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5 tips to make your next family ski trip more enjoyable

Posted February 18

THE GREAT OUTDOORS — At this point in the season, our ski days are numbered. However, if you are still planning some upcoming trips to one of our 15 local resorts, here are a few tips and tricks to make your family ski day more successful so you can maximize the quality time you spend with the people you love most on the slopes.

Pack the night before

Gather up all the gear for yourself and the kids the night before. You should include everything, except for what you and the kids will wear in the car. Assign a bag for ski gear and put it by the door. Lay out what your child needs to wear under their ski outfit next to their bed so they have it ready to put on first thing in the morning.

Preparing in advance the night before instead of when you’re in a hurry to get out the door will help you eliminate forgetting things. Remember to gas up the car the night before as well. When you have an easy and seamless morning, you’ll arrive at the mountain excited instead of frantic and wondering if you’ve left someone’s glove at home.

Start the day with warm gear

Feet and hand warmers can be bulky when you consider both a foot and heat pack can’t coexist in one boot. Instead, place them in your child’s boot right when you get in the car. Do the same with gloves if they’ve been complaining of cold hands. That will help the boots and gloves warm up during the drive. Then take the warmer out right before they put on their boots and gloves.

If the gear starts out toasty, it has a better chance of staying warm throughout the day. Take those same glove or boot warmers and stow them in their coat pockets. If they should need a hit of heat during the day, they grab them easily.

Pack a lunch

Most resort food is delicious, but the price is less than scrumptious. Consider bringing your own lunch. It will save you money, some unnecessary calories and the time it takes to wait in yet another line.

Make the sack lunch a special and fun ski lunch by including something your child may not get in a weekday lunch. We like to pack their favorite drink, and we never forget chips and cookies. It’s a lunch they look forward to all week.

Kid-friendly ski lingo

Teaching a child to ski can be a struggle for both the parent and the child. There is a lot your child needs to learn in terms of safety and skill, but make it light and fun where you can. Include terms like, make a “pizza” to stop and “french fries” to go. Expound on this concept by making it unique to your family.

My oldest didn’t want to make “snakes” across the mountain— she wanted to make “s’s”. Since our last name is Smith, we took the “S” concept and began calling it, “Making Smith's” across the mountain. She thinks it’s cool when I tell her, “Nice Smith’s!” Find little ways to make learning a new and technical skill into a fun light-hearted game.

Leave when they still want to stay

Leaving on a high note will have your children wanting to hit the slopes again next week. That’s the goal. If you push your child to go on one more run when you know he is a bit tired, it’s usually the making of a meltdown. Use your best parental judgment.

The child may think they can do one more run, but often they’re thinking about the fun part and leaving out the details. Run through the checklist in your mind: the lift line, the lift, the actual skiing and then walking through the parking lot in ski boots while juggling skis and poles. Add it all up and determine if they’ve got it in them. If not, take them home while they’re still happy and excited about skiing.

What are your best tips for skiing with children? Let us know in the comments.

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