BC Family Day: How To Ski with Your Family (Including Young Children)
British Columbia Family Day: February 10th
British Columbia Family Day is coming up February 10th, and to celebrate, local ski hills are offering 50% off lift tickets for residents of British Columbia. We thought you might want a few tips on how to ski (happily) with your family.
Many Families Take Advantage of the Holiday & Ski
It's a great way to take time off from your everyday routine and take advantage of the 50% off lift tickets being offered by Whistler Blackcomb as well as other local ski hills. At the same time, if you're not used to skiing en famille, it can be a source of added stress. Following, then, are some tips to make your day a happy one:
Gear is Essential: Plan Ahead
Families come in all shapes and sizes, but many include children. And children have special needs. It's true that they don't need top of the line gear to ski, and a simple set up is best. At the same time, do plan ahead for time to rent gear when you will not be rushed, and will be able to quietly listen to your kids as you try on boots and skis. A proper boot fit is a key ingredient to a happy ski day. Also, spend the time and pay attention to the DIN settings for the entire family, but especially perhaps for the kids. Assuming your kids don't ski every day, it is important to have the bindings set for beginners. It can be tempting to just round up any old equipment from friends and extended family, and this can be a great way to save some cash. But if you go this route, take the time to make certain that the equipment you're borrowing fits your kids.
Proper Clothing Also Important
Perhaps as important as the gear, making sure that everyone has great winter clothes to wear is an important part of a happy day. If you can invest in some extra good socks and mitts, do it. This can make or break your day. Cold and wet hands and feet are a great way to make for a short and unhappy ski day. Both of these items can seem expensive ($25 for a pair of kids' socks?!?) but again, it's a small price to pay for a happy ski day.
Take a look at the weather forecast, and then dress the kids. If it's going to be cold, dress them in long underwear. If it's a mild day, you want to be sure they won't be too warm. Carry a backpack to hold extra clothes for changing weather conditions...and for simply changing clothes. A common occurance for small children is getting caught needing a washroom. The day can be exciting, sometimes lift lines are long, and with all that gear...well, you get the idea. It can happen. Plan for it, and you'll be much happier if it does.
Food: A Very Important Piece
In that backpack, carry trailmix, treats (chocolate is always a good option, if you're okay with this one) and water. Lots of water. Planning for hunger is one of the key ways to ensure a happier day for everyone. Make sure you bring enough along for yourself as well as the kids. A hungry parent is not going to be very good at helping the kids. Just like the flight attendants tell us when we board an airplane, take care of yourself first, then feed the kids.
Rest. Skiing is Tiring
Knowing that everyone is most likely going to get pretty tuckered out is another really important part of this. Yes, the lift tickets (even at 50% off) are expensive, and so yes, you're going to want to make the most of your day. First of all, there is nothing wrong with planning for this and giving your kids a half day in child care so that the adults can ski hard for half a day. Second, Whistler Blackcomb is an amazing place to ski with kids. There is even a "hidden magic castle" you can plan into your day. Ski to it and let the kids just play for awhile. A full day of skiing for younger kids can be very, very tiring. And tired kids, generally, are not always happy kids.
Unless, of course, you've planned well. In that case, your tired but happy family is on the free shuttle back to Pemberton Valley Lodge, where you will take in a hot tub and then put your jammies on, order in for dinner, and celebrate your awesome ski day! Enjoy.
Photo Credit: Amy McDermid
Posted: Tuesday, January 14, 2014