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6 child-friendly ski resorts parents will love too

Free childcare, the best ski school in Vali, midnight sledding and Canada’s highest ice-skating rink, these ski resorts go above and beyond when it comes to family-friendly skiing.

Skating and snowshoeing in Beaver Creek, USA

The snowy landscape in Beaver Creek, Colorado

The snowy landscape in Beaver Creek, Colorado

Beaver Creek takes pride in looking after little ones. There are gentle runs, snowshoe adventures, jukebox ice skating and a dedicated kids’ gondola. It also has the best ski school in Vail and plenty of good childcare options. And, after a hard day on the slopes, they’ll love being greeted at the base of the Centennial chairlift by cheery chefs with trays of cookies. Back at the ski-to-door Borders Lodge, hit the hot tub or cosy up around the log-burning fire.

Night sledding in Avoriaz, France

Travel by sleigh at Avoriaz ski resort in the Rhône-Alps

Travel by sleigh at Avoriaz ski resort in the Rhône-Alps

In car-free Avoriaz, kids will relish getting around by sleigh. Although it’s set on a steep slope, there are plenty of inside lifts and escalators to save little skiers’ legs. And they’ll need energy for more than skiing, there’s night sledding and – for the over 4s – paragliding. Spectating parents can recover their nerves in the spa at Hôtel des Dromonts, which is next door to the ski school.

Olympics and ice discos in Galtür, Austria

The Alpine ski resort in Galtür, Austria

The Alpine ski resort in Galtür, Austria

Skiers race towards the finish line. Music blares, medals are awarded. So far so Winter Olympics, except all the skiers are kids. The Friday night kids’ Olympics is one of many activities for under-16s in Galtür and, during the day, they can join their fellow ‘Snow Heroes’ for fun dress-up lessons. Mini experts will love Adventure Land, a dedicated snow park packed with bumps, twists and turns. The pretty Piz Arina apartments are right in the centre of town and a ski-boot-friendly 180 metres from the shuttle bus stop.

Santa and sledding in Levi, Finland

Hard-working pups in Levi, Finland

Hard-working pups in Levi, Finland

Lapland wins big at Christmas, of course, and kids may be lucky enough to spot Santa carving turns on the piste. But Levi, Finland’s largest ski resort, has even more to make them smile. The free kids’ club, with its sled slope and snowshoeing, is an easy introduction to winter sports. There’s also dog-sledding, reindeer and a 17-pool swim park nearby. Back at the Levin Alppitalot Alpine Chalets, ease your muscles in your private sauna.

Skiing and snowmen in Big White, Canada

The Bullet Express chairlift at Big White ski resort

The Bullet Express chairlift at Big White ski resort

Clue’s in the name – powder hounds and snowmen builders alike will love Big White’s hefty 7-metre seasonal dump. Being Canada’s second-largest ski area, it has a green run for every day of the week for kids and glorious long runs for grown-ups. Another claim to fame, it’s home to Canada’s largest high-altitude ice rink. Be close to the action at Sundance Resort, right at the foot of the resort’s Bullet Express chairlift.

Tubing and slaloming in Klosters, Switzerland

Young skiiers on Madrisa Land’s ultra-safe slopes

Young skiiers on Madrisa Land’s ultra-safe slopes

Madrisa Land is Switzerland’s biggest adventure park for children and a chic resort for parents. Kids come hurtling down the ultra-safe slopes a variety of ways – on huge inner tubes, in a giggling crocodile of learners or bouncing over the giant slalom. And by night, elegant Klosters has some of the best après-ski food and drink in Europe. A reputation for friendliness and epic views make the Hotel Steinbock a family favourite.