Tips for Taking Kids to the Snow for the First Time

  • Kids
    All Ages

Taking the kids to the snow for the first time may seem a little daunting and a far cry from those pre-children carefree days on and off-piste! But, nothing beats the look of delight and wonder when your child sees snow for the first time. Whether it's tobogganing, making snow angels or learning to ski, the kids will have so much fun, you’ll want to return every season!

We’ve put together our top 10 tips for visiting the snow with kids. With a little bit of planning and a flexible attitude, you’ll all get to experience the joy.

Tips for Taking Kids to the Snow for the First Time

1. Choose Your Accommodation Wisely

Numbananga Lodge
Numbananga Lodge in the Snowy Mountains.

Make sure small ones are catered for when you choose your accommodation –  a self-contained apartment with a kitchen can be better for kids over a family hotel room.

Make sure you look out for extra kids' amenities such as welcome packs, cots, a separate TV with DVD, board games and toboggans always go down a treat.

The location is important – ensure you have easy access to the kid's ski school and other child-friendly activities. Being able to get back quickly for a mid-day nap with exhausted toddlers will be a bonus. 

There are loads of great snow accommodation websites to check out if you'd like to do the research yourself. We recommend On Snow Reservations, Snow Holidays, Wotif, Absolute Alpine, and Alpine Country Holidays. Or check out our guide for the best winter cabins in NSW.

The Ultimate Guide to Visiting the Snowy Mountains

2. Borrow or Hire Ski Gear

Tips for taking kids to the snow for the first time
Monster Depot Ski Hire

Kids grow out of their ski gear way too quickly, so save yourself the money and simply borrow from friends or hire in advance.

Adult and children’s suits, boots, skis and poles are available to hire at most ski resorts. If you want to buy your gear, check eBay, Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace for pre-loved bargains, or make a beeline to the awesome Aldi ski sales!

Check out our recommendations for the best spots for ski hire in Jindabyne.

3. Plan Ahead to Avoid Queues

Don’t restrict yourself to peak season in August; look at the whole ski season, which runs from the beginning of June to the end of September. Organise your lift tickets and hire the afternoon before you start skiing to avoid early morning queues. There's nothing worse than waiting in line with kids!

4. Organise Lessons

Tips for taking kids to the snow for the first time
Kids' skiing lessons

Ski schools are great fun for kids; they’ll burn off some energy, learn something new, meet other kids and have an adventure – and you’ll be free as a bird!

If you haven’t skied before, book a half-day or private lesson. If you and your partner want to take turns skiing while the other looks after the kids, joining a ski school group is a fun way to make the most of time.

5. Make a Packing List and Break up Your Drive

Tips for taking kids to the snow for the first time
Don't forget a skiing packing list!

A simple point, but nevertheless can make or break any trip. Making sure you have everything you need before you get to the snow makes for a much easier holiday.

There are some great places to stop en route to break up your journey and start acclimatising to the cooler weather. From Sydney, Canberra has some great activities for kids - check out our guide to the best things to do in Canberra with kids

6. Grocery Shop Beforehand

Some of the resorts can be limited and expensive in supermarket shopping, so it can be a good idea to stock up before you get there – Woolies at Cooma is excellent.

If you have a real fire (or even a BBQ or a gas hob) in your apartment – bring marshmallows to toast, as well as hot chocolate, whipped cream – and spices to make your own mulled wine.

7. Dress Like an Onion!

Tips for taking kids to the snow for the first time
You can never have too much snow gear on!

Layer, layer, layer! It can get pretty cold so pack some neck warmers for those windy days.

Goggles are good if the weather is wet or snowing. Make sure your kids have enough warm clothing if they’re going off to ski school, get a string on those gloves and put it through the sleeves of their jackets. Plus, don’t forget to pack lots of comfy cosy clothes to relax in.

8. Take a Break From the Slopes

Tips for taking kids to the snow for the first time
Selwyn Snow Resort reopened in 2023 after a mega renovation.

Make sure you factor in some additional fun in the snow! From simple snowmen-building to using some of your resort's facilities like kids' clubs, day spas and village shopping. Thredbo, for example, has an indoor swimming pool complete with a kids' slide, and Selwyn Snow Resort has undergone a multi-million dollar transformation complete with a kids' 'winter wonderland'!

9. Pack a Lunch

While there are plenty of eating-out options, there’s nothing wrong with packing a lunch in your backpack if you’re on a budget or to get you an extra hour on the slopes. Pack the kids up with slope snacks –  trail mix or muesli bars are great to stuff in little pockets.

10. Night Skiing

Night-time skiing
Magical night skiing.

Hitting the slopes under a starry sky is an unbeatable experience. It's memorable family fun and a sure-fire way to exhaust everyone out for a guaranteed good night's sleep ready to start all over again in the morning!

More Winter Fun

The Best Places to see Snow Near Sydney
The Best Winter Festivals in Sydney
Cosiest Cabins to Stay in This Winter in NSW

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