Where To Ski In Europe With Kids: The Best Countries And Why

A mom and her two kids ski along a mountain trail in Italy, one of the best places to ski Europe with Kids.

Choosing where to ski in Europe with kids is the next step to taking an epic winter adventure! From charming alpine ski towns filled with history to sprawling resorts, there’s so much to experience during a family vacation. Whether you’re getting your first snow time in the French Alps or heading to Austria for the chance to ski on some of the world’s best slopes, it can be difficult to know where and when to go. This is especially true when traveling from the United States to a new country in Europe with kids. There are many factors to consider, and the best answer often depends on how much time you have and how many children are in the group. In this article, we will take a look at Where To Ski In Europe With Kids: The Best Countries And Why. Keep reading to learn more! 

Major Differences Between Skiing in Europe with Kids vs the United States

If you’re planning a trip to ski in Europe with kids, you’re probably wondering about the main differences between skiing in Europe and skiing in the United States. Generally, Europeans tend to view skiing as more of an overall laidback lifestyle than a specialized, thrill-seeking activity like in the United States. Though the snow and weather may be better in North America, in Europe, skiers enjoy the ambiance above all. Weekly ski passes also cover six consecutive days and can’t be interrupted or counted toward other subscriptions or services.

Here are a few more specific differences! 

  • Grading systems and how trails are marked: In the United States, there are easy green runs, intermediate blue runs, expert diamond runs, etc. Though it depends on the country, in Europe, there are generally easy blue runs, intermediate red runs, and advanced/expert black runs (particularly, in Switzerland, Austria, and Italy). Alternatively, some countries, such as France, start with green runs for beginners, blue runs for intermediate, red runs for advanced, and black runs for experts. 
  • Differences in terrain: the terrain is often wider and more well-marked in the United States than in Europe. North America tends to have stricter, designated areas integrated into every resort, with a ski patrol ensuring no one passes through the wrong area. In Europe, you can ski off-piste with your kids at your own risk, and the areas aren’t patrolled as much. This leads to more individual freedom, but can also be tricky depending on your children’s skill levels. 
  • Different styles of organization + queues: Skiing in Europe often means less organization than you may be accustomed to in the United States. Lift lines or lines for ski concierges may appear disorganized to Americans, which can make the experience feel less user-friendly to some. North America has better ski infrastructure when it comes to things like benches or tissue dispensers and other small details that make the skiing experience convenient when you’re vacationing with kids. Still, while skiing in Europe is a great experience, it requires you to do more research and read between the lines. 
  • Charming towns + ambiance: A big perk about skiing in Europe with kids is staying in charming (and often historical!) towns that seem straight from a postcard. The Alps especially provide a beautiful backdrop for any ski trip, and the small villages nestled in the mountains are absolutely enchanting. From the moment you arrive, you’ll feel as though you’ve been transported to a fairytale. The streets are lined with quaint shops and cafes, and the snow-capped mountains boast a stunning backdrop. This is why European ski towns are perfect for a family ski vacation. Not only are they incredibly beautiful and more pedestrian-friendly, but they also have a rich history and offer a much deeper cultural experience than in the United States. If you’re looking for something truly unique, there are even resorts that date back to the 1800s!
  • The apres-ski scene: In the United States, the apres-ski scene is geared toward adults and often has a nightlife aspect. Or, it simply focuses on unwinding and relaxing at the end of the day. In Europe, the apres-ski scene is all about socializing and enjoying time with friends, family, and other skiers. There are often lively musical performances and ski-themed games going on, making it an essential part of the skiing experience for families. Plus, in Europe, there’s a wider selection of on-mountain restaurants and cafes offering warm food and drink after a day on the slopes.

Why You Should Choose to Ski in Europe with Kids

Suvretta House Ski School at St. Moritz, featuring a snowy mountain and several skiers in the distance.
Photo Courtesy: Gunjan Prakash

If you’re planning to ski with kids or a new to skiing, then Europe is a great option. Generally, ski passes and lift tickets tend to be cheaper than in luxurious North American destinations like Aspen, even without programs like the Ikon or Epic Pass. (These are still available at select ski resorts in Europe too.)

