go home raving about it.

Saariselkä Lapland – See Santa in his native home
The ideal way to introduce kids to the snow. Esprit Ski’s Santa’s Lapland trips are a dream come true for kids with the adventure beginning as soon as you step foot off the plane. Santa’s elves are there to greet you and cause mischief riding on the baggage carousel. Each family gets an individual meeting with Santa, via a ‘Search for Santa’ snowmobile ride, who will discuss the letters kids have sent him prior to their trip. Also included are reindeer sleigh rides, husky-sled rides, an igloo fantasia complete with ice sculptures and the elves workshop.
Mum and Dad highlight: Lapland’s location in the Arctic Circle makes it a great place to check out the Northern Lights which according to NASA are set to be at their best in 50 years this winter.
Details: A four day trip on 2nd December 2012 costs £2199 a family of four (saving £822) and includes return flights from Manchester, transfers, half-board hotel accommodation, a full day’s activities in a snowy woodland and a private family visit to see Santa.
Visit for more packages and offers.
Courchevel, France  – Get the royal treatment
In keeping with its luxurious reputation, many Courchevel hotels have a mini me offering for kids. At the Hotel Chabichou (, budding Heston’s and Delia’s can take part in a cake-baking class in the hotel kitchen meanwhile parents can brush up their skills in a cooking class accompanied by Savoie wines.
Over at La Sivolière ( kids are made to feel as important as their parents with a mini front desk, a personalised passport, their own restaurant Mini 1850, a mocktails menu and original activities to keep them occupied in the Kids Club.
And at the Hotel Le New Solarium ( children aged three to 12 can enjoy a half hour spa treatment.
Mum and Dad highlight: Make the most of kids’ clubs and check in to spoil yourself. The Chabichou’s Cha’Banya Spa offers massages and Carita treatments from 49 euros.
Visit for more info.
Big White, Canada – Go on an adventure
Transatlantic travel can take a bit more planning but it makes a fantastic adventure for kids and adults alike. Big White has a compact, traffic-free main square with a big day care centre. The resort’s Happy Valley Adventure Park offers kids the chance to try ice skating, tubing, snow biking and dog sledding, and new for this season an ice climbing tower. Also new for this season are organised sleigh rides to a warming hut where you can enjoy brunch or dinner depending on the time of day, and last season a new family restaurant, the BullWheel, opened.  The resort also runs a programme called Mom, Dad and Me are skiing, ideal for kids aged three to six. An instructor will take you and your child with a maximum of three pairs per lesson and teach your child to ski while giving you tips on how to help them progress yourself.
Mum and Dad highlight: “It’s the Snow” – the resort slogan says it all. This is the place to come to ski powder and the slopes aren’t too challenging so it’s a great place to learn if you haven’t had much experience in it. Drop the kids in day care or ski school and go fill your boots.
Visit for more info.
Photo credit: Big White Ski Resort
Les Deux Alpes, France – Learn new tricks
These days the cool kids want to learn jumps and tricks which can be a daunting prospect for safety-conscious mums and dads. Les Deux Alpes has a Kids Park designed for children aged eight to 10 featuring moguls and banked corners for learning jumps where they can practice freestyle in a safe environment. The resort also has a slide zone for novices where older children and brave parents can test their skills in gullies, canyons and waterfalls. There is also a big air bag, open from 1pm to 6pm daily, at the base of the slopes that allows children and adults to practice jumps with a safe landing.
Mum and Dad highlight: Pack the kids off to the ESF’s freestyle camp for the week ( or the Piou Piou club (3- to 6-year-olds; and get some thrills of your own. Check in for the free Freeride Attitude clinic which takes place every Tuesday (January-April) and learn how to use off-piste safety equipment before enjoying an off-piste skiing session led by a mountain guide.
Visit for more info.
Photo credit: Bruno Longo; OT Les 2 Alpes
Avoriaz, France – Make a splash
The latest draw to family-friendly Avoriaz is Aquariaz (, which the resort describes as an “aquatic paradise” and makes a great après activity if the nutella crepe hasn’t burnt off. Built by the brains behind Center Parcs (owned by self-catering holiday operator Pierre et Vacances), the waterpark features a halfpipe waterslide, rapids with bubble-massage seats, a large pool with a climbing wall, a water playhouse for younger children and an outdoor jacuzzi with an uninterrupted view of the valley. Outside of Aquariaz the resort is car-free, compact and ski-in/ski-out making it a great choice for families while the Stash snowpark which uses natural materials to create jumps and obstacles will prove a hit with older kids.
Mum and Dad highlight: Book a babysitter and head for neighbouring Morzine to try a night sledge descent followed by dinner in a teepee. Sledge from the top of the Pleney lift and enjoy fantastic views over the resort before enjoying mulled wine and Savoyard specialities in a teepee in the woods. Visit for more info.
For more info on Avoriaz visit

October 18th 2012 at 1.05pm

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