Five best: Family ski resorts

Pack up your salopettes and head to the hills with our child-friendly winter sport spots


Val Gardena, Italy

Children are made to feel like stars in the sun-dappled Dolomites, where skiing is viewed as a family activity to be enjoyed at a leisurely pace. Prices compare favourably to the Alps; children ski and stay free during Superkids weeks, from 15 March 2008. With low-cost flights available to Verona, Bergamo and Innsbruck, and easy transfers from each, Val Gardena is a good destination for families wishing to go it alone. Child care and ski school is available locally or through British tour operators; worth noting is the Family Hotel Posta (www.familyhotelposta.com), which offers week-long activity programmes.

Val Gardena, Italy (00 39 0471 777 777, www.valgardena.it). A week's half board for a family of four at the Chalet Weisenheim with Esprit (01252 618300; www.esprit-holidays.co.uk) costs from £1,180, including children's tea and activities

Copper Colorado, US

How to justify a nine-hour flight with children in tow? Consistent sun and snow from November to April, for a start. Child care is excellent on and off the slopes; the Belly Button Bakery takes babies from as young as six weeks, and offers nightly babysitting. Accommodation in the small pedestrianised village is of a high standard, with generous kitchens and hot tubs. And Copper's easily navigable terrain is ideal for the family: while there are segregated family ski zones and miles of rolling beginner and intermediate terrain, teens can't fail to be impressed by Copper's creatively sculpted terrain parks, while parents will enjoy the easily accessible off-piste.

Copper Mountain, Colorado, US (001 970 968-2882; www.coppercolorado.com). Seven nights for a family of four through Ski Independence (0845 310 3030, www.ski-i. com) costs from £3,136, including transfers

Big White, Canada

Modern facilities and uncrowded, snowsure slopes mean that the resorts of western Canada are good value. Big White is deserving of its many accolades, a purpose-built ski area designed with families in mind. Almost all accommodation is ski-in, ski-out, the friendly Kids Centre is a focal point – and even the snowmobiles come in pint-sized versions. In addition to ski and snowboard programmes for tots through to teens, daycare is available from 18 months to five years. The terrain? It's confidence-building all the way.

Big White, Canada (00 1 250 765 3101; www.bigwhite.com). Seven nights for a family of four with Frontier Ski (020- 8776 8709; www.frontier-travel.co.uk) costs from £3,115, transfers included. Children aged 15 and under ski free

Flaine, France

Modernist architectural relic meets holiday camp: compact Flaine Forum is filled with children frolicking at the foot of the slopes. Up the hill is the quieter Hameau de Flaine village, with echoes of Scandinavia. A new US-style hamlet, courtesy of Intrawest, is under construction. Though small, the resort has the requisite pool, ice-rink, bowling lanes, cinema and climbing wall, plus a gallery and library to amuse parents. The resort's P'tit Loups crèche (00 33 4 50 90 87 82) takes children from six months, and there are two ski kindergartens.

Flaine, France (00 33 4 50 90 80 01; www.flaine.com). Seven nights for two adults and up to three children with Crystal Families (0870 402 0293; www.crystal families.co.uk) costs from £1,578

Ylläs Finland

Finland is as popular with families for reindeer sledding and the Northern Lights as for its downhill attractions. Ylläs is now home to one of only three First Choice (0871 200 7799; www.firstchoice.co.uk) Kids' Academies, offering day care, evening activities and ski school for children aged from six months to 12 years, along with a programme of après-ski family activities. Inghams (020 8780 4433; www.inghams.co.uk) runs three- and four-day Santa breaks in Ylläs in December. After skiing, children bake Christmas cookies and make ornaments with Mrs Santa and the elves, then have dinner with the big man himself (three nights self-catering for a family of four from £1,451.60; half board available).

Ylläs, Finland (00 358 16 569 569; www.yllas.fi)

News
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Sport
Robin van Persie scores the third for Manchester United with a perfectly-guided header
footballLive! Chelsea vs West Ham kicked off 10 Boxing Day matches, with Arsenal vs QPR closing the action
Arts and Entertainment
Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz in Tim Burton's Big Eyes
film reviewThis is Tim Burton’s most intimate and subtle film for a decade
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Arts and Entertainment
Madonna is not in Twitter's good books after describing her album leak as 'artistic rape and terrorism'
music14 more 'Rebel Heart' tracks leaked including Pharrell Williams collaboration
Sport
football
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Personal Trainer / PT - OTE £30,000 Uncapped

    £25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...

    Investigo: Finance Analyst

    £240 - £275 per day: Investigo: Support the global business through in-depth a...

    Ashdown Group: Data Manager - £Market Rate

    Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Data Manager - MySQL, Shell Scripts, Java, VB Scrip...

    Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - Bedfordshire/Cambs border - £32k

    £27000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - near S...

    Day In a Page

    A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

    Christmas without hope

    Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
    After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

    The 'Black Museum'

    After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
    Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

    Chilly Christmas

    Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
    Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

    'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

    Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
    Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

    Ed Balls interview

    'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
    He's behind you, dude!

    US stars in UK panto

    From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

    What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

    Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
    Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

    Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

    Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
    Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

    Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
    Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

    Autism-friendly theatre

    Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all