You’ll find that the price of one day of skiing at a North American resort is equivalent to around six days at a European one. Ski schools in Europe are also much cheaper than in the United States. Ski schools usually run from Sunday or Monday to Friday, with a ski race on the last day followed by a medal ceremony. Since ski schools span multiple days, kids will receive the same instructor, which helps them bond and stay focused. (In the United States, instructors are usually different each day.)

In Europe, there are usually many ski schools to choose from at the same resort or in the general area. This is unlike in the United States, where ski schools are often limited to one school per resort. Different ski schools in Europe allow for more competition between businesses, which means better prices for customers. This also means a bigger variety of lessons, from private to group lessons for beginners and more advanced classes. You can choose a morning or full-day program, and meal options too. Most of the groups are divided by ability and age groups. Plus, most instructors at big resorts speak English.

The Best Countries to Ski in Europe with Kids

A young girl and her mom stand together, both wearing ski gear, on a sunny, winter day near the Matterhorn, one of the best places to ski Europe with Kids.
Photo Courtesy: Linsey Stuckey

Now that you know why you should take a ski vacation in Europe with kids, it’s time to find out the best countries to go skiing in Europe and why. From France to Italy, keep reading for our tips on how to ski in Europe with kids and more suggestions! 

Here is The Ultimate Ski Trip Packing List For Families This Winter!

France

An aerial view of Saint Jean d'Arves, a town nestled in the French Alps, lit up at night, one of the best places to ski Europe with Kids.

When it comes to skiing with kids, France is a great place to start. First of all, French ski resorts are generally smaller than their counterparts in other European countries, so they’re easier for beginners to navigate. The slopes are well-maintained and the terrain is generally smooth, making them a great choice for families looking for a safe and fun experience. In France, beginner slopes are classified as green. Then, intermediate runs are blue, followed by red for advanced, and black for experts. Most black trails are not groomed, however, and elsewhere ungroomed trails may be indicated by dotted or dashed lines.

Ski resorts in France are also more reasonable than Switzerland and Austria in terms of price, but they’re still pretty comparable. Finally, the French climate is perfect for winter sports – the snow tends to stick around for longer periods of time, so your kids can stay entertained all winter long!

Most French ski resorts are near Geneva International Airport. The best way to travel between the airport and the resorts is via a shuttle bus, as there are no direct trains available to most resorts.

Accommodations 

Looking for accommodations for your family ski vacation in France? When it comes to accommodations, France has a wide range to choose from. There are traditional hotels and resorts, as well as more budget-friendly options like hostels and apartments. For families, we recommend looking into apartments or chalets, which offer more space and privacy than hotel rooms. Many also come with kitchenettes so you can prepare your own meals if you’d like. Keep in mind that French ski villages aren’t as cozy and picturesque compared to neighboring Switzerland and Austria. However, there are many more accommodation options in France and more resorts to choose from to find a deal. 

Dining

From traditional restaurants to charming bistros, The French Alps offer a wide variety of dining options after a day on the slopes. Traditional mountain restaurants, or refuges, are scattered throughout the skiing areas and serve hearty food such as fondue, crepes, raclette, and gratins. These casual eateries are great for après-skiing with kids as they are usually fairly relaxed and kid-friendly. For something a little fancier, try one of the many charming bistros in the ski towns. These eateries typically serve French classics such as steak frites, pot au feu, and boeuf Bourguignon. Most bistros will have a children’s menu with simpler dishes such as pasta or chicken nuggets. For an unforgettable dining experience, head to one of the Michelin-starred restaurants in the area.

Best Ski Resorts in France for Families

Two kids in full colorful ski gear, including ski goggles and helmets.
Photo Courtesy: Gunjan Prakash

If you’re wondering about the best ski resorts in France for families, there are a few important facts to know. Firstly, French ski resorts also tend to have a shorter ski season compared to Austria. France does have larger resorts like Le 3 Vallees, however, which is the largest interlinked ski area in the world, coming in at a whopping 600 km of skiable terrain! For more information on skiing in France with kids, keep reading!

