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ACTIVITIES & ENTERTAINMENT

ACTIVITIES & ENTERTAINMENT

Top Ten Family Ski Resorts 2015
by Nursery School Guide
We were beginning to get a little worried about the lack of snowfall in the Alps, at the start of the season. The resorts were dry, the sun was out and it was starting to look like ski holidays might not happen. However, hopes were not dashed by the time Christmas and the New Year arrived, as the Alps received a heavy snowfall and the mesmerising landscape of bleached-white slopes returned to its former glory. With the resorts up and running, here are 2015’s top picks for your half term and Easter Ski holidays.


Avoriaz



Kicking off our favourite, family-fun ski resorts is Avoriaz. Avoriaz is considered the first resort to enter in the space age with apartments, hotels and chalets seemingly floating above the slopes. Located in the heart of the Portes du Soleil, Avoriaz holds all the necessities a family needs to enjoy a skiing holiday. The Village des Enfants in the centre of the resort accommodates a number of different ski schools and has a host of Disney characters to entertain children.

Suitable for ages 3+
Getting there: Two hour drive from Geneva airport.

Click here for more information on lift pass prices, maps and more information.



Puy St Vincent



Puy St Vincent is purpose built and has been a popular destination for family skiing trips for several decades. Due to its small size, it is not a distinguished name and thus contends as a perfect family resort. The village centre is traffic-free and has a sweet selection of restaurants and shops. The resort is split into three main altitudes, with 1600 metres being a predominantly family based area. Both the ESF and the International School provide excellent crèche services to allow parents to explore the slopes freely.  The resorts main travel companies have over 30 years of experience and can provide ideal family holidays from door to door with a range of childcare options.

Suitable for ages 3+
Getting there: Two and a half hour drive from Turin airport.

Click here for more information on lift pass prices, maps and more information.



St Anton



St Anton is famous for having some of the best skiing in Europe and is home to the first cable car designed for winter use. The slopes of St Anton are slightly more challenging than those of other resorts, making it a better destination for a more experienced family of skiers. The resort boasts a large number of instructors, speaking a variety of languages, that are experienced teaching children and adults of all ages. Whilst the skiing is definitely the highlight, there are many forms of entertainment for kids in the town centre- a 4.3km toboggan run, an ice-skating rink and even a bowling alley.

Suitable for ages 2 ½+
Getting there: approximately an hour and a half drive from Innsbruck airport

Click here for more information on lift pass prices, maps and more information.



Ylläs



If you feel it’s time for a change, Finland offers a great alternative to the French and Swiss Alps. Although the biggest resort in Finland and Lapland Ylläs has been noted as a quiet destination with family-friendly slopes, making it an ideal location for a trip with little ones. The Finnish peaks offer a sanctuary of peace and quiet in comparison to the chaotic onslaught of tourists in the Alps. The gentle arctic landscape is ideal for beginners to practice their turns as well as a family reindeer-sleigh ride and some husky sledding. For those with more experience there are snow parks, a super G slope and excellent cross-country skiing routes.

Suitable for ages 4+
Getting there: Kittilä airport is only 50km away

Click here for more information on lift pass prices, maps and more information.



Les Deux Alpes



Not only one of the world’s biggest resorts and a guarantee of snow almost all year round, Les Deux Alpes also seems to go that extra mile for families. The resort contains mostly beginner to intermediate runs, alleviating the risk of reckless speeding snowboarders. Invented by Les Deux Alpes instructors, ‘Baby Snow’ is a device enabling REALLY little people to experience the sensation of sliding on snow and there is a kinder garden for children aged 3-6 years. In addition, older children can try out their skills for their parents with the safety of a Big Air Snow Bag. Les Deux Alpes has its own website for families looking to investigate the fun activities on offer, throughout the resort.

Suitable for ages 3+
Getting there: Grenoble airport is a one-hour drive away

Click here for more information on lift pass prices, maps and more information.



