Ski clothing is expensive and kids grow quickly so borrow whatever you can or hire it but research before you go. Compare prices at the mountain, the closest town or even where you live for the cheapest option. This goes for hiring ski boots and skis too (kids don’t need poles when they’re first learning). Alternatively if you have other kids to pass hand-me-downs to, you might want to look at buying second hand clothing.
- Layer up – thermal top and leggings as a base layer, fleece mid layer, and outer layer of insulated, waterproof jacket and snow pants. You can never be too warm! Kids will be miserable if they’re wet or/and cold. Waterproof onezies are great for babies and toddlers.
- Invest in quality well fitting merino socks preferably that cover the calf. Thick socks aren’t necessary and some say even restricts circulation – thinner socks are also less likely to bunch up and be uncomfortable in boots. Take the socks you plan to wear with you when hiring ski boots.
- Mittens are better than gloves for warm hands (Fleece gloves inside waterproof mittens keep little hands really toasty).
- Googles or sunglasses are a must in all conditions.
- Helmets are again a must – regular bicycle helmets don’t provide enough protection on ski slopes, so you’ll need to borrow or hire one.
- Balaclavas are great for keeping faces and necks warm. Or have a thin merino beanie that fits under the helmet and keeps ears warm. This could be enough if there isn’t a howling wind blowing!
- Don’t forget to ask them to go to the toilet before getting all their gear on!
- Wear sunscreen on any exposed skin – even when it’s cloudy.
And when you’re not skiing….
Don’t forget all the other fun activities you can have in the snow – toboggan hire is widely available for around $10/day and is great family fun (although note, not in Cardrona where tobogganing is banned!) Then there’s always making snow angels, building a snowman and a good old fashioned snowball fight – all free!
See here for a guide to finding hot pools all over NZ – great for rejuvenating achy bodies!
Use the Kids On Board home page to find alternative activities /cafes in the area
Thanks Alison and Lauren for your top family ski tips.