Val d’Isere

Val d’Isere is a top pick for a family ski trip to France. Located in the French Alps, it has excellent skiing for all levels, from beginner to expert. Some beginner areas include The Village Nursery Ski Area, which is close to the town center and has three lifts to two green runs. The slopes are well-groomed and there is plenty of off-piste skiing available. The resort also has a great kids’ club, which offers activities such as sledding and tubing. Children under 5 years old can ski for free. With its world-renowned ski school and après-ski scene, Val d’Isere is the perfect place to spend a week on the slopes with your family! 

Chamonix Mont-Blanc

Chamonix is one of the most popular skiing destinations in Europe, and it’s easy to see why. As part of the Ikon Pass Program, the scenery is absolutely stunning, and the slopes are well-suited for all levels of skiers. The Chamonix Valley has four major high-altitude ski areas: Les Houches, Brevent-Flégère, Argentière-Les Grands Montets and Balme-Vallorcine, all of which have dedicated beginner areas. There are other low-altitude beginner slopes with easy access for all the family (even pedestrians) such as Le Tourchet, Le Savoy,  La Poya and La Vormaine. Families vacationing here also usually enjoy Brévent-Flégère or La Poya. In Les Houches, there’s a playground area called Ski Camp, featuring snow tubing, swinging, and even zip wires! 

Discover The Best Things To Do in Chamonix in Winter With Kids!

Les 3 Vallees

​​Les 3 Vallees is one of the most popular ski areas in Europe. Located in the French Alps, it’s made up of several interconnected valleys, which makes it easy to get around without having to take a lift. With 8 different resorts to choose from, the area has something for everyone, with plenty of beginner and intermediate slopes. It’s also part of the Epic pass program. Here are some specific resort recommendations! 

Meribel

A favorite among celebrities and royalty, Méribel Ski Resort is one of the most exclusive ski resorts in France. However, don’t let that deter you – Méribel has plenty to offer families looking for a luxurious ski vacation. The resort has a special Kids’ Club where your kids can learn how to ski while being supervised by professionals. There are also many beginner-friendly slopes at Méribel that are perfect for kids. This includes two designated beginner areas: Meribel Mottaret (Zen zone) and the Altiport area of Meribel (Ski Cool Zone). Plus, children under 5 years old can ski for free! With its high-end shops and restaurants, it’s surely one of the best places to ski in Les 3 Vallees with kids! 

Courchevel

Courchevel is a great resort for families with kids who want to learn how to ski or improve their skiing skills. With a variety of easy runs, the resort has excellent beginner and intermediate slopes, as well as a kids’ club and daycare. For complete beginners, visit Courchevel 1850 or Courchevel Moriond for kids with a bit more skills. In addition, the resort is located in the heart of the ​​Les 3 Vallees, so there are plenty of other activities and attractions nearby for when you need a break from skiing. There are also many activities for kids to do off the slopes, such as ice skating, snow tubing, and sledding. Kids five and under can ski for free.

Les Menuires

If you’re looking for an affordable ski vacation in France, Les Menuires is a great place to take your kids. Located in the French alps the larger Les 3 Vallees area, the slopes are gentle and there are plenty of reasons to explore the resort town when you’re not skiing. When you are skiing, enjoy wide-open beginner and intermediate runs in the resort’s central Croisette area, a few terrain parks, and lessons with the Ski School Les Menuires. In addition, the resort has a great selection of restaurants, shops, and activities for the whole family to enjoy. Kids five and under can ski for free.

Switzerland

An aerial view of Andermatt, nestled in the Swiss Alps, one of the best places to ski Europe with Kids.

Skiing in Switzerland with kids can be a really fun experience. The country has a lot of great slopes for all levels of skiers, and the weather is usually very good too. Plus, the mountainous terrain means that there are plenty of challenging runs to keep even the most experienced skier entertained, while the gentle slopes perfect for beginners make it an ideal place to learn how to ski.