Les Karrelis



Although relatively unknown, Les Karrelis is a quintessential family skiing resort in the French Alps. The resort is conveniently designed for families with very young children. There is a car-free zone in the village centre and a number of restaurants that provide equipment for children. You can also hire ‘une luge pousette’ to pull toddlers around the resort. Should you want to spend some quality time without the kids, there is a ‘halte garderie’ child minding centre where children can play interactive games with the staff and visit the ‘Snow Garden’.  There are even clubs for children as young as 3 months with specially trained and qualified staff. During the school holidays, events and activities are arranged around the clock, keeping the kids occupied and happy. There is also a kids only disco for teenagers on Thursday nights!

Suitable for ages 3 months and up
Getting there: Two and a half hour drive from Chambery airport

Click here for more information on lift pass prices, maps and more information.



Les Gets


  
For over 20 years Les Gets has been a popular destination for family skiing holidays. The slopes, bars and restaurants are not ‘out of this world’ but in terms of ambience, accommodation and activities, Les Gets does pretty well. The skiing ranges from beginner to intermediate and there are many ski schools to choose from, in addition to English-speaking instructors. For your littlest ones (under 5 years) there is a snow nursery where qualified instructors will offer their services for ½ or full days. If the weather gets bad then kids can go to ‘Le Club Des Petits Montagnys’ for fun activities off the mountain.

Suitable for ages 3+
Getting there: A one-hour drive from Geneva airport

Click here for more information on lift pass prices, maps and more information.



Mont Tremblant



Mont Tremblant in Canada is a popular destination for those wanting to escape the conventional resorts in the Alps. The resort is very convenient for families, with a pedestrian village and a range of activities, such as riding, sledging, tubing and skating. The Aquaclub La Source is a fun experience for families, where little ones can swim in the waves, swing from the jumping rocks using a Tarzan rope and run under the waterfall. The picturesque little town is also home to a sea of restaurants offering a variety of different cuisines. With regards to the skiing, the resort suits beginners to intermediate, although being a small resort, beware of the occasional high-speed child who has lost control! Tremblant is charming in that it offers a similar atmosphere to the Alps, from the crepe stands and wooden huts to the French-Canadian speaking natives.

Suitable for ages 3+
Getting there: Flight to Montreal and an hour and a half drive to the resort

Click here for more information on lift pass prices, maps and more information.



Crested Butte



This simply wouldn’t be a top ten without an entry from the US. Europe will always be a favourite for British ski fanatics but the US and Canada offers a completely different experience in both skiing and entertainment. One of the largest resorts in the US, Crested Butte has great skiing as well as a fantastic range of child-related activities. A recently constructed Adventure Park plays host to an ice skating rink, tubing hill, a climbing wall and bungee trampolines. The resort also provides a nursery for children up to three years old, as well as fun-filled programmes for four to seven year olds. Even with such an array of entertainment, the resort is very reasonably priced.

Suitable for ages 2 months and up
Getting there: Flights from Dallas, Houston, Chicago and Denver to Crested Butte Regional Airport

Click here for more information on lift pass prices, maps and more information.



Mt Naeba



The final resort of our Top Ten is Mt Naeba in Japan. Japanese ski resorts are not a ‘go-to’ for British and European skiers due to the language barrier, easy access to the Alps and the long distance, however Mt Naeba might be a great choice for those looking for a change. You won’t find the traditional charm that accompanies other Japanese resorts but the well-developed facilities and structures are great for kids. A ski resort built with families in mind, Naeba has a diverse range of slopes, friendly staff and people and plenty of available information for tourists. The resort also hosts the Pandaruman, an indoor snow park for kids, and for older children there is the Wako Wako Family Snow land. If you would like to experience something new from a ski resort, Mt Naeba will not disappoint.

Suitable for ages 3+
Getting there: Mt Naeda is roughly 180km North West of Tokyo

Click here for more information on lift pass prices, maps and more information.
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