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Kids-friendly ski resorts

5/3/2024 | Horsefeathers / Renča

When planning a winter holiday for the whole family, choosing the right ski resort is crucial. It must meet the snowboarding or skiing skill requirements of all family members, but it should also be kid-friendly and offer fun both on the slopes and off them. In this article, we will look at a few excellent "kids-friendly" ski resorts where safety and fun meet great skiing conditions. These resorts are designed to ensure that your family vacation is not only safe but also unforgettable.


ITALY

Destination: Colfosco Ski Resort, Dolomites, Italy - a tip from snowboarder Baša Števulová

What's your favorite family ski resort and why?

As for Slovakia, our heart still belongs to the Jasná resort. I practically grew up on its south side, so we always love to return there. Regarding abroad, our favorite resort is Colfosco in the Italian Dolomites. We travel there by caravan, and the best part is that you can get dressed and be right on the slopes without having to move anywhere. The slopes for kids are absolutely ideal there. It's a 6-hour drive from Slovakia, so it's accessible for us. Price-wise, it's more or less the same as all the major resorts in Slovakia, but the quality is incomparable.

Are there any good ski schools for kids there?

Abroad, we haven't dealt with instructors due to the language barrier, but we're fortunate that we know how to ski and snowboard, so we can teach the kids ourselves. However, there are definitely some good ski schools there.

Are the slopes there safe for riding with children?

Last year, we did the entire Sella Ronda with the kids. Tobias was 6 years old, and Ida was in the backpack. Those slopes are extremely wide and so empty that it was maximally safe for the kids.

You mentioned that you go by caravan. Is the parking right under the slope and does it also have sanitary facilities?

There are plenty of options for parking caravans. There are campsites that are right under the slope - ski in, ski out, and of course, they come with everything. Then there are also parking areas where you have electricity and there are sanitary facilities available. So, it's perfectly fine to go with a van; you don't need to have a caravan. Our favorite campsite is Sass Dlacia, where you can also go cross-country skiing, skiing, and it's available both in summer and winter. Although it's not close to the resort, they will transport you from the reception to the lift with their own shuttle and then come back for you.

Tip 1: Packing snacks for the kids in a backpack is the least of your worries when you want to avoid fries and fast food on the slopes.

Tip 2: The Colfosco resort offers discounts on family tickets, and it's definitely a good idea to buy them online in advance.

Tip 3: Most campsites also have swimming pools and programs for children with entertainers.

Tip 4: To stay at a campsite, you don't even need to have a caravan, as most campsites offer accommodation in cottages or bungalows.

Photo: archive of Baša Števulová.

AUSTRIA

Destination: Flachauwinkl Ski Resort, Austria - a tip from Tomáš Koudela from the HF crew

What's your favorite family ski resort?

We like going to the Flachauwinkl resort in Austria. I feel like the whole resort is built with children and beginners in mind. It's all nicely spread out over the mountains, the slopes are long and interconnected from all sides, so it doesn't matter which side of the hill you're staying on, you always get above the Absolut park. Just watching people ride in that park can be interesting for the kids. In terms of difficulty, I'd say there's a mix of blue and red slopes, but there are also areas designated for beginners. Kids can also have a blast in the fun parks, and along the edges of the slopes, there are plenty of side hits and turns, making it playful and interesting for children.

Are there any easy lines in the snowpark designed for children or beginners?

Yes, it's great that the big lines are separate, and there are two smaller lines set aside, making it safer for kids to ride there. There are small boxes and small jumps, which can be super fun for kids who already know how to ride.

And what about kids that aren't able to ski/snowboard yet, are there any schools and slopes suitable for beginners?

Yes, on both sides of the hill, there are ski schools that have a magic carpet for beginners or a small lift available.

Is there anything else that could make this resort interesting for kids?