In Switzerland, beginner skiers will start on blue runs. Then, intermediate runs are labeled as red, while advanced/expert runs are labeled as black. Nearly all Swiss resorts have beginners’ classes and children’s areas. Plus, ski schools tend to have children’s areas and mascots to help kids ski. 

When looking to ski in Switzerland with kids, the most common airport that families fly into is Zurich International Airport. This airport is located just outside of Zurich and is the largest airport in Switzerland. It’s also one of the busiest airports in Europe, so it is recommended that you book your flights well in advance. Other airports that families usually fly into when skiing in Switzerland include Geneva International Airport and Basel Mulhouse Freiburg Airport.

Accommodations 

When it comes to accommodations in Switzerland, there are hotels, apartments, and chalets catering to families with kids. Some accommodations even have special amenities for families, such as babysitting services and kid-friendly menus. Switzerland also has some beautiful mountain villages to stay in. Some of our favorites include Zermatt and Saas Fee, which are both well-known destinations for tourists but also offer plenty of charm and character. If you want to explore more of the Swiss Alps, we recommend checking out Andermatt, St Moritz, or Davos – all of which have excellent ski facilities and things to do off the slopes. When it comes to skiing with kids on a budget, however, it’s important to note that Switzerland has some of the most expensive accommodations compared to other European countries. 

Dining

Skiing in Switzerland would be incomplete without tasting all the delicious food this country has to offer! In particular, Switzerland is famous for its cheese fondue, which is arguably one of the best ways to unwind with friends and family after a long day out in the snow. Melted cheese isn’t the only thing Switzerland has to offer, though. The resorts are well known to have almost everything, and they do it all exceptionally well. Swiss chocolate in particular is another strong point and kids will love trying some during their vacation. Don’t forget about rosti, pastries, and Alplermagronen (Alpine Macaroni). Swiss resorts also have their fair share of Michelin-starred restaurants.

Best Ski Resorts in Switzerland for Families

A mom and her three kids throw snow in the air, while skiing in Zermatt together at one of the best places to ski Europe with Kids.
Photo Courtesy: Linsey Stuckey

Few places in the world offer the breathtaking scenery and world-class skiing that Switzerland does. And, when it comes to family ski vacations, this country has some of the best resorts in Europe, including some with the biggest vertical drop in the country! Two of the most notable of these resorts are St. Moritz and Zermatt, which many consider the best resort globally. Both offer an authentic feel and English-speaking ski instructors. Stay tuned to learn more!

Zermatt

If you’re looking for a great place to ski in Europe with your kids, Zermatt is the perfect spot. There are plenty of beginner-friendly slopes as well as some more advanced ones for experienced skiers. It’s also part of the Ikon Pass Program. Families love the Theodul Gletscher beginner area or taking the Sunnegga Express to the ski area at Sunnegga-Rothorn, which has terrain for all abilities. Plus, there’s Wolli Park for beginners, and the Gornergrat ski area, accessible via The Matterhorn Express. Plus, thanks to Wolli cards, kids under the age of nine can ski for free in Zermatt! It also offers free access to all lifts/trains in Zermatt, plus discounts at restaurants and hotels. 

Click here to read The Best Family Guide To Skiing In Zermatt This Winter

St. Moritz

Skiing in St. Moritz with kids is a great experience. The county has many kid-friendly ski resorts that offer great skiing opportunities. Most of the resorts have beginner and intermediate slopes, so your kids can learn to ski at their own pace. In addition, the resorts offer daycare and babysitting services, so you can relax and enjoy the slopes while your kids are being taken care of. Beginners will prefer the Corviglia, Salastrans, or Celerina nursery slopes. Celerina is particularly great for young kids who are learning thanks to its magic carpet system. Families with two or more children get a discount on ski passes.

Grindewald-Wengen

The Jungfrau Region has 230km of pistes for all levels. Grindelwald-Wengen is especially popular with families thanks to its several dozen kilometers of toboggan runs, plus a snow park for freestylers. In the town of Wengen, there’s a practice area in the center of town, supervised by the local ski school. Another beginners’ area is Männlichen. Meanwhile, in Grindelwald, there are many blue runs, including the bodmiARENA, a special beginners’ zone. On Saturdays, when accompanied by a paying adult, up to three children per family between the ages of 6 and 15 receive a free day’s lift ticket. Kids ages 5 and under ski for free every day in Jungfrau.

Davos

While there are many great places to ski in Europe with kids, Davos in Switzerland is definitely one of the best. One reason why it’s so great is that it has a lot of beginner-friendly slopes, which are perfect for kids who are just learning how to ski. Two popular beginner areas, Bolgen and Bünda, are accessible from the village and ideal for kids. Madrisa and Rinerhorn also have special children’s areas. Plus, there are lots of rental shops close by. Children six and under can ski for free.

Arosa-Lenzerheide 

The Swiss ski resort of Arosa-Lenzerheide is a great place to take your kids on a skiing trip. The resort has two main skiing areas, which are connected by a gondola. There are also numerous beginner and intermediate slopes, including a beginner area called “Honigland” at Pratschi. as well as a children’s ski school. The resort is also very family-friendly, with plenty of activities for kids to do both on and off the slopes. Children under the age of 4 can ski for free.

Gstaad

Gstaad is a great place to ski with kids because it has everything you need. The slopes are well-groomed and there are plenty of beginner and intermediate trails. Some popular beginner areas include Wispile and Eggli, which feature plenty of blue runs that families will love. Plus, children under age 5 can ski for free in Gstaad!

LAAX

LAAX is a great place to ski with kids in Switzerland. They offer 5 different terrain parks for all levels, where kids can learn how to jump and do tricks on their skis or snowboard. Best of all, children six and under can ski for free! A visit to the legendary Freestyle Academy is the perfect evening or bad weather activity too. Here, kids, teens, and adults alike can learn new tricks on trampolines, skate on ramps, and simply have fun away from the slopes.

Austria

A charming Austrian town covered in snow.

Austria is a renowned ski destination, and for a good reason. With a longer ski season than countries like Switzerland, it has some of the best ski resorts in Europe, offering something for everyone in the family. (The snow also tends to be a bit better in November/December and March/April.) From beginner to expert, there are plenty of slopes to keep everyone happy. Plus, the country is incredibly beautiful. With its snow-capped Alps in the background and crystal-clear lakes, Austria is a photographer’s dream come true. When you’re not skiing, you can enjoy the stunning scenery, cozy mountain restaurants, and après-ski activities on offer. 

Another big plus to skiing in Austria as opposed to other countries in Europe with kids is because Austrian hospitality is legendary. Whether you’re spending the day at one of the numerous ski resorts or taking in a festive attraction like the Christmas market in Graz, you’ll be made to feel right at home by the locals.

Skiing in Austria is also cheaper than in nearby Switzerland and most resorts are closer to the airport. Innsbruck and Salzburg are the most popular International Airports to travel to. St. Anton and Mayrhofen are near the Innsbruck Airport. Kitzbühel is an hour and a half from Salzburg Airport. It’s easier, but flights to these airports are usually more expensive than to Milan or Zurich from the United States. 

Accommodations

When it comes to ski accommodations for kids, hotels are the most popular option in Austria. There are many great accommodations and hotels in Austria that are perfect for families who want to go skiing, many of which are family-owned. These hotels offer spacious rooms, on-site childcare, and family-friendly activities. There are also several private apartments, chalets, and condominiums available for rental in most resort towns. Many of these vacation rentals come equipped with full kitchens and plenty of space for the whole family. Chalets are often the coziest for families to stay in, made from classic wood and stone. Austria also has many adorable towns and cities where families can stay and enjoy activities off the slopes. Innsbruck, for example, has a Bobsled Run that kids will love.