The resort has a lot of fun features for children. There's The Stash Park, where various obstacles and Yeti figures are scattered throughout the forest, visible even from the gondola. Then they have a crew of animals that are depicted on the cabins. Moreover, on the way down those long slopes, there are various stations with life-size characters for the kids. Children who visit all the stations receive a picture book and stickers as a gift at the cash desk.

And how is the food on the slopes?

On the Flachau side, you'll find those classic Austrian restaurants, but it seemed to me that you couldn't pay by card anywhere, so I recommend having cash on hand. But on the other side in Kleinarl, they have an interesting concept called Lumberjack, which is one big house that they rent out to various local bio-oriented small businesses. It's divided into zones according to the type of food. And there it was great, it was huge, family-friendly, and there was a very good selection.

Tip 1: It's important to avoid the German and Dutch holiday periods because it can get busier during those times.

Tip 2: Accommodation can be found on both sides of the hill, and the cable cars meet at the top, so if one side is fully booked, you don't necessarily have to look for accommodation further away; just try the other side of the hill.

Tip 3: Access by car is hassle-free, you can park a few meters from the cable car, and there is also shuttle transportation available.

Tip 4: It's worth buying ski passes online and in advance.

SLOVAKIA

Destination: Kubínska Hoľa Ski Resort, Slovakia - a tip from ambassador Adriana Žiačková

Which ski resort do you most like to return to with kids?

We like to go skiing at Kubínska Hoľa. There's a smaller lift for children, and once Félix got the hang of it, he started using the larger main lift. It doesn't get as crowded as the bigger Slovak resorts, so it's better with kids. They have a ski school with its own designated area, with various children's toys and obstacles. And if the kids don't feel like skiing anymore, there's also a place where they can sled or go tobogganing.

Are there any nearby restaurants/buffets where you can warm up, eat, or have a hot chocolate with the kids?

In the middle of the hill, there's the Marína buffet, and when the weather is nice, you can sit outside and the kids can play in the snow.

Regarding safety, you mentioned that there's also a beginner's slope.

Yes, there's a beginner's slope with a small lift. It's off to the side, so it's safe for kids who are still learning to ski. After mastering this slope, there's a longer traverse that can bypass the main slope. It's actually a forest trail that's ideal for kids who already know how to ski a bit.

Regarding accommodation, are there any kid-friendly hotels, guesthouses, or apartments nearby?

Yes, for instance, there's the Green hotel with a wellness area and a pool, which is a short distance from the slope. And then there are also various wooden cabins about 500 meters from the slope, equipped with kitchens, so that can be also a pleasant accommodation for families with kids.

Tip 1: If you stay in the nearest town, Dolný Kubín, the resort has large parking areas, so parking is not a problem.

Tip 2: Children under 6 years old are free of charge.

Photo: archive of Adriana Žiačková

CZECH REPUBLIC

Destination: Buková Hora Ski Resort, Czech Republic - a tip from Tomáš Koudela from the HF crew

If you had to recommend a Czech resort to visit with children, which one would it be?

When the little one was just starting to ski, we went to Karlov, because there the slopes were shorter and there was a chairlift, which was better for learning. Now, as he has gotten a bit better, we go more to Buková hora, because there is also a park, so we enjoy it more there now. Buková hora has only two slopes, but it also has a steeper part, a gentler part, and the aforementioned park. There are some bumps, jumps, boxes, and rails. The chairlift there moves quite fast and usually, there's not much of a wait in line.

Is there also a ski school there?

Yes, there is a large ski school, they offer plenty of lessons for skiing and snowboarding, and at the bottom, there is a small poma lift specifically for beginners.

Tip 1: There are four large parking lots, so parking there is convenient.

Tip 2: Camping spots are also available, including electricity and sanitary facilities.

Tip 3: On the other side of the hill are Čenkovice, and recently these two places were connected by a chairlift, so if you go up to Buková hora, it's possible to ski down to Čenkovice and then return back.

Tip 4: Family discounts apply to ski passes, and children under 6 only pay a nominal fee, not the full price of the ski pass.

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