Dining

Austria is not only a great place to ski, but also has excellent food. In fact, Austrian cuisine is hearty and filling, making it the perfect choice for a day on the slopes. Brettljause is a delicious Austrian dish made with cured meats, cheeses, and pickled vegetables. Goulash is a hearty stew that’s perfect for chilly days on the slopes. And of course, you can’t go to Austria without trying Wiener Schnitzel – a delicious breaded pork cutlet. If your kids are craving pizza, pasta, Thai, or Chinese, there are also plenty of international dining options available in Austria. And of course, no trip to Austria would be complete without trying some of the delicious local desserts – including Sachertorte, a chocolate cake covered in apricot jam, and Apfelstrüdel, a warm apple cake served with vanilla ice cream!

Best Ski Resorts in Austria for Families

Kids smiling as they ride a gondola up the slopes to ski in Alpendorf, one of the best places to ski Europe with Kids.
Photo Courtesy: Ski Amadé

It’s no secret Austria is home to the best ski resorts in Europe for families. There are many options to choose from, and each one offers something unique. Austrian resorts also offer a variety of activities for kids of all ages, as well as plenty of services and amenities that make life easier for parents. Similar to Switzerland, beginners start on blue runs, while red is for intermediate and black is for advanced/experts. Keep reading to find out the best ski resorts in Austria for families! 

Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis

If you’re looking for the best ski resorts in Austria for families, Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis is the place to be. Located in Tyrol, this family-friendly ski resort offers a variety of beginner-friendly ski runs, making it the perfect place to introduce your kids to the sport. Some popular beginner areas with lots of terrain and magic carpet lifts include Berta’s Kinderland at Fiss and Kinderschneealm. There’s also a nursery and a variety of childcare options. Plus, children five and under ski for free!

Kitzbühel

For a world-class ski destination that’s also family-friendly, look no further than Kitzbühel Ski Resort in Austria. This popular resort is located in the Tyrol region of the country and offers a variety of activities for both kids and adults. One of the great things about Kitzbühel is that there are slopes for all skill levels, so everyone in your family will be able to enjoy themselves. In fact, the resort boasts multiple beginner areas, including the Rasmusleiten, Mocking, and Pulverturm practice lifts and moving carpets in Kitzbühel and Hausleiten (Jochberg). The slopes between the Hahnenkamm and Pengelstein are also ideal for beginners. Children under 15 ski for free on certain days and the resort is part of the Ikon Pass Program.

SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser – Brixental 

If you’re looking for the best ski resorts in Austria for families, you can’t go wrong with SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser – Brixental. It’s Austria’s largest ski area, connecting nine different resorts. The skiing here is some of the best in Europe, and there are plenty of beginner areas and easy runs that are perfect for kids. These include the nursery slopes at Hexenwiese SkiWelt Söll, SkiWelt Hopfgarten, and Westendorf. There are also numerous childcare facilities, plus some fantastic ski schools. In terms of family offers, there are discounts for kids under the age of 15. Finally, kids 5 and under ski for free!

Ski Juwel Alpbachtal Wildschönau

Prepare for an adrenaline-packed holiday when you take a ski vacation to Ski Juwel Alpbachtal Wildschönau! The scenery is simply breathtaking and the resort has a very family-friendly atmosphere. Plus, it has great beginner areas and easy runs that kids will love, like the Kinderland Juppi Do and Schatzberg Zwergenland. For more intermediate skiers or those who want to test their skills, the resort also has snow parks. Plus, there are kid-friendly ski schools and childcare facilities. Children under 5 can ski for free. Finally, be sure to check out their Easter special!

Zell am Zee – Kaprun

Many great ski resorts in Austria are perfect for families. One of the best is Zell am Zee – Kaprun. This resort offers a wide variety of activities for kids, as well as a safe and welcoming environment. Kids will love all the unique experiences here, like the chance to go glacier skiing or cruise down the Funslope XXL on the Schmittenhöhe! There’s also a variety of toboggan runs, plus a snow park. Kids five and under ski for free.

Ski Amadé

Ski Amadé in SalzburgerLand offers the ultimate ski vacation for families. It comprises a network of over 25 ski resorts, each offering children’s ski areas and everything else you need for a fun experience. For easy beginner slopes for little ones to learn, there is a variety of fun slopes at places like Grossarltal, Monte Popolo, etc. No matter your kids’ skill level, there are also a variety of ski schools. Plus, you can get free ski passes for kids 15 and under. 

Pitztal Glacier

Skiing at Pitztal Glacier with kids is a great way to spend a winter vacation. The glacier is located in the Tyrol region of Austria and offers some of the best skiing in Europe, including high-altitude skiing. The resort also has a variety of slopes for all levels of skiers, including a wonderful beginner area for kids around the funicular, including Brunnenkogel, Mittagskogel, and  Gletschersee. Plus, the Pitztal Kinderland is a fantastic ski school for kids under 6. ​​Children born between 2013 and 2016 get a Bambini free pass after one parent purchases a ski pass. 

Skicircus Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang Fieberbrunn

Skiing with kids in Skicircus Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang Fieberbrunn is a great idea because it is one of the best ski resorts in Europe. With 167 miles of well-groomed slopes, there’s plenty of room for everyone to explore. Some beginner areas include Hinterglemm and the upper area of the Bernkogel. Children born in 2016 and later can use the miniAlpini Card for free on every lift. Children born between 2006 and 2015 only pay about half of the adult prices.

Italy

A view of Madonna di Campiglio, nestled in a mountain range in Italy, lit up at night.

If you’re looking for the best ski resorts that are reasonably priced in Europe for a family ski vacation with kids, Italy is a great option. With its picturesque mountains and world-class skiing, this scenic country has something to offer everyone. While neighboring countries like Switzerland are stunningly beautiful, they can get expensive. Italy, on the other hand, is much more affordable and has plenty of ski resorts to choose from.

Secondly, Italy’s slopes are family-friendly; many have beginner trails and slopes for children as well as advanced areas perfect for intermediates and experts. Italy follows the same blue, red, and black color grading system that Switzerland and Austria use. And finally, Italian ski schools are legendary for their quality teaching and creativity; they know how to make skiing fun for both beginners and experienced skiers alike. 

Since Italy is a top skiing destination for families, there are many airports that you can fly into to get to the slopes. Milan Malpensa Airport (MXP) is the largest airport in Italy, and it is served by many major airlines. This airport is located about two hours from the ski resort of Livigno, which is a great option for families. Alternatively, when you want to ski in Europe with kids, you can fly into Bergamo Orio al Serio Airport (BGY), which is located just over an hour from Livigno. Treviso Airport (TSF) is another option, and it’s located about two hours from the resort of Cortina d’Ampezzo.

Accommodations 

In Italy, skiing is more of a leisurely lifestyle than in Switzerland or Austria, and this is very evident in the cute ski towns surrounding famous resorts. People are often dressed up quite stylishly and you’ll find lots of boutiques and shops. There are also hotels, apartments, and even chalets that are specifically geared toward families. Many of these accommodations offer amenities such as kids’ clubs, babysitting services, and family-friendly dining options. Accommodations, including hotels, are often cheaper in Italy. However, Italy also lacks infrastructure compared to its neighboring countries. Whatever type of accommodation families choose, they are sure to have a memorable ski vacation in Italy. So start planning your trip today and get ready to ski in Europe with your kids!

Dining

If you’re dreaming of skiing in the Alps with your kids, Italy might be a dream destination. Besides skiing, it has amazing food! For a quick and easy meal, stop by one of Italy’s many pizzerias. Many also offer other child-friendly menu items like pasta, chicken fingers, and french fries. If you’re looking for something a little more upscale, there are plenty of restaurants that offer fantastic meals for kids. Many Michelin-starred restaurants have special menus for children, featuring both familiar and more adventurous dishes. And even if a restaurant doesn’t have a special menu for kids, most chefs are happy to prepare something simple and delicious that the whole family will enjoy. Plus, when you want to warm up after a long day on the slopes, Italian hot chocolate is a must!

Best Ski Resorts in Italy for Families

Two boys ski on the Italian side of the trails near Zermatt, one of the best places to ski Europe with Kids.
Photo Courtesy: Jamie Levine

One of the great things about skiing in Italy is that there are resorts of all sizes, so you can find one that’s the right fit for your group. If you’re looking for a smaller, more intimate resort, Courmayeur is a great choice. But if you want a larger resort with more amenities, Madonna di Campiglio is a great option. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert skier, ski in Europe with your kids this winter at the following destinations! 

Breuil-Cervinia 

Overlooking Matterhorn Mountain, Cervina is a popular ski destination in the Alps. The resort has a wide variety of slopes, from gentle slopes to more challenging red and black runs, so there’s something for every level. Some beginner areas include the slopes near the Cretaz chairlift or in Plan Maison. The resort also has a creche and kindergarten so that your kids can be taken care of while you ski. Children 9 and under can ski for free with an accompanying adult and kids 15 and under get a discount on tickets. 

Dolomiti Superski

A ski trip to Europe with kids should definitely include a visit to Dolomiti Superski. Not only is it the largest ski area in Italy, but also the entire world! As such, it has plenty of pistes that are suitable for beginners and young children. Plus, it’s part of the Ikon Pass Program. One particularly popular area is the Kids Funpark Colfosco, next to the Pezzei ski lift, which has lots of fun obstacles. Kids eight and under can ski for free across the entire area with an accompanying adult. 

Cortina d’Ampezzo

Cortina d’Ampezzo is a particularly family-friendly ski resort within the larger Dolomiti Superski area. Featuring breathtaking scenery, the area offers a variety of slopes and beginner-friendly activities, making it the perfect place to introduce your children to the sport. In fact, for beginners, it features a ​​children’s slope with its own double chairlift at the base area of Socrepes. Kids under the age of 8 can also ski for free with an accompanying adult.  

Val Gardena

Val Gardena is another great place to bring the kids skiing within the Dolomiti Superski. With its wide open slopes, it’s easy to find a spot that’s just right for your little ones. Families can discover practice lifts in Selva Gardena and on Monte Pana, above St. Cristina. There are also two practice lifts in Ortisei and one in St. Cristina, plus easy slopes on Plan de Gralba. And with plenty of ski schools around the area and childcare options available, parents can also enjoy some much-needed time on the slopes. Kids under the age of 8 can also ski for free with an accompanying adult.  

Madonna di Campiglio

Skiing at Madonna di Campiglio with kids is an experience that you and your family will never forget. The scenic mountain views, the fresh air, and the challenge of skiing down the slopes make this a perfect vacation for any family! Overlooking the Brenta Dolomites in Trentino, Madonna di Campiglio has several beginner and intermediate slopes, as well as a Kids’ Club with childcare and a ski school. From beginner-friendly trails to the resort’s special Kids’ Snow Park, little ones can play and learn how to ski. Kids nine and under also get a free ski pass for 1 to 14 days with an accompanying adult. 

Happy Skiing!

A family of four enjoys an apres-ski lunch in the mountains.

We hope you liked this article on Where To Ski In Europe With Kids: The Best Countries And Why! Skiing is a great way to spend time together as a family and create lasting memories. If you’re looking for a family-friendly ski resort, any of these destinations would be a great choice. Enjoy skiing in Europe with your kids! 

*Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the attractions, accommodations, or things to do on this list may be closed. Please ensure availability before making your decision. 

*This post may contain affiliate links that may earn us a small commission, at no additional cost to you. Affiliate links in no way inform the hotels, sights, products, or other recommendations included in our articles. All opinions and recommendations expressed here are compiled from submissions submitted by the generous members of our Families Who Love To Travel community.

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The Families Love Travel Team has a zest for life and an even bigger passion for globetrotting! Comprised of real-life travel professionals, we work hard behind the scenes to provide dynamic solutions for adventuring with children. Our enthusiastic team understands the challenges that often accompany traveling with kids and is committed to making Families Love Travel an inclusive space to convey these experiences.